Located in the Pacific Northwest, Vancouver is a city that combines the historic charm of a small town with the cultural diversity of a big city. It is located just north of Portland, Oregon, across the Columbia River. Let’s break down the cost of moving to Vancouver.
What’s the cost of living in Vancouver, Washington?
Cost of living refers to things like housing, food, entertainment, transportation, and health care. Basically, whatever you spend money on that helps sustain your lifestyle is your cost of living. In Vancouver, the average cost of living is 114, based on an American average of 100. This means that living in Vancouver is a bit more expensive than living in other states. There are many factors that can affect the cost of living, such as household size, your job salary, and the location of your home.
Rent is the main factor influencing the high cost of living in Vancouver. People who live in Vancouver spend about 30% of their income on housing, although rental prices have been falling steadily. Moreover, not everything is more expensive in Vancouver than in the rest of the country. Health care and public services are both below the national average, with public services 12% cheaper than the rest of the country. The average income of a person working in Vancouver is $ 62,000, a figure slightly higher than that of the rest of the country.
How much does an apartment cost in Vancouver?
Here are the average prices for apartments of various sizes in Vancouver:
- Studio: $ 1,225
- An apartment with one bedroom: $ 1,313
- 2 bedroom apartment: $ 1,498
- 3 bedroom apartment: $ 1,999
- 4 bedroom apartment: $ 2,595
Keep in mind that these are just the average rental prices for all of Vancouver. Some neighborhoods like First Shaughnessy, Kitsilano, and Fisher’s Creek are more expensive, so expect even higher rents in these areas.
What’s the cheapest rent in Vancouver?
Vancouver is a large city with 68 official neighborhoods. Here are some of the more affordable neighborhoods in Vancouver and what they look like:
- Shumway: Just 10 blocks from downtown, this walkable neighborhood has a variety of shops and services. It’s also next door to Uptown Village, an area with tons of dining, entertainment, and shopping options. The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $ 930 per month.
- Highlands Waterfall: This residential area in East Vancouver has many apartment complexes and multi-family apartments for rent. The neighborhood is a great place for families with excellent schools, entertainment and Homestead Park, a 6.3-acre park with playgrounds and hiking trails. The average rent for an apartment is $ 1,495.
- Bella Vista: Just south of Cascade Highlands, nature surrounds this mostly residential area and makes you feel like you don’t live in a big city. The houses have large courtyards interspersed with trees, and nearby is Bella Vista Park, an area with picnic tables, walking trails, and playgrounds. The average rent is around $ 1,462 per month.
- Fisher’s Landing: It is a mixed-use community with many homes, townhouses, condos, apartments, and businesses. This is the perfect place for young professionals as it is within walking distance of major companies, such as Hewlett Packard, Nautilus and Sharp. Plus, it offers stunning views of Mount Hood and Mount St. Helens. The average rent is around $ 1,467 per month.
- Oakbrook: This is another neighborhood with a variety of rental options, from single family homes to apartment complexes. This district is also close to grandes écoles, public transport and parks. The average rent is around $ 1,350 per month.
How to find cheap apartments in Vancouver?
Vancouver can be an expensive place to live. However, there are a few tips that can help you find the cheapest apartment possible wherever you decide to live:
- Define your budget: It is important to set a budget of the maximum you will spend before you start looking for an apartment. Knowing how much you can spend on rent, amenities, transportation, and utilities can help you narrow down your options.
- Look at the areas outside the city center: You may want to live in areas that are most in demand, but neighborhoods like Fisher’s Creek and Riverview can have much higher rents than surrounding areas. Look for areas like Bella Vista and Shumway for better rental prices.
- Sign a longer lease: Some landlords will offer a lower monthly rental fee or other discount if you can sign a long lease, usually for six months.
- Reconsider your needs: If you are used to living on your own with a large amount of space, you can automatically start looking for a one bedroom apartment. However, if you really want the cheapest apartment rates, it’s important to consider other options like roommates or a small studio apartment.
Browse apartments for rent in Vancouver
What are the other costs of living in Vancouver?
Utilities in Vancouver are a little below the national average. Basic utilities including heat, air conditioning, garbage, water and electricity cost around $ 169 per month for a 915 square foot apartment. Internet and cable are another cost to consider. Vancouver residents spend around $ 60 to $ 70 per month on the Internet.
In terms of transportation, Vancouver has 135 bus lines known as C-Tran. A monthly pass for local buses costs $ 62, and a pass for regional buses costs $ 100 per month. If you are bringing your car to Vancouver, be sure to register it within 30 days of moving to the city. There is a $ 35 application fee, as well as a $ 45 license fee to register your car.
Vancouver has no income tax. However, because of this, the property tax and sales tax are a bit higher than in other states at 1.28% and 8.4% respectively.
What are the best free things to do in Vancouver?
There is no limit to the number of fun outdoor activities in Vancouver. You can drive to the nearby Silver Star Mountain, a 4,500-foot peak with breathtaking views and beautiful wildflowers. Or, you can explore the urban wilderness by walking the Water Rebirth Trail. This 8 km paved walking path connects some of Vancouver’s waterfront neighborhoods and offers incredible views of the Columbia River.
These are just a few of the many sights that make Vancouver such an exciting city. If you’re smart about where you choose to live, Vancouver can be a great city for everyone from young professionals to large families.
Ready to start your research? Browse thousands of Vancouver apartments for rent on Zumper and find your new home.