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!

Oct. 11, 2019

Buying a Home in Winter in Port Alberni

Often, many people purchase their homes in the Spring and Summertime in Port Alberni, especially people with children: they want to ensure that their children are settled before the school year starts in September. Which means that the housing market heats up during these months and can potentially drive demand up in Port Alberni.  It can be frustrating when you make an offer on your dream home but there are multiple offers on that house.  Do you increase your offer or move on?  

Buying a Home in Winter in Port Alberni

Why not wait until the Winter! When the housing market slows down a little due to weather, there will be a decrease in homes on the market for sale but the buyer gains advantage facing less of a competition from other buyers.  The buyer’s chances on purchasing their dream home in Port Alberni for the right price may increase, due to the fact that some sellers are more motivated to sell knowing that the market is less active.  As well, it is rare that there would be multiple offers on the same home, this alone takes a lot of financial pressure and stress away. 

Wintertime is a great time to look at homes that are on the market in Port Alberni,  as the weather conditions are harsher during this season and this can help you evaluate the conditions on the home before you make an offer and pay a home inspector to inspect the home.  Some issues are more likely to appear in the Winter such as; leaks from roof shingles, foundation cracks from the cold, unlevel grading around the property, unsealed windows, water pooling at the entrance of the home, is the home insulated properly do you feel a draft?  You will also get to experience the heating system firsthand in Winter and you will be able to feel the air vents and ensure that the hot air flows throughout the home and to ensure that the wood fire operates correctly. 

Buying a home in Winter provides you with an opportunity to discover these repairs or replacements that you wouldn’t discover during the Summer and Spring months.  Being aware of these repairs or replacements now will help you make better decisions, potentially saving you thousands of dollars in the long run.

Winter weather may prevent you form getting a good essence of the yard, if it is covered in snow, you should ask your Realtor if photos are available of the yard from the previous Spring or Summertime. If gardening is important to you then ask your Realtor to find out if the current owners maintain their yard and with what type of plants or vegetables. 

Another aspect is that arranging a mortgage may go more smoothly in the Winter because your mortgage specialist will not be as busy during the Winter.

Hiring movers is easier in Winter, as during Spring and Summer they are booked solid. So, if you shop around you may get a cheaper price than during the Spring or Summertime.  As well, the movers may be more flexible with your schedule too as there will be less of a demand for them. 

Let’s face it when Spring rolls around you want to be settled in your new home ready to enjoy the sunshine not unpacking and moving furniture. Winter is a great time to consider buying a home, especially when you can save time and a lot of money.

 

Sept. 25, 2019

Sunshine Club in Port Alberni, BC

 

Port Alberni in BC have a 5 Star Social Club for the over 50’s and Seniors.  The Sunshine Club in Port Alberni began in 1967, today it has over 1000 members.  The Sunshine Club is powered by Volunteers and is a membership-based organization. The membership fee is $70 per person and operates from September to August. Their Volunteers strong commitment to Port Alberni BC increases the value of life for the over 50’s and senior communities.  For those of you that are widowed, retired, children have moved away, or on your own.  The Sunshine Club does not only provide activities and events; they provide a sense of belonging, knowing you are not on your own, that there is a whole community behind you and around you.

Sunshine Club events and activities for the over 50's and Seniors

The Sunshine Club offers a lot of social events in Port Alberni BC such as the Annual Sunshine Club Tea & Bazaar, which is an event that is held in October and is open to the public.  This year it is being held on Saturday, October 19, 2019 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm at the Echo Center. It is a fundraiser for the Club; there are raffles, hampers, and lots of baked delicious goods, different crafts, jewellery, plants, books etc. that can be purchased.  Another big social event is the Dinner at the Casino and Rim Rock Restaurant.  For more information, please click : {http://playinpa.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/ESC-Newsletter-September-2019.pdf}

The Sunshine Club offers a wide range of activities all year round, such as Table Tennis, Carpet Bowling, Bridge, Spanish, Pottery, Painting, Tai Chi; the Sunshine Club has over 50 activities to choose from.  For more information, the below link is the Sunshine Club September event calendar. {http://playinpa.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/SC-Calendar-of-Events-September-2019.pdf} 

The Sunshine Club in Port Alberni have two fantastic biking groups: Easy Riders Biking Group and Happy Trails Biking Group.  It is a fun experience and a great way to exercise.  If you prefer to walk, then their walking club is a great way to enjoy fresh air with the company of others. If fitness is your passion, then try the Line Dancing or Limber Up classes.

If you love to read books and discuss with others, look no further as both book clubs are amazing Turn the Page Book Club and Second Book Club; or do you love to write short stories, children’s stories, poetry etc. Then visit their Writing group on Tuesday morning’s from 10:00 – 12:00 pm at Echo Centre. 

The Sunshine Club in Port Alberni offers a daily Friendly Phone Call to anyone in Port Alberni that lives alone. The Sunshine Club will check in with you to ensure that you are safe and not alone. Their calls are between 8:00 am to 9:00 am, 365 days of the year.  Another amazing service they arrange is Hospital visits, their astounding Volunteers will visit you in hospital and send you a get-well card.  You just need to inform the admitting Clerk at the hospital and let them know you are a Sunshine Club member.

If Hobbies and Crafts are your desire, the Sunshine Club in Port Alberni will keep you busy with their Sunshine Garden Club and Hobbies and Crafty Wool. The Sunshine Club has a fully equipped Woodwork shop and is open to their members for a fee of $1 per visit. All members must provide their own wood. It is a great place to meet new friends and to share your knowledge and to learn from others.

Meeting new Friends at the Sunshine Club Lunch Brunch, once a month the Sunshine Club Volunteers organise a delicious meal in one of the local restaurants.  Great to catch up with friends and enjoy some local food.

Port Alberni is blessed to have such a well-organised Club and it is only possible because of the passionate, creative and hard-working Volunteers.  You are like a light in the dark, to so many people in this great community of ours, Port Alberni.

Posted in Local Events
Sept. 18, 2019

Relocating to Port Alberni, Where to Begin?

Have you ever dreamed of relocating to Port Alberni or another part of BC? Relocating can be stressful, buying a home can be confusing: is it in a good location, near schools, transit, parks, shopping, is there crime in that area, so many questions? Where to begin?    

Relocating to Port Alberni

The first step is Research, a tip would be to Google Map the different MLS listings in Port Alberni and Alberni Valley, such as Sproat Lake, Cherry Creek, Beaver Creek, Bamfield, and the Alberni Inlet to utilize the Google Street Maps to virtually walk the streets in that specific community of Port Alberni or  Alberni Valley , this will provide you with a sense of what is important to you , maybe schools, near shopping, hiking trails, waterfront views, mountain views, privacy, etc. 

Once you have completed your research on the different neighbourhoods in Port Alberni and Alberni Valley, the fun part starts looking for a new home to buy. The first step would be to contact a Realtor to help you search for new MLS listings in that neighbourhood maybe Sproat Lake, Salmon Beach, Bamfield, Cherry Creek, Beaver Creek. Your Real Estate Agent will have lots of knowledge and experience in all aspects of Real Estate, whether it’s buying bare land, manufactured home, single family, strata etc.  especially if they are from the area of Port Alberni or Alberni Valley. Narrowing down your research to what is important to you like rancher, two level home, home with a finished basement, lakefront property, condo, manufactured home and the list goes on. This will help you build a strong relationship with your Realtor and help them assist you best when making one of the biggest purchases of your life, your new home.  

How to decide on which home to buy? Visit the neighbourhood in person, look at the other homes on that street, is it a noisy street?  Do others keep their homes neat?  Does it look like a safe neighbourhood? Are there many homes with “for sale” signs?  The home itself meets your criteria, does it have the bedrooms and bathrooms that are on the wish list, the fenced yard, the big gourmet kitchen, the granite countertops, finished basement, lots of natural light, vaulted ceilings, is it near dog parks, is it near a lake, near hiking trails, near a hospital, near schools?

Talk to the neighbours and get a feel of the neighbourhood. Ask the neighbours the cons and pros of buying and selling a home in that area of Port Alberni or Alberni Valley.

If you have children you would need to review the schools, creches, any activities and bus routes in that area of Port Alberni or Alberni Valley. 

Also, another important factor is your commute from your home in Port Alberni or Alberni Valley, BC to work. Are you happy with the length of time that it takes you to get home? As many people desire a happy balance with work and home. 

Another method of connecting with Port Alberni and Alberni Valley is finding out more information is to search for social media groups from the Port Alberni and Alberni Valley and ask questions. You may make some new contacts before you arrive. Most Realtors advertise their open houses through social media too.  One thing to note is to take some peoples personal opinions or anecdote with a grain of salt, as all parts of Vancouver Island, BC and the rest of the world have their own cons, but in my opinion the pros out number them, especially in Port Alberni, BC .  

Talk to the people that work in the local restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations and other local stores. Visit the local tourism centre and ask for free maps and magazines of the different neighbourhoods in Port Alberni and Alberni Valley, which are Sproat Lake, Cherry Creek, Beaver Creek, Bamfield, and the Alberni Inlet.  Read the free local papers as a lot of different MLS listings and open houses are advertised in them. You will get a sense of what types of homes are for sale in Port Alberni or Alberni Valley, BC and the different styles i.e. Contemporary, Country, Rancher, West Coast, Victorian etc.  

Relocating doesn’t mean you are on your own, there are plenty of resources to help make the move to your new home a success and stress-free experience.   

Posted in Real Estate Tips
Aug. 13, 2019

Royal LePage Burger & Beer Fundraiser Update

We just wanted to give an update on our recent Burger & Beer (and Pasta & Wine) fundraiser in support of ACAWS - Alberni Community & Women's Services.  Today we presented a cheque to ACAWS on behalf of Royal LePage Port Alberni-Pacific Rim Realty and the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation. 

Royal LePage ACAWS Fundraiser 2019

The money raised went to support the local, Port Alberni, Transition House for local women and children walking away from domestic violence. This is such an important cause in Port Alberni and every community across Canada. 

A big Thank You is in order for: everyone who came out to support the evening; our Realtors who organised the fundraiser; our host Boston Pizza; and every person who works at the Alberni Community & Women's Services Society.

Posted in Local Events