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 a charming, Whistler-esque complex in central Abbotsford. Gas fireplace, oversized quiet deck, and communal fitness room, plus it’s walking distance to the closest park, shopping and transit. 1 hour drive to Vancouver.
If you’re really set on living in Vancouver, you could buy a boat and park it in a marina in the heart of the city. Here’s a beautiful 45 foot Gulf Commander – a BC built fibreglass cruiser – for $128,700. 2 private cabins, 2 bathrooms, comfortable living area and a well-equipped kitchen. Put a couple of lounge chairs on the upper deck, kick back, and live the life of Riley.
Of course, the last option for affordable housing in Vancouver is to build a laneway house yourself, right in the city. Starting from $100,000, you can purchase a laneway house shell and customize the rest of it as the ultimate DIY project. Smallworks designs the house, and delivers the essentials including building permit, site preparation, underground services, insulated foundation and slab, walls, doors, windows, and roof, all within 4-6 weeks. The rest of it – the electrical wiring, plumbing, and finishing – is up to you. So if you’re handy with a wrench and paintbrush, the Smallworks Builder laneway house is an incredible opportunity for affordable housing in Vancouver which is customized exactly the way you want, in the city that you want to live in, with no compromises.
Curious? Read this blog written by Akua and Brendon, a community development manager and photographer, who bought the Smallworks Builder and finished the laneway house themselves.