$5.5 million Tuscan villa represents more bang for buck real estate in Abbotsford

Multi-million dollar homes in the Fraser Valley have more space and privacy than in Vancouver

  • Mar. 31, 2016 5:00 a.m.
This Abbotsford home

This Abbotsford home

By Kelvin Gawley

Five and a half million dollars will buy you a 3,860 sq.ft. home on a 122 by 45-foot lot in Vancouver. Or if you were going to spend that $5.5 million in Abbotsford, you could get a 7,035 sq.ft. Tuscan villa on 20 acres in the country.

That home is for sale on Burgess Avenue in the Mt. Lehman area, was built by SanMarc Custom Homes in 2013. The owners , one of whom is an oral surgeon, have had a change in lifestyle, said listing agent Charles Bilash.

The Abbotsford home has nearly twice the square footage of a home of the same price on Arbutus Avenue in Vancouver. But the two listings really stand apart when comparing the properties. The Abbotsford home is on a 20-acre parcel, part of which the current owners lease out to a tree farmer. That is nearly 16 times the amount of land in the “prestigious and desirable Arbutus neighbourhood.”

The Tuscan Villa is not Abbotsford’s priciest piece of real estate on the market. The former home of rock band Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger, is listed with an asking price of $8,848,000. The 20,100 sq.ft. home sits on an 18.5-acre property. A home with less than a quarter of that square footage and under an acre on Vancouver’s SW Marine Drive, is listed at $8,790,000 but the advertisement assures potential buyers that they may tear down the “beautiful Spanish-style heritage house” and build something bigger.

Bilash said that for people hoping to get more value for their dollar, more are looking to the Fraser Valley.

“It’s the weirdest thing to say, actually, but you know in Shaughnessy or the West Side, you’re sitting on a typical 50 by 100-[foot] lot,” Bilash said. “Maybe in a more prestigious area and you’re keeping up with the Joneses but it doesn’t get you a heck of a lot better home per se.”

Bilash has been showing the property to a select group of potential buyers for the last few months but it will be publicly listed beginning in late April or early May, Bilash said.

For the homebuyer in the market for a multi-million dollar home in the Lower Mainland, Bilash said that if someone can either work from home, work in the Valley or doesn’t mind commuting into Metro Vancouver, options like this one come with a lot of advantages.

“If they’re comparing apples to apples, or if you try and compare what you’re going to spend for the same amount of money, whether it’s three, four, or five million , they really would like to get as much as they possibly can for that price tag,” he said. “And I think that’s slowly starting to catch on.”

In the above map, compare multi-million dollar real estate in Abbotsford and Vancouver. Yellow markers are some of the homes currently on the market in Vancouver in the $3 to $5.5 million range. In that same price range, are homes (with red markers) and farm-primary properties with homes on them (with green marker), in Abbotsford. Blue markers indicate the properties mentioned in the story below.