New Westminster Life
The Vancouver Housing Market
Before moving to New Westminster, my partner and I looked at 50+ condos in person. We looked at 1000s carefully online, as well. We scoured Vancouver for months. It took us only a single day to find the perfect home in New Westminster.
The moment we moved in I knew I would have no reservations about planting roots in the Royal City and being exited about contributing to the community. We ended up in a neighborhood called Victoria Hill which has very little crime... which we can confirm since the police posts all the police response stats online. Compared with Surrey, which also offers very affordable condos and detached housing, crime is an order of magnitude lower... at least when it comes to the closest areas across the river, which are Whalley and Newton. Moreover, we enjoy a reasonable commute -- about 30 minutes to downtown Vancouver on the Skytrain.
Real Estate Pricing
After my partner and I looked at all of those open houses in Vancouver city, we did come close to making an offer on a couple of condos, but when we examined the strata documents and depreciation reports, we would invariably discover serious deficiencies, and we would end up steering clear.
While it is true that the Royal City has some leaky condos, with the housing and development boom that has occurred over the past few years with the help of good city planning by the local government there are a large number of new condo developments that are being build with excellent construction practices.
In addition to the quality of condos available, dollars and cents will ultimately make a big difference. In Vancouver's Olympic Village, for example, you can easily pay $400000 for a suite that is under 500 square feet. In New West $400000 can get you twice that floor space, easily.
Lifestyle Benefits of New West City
One of the first things you may notice when you visit this city, particularly if you live in Van is that people here tend to be friendlier, more willing to greet one another or exchange pleasantries, and overall possess an unassuming air. This may not be the case when it comes to Vancouverites, depending upon whom you ask. I am not here to speak negatively about other municipalities, though.
Moreover, there are a wide varieties of festivals you can enjoy, especially in the summer, from the Hyack Festival, often on the Quay (where you can find riverboat cruises AND the world's largest tin soldier) to the Uptown and Twelfth St Music festivals, respectively. The former is features an assortment of indie, rock, and even electronic or synth-pop acts from around the lower mainland. The latter is more blues and jazz, but still and eclectic mix. One of my favorite festivals was the Food Truck Fest that took over most of downtown on Columbia St for one day in August. If you look around, you will find an assortment of other neighborhood festivals, as well as the longest Pride festival I am aware of worldwide.
There is much more to tell you about New Westminster, including the major and subcultures you can find here, the specialty shops and sites to enjoy, as well as the local politics and neighborhoods. I hope you will join me for part 2 in the future!
Thanks for reading,
That's one big tin soldier...
2014 Civic Election - Cort Ray Caldwell for New Westminster School Trustee