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.


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|


We know that some of you aren’t living in an energy-efficient laneway house yet - so if you’re still in a regular house or apartment, we wanted to list our favourite ways for saving energy  for the rest of this winter. Image from fotographic1980 1) CFL or LED light bulbs As you know, we’re fans of LED lights, and we’re pretty big on CFL (compact fluorescent lights) bulbs as well.  They are up to 80% more energy efficient than the old incandescent bulb which also means that they last much longer -  CFLs will brighten your home for 10 years and LEDs, 20 to 25 years. 2) Single pane window replacement Is the heat in your house getting sucked out of your single pane windows?  Glass is a great heat conductor and it goes without saying that all of our laneway house windows (as with almost all new construction) are double-paned.  With two sheets of glass and a layer of inert gas in between, double-paned windows are much more energy-efficient for your home.  In an average house with 10 windows, replacing all your old windows will cost approximately $5500. 3) Window film If ripping out your windows is [...]

By | 2016-11-15T09:05:58+00:00 February 8th, 2012|How to Live Green While You Live Small|


Living in a laneway house doesn’t have to mean sacrificing comfort.  However, it does mean that you should use space efficiently and make smart choices about design and furniture.  If you furnish with the right space-saving pieces, a small laneway house can be as enjoyable to live in as a McMansion.  Scratch that - probably more enjoyable. We’ve all seen unwieldy Murphy beds and awkward extendable dining tables but the variety of multifunctional furniture that is now available - as well as the sophistication of their construction - has taken a big leap ahead in quality.  We’ve picked out some of our favourite furniture pieces that save space, work for multiple purposes, and look chic to boot. MDF ITALIA BOX These handy storage cubicles have a modular construction which can be stacked in multiple configurations.  Cram your vintage CD collection into a short version or choose a larger set to organize all your folders, binders, and art books.  Mount it on castors to roll it around or plunk it on a swivel base for a cool rotating shelf.  Configurations range from $1300-3800 at LivingSpace Image from MALM BED WITH HEADBOARD / SHELF If you’re looking for [...]

By | 2016-11-15T09:05:58+00:00 January 30th, 2012|Hints on Keeping It Small|