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.
A beautiful family home! This 4 bedroom 3 bath home sits nicely on the corner of desirable Marine and Retaskit on a sunny no thru road with friendly residents! A newer home, you are welcomed inside to warm wood floors, a comfortable living room and a formal dining area that is expandable for evenings when you have extra guests sharing a meal. The kitchen is classic and bright with an abundance of natural sunlight making cooking and baking a joy. It has an island and a natural gas fireplace where conversation flows easily and the setting is relaxed. Master bedroom features a full ensuite. 3 bedrooms on the main floor and 1 down plus a convenient family room/office space off the lower level foyer. For the car buffs in your family there’s a large double garage with lots of shelving and storage plus automatic doors for easy access. Clean, loved and maintained, this is a home you can find happiness in!
STOP RENTING- How buying a home can save you thousands of dollars
With local real estate markets having suffered a drop in property values over the past several years, the debate over renting vs. buying has resurfaced. It is undeniable that there can be advantages found for both options. Financiers go back and forth on which option is more profitable in the long run, and the information can be difficult to make sense of. If you are wondering which option would be best for you, here are some financial advantages to consider about owning your own home.
Purchasing a home is a forced savings plan. Buying your own home makes you responsible for monthly mortgage payments which pay down your loan. After twenty five years or so your mortgage can be paid off and you have a significant amount of value stored in your property. If you are renting instead, at the end of that twenty five years you will be looking at yet another rent payment that has to be made to the landlord.
Home owners also have a forced savings plan in a second way. Since renting may be less expensive per month, the argument could be made that the savings would be invested. The honest truth is less glamorous than that; in most cases, that savings gets spent, not invested. Even if the savings does end up in a bank account, it is easy to withdraw, and tends to diminish for that reason. Money that is saved up in the value of your home is much safer since the home has to be sold or refinanced to access the equity.
Finally, a home can generate thousands of dollars by allowing you to leverage a relatively small amount of your own money to make a sizeable investment that can benefit from growth in the real estate market. In our local area of Powell River, you can invest $10,000 to purchase a $200,000 home that will appreciate in value for much of the time that you own it. (Twenty five years ago you could purchase a home here for $50,000. Today a similar home would be valued at $180,000. That is excellent income gains!) This can have a very positive impact on your net worth and earn you thousands of dollars over time.
In order to take full advantage of the money savings that comes from owning your own home, it is important to stay put for a while. Moving too often can be expensive when you are a home owner and eat away at profits. It is also necessary to take pride in owning your home; keep the property in a clean and well maintained condition so the value does not depreciate.
“Excellent positioning and presentation of the house in the market”
Clancy Cross & Wendy Halliday