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Pros and Cons of Living in Comox, BC

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Ballard Fine Homes
January 17, 2024
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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.

Don Ballard and his team are experts in building custom homes, including Comox. If you find yourself looking for a renovation or want to have full control with a custom build, we will be happy to talk to you about your goals and budget.

A closeup of the MacDonald Wood boardwalk in Comox, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

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.


Community spirit and amenities

The real attraction of Comox is its strong sense of community. The town fosters a strong sense of belonging and community cohesion because of its warmth and friendliness. This friendly environment is appealing to retirees, families, and anyone looking for a close-knit community.

Access to necessary facilities and services is also guaranteed by Comox. High-quality medical facilities, leisure hubs, neighborhood markets, and a wide variety of cultural events are advantageous to the local population and give daily life more substance and energy. Its proximity to larger urban centers, such as Nanaimo and Victoria, despite its smaller size, preserves the tranquil and serene living environment while providing convenient access to extra services, employment opportunities, and cultural experiences.

The town of Comox offers an outstanding quality of life due to its unique combination of natural beauty, community involvement, and a balanced lifestyle. This makes it a desirable destination for people looking to establish permanent residence.
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.

Real estate prices are rising here, too

Although there are many benefits to living in Comox, there has been a steady rise in property values in the town. This can present difficulties, particularly for people looking for smaller, more affordable homes. Furthermore, even though Comox offers necessary services, employment options may be more scarce than in larger cities, which may affect some people’s ability to pursue careers in this field.

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.

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 favourable situation may not last.

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.

In comparison to Vancouver and Vancouver Island, Comox has a generally reasonable cost of living. Though generally still less than in bigger cities, some factors, like housing—especially larger or waterfront properties—can be comparatively more expensive because of the location’s high demand. Despite this, the cost of groceries, transportation, and services is generally comparable to the national average or slightly less, making living reasonably priced. Recreational activities, healthcare costs, and utility bills all stay reasonable.

All in all, Comox has a generally balanced and reasonably priced cost of living, though some aspects might be slightly higher because of its desirable location and amenities.

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. Our recent development, Edgewood Estates, provides families and seniors with a scenic, private, and quiet place to call home.

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.