1,075 Bitcoins will get you a home in Coquitlam

Westwood Plateau property listed on Beijing Craigslist page in digital currency

A luxury seven-bedroom, six-bathroom home located near the 18th hole of the Westwood Plateau Golf and Country Club can be yours for 1,075 Bitcoins, according to an ad posted on the Beijing Craigslist website.

The posting went live 29 days ago and was updated as recently as three days ago for a property at 1756 Hampton Dr., and features photos of the home and a write-up about its features. 

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There is no contact information on the Craigslist advertisement but the same home is listed through the Vallee Real Estate Group by agent Eric Vallee, with Keller Williams Black Diamond listed as the brokerage for the property. 

The Tri-City News was told by the agency that Vallee was out of the office this week but Val Petrov would be handling any inquiries. Petrov declined to discuss the matter. 

“I have no comment,” he said when asked about the listing, before immediately hanging up the phone. 

As of Thursday, 1,075 Bitcoins, a digital currency, were valued at more than Cdn. $3.8 million, far higher than the $2.05 million price tag for the property on real estate listing website rew.ca.

According to the Real Estate Council of British Columbia, because the unregulated electronic currency exists outside of normal banks and government institutions, it cannot be held in trust during a real estate transaction. Bitcoin property purchases could also run afoul of Financial Transaction and Reports Analysis Centre (FINTRAC) reporting requirements under federal Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act. Section 7 of the act states that agents must report any attempts of money laundering or suspicious transactions to FINTRAC. 

This is not the first time a Coquitlam home has popped up on an overseas Craigslist page being offered in electronic currency. Last month, a 5,000-sq. ft., five-bedroom, five-bathroom “executive-style” home on Firdale Street near Mundy Park was on sale for 2,099 Bitcoins on a Hong Kong Craigslist real estate page. 

At the time, 2,099 Bitcoins worked out to approximately $5.3 million Canadian, which again was much higher than the $2.6 million the property was listed at Sutton Centre Realty. 

Mario Figliola, the realtor handling the listing, told The Tri-City News at the time that the posting was a joke by a friend. A few days later, Derek Drew, the manager of Sutton Centre Realty and Figliola’s boss, said the advertisement was an “honest mistake that never should have been made.”

gmckenna@tricitynews.com

@gmckennaTC

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