House of the Week: Island Retreat
A Burrard Inlet island cabin for the price of a studio condo?
Details: 1791 sq/ft. 2 Beds, 1 Bath, 17,225 sq/ft lot (that’s .4 of an acre)
Neighbourhood: Passage Island (between Lighthouse Park and Bowen Island)
The Skinny: The siren call of affordable waterfront living is this 32-acres rock just 2km off the West Van coast. This house has its own dock and 65ft of waterfront on almost half-an-acre—stats which get you into well into 7 figures at nearby (but not as nearby) Bowen. The house was built in 1997 and while it ha s few dated features (like a glass block shower) it seems pretty much in nice move-in condition.
The Pros: For the price of a decent 1 bedroom condo you’ll be living on a semi-private island with amazing views of UBC, downtown and the Howe Sound mountains. You have the single coolest commute in the West. The house is nice-looking and there’s some amazing outdoor space.
The Cons: You pretty much need a boat (don’t listen to the “You can take a water taxi” siren call) and if you moor it at Thunderbird (the closest Marina) you have some pretty high monthly moorage fees to contend with. It’s also off-the-grid so there’s a rain water catchment system (not a problem on the North Shore) and power comes from a combo of solar (sometimes an issue on the North Shore) and propane (which is reliable). Think of it as practice for the coming appocolypse and think of the Main St cred you’ll have talking up your off-the-grid house (maybe keep the motorboat to youself). And you’ll never to have to open a BC Hydro or Fortis bill again.
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