Neighborhoods in Vancouver?

Mar 2nd, 2007, 06:20 PM
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Neighborhoods in Vancouver?

I'm having hard time finding neighborhoods in Vancouver that fit my idea of where I'd want to live. Something fairly urban, but I don't want to live in a high rise. No sprawl kind of developments (huge new condo complexes etc). Would need at least 2 bedrooms, preferably 3. Want a neighborhood we can walk to restaurants, parks, etc. Have a generous budget.

The web sites I've been sent to describe someplace called Burnaby, also places like West Vancouver, or North Vancouver, and lots others. But what exactly could I plug into the site that might be what I have in mind?

Thanks a ton for any advice you might have!!!
wliwl is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2007, 07:25 PM
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Are you thinking of moving to Vancouver? If so, when?

If you are coming here to live, do you have a job lined up already, and if so, where?

The prices for houses, and townhouses, in Vancouver are almost prohibitive (and I live here!).

North Burnaby (Capitol Hill, SFU, Sullivan Heights, Willingdon Heights, Vancouver Heights, Montecito, Westridge), is a fairly urban area - mostly Italian - great shops and vibe along Hastings (the main street). The prices are high, but not completely outrageous (a 2-3 bedroom house is maybe $600,000 CDN).

Farther out from Vancouver proper is a community called Port Moody - this is growing, had a great little inlet, mountain views. It is up and coming, lots of development (houses, townhouses and hi-rises), but has a village atmosphere.

It really depends on where you are going to be far you want to commute, children, no children, etc.

camelbak is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2007, 06:01 AM
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Well, husband is interviewing for a job there (but I'm not sure where they are actually located). I'm looking at it and thinking TOO FAR! TOO EXPENSIVE! But, who knows...It is very early on in the process.

We are "empty nesters," so we don't care about kid stuff. We definitely don't want to be in a suburban area. I just want to sort of browse and see how it looks.

I am pretty surprised at the prices though. Is the area very prosperous? Growing? It must be. From what I've seen on line it sure looks pretty.

Thanks so much for your comments.
wliwl is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2007, 06:41 AM
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The forces that drive the Vancouver market have been entered on considerable immigration from Hong Kong over the past 20 years. When Hong Kong was scheduled to be handed back to (communist) China in 1997, anybody with any money who wanted to make SURE they could hang onto it, considered leaving Hong Kong prior to that time. So Canada's immigration policy basically said: "anybody who can '''invest''' (was it maybe $250,000?) in the community (translation: afford to buy a home) can move here"

(I'm exaggerating, for sure, but I don't know how much so)

Soooooooooo, with Vancouver being more hospitable weather-wise than much of the rest of Canada, AND with it being a tad more convenient to Hong Kong and the orient, Vancouver was hugely impacted by new immigrants (only those with money) who drove the real estate prices up like crazy.

If you're one of the local natives... these days you finally reach retirement age, sell your home in the city, and live comfortably in the BC interior.

With all that said, Vancouver is gorgeous, and if you can afford to live there, it would probably enhance your life.

Hope this helps somehow.

(Seattle guy leaving for Vancouver within the hour)

NorthwestMale is offline  
Mar 5th, 2007, 09:34 AM
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Vancouver is really a beautiful city...and I have lived here for 28 years and I STILL say that!

The housing prices are really - for us Vancouver natives - out of control. The Hong Kong handover had a part to do with the influx of "investors"; Expo '86 brought a lot of interest to the city, and now with the Olympics coming in 2010 that has really also driven the prices up.

There are tons of great neighbourhoods in Vancouver that aren't suberbia. Finding a house, as opposed to a townhouse or condo, is a little bit more difficult without a lot of $ (or if you are not willing to handle a bit mortgage payment).

Just spotted this site:

You don't want to live in the East Side..this is still a lower class area, which is slowly being gentrified, but may not be what your looking for. Once you spot a neighbourhood you like then you can check the MLS.

If you are interesting in Burnaby - I would stick with North Burnaby. North Burnaby is really central - 15 minutes to downtown Vancouver - 15 minutes to Coquitlam (to the East).

Vancouver is gorgeous, the scenery doesn't get much better - especially on a warm summer day. The water, the mountains, the greenery, the clean air.....

I have thought about leaving Vancouver - but there is something that always brings me back....

Yes the housing prices are very high, and you will pay a premium for a location you want to live in...and cutting out condos will make it a bit tougher to find your perfect place....but it could definitely be worth the trouble.

Let me know if you have any other questions!

camelbak is offline  
Mar 5th, 2007, 12:13 PM
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Thanks very much everybody! I'll keep researching!
wliwl is offline  
Mar 5th, 2007, 02:16 PM
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camelback: That web site is a hoot! Here's how it describes "Downtown Eastside: "Dense population of homeless and drug-addicted people, abandoned buildings and businesses, pawn-shops and port." Oh my goodness! LOL

Very informative. Thanks.
wliwl is offline  
Mar 6th, 2007, 09:23 AM
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wliwi, that site is pretty accurate, considering they're generalizing distinct neighbourhoods into a few sentences!

If you're looking for more detailed information on each neighbourhood, I find the City of Vancouver's website has a really good listing of "Community Profiles". It gives you a bit more insight on each community:
Carmanah is offline  
Mar 6th, 2007, 12:59 PM
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Re: the downtown east side of Vanc.

It wasn't that long ago that it was classified as "the poorest postal code in Canada".

However! that doesn't mean that lots of red blooded American's couldn't walk through there at midnight and perceive themselves as being FAR safer than they are in many U.S. neighborhoods.

Vancouver has the weird distinction of being a large north american city where "normal people" can be found walking the streets safely all night long. Much of that safety is the result of "strength in numbers".

NorthwestMale is offline  
Mar 6th, 2007, 03:17 PM
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If your budget is all that generous, have you looked at the Vancouver neighbourhood called Kitsilano? It has many of the qualities you list although, as others have commented, the houses there are too expensive for most Vancouverites.
Vorkuta is offline  
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