A lot of people ask me whether they should rent their units furnished or unfurnished. My answer depends on what the unit is to them. A unit that someone is buying just as an investment and never plan on living in is totally different than a unit someone is buying to eventually live in. When it is simply an investment property, to rent it furnished would mean that you would be spending money furnishing it, only to then rent it out. That puts you at a negative to start off and you don’t necessarily make that significant of an amount more each month to justify that. You must also keep in mind that we see a lot more turnover with furnished properties and more deterioration of the units because of the higher percentage of transient renters that don’t “care” as much because they come and go so often. People who rent furnished units have very little to move when they do so, thus making them much more likely to move out when other opportunities present themselves. The other thing you need to be aware of when deciding to rent furnished or unfurnished is the marketability of it. A potential renter needs to be able to picture themselves in the home when they see it. Furniture that is very specific to a culture or time era etc won’t be the most attractive to a broad spectrum of people. Same goes for paint colours. If the home is painted with too drastic colours, you’re already writing off a good number of potential renters.
Whenever someone hears that I live in North Vancouver, the first thing they say is “oh god how do you deal with that bridge?” But the truth is, it’s very rare that I actually get stuck on it. Yes, of course if you are trying to get across at 4:30 in less than 20 min you’re a dreamer, but if you time things with half a brain it really isn’t much of an issue. This year’s BC Assessments showed areas of North Vancouver with the highest increases across the region. With all the big developments currently in the works along Lonsdale and down on the Quay, that is only going to continue. As a result, the city of North Vancouver is looking to double the amount and frequency of the seabus to make commuting to the downtown core even more of an option for business professionals. When you think about it, commuting from other neighbourhoods in Vancouver is actually quite comparable to commuting from North Vancouver in terms of how much time it would take. The seabus is merely a 15 minute trip. Choosing this option over driving from places like Kits or East Vancouver, for example, would not only save you at least 100$/month in parking fees but it would also save you gas and avoid stress from road rage and traffic. So…who knows, with Whole Foods going in at 14th and Lonsdale, maybe North Vancouver is soon to be the new Kits!