Prince George is undoubtedly a great place to buy a house. Did I ever think I’d be a homeowner sub-30 years old? Heck no. Many of my friends in bigger cities, most notably my home-city, Toronto, are delaying homeownership. If you live in a mega-urban area like Vancouver or Toronto, if your own parents didn’t own a home, or if you are saddled with student debt, saving for a home is very difficult.
The average price for a single-family home in Prince George is around $371,000 which is a fraction of what people pay in Canada’s mega-cities.
After less than four years out of my Master’s education, my partner and I were financially ready to purchase a house. We saved a lot of money living in Prince George; many of these reasons echoed similarly to Kellie’s in her blog post.
The process of homeownership
It was an exciting feeling going to open houses and searching for that place that I could soon call home. But it was also a stressful process. From bidding wars to securing a mortgage, buying a home can be a lengthy process.
We started with a realtor who had tons of experience in Prince George. What was actually a nice surprise was when we toured some houses with our realtor, he pointed out all the houses he had sold multiple times on that street. The real estate community is close-knit in Prince George and in my opinion beneficial that way. Once we acquired the sale, the process was met with almost familiar faces along the way. Our notary knew our realtor who knew our mortgage advisor. It all felt familiar even though we were swimming into unknown waters, and we felt really happy with the process.
But why Prince George?
A large part of why we chose our home was the sense of community. We both have stable-income jobs, we love Prince George, and we want to see it thrive. We want to grow the economy here. Being able to do our part in buying a home in a neighbourhood and community we like was a fulfilling experience. We’ve tried to be involved with neighbourhood activities and community events. It’s honestly exciting to feel our roots growing in Prince George and getting to know so many other people that live near us.
I sometimes feel thankful about us having the opportunities that we did. Making the choice to move to Prince George was the right decision. Close friends of ours were house hunting at the same time as us in Toronto, and we have traded stories frequently. Their house-buying journey sounded so much more stressful and cumbersome than ours. Also, they were trying to acquire a mortgage that was 2.5 times larger than ours. I will have to say there are always trade-offs with living in a smaller community but to us, Prince George feels like home.
Happy house hunting!