Home for 6.5 years

Now that it’s been three months that I have firmly moved out of my apartment and will not return to it nor would I ever consider buying it, it is now an acceptable time to talk specifically about my little abode that I called home for over six years (February 2005 until September 2011)!

On my tiny student stipend, I have no idea how I initially afforded the rent plus utilities like hydro, cable/Internet to pay myself. Rent for my 439 sq.ft. “alcove studio” (i.e., a fancy way to say “bachelor”) suite started at $720 and climbed to $825 over six years. By the time I left, people were getting into the building at $850 for the bachelor. ¬†Throughout the entire time, I rented out my parking space to a nice gentleman who works at the nearby hospital for $40/month, a nice rebate on my rent expense!

When I returned from a trip to Toronto in April and got a note that the owner of my suite, who had not visited it in in all the time he’s owned it, wanted to visit, you knew what that meant. Can you believe that he was asking $265,000 for a dinky 439 sq. ft. 34-year-old bachelor suite with a fatal flaw of a bathroom tucked away next to the “bedroom”? He had no intention of renovating the suite, leaving the ’70s-fabulous mustard counters and linoleum in the kitchen and bath and original mustard stove? I think there was some woeful mismanagement of the listing because it still had not sold when I vacated, four months later. In no small part, there were no interior photos and only this grainy photo of the exterior taken on a soggy rainy day! The fabulous proximity to transit and amenities were undersold….

There were four supermarkets within 6 blocks: Safeway just two blocks away and Save On Food, Whole Foods, and No Frills beyond that. Two large “drugstores”–London Drugs and Shoppers Drug Mart–within 4 blocks. The north-south subway line (Canada Line) and east-west express bus (99 B-Line) were just 4 blocks away. Big box stores like Best Buy, Canadian Tire, Home Depot, and Winners Homesense arrived in 2009 and were within 7 blocks. There was good food north and south of the apartment along Cambie (one street over) and east and west on Broadway (5 blocks away). Vancouver General Hospital was 4 blocks away and fancy new Crossroads clinic for all your medical, dental and other therapeutic needs was four blocks away. My gym was two blocks away. All the banks had branches within 7 blocks and so were the major coffee shops within 8 (Tim Horton’s, Starbucks, Cafe Artigiano, Blenz, plus great independents like Elysian, Bean So Good, Elliz). I rated it 100 on the Walker’s Paradise score, not this rubbish 90 or 98% you see below!

On a good dry day, we could easily walk downtown and avoid parking fees and traffic congestion. I was down in the “heart” of the city (Robson and Granville) by foot inside of 30 minutes to go to ballet class. For our after-dinner strolls, we had 4 compass directions to walk in and they were all fairly interesting in that we like having commercial things to look at. At the same time, the area is pretty green especially in the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood to the east.

Needless to say when I started working just 2 blocks away from the apartment, everything felt like it was falling into place. That lasted a little over two years. All good things….

I just looked for the listing and it seems that the asking price was lowered to $255,000 and the unit has finally sold. Well, I just have the smallest twinge of envy for the new owner. I would tell people that I didn’t love being in Vancouver the city, but I really loved my cozy apartment and particularly its location.


On this day..