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Should you move to Salmon Arm, BC? 

Should you move to Salmon Arm, BC? 

As a real estate team based in the Shuswap, we're passionate about helping people make the move here. If you've got any questions, feel free to reach out!

Salmon Arm holds a special place in my (Candace) heart as my hometown, and a few years back, I made the move back with Armin. This gives us a unique perspective, having experienced both the charm of this town and the hustle of a larger city.

Now, let's dive into today's video and tackle the burning question:  Should you move to Salmon Arm? 

Salmon Arm finds itself nestled on the Trans Canada Highway, essentially midway between the cities of Calgary and Vancouver. Our closest urban centers, Kamloops and Kelowna, are just a little over an hour's drive away. Positioned as a perfect small city, Salmon Arm offers a wealth of amenities without overwhelming its residents. With convenient proximity to Kelowna, Kamloops, and Vernon, virtually everything you might need is within reach.

Situated in the southern part of British Columbia, Salmon Arm experiences a climate that swings from hot summers to cool winters, avoiding the drastic weather extremes found in the northern regions of the province. Nestled on the shores of Shuswap Lake, surrounded by majestic mountains adorned with lush trees, Salmon Arm stands out as one of the most picturesque cities. In contrast to the drier climates of Kamloops or Kelowna, Salmon Arm boasts a dense and lush environment.

The Shuswap region provides numerous outdoor activities, from hiking and biking to cross-country skiing and water sports. Additionally, there are three ski hills in close proximity, with Silver Star in Vernon being the nearest to Salmon Arm, just under an hour's drive to the hill's summit.

But here's the beauty of living in Salmon Arm – you don't have to be an avid outdoors enthusiast to thrive here. While we, as a slightly adventurous couple, appreciate our time outdoors, there's still an abundance of activities for those who prefer the indoors.

Over the past year, the real estate market in Salmon Arm experienced a slowdown, mirroring the trend seen across BC due to the aftermath of COVID-19. Fortunately, signs of recovery are emerging, and prices appear to have stabilized. The ideal housing option and time to search largely depend on your preferences and the season. Spring brings more options but also heightened competition, potentially leading to higher prices. On the other hand, searching in the fall or winter months might offer more affordability.

Currently, in Salmon Arm, you can find a single detached home for around the $600K range. If you're in the market for something newer or higher-end, prices typically range from $800K to $1.2M. Excitingly, there are ongoing housing developments, including townhouses that tend to be more budget-friendly. Anticipate a promising new development hitting the market soon, with townhouse prices dipping below $500K. This is particularly advantageous for first-time buyers, making them eligible for government grants, translating to savings of about $4K—an impactful contribution to the home-buying journey.

As for the rental market in Salmon Arm, while we're not licensed to provide rental services, we recommend checking out valuable resources, such as the Facebook group "Salmon Arm Homes for Sale/Rent,": https://www.facebook.com/groups/454304967959190/. Posting about your preferences in this group can connect you with landlords directly. If you're moving for work, inquire with your new employer about potential available rentals. This year, new provincial restrictions on short-term rentals may open up more long-term options, though finding rentals can still be a challenge. If you're considering getting a pet, it's worth noting that many rentals restrict them, but Salmon Arm tends to be more accepting compared to larger cities.

Before entering a rental agreement, familiarize yourself with your rights as a tenant in BC. Knowing what a landlord can charge for a deposit and understanding the protections outlined in your tenancy agreement is crucial. We've included links below for further information on these rights: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/housing-tenancy/residential-tenancies/during-a-tenancy/tenant-rights

Now, if you are considering moving here the employment and economy may be important to you if you are not planning to retire here. Salmon Arm has a diverse economic landscape, forget what you might have heard – it's not just a tourist hotspot! Sure, tourism plays a part, but there's so much more happening here.

Salmon Arm has a flourishing agriculture scene of fruit and vegetables, dairy and beef farms, and more. But that's not all – forestry takes center stage with activities like logging, milling, and plywood production. We've also got secondary manufacturing, a thriving tourism sector, mainly in the summer months, and bustling commerce year round.

If you are curious about job opportunities then we recommend checking out the Shuswap Workforce – your go-to resource for current job postings in the area:  https://shuswap.workforcebc.ca/

A question we see asked a lot about Salmon Arm is how are the schools and can I get a family doctor, so lets get into it. For schools, it’s currently broken up Kindergarten until grade 5 at one of the elementary schools, then middle school for grade 6-8, High school is broken into two and has grade 9/10 at one and 11/12’s at the other. We have heard that this structure for the high school may change as early as next year. We don’t have any kids yet and all of our friends only have kids in elementary schools, which we only hear great things about. However, keep in mind that Salmon Arm’s population grows at about 2% every year, and now mostly with young couples or families, as opposed to years ago when it was pretty much just a retirement destination. The school system here will likely need to change to expand to meet the demand as something we hear is that the classrooms are very full. This is a province wide issue in smaller communities that are seeing an influx of relocation, especially since Covid. We will be doing a more in depth video on schools later this year, to see how much information we can gather and get real reviews from students and parents for you, so stay tuned for that. 

Family Doctors are hard to find here, just the same as the entire province. I would recommend if you are moving from somewhere else in the province to see if your doctor can keep you on as a patient virtually, that is what we were able to do with our family doctor on the Coast and if anything comes up then we either see a walk-in doctor or our doctor will refer us to someone locally. If you can’t do that, then the best thing is to sign up as soon as possible through the BC College of Physicians: https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-connect-registry

Salmon Arm has lots of amenities that cater to the needs and interests of its people. We have stunning parks and recreational spaces, such as the iconic Salmon Arm Wharf and Canoe Beach, where one can take in the beauty of Shuswap Lake. The thriving downtown area offers a diverse array of shops, boutiques, and restaurants, ensuring a delightful shopping and dining experience. Sports enthusiasts can take advantage of the sports facilities at our recreation centre or enjoy one of the many top-notch golf courses in the area. We have a quaint local arts scene including the art gallery and live theatre. With well-maintained trails, community centers, and our college, Salmon Arm has a great range of amenities for its community. Whether you're seeking outdoor adventures, cultural delights, or simply a welcoming community atmosphere, Salmon Arm's is the place to be. 

We absolutely love living here and hope that we were able to provide some answers you may be looking for. We are always happy to help, so if you have any questions at all please comment below. And if you are considering a move to the Shuswap area, reach out to us, call, text, or email, all our information is in below! 

Have a great day!

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