Between the 1920s and the 1960s, Vancouver built so-called ‘caretaker houses’ to serve as lodgings for park caretakers, a role that’s slowly becoming obsolete in this day and age. So, what happens to these houses once the caretakers retire? The city turns them into field houses and art studios which, according to the Globe and Mail, curbs the rising demand for recreational facilities in certain neighborhoods. The houses’ unique location also makes them an appealing choice of residence for some people:
In Canada, park caretaker houses are a unique part of the West Coast identity. Mr. Soulliere, who is from Calgary, doesn’t know of a Canadian city outside of the Lower Mainland that operates such houses.
“The more time I spend in Vancouver, the more it makes sense that we would provide these kinds of facilities,” he says. “I think the parks have a special place in people’s hearts in this city. And there’s a real understanding and appreciation for the nostalgic value that these buildings provide.”
While these converted residential properties may just be the nice, quaint home that some families seek, Vancouver only has 56 of them. What’s more, 36 of them are still occupied by active park caretakers to this day. For this reason, homebuyers would have to look elsewhere to find the house of their dreams. Take, for instance, RE/MAX Crest Realty Westside’s listings for Vancouver houses for sale. Sure, a simple house surrounded by trees and friendly neighbors may sound idyllic, but homebuyers should also consider other factors like peace and order, ease of transportation, and access to schools when looking for a house to buy.
Fortunately, Vancouver doesn’t have a shortage of neighborhoods that meet these criteria. Kitsilano, for example, is arguably one of the West Side’s best communities, with its beaches, cafes, and organic markets that appeal to young professionals as well as growing families. The Downtown area, on the other hand, has top-notch amenities that people can expect to pay top dollar for, while the West End offers more affordable property options.
Regardless of location, homebuyers need to review their choices carefully before they close any deal. Take Vancouver’s caretaker houses, for example, whose current owners are quick to remind potential buyers about the age of these buildings. Since most of these houses are not even insulated, the new owners would have to pay extra for this component. As such, even if certain houses for sale in Vancouver seem perfect, it wouldn’t hurt to inspect them thoroughly before a deal is struck. For a listing of desirable properties, buyers would do well to do business with a company like RE/MAX Crest Realty Westside.
(Source: Detached homes set amid lush Vancouver parkland – rent free, The Globe and Mail, September 26, 2014)