Friday, November 03, 2006


exvancouverite provided me with this link to another French house

It sits on an 1800 square metre lot (19,375.2 Square Feet), and is listed at 328,600.00 Euros (471,900.68 Canadian Dollars).

Compare to this house in Vancouver listed for $459k on a 3267 sq. ft. lot

For a piddling $12k more you get ~16,000 square feet more lot, and a pool with the French house. But as exvancouverite points out;
Unfortunately, a 'job' market exists only in Vancouver. Don't know how people managed to survive for centuries before that, but apparently, now, you have to live in Vancouver to be able to scratch a living on this planet.

Now I realize that it is not entirely fair to compare the French place to the Vancouver place (apples to apples), but what is it that makes Vancouver so much more worthy? Besides the Olympics, the mountains and Sam Sullivan? And, it would be an horrendous commute, but...? Further, you can only get pommes de terre frites (those pesky French Fries) there, and no Freedom Fries for 5,000 miles.

For a more pomme a l'orange comparison closer to home, let's look at the OMA listing compared to the place on Euclid.

OMA condo - 647 sq. ft. for $325,900. $502.21/sq. ft of living space. No yard to enjoy (or maintain), and you can almost trick yourself that you are living in NYC. You will receive mail at One Madison Avenue.

The place on Euclid is 1500 sq. ft. of living space (plus ~1800sq. ft. of yard)listed at $459k - or $306/sq. ft. There are two bedrooms and a bathroom in the basement that could be turned into a suite for a mortgage helper. One could probably turn the garage into a coach house as well, so there is a lot of potential for densification. Granted the yard needs to be maintained, but even if you don't have the inclination (or strength) to do that, you can pay someone about $100/month to do it for you, which would cost about $600-$700/year (to cover the growing season). The condo fees at OMA are $130/month ($1560/year). So no grass to cut, or leaves to rake, but no yard to relax in, have a BBQ, etc. Who would want to live like that? Plus, the condo is a depreciating asset, one has to deal with strata rules, neighbours in very close proximity, future assessments for repairs, and so on.

OK , so with the house you have to re-roof every 25 years. Presently that will cost about $6k-$7k. Amortized over 25 years, add another $280/year to own the house. It still comes in significantly less per year to maintain the house. The only real difference would be in the property taxes, but with all else considered, with the house you still have about $600/year less in maintenance to apply to the extra taxes.

What is the upside to the condo?


Babybull40 said...

well there doesn't seem to be any upside to condo life.. unless of course you are a retiree and not wanting the aggravation of maintaining a yard or a roof.. but you still have to abide by the condo rules if you do want to make improvements. So Since I live in a house where I have to maintain everything.. I could hire someone to do it all.. but I want to have the satisfaction of a job well done because I did it and not some over priced contractor or lawn maintenance company.. everyone has different ideas as where they choose to live and how they will cope with all the decisions of said ownership. As for property taxes.. Mine do not compare to most.. Mine I would say are relatively cheap in comparison to someone who owns a 3000 sq ft home in the fancy ass part of the city.and it takes a long time to pay off a mortgage. you are paying on the interest and little of it is going for the principle.

raconteur49 said...

"What is the upside to the condo?"
less risk of B&Es and arson and harder to torch down ..

costs of maintaining highrises, esp age: 10 years and above, are huge - see:

downtownguy said...

solipist - without interior shots of the vancouver house (or at least a backyard shot to see if it too has an inviting pool) i am unable to conduct the comparison you have engaged upon. besides, there is nothing better than sitting on your shaky step on a rainy morning in east van waiting for something to happen. the french lifestyle has nothing to recommend itself. i dont want it. i dont want it at all.

bc_cele said...

I think that downtownguy has a great point. Do you know anything about Charentes? I mean who wants to live in a historic area in the middle of Cognac country - all those castles and roman sites for my taste. It's just way to peaceful and idealic. And an ocean, forget it, you'd have to drive at least an hour to get to the Atlantic (like that's an ocean..). That's like living in Abbotsford. It's more likely you'd be on some tiny little lake, or river. Sorry, it's oceans or nothing in my book.

The climate, you say? It sucks too. If you just look at the temps you see that the climate is close to our (20C in summer and 5C in winter), but they hardly get any rain (<900mm). That's just far too much sun. As you can see, Vancouver deserve a premium.

solipsist said...

Thanks for straightening me out folks.

I think I'll surf the MLS for listings in the W. We really do live in the best place in the world, and I think that the W is the best place in Vancouver. It's only a few minutes from the beautiful Burrard Inlet. And who wants cognac when Kootenay beer is so readily available here? And historic DTES has much more interesting ruins than those old Roman baths and the like.