Have you thought about putting down roots there to retire, have a vacation home, or just as a get away from the crush of life in the big city?
It wasn’t on the radar for Dawn Mortensen. But her husband, Peter, had it in mind when they were looking for a quiet place perched in the midst of nature.
“My husband always wanted to retire in Lillooet because of the scenery and climate,” says Mortensen, a realtor with Royal LePage Westwin Realty who quickly discovered the abundance of benefits Lillooet offered.
“We wanted river front property where we could build a new house, and I needed to be close to town for work,” she says.
That was in 2016, and since then they have been living the life Mortensen relates to clients who, like her, are looking for that ideal spot.
“Most of my clients are from Squamish, Pemberton or Vancouver and are looking to get out of the city and live a more peaceful, healthy life,” Mortensen says. “And I tell them now is the best time to get into the market, there is a shortage of housing inventory here, and most of clients are buying and able to rent their property and hold on to the value of the house in preparation for their retirement .”
Needless to say, the market has been on a steady, upward trend.
“Since 2016 the average cost has gone up 40 per cent,” she says.
Currently, an average house will cost between $450,000 to $650,000.
Larger properties of an acre or more could be $750,000 or greater.
Other than market pressures, what is driving real estate in Lillooet?
It’s the peaceful, healthy lifestyle, Mortensen says.
“The peace and slower pace of life is the big attraction. It’s as simple as having the ability to just sit back, watching the river and listen to the birds, like the meadowlarks singing in the springtime.
“It gives you that grounded peace of mind.”
There are also the benefits of the region’s natural bounty with many local, organic produce growers.
“Lillooet is famous for its tomatoes, and the Russian garlic is amazing,” she says.
Plus, we have two new wineries in the area.
“They draw visitors from all over.”
The outdoor recreational opportunities are also easy to access, with plenty of trails for hiking, mountain biking and, of course, the ever popular Sheep Pasture nine-hole golf course.
But that doesn’t mean Lillooet is isolated.
Lillooet is just a two-hour drive to Whistler and 90 minutes from Kamloops.
And if you want to go further, Lillooet has its own airport—for private aircrafts only.
“Lillooet also has all of the major Internet service providers to keep you connected if you want to work remotely,” Mortensen says. “Some of my clients are in the entertainment industry and Lillooet is more than capable of providing the connections to make that happen.
“All of that is why I encourage people to buy here if they see something they like and their life situation will allow,” Mortensen says.
“Make a move now. Don’t wait.
“I watched too many people do that with Squamish when I started in the business in 2006, waiting for the prices to go down. Now, they are 10 times what they were.”
“I see the same thing happening here.”
For more information about the real estate market and benefits Lillooet has to offer, check out Mortensen’s website at livelillooet.com.