Welcome to Fraser Valley in British Columbia, Canada!
Located on the eastern edge of downtown Vancouver, this region lies between the Coast and the Cascade mountains just north of the United States border. It’s an important agricultural and forestry-based region of the lower mainland of British Columbia.
Sprawling across 13,000 square kilometres, Fraser Valley is a haven for people who love the breathtaking splendour of the outdoors and all that comes with it. In Fraser Valley, that includes wide, open spaces, a mighty river, innumerable lakes and creeks, and a deep, dark night sky where stars can blaze unimpeded by artificial light.
With excellent resources, residents enjoy a farm-to-table lifestyle, thanks to the valley’s organic produce – a cornucopia of potatoes, sweet corn, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, beans, pumpkins, squash, zucchini, lettuce, carrots, peas, asparagus, beets, Chinese vegetables, onions, radishes, rutabaga, and spinach.
Recreational activities are just as plentiful and no more than a few minutes away. Lakes, camps, hiking trails, wilderness fishing, wildlife watching, and every sort of water fun await all. Residents don’t need to head out of the valley for excursions and outdoor adventures.
Those who call Fraser Valley home have been steadily growing over the past few decades. A diverse array of residents from within British Columbia and outside of the province are choosing to relocate to the valley. According to recent statistics, the cost of living in Fraser Valley is 20% lower than the average British Columbia average and roughly the same as the Canadian average.
Aside from farmlands, Fraser Valley is home to world-class vineyards and sprawling neighbourhoods. People looking for Fraser Valley homes for sale will be pleased to know that houses cost a whopping 17% below than the national average.
And there’s more:
- Fraser Valley’s location close to the US border means access to transportation gateways
- British Columbia itself offers a bit of everything – convenience, modern living, and the best that nature offers
- Ongoing infrastructure and residential development projects promise employment, commercial, and business opportunities in the years to come
It’s no wonder people are moving to and staying put in this lush, thriving corner of BC.
Factors you need to think about before you settle in Fraser Valley
Buying a home is one of the most significant decisions and investments you will make in life. For most people, being able to purchase their dream home is at the top of their bucket list, and if you’re looking for a Fraser Valley home for sale, there are several different things to take into account. Everyone has a different aesthetic, budget, lifestyle, design, and routine, which all come into play when searching for and settling on the right home for you and your family.
If you eventually plan to reside in Fraser Valley and make it your forever home, here are some of the criteria or elements that you should consider in your decision-making process:
- Think about your finances
- Think about your payment plan
- Homeowners association membership
- Condominium dues for shared amenities, lawn care, and security
- Insurance, cost of movers, deposits, professional fees, and taxes
- Consult your agent for other fees
- Think about your lifestyle
- Think about what you plan to do with the home
- Think about the design and type of home that makes sense for your family
- Think about the size of your home
- Think about how much it will cost to improve the property
- Dangerous or potentially dangerous
- Unfit for habitation
- Unfit for the buyer’s expressed purpose
- Prohibitive to repair
- Unremedied actions on the property as ordered by the local government
- Pending home-related permits
When selecting your home, it’s essential to know your limits, considering the running cost of home ownership. One of the critical determining factors of owning property is your finances. Your budget will significantly influence all the other factors.
When determining a budget, think about your total debt-to-income ratio by dividing your monthly expenses by the household gross income to determine if a house is affordable. The best way to calculate your home buying budget is by applying the 28% rule – or, your mortgage should not exceed 28% of your gross monthly income.
Once you have determined your budget, start looking for homes within your price range. Most people will need to arrange for financing; typically, home loans cover up to 90% of the cost of the property. When choosing a lender, you will need to prepare documentary requirements to get your mortgage approved. You can apply to take out an in-house, government-guaranteed, or private bank loan.
Beyond the cost of the home and utilities, other expenses you may need to include in your budget are:
Before you search for Fraser Valley homes for sale, take time to assess your lifestyle to make sure you end up with a home that suits you. Think about what your family needs and the amenities you can’t do without. List your must-haves and nice-to-haves.
If you don’t work from home, how far is the neighbourhood from your workplace? If you have kids, which of Fraser Valley’s five public school districts do you fall under: Abbotsford, Langley, Chilliwack, Fraser Cascade, and Mission. How will local development plans affect your quality of life and/or your own plans and goals?
Will you live in it or will you turn it into a rental? Your plans will significantly impact your budget, your desired location, and your upgrades. If you plan to move in, figure out how much you’ll need to renovate. If the home purchase is for investment and rental, consider the rest of your investment portfolio. Crunch your numbers to ensure you are liquid enough to take on the commitment and the related costs of your investment. Here’s everything you need to know about real estate in British Columbia.
This consideration is carefully linked to all the previously mentioned factors when buying a home. The type of home you select – whether it’s a condominium, single-family residence, farm, or luxury waterfront estate – should be aligned with your needs and lifestyle.
If you’re buying a home for your spouse and children, choose a single-family home with a yard and enough space to accommodate everyone’s changing needs in the future. If you want something convenient, easy to maintain, and as close as possible to downtown amenities, condominiums are ideal.
Once you’ve decided on the home type, choose a style that fits your aesthetic. In Fraser Valley, the range of available types is wide ranging. Live in a modern minimalist condominium with top-shelf amenities, a stand-alone Victorian property, a custom home you can build on acreage, and so much more.
As you browse for suitable homes, take note of the design aspects that appeal to you and use them to refine your wish list.
One of the key elements to buying a home is the amount of space you envision for your needs now and in the future, especially if you’re buying a forever home. A house that is too small sets you up for the continuous task of having to make room for people and belongings. Conversely, a home that is too large will result in needless maintenance costs.
Like your planning and design considerations, think about how versatile the home can be in accommodating changing circumstances. If you commute to the office, do you foresee working from home again when the time comes? If so, is there an existing home office or bonus room you can convert into a home office? Do you plan on expanding your family or having an elderly parent or relative live with you down the line?
Remember to buy now with the future in mind.
Newer and recently upgraded homes will likely come with a higher price tag. If you plan to renovate, you may be more open to older homes or those that need more work. They could potentially cost less upfront to compensate for the backend improvements you’ll need to make once you close the sale. Home inspections are critical for this reason so pay careful attention to the areas flagged in the inspection report.
The BC Financial Services Authority (BCFSA), the regulator for real estate in British Columbia, also requires the seller to disclose the property’s material latent defects in writing.
This means that you have the right to know about defects that are not immediately visible to the naked eye, such as something that makes the property:
The seller must also disclose:
Think, too, of temporary housing and storage arrangements if you plan on making significant repairs or upgrades that will delay your occupancy of the new home.
Best Fraser Valley neighbourhoods
British Columbia is one of the best places to live in the world. In addition to the factors listed above, location is critical to the value, resale opportunities, and the kind of community you will be a part of.
The Fraser Valley Regional District, in particular, is one of the fastest growing regional districts of BC. With a population of 300,000, it consists of six municipalities and eight unincorporated areas.
Here are four communities you may want to consider when you move to Fraser Valley:
Living in Chilliwack means nature is always at your doorstep. Enjoy a relatively moderate climate similar to Vancouver’s and enjoy the serenity of a suburban town. The relaxed pace of Chilliwack allows for better work-life balance that is harder to achieve in a bustling city center. Chilliwack’s district real estate board reports the year-to-date price of a home is about $850,000. Browse properties for sale in Chilliwack now.
Located to the east of Vancouver, the community has solid agricultural roots. Formerly a tiny farming community, Abbotsford is one of BC’s fastest-growing areas offering top-quality recreation and opportunities to pursue an active lifestyle. The average home price in Abbotsford is around $1.3 million, with apartments priced at about $600,000. Browse hundreds of homes for sale in Abbotsford now.
Another fast-growing community in BC, Langley has a regional population that is expected to double by the year 2040. It’s great for retirees and families looking for quality education and a safe environment. There are tons of things to enjoy in Langley, such as festivals, polar bear swims, and art galleries. August 2022 real estate numbers indicate that the average price of homes in Langley is $1 million and 339 new listings in the last 28 days. As of today, Langley housing data shows the median days on market for a home is 25 days. Browse homes and lots for sale in Langley right now.
Surrey is more exclusive than other British Columbia communities. Enjoy urban forests, beaches, golf courses, and quality recreation. As one of the larger cities in BC, Surrey is the second most populous area after Vancouver, which is just 23 kilometres (14 miles) away. According to the latest estimates, the average cost of a condominium in Surrey is roughly $600,000, a detached home about $2 million, and a townhouse at $1 million. Browse the incredible number of properties for sale in Surrey today.
Local Fraser Valley Realtors and real estate agents
Having a Realtor or real estate agent with you throughout your real estate journey can determine the success of your search. There should even be no question about going through your home-buying journey alone. Buying a home can be emotional and challenging, especially for first-time homebuyers. Choosing the right real estate professional means having an expert, a sounding board, a facilitator, and negotiator by your side. They will ease hiccups and find solutions to problems that may arise in the course of the transaction.
Your real estate agent is someone who acts on your behalf and finds you homes that meet your criteria, coordinates showings, and assists you in making offers and negotiating. Fraser Valley agents will protect your interest and help you deal with home inspections, negotiate a price that works to your advantage, and walk you through the legalities and nuances of purchasing a home in BC.
It’s also important to choose a local agent. For instance, a Fraser Valley agent knows the ins and outs of the community and can connect you to a network of other skilled professionals, including contractors, property lawyers, and interior designers. Local Realtors can also tap their network for off-market listings and provide great insight on locations that can expand or narrow down your search, whichever applies. Ask family and friends to recommend local agents. Otherwise, look for one with a proven track record in the community. In Fraser Valley, contact Don Munro. He has been dealing with residential, commercial, acreage, and agricultural property sales for over 35 years.
Share your real estate needs, wants, and goals with your local agent. Armed with this information, they can tailor their searches more accurately and negotiate more effectively.
Why choose Don Munro Real Estate?
Don Munro Real Estate is an established realty expert in British Columbia. His sales exceed $100 million annually because he represents not just residences but also industrial, commercial, acreage, and agricultural land.
Moreover, Munro and his team are involved in completing real estate projects. As a sales representative of Sutton Group–West Coast Realty, Don has leveraged his career in real estate and become an expert resource person for commercial and industrial real estate seminars.
Think of harnessing Don Munro’s knowledge and strength as a Realtor to your advantage. He will bring everything to the table and consider every aspect of you as a buyer, from your personal preferences to your financial readiness. When purchasing a home in Fraser Valley, Don Munro Real Estate can help you find and close on your dream home.
Make buying and selling a home one of the most exciting times of your life. Work with us to streamline your real estate experience. We are the experts you need so you can make buying decisions with confidence. For the best Fraser Valley homes for sale, get in touch with Don Munro Real Estate today. Call 604-817-7338 or contact us here to get started.