Newly-weds; 1908 sqft Bungalow; South Fraser; $860K

From Vancouver Magazine, 1 Nov 2010
THE BUYERS | Like many young couples financially locked out of the West Side, Aaron and Tessa (both 30) found a charming alternative in South Fraser. Sandwiched between Main and Commercial, the newlyweds now live near destination restaurants and shops without the accompanying fracas.
THE HOME |  942 E. 21st Ave., $860,000
A bungalow from the 1920s. The quaint exterior belies 1,908 square feet of hardwood floors and French doors that open onto a back deck for family BBQs. Five bedrooms, two baths.
THE SEARCH  | After looking at almost 30 properties in Mount Pleasant, the McHardys grew weary of competing with aggressive buyers and widened their hunt to include South Fraser. They immediately fell for the long and spacious kitchen in their roomy new bungalow—a welcome change from their previous cramped apartment in Kitsilano.
THE NEIGHBOURHOOD | The McHardys look forward to simple neighbourhood activities: picking up organic produce at Famous Foods and nearby farmers’ markets; coffee dates at Cedar Cottage (an easy 18-minute bike ride down the Windsor Way route). It’s a friendly ’hood, too: neighbours helped them find a used lawn mower and took out the garbage when they forgot.”

15 responses to “Newly-weds; 1908 sqft Bungalow; South Fraser; $860K

  1. Every time I see a young couple like this it makes me sad and angry. They are going to get the wake up call of a lifetime over the next few years. Lambs to the slaughter.

  2. Utter BS & hype.

    I’ve lived on the 600-block of East 23rd (as a kid), and more recently on the 700 block of East 22nd.

    Lie #1. This is not sandwiched between Main and Commercial. It’s a good 15 min walk to Main St, and another 10 mins to get down to 12th & Main where all the action is. With regards to the Commercial Drive community, you’re a good 30 min walk to Commercial (at Broadway), and add on another 10-15 mins to get to the action at 1st avenue.

    Lie #2. It’s not a trendy area. All those Vancouver Magazine elite-wannabes are gonna be sorely disappointed with the Cedar Cottage area of Kingsway. Dodgy and low-end. The majority of shops are Vietnamese Pho crime-fronts or hole-in-the-wall Asian dives.

    Lie #3. Tell me where the Farmer’s Markets are near Fraser/Kingsway and 21st Avenue. There are none. http://www.eatlocal.org/markets.html

    Not a lie: it is a friendly neighborhood, especially now that all the old-timers have sold and cashed in on their gains, and all the young gentrifiers are going to be really friendly to recruit each other to replace roofs, fix boilers and all the other shit that’s going to break in their 20’s bungalows.

    I love that area of Fraser, and it pisses me off that it’s being hyped by Vancouver Magazine, and prices are skyrocketing. It’s a blue collar borough, and to glamorize it as anything else in order to pump the market pisses me off.

    East Van forever.

  3. sad, angry, or just envy?

    • There are couples in the city who can afford to buy two to three times as much house as this but are choosing to rent.
      It’s fascinating that there are still observers who imagine that ALL parties who CAN buy would, of course, buy. (And that all of those on the sidelines are there per force, and thus must be “sad, angry, or envious” of couples such as these newly-weds.)

      • I find this observation to be so true! When I say that I am renting, the immediate assumption is that I don’t have enough money for a down payment. My favourite is when I get the advice to buckle down and save – it will be worth it! It’s as if there is no other reason for a modern young person to save.

    • Envy??? Let me ask you this. Do you really think that these people will earn as much in 25 yrs to pay off principal and the interest. They are only banking on the RE value increasing indefinitely, without any fundamentals in place.

      Please make a note of today’s date and time and check back in 2 years.
      Maybe earlier.

      I have lived in many different cities in North America, including NYC and San Diego. Vancouver is really overrated.

  4. Anyone who’s been in a bungalow like this can tell you that three of those 5 bedrooms are most likely in the basement (as is the 2nd bathroom). It’s a cute house but for almost a million dollars??!! Eek.

    Oh, and by the way Fred, I am neither sad, angry or envious. Just relieved that it’s not me who bought it.

  5. What’s the big deal? $850k+ for a house in Vancouver is “normal” now.

    Maybe the couple flipped 2 or 3 condos and paid cash.

  6. I grew up in East Van; my parents bought their first house in the Cedar Cottage area after Expo for 70K. A house very similiar to this one; there is only 2 rooms upstairs. Sold it in ’93 for 260K. Even back then; I heard my parent’s friends (bitter; bitter renters) saying stuff like “260K; is just overpriced. That poor sap that bought it is going to feel it in a few years.” So 24 years later; an increase of 790K. I really dont know what to make of it; if the last 25 years is any indication. Are houses in East Van going to be over 1 Million in 10 years time? If you are not a savy investor; maybe real estate in Vancouver is a worthy ride.

  7. So quickly we forget. People, whose entire adult lives have seen low rates and perpetually increasing prices, buy as if these prices are normal. Oh my.

  8. Shizzie von Shizwit

    I lived in a house like that in East Van (but different area). I agree that 3 of the bedrooms will be in the basement. This presents the young couple with some interesting sleeping arrangements.

    I am assuming they are planning to start a family (otherwise why buy a house when an appartment will do). The first child could sleep in the 2nd bedroom on the main floor. But no one ever wants just one child. So then they need to think about where the 2nd will sleep. Most people don’t want to sleep on a separate floor from their children, especially when they are young.

    So the plan might be for the whole fam to move into the basement level bedrooms.

    Of course, they probably think that when the times comes, they will just “move up” to a new house with all their new found wealth.
    It was owning one of these East Van bungs that turned me off RE…I never thought I could hate an inanimate object so much.

  9. Shizzie von Shizwit

    i bought it because my wife was pregnant, i didn’t want to have the baby in our place downtown, i didn’t think it was in as bad condition as it was (useless building inspector) and lastly, greed. I had come off 2 easy reno-and-flips with good returns and thought the 3rd would be just as easy.

    I can empathize with people looking for a place to live with a pregnant wife….the hormones demanding a stable nest are raging.

    The plan was to live there for a bit, spend some money on renos and then sell it again, which is more or less what we did but we made less money than we thought. Ironically, had a held on to it I would have made more money, but I was 1) afraid of what would happen if i lost my job while carrying such a big mortgage and LOC 2) we hated living in that hood 3) i took a job in the UK and for tax reasons it was best to not have any assets in Canada.

  10. What’s really sad is the fact that it will be people like this who will suffer the most when a major correction does occur or when interest rates spike. The wealthy Chinese buying on the Westside will only feel a hiccup.

    The rich get richer, the poor get poorer.

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