Goodbye, Westend.
April 12, 2007 4:23 PM   Subscribe

Help me find a great walking neightbourhood in Vancouver.

So we are moving out of our dear 1 bdrm Westend Apartment. I do enjoy the ability to walk to most everywhere for everyday needs.

Alas, the baby is telling us we need to move. We're looking to spend around 250-275k for a 2bdrm, preferably close to major transit lines (skytrain ideal).

We are kinda settled to around the Lougheed Mall area, but I would love to hear any other suggestions? Areas like Commercial and Main and whatnot are great, just way too expensive. Are there little neighbourhoods we're not aware of?

Other places we've considered:
-brentwood area
posted by eurasian to Home & Garden (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Hastings-Sunrise is in your price range. It's pretty grotty right now, but will inevitably gentrify over the next decade. You'd be within walking distance of Commercial and one bus from both downtown and Burnaby.

Surrey-Whalley is well within your price range, but not in Vancouver proper and, IMHO, not a place you want to raise a kid unless you're willing to seal your child in a Tyvek-and-Lucite bubble.
posted by solid-one-love at 5:07 PM on April 12, 2007

These do not usually come to mind as walking neighborhoods but in practice are, and have or will have excellent transit connections to Vancouver: Richmond Centre (RAV), Lonsdale Ave and Quay (Seabus), New Westminster Quay (Skytrain), Metrotown (Skytrain).
posted by randomstriker at 6:12 PM on April 12, 2007

The Vancouver market is poised for a downturn and there's a huge price difference between renting and buying (sometimes $1000/mo). My real estate agent told me that nothing is even moving if it's under $350k, because there are so few buyers. Would you consider renting or going to a co-op? There's a wonderful community of parents here in the West End and Coal Harbour. I live in the area and take my toddler to playtimes at both community centres. The library is close by -- and it's not that far to walk to the main branch either. Also, the community health resources down here are amazing. The community health centre serves a smaller population than do those in other areas of the city, so you get way better access to nurses and the like. And, as you know, the West End is tremendously walkable.

Anyway, perhaps you've already considered all this. I just wanted to extoll the virtues of the area. Perhaps you could take a look at Marpole, Champlain Heights, Main, Mount Pleasant, Hastings in N. Bby, or Hastings-Sunrise.
posted by acoutu at 6:23 PM on April 12, 2007

I would echo acoutu -- now is possibly the worst time in 15 years to buy in the Vancouver area. Look at this graph, peruse the rest of the blog (no longer updates), follow some of the links to other Van Housing blogs, factor in the far-from-over bubbleburst in America, and I think you will agree.

I know this is the kind of thing that is frowned upon in Askme, and I apologize -- answering the question 'where should I buy' with 'Don't!' may be seen as unhelpful -- but I've been watching the market there very closely for a few years, and I'd really recommend renting for a while (which would also free you live in a few neighbourhoods and get a feel for them before you buy).

(I'm actually quite surprised to see 250 properties on in your price range in greater Vancouver.)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:47 PM on April 12, 2007

Like solid-one-love and acoutu, I would recommend Hastings-Sunrise. I lived there about 7 years ago while finishing grad school because it was cheap rent, and at first, friends and family who visited my apartment acted like they were entering a war zone ("OMG I'm in East Van!"). But really, it wasn't bad at all. I liked living there a lot, and walked everywhere. I've been back to the area a few times since moving away from Vancouver, and it has since gotten a little less grotty (though it's still rough around the edges). I imagine it will only get more gentrified. It's a close walk to Commercial, most of your needs are within walking distance, and the transit in the area is pretty good.

I'd also recommend holding off on buying if possible, for the reasons others have mentioned. A close, trusted relative of mine is a real estate agent in Vancouver and she is predicting a downturn in the foreseeable future, for what that's worth.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 1:42 AM on April 13, 2007

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