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Living small on the West Coast

It’s not surprising that Vancouver might embrace the small-living model.  Pressed on three sides by water — the Fraser River and the harbour — there’s no place to go but deeper, making more homes in less space.

Reliance Properties has won praise for its innovative makeover of the historic Burns Building in our city’s Downtown Eastside.

The suites, which range in size from 226 to 291 square feet, go for an average of $850 per month, including cable and internet.

Yes, in Vancouver, $850 a month is quite a reasonable price to pay for less than 300 square feet.

And they’re cute, too!


The surprising thing for me is that there’s a movement in our neighbouring suburb of Surrey for microsuites.  Surrey is huge, with lots of wide open spaces.  But homes here are still out of most people’s budget.  To increase affordability even more than density, Surrey is selling suites for prices even people earning $17 an hour can purchase.

With prices as low as $109,900, the project is designed for first-time home buyers lacking the income to afford the traditional larger home.

Once again, there’s no sacrifice of style in these units.


No doubt about it in my mind — small has a place everywhere.

About ladywholivesdownthelane

Starting the adventure of building a laneway house in the real-estate jungle of Vancouver, BC

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