New Listing in North Van

I’ve got a new listing in North Van, and I thought it might be fun to see how things developed. I submitted it this morning around 10:00, and got my first call on it by 12:30.  I’m holding an agent’s open Thursday, from 10:30-12:00, and a public open on Sunday, from 2:00 to 4:00.

 Its a long time rental property, and is certainly tired, but the Edgemont Village location makes it very desirable.  The 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom house is livable and rentable, and currently has tenants, but the value is mainly in the land.

The lot is 8,050 square feet, and fronts Ridgewood Drive (a medium busy street).  You can probably build about 4,300 sq. feet of new house.  New houses in the area have gone for as high as 2.2 million.  A reno’d house on Ridgewood is listed at over $1 million.

The property is 1329 Ridgewood, and is listed for $699,900. 

 Thoughts?  🙂



Filed under For sale

18 responses to “New Listing in North Van

  1. mike

    How many blocks from the village?

  2. The unthinkable "Renter"

    Can I ask you a really stupid question, with 25% down can this home have positive cashflow?

  3. robchipman

    3 blocks from the Village.

    No. But is the question stupid? Maybe somewhat. There seems to be an assumption that if things were in balance a 25% downpayment should get you a positive cash flow property in Vancouver. This is not the case. I consider 25% to 45% down as good break even points (you have to consider other factors as well, obviously).

    You pay a premium for area. Within 5 blocks of this place you’ll find a recent sale for $2.2 million. 25% down means a 1.65 million mortgage. That’s $10,000 per month. Let’s assume a crash of 50%. At $1.1 million, and 25% down, you still need to service $825,000, or $5,175/month. North Van is nice, but $5,000/month nice after a catastrophic real estate devaluation? Don’t think so. The 25% is problematic.

    How about this; I bought a house for someone in the area about 5 years ago, purely lot value, for $428,000. Livable house, but only lot value (in fact it got torn down within a year). 25% down would require a mortgage of $321,000. That’s over $2,000 per month just in mortgage, let alone tax, management and maintenance. It rented for $1,700.

    Same house sold for $348,000 in ’94. 25% down meant a a $261,000 mortgage. But recall, in ’94 rates were considerably higher (10.25% when this place sold). That’s over $2,300 per month. Again, the 25% assumption is problematic. Great theory, but not widely applicable over the years in the Lower Mainland.

    (Mind you, in 1991 a Maple Ridge house could be had for $175,000. 25% down meant $131,250 mortgage. 12.25% is what I paid at that time, so that’s $1,300/month. I rented houses exactly the same for just over that, if they had suites. That’s a little closer to 25% down, but that was a depressed market, also).

  4. Skeptic

    Lot value alone is probably $750-800k, keep us updated.

  5. Whybuywhenucanrent

    Does it really cost $1.2M to build a 4300 sf house? That’s $330 per sf.

    ($700K purchase price, $100K fees and debt service, $2M sale price?)
    (What’s a typical Realtor fee for selling a $2Mhouse, BTW?)

    Just curious


  6. Whybuywhenucanrent

    Whoops, ~$300/sf

  7. Anonymous

    Any one have any idea how much it DOES cost to tear down a home & build a brand new one?

    Anyone familiar with this?

  8. robchipman

    Building costs vary widely. Do the math on an East Van tear down and rebuild and you’ll figure out that some guys can build for very low numbers.

    However, what does a 9′ cieling add? Little more sheathing, little more drywall, little more siding (with “a little more” actually equalling 12.5% more wall). Upgrade the tiles from $1.50/sq. foot to slate. An upgrade in plumbing fixtures can be a 200% increase in cost. Put cedar siding outside instead of stucco. And, since December 31, even SFHs need rainscreen. Then of course, you need an integrated theatre system. It goes on and on, and the prices climb accordingly.

    I’m probably $200k into my house now, and I’m just past lock up. That’s 2650 sq. ft. , but I’m doing a lot myself. Contracted out I’d easily be at $300k now. The client who bought the $428k lot built a place 4 years ago, and it probably cost about $500,000. That was closing in on $200/ft., five years ago.

    I’m pretty sure the BC Quantity Surveyors site had costs, ( but its being upgraded right now.

    Remember, also, that a builder in North Van is probably more profitable than an East Van builder. After all, the customer has more money to spend.

  9. An

    We just finished building and it worked out to ~$225 /foot .. that includes a 2 car garage but not demolition or landscaping….mid-to-high end finishes/appliances.. but we cut back on quite a few things we’d originally hoped for.

  10. The unthinkable "Renter"

    Thanks Rob for your reply.

    Well how about 40% down then?> Could you break even when rented out?

  11. robchipman


    This place is essentially lot value. The house has passed its useful life. Let’s say we could rent it for $2,000 per month. We’re listing at $699,900. What do you think it will go for? Let’s say list price. Taxes are $4,000, or $333/month. Pencil in vacancy and maintenance at 2% each, and that’s another $80/month. Management is another 10%. That’s $2,000-$333-$80-$200=$1,387/month net. That carries $221,000. You’ve got to put $478,900 down to make this cash flow. That’s 68%.

    I’d argue that that isn’t strange for a house in this condition. The land is the latent value; the house is the income generating engine, and this one has an old engine.

    On the other hand, buy it for $699,900. Tear it down and build a new 4,400 sq. ft. house for $500,000. Sell it for $1.349 million. Good deal? Better than renting, but still very slim margins. (I’m looking at this listing and knocking off $300,000 for a busier road. Maybe you only knock off $200,000 for the busy road and sell for $1,449,000. That’s what, $250,000 profit?

    Handsworth catchment area…

  12. ObserverX

    You can build 4400 sq.ft. for $500K? That’s about what it cost my parents 8 years ago — I guess Statscan really is right (there’s no inflation) and that there’s a builder out there willing to work for half market rates.

    I don’t get it Rob — you present a metrics analysis showing what sh*tty investment this is and then a couple of threads later, you write:

    “It is extremely well priced.”

    Must be Realtor[TM] Math.

  13. Waitingtobuy

    This is the first time that I have ever posted a reply, but I’ve been watching N Van real estate values very closely over the past year or so. My prediction – this place will sell in a couple of days with multiple offers and will sell for around $750k.

  14. robchipman


    Call it Realtor math if you like 🙂 Tell me this: if you were the owner, would you rent it, build yourself, or sell it? If you decided to sell, would you want me to get as much as possible, or sell it for what the great unwashed thought was …um…socially acceptable? Stupid question, right? A good price is always linked to its particular market. A good investment is another story, because its timeline is longer. That’s Realtor Math explained (but you already knew that, didn’t you?)

    I can’t build 4400 sq. ft. for $500,000. But, if I sell the lot for, as waitingtobuy predicts, $750,000 (great call, btw), how much can a builder spend on building? How much would you discount a 1.65 million comp on a quiet street if you moved it to a busier street? If my numbers are wrong either it won’t sell or the builder/homeowner who buys it is nuts. Which do think it will be? A builder paying 3/4 of a million for the lot probably is an experienced builder, no? Probably a relatively sharp guy, wouldn’t you think?

  15. ObserverX

    “A good price is always linked to its particular market. A good investment is another story, …”

    In other words, you have two definitions of “well-priced” depending on which side of the sale you’re on:

    (1) As the seller’s agent, ‘well priced’ means what I need to list at to extract the most I can from the market irrespective of the motivation, sensibility, or financial status of the buyer.

    (2) As the buyer’s (investor) agent, ‘well priced’ means a price which the buyer will make an acceptable return.

    Sorry, I guess I got confused that you were suggesting that it was ‘well-priced’ for the investor, in the same way that I sometimes get confused about whether the intent of this blog is to educate potential investors about evaluating investments or to serve the interests of the blog’s owner.

  16. vanreal

    Don’t be so arrogant about the eastside chipman. I know my partner and I bring in more than you and we just spent 250,000 on a reno for our main floor. North Van has trashy areas just like East Van has nice areas. You are a typical north shore jerk

  17. robchipman

    Nobody’s being arrogant. Someone is being thin-skinned and pretending they’ve read things that were never written. BTW, my office has been in East Van since ’69, and its where I spend a lot of my time and where I own revenue property.

    Do the math on the majority of East Van new construction and try to show me that East Van builders are spending as much, or making as much, as North Shore builders. The fact that you spent $250,00 renovating a main floor doesn’t speak to what everyday East Van builders are doing. It might well indicate that you live in SOMA or the Renfrew/ Nanaimo/Hastings/Burrard Inlet rectangle, or Vancouver Heights, but not what typical East Van builders spend.

    Here are some hard facts: New house in East van, recently sold for $775,000; land cost $387,500. Commission is $25,000, so figure he gets $750,000 – $387,500=$362,500. Do you really think he’s making as much on that house as Puran or Noort in North Van, who are selling million + homes?

  18. Pingback: North Van Listing Update « The Best Real Estate Anywhere!

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