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Looking for cheap homes in BC? Check out Vancouver Island

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Ballard Fine Homes
July 26, 2023
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Are you looking for affordable housing in British Columbia? Maybe you’ve been blown away by skyrocketing real estate prices and are now looking for homes under $500 000 and are still struggling to find something. Real estate prices are going up all over the province, but there is still a hidden gem left where you can find something within your budget.

Why are homes more affordable on Vancouver Island?

Do you have a million dollars or more to spend on a shack in Vancouver? We didn’t think so. This is probably why you have landed on this article – you are looking for a more affordable option not too far away from Vancouver.

So why are homes priced lower on Vancouver Island compared to Vancouver? What’s the catch?

In a nutshell, here are some reasons why Vancouver Island homes cost less:

–  Market conditions are based on supply and demand. Economic factors, population growth, and local employment opportunities can affect the demand for housing. The cities on Vancouver Island are much smaller than Vancouver, which means fewer opportunities for economic growth and number of available jobs.
– Vancouver Island is just that – an island. It is separated from the mainland by the Strait of Georgia. This geographic separation, coupled with the need to travel by ferry or plane, may create logistical challenges for some individuals which can impact demand and pricing. Some people don’t want to hop on a ferry or plane to visit their friends and family on the mainland.
– Some individuals and families seeking more affordable options may look to Vancouver Island as an alternative, which can put downward pressure on prices relative to the mainland.
– The time of year can matter. Some property owners may purchase real estate as vacation homes or short-term rentals to capitalize on the seasonal demand. However, outside of peak tourist seasons, demand for rental properties may decrease, potentially impacting pricing.
– Certain areas of Vancouver Island may have development restrictions or regulations that limit construction or zoning options. There’s only so much available space on an island. This can affect the supply of available properties, potentially contributing to more affordable real estate prices.

What town has the most affordable homes for sale?

Each home that is sold gets added to the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board’s statistics. This report is updated monthly and is a great resource for identifying which areas on Vancouver Island offer the most value.

Historically, places like Port Alberni, Courtenay, and the northern end of Vancouver Island usually contain the most affordable properties for sale on Vancouver Island. In 2022, the most affordable place to purchase a single-family home was in Port Alberni.

Below is an example of what the average homes sold for during 2022. View the VIREB website for more up-to-date information.

A table of the annual sales summary for home prices in 2022 from the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board.

If purchasing a home still seems a little over your budget, then consider building a small, custom home instead.

Is building a custom home worth it?

This question depends on what the buyer is looking for. The main benefit of building a custom home is that it will look and function exactly how you want it to – no compromises over here.

If your plan was to buy a cheap house on Vancouver Island and then tear it down for a rebuild or spend months on a costly renovation, why not skip the hassle and build your perfect home right from the start? All you need to get started is a plot of land.

I heard custom homes are expensive, can I really afford one?

Custom homes have a reputation for being a little bit costly, but that isn’t always the case. Sometimes when owners start customizing, they get as many bells and whistles as they can. That isn’t an obligation. As it is your home, you can build it however you want.

Some factors that affect the overall cost include how large of a home you want, the difference between high-end and low-end finishes, exterior landscaping, and choice of materials. Reputable builders often have show homes you can browse to look at a higher-end finished home. From this, you can gauge an idea of how much it will cost for something less refined. The tiny home movement is popular for a reason and those are almost exclusively custom builds!

If you are looking for your “forever home” and want it to be absolutely perfect, then it makes sense to spend more money in some areas for features and materials that will look great and last a long time. However, it isn’t a requirement when building a new home. A good builder will listen and communicate with you to ensure your home fits your budget, needs, and vision.

Sick of not getting your money’s worth? Ballard Fine Homes will make sure you are satisfied

As custom home builders on Vancouver Island, Don Ballard and his team specialize in building homes in regions like Nanaimo, Parksville, Comox, and Courtenay. From simple to elaborate, we have helped many happy clients get the home they’ve always dreamed of owning.

If you are curious to learn more about what goes into building a home, contact the team or drop by our Parksville location to visit our knowledgeable staff and extensive showroom. Cheap homes won’t last long on Vancouver Island; get your foot in the door and stand out with something truly exceptional while you still can.