Float homes and campers: Vancouver’s affordable housing

Taline McPhedran , Special to CTVNews.ca

Despite the soaring cost of real estate in Vancouver, there are affordable options for those who don’t mind living on the water or on the road.

Earlier this year, Vancouver was ranked as the third most unaffordable city in the world, with housing prices rising and the supply of houses lowering. In light of that, float homes and vans are becoming popular choices for people searching for cheap and easy living.

“I’ve noticed a lot more interest in the last few weeks, from people who probably never thought of this as a lifestyle, because they’re running out of alternatives,” said Judy Ross, a float home realtor.

Most Vancouver float homes are currently selling for less than $300,000, with sizes ranging from a quaint 400 sq. foot home to a larger two-floor, 1,100 sq. foot home. They’re also often situated in some of Vancouver’s most desirable neighbourhoods, surrounded by million dollar condos.

While the prices may seem more affordable now, realtors can see that they are rising. According to Ross, the 400 sq. foot home she’s currently selling has almost doubled in price since the current owners bought it six or seven years ago.

“Float homes have gone up in value,” said Ricki Willing, another float home realtor. “And, unfortunately right now, there’s not a lot on the market to choose from.”

For those that get sea sick, buying a camper is another option to save some money.

“Roughly about $25,000 a year is probably what we save,” said Tyler Archibald, a current van dweller. “But then you have to take into account you don’t buy anything else, you don’t go buy random stuff because you can’t fit it.”

Archibald and Sarah Porco’s camper is packed with a kitchenette, pantry, sleeping area and small bathroom, along with a solar panel on the roof for electricity. The two purged all of their furniture and a lot of their clothes before moving into their mobile home.

“Instead of buying huge loads of groceries we just buy what we need for the day and it ends up turning out to be meals that are fresher,” said Porco.

According to Porco, the two have never had any trouble while living in their van and have gotten a lot of compliments on their way of living. They’re also able to move their home wherever they’d like.

With reports from CTV Vancouver

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