Royal LePage Port Alberni News

We hope you find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local real estate information to Port Alberni community happenings. That’s because we care about the Alberni Valley and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

April 6, 2021

Spring Has Sprung in The Alberni Valley

Spring has finally sprung. The first week of spring is always my favorite time in the Alberni Valley, everything starts to come back to life! After the looong winter we have had, it is a breath of fresh air to have the sun beaming through the windows, to hear the birds chirping and to finally see some of those vibrant colors outside while the flowers start to bloom. 

Spring has Sprung

 

As winter starts to fade and become a memory, everyone begins to come out of hibernation and the hustle and bustle of spring starts in full force. Spring is one of the busiest times of year for some, spring cleaning, projects, and selling your home. Many homeowners have been waiting months for the perfect time to sells their homes, and now is that time!

Some questions you may be thinking may include: How do I find an agent? How do I jump start this process of selling my home? How should I prepare my home? What are the new protocols that 2020 may have implemented? Well, good thing I got the answers for you.

Selling your home may feel like an intimidating task but with the help of an experienced real estate agent, the process should be a breeze. Here at Royal LePage we have many experienced and knowledgeable agents ready to help you. A few encouraging aspects of having an agent by your side will help you get your listing reached by many potential buyers that you may not get while using the “For sale By Owner'' tactic. An agent will also help guide you through all the different procedures you have to take for a successful sell. Let them take care of the stressful work while you sit back and get your house ready to sell! Some key steps to be thinking about in preparation to sell your home's curb appeal, depersonalizing, decluttering, and paint.

Many potential purchasers are nosey. We like to drive by and check out the listings and neighborhoods before making the decision to view the property. I say “we” because this is something I have done and looked for while seeking my potential home, and let me tell you, curb appeal is important. No one wants to hike up to your front door with overgrown grass and weeds at their knees. Keeping things trim and tidy are essential for a positive first impression. Throwing a couple flower pots for an added pop of color, a welcome mat for an inviting touch, a bush prune and grass trim will do wonderful things not only for you but for hooking those looky-loos into viewing your home.

House hunters want to be able to envision themselves in your home and making it their own is a lot easier when your home is a blank canvas. With stuff piled high and old pictures hanging on the wall it may be hard for a potential buyer to picture themselves and their stuff there. Buyers want to be able see every area of your home clutter free, it is crucial to maximize every inch of your space. Yes - this includes your junk closet, you want your home to appear as spacious as possible. A useful tip may include making the entryway more welcoming, it is the first impression of entering your home and can really set the mood for what is to come. Offer a place for a coat or a place to place your shoes. Coat racks, plants, and storage are a great way to create an inviting entrance. 

Keeping your home not only tidy, but clean is also vital. A fantastic way to freshen up your place is a coat of paint. Something so simple and affordable, yet something people often forget about it. Neutral colors are always a safe way to keep things, whites, greys, light earthy tones usually go with most buyers’ themes and home décor. So, a quick coat of paint over old stains and a floor wash will do great surprises and draw buyers in even more!

Things are a little different now a days from how we work to even how we socialize. This also includes how we buy and sell homes. New protocols have been put into place for the safety of everyone involved. Gloves, masks, cleaning, and waiver forms are also something to keep in the back of your mind while out house shopping in 2021. It is always a good idea to ask your agent about what new protocols are being implemented to stay informed before making that dive into hunting. 

Happy house huntin’ and buyin’ Port Alberni

 

Dec. 22, 2020

A New Real Estate Admin In Port Alberni

It's December 19th, 2020. It has been about 2 weeks now; I think I should finally formally introduce myself. Hi, my name is Ashley. I am the new office administrator and marketer at Royal Lepage here in Port Alberni. How am I liking it you may ask? The answer is great! 

 

Port Alberni

 

It has been 25 (and a half) years living here in the Alberni Valley, I like to refer to myself as a true local. I have basically spent my whole life here, I spent a year or two floating back and forth from the neighboring town of Nanaimo, but nothing truly felt quite like home like Port Alberni does.

I am sure you already have questions. It has been 25 years, and you still live in your small hometown? The answer is YES, and here is why.

I have been fortunate enough to have traveled the world at the ripe age of 25. Mexico, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Rome, Austria, Nevada, and South East Asia. There are plenty of beautiful places out there, but nothing quite compares to Vancouver Island, specifically Port Alberni. Being at the heart of the Island, we have access to everything we need right at our fingertips. Mountains, to hike or to snowboard right in our backyard, beautiful pristine lakes to swim, the freshest air to breathe, the sightseeing and wildlife are incredible, and to top it all off the town is quiet. I mean, that is not for everyone, but to me, that is everything I look for and have grown to love.

Do not get me wrong, the hustle and bustle of the big city can be exciting (in small doses) but can also be expensive. With prices on the rise, not only in real estate but in life in general, the Alberni Valley is reasonably affordable, particularly for us younger generation.

Rewinding to 2018, I purchased My first home in a desired Port Alberni location, out in the beautiful Cherry Creek district. Golf course and mountain range central. The house was a total renovation, but it was such a positive experience. You often hear people say “Renovations are a real test of your relationship and your sanity” let me tell you, that is not always the case. Commonly the first thought when shopping for a place to call home and you hear the words “fixer-upper” can be quite daunting, especially for first-time homebuyers. I say this because I know this was my first thought, but not here in the Alberni Valley. So many resources and knowledgeable folks to be found.

 

During the big renovation process, I learned that it was something I am passionate for. I loved each stage of the project, from swinging the hammer and putting the first hole in the wall, from design layout, picking out countertops, paint color, and flooring. You name it, I was already on it, learning all kinds of new things and it really got my creative side flowing.

Anyway fast forward to November 2020, I quit my job as a server and now here I am, at Royal Lepage. A complete 360 from what I am used to. Everyone has been so welcoming and has made my transition so comfortable. I am excited to grow my knowledge and experience in the real estate and housing field.  I look forward to connecting with you in the future.

Until then, Stay safe out there.

Ashley

Posted in Port Alberni
Oct. 3, 2020

Will COVID affect Halloween 2020 in Port Alberni?

The answer is Yes! But when you think about it, we have all worn a mask most Halloweens’ and have done so for many years in Port Alberni! It might be the most normal thing we do in 2020!

COVID is no reason to cancel Halloween, instead, our plans will be altered this year in Port Alberni. I have put together a small list of fun activities for your little monsters and big monsters to enjoy this year in Port Alberni and to spread some Halloween cheer. 

We all know that Port Alberni has a massive heart and the community is always helping each other out. Spread some Halloween cheer with anonymous acts of kindness. Leave a Halloween treat or something spooky at your neighbor’s front door with a note explaining the surprise and instructions on how to Boo two additional neighbors. This is called the Act of Booing your neighbors. 

Here is what you need to do: 

Fill two bags with Halloween candy. Make two copies of your instruction letters (You have been Booed! Now it is your turn to Boo two other people from our neighborhood) and a sign that says We have Been Booed. Choose two neighbors who have not been already Booed and make a Boo bag for them that includes the candy, letter, and a Boo sign. 

When your neighbors are not at their front door, leave your Boo bag at their door. Ring the bell, make sure you run so they do not see you!

Hang the Boo sign on your front door so your neighbors can see that you have already been Booed. Look for this sign as well before you Boo. 

In the days leading up to Halloween in Port Alberni, BC, your children will have fun looking for the neighbors that have not been Booed yet!        

We all know that family member that goes overboard at Christmas, well channel that energy and celebrate Halloween with pumpkins and lights and other spooky sights. Cut out witches, ghosts, and pumpkins and make your home one scary sight. Have the children cut out giant spiders from construction paper and hang them around your home. 

Like the Covid 19 birthday parades that so many people organized in Port Alberni. You can organize with your neighbors and have people drive by and gently throw candy at the children in their scary costumes in the front yard or throw candy into their treat bag. It is a win-win especially for the vulnerable and high-risk people in our community. We all get to enjoy the costumes and the children collect all the candy! 

Another idea is a Candy Graveyard, this is great to social distance, while trick or treating. Set up fake gravestones in your yard with Halloween treats or a Halloween tricks beside the gravestones and allow a small group in at a time for extra safety.

Organize a Glow in the Dark Egg Hunt! That is right egg hunts are not just for Easter. Buy some glow eggs and decorate them with Halloween stickers or markers. Add a trick or treat and hide them in the yard. 

Eat, drink and be scary! Halloween is a real treat have a fang-tastic night. 

Happy Haunting to everyone in Port Alberni from Royal LePage Pacific Rim Port Alberni! 

 

Sept. 19, 2020

Health Care Port Alberni

Port Alberni has a wide range of health care services, such as Port Alberni Public Health Unit, BC Mental Health – Addiction Services, Alberni Health Market, Child and Youth Mental Health, Canadian Mental Health, CBI Health Centre, Home & Community Care, just to name a few.

Health Care Port Alberni

As Life expectancy increases, the demand for better health care has never been more important! Port Alberni is setting the standard for premier health care in Canada with there 52 bed hospital, which opened in 2001. This beautifully designed hospital includes an emergency, ambulatory care, diagnostic care and inpatient departments. Their hospital rooms have views of the beautiful and bright gardens and wooded areas. There are also 4 maternity rooms, which are designed to ensure that the mother is as relaxed and as comfortable as she can be.  Many people sit in the tranquil inner garden health square and take in the bright and beautiful plants under the glass sky dome. West Coast Urgent Care Clinic provides complete family health care to Port Alberni. They provide non-emergency health care services to the community of Port Alberni.

Across from the hospital, is Westhaven multi-care facility. It has 32 living accommodation on the ground floor with garden views and walkways. Residents have their own private room and washrooms but share a common area to eat and mingle. 

VIHA Port Alberni Health Unit provides nursing services to mothers. They offer prenatal and early years services that include prenatal nutrition and education on pregnancy and childbirth; postpartum support, breast feeding assessment and support; and child health clinics and dental screening.

There are lots of options for senior health care, Seniors Outreach works alongside the senior communities, and they provide services to seniors with mental disorders and behaviour changes. Westhaven is a retirement home and offers seniors independent living options as well as a variety of services and amenities. Another facility is the Rainbow Gardens, which provides 44 care beds, 10 assisted living units, and 20 independent living apartments. The one thing to note is that Port Alberni cares for its seniors and has built residential homes near amenities in Port Alberni, to make it more convenient for seniors to access stores, pharmacies, recreation facilities etc. 

Mental health and substance use services are available in Port Alberni. They provide a number of health care and support for adults over 19 years of age with mental health and substance use issues. Their services include assessment, treatment, counselling, education and referral to Port Alberni resources. CMHA Port Alberni offers safe, secure and affordable homes in Port Alberni to the mentally ill. They also provide a Homeless Outreach services helping, advocacy, and support to homeless. The New Horizons Clubhouse offers a community-based rehabilitation, lunches, transitional and supported employment, social and recreational activities for people living with mental illness in Port Alberni. 

The one thing to note about Port Alberni is that the community has a massive heart and you can sense that the community looks out for each other! 

 

July 18, 2020

Port Alberni, The Town that Stole my Heart!

My name is Amy, I am an administrator at Royal LePage Port Alberni. I immigrated to Vancouver from Ireland over 9 years ago and have lived all over the lower mainland; Burnaby, Coquitlam, Port Moody, Maple Ridge, Vancouver etc. But no place has felt like home other than Port Alberni on Vancouver Island. From the moment I entered Cathedral Grove, which is an 800 year-old Douglas Fir ecosystem and then over the beautiful picturesque Port Alberni summit, when you think it can’t get better! Port Alberni greets you with its 360-degree mountain views of the town. I just thought I am home! As I am used to gridlock traffic jams from Vancouver, sitting in traffic jams for hours upon hours daily, stressed out. I thought to myself; why had I not moved to Port Alberni years ago. Port Alberni is in the heart of Vancouver Island and will definitely steal your heart.

Port Alberni The Town that Stole my Heart!

It is a small town with a population of approximately 15,000. Now the people of Port Alberni are one of the reasons why I moved here. The community has a massive heart and an impressive history of volunteering. 99% of the people greet you with a friendly hello and smile. I think there is something in the water here as the people look younger than they actually are; maybe the secret is the relaxed Island life that keeps everyone looking youthful along with the clean air and purest water.

Port Alberni has the most affordable real estate on Vancouver Island. You can buy a family home with mountain or water views from $300,000, the same family home in Kits in Vancouver would cost you millions!  This means that your mortgage payments are a lot lower in Port Alberni and you get more value and sq. Ft. for your money.

Port Alberni is centrally located and to the west, you will find, Tofino, Ucluelet, Pacific Rim National Reserve, Barkley Sound and Clayoquot Sound. Just 30 minutes east are Qualicum and Parksville, which are quaint ocean side communities. Victoria is a 3-hour drive south. There are so many adventures, so many road trips! Especially when you are new to Port Alberni, every day is a new adventure.

Port Alberni opened a brand-new state of the art hospital in 2001. Many people sit in the tranquil inner garden health square and take in the bright and beautiful plants under the glass skydome.

The new High School in Port Alberni, which is called ADSS opened in 2012 and cost over $58 million dollars. It is easily one of the premium High Schools on Vancouver Island, if not Canada! There are over 30 sports clubs in Port Alberni covering all types of sports and recreational activities from hockey to martial arts. Port Alberni has a wide variety of sports for everyone in their community to stay active and enjoy. Not to forget the festivals and events that are held like the Salmon Derby, Five Acre Shaker, Fall Fair, Thunder in the Valley, just to name a few. Your calendar will be full of many fun festivals and events.

Port Alberni is my favorite places to hike, there is so much natural beauty and all on my doorstep! From the mountains to the lakes. It is one of the most beautiful places that I have ever hiked and lived. The trails are all unique and have their own stories to tell. When you are out in the middle of nowhere and it's just you and the land, you can feel the energy from the 800-year-old Douglas Firs vibrate through your bones, grounding you to the land. Another thing to note in Port Alberni; the summers are hot, temperatures can reach 35 degrees and the winters are cold and wet, but I don’t mind because Arrowsmith mountain is covered in snow and I’m ready to snowboard and drink some delicious hot chocolate.  

You can see why Port Alberni stole my heart, from the tranquil, peaceful stress-free drive to Port Alberni to the beautiful hiking trails. The affordable homes, if you are considering moving to Canada, BC or Vancouver Island I would recommend purchasing your home in Port Alberni, especially if you are from Europe the rate of exchange CAD$300,000 converts to EUR 192,604, you wouldn’t be able to purchase a home in Dublin, Ireland for that! If you are looking for a healthy balanced lifestyle, then Welcome to Port Alberni.

March 19, 2020

Tips for Selling Your Home in Spring!

Spring is around the corner in Port Alberni, BC. Spring is a popular time to sell your home in the Alberni Valley. Regardless of whether it’s a Buyer’s Market or Seller’s Market in Port Alberni, inventory always increases during springtime. As a result, a large number of buyers are vigorously researching for a new home in Port Alberni during these spring months. 

Tips for Selling Your Home in Spring!

Many homeowners are unsure of how to proceed when they are selling their Alberni Valley home during springtime. With this in mind, below are some tips to help prepare your home for the spring market. 

1. Windows and Mirrors.

Cleaning is the first tip, ensure all windows are washed inside and out and all mirrors are polished, especially the mirrors in the bathroom(s). Clean windows will allow more light to enter your home and clean mirrors will reflect more sunlight into your home, making it feel brighter and bigger. 

2. Gutters and Trimming. 

Clean out all dead leaves and debris from your gutters, this will allow the water to drain into the downspouts and prevents the water from backing up into your home. Don’t let overgrown vegetation block the windows or pathways. Cutting bushes and tree limbs will let the sun inside and show off the exterior of your home. 

3. Mowing

You should mow your lawn frequently and don’t forget to mow the edges of the lawn along your driveway or sidewalk. Doing this alone will show buyers that you pay attention to the small details and a diagonally mowed lawn makes a garden appear bigger. 

4. Garden Flowers

After a long winter most, people are anxious to see the beauty that spring brings. Bright and warm colors induce feelings of happiness and joy. Arrange flowers like tulips and daffodils into groups and placing them at the entrance of your home, will bring warmth into your home. 

5. Floors

Hardwood floors should be polished, any scrapes should be buffered out. Make your ceramic or linoleum floors shine and sparkle, and bleach dull grout and steam clean any area rugs. 

6. Outdoor Mat and Umbrella Stand at the Entrance.

Most people know that song “April Showers”. Although April showers may come your way, they bring the flowers that bloom in May.  Always be prepared for rain, as our spring weather is often unpredictable. If it’s raining provide buyers a place to stand their umbrellas and a mat to wipe their feet. This will keep your home free of muddy footprints and stains and all that hard work you put into polishing and cleaning those floors won’t be wasted.

When you show off your home, you need to emphasize the positives. Spring is the right time as you can open all windows and let the fresh air and the smell of spring fill your home with joy and warmth. 

These tips will help you maximize the impact your home makes on potential buyers. By working alongside a qualified and experienced Port Alberni Realtor, you can work together to achieve your selling goals and discover more tips for selling your beautiful home. 

 

March 12, 2020

Port Alberni - Hiking the Heart of Vancouver Island!

Port Alberni is known for its picturesque natural beauty!  What better way of seeing the true beauty of this incredible Valley than hiking! When I think about living in the Heart of Vancouver Island. I imagine that the trails are like veins pumping fresh oxygen and life from the heart of our beautiful Valley; keeping our lush forests standing strong and our rivers and lakes filled with the cleanest and freshest waters in the world. Each trail in Port Alberni has its own uniqueness. Port Alberni has over 100 trails, and all are beautiful in their own way.  

Port Alberni, Hiking the Heart of Vancouver Island

Starting off with the largest waterfall in Canada, Della Falls at 440 meters high. Della Falls lies within Strathcona Provincial Park. The river valley will take your breath away as you canoe down and hike Great Central Lake. You will hike a wide and flat trail to Drinkwater Creek, and feel the magical presence of your ancestries through the beautiful and sacrist Spruce and Hemlock forests. Once you cross over Margaret Creek, the trails become narrower and harsher.  As you make your way to the top, to take in Della Falls in the distances. You will realize that there is no other place like this! Let the tranquility fill your heart and a sense of peace overcomes you. This place is a true Heaven! 

The Stamp Long River Trail is an ancient growth rainforest, untouched by mankind. You can feel the energy from the prehistoric Cedar and Fir trees that stand shoulder to shoulder, along the entire trail for hundreds upon hundreds of years.  If you close your eyes, you can almost feel the people that lived before you, that used this trail for hunting or traveling from one place to another. There are several short switchbacks that provide the most incredible views of the river trail. This river is one of the most breathtaking gems on Vancouver Island. Hikers have spotted eagles, hawks and bears as they hike, the true rainforest of Vancouver Island.    

The Log Train Trail, in Log Trail Regional Park, offers 25 km of amazing diverse trails through the Alberni Valley.  Historically, the trail was once used as a rail bed developed in the early 1900s as part of the Bainbridge Mill rail logging operation. Starting along the foot of Beaufort Range, the trail leads to the McLean Mill Historic Site.  This trail will walk you through the history of logging and mining on Vancouver Island.  The tracks and ties have long been removed from the old rail grade. There are maintained culvert and bridge crossings of streams along the trail. 

Fossli Provincial Park lies on the south side of the Stirling Arm of Sproat Lake. You can walk the 2.5 km trail that leads to a second-growth forest and that leads to an old homestead site on Sproat Lake. Once you reach the lake, you can take in the most stunning views you will ever see, as you relax on the pebble beach. There are numerous waterfalls at St Andrew Creek, as it zigs zags through the park before flowing into Sproat Lake. The beach is perfect for swimming and in Fall you can watch the Coho salmon migrate. There is a short trail that heads west from the beach to a beaver pond, here is a perfect place to bird watch.  

There is nothing like hiking and the fresh oxygen being pumped from the forest around you, healing your lungs with the freshest air. My favorite part is watching the trees and shrubbery change during each season. As in Fall watching the leaves fall to the ground and feeling the crunch beneath your feet or watching the land come alive again after the harsh winter.  Hiking cleanses the soul and connects you to nature! In my opinion, Port Alberni has the most incredible trails on Vancouver Island, and all are on our back doorstep. 

 

March 5, 2020

How to Prepare for an Earthquake

Earthquakes can happen at any time and anywhere in the world. Recognizing possible dangers ahead of time and advance planning can save your life, at the most extreme, or reduce the chances of a serious injury or property damages. On January 24th, 2020 a light earthquake at a magnitude of 4.8 struck Port Alberni. No damage was caused and most people living in Port Alberni, BC didn’t feel it. But it got me thinking am I really prepared for an earthquake and the aftermath? 

Earthquake Preparation Port Alberni

According to USGS, it is estimated that around several million earthquakes occur annually around the world. Annually, an average of one earthquake of a magnitude of 8 or higher occurs, while around 15 earthquakes ranging from 7 to 7.9, occur. As many as 13 million earthquakes measuring 2 to 2.9 magnitude occur annually. 

Imagine: if you were going about your daily business at work, driving the children to school or just walking the Kitsuksis Dyke with your dog., when all of a sudden, the ground starts to move from beneath you. It may take a moment to realize that its an earthquake.  What should you do?

What to do if you are inside a building during an earthquake?

First of all, if you feel an earthquake, do not run outside as some old buildings may not be designed to withstand a large earthquake, and windows may be smashing onto the ground, while exterior brickwork, may fall too. There is a greater chance that you would be hurt if you are near a building than being inside it. According to FUMA:

Drop to the ground and take cover by getting under a secure table or other piece of furniture; and hold on until the shaking stops. If there isn’t a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.

Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls and anything that could fall, such as lighting fixtures or furniture.

Stay in bed if you are there when the earthquake strikes. Hold on and protect your head with a pillow, unless you are under a heavy light fixture that could fall. In that case, move to the nearest safe place.

Use a doorway for shelter only if it is in close proximity to you and if you know it is a strongly supported, loadbearing doorway.

Stay inside until the shaking stops and it is safe to go outside. Research has shown that most injuries occur when people in buildings attempt to move to a different location inside the building or try to leave.

Be aware that the electricity may go out or the sprinkler systems or fire alarms may turn on.

Do not use the elevators.

What do you do if you are outside during an earthquake? 

Stay there.

Move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires.

Once in the open, stay there until the shaking stops. The greatest danger exists directly outside buildings, at exits, and alongside exterior walls. Ground movement during an earthquake is seldom the direct cause of death or injury. Most earthquake-related casualties result from collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling objects.

What do you do if in a moving vehicle during an earthquake? 

Stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires.

Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped. Avoid roads, bridges, or ramps that might have been damaged by the earthquake.

Remember that the local fire and police departments may not be available following an earthquake. It is important that you have emergency supplies prepared. Your emergency kit should have enough water, food, clothing, medical supplies, batteries, flashlights, first aid kit and any other necessary equipment that you need for at least 72 hours.  With a little preparation, you can avoid bigger issues. For example, it is advised that you leave a flashlight and a pair of shoes beside your bed. This way if an earthquake hits in the middle of the night, you are prepared. One of the most common injuries seen after an earthquake is people’s feet being cut from them walking or running barefoot over broken glass and other sharp objects. Are you prepared?