Buying A Retirement Property In The Gulf Islands
By: Melissa Doyle
When it comes to picking the ideal place to spend your twilight years, Pender Island is pretty much perfect. The small island off the coast of British Columbia is famed for its beautiful scenery, coastal views and relaxed way of life. With 2,500 permanent residents, bolstered during the summer months by holiday-makers and part-time islanders, Pender Island has the feel of a village, with a close-knit community. Its sunny Mediterranean climate means it is possible to take part in outdoor activities all year round, while the community atmosphere makes residents feel safer than living in a city. The island’s close proximity to the mainland also means that the amenities of Vancouver and Victoria are never far away, giving island residents the best of both worlds. This all makes Pender Island a popular retirement destination, for Canadians and those from other countries alike. There is a wide range of property to choose from on Pender Island and a local real estate agent such as Dockside Realty can give you an expert insight into your options.
Consider Your Budget Carefully
When looking to invest your money and time into a home for your retirement there are various options to consider. While house prices for family homes near Victoria remain high, a retirement property ideal for two is often much more affordable. The Victoria Real Estate Board reports that for November 2013, the benchmark price for a Greater Victoria single family home was $482,300, a 36.5% increase since January 2005. Nearer the coast, the benchmark price for a single family home on the Peninsula was $508,000 for November, a 2.57% decrease compared to last year. It also reports that house sales fell in November after five months of strong activity in the real estate sector, but this is not unusual as completions often decline over December to January. However, sales were up year on year with 216 single family homes sold, an increase of 6.9% compared to November 2012. There’s property available in the state for every budget, with seven of these homes worth $1 million or more. While house prices for family homes in the region remain high, a retirement property ideal for two is a lot more affordable. Two-bedroom homes are available in the Gulf Islands from $159,000, with three-bedroom houses from $220,000. Alternatively, if you want to splash out in your retirement, just under a million dollars will buy you a 15-acre three-bedroom home with stunning ocean views in Pender Island – the ideal location to relax and enjoy your retirement.
Emigrating to the Gulf Islands
Pender Island is not just a popular retirement destination for Canadians. Many people from all over the world choose the picturesque island to buy a home for their retirement. The competitive prices also make it perfect for people who are downsizing, especially from markets where house prices are high, like the UK. Average homeowners selling up in the UK should have ample funds to buy in Canada, with the price of a typical family home in England reaching £242,415 ($420,000) in 2013. Residents in the UK who want to buy a property in the Gulf Islands would need to organize transferring funds from their bank to secure the sale. Finance experts warn that there could be fees, exchange rates and commission to pay on any overseas money transfers, and this will need to be included in your budget. With a state-funded health care system, just like the National Health Service, UK immigrants will find British Columbia a home-from-home in retirement. You’ll even get your UK state pension paid while living overseas. Canada’s visa regulations aren’t particularly strict, and there are visas available for entrepreneurs and investors, and family visas for those joining a spouse or family member. You’ll just need to prove you have enough money to support yourself and your dependents, a total of $11,115 per person. Canada has one of the world’s highest immigration rates per capita and actively looks to attract people of other nationalities. According to the Canadian immigration service the country aims to appeal to between 240,000 and 265,000 new permanent residents each year. Ex-pats are well integrated into the community and will be made to feel at home on friendly Pender Island.
Choose The Perfect Home For You
If you’re happy to continue living independently, you’ll find a whole host of properties to choose from on Pender Island. There are homes to suit all budgets and lifestyles. If you’ve always wanted to live by the sea, then there are plenty of properties that have stunning coastal views. Or you could consider a mountain hideaway just off a woodland trail offering tranquility and privacy. If you fancy more of a challenge, then why not consider building your own home for retirement? Plots of land are available on Pender Island from $65,000, complete with water and hydro (electricity) connections, so you could create your own bespoke island hideaway. You’ll be able to design your own unique home with just as much room as you need, and building from scratch can often be more affordable than buying a traditional property. Not everyone who moves to the island will want to live in a rural environment and Pender Island’s harbour areas make perfect locations for those who prefer the hustle and bustle of the town. There are many places to eat out and shop, and you could even move your business here with the help of the Pender Island Chamber of Commerce if you’re not ready to slow down just yet.
Make Pender Island Your Home
Canadians are by nature active people and that includes those over a ‘certain age’. There’s no lack of things to do in Pender Island, from a nine-hole golf course, to whale watching, walking and salmon fishing. There are also more sedate pursuits such as shopping, churches, groups and cultural events all on your doorstep. With many community events to take part in, and even a seasonal farmers’ market, it’s easy to meet people and make friends in the island community. The friendly atmosphere makes Pender Island a fantastic place to settle down, so why not contact the real estate experts at Dockside Realty to show you around?