It’s not just the hub, pub, and tub city anymore. Nanaimo has grown to be a great city for recreation, culture, food, and education – and it’s only getting better. Not to mention when you consider how much more value you can get for a home in Nanaimo compared to other urban centres, it’s no wonder so many people are moving here.
The Nanaimo Property Market is Competitive
In September 2014, the benchmark sale price for a home in Victoria was $484,800, versus $338,800 in our fair city of Nanaimo. A difference of almost $150,000! That extra $150,000 can go a long way in Nanaimo. It could, in fact, even go towards a secondary investment property. Whatever you’re looking for in terms of “affordable”, homes for sale here come in all shapes and sizes. We’ve spotlighted three great communities to give you an idea of how you can expect to stretch your dollar in each one.
Old City Quarter: Affordable Homes For Sale
Nanaimo’s Old City Quarter is full of unique, sought after character homes. People who live in this area take a tremendous amount of pride in their houses and it shows. From January 1st to September 30th, 2014, most sales occurring in this neighbourhood came in between $250,001-$300,000.
The Old City Quarter is popular for many reasons. For one, it’s within walking distance of all the great shops and services of the Old City Quarter and Downtown Nanaimo. Also, because the neighbourhood is situated on a hill overlooking the city and harbour, many Old City homes here have ocean views. Diversity is everywhere in this community, which is home to active retirees, students attending nearby VIU, young families, and professionals. The Old City’s walkability and its variety of residents makes for a very active, engaged, and tight-knit community.
Most homes in this area offer value that comparable homes in other centres could never hope to provide. At this price point, you’d likely be looking at a condo in Victoria. The catchment schools in the area are École Pauline Haarer (french immersion), Fairview Community School, and Nanaimo District Secondary School.
Brechin Hill: Up and Coming
Historically, Brechin Hill was where the wealthy elite of Nanaimo’s coal mining industry lived. Nowadays, you’ll a great mix, including upscale and plenty of affordable Nanaimo homes for sale. Like the Old City, many of these homes have ocean views, owing to the fact that they are built on a gradual slope down to the sea. During the period between January 1st and September 30th, 2014, the majority of homes bought in this area were between $300,001-$350,000. Although not as walkable as the Old City, Brechin Hill homes offer tremendous value for buyers just getting into the market, or looking for an investment.
Many of the current residents are aging out of the area, leading to a fresh influx of young couples and families. The area is very safe and neighbours are a friendly lot. Brechin Hill is an up-and-coming area with a ton of potential and quite a few affordable homes for sale. Not only does its central location make either Downtown or North Nanaimo easy trips, it also has the advantage of being very close to the Departure Bay ferry terminal. Catchment schools in this neighbourhood are Brechin Elementary and Woodlands Secondary.
North Nanaimo: Luxury at a Great Price
The luxury of North Nanaimo homes is undisputed. Despite the fact that homes in this area usually sell for more than homes elsewhere in Nanaimo, the opportunity to see how far one’s dollar can go is still just as large as anywhere else, perhaps more so. Most homes that sold in North Nanaimo between January 1st and September 30th, 2014 went for between $350,001 and $400,000. That means that you can get an above-average home in Nanaimo for the price of a run-of-the-mill house in Victoria. Just imagine how much you’ll save if you’re in the luxury market! Brand new builds with ocean views, high-end finishings, and plenty of privacy are common in this neighbourhood.
Close to the shopping at Woodgrove and the other shops and services in the north end, these homes also benefit from being close to Nanaimo’s best-loved parks and natural features, such as Piper’s Lagoon, Neck Point, and Linley Valley. It is remarkable to see just how affordable homes in North Nanaimo are, when you consider how much you would have to pay for the same home in another city. This really is a lovely part of Nanaimo in which to live. Children who live in North Nanaimo usually attend Frank Ney Elementary, Rutherford Elementary, or McGirr Elementary, with Dover Secondary as the area’s high school.
Take a look at our communities page for more information about Nanaimo neighbourhoods!
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