Powell River Neighbourhoods 2018

Powell River Neighbourhoods 2018

Powell River Neighbourhoods Update – 2018

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 favorite is the Townsite neighbourhood. I lived there for eight years and enjoyed 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 favorite parts of this area:

  • White sand beach
  • Character and charm
  • Friendly residents
  • Walking/biking trails

My least favorite 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 $340,000.

Wildood 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 sidewalks. 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, vegies and flowers and there are neighbourhood pubs and a convenience store.

My favorite part of this area:

  • Large sunny properties
  • Low traffic quiet streets
  • Delicious farm meat and produce

My least favorite 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 $330,000.

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 favorite 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 favorite 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 $360,000. It is also noteworthy that in the past two years there were over 300 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 favorite 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 favorite 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 $300,000.

Rural Powell River includes the areas outside of the city limits. This is where I live currently. 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 bylaws 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 favorite 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 favorite 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 around $450,000.

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.

Build or Buy?

Build or Buy?

Build or Buy?

I’m currently in the process of building a home for the second time in my life. As I work out the details and get over the hurdles associated with new construction it occurs to me that many people might be wondering if building their own home would be right for them. Powell River real estate is a hot market. The inventory of homes for sale is extremely low. Buyers may be frustrated with the options that are available for them to purchase. Perhaps building is the answer? It’s exciting to imagine! Here are the things you need to consider when making your decision of whether to build or buy…

The Cons of Building:
There is no question that purchasing a resale home is much easier than building new. It is an uncomplicated process with set costs, less stress and convenient financing options. Building a new home takes a long time. By the time you choose your lot, plan the design, arrange the contractors and do the landscaping, several months will have passed by. If you are handy enough to do some of the tasks yourself, or if you run into unexpected delays (which are common), you could see the better part of a year pass from start to finish. In the meantime, you need to have an alternate place to live and lots of extra time to spend overseeing the construction of the new house.
Building is also more expensive. Contractor wages, the cost of all the building materials and home finishings add up fast! Not only that but getting financing for construction is complicated. Lenders ask for a larger down payment and they provide the funds in several advances as you complete the work. You must carefully consider if you can manage the hundreds of decisions, hefty expenses and general stress that comes along with building your own home.

The Pros of Building:
It’s not all bad though, house construction offers you a brand-new home that is exactly what you want! New homes are extremely efficient with the latest building practices and materials that are designed to reduced energy consumption and provide the most comfortable living space. You will have fewer repairs and maintenance to do because a brand-new home lasts a long time without requiring any work. It is exciting to live in a home that you have brought to life, a place that fits your character and style to a T! Each colour on the wall, each plant in the garden, every handle and door knob will be to your liking and something you can be proud of. It is a wonderful experience! New homes are also a great investment as they tend to fetch a higher resale price than an older home does.

To build or buy? It’s a question not to be taken lightly. In summary, if you are the kind of person who is confident, a good communicator, flexible and not easily overwhelmed then you have the character to build your own home. Now that you know the pros and cons of each side you can make the decision that is best for you. Don’t forget to think about your partner and/or family as well; the decision will have an effect on everyone involved. Happy home ownership whichever road you choose to take! As always, I’m here to chat about Powell River real estate if you have any questions or comments.

Real Estate Market Cycles


 Buyer’s Market Or Seller’s Market?

                                          by Brandy Peterson


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“Buyer’s market or seller’s market?”  This question is asked of me many times each month from a wide range of people.  You might have wondered the same thing yourself.  If you would like an understanding of the different cycles residential real estate goes through, then this article will be of interest to you.

Canadian Real Estate, not unlike the stock market, has shifted and changed through high and low markets over the past hundred years or more.  These shifts and changes follow a predictable pattern.  It begins with a real estate boom, where property values rise and the time it takes to sell a home is reduced.  Next, it trends into a slower, falling market where property values either stay flat or decrease, and finally it moves into a recovery period where values and demand start to build up again until the cycle is complete and the market is back to booming.

In general, it is often a ten year period (give or take a few years) from real estate boom to real estate boom.  However, the number of years spent in each of the three phases of the cycle can vary.

What causes these swings in the market?  Supply and demand is a heavy influence on property markets as well as factors such as interest rates, lending policies and economic growth.

Here is what you can expect to notice during each phase of the real estate cycle.  Throughout a real estate boom, property values will rise at a fairly quick rate, rents will increase, banks will offer more competitive lending with buyers having an easier time qualifying for mortgage funds, and homes will not stay for sale long before they sell.  The opposite happens during a real estate slump.  During a slow market like this the public attraction to real estate is diminished. The final phase of the cycle is recovery.  The market starts a slow improvement where the demand begins to outpace the supply until the market is booming once again.  These ups and downs need not be feared as the different stages of the cycle afford opportunities to different investors.  A booming market has good outcomes for sellers and owners holding tenanted real estate.  A slower market has opportunities for first time buyers when affordability is improved.  And a stable, recovering market is a less stressful time to buy and sell.

These phases are highly repetitive and predictable.  The best protection for the sometimes drastic swings of these cycles is to enter the real estate market with a long term investment plan, recognizing that values will rise when the market cycles into a period of boom.  Strong and steady growth can be achieved when properties are acquired and sold at the right time.

Does this mean you should never purchase a home in a falling market?  Not at all.  For a variety of reasons a purchaser may find themselves needing a home when the risk of a market slump is high.  In order to protect their investment, a buyer can negotiate a discount off the list  price, purchase in a desirable location, and be prepared to hold the home for a number of years until the market not only regains the values that may have slipped, but increases and builds equity as well.

The above are the cycles real estate encounters.  It’s not significantly different this time around than it has been in the past. If history repeats itself, the market will boom again. Real estate will always be a sound and steady investment when handled properly, and the real estate cycles are taken into consideration.  Feel free to contact me to chat about the stage of the cycle we are in currently, I am always happy to talk about real estate!


Brandy Peterson is a real estate professional living in Powell River, BC.  You can reach her by e-mail at brandypeterson@shaw.ca , on Twitter (@branpeterson) or by calling 604-344-1234.