Absurd Vancouver Property Realtor Challenge: how much house can $250k get you outside of Metro Vancouver?
Earlier this week, I brought you my latest post about Absurd Vancouver Property. In it, I discussed the average income for Vancouver families and what is affordable to them in terms of real estate. I challenged my friend, and Vancouver realtor, Larry Rahn*, to find properties that are within the price range of a family with Metro Vancouver’s median family income of $67, 550 (with a minimum 5% down payment). My specifications were that the homes (a) needed to be suitable for a family of 3-4 (b) needed to be a freehold – i.e. a house on land (c) must be close to rapid transit accessing downtown Vancouver and (d) must be under $350K
“ Having a young family of my own, I completely understand the challenges that face people today when trying to make the move towards home ownership. The way I approach this with my clients is to have a game plan early on, define what the goals are, then work towards them. I find this always works best. The following homes fit the specifications set out by Melissa, however, with a larger down payment, purchasing a home with a mortgage helper or a willingness to consider strata vs. free title, more possibilities would be available.”
Here are the options Larry found, fitting my specifications, at 3 price points:
Option 1 – house in Mission:
Price: $244,900 (has been on the market 57 days)
Description: 3 bedroom rancher on a large 50 by 122 lot. 5 blocks from the West Coast Express station. Updates include hardwood floors and crown moldings plus a 3 yr old roof. Prefect starter home for small family especially if the husband enjoys week-end projects to update this home slowly.
Option 2 – house in Surrey
Description: This is the lowest priced home in Surrey, just off King George blvd and 88th. You can take one bus to the King George skytrain station in under 10 min. 3 bedrooms, 2 bath, and over 1500 square feet of living space.
Option 3 – House in Squamish
Description: A little more budget can get you into this small starter home in downtown Squamish with recent upgrades including windows, furnace, roof, and appliances. On a 50 by 122 lot, it has 2 bedrooms and one bathroom over 850 square feet. Walking distance to shopping and transit. Currently, however, there is no rapid transit system between Squamish and downtown Vancouver. It is 45 minutes by car to Whistler and about an hour to Vancouver.
Larry notes that, “obviously, all of these homes will need some updating and minor repairs given their age and present condition, however, for the most part, they can be move in ready. Note, that there are currently no houses available for under $350,000 in New west, Burnaby, Vancouver east, west, west van, north van.”
However, there are a few nice apartments within this price range (i.e. rather than a house). They include:
MLS®: V943663 (New Westminster)
MLS®: V926532 (Coquitlam)
MLS®: V938153 (Port Moody)
Definitely a challenge to find a house at this price point even well outside Metro Vancouver. It is becoming clear that home-ownership is becoming less of an option for a large contingent of Vancouverites. Perhaps we truly are moving towards becoming a city like New York or London, where most people who own their homes live in suburbs well outside the downtown core, and those who live within city limits either own or rent small apartments. I am interested to hear your thoughts. If you know of more/better homes that are currently on the market, or any great affordable communities outside Vancouver Metro, I’m sure our readers would be interested in hearing about those, also! Thanks to Larry Rahn, for taking on this challenge. If you are looking for a knowledgeable, reliable and patient realtor – give him a call!
*LARRY RAHN – VANCOUVER’S DOWNTOWN REALTOR®
SUTTON GROUP – WEST COAST REALTY
AN INDEPENDENT BROKER
#301 – 1508 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC V6J 1W8