Raised in Acadia, the neighbourhood where he learned to love the game, Tim Hunter admits he still has fond memories and an affinity for Calgary’s southeast.
“I actually ended up renting my first place up in Ranchlands,” said Hunter, the Calgary Flames’ all-time leader in penalty minutes and one of the toughest players of his era.
“In my early years with the Flames, Paul Baxter and I had become tight, and Dougie Risebrough also lived up in the north part of the city. His wife, Marilyn, and Kim, my wife, were good friends. The Edgemont Club was close.
“Nice bungalow, 1,500 square feet, unfinished basement. Worth about $120,000. We were paying $1,500 a month. This is right after the crash.
“Well, after about five weeks, there’s a knock on the door. This guy hands me his card and says, ‘You don’t know me, but I work for the Bank of Montreal and you don’t know this, but this house is owned by us, not by the guy you’re renting it from.’
“Turns out, the guy I’m renting from is a dollar dealer. He takes over the mortgage from these people who foreclose, he buys the mortgage from them and now he’s paying the rent, but not paying the mortgage.”
“We had planned to renovate, make it bigger – we really liked the area and the whole setup. But Kim got pregnant with our first daughter and really didn’t want to go through all of that with a newborn in the house.”
The bank offered the house to Hunter to purchase, with no real estate fees.
“We thought about it, but ended up moving close by in Edgemont. Liked the area, right down the street from (assistant to the president) Al Coates,” said Hunter.
“That was my first actual buy, $114,000. Interest rates had come down quite a bit – they were in the six or seven per cent range, not the 18 per cent of the year before.
“The funny thing is, four or five weeks after we move out of the rental, the guy from the bank calls and says, ‘Hey, Tim. When you left our property, just want to clarify here, the dishwasher was still there?’”
He proceeded to ask the same question about the water heater and the garage heater.
“I’m thinking, ‘what is going on?’” said Hunter.
“Turns out, the guy who’d rented the place to me had gone in before they’d been able to get in and get it ready for sale and basically stripped the house bare. All the appliances were gone. The guy must’ve known what was going on.”
From the Edgemont house, the Hunters moved to a property in Mount Royal, a “little house” that represented the couple’s first transaction using a REALTOR®.
“We had planned to renovate, make it bigger – we really liked the area and the whole setup,’’ said Hunter. “But Kim got pregnant with our first daughter and really didn’t want to go through all of that with a newborn in the house.
“We moved down to Willow Park.”
So, at the end of the day, he ended up back in the southeast after all.