A Passing Grade

205, 5605 Hampton Place, The Permberley Listing Price: $338,000 Floor area: 623 Maintenance Fee: $242.70

It a lovely one bedroom unit, perfect for a student attending UBC. This particular unit is owned by a student who has completed their dentistry degree and is moving back to their home town.

The unit has an open design and has been well maintained. The kitchen is spacious with lots of cupboards. The living room, though on the smaller side, is functional and has a decent deck for additional social space or enjoyment of a morning coffee. The bedroom is a comfortable and bright with good closet space as well as direct access to the bathroom. The unit includes insuite laundry, two parking spaces and a storage locker. The building has a wonderful park like courtyard and the neighbourhood is beautiful and cozy. The place is both relaxing and stimulating for whatever you need.

There are a couple of draw backs, however:

1. It is leasehold, not a freehold lot. This means you would own the building, but not the land. The lease ends in 2034, with the possibility for extension.

2. Visitor Parking On a Saturday or Sunday there would be ample parking, but on a weekday, guest parking could prove challenging.

3. It’s close to many University facilities, shops and beaches, but all not necessarily within walking distance. That being said, the unit is priced to sell. The $338,000 is the lowest of the 30 comparables on the market now. It is listed at assessed value, which doesn’t happen often in Vancouver.

When comparing to a freehold unit listed on other side of UBC, 106 5632 Kings Road, the price per square foot, $770.50 is considerably higher than the $542.50 for this Hampton Place unit. Taxes for KingRd. are $2010 versus $849 for Hampton Pl. There are differences to be factored, such as year built (2007 vs. 1997), location (central vs. outlining), layout, etc.; however, there are still considerable savings to be expected when buying leasehold. This can be beneficial to buyers who want in the market, but have financial barriers to the normal Vancouver housing costs. The question would be, will the land lease get extended, and if not, would the depreciating asset be worth anything at the end?

If interested in the UBC area, I would recommend asking a number of questions and get a good understanding of leasehold versus freehold options in the area. Visit open houses and get different Realtors opinions if you are not able to speak to someone you know who has owned leasehold before.

From my home to yours… -Irene