I bought my first house when I was 19. It was a cute place, it was the home where my children spent their early years and it was profitable when I sold it. However, the location was a disappointment. At that time I had no understanding of the vast differences between neighbourhoods in my town. That lack of knowledge made my first real estate purchase more difficult that necessary.
There is no reason for buyers looking to purchase a home in Powell River to experience this frustration. Here are each of the main neighbourhoods described in a nutshell with the pros and cons of each one and what you can expect when you choose an area to move your family to:
My personal favourite is the Townsite neighbourhood. I live there and enjoy the romantic character of the old homes, the warm and friendly residents who are ever ready to lend a helping hand and the quiet, safe, streets where the many of the occupants keep a tidy yard and a well maintained home. This location has panoramic ocean views from many of the homes. The Townsite has the running track, movie theatre, tennis courts, lawn bowling club, white sand beaches, hiking trails and great restaurants. You will also find the brewery, a thrift shop, convenience store and cold beer and wine in this neighbourhood to keep you well stocked. While the general perception might be that Townsite is quite a distance from the centre of town, in fact, it is less than a ten minute drive.
My favourite parts of this area:
• White sand beach
• Character and charm
• Friendly residents
• Walking/biking trails
My least favourite thing about Townsite:
• Many of the homes have a significant lack of parking
Townsite property values for the past two years have sat at an approximate average of around $200,000.
Wildwood is a fascinating area that has an eclectic mix of rural and residential. In this neighbourhood you will find all the elements you would expect to find outside of the city limits such as livestock, farms and acreages but you will discover that the neighbourhood also has the convenience of city water and sewer, bus service and paved roads with side walks. A more interesting place you will have a hard time finding! The soil is great for growing and the residents have a relaxed attitude that makes for good neighbours. In Wildwood you have access to farm raised organic meat, dairy, honey, veggies and flowers and there are neighbourhood pubs and a convenience store.
My favourite part of this area:
• Large sunny properties
• Low traffic quiet streets
• Delicious farm meat and produce
My least favourite thing about Wildwood:
• The lack of access to the back roads and trails that connect to most of our wonderful back country recreation
Wildwood property values for the past two years have sat at an approximate average of $220,000.
Westview is the most popular area within Powell River. It is the city centre and where most of the businesses and amenities are located. Many Westivew properties have wide ocean views facing South or South West to capture the sunsets. Most residents carefully maintain their homes and yards and property values are slightly higher here compared to other locations. Attractions such as Willingdon Beach and playground, the Seawalk and the marina are located in Westview including the ferry terminal to Vancouver Island and Texada. Westview is the modern heart of Powell River.
My favourite part of this area:
• Nearly all the shops, stores and restaurants are within in close proximity to each other
• From this neighbourhood a car is not always necessary, walking is possible to many places
• There are a variety of options for quality schools including public and private options
My least favourite thing about Westview:
• There is a general lack of privacy on many of the streets.
Westview property values for the past two years have sat at an approximate average of slightly more than $250,000. It is also noteworthy that in the past two years there were over 200 properties sold in Westview, WAY more than any other neighbourhood!
Cranberry is a neighbourhood filled with quaint homes and a wide variety in the age and demographic of the people who live there. The area has a general unique and charming feel. This is a great place to start out as property values are more affordable than some other areas and there are an abundance of small homes. Recreation is king in Cranberry with access to Powell Lake where the relaxed lifestyle and summer living were instituted. The area has lots of large trees and forested parcels as well as pretty hills and fields. Very few properties in Cranberry have ocean views although some feature views of lakes.
My favourite aspects of Cranberry are:
• The LAKE! Powell Lake and popular Mowat Bay on Powell Lake attract residents from all areas of Powell River to Cranberry for swimming and boating.
• The charm. An old fashioned restaurant and shop (Magpies Diner and Mitchell Bros. grocery store) are a throwback to former times.
• Affordability. Property values are lower here making Cranberry a great place to start out.
My least favourite thing about Cranberry:
• Many property lines and boundaries are unknown or irregular.
Cranberry property values for the past two years have an approximate average of just under $200,000.
Rural Powell River includes the areas outside of the city limits. This region has a wide appeal to all sorts of people due to the large acreages that are available and the lack of restrictions or by-laws that exist in these neighbourhoods. Building permits are often not required when a home owner decides to build or renovate, zoning restrictions are rarely present to impede rental accommodation or business ventures on the properties and the property taxes are usually very low. The residents are an eclectic mix of environmentalists, farmers, people escaping the hustle and bustle of life and everything in between. There are a few amenities such as restaurants and convenience stores out here but you will find yourself driving the 10 to 30 minutes into town for most of the goods and services you need.
My favourite part of rural Powell River:
• The serene peace and quiet
• The access to back roads and back country recreation
• The ability to have a fire on any of the beaches (unless a fire ban is in effect)
My least favourite part of rural Powell River
• Having to maintain a septic and/or well on most of the properties.
Rural property values in Powell River for the past two years have had an approximate average of more than $325,000.
This brief explanation will help you decide what location is the best fit when you are looking to buy a home in Powell River. Of course, within each of the neighbourhoods mentioned, there are sub areas; Grief Point, Edgehill, Kelly Creek, Lund, Lang Bay, Sliammon, to mention a few. Enjoy the process of learning about Powell River and building your education around the local real estate market to ensure your next purchase is the best one possible! Of course, I would be happy to help you in your search and I welcome your questions and opinions.