Saturday, March 26, 2011

Square Footage

HS and I have spent the last few days up in Kelowna, BC looking at houses. If I look waaaay back in my archive I might find a similar post wherein I talked about a big move in the future...a move that never happened. This time we went back to K-town to look at homes for investment purposes not for personal relocation but even so we both walked away from this trip resolute that Kelowna, for all it's good qualities, is not the place for us. Another affirmation we had was on the issue of square footage. The square footage of the three homes we toured were all large- 4,800, 6,200 and 6,100. Huge by most peoples standards. HS and I share a love architecture and have spent many hours discussing the floor plan of the dream home we hope one day to build... but one thing we've never been able to agree on is just how many square feet is too many for a childless couple. I've always maintained that anything over 4,000 and we'll loose each other in the space. Obviously we could and do live in far less but when building a home we have to consider potential resale value so have always agreed that it must have three bedrooms + master (though we wouldnt use them all as bedrooms) and we both love a very roomy great room concept as well as a master suite. In these big homes though we always get hung up on the same thing, most of them have a formal living room and dining room, plus family room, breakfast nook/kitchen table and a rec room (usually in the basement) which makes for two dining tables plus nearly three sitting rooms... way, way too much space for two people. We would never ever use a formal dining room or living room though we both a gree that a rec room, while lost on us, is a necessity for resale. So there we are, two people plus lord knows how many cats and dogs who currently very comfortably live in 1,200 square feet that have convinced each other that we'd need to build to damn near four times that in order to get what we want plus what the market requires (3,500sq.f plus is standard for new single family detached homes constructed in the community where we live.)

What I want is a large great room with kitchen with seating at the island, living room, and a informal dining area (more formal than a kitchen table but far less formal than a traditional dining room set); A roomy master suite with walk in closets, a fair sized ensuite with soaker tub and steam/shower; three bedrooms that we can use as an office (him), studio (me) and guest bedroom; and a rec room (we'd use as a dog/cat room) and a furnace/equipment/storage room and two car garage.... oh and a big mud room/laundry with attached full bath (so I can wash when I come in from the horse, of course. So really, I dont want too much:0

A girl can dream.

I dont even want to think about what that would cost to build.... a spec home runs well over $100 a square foot here and for any kind of quality you can spend well over $200. Let's see... 4500 sq.f. x $225 .... oh would you look at that! Over a million dollars!

Let's see what a million buys you in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia (for those of you who are not familiar with BC, something like 90% of the entire population of BC lives within the Greater Vancouver or Fraser Valley area (within 100 miles of the US border). Vancouver prices are insane especially if you get in to the nicer areas. Here is a nice family home in a nice area of Vancouver (West) 2900 sqf. built in 1927 How about this charming *sarcasm* home in the "working class" area of Vancouver 3500sqf. built in 1971 on a average size lot. both over a million. A 1600 sqf apartment downtown? A million six.

How about something more up our alley (acrage) in the Valley?

A 6,100sqf home on 11 acres with barns... 2.7 m

This is an old TB farm with many outbuildings but the home is dated... 2.4m

Again, dated home but nicer (older) horse facility .. 2.39

Now you might be thinking "I would just buy bare land!" but these days the money is in the dirt so you dont save much.

Check out this beautiful 36 acre piece... 2.2

Or no view but better location, 40 acres for 2.6

Up in Kelowna an older hobby farm would run you something like...

this 2500sqf. home on 12 acres for 1.2m up in the hills.... but if you're talking lake acreage the prices get a liiiitle higher...

a small older home on 6 acres on the lake... 4.6 million

Personally, if I am spending over four mill. I am going to buy me my own freakin' island!

4 acre private island near Victoria, BC.

And if I'm looking in the ten million range I'd definitely give this bad boy a hard look...

private island also off the coast of Vancouver Island.

The home prices in BC are some of the highest in the world. BUT... Vancouver was also voted the most livable city in the world and BC ranks as one of the best places in the world to live. I consider myself very luck to be born in such an amazing part of the world... but it dont come cheap!


  1. Thanks for validating my repo-fixer-upper! Every single time I think of all of the stuff I have to do yet...I am reminded that I got a SMOKIN' deal on this place. By anyone's standards. ;-) LOL

    I do have to giggle at the SQage...We still think moving from a 1300 sq home to an 1800 sq home is a huge difference. I can't even imagine 3500 sq. :O I have no idea who in our house would ever clean that much house...sure wouldn't be me. ;-)

  2. I used to live in a 3000+ sq ft house. It was a lot of room for a couple of people. It was great for family gatherings but cleaning it, way too much work. I'd rather spend my time in the barn.

    Looking at those prices makes me think I should be grateful just to have a roof over my head. LOL

  3. Youch! Those prices are sky high! The price you pay for beautiful scenery and mild winters, I guess??? :-)

    Property prices here aren't that high, but are still significant. I wonder what the average sized new home here is - probably in the 1800-2400 square foot range...

  4. Yep, just got my dose of "thank god I live on the other side of the mountains"! lol It's expensive here, but cheaper than there....

    All I can think of is the dust bunnies... there are more McMansions here than small houses now. Yuck. But I guess if you can afford one, you can afford a cleaning service! lol