How to… Live in a Low-Rise Condo

Words by
Bob de Wit
How to…  Live in a Low-Rise Condo hero image
Low-rise developments tend to offer a boutique lifestyle and a greater sense of community, advises the head of the GVHBA

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Looking to purchase a condo? Now is an opportune time. Densification and increased demand for Vancouver real estate is creating opportunities for developers to think outside of the box.

The low-rise apartment provides flexibility for different segments of the market, from singles to families starting out to empty-nesters downsizing. Developments and amenities continue to evolve as developers build to appeal to a broad range of buyers, delivering outstanding opportunities and choices for homeowners.

Advice from an Award-Winning Developer

I reached out to GVHBA member and Forge Properties’ principal, Corey Saran, to get his insight on low-rise living.

“Low-rise developments, relative to their concrete counterparts, are typically more boutique, with a lower number of overall homeowners, which can result in very caring and tight-knit strata communities,” he says.

Amenities are a great perk to living in a residential community. They bring a building together for common enjoyment and the amenity offerings we are seeing these days are thoughtful and can be quite luxurious.

The 2016 Multi-Family Low Rise Ovation Award finalist property “Royce” built by Forge Properties is just one example that showcases oversized private patios, a 22-foot-high lobby, gourmet kitchens with European state-of-the-art appliances, spacious ensuites encased in marble creating a spa-like luxury with in-floor heat and both rain and hand-held showers. This is condo living in the lap of luxury!

Do Your Research

As easy as it is to be dazzled by luxury living, it is also very important to know the builder, and to look at the "fit and finish” of the building itself. Research is the key.

Looking at new developments across Metro Vancouver, it can be an overwhelming decision about where and which property to purchase. Take the time to learn as much as you can about a development before buying. Who is building it? Are current homeowners happy with their homes? If it’s new construction, when will it complete? What are your contractual rights and obligations? What are your time, budget and lifestyle needs?

“When buying low-rise, it may be worthwhile to ask about sound and what measures a building has taken to try and mitigate transmission,” suggests Saran.

“Wood-frame construction has come a long way in the past years and has made major advancements in providing the privacy of concrete at significant cost savings to the home owners. Ask about STC ratings.” (An STC rating is a measure of a reduction in airborne sound transferring through walls, floors, ceilings, etc. The higher the number, the less the sound is transferred.)

A great place to start your search is online at to check out the 2016 multi-family low-rise development finalists and winning projects. Recognizing excellence in renovation, new-home construction and design in Metro Vancouver, the Ovation Award brand is a symbol homebuyers can trust and should look for when choosing a building, or when building or renovating their own home.


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