Earlier this month, Switzerland’s star architect, Harry Gugger, was in Vancouver visiting the site of the new office tower he’s designing for Credit Suisse and SwissReal developers.
Mr. Gugger, a world-famous architect who designed the Tate Modern in London, told me he’s been here four times and he’s struck by the craftsmanship of many of our old buildings, including the one he’s modifying for Credit Suisse at 475 Howe Street. In 1929, it became Vancouver’s stock exchange for nearly 20 years, and so, it became known as the Old Stock Exchange.
By the time of its scheduled completion in spring 2017, the Old Stock Exchange will be restored, with Mr. Gugger’s 31-storey sustainable office tower looming over it. It is one of several new towers slated to change Vancouver’s downtown skyline in the next few years. It is also one of Vancouver’s first towers to be designed by the sort of internationally recognized architect who designs potential icons and boosts market value. Just don’t call Mr. Gugger that nineties term, “starchitect,” because that would imply an ego-driven disregard for the job at hand.
“Starchitects are considered those architects who travel the world and drop their thing in a careless manner, and I don’t want to be that,” says Mr. Gugger, seated inside the Old Stock Exchange building. “I think that’s passé.”
“The place can tell you a lot of things – It’s not for you to tell the place what it wants to be. You give the place your brains and let the place speak to you, and develop its own idea.
“I would not want to be that person to change Vancouver. I am not God. I am not up for that.”
They are, however, about to change Vancouver’s downtown skyline. The other European superstar, Denmark’s 37-year-old Bjarke Ingels, whose mixed-use project is slated for the awkward spot at the north end of Granville Street Bridge, was also in Vancouver the same week. Mr. Gugger said they had been texting, and had plans to meet up, but the bleak weather drove Mr. Ingels out of town before that could happen.
The Urban Design Panel recently approved Mr. Ingels’ flashy tower, which twists from a triangular base to a rectangular shape. Reaction all around has been overwhelmingly supportive. Mr. Gugger sounded impressed that Vancouver would be able to support a project as big as the Ingels tower.
“This is an expensive building he’s doing,” he said. “If there is a housing market in Vancouver for that, that’s quite exceptional. It’s a crazy building in terms of structure.”
Developer Ian Gillespie prefers to look at the Ingels tower another way.
“Yes, you do have a more expensive structure going up there, but the reality is, Vancouver has had a strong residential market for over 10 years now, and we are one of the few North American markets – San Francisco would be another, and New York, obviously – that could support this kind of a building.
“But it’s also partly that we are also developing a demographic that is searching for this type of project. And we feel very confident that it will be consumed very rapidly. People have been starved for it. I have absolutely zero doubt the market is going to embrace it like no one’s ever embraced anything like anything before.”
Buyers from around the world are interested in living in the 52-storey residential tower, says Mr. Gillespie, who has a waiting list to show for it. The 51-year-old has been a developer for roughly 26 years, and he sounds nothing short of stoked to be at a place in his career where he’s able to join forces with a renowned architect such as Mr. Ingels. They are also collaborating on a Calgary residential tower. And Mr. Gillespie said he’s got yet another Ingels project up his sleeve for Vancouver, but he refused to elaborate.
He says he is building upon previous successes such as the Woodward’s Building and the Shangri-La. As Vancouver grows in population, the city grows in stature. Mr. Gillespie feels that he, as a developer, has come of age along with the city. He’s at a point where he can “take the foot off the pedal from a budget perspective.” He also wanted to look at more interesting structural form than the towers that preside over the skyline so far.
Mr. Gugger, while a fan of “charming” Gastown, was not as impressed with the shiny new growth of residential towers.
“The recent ones seem to be a bit off the shelf, I would say,” noted Mr. Gugger. “They look to me more like investments, than what housing normally is, which is to create a home for someone.”
Mr. Gillespie wants to be at the forefront of that transition, and he already sees a shift in thinking.
“At what point did we stop looking to build a city full of background buildings?”
However, it’s also true that “you can’t have a city entirely made up of buildings like [the Ingels tower],” he adds. “It would be insane. But at the same time, you want to mix it up a little bit.
“And to be frank, I don’t know if there’s another developer in the city who could pull this off. You have to build a few exceptional buildings first in order to do something like this.
“I know, myself, I wouldn’t I would have been able to do this five years ago.”
There are two modes of thinking in this city, and neither has much regard for the other. One school of thought is that Vancouver has become too unaffordable to hold its appeal for the average taxpayer, and one day, perhaps when interest rates go up, a bubble will burst or the sky will fall. The other is that the city hasn’t come anywhere close to its potential in terms of growth, at both ends of the market. Yes, the market may have gone soft in the short-term, but for developers, the long-term fundamentals appear to be as strong as ever. Mr. Gillespie’s says his projects take eight or nine years to be realized, and like other busy developers I’ve spoken with, he’s confident the market will be there to embrace it.
He’s so confident that he has 30 projects on the go in Vancouver, including the major redevelopment of 28-acre Oakridge Centre site at Cambie and West 41st Avenue.
“It’s a competitive landscape. I think we will have helped the city a great deal from that perspective. If you look at my little practice, all our next buildings will be of this quality. We do some projects that are on the affordable end, and obviously, you can’t do that on this kind of project. But the question now is, how can you create both affordable and fantastic?
“The market doesn’t dictate. They just build crap. Anybody can do that. But can you build affordable and something exceptional?
“And if you look at the other end of our business, I don’t think you’ll see us do anything that isn’t of [Ingels tower] quality of creative design going forward again. I would really rather not do it. I just don’t want to do that any more.
“I have that luxury where I can afford to do really great work.
“And bringing someone like Bjarke into it, at his age, is a little adrenalin shot.”
A shot in the arm for Vancouver, too.
We’ve all done it: Baked cookies or lit a scented candle before dinner guests arrive. Maybe you even turned on some Frank Sinatra to set the mood.
But new research shows that while popular scents or songs may elicit positive emotions, they can distract from our ability to make decisions.
“If you’re trying to sell your home, having the wrong smell or music playing is worse than having none at all,” said Eric R. Spangenberg, dean for the College of Business at Washington State University and longtime professor specializing in environmental psychology. “There is a lot of cognitive processing involved in a home purchase. A 30-year mortgage is a big decision.”
Spangenberg has studied the effects of scents and music in retail environments since the late ’80s. His latest research, published in the Journal of Retailing, shows that what consumers hear and smell is a determining factor in how much time and money they spend.
“The [home] staging business should incorporate other senses,” he said. “The science of olfactory cues is not being used. People use intuition, but a lot of intuition is based on urban myths more than it’s based on science.”
Spangenberg has three key principles to help sellers use smells and songs to make their homes more marketable.
If you’ve ever cringed walking through the perfume aisle in a department store, it’s probably because your brain was on sensory overload. Spangenberg says when a smell is that powerful, it’s all you can think about … literally.
“You want scents to be on the edge of your perception — not centrally processed,” he explained. This leaves the central part of your brain to do what it does best: process the task at hand.
For a home buyer, the focus should be on deciding whether to buy a home, not trying to identify and sort out a powerful scent. To ensure this happens, Spangenberg says sellers should limit how much scent they infuse into a space.
Music follows the same principle. A song that is louder than you’re used to will detract from your ability to focus on anything else.
“Abercrombie & Fitch has a strong environmental psychological element to what they do,” Spangenberg said. “They don’t want me — a 50-year-old male — in their store. It’s too loud for me.”
Spangenberg’s research has shown that simple scents are most effective in influencing shopping behaviors. In fact, his study found consumers spent 31.8 percent more on average when a home-decor store had a simple orange scent instead of a complex blend of orange, basin and green tea.
“Our results suggest the more simple, the less distracting,” he said. It goes back to the idea of freeing up the decision-making part of the brain. For home selling, Spangenberg says a simple citrus scent would be a better choice than a blend of potpourri.
Moreover, in his 2011 music study, titled “It’s all in the mix: The interactive effect of music tempo and mode on in-store sales,” Spangenberg found that music in minor mode was significantly more effective when accompanied by a slow tempo.
“Our ability to perceive and process those two things (mode and tempo) is hardwired in human beings,” Spangenberg explained, recalling an experiment conducted at a Nordstrom department store.
“Popular music wasn’t effective at keeping people there,” he said. “The problem was the tempo was too fast, making people move faster through the store than we wanted them to.” As a result, Nordstrom often has a live pianist play slower music in its stores today.
In the same way, home sellers could consider using simpler scents and slower songs to keep potential buyers interested.
Finally, Spangenberg’s research suggests consistency or congruence is key. He advises home sellers to evaluate their environment, the season and their potential buyers.
“A wood-and-stone home should have scents congruent with that environment,” he said. “But in a home with no wood, you wouldn’t expect a pine scent.”
Spangenberg says that it’s this inconsistency — the fact that the smell doesn’t fit with its surroundings — that matters.
“If you walked down the spice aisle blindfolded and smelled cumin, you would think someone needs a shower,” he said.
At the same time, consistency with the season is important. For example, Spangenberg says you wouldn’t expect a spring scent during the winter or floral notes in a home with Christmas decorations.
He says inconsistency can take away from a potential buyer’s ability to think about purchasing a home. This includes gender preferences.
“If I am trying to sell a condo to a young, professional woman versus a man, I would use different scents,” Spangenberg explains. “It’s about doing what fits.”
ADHESIVES, CAULK & PAINTS
|Caulking (interior & exterior)||5 to 10|
|Paint (exterior)||7 to 10|
|Paint (interior)||10 to 15|
|Stains||3 to 8|
|Air Conditioner (window)||5 to 7|
|Disposal (food waste)||12|
|Dryer Vent (plastic)||5|
|Dryer Vent (steel)||20|
|Freezer||10 to 20|
|Gas Oven||10 to 18|
|Hand Dryer||10 to 12|
|Electric Range||13 to 15|
|Gas Range||15 to 17|
|Refrigerator||9 to 13|
|Swamp Cooler||5 to 15|
|Washing Machine||5 to 15|
|Whole-House Vacuum System||20|
|CABINETRY & STORAGE||YEARS|
|Entertainment Center/Home Office||10|
|Modular (stock manufacturing-type)||50|
|CEILINGS & WALLS
|Acoustical Tile Ceiling||40+ (older than 25 years may contain asbestos)|
|Wood Paneling||20 to 50|
|Laminate||20 to 30|
|Composite||8 to 25|
|Structural Wood||10 to 30|
|Fire-Rated Steel (exterior)||100+|
|French (interior)||30 to 50|
|Sliding Glass/Patio (exterior)||20 (for roller wheel/track repair/replacement)|
|Wood (hollow-core interior)||20 to 30|
|Wood (solid-core interior)||30 to 100+|
|Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs)||30|
|Bulbs (compact fluorescent)||8,000 to 10,000+ hours|
|Bulbs (halogen)||4,000 to 8,000+ hours|
|Bulbs (incandescent)||1,000 to 2,000+ hours|
|Bulbs (LED)||30,000 to 50,000+ hours|
|Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs)||up to 30|
|Residential Propane Backup Generators||12|
|Solar Panels||20 to 30|
|Solar System Batteries||3 to 12|
|Wind Turbine Generators||20|
|Laminated Strand Lumber||100+|
|Laminated Veneer Lumber||80+|
FASTENERS, CONNECTORS & STEEL
|Adjustable Steel Columns||50+|
|Fasteners (bright)||25 to 60|
|Fasteners (copper)||65 to 80+|
|Fasteners (electro-galvanized)||15 to 45|
|Fasteners (hot-dipped galvanized)||35 to 60|
|Fasteners (stainless)||65 to 100+|
|All Wood Floors||100+|
|Carpet||8 to 10|
|Laminate||15 to 25|
|Other Domestic Wood||100+|
|Tile||75 to 100|
|Baseboard Waterproofing System||50|
|Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs)||100|
|Post and Pier||20 to 65|
|Post and Tensioned Slab on Grade||100+|
|Poured-Concrete Footings and Foundation||100+|
|Slab on Grade (concrete)||100|
|Wood Foundation||5 to 40|
|Permanent Wood Foundation (PWF; treated)||75|
|Log||80 to 200|
|Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs)||100+|
|Garage Doors||20 to 25|
|Garage Door Openers||10 to 15|
|Carbon Monoxide Detectors*||5|
|Home Automation System||5 to 50|
|Security System||5 to 20|
|Smoke/Heat Detectors*||less than 10|
|Wireless Home Networks||5+|
|Air Conditioner (central)||7 to 15|
|Attic Fan||15 to 25|
|Ceiling Fan||5 to 10|
|Condenser||8 to 20|
|Diffusers, Grilles and Registers||25|
|Ducting||60 to 100|
|Electric Radiant Heater||40|
|Evaporator Cooler||15 to 25|
|Furnace||15 to 25|
|Gas Fireplace||15 to 25|
|Heat Exchanger||10 to 15|
|Heat Pump||10 to 15|
|Hot-Water and Steam-Radiant Boiler||40|
|Induction and Fan-Coil Units||10 to 15|
|Chimney Cap (concrete)||100+|
|Chimney Cap (metal)||10 to 20|
|Chimney Cap (mortar)||15|
|Chimney Flue Tile||40 to 120|
|INSULATION & INFILTRATION BARRIERS||YEARS|
|Black Paper (felt paper)||15 to 30|
|MASONRY & CONCRETE||YEARS|
|Insulated Concrete Forms (hybrid block)||100+|
|Concrete Masonry Units (CMUs)||100+|
|Masonry Sealant||2 to 20|
|MOLDING, MILLWORK & TRIM||YEARS|
|Attic Stairs (pull-down)||50|
|Oriented Strand Board (OSB)||60|
|PLUMBING, FIXTURES & FAUCETS||YEARS|
|ABS and PVC Waste Pipe||50 to 80|
|Acrylic Kitchen Sink||50|
|Cast-Iron Waste Pipe (above ground)||60|
|Cast-Iron Waste Pipe (below ground)||50 to 60|
|Concrete Waste Pipe||100+|
|Copper Water Lines||70|
|Enameled Steel Kitchen Sink||5 to 10+|
|Faucets and Spray Hose||15 to 20|
|Fiberglass Bathtub and Shower||20|
|Gas Lines (black steel)||75|
|Gas Lines (flex)||30|
|Hose Bibs||20 to 30|
|Instant (on-demand) Water Heater||10|
|Plastic Water Lines||75|
|Saunas/Steam Room||15 to 20|
|Sewer Grinder Pump||10|
|Showerheads||100+ (if not clogged by mineral/other deposits)|
|Soapstone Kitchen Sink||100+|
|Toilet Tank Components||5|
|Toilets, Bidets and Urinals||100+|
|Vent Fan (ceiling)||5 to 10|
|Vessel Sink (stone, glass, porcelain, copper)||5 to 20+|
|Water Heater (conventional)||6 to 12|
|Water Line (copper)||50|
|Water Line (plastic)||50|
|Whirlpool Tub||20 to 50|
|Barometric Backdraft Damper/Fresh-Air Intake||20|
|Caulking||5 to 10|
|Radon Fan||5 to 8|
|Aluminum Coating||3 to 7|
|Asphalt Shingles (3-tab)||20|
|BUR (built-up roofing)||30|
|Coal and Tar||30|
|EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) Rubber||15 to 25|
|Green (vegetation-covered)||5 to 40|
|Metal||40 to 80|
|Simulated Slate||10 to 35|
|Slate||60 to 150|
|TPO||7 to 20|
|SIDINGS, FLASHING & ACCESSORIES||YEARS|
|Aluminum Siding||25 to 40+|
|Aluminum Gutters, Downspouts, Soffit and Fascia||20 to 40+|
|Galvanized Steel Gutters/Downspouts||20|
|Vinyl Gutters and Downspouts||25+|
|SITE & LANDSCAPING||YEARS|
|American Red Clay||100+|
|Asphalt Driveway||15 to 20|
|Brick and Concrete Patio||15 to 25|
|Concrete Walks||40 to 50|
|Gravel Walks||4 to 6|
|Mulch||1 to 2|
|Sprinkler Heads||10 to 14|
|Underground PVC Piping||60+|
|Wood Chips||1 to 5|
|Filter and Pump||10|
|Interior Finish||10 to 35|
|Pool Water Heater||8|
|Aluminum/Aluminum-Clad||15 to 20|
|Double-Pane||8 to 20|
|Skylights||10 to 20|
|Vinyl Windows||20 to 40|
Note: Life expectancy varies with usage, weather, installation, maintenance and quality of materials. This list should be used only as a general guideline and not as a guarantee or warranty regarding the performance or life expectancy of any appliance, product, system or component.
TransLink’s Evergreen Line SkyTrain is set to be “substantially” completed by no later than July 29, 2016,according to a report released by Partnerships B.C. on Wendesday.
The report states EGRT Construction, the consortium led by SNC-Lavalin contracted to design, build, and finance the line, must complete the project by that date or face financial penalties for each day of delay. The line could still open before this date and the province has announced a summer 2016 arrival for the Evergreen Line.
After completion, TransLink will be required to begin revenue service within a month. The British Columbia Rail Transit Company will operate and maintain the Evergreen Line along with the Millennium and Expo Lines. Canada Line will continue to be operated by ProTransBC.
Provisions will be built-in to allow for two future stations by Falcon Drive & Barnet Highway in Coquitlam and west of Moody Centre Station in Port Moody. Coquitlam Central Station will also be designed to allow for a future extension along the Canadian Pacific Railway tracks to downtown Port Coquitlam. However, provisions will not be built for a future station at Cameron Street and North Road after the city of Burnaby could not come to an agreement with the province.
The tunnel connecting Moody Centre Station and Burquitlam Station will be a single-bored tunnel as opposed to a twin-bored tunnel. The report says the decision to use single-bored tunnel was to “[reduce] the risk associated with achieving the required summer 2016 substantial completion date, and creates an opportunity for early completion.”
According to TransLink, operational patterns for the Evergreen Line have yet to be finalized. The Evergreen Line request for proposal in 2011 suggested the Millennium Line will be shortened to between Waterfront Station and Lougheed Town Centre Station and the Evergreen Line will run between VCC-Clark Station and Lafarge Lake-Douglas Station. A video released last week by the Province of British Columbia suggested the Millennium Line will be shortened from VCC-Clark Station to Columbia Station instead. The Evergreen Line with interline with the Millennium Line and run from VCC-Clark Station to Lafarge Lake-Douglas Station.
Last week, the station names were announced along with the preliminary construction schedule. Guideway construction is set to begin this summer at Burquitlam and will move towards Lougheed Town Centre Station and at Vintner Street near Barnet Highway towards Moody Centre Station.
March 18, 2013
VANCOUVER, BC, Mar. 18, 2013/ Troy Media/ – Will the Vancouver housing market crash? Should I be waiting for a major drop in prices before buying a home in Vancouver? Should I sell my Vancouver home, rent for a while and then be able to buy an equivalent home for a lot less money? The answer to all of them is a resounding NO.
First let me clarify that I am using ‘Vancouver’ as the greater Vancouver area, sometimes referred to as Metro. Second, a crash is a large and sudden price decline where prices do not recover to previous levels in the short to medium term. Housing prices did crash in the 1980’s but a major difference is that at that time many homes had been bought by speculators on very small margins and interest rates soared well into double digit levels.
Now, very few homes are held on spec and any anticipated increase in interest rates is expected to be very modest. Mortgage rates may even go down. Canadian banks make a significant share of their profits from mortgage lending and it is a low risk part of their business since their prudent lending standards reduce the chance of default. Also, many mortgages are guaranteed by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). In fact, looking to maintain or increase the bank’s mortgage business, the Bank of Montreal has recently reduced its five year fixed mortgage lending rate from 3.09 per cent to 2.99 per cent making house buying a tad more affordable.
The cost of housing in Vancouver is not likely to change dramatically for the foreseeable future. It may soften a bit or it may even rise a bit. The MLS home price index in the Greater Vancouver area actually rose 0.4 per cent from January to February this year. Prices are about 3 per cent lower than they were six months or a year ago, but are 4 per cent higher than they were three years ago. Prices for detached homes have been the softest, while apartments and townhouses have seen much less change, reflecting the trend to condos as a more affordable form of housing.
February sales in Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley are still below trend, but are higher than they were in January and attendance at open houses has been rising. The housing industry has been expressing optimism about housing sales and prices, with a 43 per cent increase in single family starts over the past year. Starts of multiple units have fallen in that time, but this is attributed to banks demanding higher levels of pre-sales before offering financing. Anne McMullin, CEO of the Urban Development Institute, expects this to delay but not reduce the overall level of starts.
There are two groups which would benefit from declining home prices. First are people in the Vancouver area who do not own real estate and whose income level does not enable them to afford the size and location of home to which they aspire. Many have adjusted by seeking a smaller home and/or one in a less costly neighbourhood. But some cannot afford even that.
A second group are the retirement age baby boomers across Canada who hope to spend their golden years in this small corner of Canada where you don’t have to shovel snow. They are frustrated because a home anywhere else in Canada buys much less home in and around Vancouver. They are also one of the main reasons why a housing crash will not occur. Any drop in prices will lead to retirees entering the Vancouver housing market, putting a floor under prices.
Those in the international community do not seem to mind our house price levels. When looked at in a global context, home prices in Vancouver are not unreasonable. Ask anyone from London or Hong Kong. And people from around the world see not only good value in our real estate, but also an open society, a pleasant climate and a stable political environment.
Finally, the majority of people in greater Vancouver already own real estate, benefit from current housing values and would be hurt by a crash or any serious drop. They do not want to see the value of their biggest asset decline. Home equity often forms a large part of retirement savings and people count on it in their financial planning.
So, if you want some Vancouver real estate should you buy now even if you pay a little more and get a little less than you had hoped? Probably. And should you sell your Vancouver real estate in the hope of buying it back later for less? Definitely, not.
Troy Media BC’s Business columnist Roslyn Kunin is a consulting economist and speaker and can be reached at www.rkunin.com.
View the Virtual Tour: http://www.imagemaker360.com/124512 !!
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. Don't miss this well maintained 3 bedroom full basement home in Central Coquitlam, close to schools, shopping, library & new Poirier Rec Centre. This is a well maintained home. Updated kitchen with raised white cabinets & Corian counter tops, remodeled main bathroom with new 1 piece tub enclosure & H/W under the carpet on the main. Home was completely re-plumbed in 2011, right out to the street. New vinyl windows ABOUT 7 years ago, upgraded insulation in the attic and a 60 year metal roof. Fully finished basement with 4th bedroom, 2 piece bathroom & a nice big rec room with gas heatilator fireplace. Plenty of parking with a detached double car port & huge driveway for the RV.
2. Live-Edge Wood
OK, I'll say it: There is something downright sexy about live-edge wood. It's so organic and flowing, so uninhibited. Swoon.
A piece of live-edge wood softens a stark modern room with just the right amount of nature and warmth.
3. Walls of Books
With the exception of my family, I love books more than anything in the world, and a wall of books makes me feel instantly at home and filled with pleasant anticipation. Plus, provided it doesn't get too crazily overstuffed, a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf always looks great (and overstuffed can be a look too).
This bookshelf adds just the right amount of texture and color to this white room.
The octopus print and the pink chair are what make this room beautiful. The rest is just standard elegance. Nice, sure, but not amazing.
Bright pink also plays well with others.
Green ceilings are also nice. How much do you love this sunroom?
7. Colorful Couches
I have so had it up to here with beige and burgundy. White and gray are nice, but what I really love is something bold and bright. Who says the sofa has to fade into the background?
Midcentury modern can be all white and wood, or it can be all white and wood and splashes of amazing, bright, cheerful color. This couch has real personality.
More laid back but still not content to be a wallflower.
The colorful couch to end all colorful couches.
See more couches that dare to be different
8. Gallery Walls
For people who love pattern and color and art, nothing beats the gallery wall. It combines all three, and it seriously increases your art-collecting abilities.
Some designers say there should be a unifying theme — color or size — but I like an eclectic jumble myself. If it was good enough for Gertrude Stein, it's good enough for me.
So much personality is encompassed in this single wall.
A Gallery Wall for Every Personality
9. Danish Modern Dining Tables
Here's the thing: They are just classic beauties. And you don't have to have a midcentury modern house for one to fit in. They are elegant simplicity personified.
View the Virtual Tour: http://www.imagemaker360.com/124468 !!
Nothing to do but move in. You don't want to miss this exceptionally clean & well maint 4 bdrm family home on a quiet street, close to schl & transportation. Updating incl: fresh paint, updated flring, 7 yr old roof, 2 yr old hi-eff furnace & 2 brand new bathrms, newer kit & hrtge drs thru-out. You will love the nice big lvgrm/dinrm w/bay window, flr to ceiling F/P & slider to the cov s/d overlooking the HUGE private b/yd. Big bright kit w/lots of cupbds & counter space w/raised white cabinets, new countertops & lrge E/A. Nice big master w/his & hers closets & brand new 2 pce enste. Updated main bath w/new: cabinets, granite countertops, tile flr & plumbing fixtures. Large, professionally fin bsmt w/4th bedrm, 3 pce bath & a nice big L-shaped recrm w/gas heatilator F/P & slider to the cov patio & huge b/yd. VIRTUAL TOUR ONLINE.
By Tiffany Crawford, Vancouver Sun
VANCOUVER - If I had a million dollars ... I’d buy you a house. (And a new survey suggests I would probably buy you that house with big yard in the suburbs.)
When asked what type of housing they’d buy if given $1 million, 34 per cent of renters and property owners in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley surveyed would rather have a large house and property in a suburban setting, compared with just 12 per cent who would opt for a luxury apartment in the city, according to a Mustel Research Group poll.
The poll, conducted for REW.ca, a real estate search website owned by Glacier Media Inc., surveyed 561 adults between Feb. 28 and March 12.
Twenty per cent would buy a small detached house and 10 per cent favoured a townhouse or duplex in the city, while 23 per cent would just keep the cash and rent.
Vancouver, Langley and Burnaby were the most popular places to live.
“We were a bit surprised that, despite all the talk about densification and walkability, despite the fact that condos have taken over from houses in many parts of our region, the overwhelming choice was for a large house on a big suburban property,” said Elizabeth Wilson, content editor for REW.
Another surprising find, she said, was that the younger folks — or the so-called GenYs — were the most keen to own a big house and property.
The poll shows 47 per cent of those aged 18 to 34 preferred a large house and property over all other options, while most of those over 55 chose to keep the money and rent.
Families with children were the hottest to buy and least likely to keep the money, “They know a million bucks doesn’t go that far when you’ve got kids,” said Wilson.
The survey shows big differences depending on where people live, and indicates suburbanites are more likely than city slickers to desire the white picket fence life. More than half of the respondents who said they’d buy a big house in the burbs already live in Surrey, Delta and Langley.
Of the folks who live in the city of Vancouver, only just over 10 per cent said they’d choose a big house and property. Most of the Vancouver respondents chose either the cash or the small detached house in the city.
Those most likely to keep the money lived in Abbotsford and Chilliwack or the North Shore.
As for the location, Langley was the winner for the big house and property while Vancouver was the main choice for those who wanted a condo.
For a $1 million you could buy, for example, a small two-bedroom house in Kitsilano or a four-bedroom house in East Vancouver with a tiny backyard. according to REW.ca.
In Langley, however, the most popular location among respondents, a million bucks could buy you five-acre farm with a four-bedroom house.
Meanwhile, the Real Estate Consumer Confidence survey released Tuesday also shows more than half (54 per cent) of respondents think that it’s a good time to buy a home in Metro Vancouver, up eight percentage points over last year. The same survey in March 2012 found that only 46 per cent of consumers felt good about buying.
As consumer confidence about buying increases, sentiment towards selling homes continues to slide, the survey shows, with 63 per cent of respondents saying it’s a bad time to sell.
The slow but steady trend toward buying supports the view that Metro Vancouver is still experiencing a buyer’s market, according to the survey.
Of the 54 per cent of residents who think the time is right to buy a home, 23 per cent said the main reason for their optimism was that prices have come down.
Ian Martin, general manager of REW.ca said the findings indicate that for the first time in a year more residents feel that now is the right time to buy.
“We also loved our million dollar question, as we now know that most people prefer a large home in the suburbs over a luxury condo in the heart of a city.”
The survey has a 4.1 per cent margin of error. The regions included in the survey are: Vancouver; North Shore; Burnaby/New Westminster; Tri-Cities/Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows; Richmond; Surrey/Delta/Langley east to Aldergrove; and Abbotsford/Chilliwack.