The Big Move For Tiny Housing: Affordable Home Models in Vancouver

Photo: Flickr / James Stewart

You can’t discuss Vancouver real estate without mentioning affordable housing. The tiny housing movement is the talk of the city and it’s not all about price point.

While Vancouver offers many different styles of houses and condos, there has been a recent push for smaller home models. Residents are searching for dwellings that lessen environmental impact, inspire minimalist design and create a sense of community.

No matter the size of your own property, small spaces offer massive design solutions that make homes as livable as they are economical.

Here are different types of tiny homes that make the most of every square foot.


Photo: Rennie

These are amongst the tiniest properties to come into vogue in recent years. Worldwide, some are as small as 100 square feet. In Vancouver, the largest micro-lofts measure in at around 400 square feet. This condo-style arrangement calls for minimal furniture at its finest. Micro-lofts have created a renaissance for folding furniture, including classic “Murphy Beds” and dining tables that collapse into the walls.

These homes are a great starter option for young professionals and students. Not only are they economical, they force owners to stop accumulating excess stuff. Plus many micro-lofts are found in Vancouver’s Gastown or downtown core, meaning occupants never have to commute far for the city’s finest nightlife and culture.

Co-housing complexes

Big cities can have a lonely reputation—often residents don’t know their neighbours, let alone consider them friends. While Vancouver’s family-friendly neighbourhoods have a strong sense of community, co-housing takes it to whole new level. Co-housing neighbours not only share a building, but also make communal decisions on how to best utilize their common areas and outdoor space.

Some friends purchase a home together and share a kitchen and living area while having their own private rooms. In other co-housing situations, entire apartment or townhouse complexes intentionally share communal living and garden spaces. Co-housing is a great option for families looking for nearby support or for those who want to actively participate in the planning and culture of their building.

Laneway homes

Photo credit: Smallworks

These backyard houses are at the forefront of Vancouver’s affordable housing movement. Creative, hyper-modern, eco-chic homes are popping up in the yards of many homeowners here. Some laneway homes are even constructed from repurposed shipping containers, prefabricated for high energy efficiency ratings and fast building.

Adding a small laneway home is a way for homeowners to add big value to their space, as it can serve as a suite for inlaws, visitors or as a rental property. It’s also perfect chance for home buyers to own a detached home of their own in the city.

House boats

These colourful seaside homes are the definition of waterfront property, although they aren’t for seafaring. Charming neighbourhoods of floating, classic style homes set on docks can be admired from False Creek to Richmond. Businesses have started renting these spaces as offices and some houseboat owners have turned their homes into coveted bed and breakfast retreats.

Vancouver’s ports have little wind or stormy weather so it’s all smooth sailing for these small homes.

The tiny home movement has embraced several of Vancouver’s most appreciated characteristics: city life, green living and the seaside. You’ll find a variety of affordable housing options in the city whether you enjoy minimalist design, a sense of community or want a separate home to call your own. As the tiny home movement grows, so does the number of creative living options available.

If you’re looking to find the perfect-sized home for you, contact Rennie with your questions today.

Gallery Photos: Flickr / James Stewart, Rennie, Smallworks, Rennie, Flickr / Sarah Sampsel, Rennie, Rennie, Rennie

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