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Pros and Cons of living on Vancouver Island

Have you heard about Vancouver Island? No, we aren’t talking about the metropolitan city of Vancouver, but instead, its next-door neighbour to the west. This large island is home to many small towns and British Columbia’s capital city, Victoria. While many people choose to live on the Lower Mainland, there are even better reasons to make the move to Vancouver Island. In this article, we outline several pros and cons of living on the island.

If you’re finding yourself thinking that Vancouver is too expensive and are looking for other options, you’ll want to give this one a read.

This article was originally published on May 10, 2023. We have since updated it with more valuable information. Enjoy!

Benefits of living on Vancouver Island

We love living on Vancouver Island. As a Nanaimo home-building company, we have helped countless clients build custom homes in Nanaimo, Parksville, Comox, and Courteney. Read on to discover a few of the reasons why people are flocking to the Vancouver Island real estate market.

Outdoor activities

Many people enjoy the dense, west coast environment for hiking, biking, water sports, camping, fishing, and other activities. There are several marinas located on all sides of the island, including neighbouring ones on the Discovery Islands. The ease of stepping outdoors to enjoy an outdoor activity makes this area desirable for a large number of people and interests.

There are a large number of lakes, rivers, and of course, access to the ocean. Other popular activities not already mentioned include kite surfing, paddle boarding, canoeing, floating down the river, water skiing, jet skiing, and picnics on the beach. If you hit the right time of year, you can view an amazing sand sculpting competition at Parksville Beach Fest.

We have mountains, too. In the winter, sports like skiing, snowboarding, snow shoeing, and tubing are popular. In warmer months, visitors can enjoy the view or participate in fun activities like ziplining. Mount Washington is a hot spot all year round.

A couple walking through Cathedral Grove

Abundant nature

Lakes, ocean, mountains, dense forest – Vancouver Island has it all. Along with plenty of outdoor recreation activities, being surrounded by nature also provides exceptional views and opportunities for local flora and fauna to seamlessly blend into your lifestyle.

Cathedral Grove at MacMillan Park is a protected old-growth forest on Vancouver Island. Visitors are able to walk through serene paths to experience the majestic nature of this beautiful forest. Some of these trees are over 800 years old and include varieties such as Douglas Fir, Western Red Cedar, and various types of Hemlock.

Up island is a beautiful hiking spot at San Josef Bay. This part of the island is less densely populated and feels more remote when hiking. By far the most popular hiking trail is the West Coast Trail, which stretches from Port Renfrew to around Bamfield and takes usually about a week to complete.

Goats on the Roof at Coombs

Relaxed, slower vibe

Less hustle and bustle means a more relaxed, slower lifestyle than its Vancouver counterpart. This makes Vancouver Island a great place to retire, but it’s also active enough for younger people to enjoy, too. If city living is too hectic for you, consider the slower vibe of Vancouver Island for your mental health.

Say “hi” to the Goats on the Roof in Coombs, wander through the beautiful Butchart Gardens near Victoria, camp near the shoreline at Pachena Bay, or spend a relaxing day shopping downtown in Parksville. Long walks on the beach are a’plenty, as are opportunities to be social and interact with people. The local brewery scene is strong, with several craft breweries such as Tofino Brewing Company, Twin City Brewing, Philips Brewing, Mount Arrowsmith Brewing Company, and many others.

Mild climate

Vancouver Island has a mild, temperate climate with relatively warm temperatures year-round, making it an attractive place to live. For example, many golf courses are open year-round – a rare treat in British Columbia!

In the city of Vancouver, rain is a part of life during the cooler months. While this climate does creep onto Vancouver Island, instead of hitting concrete it nourishes the natural plants and trees of the region, resulting in lush forests, vibrant blooms, and the occasional opportunity to observe a beachfront winter storm.

What’s the weather like right now on Vancouver Island? Check it out for yourself – here are some popular towns and cities you can grab that info from right now.

Nanaimo Weather

Parksville Weather

Qualicum Beach Weather

Comox Weather

Victoria Weather

Port Hardy Weather

Less traffic

Sick of getting stuck in traffic? Those days are long gone once you’ve relocated to the island. The worst traffic is usually seen in Victoria during rush hour, but it is nothing compared to the long treks on the Lower Mainland. Imagine pulling out of your driveway and driving to the store and only passing by a car or two. It isn’t a dream – many small towns have plenty of space on the road for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians. You might even see someone riding on horseback, depending on the area!

Affordable real estate

Looking for cheap homes in BC? Vancouver Island has several great choices.

While real estate prices are rising everywhere, they are still relatively more affordable on Vancouver Island compared to the Lower Mainland. In addition, there are more real estate listings generally available for acreages or empty lots for you to build your own custom home.

A map of Vancouver Island

Lower cost of living

When compared to places like Vancouver, Burnaby, Surrey, and Richmond, Vancouver Island tends to have a lower cost of living. Paired with more affordable real estate listings, this means you can purchase your dream home and still have money left in your pocket for other things you want – vacations, a second property, a new boat for your lakefront home, whatever you want! With rising prices across the globe, these opportunities to save a bit of money and still have a decent quality of life are becoming rare. Fortunately, Vancouver Island is still a relatively affordable place to live, surrounded by beautiful forests, good people, and a relaxed atmosphere.

There are many resources online for comparing cost of living measures. Whether you’re looking for the cheapest place to retire, somewhere for a fresh start, or the most luxurious home you’ve ever owned, you can find it all on Vancouver Island.

Here are a few cost of living resources that we like:

WorkBC Cost of Living Calculator – enter your desired town and your profession (or yearly salary), then fill out your expenses column to get a customized report.

Numbeo is a crowd-sourced cost of living database. This means that people enter in values based on their experiences. Sometimes this can be a bit inaccurate, but it does give a great picture of what to expect in general for the area.

Townfolio leans more towards general demographics but can be equally as useful as the other resources we have mentioned.

Two people on the beach with arms outstretched looking at the sunset.

Plenty of luxurious waterfront homes to choose from

The abundance of lakes, rivers, and ocean waters means finding a luxurious waterfront home on Vancouver Island is a high possibility, not a dream. Lakefront properties, beach houses, and river view homes are plentiful. Purchase a home that’s already established, renovate it to suit your needs, or start from scratch and build your own luxury custom home. Don’t take a vacation, live the vacation!

Ballard Fine Homes has several developments underway, some of which are right on the waterfront. If you are interested in waterfront home, please reach out to our team for more information.

High sense of community

Do you miss the good old days before smart devices where people talked to each other face to face? While smartphones are still a part of life, Vancouver Island is home to many smaller towns with a large sense of community. In these towns, locals will spark up conversations with each other on the bus, at the grocery store, or anywhere else people gather. When unfortunate circumstances occur, often you will find the community gathering together to offer their help to one another.

Potential disadvantages for island living

Transparency is important to Don Ballard and his team, which is why we want to inform you of some potential disadvantages of living on Vancouver Island, along with the perks. In this way, you can decide for yourself if island living is suitable for your lifestyle.

Less sophisticated public transportation options

Do you rely on the SkyTrain? It doesn’t exist on Vancouver Island, so relying on your vehicle is more important than if you were living on the mainland. While each city or town has its public transportation system, it is limited to city buses that tend to run less frequently than the SkyTrains in Vancouver or Burnaby. So you may need to allocate a little bit of extra time in your travel plans if you are used to getting around in a flash.

The benefit is that these rapid transit options aren’t needed. In most cases, you can drive across town in minutes (not hours), so getting around isn’t that big of an issue.

Potential for urban construction due to the rising population

The word got out and more and more people are relocating to Vancouver Island. What does this mean for you? With a growing population, there is more of a demand for services and housing. These don’t come out of thin air, so some areas will see more of a construction boom compared to others. Sometimes this can mean traffic delays or added noise, but it also means a higher quality of living once these amenities are complete and ready for public use.

Fewer job opportunities

The number of businesses and job opportunities is fewer than their mainland counterparts, so it might be slightly more difficult to find a job. This makes sense, as there isn’t a collection of metropolitan cities crammed side by side like on the Lower Mainland.

orcas swimming near Vancouver Island
Vancouver Island small towns to consider

Did you enjoy our pros and cons article for Vancouver Island? We have a few more related articles for various towns and cities on the island. Check them out below and help fine-tune your search for your beautiful home!

Pros and Cons for living in Courtenay, BC

Pros and Cons for living in Comox, BC

Moving to Nanaimo – what you need to know.

Your ultimate list of things to do in Nanaimo

How much does it cost to build a house in Nanaimo?

Pros and Cons for moving to Parksville, BC

Pros and cons for moving to a small community like French Creek

Perks and considerations for living on a lake or near the ocean

However, with so many jobs having the ability to work remotely from home, this can be more of a perk than a loss. What better place to have your office than in the relaxed, scenic environment found on Vancouver Island?

Ready to make a move?

Have you come to a decision about moving to Vancouver Island? Are you wanting a little bit more information before you make the leap? Contact the team at Ballard Fine Homes to find out more about what it is like living on Vancouver Island. We have built custom homes for clients in areas like Nanaimo, Parksville, Comox, and Courtenay to name a few, and are happy to provide insider information about each of these communities to help you be better prepared.

Starting a Hobby Farm? Build a Custom Home and Save Time Later

Are you dreaming of a life in the countryside, with wide-open spaces, fresh produce at your doorstep, and a serene retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city?

If you’re considering starting a hobby farm, finding the perfect acreage for sale is just the beginning. Places like Coombs, Hilliers, Parksville, Nanaimo, and the Comox Valley are ripe with real estate options, many of which contain acreage.

While many may opt for an existing farmhouse, there’s a compelling case for building a custom home. It’s not only a practical choice but also an elegant way to set yourself up for success in the world of homesteading.

In this article, we’ll explore why custom homes on your acreage can be a game-changer and provide examples of custom features that can make your homesteading experience even more enjoyable.

Modern Farmhouse Dreams

The allure of a modern farmhouse is undeniable, with its timeless charm and contemporary conveniences. Maybe you’ve been inspired by homesteaders on YouTube, or felt the crunch of grocery prices and want to be more self-sufficient. Whatever your reason, the dream of owning a modern farmhouse is beautiful possibility that you can pass down through the generations of your family.

Building a custom farmhouse on your acreage allows you to design a home that suits your vision perfectly. Picture a spacious, open-concept kitchen with a larger-than-life pantry to store your farm-fresh produce, or even a canning/processing room for all your homegrown goods in the cooler basement.

Self-sustainable female chef arranging a variety of freshly picked produce into a crate on an organic farm.

With that acreage, the outdoors are also a blank slate. Imagine fields of vegetable and flower gardens with enough produce to skip going to the grocery store for an entire year. Or perhaps you envision a chicken coop, dairy cows, and other animals enjoying the outdoor space with you.

If you love to entertain, why not include an outdoor kitchen, swimming pool, whirlpool, or sauna? This is your dream home – build it how you want it. With a custom home, these features can be seamlessly integrated into the design, making your homesteading activities more efficient and enjoyable.

Maximize Functionality

One of the key advantages of building a custom home on your hobby farm is the ability to maximize functionality.

Consider having a farmhouse with a garage that not only houses your vehicles but also serves as a workshop for your farming equipment. An attached greenhouse could allow for year-round cultivation, or a mudroom with a pet-washing station could make farm life more manageable. A dedicated growing room for your vegetable starters near your garden or a laundry room on the same floor as your bedrooms with easy access to an outdoor clothes line also help make life that much easier.

These customized features transform your home into a hub for all your farming activities.

Create a Homestead That Fits Your Lifestyle

Every hobby farm is unique, and a custom-built farmhouse ensures that your home aligns with your specific needs and lifestyle. Whether you want a spacious porch to enjoy sweeping views of your land, a barn-style garage that complements the farmhouse aesthetic, or a cozy nook for morning coffee with a view of your garden, the possibilities are endless.

A custom home adapts to your preferences, making it not just a place to live but an integral part of your farming and life journey.

Invest in a Custom Home

Investing in a custom home for your hobby farm is not just about short-term convenience; it’s a long-term investment. As your homestead grows, and your needs change, your home can evolve with you.

Plus, a well-designed custom farmhouse adds value to your property, which can pay off if you ever decide to sell or expand your acreage.

Interested? Chat with us at Ballard Fine Homes

If you’re in the market for acreage to start your own hobby farm, building a custom home is a practical and elegant choice. It allows you to design a modern farmhouse that perfectly fits your vision and needs, from a larger pantry to specialized processing rooms.

Your custom home will maximize functionality, create a homestead that aligns with your lifestyle, and serve as a sound long-term investment. Your homesteading dreams deserve the personal touch and functionality that only a custom home can provide, so let us help you with that.

Ballard Fine Homes is here to help you turn your dreams into reality. Dream building is what we do and that includes modern farmhouse homes. Read our testimonials and either drop by or call/email us to start a conversation. We look forward to meeting you to help turn your dreams into a solid plan for generations to come.

Waterfront Properties in Parksville: Living the Island Dream

Are you dreaming of waking up to the soothing sound of waves lapping the shore just outside your window? Or perhaps you envision evenings spent watching the sunset over the tranquil waters of Vancouver Island? If you’re in search of the quintessential island dream, Parksville, British Columbia, might just be the place for you.

This coastal gem on Vancouver Island offers a stunning array of waterfront properties for sale. From panoramic ocean views to sandy beachfronts, Parksville has it all. But if you truly want to make the most of your waterfront living experience, building a custom home is the ideal choice.

Here, we’ll explore why custom homes are the way to go when it comes to living the island dream in Parksville.

Design Your Dream Home

One of the most significant advantages of building a custom home on a waterfront property in Parksville is the freedom to design a home that maximizes the waterfront experience.

Off-the-shelf homes often don’t make the most of the stunning natural surroundings, but with a custom-built home, you can tailor every aspect to suit your desires. Picture yourself having breakfast at your beach house, or lounging in a living room with panoramic windows that bring the outdoors in. With a custom home, your imagination is the only limit, and Parksville’s picturesque landscapes are the canvas.

Ballard Fine Homes is a custom home-building company located in the heart of Parksville. We have built numerous homes for our happy clients using the highest quality materials and our sharp attention to detail. When choosing a homebuilder, it is important for them to understand the area and the weather patterns. With Don Ballard and his team, you can be sure you are in good hands. Talk to our friendly staff or browse our showroom for your next waterfront home ideas.

Personalized Features, Luxurious Homes

Building a luxurious custom home offers the opportunity to infuse your waterfront property with personalized features that reflect your lifestyle and tastes.

Imagine having your very own private dock, providing easy access to the ocean, or perhaps a fire pit on the beach for cozy evenings with friends and family.

Your custom-built home can cater to your preferences, whether you want a gourmet kitchen with an ocean view, a spa-like bathroom, or a spacious deck for entertaining. Parksville’s waterfront properties are a blank slate waiting for your unique touches.

Chairs around a fire pit facing the beach on Vancouver Island.

Parksville Offers Privacy and Seclusion

Many waterfront properties in Parksville offer an added perk – privacy.

Your custom home can be strategically designed to provide seclusion from neighboring properties while still maximizing your ocean views. This can be done through using the natural scenery to your advantage, such as a tree-line on the edge of your property, or by installing features like fences, shrubbery, and strategically placed structures.

This sense of tranquility and privacy can be a rare find in waterfront living, making Parksville a unique and sought-after location.

Investing in Your Island Dream with Ballard Fine Homes

When you invest in a waterfront property in Parksville, you’re not just buying a home; you’re buying a lifestyle.

The allure of living on Vancouver Island, with its mild climate, stunning beaches, and vibrant community, is undeniable. Parksville, in particular, offers a harmonious blend of nature and urban convenience, making it a desirable place to call home.

If you’re contemplating a move to Vancouver Island and are considering waterfront living, Parksville is an excellent choice. Ballard Fine Homes has several developments on Vancouver Island, a mix between waterfront and forested neighbourhoods waiting to be discovered.

So, why wait? Your island dream awaits on the shores of Parksville, where the possibilities are as limitless as the ocean views. Contact the professionals at Ballard Fine Homes to get started.

Pros and Cons for Living in Comox, BC

Nestled in the Comox Valley, you will find places like Courtenay, Cumberland, and of course, Comox. When choosing the perfect place on Vancouver Island to live, it’s important to grab as much information as possible so you can make the best decision for yourself and your family.

Ballard Fine Homes is a custom home-building company on Vancouver Island. We regularly build homes in central Vancouver Island, so we have the knowledge you are looking for when making a more informed decision. Read our article to find some potential pros and cons for living in Comox, so you can see if this is the right place for you. If you have any questions about building a custom home or want more information on the areas we build, please contact us at your convenience.

What makes Comox such a desirable place to live?

When you have other island choices like Parksville, Nanaimo, Victoria, and Port Hardy, how do you decide which one is the best? While advantages and disadvantages can be subjective, we feel these are highly important for most people to consider. Face it, you aren’t just here to learn about Comox’s weather but rather, to grab more insight on what this town is like.

Is Comox safe? Absolutely!

That’s right, Comox is a relatively safe place to live on Vancouver Island. While crime rates have been on the rise island-wide, they are still moderately low in Comox.

The main issues you may encounter include things like property theft and some areas with slightly elevated instances of drug use and homelessness. While no place is free from these issues, they are quite minimal in Comox compared to other island communities.

Comox is safe because of several factors, such as the due diligence of the local RCMP and the presence of the Royal Canadian Air Force Base. Additionally, most of the area is suburban, which naturally contains less crime than in densely populated city centres.

If you’re wondering what the crime rate of Comox is, at the writing of this article it appears to be 31% lower than the national average.

Crime rate averages in Comox, BC compared to the rest of Canada

Larger homes are easier to find

Do you have your heart set on a 3-bedroom home? Comox is a great place to look for this type of real estate listing.

Most homes in Comox are on the larger size (3+ bedrooms) so they are great for large families or those that appreciate a little extra room. If you work from home and need a dedicated office, homes in Comox are the perfect size. Not to mention, the view is outstanding.

Surrounded by ocean and beautiful scenery

The geography of Comox is stunning. Surrounded by ocean on three sides and forest on the other, it’s no mystery why families and retirees love living in Comox.

There are many things to do in Comox, especially for outdoor enthusiasts. Residents enjoy sailing, hiking, and walking down to the waterfront to admire the view. Places like Goose Spit Park and Kye Bay are perfect for a relaxing stroll along the beach. Mount Washington Alpine Resort is also nearby, a local favourite place to ski and snowboard.

If you prefer city amenities, there is a more concentrated shopping district in Courtenay but the overall vibe is a relaxed, small town that appreciates the great outdoors.

The Comox Glacier across an empty dairy field

Considerations and potential negatives about living in Comox

Comox is a smaller town and it can be hard to find a doctor

One of the notable drawbacks of living in Comox, is the challenge many residents face in securing a family doctor. The demand for healthcare services often exceeds the supply, resulting in extended wait times for medical appointments. This can be particularly concerning for families in need of consistent healthcare support.

The limited availability of primary care physicians can make it difficult to establish a long-term healthcare relationship and receive timely medical attention. However, this is an issue that is not unique to Comox but is rather apparent all over Vancouver Island. Those who are coming to Vancouver Island from elsewhere should be made aware of this potential drawback.

Is it expensive to live in Comox?

While Comox currently enjoys the advantage of relatively affordable real estate, especially when compared to the soaring property costs in nearby cities like Victoria and Vancouver, there is a looming concern that this favorable situation may not last.

The town has recently witnessed a rising trend in real estate costs, which could potentially challenge its affordability in the future. As more individuals and families discover the charms of Comox and seek to make it their permanent residence, the demand for housing may continue to drive property prices higher. This is a trend we have seen all over Vancouver Island and in other parts of British Columbia.

This spike in real estate prices can potentially pose challenges for those looking to enter the housing market in the area – especially for single-family homes. However, it’s essential to note that Comox’s strong sense of community and natural beauty continue to make it an attractive place to live, even as real estate costs evolve.

The cost of living in Comox is relatively low for the area. However, if you are learning about Comox from another part of the country, plug your city into this cost of living calculator to see how it compares with Comox prices.

Curious to learn more about Comox? Talk to the professionals at Ballard Fine Homes

When it comes to crafting your custom home in Comox, Ballard Fine Homes is your trusted partner. We take pride in our solid reputation as one of the premier custom home builders in the Comox Valley.

From the very first conversation to the final finishing touches, working with Ballard Fine Homes promises a seamless and stress-free homebuilding experience. We are committed to delivering the highest quality, paying meticulous attention to detail, and tailoring our approach to meet your specific preferences.

Choose Ballard Fine Homes for an opportunity to create your perfect living space in the vibrant and picturesque community of Comox.

Do people live on Vancouver Island? Check out these up and coming small towns.

Vancouver Island has long been a dream destination for those seeking a serene coastal lifestyle. Those outside of BC may wonder, do people live on Vancouver Island? The answer is a resounding yes.

In this article, we’ll explore the experience of living on Vancouver Island and highlight some of the top places to call home, including exclusive developments by Ballard Fine Homes.

Woman giving piggyback ride to girl.

Discovering Edgewood Estates in Comox

Comox has become a magnet for those seeking a harmonious blend of natural splendor and small-town charm. The town offers a diverse range of outdoor activities, from hiking and kayaking to skiing and wildlife-watching, making it a natural playground for children and adults alike.

Moreover, Comox has the added advantage of being home to CFB Comox, the Canadian Forces Base. Families often find the presence of the air force base reassuring, as it provides economic stability and employment opportunities within the community.

Edgewood Estates, developed by Ballard Fine Homes, offers a unique opportunity to experience the island’s lifestyle. This development is a family-friendly haven that embodies the essence of privacy and custom living. Here, families can find their dream homes designed to suit their unique needs and preferences. Ballard Fine Homes’ development offers a range of custom-built residences, allowing residents to enjoy spacious, thoughtfully designed homes that cater to their individual tastes.

Cost of living on Vancouver Island varies by location, but Comox offers a favorable balance of affordability and quality of life. The tranquil, family-friendly atmosphere of Comox makes it an ideal choice for those seeking to escape the hustle and bustle of city living.

Northridge Estates in Courtenay: Where Community Thrives

Courtenay, another gem on Vancouver Island, boasts Northridge Estates, an exclusive development by Ballard Fine Homes. This community embraces the island’s ethos of outdoor adventure and community spirit. Northridge Estates backs onto the Beaver Meadows Farm and several wooded walking trails. This subdivision is peaceful, safe, and family-friendly.

The advantages for living in Courtenay are plentiful; relative affordability, mild climate, and beautiful scenery are only a few to start. Those looking for real estate in Vancouver are more often finding their search leads them to Vancouver Island, and they are not disappointed. Building a custom home can be a more realistic option when real estate prices are relatively lower compared to the mainland.


Two people on the beach with arms outstretched looking at the sunset.

Coastal Living Redefined at Bayview Estates in French Creek

French Creek is a small, idyllic community that exudes a unique coastal charm. Situated just a short 10-minute drive from the bustling amenities of Parksville and the quaint charm of Qualicum Beach, French Creek offers the best of both worlds for those who cherish the tranquility of a slower pace of life next to the ocean while still enjoying easy access to nearby conveniences. With its inviting marina, stunning ocean views, and a sense of timelessness, French Creek is the perfect retreat for individuals and families seeking a more relaxed and coastal way of living.

Bayview Estates, a development by Ballard Fine Homes, embraces the island’s natural beauty and close-knit community atmosphere. Many homes in this development are waterfront properties overlooking the Strait of Georgia, just steps away from the marina. If you are someone who enjoys living near the water or partaking in fishing or boating, then you’ll want to check out Bayview Estates.

Children running through forest.

Don’t miss out on Wembley Woods in Parksville

Parksville is famous for its beautiful natural surroundings and laid-back vibe. It has long sandy beaches, a nice climate, and amazing views of the ocean, making it a great spot for people who love the outdoors and spending time at the beach.

You can do lots of fun things there, like searching for seashells, kayaking, playing golf, and going for hikes in Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park. People who live in Parksville appreciate the friendly community and the peaceful coastal lifestyle it offers, making it a wonderful place to live.

Ballard Fine Homes brings you Wembley Woods, a special place that showcases the island’s magic. Living in Wembley Woods means you get to enjoy the beauty of nature and be part of a friendly community. Plus, homes here are on larger lots (harder to find), making it even more appealing. As Parksville grows in popularity, it will be harder and harder to find ideal lots to build homes. You can trust Ballard Fine Homes’ judgment for a perfect home.

Interested in living on Vancouver Island? Let’s chat

Living on Vancouver Island is a dream realized by many, and the island’s diverse communities offer something for everyone. With the stunning developments by Ballard Fine Homes in Comox, Courtenay, French Creek, and Parksville, you can experience the essence of Vancouver Island in style.

Vancouver Island is not only a place to visit but a place to call home. Explore the island’s communities, enjoy its natural beauty, and discover the unique places to live on Vancouver Island with Ballard Fine Homes’ exceptional developments. Contact us to get started.

Don’t build a home in Victoria – there’s a better option only a couple of hours away

While Victoria, BC offers numerous attractions, it also presents challenges, including soaring construction costs, limited available land, and fierce competition among builders. However, there’s an alternative that offers affordability, breathtaking natural beauty, and a more serene lifestyle: Central Vancouver Island.

In this article, we’ll explore the hidden gem that is Central Vancouver Island, and introduce you to Ballard Fine Homes, your trusted Vancouver Island home builder for crafting your ideal home in this captivating region.

The Appeal of Vancouver Island

Nestled away from the urban hustle and bustle, Vancouver Island beckons with its unique charm. There are many advantages to living on central Vancouver Island, including places like Parksville, Nanaimo, Courtenay, French Creek, and others.

Here, you’ll find an affordability that’s increasingly rare in today’s real estate markets. The land and construction costs are notably more budget-friendly, allowing you to create your dream home without breaking the bank. Up island, you are more likely to find larger parcels of land for a fraction of the cost in Victoria. This means more money can be spend on your actual home instead of the land it is sitting on.

But it’s not just about affordability; Central Vancouver Island boasts stunning natural scenery, from lush forests to pristine coastlines. Outdoor enthusiasts will revel in the abundance of recreational opportunities, from hiking and kayaking to wildlife watching. There are also many more opportunities for waterfront properties and new subdivisions. Beyond the natural allure, this island offers a quieter, more relaxed lifestyle that many yearn for, making it an ideal place to build your forever home.

Ballard Fine Homes: Your Trusted Partner

When embarking on the journey of building a custom home on Vancouver Island, having the right partner is paramount. This is where Ballard Fine Homes comes into play. With a reputation built on excellence, we are the go-to custom home builder in the region.

Don Ballard’s team brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record, ensuring your project is in capable hands. Our commitment to quality, affordability, and customer satisfaction sets us apart, making us the ideal choice for transforming your vision into a reality. If you are looking for a home builder that values trust, integrity, hard work, and nothing less of perfection from our craftsmanship, then we would like you to contact us. Dream building is what we do.

The Advantages of Building with Ballard Fine Homes

When you choose Ballard Fine Homes, you open the door to a world of advantages.

Our expertise allows for the creation of customized home designs that align perfectly with your preferences and needs. We navigate the intricacies of zoning regulations, permit acquisition, and local requirements, simplifying what can often be a complex process. We make the home building experience as enjoyable as possible for our clients, so they don’t need to stress over the technical details.

Our extensive network of trusted local suppliers and contractors ensures a seamless building experience, from concept to completion.

Ready to build?

While Victoria’s allure is undeniable, the challenges of building there can be discouraging.

Central Vancouver Island offers a compelling alternative, with its affordability, natural beauty, and tranquil lifestyle. Waterfront communities such as Nanaimo, Parksville, Qualicum Beach, and Comox are wonderful places to build a home, raise a family, or settle down to retire.

The team at Ballard Fine Homes can turn your dream of a custom home on this hidden gem into a reality. We will be privileged if you embrace the opportunity to build your ideal home on Central Vancouver Island, with us guiding you through the process with expertise and dedication. Contact us anytime with your questions and ideas.

Dream Home Builder’s Guide

Building your dream home is an exciting adventure where you get to craft a space that completely mirrors your personality and tastes. Building in the peaceful landscapes of Parksville or the lively city of Nanaimo, our Dream Home Builder’s Guide has your back with valuable tips and advice to make your dream a reality. At Ballard Fine Homes, dream building is what we do.

Choosing the right dream home builder is the first and most crucial step in this journey. Vancouver Island, with its breathtaking locations and luxury real estate options, offers the perfect canvas to build your dream home. Don Ballard and his team have built beautiful custom homes in places like Parksville, Nanaimo, Courtenay, Qualicum Beach, and more. With the combination of waterfront properties and forest, Vancouver Island is a gem for luxurious homes.

Tip 1: Define your vision

The foundation of building your dream home lies in defining your vision. Take the time to envision the type of home you desire. Consider factors such as location, architectural style, size, and budget.

Our island offers diverse settings, providing endless opportunities to create a dream home that suits your lifestyle. Do you see yourself kayaking after your morning coffee? Going for a brisk walk in nature in the afternoon? Or perhaps you want to be close to amenities but still have a bit of privacy. Central Vancouver Island is an ideal location for a variety of lifestyles.

Tip 2: Choose Ballard Fine Homes as your home builder

Selecting the right home builder is paramount to the success of your project. An established reputation, experience, and portfolio are essential components for any home builder.

Ballard Fine Homes is an established home-building company located in Parksville, BC. We take pride in everything we do, down to the smallest details. We appreciate all of our clients’ reviews and are humbled by awards and other forms of recognition granted to our company due to our commitment to hard, honest work. If you are looking for a custom home builder that actually listens to your concerns, your vision, and treats you more like family instead of a client to make a profit out of, then you’re in good hands with Ballard Fine Homes.

Tip 3: Plan your budget wisely

Building your dream home involves careful budget planning. Allocate your budget thoughtfully, considering construction costs, design fees, permits, and contingency funds for unforeseen expenses. Expert financial planning will ensure your project stays on track without sacrificing quality or luxury.

When building for our clients, we treat them with respect. That includes being transparent with how things are going, the amount of the budget used, and anything else that is developed along the way. There are no hidden costs – we are upfront about everything we know. If something unexpected does develop, we make sure our clients are informed immediately so no one is left in the dark.

Tip 4: Design your dream home

Architectural design takes center stage when building your dream home. The beauty of working with Ballard Fine Homes lies in the seamless collaboration with architects and designers. You share your vision, and we bring it to life. Our in-person showroom and showhomes offer ample inspiration.

Draw from local landscapes, incorporating features like expansive windows, open layouts, high ceilings, and luxurious materials. Tailor your space with personalized touches, knowing that Ballard Fine Homes will handle the details. With our expertise, your dream home effortlessly harmonizes with its surroundings, ensuring a stress-free and enjoyable experience for you.

Tip 5: Trust in Ballard Fine Homes for Quality and Smooth Project Management

Ensuring your dream home lives up to your expectations is our top priority at Ballard Fine Homes. We understand the importance of craftsmanship and maintaining excellence throughout every phase of construction. Our dedicated project management team ensures a seamless and hassle-free experience for you, keeping you well-informed and engaged throughout the entire process.

On Vancouver Island, our reputation for delivering top-tier homes is well-established. You can have full confidence that your dream home will be constructed to the highest standards, thanks to our commitment to quality and efficient project management.

We warmly invite you to explore our extensive range of custom home building possibilities. The team at Ballard Fine Homes is here to assist you every step of the way for inspiration, ideas, or simply to discuss your dream home project. You can contact us directly for a personalized consultation or visit our showroom to immerse yourself in a world of design possibilities. We look forward to making your dream home a reality.

Don’t miss out on these must-have features for your new custom home

Whether you are browsing or in the planning stage, your custom-designed home should reflect your personality, lifestyle, and daily needs. Ballard Fine Homes is a Vancouver Island custom home-building company, with years of experience and an abundance of happy clients to show for it. We have talked to people from all walks of life and have taken note of the most requested features, which we are happy to now share with you.

In this article, we will reveal several must-have features in a new house so you can pick and choose the best ones for your custom build. If you want more inspiration, feel free to visit our showroom in person, or browse our website to see what is currently available.

Canadian house designs are fresh, modern, and high-end

When choosing what to include in your custom home, it’s hard to go wrong when you aim for a new, modern, and luxurious look. If cost is a concern, you can still have several high-end designs on a smaller budget by choosing your fixtures and finishes wisely. Other techniques, such as the general tone of a room make a large difference, such as the moment you step through the front door.

A Cathedral entrance is the perfect first impression for your home. Immediately upon walking through the front door, cathedral entrances usually contain high ceilings and an elaborate lighting fixture. This space feels open, airy, and inviting. There is usually more than enough room for storing footwear and outerwear and often contains a wide hallway that opens up into the rest of the main living areas.

An open floor plan is a modern trend that will last generations. This style allows for bright, expansive spaces allowing more customization and decorative options for the homeowner.

Instead of trying to purchase a specific piece of furniture to fit an oddly shaped wall, you are presented with a blank canvas where only your imagination can hold you back. This style is also great for large families and gatherings, as it encourages conversations and interactions that aren’t hiding behind a wall.

Kitchen design trends you can’t ignore

You’ve looked at backsplashes, countertops, paint, flooring – what else is there? Oh, there’s more!

A relatively newer feature for kitchens is the option to have soft-close cabinets and drawers. Drawers in kitchens have become more popular because of their functionality for storing large items like pots and pans. However, closing a heavy drawer usually means a loud noise and extra wear and tear. Soft-close (also known as soft-touch) drawers automatically “slow down” the closing of the drawer just before it finishes, so you won’t hear any loud bangs in the kitchen from that.

A hidden butler’s pantry helps separate the bulk of your kitchen storage away from the main space, while still being easily accessible. This ensures everything stays organized and less cluttered out in the open. This is a feature that used to be popular in homes many years ago and now it is making a modern comeback. If you aren’t handy in the kitchen, others have used it as a place for a mini bar, extra storage for linens and appliances, or as a place to run a dehydrator or slow cooker as strong smells (like onions) can be contained to the one room.

Other handy features include sturdy granite or quartz countertops, LED under cabinet lighting, and the option to have both electric and gas appliances in case you change your mind down the road.

A traditional living room design, popular generations later

The main living space is one of the best rooms to showcase a feature. For cozy and sophisticated looks, a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace is an absolute must. A thick, wooden mantle adds another element of natural decor to the space, giving it a true Canadian house design feeling.

To maintain the openness presented by the Cathedral entrance, consider vaulted ceilings accented with beams that match your fireplace mantle.

Most of all, don’t overcomplicate the look of your family room. This is a space to gather and focus on each other, not the decor.

What’s a bedroom without a walk-in closet and master bathroom?

When designing a master bedroom, make sure you include two things: a private bathroom and a walk-in closet. Having your own space for your items is essential, even if you don’t have curious guests. The peace of mind that comes with having enough private space for your items can’t be understated.

If possible, consider having both a shower and a soaker tub in your ensuite. While you may already have that in your guest bathroom, having a relaxing bath in your ensuite adds an extra layer of privacy and peacefulness that mimics a spa-like experience. If you prefer a shower, the addition of a small bench or place to sit within the shower itself is a nice touch.

When it comes to bathroom design ideas, less is more. Stick with a minimalist design, choose a small amount of high-end finishes, and accent lightly with a consistent design.

A designated laundry room on the same floor as the bedrooms

When you were a child, do you remember your mother carrying up loads of laundry from the basement? Day after day, the routine never seemed to change, but you can believe her joints sure felt it. By having a designated laundry room on the same floor as the bedrooms, you can bet the bulk of the laundry will never have to leave that floor.

If you have chosen a rancher floor plan – even better. No stairs immediately make that process easier. Also, a designated laundry room allows enough space for washing, drying (via a machine and/or drying rack), folding, and perhaps a chair to have a few moments to yourself. It sounds like a small thing to move your laundry room upstairs, but these small adjustments in your home can have a positive impact on your daily or weekly routines.

Don’t forget your exterior spaces

Many people focus on the interior when designing a new custom home, but the exterior is just as important.

It is essential to have some sort of space outdoors to relax – whether that is a concrete patio or a balcony off the bedroom, it needs to be part of the package. If your home is using natural elements such as wood or stone, then tying these into your outdoor space will bring it all together. Hardi-plank and cedar shake siding, wooden beams, and stone accents complement the interior designs while adding exceptional curb appeal. Plus, natural decor elements such as these tend to have a calming effect which is perfect for your outdoor relaxation space.

For larger lots, fencing adds privacy while an irrigation system makes daily outdoor chores far easier. Consider designing not just for looks, but for making your everyday life a little easier and less stressful.

Attached garages are superior features

An attached garage has several perks. Once you experience having one, you’ll never want to live without it again.

Even though you may not be heating it directly, it does receive some residual heat from the rest of your home. This makes it just warm enough to help with the maintenance of your vehicle, plus it makes the transition from your home to getting into your vehicle seamless. As it is out of the elements, you won’t have to worry about shoving snow off the roof, deicing the windshield, or cleaning pollen and dirt off the exterior as often.

Oh, did we mention bringing groceries home just got a lot easier? Gone are the days of your kids throwing on any old pair of shoes to haul groceries up the steps to the front door. With an attached garage, you can easily transport materials from your car into your home without getting a drop of rain on you. That’s more like it.

Custom floor plans invite potential investment opportunities

As costs keep rising in the real estate market, why not bank some of that for yourself? A common tactic, especially for retirees, is to build a legal suite either in the basement or as an add-on. This helps bring in reliable, passive income year-round. If you have great tenants, a bonus can be that you’ll have someone around to keep an eye out while you are on vacation.

If you plan on living in your home for many years to come, it is worth considering what features you can include in your design that will help you later in life.

Your Nanaimo Builders

Building a custom home is both an exciting and potentially overwhelming experience. Thankfully, the professionals at Ballard Fine Homes have been helping clients turn their dreams into beautifully custom-built homes through a positive and exciting experience. Our fine selection of features paired with our expertise, streamlined building process, transparency, and respect for our clients make each project enjoyable.

If you are curious about what steps are involved in building a custom home and how Don Ballard and his team can help, please reach out to our office. We look forward to hearing from you and learning more about how we can help turn your visions into a beautiful home.

Should you buy a condo or a house? Pros and Cons

It’s the age-old question: Should I buy a house or start with a condo? To answer that you will need to ask yourself what you want to get out of it. The answer will ultimately depend on your personal preferences, lifestyle, and financial situation. We’ve outlined a few pros and cons for each, so you can have something to ponder while you have your morning coffee.

Advantages of buying a condo

Often are more affordable than single-family homes

Real estate prices are going up everywhere. Even Parksville condos are going up in price, so this effect is happening in smaller towns, too. In the race to own your piece of the real estate market, condominiums are usually more affordable than single-family, detached homes.
This is great for those with a lower budget or those looking to purchase their first home. It is a more affordable step into the real estate market without having to deal with the negatives of owning a detached home.

Condos often include amenities, like pools and gyms

Often there are additional perks with various condo buildings. Swimming pools, fitness centers, security, maintenance, and landscaping are often included in the monthly fees (more on that later). If you don’t mind sharing these amenities with your neighbours, it can be a great way to save some money as you aren’t buying monthly passes elsewhere.

Lower (and easier) Maintenance

Condos require less work to maintain than detached homes. Exterior maintenance, repairs, and landscaping are typically taken care of by the condo association.

Most condo owners don’t have to worry about mowing the lawn or storing yard tools because it is all taken care of for them already. The type of maintenance expected is to keep your home decently clean, and if you have an outdoor space like a patio you keep it respectfully clean and tidy.

Potential setbacks when owning a condo

HOA/Strata/Condo Fees

You’ve purchased a condo. Congratulations, it’s yours! Don’t think the spending ends there. Monthly or yearly fees like Homeowner Association (HOA) fees help pay for some of the perks of condo living, such as reduced maintenance and access to amenities.

If your building has a swimming pool, who is going to pay to fill and clean it? If it is heated, who pays the electricity bill? The answer: everyone. Through condo and strata fees, things like pool maintenance, landscaping, and general repairs and maintenance are paid for. In addition to monthly HOA fees, condo owners may be subject to special assessments if the association needs to fund significant repairs or improvements.

For some people, making such a large purchase only to have ongoing fees each month can be a bit of a burden. Sometimes buyers aren’t aware that these fees exist. Before purchasing a condo, ask to see what the monthly fees tend to look like.

Limited control over renovations and rentals

Condo owners have limited control over the property and must adhere to the rules and regulations set by the condo association, which may include restrictions on pets, renovations, or renting out the unit. While the BC Government has taken steps to lift most of these restrictions, some remain.

Less privacy and space

Whether it is a townhouse or a 30-storey building, you’re going to be sharing some walls with your neighbours. This can result in less privacy for you and your family, along with extra noise and limited space.

If you have great neighbours, then this isn’t as big an issue. However, it can feel claustrophobic for some people to be that close to other people all the time. Those that have a large family or young children may prefer to live somewhere with a lot more space, privacy, and room to grow.

Modern scandinavian living room interior.

Advantages of buying a house

More customizable options: custom home building, anyone?

Unlike condos, houses are generally subject to fewer rules and regulations, giving homeowners more flexibility.

It’s your home, you can design and decorate it however you want. If you feel like a custom renovation is needed to spruce up your kitchen or living space, then you can get it done without worrying about construction noise, strata restrictions, or taking up valuable space.

Interior and exterior designs, expansions, additional rooms, and personalized amenities are some of the many options available to homeowners.

Potential investment opportunities

When you own a house, you have the option to generate income by renting out a portion of the entire property. This can help offset mortgage payments or provide an additional source of income. Renting out a house can be particularly attractive in areas with high demand for rental properties. On Vancouver Island, finding an affordable home for sale in Nanaimo can feel like a treasure hunt. For that reason, rentals have become very popular and cannot keep up with the housing demand.

Furthermore, homeowners have the potential to leverage the property for other financial purposes. For example, you may be able to take out a home equity loan or line of credit, using the house as collateral, to fund other investments or projects. This can be advantageous if the property appreciates over time.

More control and privacy

One of the significant advantages of owning a house is the autonomy it offers. As a homeowner, you have the freedom to customize and modify your property according to your preferences.

You can make renovations, additions, or modifications to suit your lifestyle and needs. Whether it’s renovating the kitchen, expanding living spaces, or creating a home office, you have the flexibility to make changes without seeking permission from a condo association or dealing with restrictive rules.

Additionally, you have control over the outdoor spaces, including landscaping. You can design and maintain your garden, plant trees, or create outdoor living areas. This level of control allows you to create a personalized living environment and tailor the property to your specific tastes and preferences.

Often, homes are on larger properties and can be rural. This means they are more likely than a condo to be “off the beaten path” which can mean being surrounded by more nature, less traffic, and less noise. When there are fewer people around, there’s often more privacy.

Disadvantages of owning a home

Homes tend to cost more

Houses are often more expensive than condos, requiring a larger down payment and potentially higher mortgage payments. Homeownership also comes with additional costs like property taxes, insurance, and maintenance.

It takes money to keep the home running smoothly. As they are usually larger than condos, the costs tend to be higher in general across the board. For major repairs, you will have to pay for it yourself. This can be thousands of dollars. While major repairs do happen in condos, the cost is split between residents which makes it much more affordable. It is a larger responsibility to own a home, and this is one of the reasons.

More maintenance responsibilities

Don’t like mowing the lawn? You’ll either have to do it yourself or pay someone else to do it for you.

When you own a house, you bear the responsibility of maintaining and repairing the property. This includes tasks such as landscaping, regular maintenance, and addressing any issues that may arise, such as plumbing problems, roof repairs, or electrical issues. You are solely responsible for the associated costs and the organization of necessary repairs.

Unlike condos, where some maintenance tasks may be taken care of by the condo association, homeowners must budget for ongoing maintenance expenses and invest time and effort into managing and addressing maintenance needs. It’s important to consider these factors when assessing the overall cost and commitment of owning a house.

Some examples of home maintenance tasks:

  • Clean gutters and downspouts.
  • Inspect and replace caulking around windows and doors.
  • Trim trees and shrubs.
  • Check and repair plumbing leaks.
  • Clean and organize the garage or storage spaces.
  • Pressure wash exterior surfaces.
  • Inspect and repair damaged roof shingles.

Seal cracks in driveway and walkways.

The location might not be as good

While houses offer more space and privacy, they may be situated in suburban or rural areas, which can be further away from urban centers or desirable locations. This means that homeowners may face longer commute times to work or other amenities, such as shopping centers, restaurants, or cultural institutions.

Also, depending on the location, there may be fewer nearby amenities compared to living in a condo in a more urban setting. This can include a limited selection of schools, recreational facilities, or entertainment options within proximity. It’s essential to consider your lifestyle preferences and priorities when choosing between a house and a condo, as the location can significantly impact daily convenience and accessibility to desired services and facilities.

Ballard Fine Homes is here to help

At Ballard Fine Homes, we offer invaluable assistance to new homeowners throughout the process of building their dream homes. With our expertise and commitment to quality craftsmanship, we guide homeowners from the initial stages of design and planning to the final touches of construction. Our team of professionals collaborates closely with clients, taking into account their unique vision, needs, and budgetary considerations to create a truly customized living space.

By providing personalized consultations, Ballard Fine Homes ensures that every aspect of the home aligns with the homeowner’s preferences, from architectural design to interior finishes and fixtures. Additionally, our experienced builders and contractors oversee the construction process, ensuring that the project stays on schedule, meets building codes, and adheres to the highest standards of quality. With our high standards towards unwavering dedication and attention to detail, Ballard Fine Homes empowers new homeowners to bring their dream homes to life.

Small Vancouver Island Towns You Need To Visit

Are you planning a road trip to Vancouver Island? Maybe you’re already aware of the capital city of Victoria, surfing in Tofino, and landed on Vancouver Island via Nanaimo, but now you are looking to branch out a little bit more. For those that want to get the full Vancouver Island experience, check out these smaller towns and attractions.

And hey, if you like it so much, why not make it permanent? Choose your own piece of paradise with your own luxurious custom home.

Love sandy beaches? Visit Parksville

Parksville is a small, seaside town about a 15-minute drive from Nanaimo. It is known for its long, sandy beaches and annual sand sculpting competition. During low tide, the ocean retreats, leaving long stretches of sandy shoreline, making it a fantastic place for beachcombing, building sandcastles, or simply relaxing by the water.

If you arrive during the summer months, be sure to book a camping spot at Rathtrevor Provincial Park (or pack a picnic for a day trip) and check out the Parksville Beach Festival to be truly amazed at what these artists can create with sand.

If you visit during other times of the year, Parksville still has plenty to offer in its vibrant downtown core, wildlife viewing (bald eagles, deer, seals, and sometimes even orcas along the coastline), and the nearby Englishman River Falls Provincial Park is a beautiful spot for hiking and exploring waterfalls. It is also conveniently located near other popular Vancouver Island attractions, such as Nanaimo, Tofino, and Victoria, making it a great base for further exploration.

Laid back living in Qualicum Beach

Near Parksville you will find another community on Vancouver Island worth visiting: Qualicum Beach. This town is also located along the shoreline, making Qualicum Beach and Parksville part of the Oceanside region.

While Qualicum Beach is one of the best places to retire on Vancouver Island, it is also a great place to visit. The laid back lifestyle allows residents and visitors to enjoy prestigious year-round golf courses, local breweries, beach activities, and local hiking trails.

The Shady Rest is a local gem, a waterfront restaurant that’s been in business for many years. Their menu has a variety of cuisines, perfect for picky eaters and large groups. After eating, visitors enjoy swimming at the beach, going for hikes, or taking a chance at whale watching.

Similar to Parksville, Qualicum Beach offers many outdoor activities in addition to a local museum, Saturday Farmers’ Market, and other opportunities for shopping and attending local events.

For accommodations, many visitors have enjoyed Free Spirit Spheres, which are treehouse-like spheres hanging within the forest. This novel experience can only be found within Qualicum Beach.

Comox Valley (Comox and Courtenay)

North of Nanaimo and Oceanside, the Comox Valley is home to several towns and communities on Vancouver Island. Comox and Courtenay are the main attractions, but you will also find merit in places like Cumberland and Hornby Island.

Outdoor enthusiasts love visiting the Comox Valley for its large number of hiking trails, access to Comox Lake, and Mount Washington Ski Resort. Just off the coast are two unique islands, Denman Island and Hornby Island. These islands are filled with local artisans, a relaxed atmosphere, and an appreciation for the outdoors.

At Mount Washington, visitors can enjoy the usual snow activities like skiing, snowboarding, tubing, and snowshoeing. It doesn’t end there – there’s plenty to do in the summer months, too. Alpine hiking, zip lining, mountain biking, scenic chairlift rides, and outdoor BBQs are some of the main attractions.

Denman Island & Hornby Island are short ferry rides just south of the Comox Valley. These islands contain local shops, artisans, and hiking trails, and are popular with campers.

Woman in a kayak on the river on the scenic sunset

North Vancouver Island Hidden Gem: Sointula

Known as the “place of harmony,” this small community off the northern coast of Vancouver Island was once home to a large Finnish population. Today, Sointula is a great piece of history and a haven for art lovers.

For those who prefer a slower pace of life off the beaten path, Sointula offers many hiking trails and an escape from the everyday hustle and bustle. For this reason, it is a popular destination for camping for those who prefer to be off the beaten path a bit, but still close enough to civilization.

Ucluelet (Ukee to the locals!)

Likely you have already been to Tofino, but did you stop in to visit Ucluelet as well? Ukee has lots to offer in terms of activities, mainly suited for outdoor enthusiasts. Surfing at Long Beach, whale watching, storm watching, and hiking.

Ucluelet is located near the entrance to the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Visitors can explore various hiking trails, including the Wild Pacific Trail, which offers stunning views of the rugged coastline, rocky cliffs, and the Pacific Ocean.

In the late fall, storm watching is a popular pastime as the wild weather and crashing waves create a dramatic and awe-inspiring experience. On the other hand, the Barkley Sound is popular for kayakers due to its sheltered waters and pristine natural surroundings.

Turn your vacation into a Vancouver Island custom-built home

Is it time to turn your vacation into home? If you are wondering where to live on Vancouver Island, then hopefully you have a bit more of an idea of your preferences based on our list.

At Ballard Fine Homes, we build custom homes on Vancouver Island and would be privileged to work with you on building your own piece of paradise. If you are still on the fence about choosing a location or simply want to know more about each place before deciding, contact our team at (250) 586-9077 for any questions.