Moving to the OK - am I making the right choice?

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Moving to the OK - am I making the right choice?

Postby eatSleepWoof » Aug 18th, 2018, 9:15 pm

I've been aggressively house hunting in the OK the last ~3 weeks. First in Kamloops, currently in Vernon. Now the smoke has hit and I've suddenly got doubts. Beginning to question whether I should be looking on Vancouver Island (Nanaimo area) instead.

I'm looking for a place I can live in for the next 20-30 years, where I can raise a family, and maybe even retire. Access to outdoor activities is important (hiking, fishing, hunting, off-roading, camping, kayaking, skiing, etc.). Some sort of civilization nearby is important, too.

Not getting wiped out when "the big one" hits is important. Then again, so is not having the house go up in flames, or dying of lung cancer as a result of breathing smoke for 30 years.

Some of the locals in Vernon say the wildfire problems get worse and worse each year, and they wouldn't be looking for a home here if they were in my shoes. I've also read a few posts on other forums from folks who have moved out of the OK purely because of the wildfire smoke every year.

I'm curious to hear more opinions from folks that have lived in the OK a substantial amount of time. How do you like it here, overall? How much of an issue do wildfires present for you, personally, each year? If you were house hunting, would you choose to live in the OK?

(Let's try to avoid real estate talk - that's a whole other can of worms.)
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Re: Moving to the OK - am I making the right choice?

Postby Catsumi » Aug 18th, 2018, 9:24 pm

Worms? Pit Vipers, and proud of it!

I think there is the same type of request in Referrals if I remember right.

Good luck.
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Re: Moving to the OK - am I making the right choice?

Postby burnedatstake » Aug 18th, 2018, 11:22 pm

if you need us to sell you on the area why are you even bothering? go to the island that costs you 100 bucks to get off and on again. the island is a hole. i had 1st hand experience for a few years being stuck on alkatraz. do your self a favor and stay on the mainland and just visit the island. youll thank me later.
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Re: Moving to the OK - am I making the right choice?

Postby Muzza » Aug 20th, 2018, 12:29 pm

if you need us to sell you on the area why are you even bothering? go to the island that costs you 100 bucks to get off and on again. the island is a hole. i had 1st hand experience for a few years being stuck on alkatraz. do your self a favor and stay on the mainland and just visit the island. youll thank me later.


I was born and raised on Vancouver Island and was 5th generation living there on the same property (brothers all still there). The island is an awesome place to live and to raise a family, but doesn't compare to the Okanagan as far as I am concerned. Personally, I'm not a fan of any areas much north of Duncan (lived in Nanaimo a couple of times), and I also don't like Victoria much. Anywhere in between is great. Still have lots of friends there who raised their families and they will never live any where else.

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Re: Moving to the OK - am I making the right choice?

Postby Merry » Aug 20th, 2018, 12:37 pm

According to the news Vancouver island is also experiencing smoke issues this summer (as are both Calgary and Edmonton). So, bad as it is right now, I'm not sure it would be better anywhere else. The entire province of BC has been affected this year; it's really bad just north of Prince George.

It's true that the wildfire situation appears to be getting worse, and I think part of the reason for that is people's tendency to build further and further out into areas that used to be bush, without creating any kind of decent fire break around the new developments.

I've often commented to my spouse about how you'll see homes nestled in the trees, that look very attractive but are not very safe IMO in the event of a wild fire. Also, many of the new developments on the outskirts of Kelowna are not anywhere close to a fire hall (some of them don't even have fire department protection).

It's time for our urban planners to start taking the possibility of wild fire into consideration when approving new developments.
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Re: Moving to the OK - am I making the right choice?

Postby Even Steven » Aug 20th, 2018, 12:54 pm

I wouldn't let some smoke rule your decision. Smoke happens sometimes more sometimes less. It's a none issue.

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Re: Moving to the OK - am I making the right choice?

Postby mexi cali » Aug 20th, 2018, 1:25 pm

You're gonna get a lot of both sides here. Some folks are very anti Okanagan no matter what. I suspect they couldn't make a go of it here and it can be tough. It is expensive but man, is it beautiful.

The island is about as far from a "hole" as you can get but they aren't immune to the smoke. We import smoke form the US when we don't have enough forest fires going on here so yah, we get smoke pretty regularly from Late June to July onward but still, I wouldn't trade it for any other place in Canada.

That is the price you pay for living where there are actual trees.

Be prepared for higher costs, less real estate availability, *bleep*, angry drivers, traffic congestion and other things but also be prepared for mild winters, beautiful scenery, tons of outdoor stuff to do, and most importantly, being the envy of every friend and family member who don't live here.
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Re: Moving to the OK - am I making the right choice?

Postby kgcayenne » Aug 20th, 2018, 1:31 pm

I look at it this way: we have 5 seasons in the Okanagan: Fall, Winter, Spring, almost Summer, and Fire seasons. Winters have been gracing us with larger dumps of snow each year since 2015, so gone are the 'green Christmases' (mild winters) of old, and summer has given way to Fire Season, where you can neither see nor enjoy our outdoors.

Therefore, select an area with a nice Fall and Spring that costs a heckuva lot less than here, because Okanagan winters and summers are no longer significantly different or better than anywhere else.

We make a good 'go of it' here, but we also no longer fit in with the new locals, either. We are too quiet.
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Re: Moving to the OK - am I making the right choice?

Postby Ka-El » Aug 20th, 2018, 3:51 pm

kgcayenne wrote: Therefore, select an area with a nice Fall and Spring that costs a heckuva lot less than here, because Okanagan winters and summers are no longer significantly different or better than anywhere else.

Many of those places have much milder winters, and summers pretty much as good as the Okanagan used to be. :smt045
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Re: Moving to the OK - am I making the right choice?

Postby eatSleepWoof » Aug 21st, 2018, 5:23 pm

Thanks for the feedback. Since posting this thread I've settled down on the "fence sitting" I was experiencing. Actually made an offer on a place on the west side of Okanagan lake this morning. According to their realtor, after sitting on the market for 3 months, they now have "multiple offers" and they sent through a whole list of criteria that governs HOW and WHEN to present my "best" offer. Haha. I retracted my offer altogether, and the search continues.

kgcayenne wrote:I look at it this way: we have 5 seasons in the Okanagan: Fall, Winter, Spring, almost Summer, and Fire seasons. Winters have been gracing us with larger dumps of snow each year since 2015, so gone are the 'green Christmases' (mild winters) of old, and summer has given way to Fire Season, where you can neither see nor enjoy our outdoors.

Therefore, select an area with a nice Fall and Spring that costs a heckuva lot less than here, because Okanagan winters and summers are no longer significantly different or better than anywhere else.

We make a good 'go of it' here, but we also no longer fit in with the new locals, either. We are too quiet.


Very interesting suggestion. Will give that one some thought.

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Re: Moving to the OK - am I making the right choice?

Postby Merry » Aug 22nd, 2018, 5:48 am

If your not fixated on Kelowna itself, have you considered one of the smaller towns in the surrounding area? They're a lot cheaper to live in than Kelowna, don't have as much traffic congestion, are within a short driving distance of the airport. and have the same benefits weather wise as Kelowna.

We live in a smaller community, and love it.
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Re: Moving to the OK - am I making the right choice?

Postby LANDM » Aug 22nd, 2018, 6:03 am

eatSleepWoof wrote:Thanks for the feedback. Since posting this thread I've settled down on the "fence sitting" I was experiencing. Actually made an offer on a place on the west side of Okanagan lake this morning. According to their realtor, after sitting on the market for 3 months, they now have "multiple offers" and they sent through a whole list of criteria that governs HOW and WHEN to present my "best" offer. Haha. I retracted my offer altogether, and the search continues.
.


That’s a fascinating response. You no longer want the home only because someone else wants it?

Why not just put in the offer that you were planning on putting in? If it works, fine. If not, fine. That is how it would be whether in the presence of a competing offer or not.
Do you think you will somehow lose control and go crazy with an inappropriate offer? :135:
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Re: Moving to the OK - am I making the right choice?

Postby kgcayenne » Aug 22nd, 2018, 6:59 am

LANDM, I retracted an offer once because it became apparent the vendors were going to be a pain in the tuchus. Some houses aren’t worth the trouble.
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Re: Moving to the OK - am I making the right choice?

Postby Bsuds » Aug 22nd, 2018, 7:11 am

kgcayenne wrote:LANDM, I retracted an offer once because it became apparent the vendors were going to be a pain in the tuchus. Some houses aren’t worth the trouble.


But if you really like the house you can make a take it or leave it offer to them. If they really want to sell they will take it.

As far as the OP backing out of an offer...why would you do that? The realtors could be BSing you with the multiple offerings scenario. Put in the offer and see what comes of it. You have nothing to lose and your realtor has to abide by your wishes to put the offer in.
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Re: Moving to the OK - am I making the right choice?

Postby LANDM » Aug 22nd, 2018, 8:03 am

kgcayenne wrote:LANDM, I retracted an offer once because it became apparent the vendors were going to be a pain in the tuchus. Some houses aren’t worth the trouble.

OK, I understand what you are saying, although the owners do not go along with the property after possession. If you feel that they will cheat you somehow between the offer and possession, that is a different story.
However, the OP retracted his offer only after learning others were offering also. That is not logical. Emotional, yes. But, it doesn’t change the property at all, nor does it mean the buyer has to change their offer price.
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