Friday, 20 July 2012

Where is the best place to retire in BC?

I have been retired for a few years now, and my spouse is now ready to retire, or maybe just call himself semi retired.  My kids are at University, and only come home for short visits a few times a year. We are always in search of more sun, the summers just seem to be getting shorter here on the westcoast (or wetcoast as we are hearing more often).  So maybe we should just move,.........but the question is where?

So this is going to be the start of our personal search for the best place to retire for us:
  • We plan to travel more every winter, not just to Mexico, but Australia, Europe, Bali, Bahamas, New York, Nashville.....we have a long list that hopefully will take many fun filled years to accomplish.
  • We need a BC residence to see our families & friends, and keep our Medical Insurance as well as many other reasons I am sure!
  • We don't want 2 homes, less maintenance is the goal!
  • We want more sun, a water view as well as the city life (good restaurants, good friends, shopping, summer and winter activities)
  • We don't want to be house poor, but we are not ready to downsize to a condo or a 1400 sq ft home.

So off we go on a 3 day whirlwind tour of the Okanagan.  I planned a short trip full of real estate viewings. I picked a realtor in each town of Osoyoos, Penticton, Kelowna and Vernon.  They put together a list of 6 to 10 places for us to see each day.  All of the realtors were incredibly nice, gave us tours of their hometowns, sharing as much information as we would ever need to know.  We were exhausted by the end of the day.  It certainly was no vacation, we didn't even have time to visit a winery!
We saw some beautiful houses, and some real fixer uppers.  There were fabulous views, golf courses and lakes.  Not to mention the sunshine, and 80+ degrees, with a nice breeze.

We learned a few things about ourselves, and narrowed down what we are really looking for.

  • Osoyoos, Penticton, Summerland, Peachland & Vernon, are all nice little towns, but they are too small for us right now.
  • Kelowna is a city we could live in.  There is a clean lake, for boating, kayaking, paddleboarding or swimming, there are many golf courses, restaurants, and shopping, even a couple of my favorite stores (Winners)
  • You can get a nice new house or townhouse with a view for under $600,000.  More expensive closer to the water of course.  
  • City views and golf course views are nice, but we love water views best, and the ultimate would be walking distance to the water.
  • So far there is only one location that fits the whole bill, but more research is needed.
We will continue to research Kelowna with the help of the realtor we met there.  We are also going to investigate Vancouver Island next.  Can the weather be as good over there? What is a better commute to visit our parents here in the lowermainland, a ferry ride or a 4 hour drive from Kelowna?

More answers to follow(when I figure out what the answers are)  


  1. Sounds like you are on the right track. So what else did you come up with. My feelings are about the same. We love to be near the water but we also need to be near affordable good quality golf. We do have a second home where we can get away from the winter but still want a nice place in the summer.

  2. Hi Judye, I haven't been blogging much lately, as we have just moved to Kelowna, and have been busy, first with moving & selling our other house, 2nd with enjoying our new place. See my July 30th/12 post for the place we chose. Good luck with your search!


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