When most people talk about buying a home they usually have a house or an apartment in mind. They’ll discuss locations, sensibly considering the proximity to local amenities, schools, etc. But just imagine that there is a type of property whose location has a charm that transcends all other criteria, a charm that sets it apart from all other forms of housing. We’re talking about floating homes, houses that sit on the water, sometimes in quaint locations, sometimes not far from the centre of a city. Durable concrete floats have largely taken the place of logs and the homes’ features often match those of regular houses.
Vancouver property prices are currently going crazy, and the average prices for homes in Metro Vancouver are way over $1M however you look at it. Floating homes offer a viable alternative, sometimes quite a lot cheaper, and always with the cache of being a bit special. They may be mobile – and they may sometimes be clustered together – but we’re not talking about a trailer park lifestyle here. Individuality is more to the fore and many owners turn their floating homes into very unique dwellings.
Living on the water is not only fun but is also not such a crazy idea! Below you can see four different floating homes compared with Vancouver properties with a similar specification and price located on dry land. Take a look and see if the water-borne life might be for you!
Floating Home #1 – DFH #3 415 W Esplanade, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, $649,000 CAD
Maybe you’ve considered moving out to North Vancouver – but property prices have gone up here too. We suggest you have a look at this two-storey floating home which has been fully renovated, has 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, a new metal roof, insulation, and many more upgraded features. It also has a large south-east facing deck which gets plenty of sunlight and the views both across the water and up at the city’s skyline are excellent. Your friends will want to be invited to see your unique new home!
Regular Home #1 – 2116 Triumph Street, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, $649,900 CAD
For roughly the same price you may be pleased to know you can get a decent apartment in an alright area of Vancouver. This one is located in the Grandview-Woodland neighbourhood, just a few blocks east of Commercial Drive. There are balconies with views of the North Shore Mountains and even a partial water view from the top floor. But it’s far from the shoreline: you won’t see the sun setting over the harbour and or be lulled to sleep by the sound of water lapping against the dock!
Floating Home #2 – 4533 W River Road, 2 bedrooms, 1 bathrooms, $848,000 CAD
This listing is a half interest in a unique property which includes a house, a 1-bedroom float home, other floating amenities and 2 boat slips. It’s situated in Ladner, a former fishing village which is famous for its quaint appearance and heritage buildings and has been used in many films and television shows – you really would be living a dream if you moved out here!
Regular Home #2 – 2204 1816 Haro Street, 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, $858,800 CAD
For a similar amount of money you can get a penthouse corner unit in a tower block in Vancouver’s West End. It’s quite centrally located and has some great views of Coal Harbour. And you may also be pleased to hear that it has been renovated and that amenities include an outdoor pool and 2 underground parking spots. Not bad but it hardly has the individuality of the previous listing and it’s certainly not a film location!
Floating Home #3 – 14 3459 W River Road, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, $654,900 CAD
Also in Ladner, and for a similar price to the first listing on this list, you can get this astonishing 3-storey floating home. You will get your share of amazing sunsets and views from this location. It’s also spacious, with a total of 1,517 sq. ft., a large living room with a wood fire place, a formal dining room, an updated kitchen, 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. It also has its own 40’ boat slip, so you can moor alongside your new home. It’s been built comparatively recently, in 1989.
Regular Home #3 – 3406 Lynmoor Place, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, $649,900 CAD
You can get a 3 bedroom house elsewhere in town for a similar price, but once again the romance of waterfront living is not a part of the deal! This property is in the Killarney neighbourhood quite near to the Fraser River, and it does admittedly have a south facing patio and a private grassed yard, but you probably won’t see the sea or even the river from there.
Floating Home #4 – 10 Kildonan Inlet, 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, $89,000 CAD
This one’s a little further afield, out in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island, but it’s still most definitely worth a look. What you get is a triangular, wooden-framed home with a bedroom in the loft and a large ground floor which includes a 4-piece bathroom. This place is as special as it is good value: it has solar power and even a viewing window in the floor so you can watch the marine life below!
Regular Home #4 – #17-5100 Duncan Bay Road, 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, $89,000 CAD
At the same price, and also on Vancouver Island, this listing even gives you an extra bedroom. It’s in a quiet, rural area – in fact you might even feel somewhat isolated here. It has ample space inside including an open-plan living and dining/kitchen area. You might be tempted, but we wonder if you’d really prefer to live here instead of somewhere as special as the previous listing.