Raising kids in the suburbs

What happens when you just can’t make it work in Metro Vancouver anymore?

Realtor Greg Dent is one of the winners in Vancouver’s hot market, but winners don’t always get everything they want. He and his wife, a nurse, had to move all the way to Langley to afford a big house to raise their two daughters in. “To us, the only real option was to get far enough away where we could afford it,” says Dent, who now commutes about 50 kilometres every day to his Vancouver-based business.

The couple’s first child came four years ago, when they lived in a small one-bedroom condo in Vancouver’s West End. Once baby Grace began to crawl, they decided they’d need more room. After a few years in a Burnaby townhouse, they moved into a seven-bedroom house near 200th Street in Langley this April.

Dent had heard horror stories about the commute on Highway 1, but he’s adjusting to spending up to an hour in traffic each way. It gives him time to call clients or listen to the odd audiobook. “Being closer would be better, no doubt. I could see my kids more,” he says. “But compared to other cities in the world, an hour commute is not a big thing.”

And living in Langley has its benefits. “The community out here is so much better for raising a family,” Dent says. “Within about a week of being here, we met all our neighbours. Kids play on the street riding bikes. There are young families at every park we go to.” With a hammock, water table and playhouse on their new 5,500-sq-ft lot, the girls are enjoying all the wide-open space. And though they miss the convenience of the city, the Dents were happy to make the trade. “My wife and I both have the experience of growing up and running in the backyard. We wanted our kids to be able to do that, too.”

Read more about raising children in 600 Sq Ft here >>