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

A student works in a science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary on Friday, March 12, 2021. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
COVID-19 exposures at 2 Central Okanagan schools

Ellison Elementary and Ècole Kelowna Secondary School are reporting exposures

Nolan Foote becomes the 62nd Rocket to suit up in an NHL regular-season game on Sunday afternoon (Photo: Kelowna Rockets)
Former Kelowna Rockets captain plays first NHL game

Nolan Foote played his first game with the New Jersey Devils on Sunday

Pastor Cliff Siebert of the Okanagan Landing Community Church (centre) addresses some of his congregation in-person for the first time in many months Sunday, April 18, as the church held the first of what they hope will be regular outdoor services with COVID protocols adhered to and obeyed. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
Vernon church hosts outdoor service

Okanagan Landing Community Church put strict COVID protocols in place to hold sermon in back parking lot

The City of Armstrong has been named one of Canada’s 20 best towns to live based on low cost of living and high paying jobs, according to a survey by Numbeo. (Facebook photo/Rhythm Productions)
Armstrong lands among 20 best cities to live in Canada

Survey conducted based on low cost of living and high paying jobs; five other B.C. towns on list

Vernon Vipers forward Ryan Shostak (centre) fends off a check from Salmon Arm defenceman to get a close-in scoring attempt on Silverbacks goalie Owen Say during Vernon’s 3-2 B.C. Hockey League pod play shootout victory Saturday, April 17, at Kal Tire Place. (Lisa Mazurek - Vernon Vipers photography)
Vernon Vipers use shootout to subdue Salmon Arm

Snakes score 3-2 B.C. Hockey League pod play win at Kal Tire Place

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

The Rogers logo is photographed in Toronto on Monday, September 30, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tijana Martin
Rogers investigating after wireless customers complain of widespread outage

According to Down Detector, problems are being reported in most major Canadian cities

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Brent Thompson and Jordan Goebel enjoy coffee and crepes for lunch at The Night Cafe’s new sidewalk patio in downtown Salmon Arm on Friday, April 16, 2021. With indoor dining on hold as part of a March 29 provincial health order, Thompson and Goebel said they’d been patio hopping over the past couple of days, taking in the city’s varied dining options. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Patio pivot offers some reprieve amid restrictions for Salmon Arm restaurateurs

Owner points to impossibility of running a business, raising a family with such a limited income

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
National fitness group condemns unlicensed Kelowna gym’s anti-vaccine policy

The Fitness Industry Council of Canada says Flow Academy is shining a negative light on the industry

People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Nothing stopping provinces from offering AstraZeneca vaccine to all adults: Hajdu

Health Canada has licensed the AstraZeneca shot for use in people over the age of 18

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

Most Read