Basement Suite In Vancouver Ask Price $900K – “Currently the garage is being used as an office and storage and is included in the square footage.”

202 W 13th Ave, Vancouver
MLS V948654
2 BR ‘townhome’ (triplex; strata)
1248 sqft*
* = “Currently the in floor heated garage (192 sq ft) is being used as an office and storage and is included in the square footage.”

– [hat-tip to ‘Hugh’ at VCI for bringing this to broad attention]

We previously featured an East Van basement suite selling for $590K.
The property featured above tops that.
In many parts of the world, basement square footage is excluded from area considered part of the home, let alone garage space.
Perhaps a $1M basement suite will herald the very peak of the insanity.
On the other hand, it looks like we’ve already peaked.
– vreaa

53 responses to “Basement Suite In Vancouver Ask Price $900K – “Currently the garage is being used as an office and storage and is included in the square footage.”

  1. Thai-born Chinese Canuck

    I want to know if there were ever such basement suites for sale at the peaks of both U.S. and Australian housing bubbles.

    Is Vancouver that different?

    • Aldus Huxtable

      I would have to imagine not, as Florida doesn’t allow basements to be built due to the high water table.

    • CanuckDownUnder

      Houses in Australia don’t have basements, people live above grade here.

    • In my experience, for-sale basement suites were much less common in US markets. Renting a basement out is common enough, but dividing up a house into multiple ownerships is far less common.

      Though in top markets with high density like NYC and San Francisco, it may be more common. Most US markets, even around cities, are low density enough that detached homes or single-ownership townhomes were being built during the bubble. Condos would be in larger multi-family buildings, not renovated detached homes.

      • Boston and the nearby towns have plenty of “horizontal townhouses”: SFH split into separate suites.

      • I lived in the US for many years and based on my experience I would say basement dwelling is quite unusual.

      • @Jeff: True about Boston having plenty of triple-deckers divided up into 2/3 separate floors/suites, individually owned in a condo arrangement. However (I’m very familiar with this market), I have seen only a few places where a suite below ground was listed for sale or even occupation. The overwhelming number of basements there are used as common areas for storage/laundry.

      • Basement is unusual, this is more a mid-level. San Francisco has suites, though they’re mostly above ground I assume for code reasons.

        I can assure readers that the Vancouver Special is truly special.

      • Bay Area, perhaps. Further out into the central valley (where I lived), not so much. In fact, most people don’t even have basements. Likely a water table issue there too, as mentioned for Florida.

      • reality check

        San Francisco has many houses that look like single family from the outside but are just a bunch of condos inside. I don’t know about basement though.

    • If there are multiple families in a house here it’s a true duplex, OR apartments where someone cut apart one of the insanely huge Victorian mega-boxes that were popular circa 1900. But that would now be a multi-unit apartment building. I have never heard of or seen anyone selling part of a house, basement or otherwise. (Oh, there is one derelict mega house condo conversion proposal floating around my town . . . )

  2. $900k, 1200sqft. What does it rent for? Just curious by looks like price/rent of 300, unless it’s over $3000/mo.

    • Based on my extensive (and depressing) experience looking for 2-bedroom Westside rentals, I’d say it would fetch $2200/month at the very most.

    • So, price/rent 400 and change.
      Overpriced at half the price.

      • That really hits home at how expensive this unit is. A unit in a triplex has little in the way of density increase potential in the next few decades, if credit tightens significantly a price-rent of 150 would be more likely.

        Maybe I’m missing something here but this one looks out of kilter, even for Vancouver.

    • “$900k, 1200sqft. What does it rent for? Just curious by looks like price/rent of 300, unless it’s over $3000/mo.”

      I think you’re calculating price to rent wrong jesse.
      This unit would rent for 2K/month. So the price:rent is 37.5 (price divided by total annual rent)
      This is pretty much the norm for comparing new construction strata to older detached homes i.e. my house has price to rent of 14.5 – but it’s older and I bought it many years ago.
      FYI when price to rent is over 20 it’s better to rent than buy.

      • f1 -> You’re using the standard US method: price/(annual rent), we’re using the Canadian norm: price/(monthly rent). Both work, both make the same point.
        But, surely you knew that?
        If not, it sheds a completely different light on all the times over the years when you’ve said that fundamentals should be ignored.
        We didn’t realize that you were being literal.

      • Ha that’s true formula1, I forgot about how there are, always since the instanciation of the modern calendar, 12 months in the year. That was a close one.

  3. No sympathy for these folks when things get ugly. None at all.

  4. joe_blown_away_by_high_housing_costs

    From today’s Globe and Mail: “Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney is in the op-ed section of the Financial Times Friday, boasting that his monetary policy framework is better than yours…Canada’s economic leaders appear to believe they have found the monetary policy equivalent of nirvana.”

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/economy-lab/daily-mix/carney-trumpets-the-triumph-of-inflation-targeting/article2429683/

    Nirvana: A state of transcendant peace that comes from being liberated from material possessions.

    Nirvana is an apt term in the context of Canada’s monetary policy. The bursting real estate bubble brought on by Carney’s monetary policy is surely going to liberate many Canadians from their homes and other material possessions and thereby help them reach a state of nirvana.

    • it’s orwell time ‘a bloc’ now … gosh that guy can look creepy … well done sir … they can’t be taken serious about tightening until somebody actually does that VOLUNTARILY to take the pain … real tightening to fix things would take down large swaths of the bank/govt/other crony complex … and that is THE fix for regular folks … otoh you can look for signs to justify further easing …

      ” Mr. Carney concedes that allowing temporarily higher inflation could work if policy makers adopted a new target, such as nominal gross domestic product. But again, he comes back to the risk of losing the public’s confidence. “The uncertain rewards of such a regime shift must be weighed against the risks of giving up what is arguably the most successful monetary policy idea in history: flexible inflation targeting.”

      read that again pls – NOMINAL GDP TARGETING – wtf!? … meanwhile and more importantly, elsewhere on nuclear xerox watch …

      http://tinyurl.com/6ma645h

      sounds strangely familiar … where did i hear that? … but noteworthy in that this is coming from one of the big dogs (carney is tethered to them) and the one with the iconic wheelbarrow history

      elsewhere, bits of jpm are blowing up … probably to be bailed out … again

      http://tinyurl.com/d3b9eos

      should we really expect this sort of stuff won’t keep happening when none of the root causes have been addressed?

      have a nice day – choose life 🙂

      • NGDP works if people don’t realize it’s happening. After it happened, so is the fear, it’s like crying wolf and markets will punish future monetary policy for being dishonest. Krugman thinks this is a load of hooey, that markets won’t care about past malfeasance if the economy gets back in kilter. Or put another way, markets are beholden to the Bank and have little choice but to trust it. If it lets them down it’s horrible and unbearable but they’ll be back. Think of it like a bad marriage devolved to co-habitation with the occasional bouts of moral weakness.

      • considering rhetoric vs results, krugman and obama getting nobel prizes are a couple of the biggest orwellian statements i can think of … to be cont’d, dr. j … i’m sure the occasion will arise soon enough … have a nice day 🙂 … sadly, iWork

  5. Of course it’s got a Mac in it – form over function, just like the suite.

    • Renters Revenge

      I noticed that too, and the stainless appliances. Granite, stainless, and a mac means everyone who comes over says: “hey! nice place.”

    • Let’s go there. PCs are butt ass ugly.
      Did you notice the tub of protein powder? the current occupant is probably huge!

  6. Wow, a west side basement offering.
    This is worth at least $888,888!

    • HAMs wont take it…no coastal views, living under someone else’s house…only non-asians would by this hovel…

  7. That is racist Avogadro, do you think greed has been cornered by the Asians ?

  8. @v. howdy, comment_purgatory = 1.

  9. I hope someone buys it and that vreaa interviews that savvy investor.

  10. Asian’s generally don’t believe in living in basements, unless out of necessity. I think Mount Pleasant area has been selling this type of dwelling for years, as far as 2003 I remember those big multi-family houses being renovated and changed into strata titled dwelling for sale, generally basement unit, 1 or 2 main floor unit, and a top or top + attic unit, and a coach house (aka laneway house). A house that was going for maybe $600K would be converted and sold off individually for like $2.3M+ total.

    However the basement units were generally fairly cheap at $350K to $500K. If this unit sells for $1M, not sure how much the main floor units would go for.

    • “Asian’s generally don’t believe in living in basements, unless out of necessity”

      I think that is probably true for most races. Its not like the rest of us actively seek out basements as a prime place to live…

  11. Watch this video explaining how Canada’s PCFMEX (Pre-Construction Futures Market Exchange) units are sold on the market from permits to final sale. Be sure not to miss the punchline at 5:00min, where he states “Assignment basically means, being able to sell the unit before it actually finishes, so you don’t have to get a mortgage.”

    This ponzi scheme is great for boosting Canada’s housing market by pulling sales from the future into current statistics and the average price, only question is, what happens when new units (in bulk) don’t sell and every Platinum, VIP et al speculator must get a mortgage at occupancy status?

  12. Leaving aside the fact that you can buy a very nice detached house for that price just about anywhere else in the world, it strikes me as an incredibly bad idea to buy a condo unit that consists of a basement of a house. Is the rest of the house one or two other units? In either event the basement owner can and will be outvoted on issues of resetting condo fees, special assessments, and what repairs to the house are necessary, etc. In a duplex you look after your own side but here the majority get to impose costs on everyone.

  13. It’s funny, I’ve realized I’m almost numb about some of the insanity here at this point.

    But this would have to be one of those items that could prove in and of itself a bubble to beat all bubbles. $900K for a basement, in a climate that’s dark and damp much of the year.

    I also greatly enjoyed (or despaired at?) the information about the CMHC Board revealed earlier this week.

    Where oh where will this all end?

    • Somewhere around right here, hopefully.

      Agree re the “numbness”:
      The Infinite Stages Of Bear Emotion —
      Curiosity, Eye-brow-raising, Surprise, Confirmation, Irritation, Frustration, Anger, Outrage, Rantitude, Disbelief, Disappointment, Despair, Anger Mark II, Bloggishness, Incredulity, Exhaustion, [Time-Out], Fascination, Acceptance, Numbness, Serenity.

      (Followed by…. “Oooh, look, we’re crashing!”)

      • LOL — thank you!

      • My favourites: “Bloggishness” and “Serenity”… well done!

      • You forgot transcendence. My moment occurred was when I found out investors were competing head-on with a pregnant couple who “just had to buy”.

        If Vancouver had a regular opera company I would recommend bears becoming regular patrons.

      • HAH. The Stages of Bear Emotion is brilliant. I am somewhere between Acceptance and Numbness, except when someone ELSE moves away. Then my Anger Mark X comes out.

      • 🙂 cycle of bear_emotion … since u r fan … >> fugue @1m48 … turn it up to get more cd318 effect … and some humming the engrs couldn’t knock out …
        http://tinyurl.com/7jl4ppy

  14. Come on, quit trashing B.C.’s #1 ‘legal’ industry
    http://blogs.vancouversun.com/2012/04/27/judy-rogers-bob-rennie-appointed-to-bc-housing-board/

    Even Bob Rennie is working his spin for the government now. Tell anybody outside Vancouver that a basement suite is 900K and they will fall out of their chair laughing, or shaking their head in disbelief.

  15. The upper floors are divided into two townhouses; one of them is listed with Faith Wilson for 1038000. http://faithwilsongroup.com/listings/206-west-13th-avenue/

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