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

Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:53 am

Time ago, Lady Luck expressed her opinion on Squamish. She mentioned that Squamish has the highest child cancer rate in B.C.
"Well there is always the giant lead spill at the Squamish waterfront that will never go away.
It is also one giant alluvial fan, AKA floodplane.
Don't get me started on the unsavory rental market clientel."
"There are the old Nexen lands (chemical plant). The land was cleaned up but that only means the chemicals are about 1.5m below the surface."

Did a google search and the only reference to Squamish and cancer are found on this website, quoted by Lady Luck. Pretty much everything she dislikes about Squamish has been refuted in this thread http://www.realestatetalks.com/viewtopi ... =8&t=30005

Not to say she is wrong, but there is little to support that she is right.

As for the chemical plant, are you telling me that all of the highly desireable locales in Vancouver are places where you could grow organic food in your yard? Wasn't false creek an environmental disaster at one point? What's the air like in the downtown core at street level in peak hour? What are the childhood cancer stats saying about sedentary lifestyles associated with condo living vs playing in the mountains. Unless you're eating organic food, I think you have more to worry about than what is 1.5m below the surface of the lands that get more rain than most of Canada, which you are unlikely to visit until it has been completely redeveloped. Not that I have my hand up to work the earthmoving equipment for when the time comes.

As for the floodplain, there are plenty of options well outside the floodplain in this town. Whether or not the newish building regulations are sufficient for the rest of the town, time will tell but buying out of the floodplain was the #1 criteria for me. If I could not afford to do so, I would have chosen a newer property that was built to be flood resistant. For some reason the 60 year old homes that are still there are, well... still there. Of course, past performance does not guarantee future performance, hence my house at EL. 80m

You don't have to look too far to find 101 examples of past and present environmental issues. Oil floats on the water in marinas, garbage washes up on beaches, factories and cars spew toxic chemicals globally. Downtown Vancouver has never had a toxic spill? I doubt that. I'm less worried about my health when I spend a good chunk of most days playing in the rainforest with my heart rate cranked, and virtually none of my time dealing with traffic, lineups and overcrowding. Vancouver is a great place to visit, and I'm glad it's so close when I need it, but I wouldn't want to live there. Same goes for Whistler and all the bro's and hoes, and long snowy winters. Nothing better than skiing and then at the end of the day rolling back into the green forest with soft rain to wash off the slush and clouds swirling around the chief.
 
curious
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Re: Affordable Detached (>$400K) w/Vancouver Commute

Fri Apr 13, 2012 8:24 am

Downtown Vancouver has never had a toxic spill? I doubt that.
But original poster is not looking for Downtown condo.
If he considers a SFH in a rural area with 1 hour commute to his work, he expects a clean environment for his children, I guess.
 
tdma800
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Re: Affordable Detached (>$400K) w/Vancouver Commute

Fri Apr 13, 2012 8:32 am

Vancouver is a great place to visit, and I'm glad it's so close when I need it, but I wouldn't want to live there. .
Do you follow the 100 mile diet or something like that and/or grow your own food? I'm assuming sometimes you would buy prepackaged products - where would you get them? Drive to north vancouver?
 
kramster
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Re: Affordable Detached (>$400K) w/Vancouver Commute

Fri Apr 13, 2012 9:03 am

Vancouver is a great place to visit, and I'm glad it's so close when I need it, but I wouldn't want to live there. .
Do you follow the 100 mile diet or something like that and/or grow your own food? I'm assuming sometimes you would buy prepackaged products - where would you get them? Drive to north vancouver?
I'm guessing you got that idea because I mentioned organic food. I was merely suggesting that in the area of downtown Vancouver there would likely be a large proportion of areas that would fail to qualify as being suitable for growing organic food due to past or present toxicity, in response to the comment that Nexen lands were toxic. I doubt Vancouver is without a history of chemical spills and pollution. We are expanding our veggie garden this year to grow quite a bit of food, but that's not what I was talking about.
 
kramster
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Re: Affordable Detached (>$400K) w/Vancouver Commute

Fri Apr 13, 2012 9:08 am

Downtown Vancouver has never had a toxic spill? I doubt that.
But original poster is not looking for Downtown condo.
If he considers a SFH in a rural area with 1 hour commute to his work, he expects a clean environment for his children, I guess.
Purely a rebuttle to the comment that Squamish is somehow unfit for living in due to it being polluted in the past. You could probably add many currently desireable places to live to the list of previously polluted places. I haven't done the research, but I would be surprised if Vancouver didn't have something to dig up. Outside of Nexen in Squamish there are many options for untainted land as well, so I'd hardly call the whole area unsuitable based on the history of a small segment. If someone is going to trash talk a whole town based on certain criteria, it should apply to everywhere else fitting that criteria too.
 
extirpated
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Re: Affordable Detached (>$400K) w/Vancouver Commute

Fri Apr 13, 2012 8:12 pm

here is a nice looking 5 bedroom, 2800sqft house on a 1/2 acre lot, for $384k, if you're interested in transferring to the Halifax area...
http://www.realtor.ca/propertyDetails.a ... 1439752990
 
tdma800
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Re: Affordable Detached (>$400K) w/Vancouver Commute

Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:15 am

V931163
23942 DEWDNEY TRUNK RD, Cottonwood, Maple Ridge, $429,900.00
1817 feet, and its NEW.
 
vanreal
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Re: Affordable Detached (>$400K) w/Vancouver Commute

Sun Apr 15, 2012 9:31 am

I have two colleagues who live in Squamish and work in the city and they say it is the worst mistake they have ever made. Also the price of their homes has not increased as fast as elsewhere. The price is gas in the future is going to make that drive unaffordable. I would try to find a condo or townhouse in the lower mainland if I were you.
 
rofina
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Re: Affordable Detached (>$400K) w/Vancouver Commute

Sun Apr 15, 2012 12:27 pm

I have two colleagues who live in Squamish and work in the city and they say it is the worst mistake they have ever made. Also the price of their homes has not increased as fast as elsewhere. The price is gas in the future is going to make that drive unaffordable. I would try to find a condo or townhouse in the lower mainland if I were you.
Right, so its better to commute from Abbotsford or Langley? If anything the fuel consumption from Squamish would be smaller, you won't be stuck in traffic idling for hours.
 
curious
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Re: Affordable Detached (>$400K) w/Vancouver Commute

Sun Apr 15, 2012 12:37 pm

Commuting sucks, waist of a precious time and money. If I were in original poster's situation, I would rent a nice house or townhouse close to work and would keep saving/investing.
 
kramster
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Re: Affordable Detached (>$400K) w/Vancouver Commute

Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:59 am

I have two colleagues who live in Squamish and work in the city and they say it is the worst mistake they have ever made. Also the price of their homes has not increased as fast as elsewhere. The price is gas in the future is going to make that drive unaffordable. I would try to find a condo or townhouse in the lower mainland if I were you.
With any luck, it won't crater as fast as elsewhere when this ship sinks, but who knows. Funny that gas prices may make the drive unaffordable, but there's no mention of real estate prices making a house within walking distance in Vancouver unaffordable. You can buy a lot of gas for $500,000. And resale? Don't they know it's easier to move up to a nicer place if the market has not risen as fast as Vancouver? Or were they hoping to Heloc a boat by now?

I would find it tough driving an hour a day each way, but I would rather do it on the sea to sky than sitting in gridlock. I'd also rather wake up on a Saturday morning 35 mins from Whistler than 2 hours away, but to each his own. If your job allows you to be able to work from home even 1 day a week, it would soften the blow considerably, but failing that I would have to consider whether it was worth it myself and either live in a Condo in North Van or suffer the drive. No way I would live in Langley, Delta, Maple Ridge or Abbotsford over Squamish if I was commuting an hour anyway. Maybe your friends are actually going to be happy in a condo close by, because if their dream is to own a house they won't do much better for a commute/price ratio than what they have now.

The moral of the story is rent before you buy if you're moving somewhere new. Sounds like the 'worst mistake they've ever made' was failing to do this. I wouldn't even move to the other side of the same city without trying it on first, but I also test drive vehicles and do a little research before making big decisions.
 
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ArthurFonzarelli
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Re: Affordable Detached (>$400K) w/Vancouver Commute

Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:05 am

Thanks everyone for your comments. Truly appreciated. This more or less supports what we were thinking but it's definitely helpful to get insights from people with more direct experience with the RE market and related considerations.

If I weren't a committed rock climber and outdoors enthusiast with two little kids I don't think I would suffer the commute, but will likely do so for these reasons. I also just spoke with some friends of friends who do the commute and they really do hate it and would think twice now. Mind you I'm with Kramster - I'd rather drive in light traffic for two hours a day than sit idling for two hours a day anytime!

And we are definitely not buying in the next 6-12 months without some steep discounting. If even ETB thinks prices will basically track carrying costs then I think it's safe to say the market's got some bloating and indigestion to address with rates normalizing. I don't even think it will take a rate adjustment with these inventory levels and fundamentals ratios... but I've been saying this since 2006! :roll:
 
tdma800
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Re: Affordable Detached (>$400K) w/Vancouver Commute

Mon Apr 16, 2012 2:17 pm

I have two colleagues who live in Squamish and work in the city and they say it is the worst mistake they have ever made. Also the price of their homes has not increased as fast as elsewhere. The price is gas in the future is going to make that drive unaffordable. I would try to find a condo or townhouse in the lower mainland if I were you.
With any luck, it won't crater as fast as elsewhere when this ship sinks, but who knows. Funny that gas prices may make the drive unaffordable, but there's no mention of real estate prices making a house within walking distance in Vancouver unaffordable. You can buy a lot of gas for $500,000. And resale? Don't they know it's easier to move up to a nicer place if the market has not risen as fast as Vancouver? Or were they hoping to Heloc a boat by now?

I would find it tough driving an hour a day each way, but I would rather do it on the sea to sky than sitting in gridlock. I'd also rather wake up on a Saturday morning 35 mins from Whistler than 2 hours away, but to each his own. If your job allows you to be able to work from home even 1 day a week, it would soften the blow considerably, but failing that I would have to consider whether it was worth it myself and either live in a Condo in North Van or suffer the drive. No way I would live in Langley, Delta, Maple Ridge or Abbotsford over Squamish if I was commuting an hour anyway. Maybe your friends are actually going to be happy in a condo close by, because if their dream is to own a house they won't do much better for a commute/price ratio than what they have now.

The moral of the story is rent before you buy if you're moving somewhere new. Sounds like the 'worst mistake they've ever made' was failing to do this. I wouldn't even move to the other side of the same city without trying it on first, but I also test drive vehicles and do a little research before making big decisions.
The moral of the story is that for the average citizen, gas prices matter a lot and make the drive unaffordable. Look at what happened when Translink proposed taxing cars in Vancouver to pay for more buses a few weeks ago - people were actually making threats to the mayors involved.

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