As real estate prices continue to soar in Metro Vancouver to unrealistic heights, more young families than ever before are bidding farewell to the big city and planting new roots in the Fraser Valley.
In addition the affordability factor, the best benefit of Valley living is the sense of community that it offers in contrast to the sprawl of Vancouver, says Leigh Turnbull, a realtor with The Turnbull Real Estate Group and Macdonald Realty, who has been working within the real estate industry dealing with commercial, residential, licencing and development properties for more than 10 years.
“The idea of parks and walkable liveable communities is key for young families. I like the neighbourhoods that have a small-town feel, while still having the convenience of being so close to Vancouver.”
Fortunately, the Valley offers a large variety of these types of communities for families that Leigh mentions, including: larger lot sizes and larger house options, great schools, a feeling of community and more privacy while still being close to amenities.
Deciding on which neighbourhood to call home-sweet-home can seem daunting, but it’s certainly not impossible with the help of the right realtor.
In no particular order, here are the top 6 family friendly neighbourhoods in the Fraser Valley:
While it’s on the higher end of the affordability factor, Fort Langley continues to be one of the most desired and livable communities in the Valley, according to Leigh.
“Fort Langley consists of some incredible high end homes in a quaint village atmosphere that is steeped in history,” he said.
“The walkability for this community is fantastic and has something for everybody, including the famous fort-to-fort trails, excellent dining options, a plethora of local cafes and gift shopping galore.”
The affordability factor increases the further one is willing to migrate out into the Valley.
East Abbotsford offers a selection of nice homes on larger lots with fantastic views — some of Mt Baker.
“Young families are loving this area because it is close to amenities while having that “living in the country” feel,” said Leigh, noting that there is good highway access for those commuting.
Murrayville is one of the most desirable areas in Langley to raise a family.
Leigh says its popularity stems from being very close to shopping, having great amenities of WC Blair Recreation Center and the proximity of the Langley Memorial Hospital, in addition to the walkability and shopping the community has to offer.
“This area is definitely super popular with young families and we don’t see that cooling off anytime soon. The small selection of condos and townhouses offer something for everyone budget.”
Condos and townhouse, and row homes, oh my! The diverse property types available at Yorkson make this a sought-after up and coming suburban community, but that’s not the only reason, says Leigh.
“The families I’ve worked with love how new this neighbourhood is. It has been so interesting to watch this diverse community grow, and to see that it is developing some great shopping and recreation, all within walking distance, while still having reasonable access for the commuter,” he said.
“As the majority of the homes here are new, the homes have smaller low-maintenance lots, making the transition to single family easier for relocating families.”
Another great area that has experienced tremendous popularity as families move out of the downtown area is Walnut Grove.
“Its has fantastic amenities, just minutes from the main highway,” said Leigh, who notes the proximity to the highway 1 is a big draw for Vancouverites.
“This community is rich in amenities and has a series of established planned subdivisions on larger lots. Great schools and convenience makes this area a great place to raise a family.”
Located in the Township of Langley, South of the Nicomekl River, Brookswood is another hot real estate contender for families. Larger quarter acre lot size allows for some nice new builds of detached homes. Plus, there’s the nature factor, says Leigh.
“Brookwood really has that feeling of being in nature with the trees growing all around and salmon spawning creeks.”
Brookswood is also home to a George Preston Recreation Centre, Langley skateboard park, BMX track while minutes to the equestrian communities of South Langley.
So, How to Decide?
In considering your options, say between Langley and Mission, it all comes down to a mix between affordably, community, and proximity. I believe the neighborhoods in the valley that have the greatest sense of community general have the strongest price retention. Finding this balance part of the process said Leigh.
“Langley has a lot of new construction, newer schools, great shopping and entertainment options. It is pretty central for travel East or West. However, lots are getting smaller and homes are getting closer. On the other hand, Mission is a quieter and slower-paced community located closer to nature. It’s further away from the highway, but that also means less transit options.”
And for the million-dollar question…
Will the market continue going the way it has been?
“It seems to me Vancouver is becoming an internationally recognized destination,” said Leigh.
“Our dollar is low and we are on the map. I feel that moving forward, the demand for properties will remain high… understanding and acquiring real estate in the best areas is the key. Moving away from centre will help with prices but using the knowledge of a local professional realtor will assist in understanding the nuances of the many neighbourhood choices the valley has to offer.”
Serving a wide range of clients, Leigh Turnbull’s broad range of experience gets the job done quickly with as few problems as possible. Leigh has been awarded with the Sales Achievement Awards from Macdonald Realty for his accomplishments over the years and is a proud medallion member with the real estate board.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post