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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

alternative housing or the future of real estate?

The City of Vancouver allows any RS1 and RS5 zoned property to put in a laneway house provided it meets some siting criteria. That same house can already be built to its maximum FSR and still be eligible. It can have a self contained secondary suite and still be eligible. So that is now turning a single family dwelling into  a 3 family dwelling. This is a good thing, That original home would be worth over a million in all likelihood, add the cost of a suite and laneway and you are  at 1.4 easily. If someone had a big down payment they could buy it and rent out the 2 extra dwellings to pay off the mortgage. But how can this help the average Joe, starting out with a decent paycheck and working hard but no chance to buy a 1.5 mill property!?

 Joe probably has friends in the same boat. If those 3 friends each bought a part of the property. Joe could get into home ownership ( without starting in a closet in the sky) for about $500,000.! These arrangements can be created by contract. All 3 parties are on title in an undivided interest and a seperate legal contract spells out what percentage each owns. Harder to get a mortgage, yes, harder to sell, yes but Joe can own! and plant what he wants in the garden and change the kitchen cupboards and all those delightful things that come from home ownership.All 3 parties have the pride of home ownership . Coming to a neighborhood near you? perhaps the next Real Estate wave, if the mortgage brokers can find any easy way to structure this.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Vancouver laneway house rental prices

I will soon be researching rental and resale prices of laneway homes to get a sense of how much value Laneway housing can bring to the owner. Currently I have a few rental numbers
East side @  E.2nd 500  sq ft at $1500 total high end finishing
               @E.Woodstock 500 sq ft includes 225 garage $1500
westside @ W 12th  750 plus 225 garage included at $2200

For these owners who may have invested $250 or more to build the home it represents a cash positive investment. Unlike an investment condo, there will be no  monthly strata fees, and Property tax will go up only marginally adding the 250K to the existing mill rate.  Mortgage at todays rate might cost you $1300 a month so you can pocket the difference. What I suggest homeowners to do is use the existing equity ( we have several lenders that will loan on the total value of your proerty taking into account the rental laneway in the calculation!) and taking out the cost as a line of credit. Conceivably, you could be throwing almost $800 a month at reducing that LOC if you could build the 2 bedroom option on the West side.

Monday, December 13, 2010

vancouver laneway tour

what a huge success! Thankyou to the Vancouver Heritage Foundation for a well organized huge success. The 6 Laneway houses on tour offerred a fantastic first hand look for people who like the idea or are actually thinking of building a laneway house. I was at the lovely yellow mini house on 23rd , a traditional cottage style exterior with highend interior built by It was number four on the tour for people working East to West and seemed to be the tour favorite until they hit the other Smallworks offerring- the fantastic contempory number on E.37th. The press and younger folk seemed to love that one. I have been so impressed by the standards and philosophy of Smallworks that I have recently joined the company in some fashion or another. I intend to blog about ( or is it "blag" about it.... my new word for bragging while you blog...)this little company as I see it becoming a force to be reckoned with in urban developement. As well I must have answered 50,000 questions on tour this past weekend so perhaps i can answer questions of those of you who are interested in a laneway house but didnt catch the tour. As a licensed real estate agent as well, many people asked how this will affect property values so this is something i want to explore as well.
till next time