A view of Revelstoke. (North Columbia Environmental Society)

A view of Revelstoke. (North Columbia Environmental Society)

Jocelyn’s Jottings: The housing market is changing Revelstoke

How many people do you know who have left because they can’t afford to buy a house?

One of my best friends is moving away from Revelstoke.

She isn’t a skier or an Australian returning home, she is a new mom who had intended on raising her family here. And even though her husband has a well paying industry job and she was working full-time prior to having the baby, they can’t afford to buy an appropriate home.

Though their rental isn’t overly expensive, the house is old. Earlier this year she called me in a panic because wasps were crawling in through the bathroom fan and she was worried they would sting her child, or her pet, who is allergic. There have been other struggles with the property as well as the looming threat of having to find a new place if the landlord ever sells.

I am mad they are leaving, not at them, but at the system. I am mad about the housing crisis.

These friends of mine are exactly the kind of people we need in Revelstoke to keep the “community feel” we, as well as the tourists, love.

If they can’t afford a house, I wonder who can. Who is buying these $800,000-plus houses?

According to ratehub.com’s mortgage calculator, with the minimum down payment, and the lowest interest rate choice, a buyer would be paying almost $3,200 a month for 25 years.

With a $160,000 down payment, that rate decreases slightly to around $2,600 a month.

If you are following common financial advice and only spending one-third of your monthly income on housing, to afford that mortgage your family should be bringing in upwards of $115,000 a year (and that isn’t considering the craziness of hydro bills, food or gas prices in Revelstoke).

According to the 2016 census, the average income of a Revelstoke resident in 2015 was just under $44,000 a year and there were only 390 households making over $100,000 a year (out of 5,510).

READ MORE: Revelstoke property values up by 7% in 2020

Still, that was six years ago. But, put that through an inflation calculator and $44,000 goes up to $48,000, which might bump another 145 households into the $100,000-plus category, if everyone got annual raises that match inflation.

When you look at it that way, it makes sense that there are so many AirBnBs and houses with multiple roommates.

In the end, I don’t think my friend’s only reason for leaving is the lack of housing, but it is playing a major role. And, one day it will play a major role in my decision to leave.

Though I don’t currently have plans to move away, the lack of housing options is a consistent addition to my con side of my “stay or leave Revelstoke” list.

How many people are in the same boat as me and my friend?

What would Revelstoke be like without people like us?



 

@JDoll_Revy
jocelyn.doll@revelstokereview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Column

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nick Trask, 36, and Ryan Ellison, 35, died in a boat collision on Osoyoos Lake in 2019. (Facebook photo)
Meth, excessive speed found as factors in Osoyoos boat crash deaths

Nick Trask, 36, and Ryan Ellison, 35, died in a boat collision on Osoyoos Lake in 2019

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
54 more cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Thirty-two people in the region are in hospital with the virus, 11 of them in intensive care

The automated external defibrillator, like the one pictured here, was stolen from the Skaha Lake Boathouse for the second time in a year. (File)
Life-saving device stolen from Penticton paddler community for second time

It’s hoped that a new boathouse will be able to better protect the device

scales of justice
Guilty or not guilty? Lamb waits on two judges’ decisions

Trials for two of Bryan Lamb’s criminal cases wrapped up this week

Katerina Bakalos of Summerland will release her first single on May 1. The music label is LMS Entertainment from Kelowna. (Contributed)
Summerland singer to release single under Kelowna-based label

Katerina Bakalos has performed a rock rendition of I Think We’re Alone Now

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

Virtual meetings are taking a toll on local governance, according to multiple mayors in the North Okanagan. (Headway photo)
Virtual meetings leave North Okanagan politicians out of touch

More than a year of Zoom has led to a disconnect between officials, according to local mayors

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards the accused, judge says

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, walks down the street with an acquaintance after leaving B.C. Supreme Court during a lunch break at her extradition hearing, in Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, April 1, 2021. A judge is scheduled to release her decision today on a request to delay the final leg of hearings in Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rich Lam
B.C. judge grants Meng Wanzhou’s request to delay extradition hearings

Lawyers for Canada’s attorney general had argued there is no justification to delay proceedings in the case

B.C. Premier John Horgan announces travel restrictions between the province’s regional health authorities at the legislature, April 19, 2021. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sees 862 more COVID-19 cases Wednesday, seven deaths

Recreational travel restrictions set to begin Friday

Kai Palkeinen recently helped a car stuck on the riverbed near the Big Eddy Bridge. While the car could not be saved, some of the driver’s belongings were. It’s common for vehicles to get stuck in the area due to significantly changing river levels from Revelstoke Dam. (Photo by Kai Palkeinen)
‘I just sank a car’: Revelstoke resident wants the Columbia River better protected

Although it’s not permitted, the riverbed near the city is popular for off roading

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson is photographed following her budget speech in the legislative assembly at the provincial legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. budget lacks innovative drive, vision during uncertain times, say experts

Finance Minister Selina Robinson’s budget sets out to spend $8.7 billion over three years on infrastructure

Using panels kept cold by water circulating within them, B.C. researchers compared thermal comfort in 60 of the world’s most populous cities, including Toronto. (Lea Ruefenacht)
B.C. researchers use air conditioning to combat spread of COVID particles

Dr. Adam Rysanek and his team have proven a new worthwhile system – a mixture of cooling panels and natural ventilation

Police road checks are coming for people travelling between regions while COVID-19 travel restrictions are in place. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. clarifies COVID-19 travel restrictions, Lower Mainland a single zone

Vehicle checks on highways, at ferry terminals to start Friday

Most Read