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The Globe and Mail

Home buying: Are you a first time buyer? Starter homes across the country

A compact Vancouver condo or big house in Saint John? The Globe's personal finance team compared properties in four cities across the country that could be starter homes for first-time buyer couples

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Location: False Creek, VancouverPrice: $469,900Square footage: 775

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This strata unit in Vancouver's False Creek neighbourhood offers one bedroom and two baths, and beautiful views of the city.

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The space includes a library and office with tasteful custom cabinetry, and a built-in Murphy bed for guests; in a good Vancouver neighbourhood, this price won't buy you a second bedroom.

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Location: CalgaryPrice: $399,700Square footage: 968

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This bungalow is in the Inglewood neighbourhood, about five kilometres from the downtown core and a short walk to the Bow River.

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While the agents describe it as "cozy," the house is partially renovated and has a generously sized, south-facing backyard and a garage.

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Location: The Annex, TorontoPrice: $400,000Square footage: 900

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This two-bedroom apartment is in a 1960s buillding - unusual in the Toronto market, where there are few older condos or co-op apartments. It offers a lot of space for the price, relative to newer units, and also a good location near the subway and to the University of Toronto.

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The apartment's aging finishes - particularly the kitchen and bathroom - can't match the shine of a brand new unit, but it offers good room sizes and a lot of space for the price.

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Location: Saint John, N.B.Price: $239,000Square footage: About 1200

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This three-bedroom house, with a walkout basement, is in the treed postwar neighbourhood of Millidgeville.

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It was renovated and decorated by a couple of young architects, and sits on a large lot, but is still half the price of the Vancouver alternative. In Atlantic Canada, first-time buyers in a recent survey said they were planning to spend just $202,000 on their home.

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