Not only are we blessed with a south Mediterranean climate, but the southern interior of British Columbia boasts a plentiful collection of some of the Province's finest golf courses and golf resorts.
From The Rise and Predator Ridge in Vernon, through the Kelowna area where one can enjoy wonderful golfing on Championship Golf Courses at Gallaghers Canyon, The Harvest and Quail Ridge through to the South Okanagan where Osoyoos on the US border offers some fine golfing which can last through the winter in some years where the weather is kind.
The selection of courses, playability and challenge all combine to offer the recreational or pro golfer, a golfing mecca in terms of the destination. Take in the views from the Ponderosa Golf Course in Peachland which offers constricted fairways to challenge your golf and stunning views on the back nine to relax you after losing a few balls in the rough. Take a trip back in time and enjoy the ambiance of playing through orchard country in Kelowna at The Harvest a fine golf course with dining to match. If you like heading down to Arizona but don't have the budget, consider heading to Oliver and Osoyoos in the South Okanagan and enjoy some wonderful desert courses, but watch out for the cactus.
The Okanagan offers so much variety that many people end up moving to the area to develop their game in retirement.
Golf course communities include:
In Vernon, The Rise and Predator Ridge
In Kelowna, Tower Ranch, Black Mountain, Quail Ridge, Gallaghers Canyon, Shannon Lake, Vintage Hills
And in the South Okanagan a true snowbird destination at Spirit Ridge Resort with the nine hole Sonora Dunes golf course. A fine selection of properties and courses to challnege you in retirement years or simply for a vacation.
The Okanagan, like many resort areas has seen an influx of visitors and residents over the past several years, pushing housing prices higher and giving us a glimpse of the future as the Boomers move into their retirement years. Ample regional air service allows you to fly into Kelowna from Canadian and US destinations with ease and comfort and golfing starts only a short “chip" away from the airport at Quail Ridge. Later in 2008 the airport will be ready to accept international flights direct from Europe opening up the possibility for more travelers to enjoy this fine destination.
In terms of investing in real estate, the Okanagan is a place to keep your eye on. For many Canadian's it has been a generational family holiday destination and many have pre-determined that this will also be their retirement community which is the reason for the addition of golf course communities in general. That pressure is leading developers to offer options in terms of ownership structures, from timeshare interests at Predator Ridge where you can accommodate the weeks vacation with some splendid golf through to fractional real estate at both Quail Ridge and Spirit Ridge which allows the more frequent traveler the ability to stay in fine luxury and experience Okanagan Golf several times a year. Fractional real estate is typically offered in a 1/4 interest format where you own a title to the property allowing you to use it with restrictions and sell freely on the real estate market. Okanagan fractions typically start at or around $100,000 per 1/4 interest.
For the retiree or permanent resident, the choice abounds for golf course living. Gallaghers Canyon, Quail Ridge, Shannon Lake, Tower Ranch, Black Mountain and others, offer everything from a $350,000 condo lifestyle through to a multi million dollar luxury estate home on the golf course. Often with extended golfing privileges as a resident in the community.
If you have not taken the time to visit the Okanagan, book a flight and come and see us. To break up the routine, the Okanagan offers some of the finest wine and vineyard tours in the country, you won't be disappointed.
Mark Jennings-Bates is a British Columbia Based Realtor with Coldwell Banker Horizon Realty, the country's #1 Coldwell Banker office. His website, http://www.BCResortHomes.com offers subscribers the ability to access unique and high level investment insights into trends in British Columbia's interior with a focus on resort and lifestyle investments.