One of the best ways to live in an urban environment without having a nasty commute is to live near a fixed rail transportation system. In Metro Vancouver that means that you need to live as close as possible to a SkyTrain station. Imagine going to work and back without sitting in your car for hours!
SkyTrain has expanded its routes quite dramatically since the first Expo line in 1986. Planners have zoned land to allow multi family developments to be built within walking distance to SkyTrain transportation lines.
Vancouver real estate prices tend to increase the closer one gets to the city centre and to the ocean, with the downtown core and the west side of Vancouver commanding the highest prices. As one travels east towards the Fraser Valley, land becomes more affordable.
The further away from downtown you're willing to travel, the more you get for your money. I believe that if you buy near a SkyTrain station, you will maintain the value of your property better than areas not serviced by transit. To quote the local Condo Marketing Guru Bob Rennie:
“Unlike the 70s and 80s when the real estate mantra was "location, location, location," it's now all about "transit, transit, transit."
At the time of writing, an average condo downtown sells for $1000 per square foot. You could get the equivalent apartment for $600 per square foot if you are willing to take a 30 minute SkyTrain ride into town.
There are currently 54 SkyTrain stations on four lines: Expo, Millennium, Canada and the Evergreen Line. Many of the stations are in close proximity to condos and townhouses and there are also a number of stations which allow quick access to single family neighbourhoods. Excellent examples would include one of my favourite east side areas (and Vancouver’s only lake), Trout Lake, located at Nanaimo Station, as well as the unique and eclectic Commercial Drive, serviced by Commercial/Broadway Station.
Owning a home in Metro Vancouver has become a pricey exercise, but because transit has drastically improved over the last few years, it is still possible to own a reasonably priced home in the suburbs, work in the downtown core and not spend all day driving to and from work. In the bad old days if you could not afford a place close to downtown Vancouver, you were simply stuck with a long and nasty car commute.
If you would like to live within a one kilometre radius of a station (considered a reasonable walking distance), that means that you have the choice of a massive 54 square kilometres area in which to buy a home. That is an awful lot of Real Estate to choose from! To help narrow your choices and save yourself time and effort researching the various neighbourhoods around SkyTrain stations, I suggest that you enlist the services of a Realtor with an extensive knowledge of Metro Vancouver.
Better call Walt 604 418 9093