September 30th, 2012
Thank you for providing us the opportunity to tell you our story about why we chose to build a Lanehome and how our choice in a Builder made all the difference!
Our family came to Vancouver more than 18 years ago from Winnipeg and, after looking for a while, settled into the Sunrise/Hasting District neighbourhood; it was very different back then consisting of mainly rental houses with a constant flow of renters moving in and out. But in the late 1990s more and more people started to own their homes. Couples started to have their own families including us. The neighbourhood has come a long way since and has flourished to become a thriving community with families and neighbours that take pride in their homes. While this has made it a great place to live, it has also substantially increased the value of our neighbourhood.
When we were faced with the position of needing to find a bigger home for our growing family and extended family, we were shocked at the cost and lack of affordability in the area. We needed a bigger space in order to keep the family together but simply couldn’t afford it in our own neighbourhood! It was during this time that The City of Vancouver came up with the Laneway pilot project.
It seemed like the answer to our problem and the perfect solution to keep our family together. The Lanehomewould also provide us with a more manageable place to live in when we got older and would also allow us theopportunity to pass along our main home to our children; we now had a way to invest in something that wouldallow our children to continue to enjoy the benefits of our neighbourhood as they start their own family.
We learned that Lanehomes on a 33 foot wide lot (the size of our lot) are, due to the limited allowable square footage, typically a one bedroom or at best, a onebedroom with a garage where the garage could later be used as living space. We needed a two bedroom but werenot completely comfortable about a one bedroom lanehome with a garage. As we are increasing in density with building a lanehome, we felt that theidea of using a garage as living space would not be fair to our neighbours and to our neighbourhood.We have always strived to be a positive contributor to our community.
Our builder, Urban Lanehomes, who was highly recommended to us, stated that they could indeed build a real twobedroom Lanehome on a 33 foot wide lot. We, with our full confidence entrusted in them, gave themfree reign to build what was most suitable for our family. Urban Lanehomes accomplished exactly what they saidthey would and even more. We have a true two bedroom Lanehome on a 33 foot wide lot and we believe that there isnothing like it anywhere, at least not one without the use of a garage as living space. In fact, we are constantly being asked how itis possible we built a two bedroom lanehome on a 33 foot wide lot without the use of a garage as living space and we simply tellthem that our builder loves the challenges of pushing space to its limits.
From the first day they sat in front of us in our kitchen until the time the Lanehome was done they were on top ofeverything. The staff was always friendly and helpful, ensuring we were always updated; they listened to our needsand I felt like they truly understood our concerns and goals. We always felt that they were dedicated to creatingthe best Lanehome for our family.
The Lanehome they ended up building has exceeded our every expectation. Not only does it look amazing, but it isfunctional, sustainable and incorporates everything we had asked for and more. The builder had claimed theirmission was sustainability without compromise and indeed, there have been no compromises in both style andluxury in what they created for us. With high ceilings and big windows it makes you feel that you are living in abigger home.
The unique structure is spectacular and has my neighbours in awe of the design. We now understand what thebuilder meant in saying that their Lanehomes were about living large in urban spaces. It is like a 5 star Spa; it is ouroasis in the center of the city. In fact, building a Lanehome has been such an all-around positive experience that weare now considering renovating our main house with Urban Lanehomes.
If that wasn’t enough, we also learned that by building the Lanehome it resulted in a net gain of $100,000 inproperty value above and beyond what the Lanehome cost to build. We know this isn’t necessarily cash, but thefact that our property value increased so much in today’s soft market only validated how great of an idea aLanehome was for us and helped us increase our net worth, not only for ourselves but for our children.
Furthermore, we have been receivingdaily rental enquiries starting before the windows and doors were even installed. Clearly, people prefer living in Lanehomes, at least this particular design. With the premium that this Lanehome commands, we already know we could, if needed, at any time, easily rent our two bedroomLanehome for a substantial positive monthly cash flow and income.
We really could not be happier with our decision to build a Lanehome and cannot think of anyone else who couldhave done a better job than Urban Lanehomes. It is because of them that we are now able to keep our familytogether as it grows and continue to enjoy and contribute to the neighbourhood that we love and cherish.
Raquel & Narres