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

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

Black Crow Cannabis is just one of Vernon's many pot shops now open in town. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Kelowna has highest cannabis fees in Okanagan

Vernon’s 14 stores pay second highest business licence fees

The Columbia Valley Wetlands are known for their extensive and fragile ecosystem. (File photo)
Wildsight speaks out against logging in Columbia Wetlands

Located 50 kms south of Golden, the proposed operation was justified as bark beetle management

Residents, especially those with yards with long grass and wooded areas, are encouraged to check themselves and their pets for ticks after being outside. Ticks have reportedly been found in Golden near the pump track. File photo
Ticks found in Golden as spring approaches

Between five and 10 people each year go to hospital in Golden for ticks

Community forest (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Bringing a community forest to Golden

The Golden and Area A Community Forestry Team provides an update

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

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Firefighters battled a burning home on farmland in the north end of Vernon Saturday, April 17, 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
UPDATE: Homeowner taken to hospital after Vernon home destroyed by fire

Firefighters engaged in a lengthy battle against the engulfed structure Saturday afternoon

Members of the Okanagan Screen Arts Society received a cheque for $1,500 Thursday, April 15, 2021. The funds are to help the society’s efforts as they prepare take over operation of the Vernon Towne Cinema at the end of July. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Okanagan dealership gives local cinema a lift

Vernon Watkin Motor Ford, in business for more than 100 years, donated to the theatre with nearly as long a history

Vernon Jubilee Hospital. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared over in surgical unit of Vernon hospital

The outbreak affected four staff, 10 patients and led to three deaths in just over two weeks

A group of youth in Kelowna's Knox Mountain Park are suspected as having violated the B.C. Wildlife Act by harassing a pair of nesting bald eagles with a drone Friday, April 16, 2021. (Conservation Officer Service photo)
Nesting bald eagles harassed by youth-piloted drone in Kelowna

Conservation Officers are hoping to hear from anyone who witnessed the Knox Mountain incident

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Most Read