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I'd rather live at Burke Mountain, thanks.

Blog by Rebecca Permack | February 2nd, 2010

“My family of 6 can’t live in a big house on the upper west side of Manhattan!”  

Anyone reading the above statement would have the same response: “well of COURSE not!”  Manhattan is the center of the universe, and unless you win the lottery, have old money or invented Google*, you probably can’t afford to live there.  Average families live in Brooklyn. They live in New Jersey.  They commute on the subway to their financial district jobs from their homes in the suburbs, because they can’t afford to live five minutes from the office.  

According to The Economist, Vancouver was ranked the World’s #1 most livable city.  In this same index, New York City doesn’t even rank in the top 10.  Part of this ranking is Vancouver’s low risk of terrorism, but it also takes into account the high availability of goods and services, quality of life, crime rate, and effective infrastructure.  

So why are people constantly complaining that they can’t live in the best neighbourhoods in Vancouver on an average household income?  True, if you wanted to buy a good-sized family home on Vancouver’s West Side, you’d be looking at over a million dollar purchase.  But I need to ask – WHY do you need to live on the West Side?  Why Shaughnessy?  Sure it’s an amazing area, but maybe it’s just not for you.  Here’s what I have to say – and brace yourself, it’s gonna hurt - get over it.  

My husband was born and raised in Kerrisdale.  When we met, he didn’t have any desire to move east of Main Street.  Guess what?  He got over it.  We are moving in ten days to Coquitlam.  Why?  Because for the price of a two-bedroom condo in Vancouver, we bought ourselves a future.  And by future, I mean we bought a 3,800 square foot BRAND NEW home in a wonderful community where our children will be able to walk to school, know their neighbours, and we can still afford to take a family vacation every year.  

Two homes, equidistant from downtown Vancouver, are for sale on MLS today: one is a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 1,114 sq.ft. home built in 1958, and one is a 4-bedroom, 3-bathroom, 3,054 sq.ft. home built in 2010.  Which would you choose?  If you chose option 2, welcome to Burke Mountain - I’m excited to be your neighbour!

*I don’t really know if the inventor of Google lives in New York.