CityMash.com - Vancouver’s home scene is often the topic of conversation. But instead of worrying about open houses, mortgage rates and bidding wars in a volatile real estate market, let’s take a moment to appreciate some of the quirky hidden gems of houses that call Vancouver home. Here are seven unusual houses hiding right here in our city:
The Hobbit House
If you’ve ever walked or driven by King Edward and Cambie, you may have noticed a little home that looks like it got lost on the way to a JRR Tolkien meet up. That would be Vancouver’s very own Hobbit House.
The house was actually built over 75 years ago out of all Canadian building materials. The roof shingles are made from steam-bent cedar trees. The builder asked architect Ross Anthony Lort to design a Tudor-style home from the Shakespearean period. Lort also included the Provincial Revivalism style that was popular at the time.
In 2015, the Hobbit House was bought by a developer and residents feared we would lose Vancouver’s connection to Middle Earth. Luckily, the developer worked out a deal with the city where they would restore the home but not tear it down and build townhouses on the same lot. And all was good in the Shire!
A quintessential aspect of living in a beautiful, yet expensive, coastal city is taking the house hunt to the water. Many Vancouver residents have turned to houseboats or float homes to fulfil their residential dreams.
These houses on the water come in all shapes and sizes; some look exactly like houses on land while others prefer to stick closer to a ship design. Some of the homes are permanently docked while others can be moved from marina to marina. And with a houseboat or float home, you’ll always have that million dollar water view!
The Polka Dot House
This eccentric spotted home is owned by Chuck Currie, AKA the executive chef of White Spot Restaurants. Red polka dots, Chuck? We’re glad you decided to pursue cooking and not home design.
It turns out, the polka dots started as a joke back in 1992. A painter friend of Chuck’s had come home one day to find purple polka dots painted on his house so Chuck thought he would do the same to his house with red dots. He thinks they help to liven up his cookie cutter neighbourhood and provide a bit of fun for people passing by. They certainly are whimsical! If you want to spot the dots in real life, head to East 3rd and Lakewood.
The Tree House
This adult-friendly tree house was designed by Paul Merrick in 1974 and sits on a rocky promontory and private forest in West Vancouver. The home is made of cedar stone, glass and recycled building materials.
Because it’s nestled in a forest, many of the wooden decks of the house blend right into the trees surrounding it. We certainly wouldn’t mind living in a tree canopy with tall ceilings and gorgeous views. This puts our childhood tree house to shame.
The Cube House
Designed by Tony Robins, an award winning architect, the Point Grey home is decked out with state of the art technology and modern upgrades such as a four car underground garage, a roof top deck, iPad screens mounted to the wall to control the security alarm and a glass elevator. So what do you think? Is the Cube House dark and hideous or your dream home?
And what could be more unusual in the Vancouver real estate market than contrasting the least expensive and most expensive homes for sale?
Least Expensive & Most Expensive Homes
At the time of writing, the least expensive home for sale in Vancouver is actually not a home at all but a converted hotel room. For the low low price of $178,000 you can own a one bedroom, one bathroom “apartment” (hotel room) in Downtown Vancouver. The location couldn’t be better but the 441 square feet and mini-fridge certainly leave something to be desired.
On the other end of the spectrum, get ready to haul out your life savings (or a few lives worth) for Vancouver’s most expensive home: a six bed, eight bathroom mansion in Vancouver West. The price? Just $38 million.
What do you expect when a home is over 10,500 square feet with 4.25 acres of land? The home, named The Gables Estate, because expensive houses need names, also features a 65 foot long infinity pool, multiple roof top decks and private golf greens to let you practice your swing in peace.
Which one of these houses did you think was the most unique and unusual? And more importantly, which one would you want to live in?