Heading South

We have since toured Tsawwassen and North Delta for suitable areas for our new family home.  This time, we decided to head South to WhiteRock/South Surrey to see if there was anything of interest.  The entire family was able to make the afternoon adventure with the hope of hitting 11 opens.  We didn’t get every home, but we did get a goods sense of some of the key areas including: WhiteRock, Morgan Crossing and Summerfield.

With moving south, there are some great value adds: better cost per square foot, more space and storage, newer build options, community connectedness, access to yards and nearby schools.  However, the negatives were actually quite surprising restrictive, considering the distance away from Vancouver proper and the extra 30 minute+ drive we would both have to our offices in Richmond . Many location had little to no visitor parking, some were townhomes and not single family dwellings for the price point, some school catchments had shocking low ratings, while others had considerable distances to shopping and recreation.

Mark, my husband, liked the Morgan Crossing area, but wasn’t overly excited with any of the properties we viewed.  I lean towards White Rock.  If I’m going to be south, I would like to be nearby the beach to really enjoy my summers.  There is interest, but needless to say…we’re still searching.

13507 15th Ave 13507 15th Avenue $599,900 (was $629,000) 3 Bed / 3 Bath 1,558 sqft / 5,460 lot Built in 1978 Taxes: $3033 1983 148A Street1983 148A Street_300x225 1983 148A Street SOLD $677,700 4 Bed / 3 Bath 2,253 sqft / 5,926 lot Built in: 1980 Taxes: $3,222
15 2456 163 Street 15 2456 163rd Street  $648,000 4 Bed / 3.5 Bath 2,653 sqft Built in: 2009 Taxes: $3,469 Maintenance: $300.24 2853 160A Street 2853 160A Street $779,900 4 Bed+ Den / 3.4 Bath 2,488 sqft / 2,691 lot Built in: 2012 Taxes: $3,956
17366 0B Ave 17366 0B Avenue $759,900 6 Beds / 3.5 Bath (suite included) 3,250 sqft / 3,677 lot Built in: 2014 Taxes: $2,019 17378 0B Ave17378 0B Avenue $768,000 6 Beds / 4 Bath (suite included) 3,214 sqft / 3623 lot Built in: 2013 Taxes:$2,014

33 15977 26th

33 15977 26th Avenue  $659,000 (GST/HST included) 5 Bed / 4 Bath (with in-law suite) 2,400 sqft Built in: 2012 Taxes: $2,930 Maintenance: $190

47 15988 32nd 47 15988 32 Avenue $699,000 5 Bed / 4 Bath (with in-law suite) 2,998 sqft Built in: 2014 Taxes: $3,207 Maintenance: $269
14306 N Bluff 14306 N. Bluff Road $689,880 5 Bed / 3 Bath (with suite) 2,619 sqft / 5,487 lot Built in: 1976 Taxes: $3,772

The average house price was $700,000, so let’s take that property value with taxes of $2,700  ($3,270 – homeowners grant of $570) and $100 for heat.  We won’t consider maintenance fees in this equation.

Total Purchase Price: $700,000 Current Interest Rate: 2.94%

High Ratio Loan (less than 20% down payment) Amortization: 25-year Down Payment (5%): $35,000 CMCH fees: $20,947.50 Total loan: $685,947.50 Monthly Mortgage Payments: $3,225

Approximate income required: $133,000

Conventional Loan (20% or more down payment)
 Amortization: 30-year Down Payment (20%): $140,000 Total Loan: $560,000 Monthly Mortgage Payment: $

Approximate income required: $100,000

From my home to yours -

Next stop, North Delta

Continuing on our home search, Jack and I headed out to North Delta, our second open house tour since starting in Tsawwassen.  There was only one open house in Sunshine Hills (our top area of interest in North Delta), but it was a really intriguing property.  6667 Carncross Crescent is situated directly across from the Sunshine Hills park and Sunshine Hills Elementary (French Immersion), offering a  8000 sqft lot in an ideal location in well-know family-friendly neighbourhood.  The house it’s self wasn’t boasting with anything exciting.  There have been some updates, but there are still many needed. It is liveable, but the ultimate plan for a lot (and home) such as this, would be to tear down and build new. A plan that would require a few more years of saving for us, but still worth a strong consideration.

With only the one listing in Sunshine Hills, I expanded out beyond our original boundaries.  One open house was no longer  hosting it’s open, but there was another just down the street.  I learned after stepping in, it was listed for more than double the one we were planning to visit.  Listed at $1.25 million, this new build at 7961 112a Street was STUNNING!  Beautiful on the outside and the inside.  One of the nicest homes I have see in all of my tours.  Each of the rooms had their own walk-in closet and bathroom, there was a beautiful kitchen plus a spice kitchen, both with top-end appliances.  The yard was a great size, completed with a matching shed and the deck had it’s own fireplace.  The basement was outfitted with it’s own bar/kitchen, sauna and wine cellar along with a 2-bedroom suite with it’s own entrance…wonderful, but definitely priced high for an area surrounded by older homes at half the cost.

We finally came to Lakeside at Sunstone, a community development by Polygon.  In this nice community there were some new and pre-owned listing at very reasonable prices, making a townhome (with addition of maintenance fees) a more attractive option.  All these units have access to the 12,000 sqft Club House featuring: swimming pool & spa, billiards, ping pong, badminton, 2 entertainment rooms, and two guest suites.  The community also includes a large lake, park and walking areas.  It’s a very attractive community.  The final phase is almost complete, before Polygon begins another project across the street.

6667 Carncross 7961 112A

6667 Carncross Cr $649,900 4 Beds / 3 Bath 2250 sqft / 8027 lot Built: 1973 Taxes: $3,113

7861 112A Street $1,249,000 + Tax 6 Bed / 6 Bath (with suite) 4937 sqft / 7260 lot Built: 2014 Taxes: $2,565

68 10415 Delsom

10 10605 Delsom

68 10415 Delsom Cr $448,000 3 Bed / 3 Bath 1433 sqft Fees: $231.79 Built: 2011 Taxes: $2,210

10 10605 Delsom Cr $509,000 4 Bed / 3.5 Bath 1890 sqft Fees: $278.26 Built: 2009 Taxes: $2,695

76 10500 Delsom Lakeside

76 10500 Delsom Cr $646,000 3 Bed / 3 Bath 1910 sqft Fees: $257.19 Built: 2014 Taxes: $864

Various locations at 10500 Delsom Cr $628,000 – $818,000 + Tax 1910 sqft – 2535 sqft Fees: $275 Built: 2014 / 2015 Taxes: TBD Lakeside at Sunstone

The results – we need to look more.  There are some limiting factors of Sunstone including: maintenance fees, further competition of new builds (possibly impacting the home value over the short-term), and the schools – although close, they are still a 15-minute walk way. We will continue to keep our sights on Sunshine Hills and visit more homes as they become available. Our ideal would be to find a single-family dwelling with a rental suite.

The average price for the homes we visited was around $650,000.  Let’s look at $650,000 as our purchase price, with $250 for maintenance fees, taxes of $2,000  ($2,570 – homeowners grant of $570) and $100 for heat:

Total Purchase Price: $650,000 Interest Rate: 2.99%

High Ratio Loan (less than 20% down payment) Amortization: 25-year Down Payment (5%): $32,500 CMCH fees: $19,451.25 Total loan: $$636,951.25 Monthly Mortgage Payments: $3,011

Approximate income required: $129,000 (or $119,500 with no maintenance fees)

Conventional Loan (20% or more down payment)
 Amortization: 30-year Down Payment (20%): $130,000 Total Loan: $520,000 Monthly Mortgage Payment: $

Approximate income required: $101,500 (or $92,000 with no maintenance fees)

From my home to yours -

Our home search begins in Tsawwassen

We have come to that point as a family to start considering a new home.

We love where we live.  My husband has a short 7-10 minute drive to work and mine is even less to my Richmond office.  We have great access to the highway that can get us to downtown Vancouver in 25 minutes or we can take the 99 South, 91 East or Knight Street North to get to all corners of the lower mainland within 30-45 minutes.  We’re by a great entertainment complex for swimming, movies, bowling and other activities, plus we drive by the Richmond Country Market for fantastic fresh produce. Our area gives us a quasi-rural feel with a nice flavoring of metro living.

Our space is decent, not large, but manageable with 915sqft. Our vaulted ceilings help to give a feeling of more space than we actually have.  We could likely continue to revamp, rearrange and reconfigure our home to make it work for us and our son’s growing needs, but for me, I have found it’s the sense of community with the hustle and bustle of young kids running around that’s missing. Not just for Jack, but for our sanity too.  He loves to play and we can only play so much before we have other duties to tend to.  Having a neighbourhood of kids willing to play, without having to pre-book a play date seems like a little piece of heaven to me.

For us the ideal home would have 3-4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, space for an office, a living room, dining room, den and laundry room. A deck with a backyard, garage for storage and a park nearby would be great bonuses.

Though the ‘wish list’ and ‘reality list’ may vary, we are trying to be as practical as we can. For us the priority comes down to:

  1. Is the community kid friendly?
  2. Are there good schools nearby?
  3. Will the house accommodate our needs for “x” years?
  4. What’s the commute like to work?
  5. What’s the commute like to friends and family?

Starting this process, it wasn’t surprising that our budget was go to restrict us greatly on where we can go and what we could get. Only a few houses in certain areas will meet our criteria and budget, so we opened our search to cover a few communities including Tsawwassen, Lander, White Rock and North Delta.  We would love to consider Richmond, but we know we would be limited to a townhouse.  Its not out of the question, but we would have to weight the pros and cons of the option.

Since I’m not familiar with all the areas of consideration, I decided I should start with an open house tour in each of the neighbourhoods to get a better feel for the type of properties listed meeting our initial needs.

I started my search in Tsawwassen:

1670 Babcock_v1068362_CROP 1663 58th_v1063207_CROP

1670 Babcock Place $639,900 4 Bed / 3 Bath (with suite) 2618 sqft / 6663 lot Built: 1973 Taxes: $3465

1663 58th Street $715,000 4 Bed / 2.5 Bath 2093 sqft / 7642 lot Built: 1968 Taxes: $3,590

5521 Summer Wat_v1081808_1_CROP 1224 Pacific Dr_ID1023874570_CROP

5521 Summer Way $815,000 4 Bed / 2.5 Bath 2681 sqft / 5000 lot Built: 1981 Taxes: $4,050

1224 Pacific Drive $838,000 3 Bed / 3 Bath 3025 sqft / 7584 lot Built: 1986 Taxes: $4,028

5656 Goldenrod cr_v1082857_1_CROP
1264 49th St_100_CROP

5656 Goldenrod Crescent $870,000 4 Bed / 3 Bath 2600 sqft / 6600 lot Built: 1980 Taxes: $4,240

1264 49th Street $879,000 3 Bed / 2.5 Bath 2520 sqft / 7868 lot Built: 1985 Taxes: $4,171

1380 Enderby Ave_v1082079_1_CROP

1380 Enderby Avenue $885,000 3 Bed / 3 Bath 1796 sqft / 6534 lot Built: N/A Taxes: $3,533

The results – there isn’t much in the $600-$800,000 range.  To get anything without a great deal of work needed, a buyer (us) would have to look at a purchase price closer to the $850,000 mark. With that in mind, here is a mortgage breakdown for a purchase of $850,000 with property taxes of $3,430 ($4,000 – homeowners grant of $570):

Total Purchase Price: $850,000 Interest Rate: 2.99%

High Ratio Loan (less than 20% down payment) Amortization: 25-year Down Payment (5%): $42,500 CMCH fees: $25,436 Total loan: $832,936 Monthly Payments: $3,940

Approximate income required: $158,400

Conventional Loan (20% or more down payment)
 Amortization: 30-year Down Payment (20%): $170,000 Total Loan: $680,000 Monthly Payment: $

Approximate income required: $107,000

From my home to yours -

Big, beautiful home near the border

Pacific Douglas 17358 1A Avenue, Surrey MLS: F1416462

List Price: $699,000 Floor Area: 3123 Unit: 4 Bed/4 bath

Located between the Peace Arch and Pacific Highway Border crossings, this South Surrey/White Rock home is built near parks and a golf courses.  Even though this is a car dependent area, there are plenty of options for major shoppoing centres in south Surrey and across the border.

The house has an open plan. The large kitchen with tons of cupboard and counter space adjoins to a large family room and has access to the back yard and garage.   The living room/dinning is also connected, but separated for more privacy.

Upstairs is complete with three bedrooms, one den/office and a laundry room – that’s room, not a closet, and it’s equiped with a sink and cupboards!  The bedrooms are a good size with decent closet space. The Master bedroom is massive with a walkin closet and 4-peice bathroom.

The basement is finished with a media room and wet bar.  There is also a 4th bedroom, bathroom and living area that can easily be converted into a basment suite with it’s own outside acccess.


  • Beautiful kitchen
  • Large master suite
  • Laundry room
  • Backyard
  • Basement suite rental option for mortgage helper
  • Side by side garage
  • Finished basement with media room
  • Den could convert to guest room
  • 2-5-10 warranty


  • Not centrally located
  • New build adds taxes on top of asking price
  • Some inefficientcies need to be addressed (doors not opening/closing properly)
  • Car dependent for most amenities


Purchase Price: $699,000 + 5% GST Total Purchase Price: $733,950* Interest Rate: 2.99%

*there may be a 2% transitional tax, depending on the start date of construction

High Ratio Loan (less than 20% down payment) Amortization: 25-year Down Payment (5%): $36,698 CMCH fees: $21,964 Total loan: $719,216 Monthly Payments: $4000

Approximate income required: $127,000

Conventional Loan (20% or more down payment)
 Amortization: 30-year Down Payment (20%): $146,790 Total Loan: $587,160 Monthly Payment: $

Approximate income required: $93,000

From my home to yours -

The townhouse that’s more like a detached home

Timberwood Village 94, 6880 Lucas Road, Richmond, BC

MLS: V1037991 List Price: $529,000 Floor Area: 1556 Unit: 3 bed/2.5 bath Condo Fees: $290.49 Taxes: $1902

From the inside, you would never guess that this detached townhouse was 36-years-old.  With beautiful updates through out the home, you will see granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, new flooring, tile, crown moulding, paint and more.  The kitchen is open to the living and dining rooms, while the living room has vaulted ceilings open to the upstairs den.

There is a patio off from the kitchen with a spacious path to the back yard, while the living room also provides direct access to the yard.

The three bedrooms upstairs are all average to larger in size and are nicely separated from one another.  There is ample closet and storage space; the master room has side-by-side closets, one of the spare rooms has a large adjoining storage room, there is a large attic, linen closet, coat closest, space within the washer and dryer area and a storage room in the garage.

The price has dropped from $538,000 to $529,000, with a motivated seller.


  • Amenities nearby (shopping, schools, parks)
  • Rooms are average to large in size
  • Fully updated with new kitchen, bathrooms, floors, crown moulding, fireplace  and more
  • In-house storage, attic and garage
  • 1/2 bath on main floor, 2 full bathrooms upstairs
  • Visitor parking near by
  • New steam washer and dryer
  • Complex has outdoor pool


  • Maintenance fees are on the high side, but it is an older complex and there is access to a pool
  • Kitchens is nice and open, but fridge is in an unusual spot
  • The outside aesthetics of the complex are not as pleasing to the eye as other developments, but work is being done to upgrade by strata
  • Kitchen patio will eventually require some work


Purchase Price: $529,000

High Ratio Loan (less than 20% down payment) Interest Rate: 3.04% Amortization: 25-year Down Payment (5%): $26,450 CMCH fees: $13,820.12 Total loan: $516,370.12 Payment: $2,454.31 Approximate income required: $110,000*

Conventional Loan (20% or more down payment) Interest Rate: 3.04% Amortization: 30-year Down Payment (20%): $105,800 Total Loan: $423,200 Payment: $1788.16 Approximate income required: $86,000*

*Inclusive of maintenance fees, heat and property taxes.

From my home to yours -Irene