The Pros and the Cons of Living in Vernon BC
Today I’m going to tell you the 5 things I love and the 5 things I don’t love – about living in Vernon B.C.
Hi, I’m Lisa Salt from RE/MAX Vernon Salt Fowler and seeing as I’m born and raised in Vernon plus have sold real estate here for 28 years, I think I’m qualified to give my opinion on the best – and the worst – of Greater Vernon. If you’re new to the area or thinking of moving here, please subscribe to our channel as I’m posting cool new stuff every week (Subscribe here)
Let’s start with the bad ones first.
Con #1: The winter inversion.
There is just no way around it. It’s dismal many days in the winter. Luckily there are a few ways around this. First – go to Silver Star. Second – Get on a plane and get out of town. Third – go to Saskatchewan at minus 40 and appreciate why you moved here. It’s only a few months of the year.
Con #2: The Heat.
Yes, it can be hot hot hot and humid sometimes over a hundred degree for – a while. That’s why they have this marvellous new invention called air conditioning! Plus the heat comes and it goes. Sometimes it comes in flames, the Okanagan has been known for its’ wildfires, however, knock wood – we in Greater Vernon haven’t been affected too badly.
Con #3. Lack of Night Life.
If you’re looking for an active party scene, it’s not that easy to find. There are a club and pubs and a peeler bar, I think, lots of good restaurants, however, an active nightlife is not part of the scenario in Vernon. If you’re planning to come and party it up then you should probably bring your own party with you because there’s not much supplied here. Saying that we’re only 30 minutes from Kelowna and so you could make a night of it (don’t drink and drive!)
Con #4. Shopping is limited.
Unfortunately, we don’t have much in the shopping department. There are some very nice shops in Vernon especially the specialty shops and we have some of the big box type places as well, however, there isn’t the assortment that you may expect if you wanted to go on a big full-day shopping spree. (There is no Costco) However, again, as in point number three, Kelowna is only half an hour away and although we always promote shopping local, if shopping local isn’t finding you what you need, then there is always that option. I can find anything I want in Vernon, I very seldom venture out, so if you want to know where to look - Ask me - and I can tell you the secret spots for finding what you need.
Con #5. Lack of industry.
Finding a job isn’t very easy. We don’t have a lot of industry here. Most of our jobs are tourism-related and they don’t always pay you in the manner you may have become accustomed to. However, as more and more people are working from home, retiring, semi-retiring – it really is a beautiful place to live and work if you can swing it. We have great internet for zoom meetings and an airport for you to commute if necessary, only 26 minutes away!
And now for the Pros:
Pro #1: No Speculation Tax:
At the time of making this video, there is no speculation tax and no vacancy tax here in the North Okanagan as there is in Kelowna and Vancouver and parts of Vancouver Island. This is a huge deal and can save investors and vacation home buyers thousands upon thousands every year by buying property here versus places that have either one or both of these taxes.
Pro #2: Vernon Weather:
I know we talked about the winter inversion and I know we talked about the summer's excessive heat, however, we still do have four distinct seasons here. And all of them have their own individual beauty. The seasons allow Vernonites to have the opportunity to engage in all sorts of fun outdoor activities. In the summer, of course, you have all the water sports and activities and in the winter you have snow skiing. Sometimes you can ski in the morning and golf in the afternoon – not many areas can say that. Not to mention all the other activities like hiking and biking etc. this is a huge drawing card for active people.
Pro #3: It’s Still Small:
You can find parking!! You can get across town in 15 minutes. Rush hour means you have to wait for a light. And it’s only 30 minutes from Kelowna if you want to get a taste of real traffic. Yet you’re not in the middle of nowhere and you have access to pretty much everything you need. People are friendly and welcoming, and you may actually meet your neighbours. People here have a tendency of watching out for each other. There are lots of clubs and organizations you can join to meet new people. And even though it’s small, we still have a beautiful arena, a Performing Arts Center, a thriving arts scene actually, a state of the art running track, tons of parks, lots of beaches, and when you see the murals painted on the buildings downtown you realize there is a lot of history here too.
#4. Relatively affordable:
Our house prices are still relatively affordable. They have gone up considerably, however, what hasn’t these days? We are still way more affordable than Kelowna and Vancouver and many other places including many out east. There is still a vast price range of available properties as we have a large assortment of different kinds of properties available starting from small bachelor apartments or modular homes all the way up to executive style lakefront homes. There are so many choices for people that there is really something for every price range.
#5. Great restaurants in Vernon
For a population the size of Vernon, I’m shocked at how many awesome restaurants we have. We have some of the usual chains that you would expect to find in most cities our size, however, we have some really awesome independent locally run places that we personally frequent on a regular basis. Ones that I would highly recommend to anybody.
Every place has its pros and cons. I believe the pros outweigh the cons tenfold, however you may as well make your decision to move here knowing all the facts.
Are you looking to move to Vernon? We would love to help with your move. Please click on the link to get a free copy of our Vernon Relocation guide which outlines some of the things I have talked about in this video in greater detail, and if you would like to explore the housing market – contact us.
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