Saturday, May 07, 2005


The Beautiful Homes of British Columbia - Part One

Throughout my eighteen years of professional experience as a real estate Agent I have come across several beautiful properties. Some of them, however, have particularly inspired my imagination, and I thought I'd write a post - complete with photos - to share with my readers. I am not professing that here in the Lower Mainland there are the most beautiful homes in the world. I am very well acquainted with cities like Seattle and San Francisco where one can find homes that are extraordinary in terms of beauty and quality of construction. But then, they are also very expensive. In the Lower Mainland, instead, beautiful homes are still an affordable commodity, although it has not escaped anyone's attention that prices have skyrocketed in recent years.
For the benefit of those readers who are not acquainted with the Vancouver Metropolitan Area, the term Lower Mainland refers to the lower Southwest section of the Province where Vancouver is situated. The Lower Mainland is comprised of several cities, townships and municipalities and it is home to approximately 1.8 million people. Although certainly not up to par with the size standards of other metropolitan areas, nevertheless the Lower Mainland is Western Canada's largest urban conglomerate as well as this country's gateway to the Pacific Rim. It is also one-half hour away from the border with the United States, our neighbour to the South, and a two-hour drive from Seattle, Washington. It is also approximately a two-and-a-half hour drive from Whistler, where the Winter Olympics will be held in 2010.
I am going to open up this first part of a series of posts with a home that I have listed and sold a few years ago in Burnaby. For the sake of privacy I am not going to reveal the address of this very fine property. The City of Burnaby with its 200,000 inhabitants is the third largest demographic centre in British Columbia after the City of Vancouver and the City of Victoria respectively. Burnaby features high density residential areas, major commercial town centres, rapid transit, high technology research and business parks, comprehensive industrial estates and major post-secondary institutions. For further information Burnaby maintains a very interesting website at which I invite readers who want to know more to visit.
This particular property was five years old when I listed and sold it in mid-2001. It is an Elegant Contemporary both on the outside as well as on the inside, sited on a perfectly rectangular lot bordering a golf course. The house was designed by Ralph Nader Anderson and, like all the projects of this acclaimed Canadian architect, space and tonalities are of utmost importance. Entirely framed in two-by-six, it features an outer polyurethene membrane that makes this house completely waterproof. It encases 5-BDRMS, 3-BATH (full) on a two-and-one-half split level floor layout measuring an overall 4,850 square feet covered, functional living room/dining room ensemble and a covered rear patio. Ceiling is 9' on the main floor, 8' on the upper floor and 8' at lower level. The house opens up with an 18' foyer on dark pine hardwood floor. Heating is by baseboard hot water. Nanny separate accomodation is included at lower level. Two monumental gas fireplaces are located on the main and lower levels.
Here are the photos. It was offered for sale for CAD $649,000 and it sold for $625,000 in 2001. Although not presently on the market, today it would probably fetch anywhere between CAD $850,000 and CAD $875,000.
Hope you house hunters out there like these photos. Have fun.
Luigi Frascati

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