Posted by Irshaad Ahmad on April 06, 2010 in Sustainable Living
A Lesson I had to See to Believe
I have always been interested in real estate. Truthfully, I think anyone living in the lower mainland is. Family, friends and individuals in the industry constantly told me, “When you’re ready to buy real estate, ensure you’re buying near public transportation.”
At first, I was confused. I couldn’t fathom the thought of buses and skytrains running near my home - Loud, running at all hours of the day and creating pollution. I pictured a suburban home, with a white picket fence in a likeminded community. Why would anyone want to buy near public transportation? So I did some research and observed.
A community is usually defined as a Transit Oriented Development when:
- The community lies within a five minute walk to a transit stop
- Transit service is fast, frequent, reliable and comfortable
- There are places to work, live learn, relax and to shop for daily needs
- Maximum parking requirements are instituted (Park and Ride)
- Traffic is calmed with roads designed to limit speed
- Roadway space is allocated and traffic signals timed primarily for the convenience of walkers and cyclists.
In the last three years and more specifically the last 6 months, I have really seen the affect public transportation has had on communities. Picture the communities around the Canada Line 5 years prior to its completion. Broadway and Cambie were not as populated and there were very few coffee shops and stores around. Now on a beautiful day you find people sitting on a patio sipping on their coffee, walking their dog, running, riding their bike, shopping, eating at a restaurant and so much more. The community is alive. The area is buzzing, which leads to residents considering their neighborhood as a love mark (as in emotionally invested to that specific neighbourhood) than just some place they live or could afford.
Transit oriented communities not only increase the emotional value, but also the financial value. The fact that you have access to most of your day-to- day items in such close proximity to your home is something many people will pay for.
The next proposed Transit Oriented Development will be in Coquitlam. The Evergreen Line will connect Coquitlam to Vancouver via Port Moody and Burnaby. If you’re looking for a home in an up and coming community, I’d look at neighborhoods in and around this new Evergreen Line. Based on past history your value should increase.