Metro Vancouver Real Estate: Hotline (604) 764-6873 76-HOUSE Geraldine Santiago, RE/MAX Realtor & Author

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In real estate, everyone says that, "Location, location, location" is the most important factor when buying/selling property. Location is very important, it's true. Home values are different from Shaughnessy to that of Dunbar, or Kerrisdale. But I believe that lot size and zoning are equally important when buying and selling your home.

Your property's lot size will determine the size of home you can build. Zoning determines whether or not you can build a laneway home, in-fill housing, coach house, in addition to the main house. Zoning is extremely important because of its future potential and future value if the property were to be rebuilt or developed into a multi-housing property.

If you are selling your house, look at its zoning and do your own research as to what is allowed by the city. Take a close look around your neighbourhood to see what newer homes look like, and look at the allowable square footage of the new home.

If you have the resources, you may also want to contact an architect to draw up some plans, to show potential buyers what your home could like like, once these plans are approved. This will save potential buyers and possibly even developers, the trouble of having to do this themselves. This extra time and effort on your part could be well worth it when you are selling your home.

If you are a buyer purchasing for the first time in Vancouver, and purchasing a single detached home, ask your Realtor to help you see if laneway homes are allowed in the area you are choosing to buy.

If you can see a home's development potential, you could just be buying "CameLOT"!

I've seen properties in the Vancouver real estate market sell for more because the sellers took the time to do this extra work. So though location is important, yes-- it's true, I believe that lot size and zoning is also equally important!