Living in the Lower Mainland
November 8, 2007 10:37 AM   Subscribe

Can you recommend online resources for apartment/condo hunting for Richmond BC (or area, including Surrey and Vancouver). Or, Can you recommend an agent in the Vancouver/Richmond area that I can hire to do this for me?

Need to find a place to stay for a Jan '08 arrival, to lease/rent rather than buy (if at all possible).

Basically my problem is that I can't go to inspect something first, so I need to find a listings site with good depth for the Richmond area. Craiglist has some stuff, but are there other sites I should be using?

Any general advice for the Vancouver/Richmond housing market would be much apprecaited.
posted by tiamat to Home & Garden (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
The site that I use that lists a large number of sites with rental housing listings in the Greater Vancouver area: RentGuide Blog.

(Definitely wait to buy until you're here, if you're actually contemplating buying at all - I don't know if Kingston prices are anything like they are out here, but well... it's crazy here. Buying sight unseen is simply stupid.) Surrey is cheaper than Richmond, Richmond is generally cheaper than Vancouver. All are still ridiculously high. Basically, things get cheaper the farther east you go, and in relation to how many bodies of water you'll need to cross to get to Downtown Vancouver. But beware if your commute is going to involve crossing 1 or more bridges/tunnels - getting across them twice a day will eventually suck the life right out of you. (no, i'm not bitter...)
posted by cgg at 11:02 AM on November 8, 2007

In my rather frustrating yet ultimately successful adventure in finding my own apartment last month, I found craigslist to be pretty much worthless. Everything on it is overpriced and the traffic is so high that anything desirable gets swamped with responses. I eventually found my place by driving past a 'vacancy' sign hanging outside a low-rise apartment and screeching to a halt and calling the number. Turned out to be a great apartment at a reasonable price.

I think the best thing to do is to deal with the apartment buildings directly, since they are more likely to be professionaly managed and reasonably priced. and look like good bets, though I didn't find anything through them. You could also try the property manager for my building,, they own a ton of rentals in the lower mainland.
posted by PercussivePaul at 12:05 PM on November 8, 2007

Rental vacancy is Vancouver is very low right now, finding a decent rental is not a simply task. Don't rent somewhere blind unless it's impossible to avoid. With vacancy being so low, there are lots of scummy landlords becoming even scummier.

Craigslist has the most postings, but is a bit of a mixed bag. I happened to get my current apartment off Craigslist. It's just off Robson St., 10 minute walk from my office and reasonably priced. However, this is definitely not the norm and the signal to noise on CL is low. Unless you have someone willing to look at the properties for you, this is not the way to go.

PercussivePaul's suggestion of locating apartment buildings and their management companies is pretty solid. Ottmann Properties owns my building and three others (two in Vancouver, one in North Van). I bit out of the way of where you were looking, but it might be useful for price comparisons, if nothing else.
posted by Nelsormensch at 1:20 PM on November 8, 2007

Best answer: I am probably duplicating links from the RentGuide Blog but here are my bookmarks for apartment searching in Vancouver.
AMS Rentsline from UBC
Rent BC
My Home Vancouver
The Vancouver Sun
Renters Guide
posted by metaname at 9:55 PM on November 8, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks all, this is very helpful.
posted by tiamat at 10:55 AM on November 10, 2007

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