Finding The Perfect Neighbourhood

Choosing the right neighborhood is an important part of finding a home. 

In Prince Rupert, you will not have any commuting issues, you are within a 10 minute drive to downtown no matter which side of town you are on.

There are neighbourhoods that people just prefer to live in. There are several properties with wonderful waterfront views. There are parts of Prince Rupert that generally get more hours of sunshine than other neighbourhoods. Some with small families want to be located near one of the 5 elementary schools; others want to be closer to the secondary schools. 

Your best bet is to figure out if your neighborhood is a good fit with your family before you start looking for a home there (or certainly before you put in an offer). Spend some time in the neighbourhood you are thinking about moving to; take a walk through the streets, and take a look at the neighbouring houses. From a few visits at different times of the day, you will get a sense of the area’s personality.

Here are few questions that can help you figure out if a neighborhood is right for you:

1.      What does the area look like? Do homes look cared for?
Even in moderately-priced areas, pride of ownership helps keep property values up.
Keep an eye out for signs of neglect like overgrown laws, houses in need of paint and vacant lots (which can be zoned for commercial use, or end up getting used as dumps).
On the other hand, if an area has a lot of neglected-looking homes but you notice that a number look like they’ve been recently renovated, that may be a sign that the neighborhood is becoming gentrified; buying a home there and fixing it up can be a good long-term investment.


2.      What types of people live there? Families? Retirees? First-time homeowners? Professionals with no kids?
In Prince Rupert, in most neighbourhoods, you will find a mixed bag of people. This is likely due to the geographic nature of Prince Rupert - as mentioned above, you are close to all amenities no matter where you live.
Generally around the elementary schools, you fill find more families with younger children, but after awhile, of course, the kids grow up. Some families move out, and families with young kids move in to be closer to the school.


3.      Is it a safe place to live?
In general terms, vandalism, graffiti and deterrents like “Beware of dog” signs or bars on windows can mean there’s a high crime rate in the area.
Overall, Prince Rupert is a safe city to live in. Of course, things happen or could happen at any time in any city/town. Being aware of your surroundings and taking your own personal precautions are good things to do where ever you live.


4.      Are there schools nearby?
If you have kids, proximity and quality of schools is a major consideration.
I can provide you with the latest information on schools within the area you are interested in.
I have provided links to School District 52, all the elementary, secondary, and private schools as well as to the North West Community College. Check out the menu tab for schools and follow the links provided there.


5.      How long will it take to get to work?
In Prince Rupert, the joke is, we don't have a rush hour, we have a rush minute. If you have to wait to get on the main street through town for more than 10 cars, you begin to wonder what is going on or what it is that you are missing out on.
It takes perhaps 15 minutes to get from one side of the city to the other.


6.      What are the property values like?
In 2010, the house prices in Prince Rupert have increased approximately 5% over 2009. 


7.      What’s in store for the area?
Development can change the personality of a neighborhood, and increase taxes and traffic. Look for new construction in the area and check with city hall or the local chamber of commerce for planned housing developments, new facilities, new retailers, etc.

Of course, no one really knows what the course of the future will take economically in any one area. Personally, I am optimistic about the future outlook for Prince Rupert. Since the announcement of the Container Port, Prince Rupert has been on the map world wide. There will likely not be an 'announcement' of something big such as the second phase of the container port to commence on such and such a date. I believe we will see and hear about smaller projects that are happening, with build up in activity over time. Then the next thing you will know, the second phase of the port is half way or more completed.


8.      Is it quiet or noisy?
Visit the neighbourhood you are interested in at different times of day to get a sense of the noise level. A quiet street may be party central once the sun goes down, and an area near a highway may be fine at most times, but noisy at rush hour. Listen for barking dogs, traffic noise, trains clanging, overhead planes, and loud music.


Finding the neighbourhood you want can be just as important as finding that home you just love.
While you are doing your research, I would be pleased to help you with any questions you might have on your search for a home in Prince Rupert and Area.

Trademarks owned or controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association. Used under licence.


Dorothy Wharton
Dorothy Wharton
519 - 3rd Avenue West Prince Rupert BC V8J 1L9