Giving buyers the inside scoop on Bowen Island real estate
Bowen Island might be just the ticket for those who dream of escaping the big city (aka Vancouver), but are intrinsically tied to it through work, family, or those Canucks season tickets that have been in the family for years… A 20-minute ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay is also close enough for after-hours water taxi service, and is a regular commute for many on a weekly or even daily basis.
The island lifestyle is a definite draw, and along with this relaxed pace of living comes a very strong sense of community and neighbours that know each other better than just to nod at the mailbox. Strong relationships bring different vibes to each small community within the island — and only a “local” will know the “who’s who and what’s what.”
Meet Barry Thomas, Realtor with Macdonald Realty, and Bowen Island real estate specialist. In firm possession of the “insider info” you’ll need to buy into a neighbourhood that has a welcome mat already waiting for you, Barry has some tips to get you started:
Island lifestyle is laid-back, but real estate is fast moving
“If you’ve been thinking about the move, now is the time. I’ve been watching our price points stay on a constant upward trajectory for the past five years. The last month’s benchmark price has increased again, up another 2.4% to $913,300. In comparison, all of Greater Vancouver combined is now at $1,019,400 (which stretches from Whistler right out to Pitt Meadows).”
Small-town values don’t equal simple-minded business practices
“On Bowen, enjoy the relaxed pace of living, but expect the same sharp negotiations as any real estate market, and work with a licensed Realtor. Multiple offers are as common here as the Lower Mainland, and ensuring offers are made with all the t’s crossed are so important to your home purchase today, and down the road.”
Choose your neighbours wisely
“Bowen Island residents are among the warmest, friendliest and most helpful people you’ll meet, and each residential pocket has its own personality. Work with a local Realtor to not only find a view you love, but neighbours who will wonder where you’ve been all their lives (in a good way). Settling into the neighbourhood that matches your lifestyle will hasten your acclimatization to your wonderful new life!”
Does Bowen Island seem like the obvious choice for your next home? Check out Barry Thomas’ listings at livingbowen.com, and get in touch at 604-803-0012 or [email protected]
Bowen Island Realtor with local tips for savvy homebuyers
Bowen Island is frequently described as an “idyllic destination” and perfect daytrip out of the Lower Mainland. Easy to concur, being just a 20-minute ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay, with an instant sense of island lifestyle upon arrival. And after spending the day, it’s not a stretch to start planning a city escape, to make Bowen Island your new home.
Barry Thomas is a Realtor with Macdonald Realty, and is well-experienced in assisting homebuyers with their relocation plans to move to Bowen Island. Barry has seen significant price increases over the last three to five years, and urges those considering the move, to make it sooner than later.
“Waiting is not a good option, given current market conditions – home prices have continued to rise, and the low inventory market is resulting in multiple offers on homes in the $1mil price point,” says Barry. “I’ve recently listed a house on White Sails Drive for a little under $1mil, and the first weekend open house was a busy one – it would be surprising to see this one last past opening offers.”
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) noted as of June 2017, the benchmark price for detached homes on Bowen Island was $892,100. This price is a relative steal compared to Vancouver (especially to closest neighbour, West Vancouver); however, as Barry notes, prices have increased over 15 per cent since June 2016, and more than 50 per cent over the past three years.
The fast-moving market, and low inventory of homes around the benchmark price, suggest that now is the time to make the move. Barry has a couple of hot tips for would-be homebuyers who have been on the losing end of the multiple-offer competition:
• Sell your Lower Mainland property first: get cash in pocket to avoid placing a “subject to sale” on your offer. While having no subjects isn’t wise, placing a subject on the successful sale of your current home is particularly unappealing to sellers, who are also moving on to their own new home.
• Develop a relationship with a local Realtor: working with a Realtor in the area you are looking to move into gets you insider information about neighbourhood characteristics and community resources. Your local Realtor can also provide opportunity to discover properties not currently for sale, but with owners known to be considering a future move.
If Bowen Island is on your radar for home ownership, check out Barry Thomas’ listings at livingbowen.com, and get in touch at 604-803-0012 or [email protected]