How I can afford to own a condo in Vancouver (it’s all about the bike)

Cycling and real estate in Westcoast Homes magazine

Earlier this month, media reported that Vancouver is the world’s second least-affordable city to live in. It reminded me that Steven Threndyle of Westcoast Homes and Design Magazine interviewed me on a related topic in August 2012: on how a cycling habit can help towards owning a home in Vancouver.

You can read the entire article, Cycles in the City, or the except below:

Cycling family in VancouverWith improvements in rapid transit, bike lanes and pedestrian-oriented developments, Vancouver homeowners are becoming the new transportation trailblazers.

“When Ulrike Rodrigues purchased a condominium in East Vancouver 16 years ago, she didn’t exactly see herself as a lifestyle trailblazer. She was simply a renter who realized that the money she had saved by not owning a vehicle could be put towards a down payment in the emerging Mount Pleasant area. The 51-year-old technical writer doesn’t make a huge deal about it. “I wasn’t trying to be environmental. And I wasn’t even trying to be a homeowner. It just made sense to pay towards my own mortgage instead of someone else’s. Naturally, I chose a building that was close to transit and the side streets I cycled on every day.”

As the former Adventures of Mitey Miss columnist in Vancouver’s Momentum – a publication that actively promotes urban cycling – Rodrigues is glad other people are seeing the logic and benefits of driving less. Combined with major improvements in rapid transit – no less than three light rail transit lines now fan out from downtown stations into the suburbs – the general goal of elected officials and city staff has been to reduce the number of auto trips into the downtown peninsula…” Read more

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