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.

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.