Vernon is a magical place, and we’re not just saying that because we live and do business here! It is a lifestyle paradise, with fun to be had in all four seasons. We are blessed to have hot summers, colourful autumns, snowy winters, and bountiful springs! And not only is it great for visitors, it is home to a vibrant community of residents.
In this post, we’re going to run through some of the most popular Vernon neighbourhoods, give you some practical tips for buying a home here, and showcase three great listings we have available in the city.
Let’s get started!
Location, Location, Location
Vernon has many great neighbourhoods and it would be unfair to label any as “better” than the others. However, these are some of the most popular and well-established neighbourhoods in the city!
East Hill is Vernon’s most iconic neighbourhood, and for good reason! It is where Vernon’s first original homes were constructed, many of which still stand today. Just driving through this area with its character homes, tree-lined streets and abundance of city and lake views often forms a nostalgic experience for residents. One of the major benefits to this area is its close proximity to the vast majority of Vernon businesses and city services, so this area is probably best for young to established families with busy lifestyles. Your kids will undoubtedly find great friends within the same neighbourhood over time! Notable schools that serve East Hill are Hillview and Silver Star elementary schools, as well as Vernon secondary school and Seaton secondary school.
This is the neighbourhood for the summer-lovers! Coldstream is arguably Vernon’s most sought after neighbourhood because of its abundance of larger lots and spectacular lake views. And these aren’t just any lake views… The lake in question is one of Canada’s most beautiful: Kalamalka Lake! Known as the “lake of many colours”, this lake turns a vibrant green in midsummer because of its large volumes of limestone deposits left over from receding glaciers. It’s simply spectacular, and it has created an environment that attracts many tourists and locals alike! Be sure to check out Kalamalka Provincial Park for the very best views! Notable schools here include Kidston and Coldstream Elementary, and Kalamalka High School
The BX comprised a fairly large geographic area compared to other neighbourhoods, as it is often split into “north” and “south” BX for catchment purposes. In the north, many homes enjoy stunning panoramic views of the North Okanagan Valley and Swan Lake. In the south, you will find sprawling acreages, beautiful country estates and excellent views of Vernon, which often includes views of different Vernon lakes. The BX is known for its peace and quiet and large lots. Locals especially enjoy the BX dog park and BX Press Cidery, home to great cider and regular nights of entertainment in various forms. The schools in this area are BX elementary and Vernon Christian School.
Situated in West Vernon amongst a sprawling landscape of grapevines and the grasslands above them, Bella Vista is a great place to live! It is approximately 5-7 minutes to downtown Vernon and is home to many tourist attractions, including Davison’s Orchard (a longtime local favourite) and The Rise golf course and residential community. A large number of Bella Vista homes enjoy views of either vineyards or Okanagan Lake, or sometimes even both! This area is south facing and is best for those that enjoy year-round sunshine and endlessly scenic walks in the evening. The schools that serve this area are Ellison and Okanagan Landing elementary schools, as well as Fulton secondary school.
This catchment is the furthest away from the downtown core, but there’s plenty of reasons why this is a benefit for local residents and visitors. Okanagan Landing is on the west side of Vernon but is generally north facing, as it stretches down the south side of Okanagan Lake. Here you will find excellent beaches and swimming holes, an abundance of actively used boat launches, as well as the beautiful Ellison Provincial Park! This area is best for those who plan to use their home as a vacation home and those that want to take advantage of the active lakeside life. The schools that serve the Okanagan Landing area are the same as those in Bella Vista (actual catchment depends on specific property information).
Remember, these are only some of the more popular neighbourhoods, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t even more great neighbourhoods to look into! Honorable mentions include Swan Lake West, Adventure Bay and Upper Mission Hill. Vernon is beautiful wherever you go!
Tips and Tricks When Buying In Vernon
Seek Professionals Sooner Than Later!
It’s a common misconception that people should begin their online real estate searches on random listing sites. While these can be excellent resources, especially for weary first-time buyers that aren’t quite ready to commit to purchasing, they simply aren’t the best first step most of the time. This applies to all buyers, whether the plan is to buy a single family, townhome or condo.
We always recommend seeking both a licensed mortgage broker and a Realtor® as soon as possible. A mortgage professional will be able to take all your information and work with you on your budget, preventing you from getting ahead of yourself and skewing expectations. A Realtor® will be able to take your budget and plan your next steps, while instituting a system that works for your unique needs and scheduling. A great Realtor employs patience and understanding with everyone they work with, and they’re always in your corner. So make those calls, and be sure to find someone you trust as soon as you can. It can make a huge difference when you’re finally ready to buy!
Wants vs Needs
When you’ve finalized a budget and begun a formal property search, a great next step is working on a wants vs needs list. If you have a partner you plan to purchase with, it is imperative that you both sit down and communicate each other's wants and needs so that you can combine perspectives into a cohesive list. This list will serve you well when you embark on showing tours, allowing you to more efficiently identify the homes that are potential matches for your lifestyle. The key is to be as flexible with your wants and as definitive with your needs as possible. Armed with this tool, you will immediately give yourself an advantage over the others looking to purchase in the same price ranges. This is especially true in Vernon because of its broad diversity in home types, views, and lifestyle preferences.
Review Contracts Ahead of Time
One more useful tip when buying a home in Vernon is to have your Realtor® review commonly used contracts with you ahead of time. You’ve spent all that time preparing your professionals and identifying your wants and needs, so it’s important to understand the contracts you will be signing so that you have more confidence when the time comes around to actually fill them in with real information! This step will amplify your buying confidence and elevate you over your competition when you do come across that perfect home.
Here are some great Vernon listings for sale! We’ll be taking you on a listing tour of Middleton Mountain, which straddles the border between Vernon and Coldstream!
Welcome to our first Middleton Mountain home, complete with stunning views of the iconic Kalamlka lake! This custom built home boasts hardwood floors, custom kitchen cabinetry and easy access to an oversized deck and a flat backyard (not easy to find in this area!). This home is in close proximity to Kal Beach and the Rail Trail, and even has a 1-bedroom in-law suite on the grade level, making it a great option for seniors.
Check out this beautiful home on our next stop through Middleton Mountain home with some of the most stunning updates we’ve ever come across! Inside you’ll find custom cabinets, granite counters, and a brand-new suite all ready to go. There’s also new appliances, hot water tank, blinds AND vinyl fencing. The updates are virtually everywhere! This is the type of home that you can move right in and immediately feel at home!
Situated on a large, private corner lot is this beautiful family home, complete with a two-bedroom in-law suite! This home has three levels with three distinct living spaces, as well as a spacious kitchen with room for the whole family to be together. There are great views to be enjoyed from every upstairs room, and you can even catch the Northern Lights in the winter! The master suite features a vaulted ceiling and its very own fireplace. This is an elegant home in a wonderful family-friendly neighbourhood.