Small Solution to Pricey Real Estate

Brendan Purdy, Akua Schatz and their newborn baby boy enjoy city life on a smaller scale.Doug Shanks photo Having a home that meets your needs but doesn’t consume all of your resources is a way to step back and enjoy life more. “It’s a small space but, for us, that’s a benefit,” says Schatz. “We think more about what we bring in, we spend more time outside.” This young couple, who recently became new parents, live in the Dunbar neighbourhood of Vancouver, BC in a laneway loft house. In this article on WE they talk about living large in a small space and explain how laneway housing can be a solution for a young families who wish to live in high-priced downtown Vancouver. View the floor plans for Brendon and Akua's 500 sq. ft. laneway loft.

A Family Grows in a Small Home

We are happy to share with you "our" first baby. One of our clients gave birth last week, and she did so at home in a Smallworks built Laneway House! Now, we know we can take no credit for this most common of miracles but it is a milestone for us as well as for Akua and Brendon. Read all about baby's first day in a small home at Mini Home: Brendon and Akua Build Small. Congratulations, Akua and Brendon!

By | 2016-11-16T08:38:56+00:00 October 10th, 2012|News & Trends in Small House Living|


With homes in Vancouver being among the most expensive in the world, it might surprise you to learn that building a new house may be one of your most affordable Vancouver housing options. And this is just one benefit. Here are 4 advantages to building a Smallworks lane house in Vancouver: 1. Affordable Housing Building a lane house from scratch gives you complete control over your budget. For as little as $100,000, you can buy a laneway house shell and customize the rest of it as a do-it-yourself project. In this case, Smallworks designs the house and delivers all the essentials – including the building permit, site preparation, underground services, insulated foundation, walls, doors, windows, and roof, all within 4 to 6 weeks, while you only have to take care of the electrical wiring, plumbing, finishing, and decorating. For $250,000, you can score you a custom house featuring 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and 2 levels, with a designer interior, integrated millwork, and quality interior finishes. There are plenty of options, and Smallworks will work with you to determine and stick to your budget. In comparison, an older home might require extensive renovations and upgrades that could pop up [...]

By | 2016-11-15T09:05:57+00:00 April 17th, 2012|News & Trends in Small House Living|


Smallworks clients know that laneway houses are not only a solution to affordable housing in Vancouver, but can also be rented out for a profitable source of extra income. Many laneway homes start out as rental properties, and homeowners typically make $1,400 to $1,900 a month for one bedroom, and $1,600 to $2,400 for two bedrooms. And it’s not just the money-making potential that makes renting out these small houses so attractive – there’s also the safety that comes with being in such close proximity to your tenants. Here are four factors that make laneway houses one of the safest real estate properties you can rent out: 1. Attracting "good" tenants Laneway house tenants know from the start that you will have easy access to check in with them, so this close living arrangement will minimize your risk of attracting anything but the best of tenants. 2. Problem prevention With your tenants and rental unit literally in your own backyard, you won’t have to rely on your neighbours to check in with them or go out of your way to make visits. You’ll be able to catch warning signs early on and address them before they have the [...]

By | 2016-11-15T09:05:57+00:00 April 8th, 2012|News & Trends in Small House Living|


Affordable housing in Vancouver - does it exist?  The topic is on the minds of many Vancouverites and the number one issue for Mayor Gregor Robertson this year.  With high real estate prices and Vancouver nearly hitting the top of the list for world-wide unaffordability, we wondered - if you had $100,000 burning a hole in your pocket, what could you even afford to buy in this city for such a paltry sum?  We’ve done a short search and here’s our list of affordable housing in Vancouver for $100,000 (or near-ish to Vancouver) when you just have the low six figures to play with. We’ll be honest.  We can’t find a doghouse in Vancouver that sells for $100,000.  We widened our search to Chilliwack which is 1 ½ hours away and found this 800 square foot 2 bedroom apartment for $108,880 (Lucky numbers, anyone?).  It’s been just updated with new laminate flooring, baseboards, blinds, and tiles.  There’s nothing special about it but it looks like a great price for a good-sized 2 bedroom apartment. Another area to explore is Abbotsford in the Fraser Valley.  We found this 1 bedroom 696 square foot apartment for $108,500 in [...]

By | 2016-11-15T09:05:58+00:00 February 14th, 2012|News & Trends in Small House Living|