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ArthurFonzarelli
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Re: Affordable Detached (>$400K) w/Vancouver Commute

Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:18 am

I really appreciate all the input here.

Don't worry OneSource - we aren't going to buy something based soley on the opinions of one or two posters. But it really is good to get some insights from some of you who know the markets well.

Jesse - thanks for the VCI repost - I wouldn't have seen that. I do think the detailed listings tell quite the story over there. I had suspected SFHs were moving VERY slowly over there right now (as well as many other regions of the province) but didn't see the full stats package (wasn't posted on REBGV last I checked). I did hear the same thing from a friend living in Squamish though - that most of the inventory is in the $500-$700K range and NONE of it is moving, and he thinks it's going to put downward pressure on prices above and below that range soon. But that hasn't happened yet. Though even in the $400-$500 range where some houses are moving, in the past 4-5 months not one of the 10-12 houses we've been tracking has moved. None. So that also tells me to be patient.

I don't agree that we are being unreasonable with our expectations that $400-$500K can get a fixer upper starter home within 80 km / 1 hr of downtown... though I am starting to think ETB made a good call buying at the 2008 trough. I think it'll be an interesting litmus test to see where/what my eventual purchase ends up relative to the "near buy" I similarly made as ETB in 2008 - though we were aiming a bit cheaper (we were looking at $500-$550 in Van proper back then).
 
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DAB
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Re: Affordable Detached (>$400K) w/Vancouver Commute

Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:30 am


We have a 1000 sq ft townhouse right now, and I know some people can handle this with two kids and a dog but we can't. We need at LEAST 1,300-1,400 sq ft. We also want to make sure that with only 20% DP that our purchase would be revenue neutral (or almost) if we had to sell in 5 years and rent it out.
.
Your best bet is around the LOUGHEED mall area. There are some nice townhouses that can be had for around your budget.
 
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DAB
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Re: Affordable Detached (>$400K) w/Vancouver Commute

Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:31 am

Any thoughts on the detached market in these areas (N Burnaby; New West; Squamish) in the ~$400K range, commuting, opportunities to low-ball, inventory expectations, etc.?
Impossible to get a detached for your budget. Best bet is look for LARGE 2 bedroom condos. they have some in the Brentwood area - newer building with ammenities going up to around 1000 square feet. lots of 2 beds are only 700-800 so the size of 1000 is a good size to raise a family
A little heads up, I've been looking through a handful of condos in the brentwood area, mostly look at 980 sqft - 1300 sqft with 2 or more bedrooms/dens for a family of four with 2 teens. They are much smaller than I thought they would be , especially with the misleading pictures that realtors take at certain angles. I think I'm going to wait for a while before buying any unit since brentwood will undergo a tremendous redevelopment over the next 4 years or so, and that is if I still want to stick around...
Don't bother with TANDEM, OMA or any other condos on the other side of Willingdon (perspectives, watercolors). Have you looked at units at the Renaissance Towers - MOSAIC & FRESCO - Across from Save On and beside the Toyota Dealership. .They have large 1000 sq ft 2 bedroom condos with minimal wasted space. If you need more space and don't mind heading a bit east then I suggest Legacy Towers (on lougheed & Holdem) - skytrain at your doorstep.
 
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DAB
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Re: Affordable Detached (>$400K) w/Vancouver Commute

Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:33 am

Again curious to see if people think Squamton SFH will hold value. It's an interesting market. I think if SFH VAn inventory continues to rise and values finally drop off 10-15%, Squamish will take a big hit, and fast. I think Squamish price support is probably around 15-20% off where it is now.
IMO If there is a downtown in our economy & real estate, Burnaby and the tricities will hold prices better than Squamish.
 
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DAB
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Re: Affordable Detached (>$400K) w/Vancouver Commute

Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:34 am

This is from a commenter "Bailing in BC Says" on Vancouvercondo.info:
Arthur, just rent! The easiest way to pay off 100k of your mortgage in one year is to wait a year and buy 100k cheaper.

Hold on a little bit longer. Now is not the time to capitulate.
I think the bears have given this advice year after year...and we all know what happened.
 
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DAB
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Re: Affordable Detached (>$400K) w/Vancouver Commute

Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:36 am

Best bet is look for LARGE 2 bedroom condos. they have some in the Brentwood area - newer building with ammenities going up to around 1000 square feet.
DAB, these days in the Brentwood, if you want a decent new highrise, be ready for around $500/sq.ft. and up.
Some of the towers can be bought for under $500 sq/ft. See my previous post on the Renaissance towers - only 5 year old building.
 
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Re: Affordable Detached (>$400K) w/Vancouver Commute

Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:00 pm

DAB, could you show some examples from MLS, please?

Following your recommendation, I found the cheapest 2Bd units at the Fresco (Renaissance towers).
They cost more than $400K:
# 701 2088 MADISON AV, Brentwood Park, Burnaby, $449,000.00
# 1304 2088 MADISON AV, Brentwood Park, Burnaby, $449,000.00
They are 964 sq.ft., 7 year old building, 7th and 13th floor (will be noisy, I guess).
 
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DAB
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Re: Affordable Detached (>$400K) w/Vancouver Commute

Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:56 pm

DAB, could you show some examples from MLS, please?

Following your recommendation, I found the cheapest 2Bd units at the Fresco (Renaissance towers).
They cost more than $400K:
# 701 2088 MADISON AV, Brentwood Park, Burnaby, $449,000.00
# 1304 2088 MADISON AV, Brentwood Park, Burnaby, $449,000.00
They are 964 sq.ft., 7 year old building, 7th and 13th floor (will be noisy, I guess).
Curious,

Here are the most RECENT sales in the building -

#405 - 2088 Madison - 1000 square feet, sold for $401,000 - $401/sq ft
#703 - 2138 Madison - 988 square feet , sold for $441,000 - $446/sq ft
#1006 - 2088 Madison - 1000 square feet, sold for $440,000 - 440/ sq ft

the above 3 sold in March 2012 so they are as recent as it can get.

Some that sold late last year
#1406 - 2088 Madison - 998 sq ft, sold for $425,000 - $425/sq ft
#605 - 2088 Madison - 998 sq ft, sold for $410,000 - $410/sq ft

So the average price per square feet is under $450, way below the $500 /sq ft that you mentioned. And if you want higher floors, you can still get them at below $500 sq/ft

I never mentioned that you can buy units in these buildings for $400k and under. The original poster said his budget was around $400k give or take and I took that.

If he meant his budget is to buy under $400k, then sorry, it is my mistake as there are no newer 2 bedrooms that is 1/2 decent for under $400k.
 
curious
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Re: Affordable Detached (>$400K) w/Vancouver Commute

Wed Apr 11, 2012 1:39 pm

DAB, thanks for explanation and recent sales data.
Those units are located on low floors and probably are very noisy/polluted, but you are right, there are some opportunities in Brentwood.
Interesting that 4th floor unit got sold relatively cheap. Is it unlucky number that scared the buyers?
 
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Re: Affordable Detached (>$400K) w/Vancouver Commute

Wed Apr 11, 2012 1:49 pm

Don't bother with TANDEM, OMA or any other condos on the other side of Willingdon (perspectives, watercolors). Have you looked at units at the Renaissance Towers - MOSAIC & FRESCO - Across from Save On and beside the Toyota Dealership. .They have large 1000 sq ft 2 bedroom condos with minimal wasted space. If you need more space and don't mind heading a bit east then I suggest Legacy Towers (on lougheed & Holdem) - skytrain at your doorstep.
Agreed~ OMA units are ridiculously small, lots of wasted space imho...
If you want some input about the Legacy towers in a buyer/renter's perspective, I have a few. I had planned to buy or rent there because of the convenient location with the skytrain being so accessible, another reason was because the two buildings are said to have bigger floor plans compared to other condos around. I checked out a bunch of rental units, one of them being a town house unit with approximately 1200 sq ft. With 1200 sq ft, we thought that it would definitely be enough space but the advertised two bedroom wasn't really two bedroom, more like one bedroom and loft which "could" be converted into a bedroom. The floor plans of the actual condo units aren't bad, just make sure you don't get the 13-16 floors that face the skytrain station. If you keep your windows closed year round, then there shouldn't be problems with the noise level since there are bus routes and lots of traffic (industrial area in south of the buildings) besides the skytrain. The hallways are a bit dim/dark for my liking, almost making it seem shady. Seems like there are a number of rental or shared rental units.
 
FuturePorscheOwner
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Re: Affordable Detached (>$400K) w/Vancouver Commute

Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:29 pm

Buy a rancher in Surrey, that's all I can say. You have land, forget condos..
 
eyesthebye
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Re: Affordable Detached (>$400K) w/Vancouver Commute

Wed Apr 11, 2012 4:02 pm

I really appreciate all the input here.

Don't worry OneSource - we aren't going to buy something based soley on the opinions of one or two posters. But it really is good to get some insights from some of you who know the markets well.

Jesse - thanks for the VCI repost - I wouldn't have seen that. I do think the detailed listings tell quite the story over there. I had suspected SFHs were moving VERY slowly over there right now (as well as many other regions of the province) but didn't see the full stats package (wasn't posted on REBGV last I checked). I did hear the same thing from a friend living in Squamish though - that most of the inventory is in the $500-$700K range and NONE of it is moving, and he thinks it's going to put downward pressure on prices above and below that range soon. But that hasn't happened yet. Though even in the $400-$500 range where some houses are moving, in the past 4-5 months not one of the 10-12 houses we've been tracking has moved. None. So that also tells me to be patient.

I don't agree that we are being unreasonable with our expectations that $400-$500K can get a fixer upper starter home within 80 km / 1 hr of downtown... though I am starting to think ETB made a good call buying at the 2008 trough. I think it'll be an interesting litmus test to see where/what my eventual purchase ends up relative to the "near buy" I similarly made as ETB in 2008 - though we were aiming a bit cheaper (we were looking at $500-$550 in Van proper back then).

dumbluck Fonz. I looked at my purchase this way - if prices went down then OK, I can deal with the short term loss. If they were going to rebound (as my research told me they would) and I ended up not buying I risked being priced out. The pain of never owning would have been far greater than the pain of a short term paper loss.

Try Ladner and Tsawassen for cheaper detached. Nice family oriented communities, close to ferries/border, cheaper, big lots, etc.
the cure for higher prices is moving to a destination with lower prices
 
tdma800
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Re: Affordable Detached (>$400K) w/Vancouver Commute

Wed Apr 11, 2012 7:21 pm

$409,000 2 bedroom 2 bathroom 1087 foot 6 year old townhome in Burnaby

Within 5 minutes walking distances of the supermarket, shops, elementary school, daycare centre, preschool, exercise club, library, etc.

http://www.realtylink.org/prop_search/D ... l&From=MLS
 
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Re: Affordable Detached (>$400K) w/Vancouver Commute

Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:26 pm

Do you really want your kids to grow up in squamish? People dont want to live in squamish. Don't buy there. Try to find a place in the lower mainland. What about new west or Delta?
 
kramster
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Re: Affordable Detached (>$400K) w/Vancouver Commute

Thu Apr 12, 2012 8:02 am

Why would you consider living in Burnaby or Lougheed or whatever if you actually want to live in Squamish?

Having the life you want starts and finishes with living with where you want to live. I've had 36 fixed addresses in my 38 years in 2 coutries and many cities. There's nothing like the satisfaction of finally living where I want to be. Money is meaningless beyond a certain point where you can meet your obligations and have a bit left over. If you're concerned about the market, rent. Try it on for size for 2 years and then you'll know if you want to stay. As for the market, I have a feeling that things will take a turn, but they have been in decline and never had the uptick after the GFC like Van has had, so we are much closer to 2005 prices than Van is. How much further will it go? Who knows, but Squamish is about the cheapest place between Whistler and Maple Ridge. If the waterfront development moves forward, things could change in a heartbeat. If it doesn't our small quiet little town may stay that way which is probably better anyway.

You can either spend your time commuting to both work and recreation, or you can just do if for work, and recreate your ass off at your leisure when you have either a day to spare or 30mins. How likely are you to spend 45 mins on a skytrain, come home and then pile the family into a car to drive 45 min in traffic to North Van to go for a 30 min stroll on a trail? What about if you spent an hour in your car instead of a 45 mins on a train and now you can stroll out your door and into the mountains? Or get to Creekside in 40mins on a Sunday morning? Maybe you can talk your employer letting you work from home 1 or 2 days a week to cut the commute?

I'm not trying to say you should buy here, as you can rent for cheap and see how it goes. But if you like the idea of living here you obviously don't really want to 'settle' for something like moving to Lougheed to live under a skytrain and dealing with traffic and malls on your precious evenings and weekends.

All I know is, I bought a house in Squamish and I'm probably going to die either in the house or within 50km of it. Hopefully not for a long time. My life has never beem more enjoyable and I've never been fitter than I am now. Oh, and my wife has never been happier or fitter either, which has been a tough one to pull off at times in other places.

Answer this, when you're about to die are you going to wish your home was worth more than it is (and you paid more for it)? Or are you going to wish you spent more time in the mountains with your family? One things for sure, your dog will wish you were here. Your kids might end up being ski and bike junkies though, so if you're hoping they'll turn into over weight investment bankers you might be disappointed.

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