One thing that we've noticed about many of our clients is that they're close to their families. Young couples who build a laneway house on their parents' property. Retired couples who move into a laneway house while the younger generation take over the main house. In many situations, building a laneway house isn't just about construction, it's about strengthening the ties that bind.
With the municipal election coming up, the hot topic in Vancouver is affordable housing. Or rather, the lack of it. This city nearly tops out the list worldwide in unaffordability when real estate prices are compared to average earnings. We rank number 3 in the world in housing unaffordability, behind only Sydney and Hong Kong. Although the City of Vancouver has launched a number of initiatives to increase density and housing stock - including the approval of laneway houses - the average Vancouverite needs more options in finding a great place to live for a great price. We’ve taken a quick look at some choices that could become more popular in this city, and possibly in laneway house situations: 1) Rent to own. Why pay rent to a landlord when you can make the same payments which would go towards the property purchase price? “Renting to own” is a popular scheme in the UK where it is supported by the government. In this situation, a buyer agrees with a seller to buy a property at a certain price and at a future date. The buyer lives on the property as a tenant during this period and makes payments to the [...]
You’ve probably seen the feature in The Vancouver Sun. The real estate section matches up properties around the city for roughly the same cost, so $1 million dollar Maple Ridge mansions go head-to-head with 7-figure Vancouver West Crack Shacks. This comparison has inspired us to set up a little survey of our own, using our popular 750 square foot Arts and Crafts laneway house as a base price. For $250,000, what kind of affordable housing in Vancouver is available? Our tour starts off in Burnaby with a 776 square feet 1 bedroom in a somewhat institutional-looking building. The suite is described as “needing updating” but one excellent bonus is the single block stroll to Lougheed Mall, skytrain and bus. _______________________________ What can you snag in swish Ambleside for a quarter of a million? Apparently not even a bedroom. Billed as the “lowest priced updated apartment in West Van!”, the 470 square foot home is a tiny, though nicely updated, studio. Perfect for a pied-a-terre. _______________________________ In terms of central Vancouver properties, $250,000 can get you a 675 square foot 1 bedroom in sleepy Marpole. Bright, top-floor unit. Not bad, if you can live with that oddly-designed fireplace surround. [...]