Finding a Family Home in Port Alberni

Finding a Family Home in Port Alberni

The time has come for you and your family to get digs you can call your own.  Having kids makes house hunting a bit more complicated not only do you need a place that is big enough but you need the right amenities nearby.  Here are some tips for finding a family home in Port Alberni.

Number and Layout of Bedrooms

Not only do you need the right number of bedrooms but layout is important too.  If you have small children or infants then you need the kids’ bedrooms to be near the master bedroom.  Teenage kids want their privacy and may prefer rooms in the basement rather than next to yours.

The Number of Bathrooms

This is a bigger deal than you think, wait until you have two teenage kids and yourself all trying to get in the bathroom on a Monday morning.  Having a master bath can help or even having two sinks with a large vanity in the main bathroom can help a great deal.

Backyard

Having a backyard ideal especially if you have small children, having it be accessible from the kitchen is even better.  You can still keep an eye on the littles even when they are playing outside.  The size of the yard you can expect will depend on the area of town that you end up in.  The further out into the suburbs you are willing to go the better the chance of getting a larger yard.

Nearby Schools and Shopping

Port Alberni has some great schools but home buyers are still looking to be in the right catchment area.  You also want to be near other recreational facilities like pools, libraries and rec centers.  If you have small kids who play hockey or soccer you don’t want to spend half your life driving around to games. Having a grocery store at the very least is something you want to look for.  Grabbing milk on the way home from work should be as easy as possible.

Quality of the Neighborhood

Port Alberni is a relatively small town and for the most part you are perfectly safe anywhere you choose to live.  That being said there are neighborhoods that better for families than others.  Some neighborhoods are on the decline while others were developed with families in mind, having all the amenities close by.  Speaking or working with a local realtor can help you find a neighborhood that works for you and your family.

New Construction or Pre-Existing Home

New Construction or Pre-Existing Home

When you have decided that you want a home of your own for you and your family, your next decision is whether you want new construction or buy a pre-existing home.  There are big differences between the two and you need to weigh your decision carefully.  Here are some of the pros and cons of new construction or buying an existing home.

The Price

The biggest difference between building and buying is going to be the price.  In many cases you can get a pre-existing house cheaper than you can build.  But if you are looking at moving into a new subdivision then brand new houses can cost more than similar houses just a half a block away.  If you are looking to build on a lot that you own and you have connections in the construction industry or work in it yourself then building can definitely be the cheaper option.

New houses have the advantage of being ready for you to move in and you will also have a new home warranty in case there were any issues during the construction phase.  You can have your choice of fixtures and fittings and you can add upgrades as you build.  Whereas with a pre-existing home you may have to renovate to get exactly what you want.  One of the disadvantages of new homes is the landscaping may not be finished and you can’t enjoy your yard until next summer when the lot settles and grass starts to grow in.

Where You Live

In real estate everything comes down to location  and when it comes to buy or build, buying gives you far more options.  Finding a vacant lot within the city limits where you can build a residential home is nearly impossible.  Urban areas grow outwards from the downtown core so if you have your heart set on building then it will be far away from the city center.  Bear in mind things like commuting back and forth every day and the headache of dealing with traffic.

There are advantages to building your own home, you can build it with any layout that you like and install all of the add-ons that your budget allows, there is also a wait time until your home is constructed.  Buying also has its perks it can be more affordable and you have a bigger choice in location.  Not to mention you can take possession of a pre-built house right away.  You have to decide which of these factors are more important to you.

Is it Already Too Late to Sell

Is it Already Too Late to Sell

Believe it or not fall is just around the corner, Canadian summers are far too short.  While you’re trying to get in as much cottage time as you can you may also be wondering “is it already too late to sell my house.”  You still have a couple of months before the snow starts falling and Christmas decorations start showing up in the stores.  Fortunately Port Alberni has fairly mild winters and the fall is still a good time to list your house.  If you are ready to sell then here are some tips to get you started.

Get a Realtor

First things first, you are going to want to get a local realtor who can help you sell this home quickly.  A realtor will help you get listed quickly and get it on the market as soon as you can.  You will need to put together a marketing and pricing strategy based on the current market conditions.  You will need an aggressive marketing strategy with fewer buyers looking at houses.  The good news is that the buyers who are looking are serious about finding a home.

Boost Your Curb Appeal

Late summer and early fall is still early enough in the year to have flowers blooming and green grass in the yard.  Even with the end of summer only six weeks off you still have plenty of time to boost your curb appeal.  It is warm enough to get the gutters cleaned, weed the flower beds and trim any hedges that you have.  Does the house need a fresh coat of paint or the deck need re-staining.  This is the perfect time of year to get all of that done.

The days are going to start getting shorter soon so you might also want to look into some exterior lighting.  You may end up showing your house in the evening so having a well light front area and walkway will help a great deal.

Getting the Inside Ready

You can hire a landscape company to deal with the curb appeal issue but getting the inside ready for sale will rest on your shoulders.  You will need to start packing and getting your home staged to sell.  Staged homes sell faster and for more money so this is an important step in the process you can’t afford to overlook.  Start by de-cluttering and getting rid of all the personal knick-knacks and pictures.  You want to present your home in the best light possible and make buyers feel like this could be their home.

Don’t worry it is not too late in the year to sell your house, work with your realtor and you could have your Port Alberni home sold in no time.

The Real Estate Market in Port Alberni

The Real Estate Market in Port Alberni

Home sale prices hit an all-time high back in 2017 with median prices leveling off in 2018 and the prices have been on the decline thus far in 2019.  This is great news if you are a buyer, not such great news if you are a seller.  This time of year is usually among the busiest but June sales were down over last year by almost 7%, still that is better than sales for May.    Condo and townhome sales had a much bigger decline coming in at an average of 30% fewer sales than last year.

The Local Economy

The province overall still has a healthy housing economy but affordability continues to be an issue.  Purchasing power is lower and it is still hard for the average person to get into the property market.  Millennials in particular are buying fewer houses than previous generations.  Changes to Guideline B-20 have impacted those who can qualify for a mortgage.  Even those that can afford the monthly payments still don’t qualify.

Local Listings

If you are a buyer and you qualify for financing then you’re in luck it really is a buyer’s market here.  The inventory of single family homes is 20% higher than the previous year, giving you plenty of homes to choose from.  Condo listings were also on the rise while the number of townhomes has declined slightly.  Despite all of that selling prices are still up over previous years the median price of a single family home coming in at around $514, 000.  Condos are significantly cheaper if you are looking for an entry into the property market, the median price of a condo is just over $300,000.

For years the market in BC favored the seller, with housing prices shooting through the roof.  Greater Vancouver being the most aggressive market in the province eventually spilling over into the surrounding municipalities and that drove up housing prices.  Now the market has corrected itself and it is a little more balanced.  Buyers are starting to shop more based on price rather than availability and sellers have to price their houses more aggressively in order to ensure a quick sale.  For those entering the property market it is just a bit easier.

If you are looking to buy or sell your home then your best bet is to work with a realtor who understands the local market.  They can help you look for the right house at a price that you can afford.