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Harry

The Residential Areas of Vancouver

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Genadiglik is die Kanadese is anders as ons. Hier het die mense nie tyd om nuuskierig te wees en die bure dop te hou en te bespied nie. Hulle gaan hulle gang en is glad nie gepla met wat jy langaan doen nie. Dis een wonderlike eienskap van die Kanadese, dat hulle nie heeldag by die vensters uitloer en om die hoeke loer om te sien wat jy doen nie. Die huise word so opmekaar gebou om die hitte in die winters binne te hou en die erwe is klein, want hiers nie n Moses of n Benjamin wat gaan opdaag vir die tuinwerk nie. Dis sommige van ons wat so nuuskierig is en wat dalk sal wil sien wat eet die Kanadese langsaan vir ontbyt, hulle gaan hul gang.

So wat ek eintlik wil se, dis glad nie so erg soos wat dit dalk mag lyk, om so naby aan jou bure hier te woon nie. Hulle is doodstil en op hulle plek en weet ook hoe om hulle diere stil te hou. En dis wonderlik ! Ek vat die naby aan mekaar bly enige dag oor die raserige, selfsugtige, vername bure wat ons in sekere huise in SA gehad het.

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Guest Engela

Liewe Guest - Hier stem ek met jou saam - Kanadese is gawe bure om te he (oor die algemeen). Huise word egter nie so opmekaar gebou vir hitte-besparing nie!! Ek dink nie dit was die bedoeling nie, maar wel omdat massa-behuising voorsien in die geweldige tekort wat Toronto bv ervaar het oor die laaste 10 jaar en daar nie vinnig genoeg voorsien kan word nie. Die koekie-afdrukke van 5 of 6 huisplanne, maak dit maklik vir die Ontwikkelaars en kan huise tjop-tjop afgelewer word in rekordtye. Hierdie tipe van ontwikkelings word heeltemal anders benader in Amerika en baie meer omgewingsvriendelik. Bome word bv baie skaars verwyder en heelwat meer tuimte word tussendeur in 'n ontwikkeling oopgelaat vir o.a parkering, speelparke ensomeer. Hierdie tipe van behuising is baie meer bekostigbaar en het heelwat meer ruimte as bv 'n ouer woning in 'n gevestigde buurt, soos waar ons gevestig is. Jy betaal egter 'n premie, want jou erf is groter en jy is gewoonlik nader aan die stad! Met dit saam koop jy ook soms vir jouself heelwat hoofbrekens, want 'n ouer huis verg heelwat meer werk. So, as ek vandag hierheen moes verhuis, sou my woning heel waarskynlik ook in 'n buurt gewees het waar ek my huis se deur Rooi moes verf om hom te herken!! My vergelyking "om te sien wat jou bure geniet vir ontbyt" was by spreke en nie letterlik nie!

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Harry

Maybe it is worthwhile to point out that mortgage interest rates here are just above 4%!? That means that ( for the same money) you can borrow almost four times the amount here that you would have borrowed in SA. Generally it is a smart idea to have 35% of the value of the house available as "deposit" in oder to avoid additional costs.

Also keep in mind that, certainly in Vancouver, a family's investment in their house is usually the biggest chunk of their estate.

In a nutshell, you have to think about it differently from SA. Here the house usually feaures higher in the estate than any life's savings or pension. Therefore, be prepared to dump the major part of your life's savings into the house here, rather than into an annuity.

Given that, in some areas, Vancouver houseprices went up by 50% over the last 3.5 years, it was a better investment than 66% taxable interest over that period.

As for getting a mortgage...I think the mortgage brokers here stake out the maternity wards to slap mortgage clearance on babies as they come out the door. :whistling:

Do we have a Vancouver Real Estate person on this forum anywhere?

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Chubs

Hi All

Harry: I have been looking at mortgages etc on the net but wasnt sure about income, so cant really get an idea of the mortgage amount.

I do Datawarehousing(Essbase, Oracle, etc) and my wife is a personal trainer. I went onto monster.ca and found that database developers(Me) earn an average around C$70 000. In your experiences is this a true reflection?

Does anyone know how much a personal trainer would earn?

Great pics.

Simon

:unsure:

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digin

Hi there Chubs

I would rate $60K-80K as a fair salary for a database developer with about 5 years experience, and at least one good Business Intelligence tool such as EssBase. Oracle skills are less common in terms of opportunities here than MS SQL, but when Oracle jobs are available they do pay closer to the 80K range (I Know of an Oracle job available now at that level - but the client is very picky).

The personal trainers at the gym I go to charge from $40 - $80 an hour - I'm not sure what their cut to the gym is. My gym has recently been purchased by a South African couple - see http://www.denmanfitness.com/. You could try asking them.

Please PM me to discuss anything related to IT further, and have a look at my site (see profile).

DaviD

Edited by digin

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Harry

Thanks for helping Digin.

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Chubs

Thanks Digin.

Will PM you if I have more questions.

Checking out your and the gym sites now.

Simon

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caroline

Hi Everyone

My hubby and I have recently started the exciting process of looking into whether a move to Canada (specifically Vancouver) would be feasible for us. We visited the city about 2 years ago and thought every part we saw was really stunning. Logically though, as if every big city, there must be more desirable and less desirable areas. Are there any parts that are generally seen as "to be avoided" when it comes to buying a house? What are seen as the best areas to live?

A related question I have concerns commuting times. This weekend we've studied all our maps of the city and seen outlying areas such as Coquitlam, Surrey and Port Moody. The thing is, we can't really tell how far out they are in terms of travelling time. I gather most of these kinds of areas aren't on the route of the sky train? Can anyone tell me if people who live in these areas generally work in downtown Vancouver and how long the journey to work would be. Do these areas have their own business centres where you could find a job or would you usually have to look for a job in the city itself?

Any info would be greatly appreciated.

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Hendie

Hi Caroline,

I took the liberty of moving your question to this thread that Harry started some time ago. :cry: I'm sure if you read through the postings here, you are sure to learn a lot more about the different areas in and around Van! ... and if you look around more in the Vancouver forum, you will see that this matter has come up time and time again, there are a few threads that discuss living areas here.

Enjoy!

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caroline

Thanks, Hendie - this is exactly the type of info I was looking for. I did a search to begin with, but am obviously not skilled enough in that department yet. Thanks for going to the trouble of directing me here.

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Harry

Caroline,

1. "Outlying":

Coquitlam and PortMoody would certainly not be considered "outlying". They are part of the co-called Tri-Cities area. It would be the "Bellville or Pinetown of Vancouver", so to speak..the main feeder-city. Your commute from there( Port Moody) to work ( in say Burnaby) is 30-40 minutes. These places are separate "Cities" with mayors, but, for the normal person, this is all Vancouver. I would consider the Tri-Cities area the mainstay of Vancouver. All the shops seem to be bigger there. You also get better deals if you shop there.

Surrey is across the Port Mann bridge over the Fraser River. That bridge is the source of a major delay in the commute. Many tens of thousands of people ( if not hundreds of thousands) do that commute every single day, and we have quite a few ex-SA folks here that live in Surrey. There are lots of new housing developments there that are really superb and well-priced.

Maple Ridge and Langley are getting towards "outlying", though huge numbers of people commute from there every day. House prices drop significantly as you cross eastwards over either the Port Mann bridge ( to Surrey and Langley) or the Pitt River Bridge ( to Maple Ridge). From hereabouts you are talking an hour or more commute to work...the lower house prices you exchange for bigger gasoline bills.

2. Desirable and less desirable places:

If you want to know where the real problem areas for Vancouver are then the answer would be that certain sections of East Vancouver, adjoining the city centre, have severe drug trouble with associated problems. Similarly both Surrey and Richmond have areas that are problematic...mainly those parts nearer the City of Vancouver. However, Vancouver City also has the most highly prized and priced area in all of Vancouver,next to the University ( Vancouver West). Similarly both Surrey and Richmond have truly superb areas. The much sought after White Rock, with its great sunshine, is in Surrey. So there is no BAD city.

There are interesting ethnic distributions. Most East Indian immigrants settle in Surrey. Most Chinese immgrants settle in Richmond, which is stronly Chinese in culture in the areas nearer the Airport, though many have selected the Westwood Plateau of Coquitlam in recent years. Most folks of Iranian descent have settled in West Vancouver on the North Shore. I know we have South African Folks in the West End ( see above), in Coquitlam, in Port Coquitlam, in Port Moody, Surrey, Langley and a few in Tsawwassen and White Rock . I also know an SA family in Richmond. There is quite a large SA community on the north Shore, most typically in North Vancouver or North Vancouver District.

Note that Vancouver West is the western part of the City of Vancouver, The West End is the piece of the City Centre adjoing Stanley Park and West Vancouver is actually west of North Vancouver on the North Shore.

Returning, therefore, to your question...yes there are SPOTS to be avoided, but there is no single City within Vancouver about which such a blanket statement could be made.

In terms of most desirable: West Vancouver and Vancouver West....both hideously expensive. Whatever costs you $250,000 in Maple Ridge, is going to cost you 350,000 in the Tri-Cities area, 500,000 in North Vancouver and 600,000 in West Vancouver or Vancouver West.

The South Africans I know of tend NOT to settle in Burnaby (equivalent to Newton Park in PE where I grew up) or Vancouver City, other than to rent an aparment in the West End, where I know a few people. Most try to find a place in North Vancouver, and, if the finances or mortgages don't work out, they go for the Tri-cities area. Some specifically head for Tsawwassen and White Rock for the sun. House prices are dramatically better across the Port Mann and Pitt River bridges, and so a lot of folks have elected to move there instead and accept the long commute.

You can ask for comment from

1. Adele, who lives in Surrey.

2. Jack, who lives in White Rock ( part of Surrey)

3. Etienne, who lives in West Vancouver

4. Sponger in Coquitlam

5. Digin, in the West End apartment world

You may want to send them a PM.

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caroline

Harry, you are such a star. Thank you for going to the trouble of that last reply and providing me with all that great information. You seem to be such a source of help and knowledge around here and I really appreciate it. Love your journals as well - including the photos. Imagine having a bear in your garden!

I'll certainly contact those specific people around the different areas. Thanks a lot.

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Harry

My pleasure, ma'am!

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Ann

There is great commuter train, called the West Coast Express, for commuting from the Tri-cities to downtown Vancouver. The West Coast Express travels from Mission in the morning to downtown Vancouver and then in the evening returns to Mission from downtown Vancouver.

Tri-cities commuting time to/from downtown Vancouver is approximately as follows:

Port Coquitlam 35 minutes

Coquitlam 30 minutes

Port Moody 25 minutes

The West Coast Express is a great train. It is comfortable and seems to always run on time.

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Sponger

both north shore bridges were closed last thursday - would hate to live over there or anywhere where bridge crossing is part of the commute

I love the coquitlam area

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Harry

In fact, the closures were due to two people.... one each trying to jump from each of the bridges.

Traffic was brought to a standstil for around 5 hours. Some commuters started playing ball on the bridge and the Mounties rolled up with portable public toilets. The North Shore remained cut off from the rest of the planet for that period.

When I went over the bridge at around 5pm there was hardly any traffic...the lowest traffic density I had ever experienced that time of day.

There is no limit to what folks will do to get attention.

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Nirak

Does anyone have any updated info on the areas in Vancouver? I will sit down and read through the posts here today, but I see a couple of the areas are missing. Obviously schools will be a big factor for us, and easy access to main roads (office will probably be at home or in Surrey - not 100% sure about that one), affordability of housing, access to public transport... Any thoughts will be appreciated.

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DrN_SA

Ditto to what Nirak said. Great thread - just the sort of info a Sefrican whose never been that side of the world (like me) needs. BTW, anyone have more info on Langley or Abbotsford? Thanks

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dieulefit
Ditto to what Nirak said. Great thread - just the sort of info a Sefrican whose never been that side of the world (like me) needs. BTW, anyone have more info on Langley or Abbotsford? Thanks

I am not from BC, but had a son who studied there and Langley as well as Fort Langley are two lovely, lovely places to live in. We always stayed in Langley when we were visiting our son and I fell in love with the place - I could live there any day!

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DrN_SA

Thanks for the reply. I've heard that Langley, BC has a large elderly population. I've heard someone likening it to a "retirement village". Is that true? My wife and I are in early thirties with a first baba on the way. I certainly don't have a problem living in an 'older' community, but it'd be nice to have folks your own age around. (Or am I fretting too much?)

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