Helping Frustrated Renters Become HAPPY Homeowners

Inspired by an article in the Globe and Mail entitled “What does 700k (The national average house price) buy you across Canada?” I decided to compare for this blog post’s readers, what a representative amount might get you across our rent to own territory.

What to choose as representative? Given the federally controlled guidelines for how much of a mortgage you can be approved for, we typically qualify you for about 4.5 times your gross annual income.

That means that a $100,000 income will qualify you for a property of about $450,000 value.

So, using that amount as our example, I searched the current listings on realtor.ca to find what that would get us throughout the Fraser Valley Rent 2 Own service area. Note that, despite the shortage of listings currently, there are many properties outside of the representative amount in all areas.

Surrey

A seventh-floor, 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom 631-square-foot apartment in this high-rise building near 102nd Ave and 133 St is listed for $448,800. It’s described as “a spacious corner unit, with a well-designed floor plan.” It has “lots of natural light, large windows, stainless steal appliances, and stone countertops,” and is ideally located near Surrey Centre! “Perfect for first-time home buyers or investors,” says the listing.

In Clayton Heights, though, $449,000 will get you a 2 bed, 2 bath, 1012 square ft penthouse with 11-ft ceilings. This condo building has lots of amenities, gardens, and is “just steps to transit and Willowbrook Mall.”

If you need more than two bedrooms, though, sorry, Surrey is not for you. Unless, of course, you have a higher income than $100,000.

Abbotsford

An older (1978) “family” townhouse “in one of the best neighbourhoods in West Abbotsford” features 3 bedrooms and 1.5 baths in 1224 total sq. ft. of living space. It is listed for $449,700. Upgrades include new kitchen and bathroom cabinets and countertops, and flooring. This property includes a “nice back yard, and is “close to schools, shopping, recreation, malls, parks,” and has easy access to the freeway.

I found just a few other 3-bedroom condos in Abbotsford for about that price, as well, but there wasn’t much currently listed around the $450k mark.

Chilliwack

A three-bedroom, 3 bath townhome on Vedder Rd is listed for $449,000. “Location, location, location,” says the listing, exuding its proximity to schools, shopping and all amenities. This 1611 sq. ft home is characterized as having “a well laid out floor plan featuring a bright and spacious living room with cozy fireplace on the main floor, a good sized kitchen, and dining room leading to the balcony. 3 bedrooms upstairs including a master with ensuite and walk-in closet. Large rec room downstairs with sliding doors leading to a patio.”

Unfortunately, we could not purchase this one for rent 2 own because it does not allow rentals. We might be able to find something similar, though, that does.

Hope

Surely, Hope would finally provide a single-family home for $450,000. It didn’t. So, I lowered my search parameters to $350,000. No better; in fact, there were only four properties listed, of any type, between $350 and $475,000.

Logan Lake

$439,900 will get you this four-bedroom, 3-bath single-family home, with 1951 sq. ft. total area on a good-sized lot in town. Fully developed main floor and basement. Logan Lake is a cozy town that offers well-paying job opportunities in the local mine and only a 30-minute drive to Kamloops. This property is described as having “fantastic views of the highland valley” and Logan Lake itself, as an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, with great fishing, many hiking trails, and cross-country skiing in the winter.

Kamloops

This three-bedroom, 2 bath, 1442 sq. ft. home in Brocklehurst is listed at $459,900, but it is one of only a few single-family homes in this price range in Kamloops; you’re mostly stuck with strata properties in the $450,000 price range. Yet, this home is described as having “an incredibly awesome neighbourhood” and as being “close to everything,” including schools and parks. Further, it has “a nice private back yard patio setting” on a modest property size of 5250 sq. ft.

Salmon Arm

This two-bedroom, 1-bath home, built in 1958, on a half-acre lot within the city might not meet everyone’s needs but has a lot of potential for the couple who needs some land, with almost endless further development possibilities. The 1583 sq. ft. home is described as having “a bright and cozy living room with a patio door leading to a sun deck. The dining room features a built-in china cabinet. This home has been well maintained over the years.”

There are, of course many strata properties at lower price levels also available in Salmon Arm, as in all the above communities.

100 Mile House

Because of the few listings, I expanded my search a little for this community. This three-bedroom rancher, “only 2 minutes to town”, is described as featuring “new flooring, recent roof and many other recent upgrades.” The $409,900, half-acre property includes “a 24’x14′ garage/shop with 100 amp power and a large 26’x16′ workshop.” The area is described as “a great neighbourhood.” The yard is fenced and has a secure dog run., as well as 16’x16′ covered patio “to enjoy the great Cariboo evenings.”

So, there you have it. Not surprisingly, the further you go out from the Lower Mainland, the more home you get for the same price.

I’ve listed the approximate maximum (but representative) properties that $450,000 will get you in these communities. There is a shortage of listings everywhere right now, so the pickings are slim, and they change frequently. If your income is less than $100,000, then your options will be limited to lower property values than these. If greater, then, of course, there will be more opportunities, and at higher price points.