One of the oldest neighborhoods in Vancouver, Strathcona is known for it's diversity – both in terms of the community and of the types of properties available for those searching for Vancouver real estate. It also has a distinct advantage, especially for young professionals and families looking to buy their first home; prices are very competitive. While Vancouver real estate prices continue to rise rapidly skywards, Strathcona real estate prices remain relatively reasonable. So what makes Strathcona so different and what should you consider before making the move to this relatively affordable Vancouver neighborhood?

 

Strathcona Community Profile

 

Traditionally, the culture of East Van has been defined by both its diversity and its working class origins. In Strathcona, this is as true as any part of East Van. The neighborhood has a very diverse range of real estate for sale; from heritage homes and buildings offering great options for young families to restore a family home at a great price to newly built condos for sale, which are most likely to attract young professionals and couples. The fact that Strathcona lies a few minutes east of the business core of Vancouver, the Downtown district only adds to the attraction for these groups, in particular. Chinatown, the bustling hub of Vancouver's Chinese community also lies partly within Strathcona and this fact adds a unique and attractive quality to the community as a whole.

 

Strathcona is a neighborhood that would characterize itself as populated by hardworking families from many different backgrounds and of different ages. The multicultural nature of the area – along perhaps with the lower prices – have also attracted many artists and performers, which has resulted in the art festival The Eastide Culture Crawl. Those looking to buy real estate in East Van should certainly take a close look at Strathcona as a realistic option. So with all this diversity, historic and architectural heritage (and probably some of the easiest and fastest transport links to downtown Vancouver) why the lower prices, and what's the pay-off?

 

The Neighbors

 

Strathcona is, indeed, located just next to Downtown Vancouver and in particular the north western boundary of Strathcona runs alongside the area of Downtown Eastside, a neighborhood with a “reputation”. In this case, it's not the sort of reputation that all Realtors will want you to know about! Downtown Eastside has been faced with numerous social problems over the years, including drugs, crime and poor housing. As with all city areas with a reputation, Downtown Eastide has also been plagued with bad press over the years – although plenty of coverage has also focused on the wider issues affecting the area.

 

Eastside and Strathcona, the Future

 

Downtown Eastsides' problems are closely linked to the lower-than-average prices in Strathcona. Eastside itself is certainly the cheapest Vancouver neighborhood, when it comes to real estate, and the area's problems have kept Strathcona prices low in turn. The sort of issues that Downtown Eastside faces are not going to disappear overnight and for those looking to buy homes in Strathcona, getting to grips with the challenges that the neighboring area is facing is essential. However, alongside numerous charities working with Eastside residents, the City of Vancouver is also working hard to address the issues and more information on the programs can be found on the city's website. Given the increasing attention being focused on addressing the social and housing problems that Eastside faces, plus that fact that elsewhere in Vancouver the only way for property prices seems to be up, Strathcona itself may offer those looking for realistically priced homes in Vancouver the last and best option!

 

Location, Location, Location

 

For those searching for homes in Vancouver, East Van neighborhoods have always had the reputation of offering great value. This is still true in Strathcona and, importantly, the area is seeing not only interest in real estate in the shape of traditional family homes but the recent Strathcona Village development – now underway and already sold out – gives a hint of the shape of things to come for the neighborhood. While some investors may remain uncertain about Strathcona, it's worth remembering the old phrase “location, location, location”.

 

Yes, Strathcona lies close to Downtown Eastside, but it's also a close neighbor to Gastown, which makes up the Downtown area proper along with Yaletown. Gastown itself has had a checkered history – having been a largely industrial site which suffered a long, slow painful decline for much of the 20th century. Only this century has a concerted effort by both the city authorities and innovative individuals transformed Gastown into one of the hippest, coolest and hottest (in property terms) neighborhoods in Vancouver. Like Strathcona, Gastown is directly next to the much maligned Downtown Eastside but demonstrates all the best outcomes of urban regeneration. With property prices ever increasing in Vancouver, Strathcona has plenty of signs that this reasonably priced real estate market has all the potential to become the next “must buy” real estate option for Vancouver home searchers.

 

Read full post

Overview

 

For those new to the city, and searching for real estate in Vancouver, let's start with the name; Fairview, located due south of downtown Vancouver, is also referred to as South Granville Officially, the whole neighborhood is Fairview but the area comprises several smaller sub-neighborhoods. On Vancouver MLS listings you may also find properties referring to Fairview Slopes, Fairview Heights, False Creek or Burrard Slopes. In recent years the shopping district of South Granville in Fairview has become so popular that Fairview may also be referred to locally by that name! One of the significant attractions for those seeking real estate in Vancouver that Fairview offers is its transport links with the rest of the wider region. While all roads may not lead to Fairview, most of them pass through it! Thanks to it's location south of downtown Vancouver it benefits with all the main links leading to the city's central business area. The main links include the Canada Line (with two stations in Fairview), linking downtown with Vancouver International Airport on Sea Island. The commute into downtown Vancouver – whether by car, bike, bus or train – is therefore one of the quickest and easiest. At the same time the commute south is equally simple and the east west arterial routes (Broadway, 12th Avenue and 16th Avenue) also pass through the neighborhood. For those looking for homes or condos in Vancouver, Fairview offers many of the conveniences of downtown. False Creek separates the neighborhood from the downtown district and on the shores of the Creek is Granville Island, a 37 acre “island”, formerly an industrial site which now hosts shops, restaurants, theaters and the Granville Island Public Market. Granville Island is hugely popular amongst Vancouver residents, in general, and attracts over 10 million visitors each year.

 

Transport

 

Hopefully we've already got the point across about Fairview's excellent transport links! For more detailed information click on the following links; Translink, Canada Line.

 

Schools and Universities

 

Vancouver School Board provides a full range of educational opportunities at all levels, including elementary and secondary schools along with a wide range of additional programs focused on specific or alternative educational needs – more information can be found on the board's website while transport links make as to the University of British Columbia easy for those based in Fairview.

 

Recreation and Facilities

 

Fine dining opportunities are never far away for those making this East Van neighborhood their home. Vij's in Fairview has been described as the “easily among the best Indian restaurants in the world” by the New York Times and is one of an ever expanding group of widely acclaimed restaurants that have made their home in Fairview. Shopping, as mentioned above, is another favorite past-time in Fairview, with the main shops running along Granville St to 16th avenue (the sub-neighborhood of South Granville). Interior design, antique, contemporary furniture and art galleries are amply spread along the street (sometimes known as Gallery Row) and while there are plenty of high-end outlets there are also a good range of mid-range fashion shops to be browsed. There are seven parks run by the city in Fairview ranging in size and facilities but offering plenty of opportunities for outdoor relaxation, including tennis courts, Soccer fields, playgrounds and off-leash dog areas. They're also great if you need quiet moment to recover from all that shopping and eating!

 

 

Read full post

Overview

 

Situated at the head of the Burrard Inlet, Port Moody occupies approximately 26.21 square kilometers and is surrounded by mountains, water and forests. Increasingly popular for those searching for Vancouver homes, Port Moody has a well earned reputation for top quality housing. Although excellently placed for access to downtown Vancouver, to which transport links are good, the city has a reputation for a relaxed lifestyle and strong environmental credentials. Homes in Port Moody are connected to Vancouver via the Barnet Highway which has recently been expanded, and with new services planned to link the city with the Lougheed Town Center SkyTrain link, real estate in Port Moody is likely to become an increasingly attractive option for many families. Although well known for its high number of individual homes, Port Moody is gradually expanding and the diversity of housing stock is growing. A number of single and multi-family real estate units are being constructed along with high rise developments in the town center.

 

Transport

 

By car, Port Moody is approximately 40 minutes drive from downtown Vancouver and recent improvements to the road network have helped to reduce congestion during rush hours. Translink operate the public transport services in the region and from 2016 new services will connect homes in Port Moody, Coquitlam and Burnaby via the SkyTrain service to downtown Vancouver, making the city an even more attractive location for commuters looking for homes in the Vancouver area.

 

Schools and Universities

 

Port Moody is served by School District 43 which provides 48 elementary schools and 9 high schools. In addition there are a number of privately run schools in the Tri-Cities region (Port Moody, Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam), along with further education institutions. These include Simon Fraser University – located in Burnaby – and Douglas College which has two campuses – one located in nearby Coquitlam.

 

Recreation and Facilities

 

There are a good range of shops and services in Port Moody itself, with nearby communities providing easily accessible large shopping centers. Homes in Port Moody will also benefit from the ongoing development within the town center and the provision of an increasing range of shopping facilities. The city has a very wide range of cafes and restaurants across the area and these provide plenty of opportunities for dining and evenings out.

 

The city prides itself on its location and offers a wide range of recreational and sporting facilities along with excellent parks, beaches and natural areas. In addition to organized sports and recreation facilities, the city's coastal location makes Port Moody a particularly attractive location for sailing, boating and swimming and with 27 kilometers of protected shores which offer plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities for all the family. The network of trails in the area is excellent, with further opportunities for walking, running, cycling or simply taking in the breathtaking scenery of the surrounding area. In addition to the coastal parks the city also has a good range of natural mountainside forested parks which add to the diversity of the outdoor opportunities for those searching for homes in Vancouver and Port Moody.

 

The city is also proud of its strong links to the arts and culture, operating an increasing program of events and festivals, making it an all-round perfect location for recreation, entertainment and adding to the vibrant diverse cultural life of this developing real estate hot-spot in Vancouver.

Read full post

Overview

 

Gastown, along with Yaletown, forms the downtown district of Vancouver. Today, Gastown is a National Historic Site but has had something of a checkered history. Named for “Gassy” Jack Deighton, famed for opening the first saloon in Gastown in 1867, the area was primarily an industrial part of the city, home to Hastings Mill and seaport. The Great Depression, however, took its toll on Gastown and the neighborhood, despite being one of the city's oldest, never fully recovered. Considered a low income area, with associated social problems through much of the remaining part of the twentieth century, Gastown's fortunes only began to turn in the early 2000s. Historic buildings and cobbled streets, combined with some serious urban regeneration, rapidly saw Gastown begin to gentrify and today the neighborhood can proudly boast that it is a model for inner city regeneration. While retaining much of its attractive historic architecture the neighborhood is a highly sought after location for young professionals seeking to locate to a modern, trendy and fashionable urban environment. The resident profile is perhaps less diverse than in other parts of the city, with a high majority of small/single households mostly comprised of young professionals. Recent developments of newly built high end housing, including condo buildings have increased the diversity of real estate in Gastown but the demographic remains strongly focused on this group.

 

Transport

 

As with neighboring Yaletown, forming part of the city's downtown district means that Gastown is at the heart of Vancouver's transport links. Those seeking real estate in downtown Vancouver will rarely have long commutes, however, the links to downtown mean that accessing the rest of Vancouver and the Lower Mainland is probably at it's easiest in both Gastown and Yaletown. Information on transport links provided via SkyTrain and Translink can be found on the relevant websites.

 

Schools and Universities

 

Schools in Gastown are provided by Vancouver School Board and there are also a growing number of privately run educational establishments in the neighborhood, including several focusing on the creative arts and on business education – details can be found by clicking this link.

 

Recreation and Facilities

 

Gastown is primarily known for its shopping, nightlife and eating experiences. There are many local, independent boutiques and designers located in the area and, for interior design, Gastown is the only place to shop in Vancouver! John Fleuvog established his now world-famous brand in Gastown back in the 1970s and the company's flagship store remains located in the heart of trendy Gastown. Nightlife and eating experiences abound in the area, with several internationally renowned restaurants well established in Gastown. Also home to some of the city's best known and best loved bars including at least two of the Vancouver's must see (and must be seen in) cocktail bars – L'Abattoir and the Diamond there is also a fantastically great range of night clubs. Nightlife is never, ever, dull in Gastown!

 

 

Read full post

While the hit US TV series Breaking Bad may have demonstrated a novel way to beat the recession for the hard-pressed teaching profession, it might also have highlighted an age old issue for those buying a home. Not every minor detail in a property's history is noted on the property title. From illegal drugs labs to a reputation for unquiet spirits of another kind, home buyers across the world have found themselves haunted by a host of problems. So how do you ensure you aren't 'buying bad'? And, what sort of issues should you be looking for?

 

Types of Stigmatized Property

 

  • The range of surprises for new homeowners seems to grow each year. Certainly the use of properties as illegal drug labs is on the rise. While this may be great for TV viewing figures, it can be a nightmare for new owners. The chemicals involved can be so poisonous that properties need a complete detox. The sort of chemicals involved often penetrate into the very fabric of the building and may make the home uninhabitable until it has been professionally cleaned.

 

  • Ghosts and ghouls; whether you believe in that haunting feeling or not, a haunted house reputation can stick. Worse still, it can be a very popular filler for journalists seeking to bulk out some column inches on slow news days. This may seem less of a problem at first, but the most haunted reputations often lead to more troublesome infestations of sight-seers.

 

  • Murder sites – especially more sensational ones - may also attract stigma to the property. As with ghosts this can attract even less savory sight-seers or other attention. Some, perhaps many buyers, will themselves feel extremely uncomfortable about buying a property where a recent ,or particularly brutal murder, has taken place.

 

  • Debt stigma; when debt collectors attack, they don't always realize the debtor has left the building. This can result in continued visits and/or harassment of the new owner. This problem can usually be resolved but it can take time and can be deeply distressing until it is.

 

  • Hidden Treasures; while we'd all like to discover a pot of gold in our garden the reality for buyers is that archaeological sites (and some heritage designations) may not be recorded on the property title. This can vary – some may include these details - however, it pays to be sure if possible and if a property lies in an historic area, a specialist survey may help. Owners of archaeological sites may be required to have them surveyed – at their own cost!

 

Where to Find Information

 

The first clue to whether a property is stigmatized or not is usually in the price. If you pinch yourself in disbelief at the ten-bedroom family home for sale at such a low price, alarm bells should ring! The following agencies can help you to identify why that sale price is so low!

 

  • For properties where drug labs have been identified contact the local municipal authority.

 

  • For ghostly reputations – ask around in the neighborhood! Neighbors love to share a good story. This works for many other possible property surprises too.

 

  • For sensational murder sites – or even less sensational ones – local press archives will be a good start. Again, simply ask the neighbors why they think the price is so low!

 

  • Debt stigma is harder to identify before purchasing but if you have any issues with debt, including issues that aren't even yours, contact Vancouver's Credit Counseling Society, who should be able to offer advice on dealing with collectors.

 

  • For information on Heritage Sites in British Columbia visit the Heritage BC website – and local municipal authority sites, who will hold a list of sites in their own areas.

 

 

 

 

Read full post

Moving home is always a big upheaval and there comes a point in our lives where the idea of buying a “forever home” becomes increasingly attractive. “Forever” means different things to different people and will depend on your circumstances – both family and financial. If you've decided it's time to make that final move there are a number of basic considerations to take into account, in this post we'll be exploring them.

 

Forever in Fine Detail

 

If it's going to be forever the decision needs some planning – in fine detail! You may have spent years imagining what the home you are searching for looks like but now it's time to bring that image into sharp focus. Consider the following:

 

  • Are you looking for detached or semi-detached family home in Vancouver? If so, think about how much maintenance this kind of property requires.

 

  • Does a Vancouver condo fit the bill better? Maintenance is not generally an issue you will need to worry about, if this is the case.

 

  • Location, is of course crucial. Do you want to be close to Downtown Vancouver, in the suburbs or in a more rural, village location? This part of the decision is important and you should check development plans for your chosen locations to be sure that no big surprises will be springing up near your future home.

 

Type of Home and Yet More Detail

 

Once you've decided on the type of home – a condo in East Van or a single family home in the West End - there are some specific details that you should consider in yet more detail for the type of property you have set your heart on. The following points for each type of home should be thought through carefully.

 

Houses:

 

  • Think about your lifestyle now and how the house you buy will adapt for the future. If it's forever you want a house that will be manageable now, and later in life. Properties with several flights of stairs may be perfectly practical now – but what if you become less mobile? Detached or semi-detached bungalow style homes may be the most suitable for many people in the longer term.

 

  • The size of property should be considered carefully; how much space do you need now, for yourself and family, for guests and even, hopefully much later in life, for in home-caregivers?

 

  • While space may be important also think about maintenance – again, now and in the future. This can be a difficult balance to get right, especially when you are younger, fitter and healthier! Homes that have potential for extensions to provide annexed accommodation for you (or grown up children) can be the most flexible if you are looking at larger properties.

 

Condo Living:

 

Condos have some great advantages in terms of forever homes. They may be most suitable for those who have reached retirement age – and many Vancouver condo developments cater specifically for this market. Condos have the following significant advantages;

 

  • They provide single-floor living, with access via elevators. There is no exterior maintenance to consider – although you'll have maintenance fees to pay. If you aren't a fan of gardening condos can be ideal! They offer hassle free living and yet most incorporate (managed) plenty of green spaces and attractive landscaping.

 

  • Condos also often have on-site health and fitness facilities and many have members clubs, bars or restaurants, bringing plenty of opportunities for staying active and building links in your community.

 

Cost Considerations:

 

When it comes to buying your forever home the concept of investing in property is less important than finding your perfect match. The biggest financial consideration is likely to be the ongoing costs – and you should pay close attention to these based on your current and likely future finances. Take the following into account when doing your calculations:

 

  • The ongoing property taxes

 

  • Mortgage payments – both now and in the future.

 

  • Costs of utilities – again think about your current budget and likely future income.

 

  • Maintenance costs – for houses the costs you may have to pay and for condos the maintenance fees.

 

Final Decisions

 

Many decisions you will need to make when searching for your forever home will be highly personal and will depend very much on your circumstances. The above considerations should provide you with a sound starting point for your search, but with each personal consideration, remember that the devil is in the detail and always examine all of your requirements closely and consider possible changes in the future. When it comes to that final decision, also take your time. Forever can last for a long time!

Read full post

Most of us, when buying a home browse through MLS listings based on the price we can afford to pay. However, when it comes to buying a home there are a number of hidden costs to consider. These costs can add up and it can make sense to take them into consideration when searching for your first, or next, home in Vancouver. This guide covers the most common costs, though others may apply!

 

Basic Costs

 

  • Mortgage Application Fees; charged by some, but not all, lenders these vary depending on the provider. It pays to shop around!

 

  • Appraisal fees; typically around $300 but variable. Appraisals are normally required by your mortgage provider, but not in all cases. Some providers will pay these costs. The Fee is subject to subject to Goods and Services Tax (GST).

 

  • Land Surveys; again, often required by lenders with typical costs in the region of $700 plus GST. Normally you will be required to foot the bill.

 

  • Home Inspections; usually another requirement of the mortgage lender. The inspection looks at the condition of the home, including structural issues, electrical, plumbing and roofing infrastructure. Fees are generally in the range of $500 - $700 but can vary widely depending on the age and condition of the property.

 

  • Goods and Services Tax; on a new home the GST is 5%. Rebates are available on new homes up to the value of $350, 000 and may be available on some new homes up to $450,000. As mentioned above GST is also paid on professional services.

 

  • Provincial Sales Tax (PST); this is paid on legal or notary fees but not other professional fees, GST will also be applied on these fees.

 

  • Property Transfer Tax (PTT); this is paid on all home purchases, the rates are currently 1% on the first $200,000 and 2% on the remainder of the value. First time buyers may be eligible for an exemption on some or all of the PTT costs – more information on cost saving programs for home buyers in Vancouver and British Columbia can be found by clicking here.

 

Adjustments

 

Adjustments will normally be detailed in the contract of purchase and will vary in terms of cost from property to property. The most common are listed below.

 

  • Property Tax Adjustment; the contract may require the buyer to reimburse the seller for any prepaid property taxes.

 

  • Utility Adjustments; water and sewer fees are normally prepaid and the contract may require the buyer to reimburse the seller for any period already paid for.

 

  • Other adjustments may be requested by the seller – in general you should take advice from your Realtor or other professionals as to whether you should agree to these.

 

Additional Mortgage Costs

 

  • Life Insurance; this a requirement for most lenders, the insurance should clear the outstanding loan if the borrower dies.

 

  • Liability, Home and Fire Insurance; again, required by lenders the policy or policies should cover extended liability, fire and building insurance. These policies need to be effective by the completion date, although some lenders may require an earlier date.

 

Other Fees

 

  • Legal Fees; a lawyer or notary will normally be required to check legal documents and ensure the property is transferred correctly. Fees vary and shopping around is, again, the best option.

 

  • Moving Costs; these will vary depending on the distance you move. If you're moving from one side of the country to another they'll be considerable, shorter distances will be less so. You may even choose to do the move yourself, if you have the time!

 

  • Utility Fees; these will include hook ups to cable, phone and other utilities. Generally in the region of $200 - $300, though these can vary.

 

  • Security; it's advisable to change the locks when you move in, new locks will cost approximately $100 for each door, for standard systems with electronic locks costing more.

 

  • Strata or maintenance fees; if you are buying a Vancouver condo these fees will be payable each month. They are normally due on the first of the month – so you may want to consider the date that you move!

 

Read full post

If you are moving to a new city it's always worth getting to know about the local culture and history – doing so often gives you a surprising amount of insight into the local residents. One excellent way is to find out the type of attractions on offer – and take a tour of a several. In this post we've compiled a short guide to some of Vancouver's quirkier attractions. What they say about the city is for you to judge – though for those who love, independent, spirited and vibrant cities, we're sure this small selection will convince you that the Vancouver real estate market is right for you.

 

Mellow Moments: The Herb Museum.

 

Naturally, locals wouldn't apply the nickname of “Vansterdam” to their own city but they're more than happy to provide a home to the Herb Museum. Dedicated to the history of illegal drugs in general, there may seem to be a particular focus on the herb marijuana! The museum is dedicated to both the North American Drug Wars and to the global history of herbal medicine. The museum is packed with artifacts that trace the use of various herbal “remedies” back across the ages and the staff are (very) relaxed, friendly and knowledgeable. An adults only attraction, but one of a kind, and definitely worth a visit for the curious-minded. For a post-visit sit down and relax, the museum is handily located next to the New Amsterdam Cafe.

 

Performing Animals: An Unusual Take.

 

What exactly this next attraction says about life in Vancouver is hard to tell; possibly one too many visits to the previous attraction have led the 400,000 plus a year visitors to find the fascinating antics of the resident Salmon at the Capilano Salmon Hatchery so, well, fascinating. The attraction (yes, attraction, surely 400,000 visitors can't be that wrong?) is a government run fish farm designed to manage and maintain the salmon population. The “Fishway” is perhaps the most impressive part of the Hatchery; this is the part where 400,000 mesmerized individuals observe the salmon effortless jumping from pool to pool on their way to the artificial spawning pools. On a more serious note, while it may not compete with your average performing Killer Whale, the underlying serious purpose of the attraction is certainly more ecologically sound. The attraction not only helps to protect the native salmon stocks but can offer a good all round educational day out for the family.

 

Vancouver Penthouse: The Old Fashioned Way.

 

Massive and luxury condo developments in recent years have seen a rise in luxury property on the Vancouver real estate market, but in the case of this attraction, the Penthouse harks back to another age – and is, again, strictly adults only. The Penthouse is one of the more traditional, if not entirely reputable, entertainment houses dating back to the last century. It was a popular with celebrities of the day (including Frank Sinatra) and mobsters and has been running since the 1940s, continuing an early tradition of a particular kind of frontier entertainment! Tours are rare and organized by Forbidden Vancouver and it's wise to check availability well in advance – though the company have a range of delightfully odd (and very interesting) alternative options.

 

Vancouver Beach Life: Cover Your Eyes, if Nothing Else.

 

Vancouver real estate is highly sought after not only because the city continues to be one of the hottest in the real estate market, with prices rising year on year and no sign of a slowing market, but also because of its easy access to both mountains and beaches. It's even said to be one of the few cities in which you can visit the beach and then go snowboarding in the same day. If, however, you have a bashful disposition, it may pay to be careful which beach you visit. The final attraction on our list is Wreck Beach. Sailors of the past were presumably distracted, given the name of the beach, and today more than one ancient mariner might be forgiven for veering off course. Yes, Wreck Beach is Vancouver's only “clothing optional” beach and it also has the distinction of being one of the city's top 5 beaches. Supporters and users of the beach are enthusiastically proud of Wreck Beach and they run a range of events throughout the year including the annual “Bare Run” a 5K fun run, swim nights and various other one off or regular events.

 

Independent, Creative and Diverse.

 

This small selection, from the wackier end of the events calendar, has hopefully given you a taste of just how individual and creative the past and present inhabitants of Vancouver have been. There are, however, an incredible range of events, sites and attractions to see in this amazing city. Vancouver is, if anything, a diverse and independent minded city and may well be the perfect place to call home! For more information on a full range of a events and attractions available in and around the city, visit the Tourism Vancouver website.

 

 

Read full post

Overview

 

Strathcona is one of Vancouver's oldest neighborhoods and is located just to the east of Downtown Vancouver. Like the neighboring Gastown area of Downtown, Strathcona is characterized by a wide range of architectural styles, with many older buildings bringing a great deal of character to the area. Perhaps typical of East Van suburbs, Strathcona has long been a diverse, working class part of the city – and that diversity has continued to grow over the years. Real estate in East Van, compared to that in West Vancouver, has traditionally been viewed as lower priced. Today, many East Van neighborhoods can easily match real estate prices in parts of West Vancouver, as the Eastern part of the city rapidly grows in popularity. Strathcona, however, continues to offer relatively affordable real estate in Vancouver; single family homes in need of some restoration are increasingly popular in the area with young professional families, looking to find a family home they can afford and potentially increase in price. Newly built condo developments in Strathcona are also attracting individuals and couples, looking to buy a Vancouver home, close to Downtown but in an area where prices still have some upward potential in the future. Vancouver's bustling Chinatown forms part of the neighborhood and there is a large population of people of Chinese origin in Strathcona.

 

Transport

 

In terms of commuting to Downtown Vancouver, Strathcona is so closely that placed that walking and biking are easy options, along with a number of public transport services offered by Translink. Strathcona is also home to the historic Pacific Central Station which today is the terminus for the cross country VIA service and also operates as a bus terminus for Amtrak and other cross country and international bus services. Canada Line connections for Vancouver International Airport are available nearby in downtown, making Strathcona possibly one of the best connected neighborhoods in Vancouver!

 

Schools and Universities

 

Vancouver School Board provides elementary and secondary educational facilities in Strathcona. Amongst them is the Lord Strathcona Elementary School, dating from 1867 and believed to be one of the oldest schools in Vancouver. The School Board also provides a wide range of alternative education options, including various language programs and adult learner programs, in Strathcona and other neighborhoods across Vancouver. Strathcona's transport links also make commuting to University of British Columbia an easy option.

 

Recreation and Facilities

 

Whether it's shopping or eating out, Chinatown, centered on Main Street in Strathcona, offers the most attractive option for residents and visitors to the neighborhood. In addition to numerous restaurants there are a high number of import stores, providing furnishings, clothing and there are also fresh and seafood markets with a distinctly Chinese flavor. The neighborhood has five parks, the largest, Strathcona Park, offers playgrounds, soccer and baseball facilities and off-leash dog areas. The neighborhood's diverse history and background have brought together many cultures over the years and this is reflected in the artistic life of the neighborhood. Home to the Eastisde Culture Crawl art festival and the Chinese New Year Parade, just two heights of the cultural year, Strathcona has a vibrant exciting arts scene that continues to grow and develop and this, along with the neighborhood's excellent links to Downtown Vancouver are likely to see it continue to increase as a place in which to invest in Vancouver real estate.

 

Read full post

Overview

 

Mount Pleasant is one of several districts that make up East Vancouver (East Van). The divide between the East and West of the city has traditionally been seen as Main Street and although this line might be considered arbitrary, the respective communities to the East and West of the line have strong identities and differences. West Vancouver is stereotyped as being the more expensive side of the city but this view is gradually changing as Vancouver property prices have risen. A single family home in East Van can easily compete on price with many of those in West. The neighborhood of Mount Pleasant, like East Van in general, is seen as hip and trendy, West Vancouver is generally considered more “yuppie” in style and in attitude! Mount Pleasant real estate is considered cheaper than property in West Vancouver but this is rapidly changing. With the Vancouver real estate market extremely active and with prices rising year-on-year nearly all neighborhoods have seen significant increases in recent years. Mount Pleasant lies close to the downtown district of Vancouver and although it does remain cheaper for both family homes and condos, prices are rapidly rising and the neighborhood is likely to be one of the hottest property markets in Vancouver in the coming years. Apart from new property developments a wide range of unique bars, coffee houses and restaurants have opened in Mount Pleasant in recent years, indicating that the neighborhood is rapidly developing in popularity.

 

Transport

 

Transport links to the rest of the city and the wider region are excellent, with local SkyTrain access and also easy access to the Canada Line , both offering rapid commute times to the main business downtown district of Vancouver. The Canada line extends south Richmond and operates a branch to Vancouver International Airport, linking Mount Pleasant with the wider world! Bus services are also available which run throughout the Vancouver area and are operated by Translink.

 

Schools and Universities

 

Homes in Mount Pleasant fall under the Vancouver School Board which provides a full range of schools and educational programs. The Board provides educational services to a diverse, urban and large community and prides itself on addressing the educational needs of Vancouverites from many different backgrounds and for those with a wide range of education needs. As well as elementary and secondary schools a good selection of adult education programs are provided by the Board. University level education is available close by at the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University based in the Burnaby Mountain Conservation area is also easily accessible for those living in Mount Pleasant.

 

Recreation and Facilities

 

The commercial center of Mount Pleasant, Main Street, is also home to many individual and unique bars, cafes, restaurants and pubs. In terms of nightlife the hip and trendy reputation of East Van, in general, and Mount Pleasant, in particular, is well represented here! There are a number of live-music venues amongst the bars and cafes. The Omnimax theater at the Telus world of science is also close by and is described as the largest movie theater in Western Canada. Performing arts fans will love the Fox Caberet, on main street, and another movie theater, the Park Theater is located on Cambie. There are also plenty of nearby entertainment opportunities in the surrounding districts and the city as a whole. There are nine parks within the district and plenty of opportunities for recreation and exercise, with an excellent jogging trail in China Creek North Park. For more information on Mount Pleasant services and facilities the City of Vancouver website has a dedicated section.

 

 

 

Read full post
Categories:   Abbotsford West, Abbotsford Real Estate | Bear Creek Green Timbers, Surrey Real Estate | ben | Ben D'Ovidio | Brentwood Park, Burnaby North Real Estate | Burnaby Hospital, Burnaby South Real Estate | Burnaby Presale | burnaby realtor | Buying A Home | buying first property | Cambie, Vancouver West Real Estate | Canyon Heights NV, North Vancouver Real Estate | Canyon Springs, Coquitlam Real Estate | Capitol Hill BN, Burnaby North Real Estate | Cariboo, Burnaby North Real Estate | Central BN, Burnaby North Real Estate | Central Coquitlam, Coquitlam Real Estate | Central Lonsdale, North Vancouver Real Estate | Central Park BS, Burnaby South Real Estate | Central Pt Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam Real Estate | Chilliwack E Young-Yale, Chilliwack Real Estate | Chilliwack N Yale-Well, Chilliwack Real Estate | Citadel PQ, Port Coquitlam Real Estate | Clayton, Cloverdale Real Estate | Cliff Drive, Tsawwassen Real Estate | Collingwood VE, Vancouver East Real Estate | Condo Presale | Coquitlam East, Coquitlam Real Estate | Coquitlam West, Coquitlam Real Estate | Downtown NW, New Westminster Real Estate | Downtown VW, Vancouver West Real Estate | East Newton, Surrey Real Estate | Edmonds BE, Burnaby East Real Estate | Fairview VW, Vancouver West Real Estate | False Creek, Vancouver West Real Estate | finanacing,mortgage | first time buyers | Fleetwood Tynehead, Surrey Real Estate | Fraser VE, Vancouver East Real Estate | Fraserview NW, New Westminster Real Estate | Glenwood PQ, Port Coquitlam Real Estate | Government Road, Burnaby North Real Estate | Grandview Woodland, Vancouver East Real Estate | Harbour Chines, Coquitlam Real Estate | Highgate, Burnaby South Real Estate | Kitsilano, Vancouver West Real Estate | Langley City, Langley Real Estate | Lions Bay, West Vancouver Real Estate | Lynn Valley, North Vancouver Real Estate | MacKenzie Heights, Vancouver West Real Estate | Metrotown, Burnaby South Real Estate | Mission BC, Mission Real Estate | Montecito, Burnaby North Real Estate | Monthly Statistical Reports | mortgage | mortgage pre-approval | Mount Pleasant VE, Vancouver East Real Estate | Nordel, N. Delta Real Estate | North Coquitlam, Coquitlam Real Estate | Oaklands, Burnaby South Real Estate | Parkcrest, Burnaby North Real Estate | Quay, New Westminster Real Estate | Queen Mary Park Surrey, Surrey Real Estate | Real Estate in Vancouver | Real Estate Statistics | Renfrew Heights, Vancouver East Real Estate | Renfrew VE, Vancouver East Real Estate | reports | Riverwood, Port Coquitlam Real Estate | Sapperton, New Westminster Real Estate | Scottsdale, N. Delta Real Estate | selling a condo | Simon Fraser Hills, Burnaby North Real Estate | Simon Fraser Univer., Burnaby North Real Estate | South Meadows, Pitt Meadows Real Estate | South Slope, Burnaby South Real Estate | South Vancouver, Vancouver East Real Estate | Sperling-Duthie, Burnaby North Real Estate | Strathcona, Vancouver East Real Estate | Sun Towers Condo Presale | Sunshine Hills Woods, N. Delta Real Estate | University VW, Vancouver West Real Estate | Uptown NW, New Westminster Real Estate | vancouver | Vancouver Heights, Burnaby North Real Estate | Vancouver Real Estate, Statistics, Real Estate Reports | vancouver realtor | Victoria VE, Vancouver East Real Estate | Walnut Grove, Langley Real Estate | West Central, Maple Ridge Real Estate | Westridge BN, Burnaby North Real Estate | Whalley, North Surrey Real Estate | Willingdon Heights, Burnaby North Real Estate | Willoughby Heights, Langley Real Estate | Yaletown, Vancouver West Real Estate
The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB.