1. Search rental listings on the 2nd of every month.
In Vancouver, landlords have to give their tenants two months notice. They often give them right up till the night of the first to vacate and then post their listings the next day. It’s an apartment shopping spree! Get in there while the pickins aren’t slim.
2. Scout out the communities, not the buildings.
It’s not so much about the buildings themselves (there’s over 70 high-rises in the downtown core alone), but about the districts you want to hang out in.
The districts of central Vancouver are pretty diverse. You’ll probably brush shoulders with the likes of yuppies in Yaletown (usually have a pet chiuahaus with sweaters on), bargain and antique shoppers on Main Street (great foodie places), indie artists and music producers in GasTown (except Fridays and Saturday— then it’s all popped collars), beachcombers in Kitsilano, and club loving party animals on Granville.
We’re leaning towards Gastown (except on Fridays and Saturdays) right now, but we’re still impressionable.
3. Visit during Stanley Cup, World Cup, or Grey Cup finals.
Stand next to some burning cars amidst the scandalous riots, and if you still think the city’s rad, chances are you can probably learn to love the city’s worst attributes.In our case, a few goons embarrassed the rest of Vancouver. Evidence on the plywood windows, as signed by all concerned citizens below.
4. Grab your place quick.
Or the schmuck next to you will take it without blinking. In fact, if you don’t move like the dickens, ‘your’ future place will be snaffood faster than you can say, “grandma’s panty winkler’. We went to view a place with another woman and she took it right in front of us. Scan the listings daily. Craig’s List actually has a tremendous number of solid listings. If you see something you want. Jump on it.
Or do what we’re thinking of doing: choose a furnished place and move there for two weeks prior to your move in date. Scan the listings, choose a spot, and ship a pod with all your things from Calgary (or wherever your former home may be) so it arrives on your move in date. The cost of a pod is fairly comparative to renting a Uhaul one way.
5. Rent isn’t cheap.
But it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than real estate. Here are the going rates for condos (500-850 sq feet) in the city of Vancouver.
- One bedroom: $14-1600/mos
- One bedroom, one den: $15-1700/mos
- Two bedroom, 1.5 bath: $1900-2500
So, theoretically what that means is that you can live in a condo ‘worth’ $1.2 million, but pay less than half the $5000/mos mortgage required and not owe a dime to a money grubbing bank who would have no qualms about requesting a bailout after, whoops, losing your hard earned mullah.
I’ll pay the rent, thank you very much.
Oh, by the way, for all those lovesome friends we’re trying to convince to come living in Van City: we gone done some calculations. A quick comparison of rent between Vancouver and Calgary reveals that rent is about $500/mos more. Feels like a lot, but honestly the $6000 per year extra ties back to the amazing grub, culture, and crowds you get in a city of two million people.
- Blog: Living In Vancouver
- Check the real estate situation: Globe and Mail Housing Report, Globe and Mail Business Report on impending housing crash
Here are some solid resources if you’re thinking of moving to good ol’e Vancouver. Just saying, there’s a magnanimous exodus to the west coast happening. You should come!
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