Real Estate

Relocate from Whitby, ON to Maple Ridge, BC.... what to consider?

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  • Aug 20th, 2018 12:26 am
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[OP]
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Jul 6, 2005
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Relocate from Whitby, ON to Maple Ridge, BC.... what to consider?

Just my wife and I thinking out loud about possibly changing jobs and relocating to somewhere with less harsh winters than Ontario (but wanting to stay within Canada)... we landed on BC. Downtown Vancouver seems to be where we'd likely end up getting jobs given our respective fields of work/industry.

If I could sell my 4 bed, 5 bath home in Whitby, ON for $1.1 or $1.2M and shop for a house of similar value between $1.0 to $1.2M in BC, it seems (according to Realtor.ca) that the nicer homes within this price range are found in the Maple Ridge area of BC (is this still considered GVA)? Mind you, I have absolutely NO idea what this place is like, other than doing 30 minutes of research into the community and google maps telling me that it's supposed to be a 1 hour drive from Maple Ridge to downtown Vancouver (pretty equivalent for the drive from Whitby to downtown Toronto).

If I recall correctly, I think there's a pretty robust public transit (commuter train) system out West... correct me if I'm wrong. I'm just not sure if it extends as far as Maple Ridge, or if I'd have to drive a bit before I hit a station that would take me into the city core.

Our neighborhood in Whitby is pretty multicultural and composed mostly of young professionals with kids.... is there a similar type of mix in the Maple Ridge area? Or is it pretty homogeneous for either race/age? We're an interracial family, so we value exposure to multiculturalism.

It seems homes in my price range in Surrey or Coquitlam tend to be quite a bit older and smaller than what we have now, and we'd rather not go 'backwards' in terms of the quality/style of home we've become accustomed to.

Any other things or areas to consider?

Obviously having a house that faces the harbour or has waterview may be completely out of my budget.... or is it? Maybe I'm just looking in the wrong areas. Condo living is definitely not for us... we enjoy our space and privacy.
15 replies
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 6, 2005
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What's with all the houses in BC having basement apartments? Doesn't anyone use their own basement for recreational space?
Deal Addict
Jan 15, 2017
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We used to live on Maple Ridge and worked downtown Vancouver. You are definitely looking at an hour drive to downtown. We took the West Coast Express commuter train. Really nice train.

Maple Ridge is a nice city. It is a bedroom community though in that nearly 70% of its inhabitants leave every day for work. We were back for a visit last summer and it has grown in leaps and bounds. You can check out the crime rate here: http://www.mapleridge.ca/1027/Crime-Map.

One thing you will notice is that property taxes are significantly lower in BC than in ON. That's always a good thing.

I would consider Maple Ridge multi cultural.

Your real estate always went further in Maple Ridge. Don't know what it is like now, although our son recently sold his condo after owning for 2 years and experienced great appreciation.

In terms of weather - the winters will be less harsh, no doubt about it. You will get snow, but it won't last long. Don't drive in it as too many people do not know how to drive in snow in the LM. Winters will be wet and dark. Lots of rain. Lots. And many dark days like ON experiences with thunder storms. So very different. When we moved from BC to ON I had forgotten how much I enjoy bright winter days.
Banned
Feb 23, 2009
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Oshawa
One of the biggest things to consider is:
"If I could sell my 4 bed, 5 bath home in Whitby, ON for $1.1 or $1.2M...".
If you can't sell it, what will you do?
What if you can only get $950K?
Newbie
Apr 1, 2017
15 posts
21 upvotes
Repooc wrote:
Jul 17th, 2018 1:03 pm
If I recall correctly, I think there's a pretty robust public transit (commuter train) system out West... correct me if I'm wrong. I'm just not sure if it extends as far as Maple Ridge, or if I'd have to drive a bit before I hit a station that would take me into the city core.
To commute to downtown you're either driving or taking the West Coast Express. There's a station in the city. Driving takes about an hour, worse in rush hour.
Our neighborhood in Whitby is pretty multicultural and composed mostly of young professionals with kids.... is there a similar type of mix in the Maple Ridge area? Or is it pretty homogeneous for either race/age? We're an interracial family, so we value exposure to multiculturalism.
It's multicultural, but you'll definitely notice a huge difference going to Vancouver. Maple Ridge does not have a visible minority population as high as all the cities to the west of it.
[OP]
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Jul 6, 2005
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skeet50 wrote:
Jul 18th, 2018 6:44 pm
We used to live on Maple Ridge and worked downtown Vancouver. You are definitely looking at an hour drive to downtown. We took the West Coast Express commuter train. Really nice train.

Maple Ridge is a nice city. It is a bedroom community though in that nearly 70% of its inhabitants leave every day for work. We were back for a visit last summer and it has grown in leaps and bounds. You can check out the crime rate here: http://www.mapleridge.ca/1027/Crime-Map.

One thing you will notice is that property taxes are significantly lower in BC than in ON. That's always a good thing.

I would consider Maple Ridge multi cultural.

Your real estate always went further in Maple Ridge. Don't know what it is like now, although our son recently sold his condo after owning for 2 years and experienced great appreciation.

In terms of weather - the winters will be less harsh, no doubt about it. You will get snow, but it won't last long. Don't drive in it as too many people do not know how to drive in snow in the LM. Winters will be wet and dark. Lots of rain. Lots. And many dark days like ON experiences with thunder storms. So very different. When we moved from BC to ON I had forgotten how much I enjoy bright winter days.
Thanks for the great feedback!

Whitby is pretty much the same, a "bedroom community". But still lots of access to recreational activities and short drive to cottage country/lakes.

I wouldn't want to move to BC, only to land in a neighbourhood with houses all around me... there MUST be some kind of view of either mountains for water to make this worthwhile. I stumbled across this listing which is kind of inline what we're looking for size-wise, price-wise and view/setting-wise.
Maple Ridge House for $1M

Not sure if bidding wars still abound on the West Coast, but I think landing this house for $1M would be worth it, The unobstructed views of the mountains from the backyard are phenomenal .

It'd be interesting to experience a milder winter... I'm guessing -40 windchills aren't a common thing out there?
[OP]
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Jul 6, 2005
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pkrash wrote:
Jul 18th, 2018 7:16 pm
One of the biggest things to consider is:
"If I could sell my 4 bed, 5 bath home in Whitby, ON for $1.1 or $1.2M...".
If you can't sell it, what will you do?
What if you can only get $950K?
Then I'd rent out my house until the market recovers for me to sell at my desired price. No big deal.

However, considering that a house in my neighbourhood recently sold for $1.4M, 2 weeks ago, I think I'll be OK if I hit my target... if more, even better.
Deal Addict
Dec 4, 2016
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Have you inquired about the salaries for similar jobs in BC? You're probably not the only one wanting to live in a milder climate, and salaries for certain sectors can be significantly lower than in Toronto. Not a problem if your house is fully paid for, as utilities and property taxes are lower in BC, but could be a challenge if you still have a mortgage.

If you work standard business hours, driving into downtown Vancouver every day could really take a toll on your enjoyment of all that mountain view. All the mountains and rivers create a ton of choke points for traffic, making rush hour commute quite a headache. Personally, I would only do the daily commute on West Coast Express.
Deal Fanatic
Oct 7, 2007
5080 posts
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No doubt that we enjoy nice weather and green surroundings.

BUT keep in mind things are generally most expensive on the west coast including gas, groceries, housing, etc. Aside from the costs, make sure you don't overlook "cultural" issues. The Lower Mainland was a great place 20 years ago but now the societal values have really changed. Average people are struggling and people are completely OBSESSED (to put it mildly) with real estate. It is enough to make you crazy if you want more in life than to be surrounded by people sawing and hammering all day long as they prepare for the next flip. It seems that we are a society gone mad. We are now ruled by socialist governments at the municipal (not sure about Maple Ridge specifically) and at the provincial level, the latter of which has imposed an infinite amount of taxation on us with more to come I am sure. These things may be totally fine for you and your family but just something to consider before taking the plunge.
Sr. Member
Jan 12, 2017
555 posts
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Holy smokes, that is a nice house with a view.... and it's closer to Vancouver than Whitby is to Toronto!
Repooc wrote:
Jul 19th, 2018 9:07 am
Thanks for the great feedback!

Whitby is pretty much the same, a "bedroom community". But still lots of access to recreational activities and short drive to cottage country/lakes.

I wouldn't want to move to BC, only to land in a neighbourhood with houses all around me... there MUST be some kind of view of either mountains for water to make this worthwhile. I stumbled across this listing which is kind of inline what we're looking for size-wise, price-wise and view/setting-wise.
Maple Ridge House for $1M

Not sure if bidding wars still abound on the West Coast, but I think landing this house for $1M would be worth it, The unobstructed views of the mountains from the backyard are phenomenal .

It'd be interesting to experience a milder winter... I'm guessing -40 windchills aren't a common thing out there?
[OP]
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Jul 6, 2005
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BlueSolstice wrote:
Jul 19th, 2018 9:52 am
Have you inquired about the salaries for similar jobs in BC? You're probably not the only one wanting to live in a milder climate, and salaries for certain sectors can be significantly lower than in Toronto. Not a problem if your house is fully paid for, as utilities and property taxes are lower in BC, but could be a challenge if you still have a mortgage.

If you work standard business hours, driving into downtown Vancouver every day could really take a toll on your enjoyment of all that mountain view. All the mountains and rivers create a ton of choke points for traffic, making rush hour commute quite a headache. Personally, I would only do the daily commute on West Coast Express.
Definitely... all things I've looked at so far. Especially salary. I was quite surprised to see that job postings for my line of work are quite on par with that I'm making in Ontario. But given that cost of living may be a bit higher for commodities, I can see this possibly eating a bit into my disposable income/fun money.... not overly worried about it.

My current commute from Whitby to Toronto is a mixture of driving, commuter train, subway and walking; and is just under 2 hours door-to-door ONE WAY.... so I'd gladly take a 1 hour drive or less using using the West Coast Express if that's an option.
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Dec 27, 2009
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Prepare for constantly depressing, rainy weather in Maple Ridge. Seriously. I dated a guy there for 6 months (I was from Victoria on the Island). It rained all f'ing summer. What a depressing place.
[OP]
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Chickinvic wrote:
Jul 19th, 2018 11:50 am
Prepare for constantly depressing, rainy weather in Maple Ridge. Seriously. I dated a guy there for 6 months (I was from Victoria on the Island). It rained all f'ing summer. What a depressing place.
Thanks for the heads up.... I figured BC was wet and dreary all over and already starting to psyche myself up for it.

I was actually hoping that you'd chime in on this thread @Chickinvic ;)

So, are you telling me there's actually that much of a difference between the mainland and Victoria in terms of weather?

I was actually looking at both jobs and real estate in Victoria last night, looks to be more public sector jobs that I'd be qualified for, and that's OK. But surely, cost of living MUST be higher in Victoria considering that everything has to be shipped in, right??

Looking into real estate, I stumbled across this $1M brand new build home in Victoria. It's a bit smaller than what I'm used to but still has 4 bedrooms. But the big bonus here is it's literally STEPS to the beach from the front door and has water views. I don't understand what all the fuss is about for real estate out West. Sure, it's not "North Vancouver", but I'd take this for $1M ANYDAY. There's absolutely no freaking way you'd find water/beach access property in the GTA for $1M
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May 22, 2003
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Chickinvic wrote:
Jul 19th, 2018 11:50 am
Prepare for constantly depressing, rainy weather in Maple Ridge. Seriously. I dated a guy there for 6 months (I was from Victoria on the Island). It rained all f'ing summer. What a depressing place.
??? For the last few years I can remember, we've had GREAT summers with little rain in Lower Mainland BC. However, it rains a lot the other 9 months of the year.
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notenoughsleep wrote:
Jul 19th, 2018 2:35 pm
??? For the last few years I can remember, we've had GREAT summers with little rain in Lower Mainland BC. However, it rains a lot the other 9 months of the year.
Maybe the last few years were different? Also, are you in Maple Ridge? It rains more there. It was the most depressing place even in summer. I hated it.

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