I was walking up West 16th Avenue one sunny afternoon (props to Spring!) last week, when I encountered a row of heritage homes in the 400 block, just before Cambie Street.
I did some research on it. What I found is that these homes are a series called Heritage, a collection of 16 craftman style half duplex homes, each at around 1400-1500 square feet. My research also tells me that these homes are worth around $849,000 in 2009 when they were built. The current market value for these homes are around $1.2 million.
Coming across some search results on the MLS website (some of these homes are on the market currently), the interiors are done quite practically. Open kitchen, linear dining and living area, 2 bedrooms on the second floor with full bathrooms. Pleasantly, a good space for a family of 3 to 4.
Furthering my research on the insights of these half-lot homes, I interviewed financial advisor Candice Wong of Freedom 55 Financial Group. “The price for the home is very affordable for the working middle class of Vancouver right now. Good neighbourhood and good purchase for a long-term purpose for a small family. However, I do not suggest this purpose for investment purposes.” Candice sees the housing economy at it’s highs right now, a purchase of a small house for $1.2m does not benefit the owner of the house investment-wise.
Some realtors comment on this differently. This is a hot neighbourhood in the area right now because of the convenience, lifestyle and transportation. Being very close to Capers, bakeries, and many neighbourhood restaurants, this block is also close to bus stops and the Broadway Cityhall skytrain station. With the ever-rising prices of the Vancouver housing market, not only homes are going up in prices, but sizes of homes go up as well due to all the bigger lots in Vancouver and maximizing of the lot space. For homeowners who are looking for a smaller and cozier home, it almost seems impossible unless they shop further east in Vancouver where lots are comparably smaller. The Heritage collection homes offer a smaller house on a westside neighbourhood, without compromising style in architectural and interior design.
Duplexes and divided lots are becoming more and more popular to suit the buyers’ needs. There are pros and cons to a half duplex. Also considering that the lot itself is under shared strata policies, and the prices of one unit is way more than what half of that lot of worth.
What are your thoughts, homeowners?