A waterfront home for under $100,000? Yes, it’s true
Darcy Wintonyk and Lynda Steele, CTV British Columbia
Published Tuesday, September 25, 2012 4:33PM PDT
Last Updated Wednesday, September 26, 2012 7:59PM PDT
Float homes are providing an economical alternative to waterfront living in Metro Vancouver, with prices as low as $75,000.
These luxury homes rise and fall with the tide and have stunning waterfront views from every window, at a price that you might not expect.
For well under a million dollars, you can watch swans float past your window or wave to your neighbour sailing past in a paddle boat in the Canoe Pass Village neighbourhood in Ladner.
John and Rita Ashikian bought their 2,400-square-foot float home for under $800,000 last spring.
The Ashikians spend their days relaxing on the porch, embracing all that Mother Nature has to offer.
"This place, when you wake up in the morning until you go to bed, [it’s] just peaceful,” Rita Ashikian said.
Boat owner John Roscoe parks his 32-foot Bayliner right beside his house – the ultimate convenience.
He says the best thing about living in a float home neighbourhood is the feeling of community you wouldn’t get anywhere else.
"Within six months we knew [our neighbour’s] first name, last name, how many grandkids they had. [It’s] just unbelievable,” he said.
Ricki Willing is one of a handful of realtors in the Lower Mainland who specializes in selling float homes, and is a true believer in the lifestyle.
She and her husband Garry moved into their first float home a decade ago when he was diagnosed with tonsil cancer. He’s since recovered, and the couple recently moved into a float home in Ladner.
"Nowhere else in Vancouver can you have waterfront for this price, and they're beautiful,” she told CTV’s Steele on Your Side.
Much like the real estate market in Metro Vancouver, float home prices vary widely depending on the location.
The float homes in Ladner start at around $500,000, and similar luxury units in Coal Harbour will sell for millions. But you can still nab a place for a very reasonable price.
Willing currently has a “cute as a button” float home listed in Walnut Grove in Langley for $75,000 -- just reduced from $99,000.
The 25-year-old property is 670-square-feet and includes a solarium and, of course, unobstructed waterfront views.
But living in a floating paradise does have extra costs. In addition to paying a higher mortgage rate, owners pay a substantial moorage rate to the marina. The $75,000 property has moorage fees of $800 per month.
Owners also pay property tax in the form of a live-aboard licence to the city, as well as higher home insurance costs.
But Willing says despite the added expense, the vacancy rate hovers around zero – and many residents claim to be settled for life.
Have your say: Would you consider living in a float home?