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Old 06-09-2021, 09:31 PM   #18751
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I’m curious - why would anyone buy a 1/2 duplex on a 33 ft lot when a townhouse seems to be wider and have much better layouts?

The yard?

Also, how do you split maintenance cost with your neighbour? Can you hear them clearly like a Van Special? I can hear my downstairs sneeze all the time haha. Can’t imagine how they stand my 3 year old stomping from end to end upstairs.
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Old 06-09-2021, 09:38 PM   #18752
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1. Less annoying neighbours to deal with.

2. no strata cost. no need to deal with landscaping and underground parking maintenance.

3. bigger yard space.

4. It's feels closer to owning a SF home.

5. Better resell value and market.

I personally would go for a front/back 33 ft lot duplex than a townhouse.
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Old 06-09-2021, 09:38 PM   #18753
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No formal strata, so no set fees and no enforcement of the standard strata bylaws. If you have something that you need to fix, work it out with your neighbour.
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Old 06-09-2021, 09:45 PM   #18754
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Can you hear them clearly like a Van Special? I can hear my downstairs sneeze all the time haha. Can’t imagine how they stand my 3 year old stomping from end to end upstairs.
Good friend of mine rents a modern 1/2 front duplex. It's very well isolated from the back unit, moreso than your average townhome. Unless windows or balcony are open, my friend never hears their neighbour... not even vacuum/washing machine. Maybe if you had a serious home theatre setup against a shared wall with the volume cranked to an inconsiderate level.
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Old 06-09-2021, 10:44 PM   #18755
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I used to live in the back unit of a front/back duplex. Since the shared wall is so narrow, unlike a side by side duplex, you rarely hear noise from your neighbour. On the main floor, my stairs and 1/2 bath were against their kitchen. Upstairs, our 3rd bedrooms were probably across from each other. Only drawback is the back unit’s front door is somewhat hidden from the street.
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Old 06-10-2021, 01:02 AM   #18756
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I used to live in a side by side duplex. YMMV.
Surprisingly, the center wall was as soundproof as it could be. I literally never heard my neighbour. While inside, I would almost forget I was even in a duplex.

But I guess that's really a combination of how the duplex is built and how noisy your neighbour is.

Resale value over a townhome is definitely better and something to think about long term if you ever decide to upgrade to a house one day.
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Old 06-10-2021, 05:31 AM   #18757
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My side by side is generally pretty quiet - definitely better than townhouse living - though my wife can hear my neighbours when they slam the door or run up the stairs. The separating wall has to be a minimum of 8" (double set of 2x4s) and they layout is usually designed so that the noisy, high traffic parts of the house are not touching so it's usually stairs and bathroom that are against the wall.

The advantage of the side by side is you still get a front and back yard (if that's what you want). I quite like the back of a front/back - more privacy and you get a full backyard as front yards are useless you like gardening.
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Old 06-10-2021, 09:22 AM   #18758
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Only drawback is the back unit’s front door is somewhat hidden from the street.
The upside to this is I assume the front unit gets all the door-to-door people and the back unit is left alone.
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Old 06-10-2021, 09:39 AM   #18759
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The upside to this is I assume the front unit gets all the door-to-door people and the back unit is left alone.
Is it possible to hide from Jehovah's Witnesses? I thought they know where all the front doors are.
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Old 06-10-2021, 10:00 AM   #18760
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Have people not heard of duplex style townhouses? Or end unit?

Or when people think about townhouses, they automatically assume those brand new split level over-glorified outdoor condos?

And parkades at a townhouse? Yuck
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Old 06-10-2021, 10:04 AM   #18761
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You’re still subject to all the BS that comes with the strata on larger complexes though
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Old 06-10-2021, 10:20 AM   #18762
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Have people not heard of duplex style townhouses? Or end unit?

Or when people think about townhouses, they automatically assume those brand new split level over-glorified outdoor condos?

And parkades at a townhouse? Yuck
Duplex style town houses seem pretty rare in the Lower Mainland for newer developments. I don't think I've seen a single one in the past 10 years. Probably something to do with zoning/land value that someone else could better explain.

On the parking thing: I've noticed a lot of new developments with a parkade instead of individual garages. Skagen in Coquitlam comes to mind, although at least there's direct parkade access from each unit. I looked at units at Brix II in East Van and it was common access for the parkade - although those are also stacked townhome/garden suits so they blur the line even further between townhome/apartment.

I definitely have a preference for the individual garages, though a benefit of having a parkade is that you get to have landscaping/garden space instead of pavement. Probably something to do with zoning and land value that again, I don't have the knowledge to explain
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Old 06-10-2021, 10:21 AM   #18763
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Is it possible to hide from Jehovah's Witnesses? I thought they know where all the front doors are.
Oh the Jehovans/Mormons will sniff out all the doors. I have an exterior door to my basement, and before I put my gate up they'd leave their pamphlets at the basement door thinking there was a suite down there.
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Old 06-10-2021, 10:22 AM   #18764
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One type of development I'm surprised to rarely see in Metro Van is the non-strata rowhome. Very common in other cities (Toronto, London, NYC) but almost completely absent here. I wonder why that is?

EDIT: Here's a 2018 Vancouver Sun article on the topic: https://vancouversun.com/advice-opin...on-and-toronto

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The paper’s main findings showed a public preference and a higher tolerance for multi-family housing if no strata councils are involved.
Row homes offer gentle density, particularly in largely single-family areas. They blend in well with existing streetscapes and offer ground-
level doors and yards that face the street. Equally important, they enable more efficient and sustainable use of our limited land base.
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"Between 2008 and 2011, only 40 freehold row houses were built in all of Metro Vancouver. In the same period, Toronto, already a city rich with historic row houses, added another 11,277 to its stock.”
UDI spoke with local planner and lawyer Bill Buholzer, a longstanding row home advocate, to determine why we’re not seeing more of these homes in Vancouver.
He said the initial reason was anxiety at Vancouver City Hall about common-wall liabilities and a lack of enduring legal arrangements to resolve disputes between owners.
He praised the B.C. Legislature for addressing the problem in 2012 by including Section 223.2 in the B.C. Land Title Act to enable row home “party wall” agreements, tied to the land, and binding on future owners.
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Old 06-10-2021, 11:32 AM   #18765
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One type of development I'm surprised to rarely see in Metro Van is the non-strata rowhome. Very common in other cities (Toronto, London, NYC) but almost completely absent here. I wonder why that is?

EDIT: Here's a 2018 Vancouver Sun article on the topic: https://vancouversun.com/advice-opin...on-and-toronto
Nimbys, basically.

It's funny you mentioned that, I thought I recall reading an article about this very subject historically in Vancouver.

We used to have row homes, but it was racist city policy measures that considered them as "slum homes", which essentially resulted in us knocking them all down to allow for segregated single family homes, you know, to get away from the slimy "Chinese and Blacks".
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Old 06-10-2021, 12:56 PM   #18766
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If I were ever to get a front back duplex. I'm taking the back duplex ALL DAY!

A lot of people think the front duplex is better, but I value entertaining space and the back duplex always has the better setup since the back yard is off the kitchen. Whereas the front yard is rarely ever used.

So if you're going for front/back duplex, take the back! It's way better for utility/function. And it's closer to the garage.
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Old 06-10-2021, 01:55 PM   #18767
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While those non-strata row homes increase density, they don’t exactly reduce values seemingly.

Two of my good friends own them in Toronto and they are basically the same price as a fully detached in and around the same areas. Also as far as I know virtually none of them have suites so I’d assume in a lot of cases of new builds, Vancouver socials, etc. While you are in theory adding a second home on a single property, you aren’t necessarily adding density as the same amount of people, or fewer occupy that land
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Old 06-10-2021, 02:40 PM   #18768
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I'd give this a good watch as it talks about "the missing middle" and how Vancouver seemingly only has an appetite for highrise condos or SFH.
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Old 06-10-2021, 05:50 PM   #18769
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Check this one out:

https://www.rew.ca/properties/305723...e-vancouver-bc
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Old 06-10-2021, 05:57 PM   #18770
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Homeowners that do that deserve to have the high rise built around them, leaving them with an unsellable property.
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Old 06-11-2021, 07:31 AM   #18771
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i recall my old boss showed me some development in surrey where they ended up somehow being able to build around him. can't recall the address though
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Old 06-11-2021, 07:47 AM   #18772
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My wife’s dumb aunt held out in North van because this dumpy old 70’s house was “their dream home”

They then built silos which completely blocked out their water view, and then they built low rise condos all around them. They could have taken 30-40% over assessed and walked but they were stubborn now they are fucked. I don’t feel sorry for them
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Old 06-11-2021, 08:09 AM   #18773
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Sunshine terrace in Langford over here on the island is a great example of this. About a dozen houses completely encircled by a strip mall. Their street actually connects into the strip mall parking lot:

https://www.google.ca/maps/@48.46159.../data=!3m1!1e3

All apparently because one of the property owners held out for the big payout.

I guess on the bright side, you'd hardly have to stock your fridge/freezer since you could just walk across the parking lot to the grocery store.
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Old 06-11-2021, 08:47 AM   #18774
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My wife’s dumb aunt held out in North van because this dumpy old 70’s house was “their dream home”

They then built silos which completely blocked out their water view, and then they built low rise condos all around them. They could have taken 30-40% over assessed and walked but they were stubborn now they are fucked. I don’t feel sorry for them
To be fair, 30-40% over market value doesn't seem like a good enough deal to sell your dream home, especially if you're established financially.

Though, the prospect of being surrounded by low rise condos seems like a horrible idea. That alone should have been reason to sell and move.
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Old 06-11-2021, 08:50 AM   #18775
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I’m sure it was even more than 30-40% in the end because the developer was basically going to give them whatever they wanted as they were the last 1-2 homes of 30 or so which sold and they still held out
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