Residential and Commercial real estate services for Jasper and Jasper National Park.

Royal LePage, Summitview Realty, Pyramid Mountain, summer

Royal LePage, logo
Summitview Realty

Residential and Commercial real estate services for Jasper and Jasper
National Park.

As a service to those interested in the very unique residential and
commercial real estate issues of Jasper and Jasper National Park, Rich
Potter, Broker/Owner of Royal LePage Summitview
Realty
shares from his vast local experience.

If this information stirs your interest further, click
here to see how to contact Rich’s office.

Location:

Jasper is located only 20 km from Alberta’s western border with
British Columbia. It is 350 km east of Edmonton on Hwy 16, 300
km north of Banff on Highway 93, and 800 km northeast of Vancouver,
BC. The CN Railroad provides regular service, and the nearest scheduled
air service is to Edmonton (3 1/2 hours drive). It appears that
scheduled service will come to the Hinton-Jasper Airport (a 45
minute drive east) by the spring of 2000.

The town of Jasper lies within Jasper National Park, a World Heritage
Site famous for its Rocky Mountains, abundance of wildlife and
pristine wilderness. A 45 minute drive west takes you to Mt. Robson,
the highest mountain in the Canadian Rockies.

General Information:

Jasper is renowned for the level of services offered not only
to the millions of tourists who visit, but to the townspeople as
well.

Of course, the town is fully serviced with municipal water supply
and sewage system.

The school system is second to none, with Jasper students consistently
scoring at or near the top as a group in province wide exams. There
is an elementary school (grades 1-6), a junior high/high school
(grades 7-12) and a French School (Ecole Desrochers) from Kindergarten
to grade 10. Outdoor recreational opportunities abound for kids…the
school even takes them to Marmot Basin (virtually a world class
ski resort) as part of their physical education class!

The Jasper Activity Centre is a tremendous facility. It has an
indoor 25 m pool complete with water slide, steam bath, wading
pool, and spacious change areas. There is a weights/exercise room,
two squash courts, six tennis courts, an indoor ice rink for hockey
and skating, a separate curling rink, indoor skateboarding, indoor
climbing wall, and meeting rooms.

Other sports facilities include baseball diamonds, soccer/rugby
fields, cross country ski trails and tracks, and of course the
Marmot Basin ski resort.

Jasper has a Post Office downtown, no delivery service to the
door. This is quite a social place where townspeople run into one
another as they gather their mail.

A modern hospital, four physicians, and public health unit handle
Jasper’s medical concerns. There is a seniors’ home two blocks
away and a new assisted-living facility attached to the hospital.

Other facilities include a museum, library, firehall, RCMP detachment,
2 screen movie theatre, art gallery, and more…

The finest facilities offered in Jasper are the Great
Outdoors!
The trail system that Parks Canada
maintains gives you superb access to some of the world’s most
stunning scenery, taking you to lakes, alpine meadows, and mountain
passes. Living in Jasper is truly a delight if you have an appreciation
of, and can get out and enjoy the natural setting.

Real Estate Considerations:

Leased Land

Jasper land is leased from the federal government through a department
called Parks Canada. The land is normally leased for a period of
42 years. A purchaser of real estate becomes the new lessee of
the land and assumes the remaining life of the lease. The landlord
(Parks Canada) renews the lease at the end of the term at its discretion.
In the history of the townsite there has not, to my knowledge,
been a case of a lease not being renewed. Renewal will certainly
be delayed if the lessee is abusing the conditions of the lease
(i.e.; the land is being used for a purpose not allowed by the
lease, taxes are in arrears, etc).

The cost of the lease is included in your property tax bill, which,
for the average home is about $2800 per year. Taxes do not include
water/sewer/garbage which is invoiced from the municipality every
2 months and is typically $100 to $150 for a single family dwelling.

Why So Much?

For those of you not inquiring from Europe, Japan,
or Vancouver, the housing prices may seem very high. You may ask "Why
pay the higher price when I lease the land and don’t own it outright?" Basically
because the market says so! There is a willingness among the buying
public to pay. Obviously the beautiful setting of Jasper and its
high level of services have something to do with this willingness.
In addition to this, the banks see these leases as very secure
forms of home ownership. They will place a mortgage with a 25 year
amortization on a property whose lease is up for renewal in, say,
5 years. The bank is certain of their security, certain that the
lease on the property for which they are providing a mortgage will
be renewed.

Parks Canada as the landlord has a mandate to preserve the wilderness.
It does this largely through restricting development in the townsite.
Parks Canada very rarely releases new land for either residential
or commercial use. In fact, the last time land in Jasper was released
for single family dwellings (houses) was in 1981-82! There have
been three higher density (condo) developments built on newly released
land in the last 15 years.

These factors together explain Jasper’s relatively high housing
values. A low supply of available land plus at least moderate demand
equals high prices.

Eligible Residency:

In order to occupy housing in Jasper, you must
be what is called an "eligible resident". This is a Parks
Canada regulation designed to prevent people living outside of
Jasper from buying vacation homes and leaving them empty for their
own use and enjoyment, or from buying a retirement home. This would
further reduce the supply of housing available to residents who
live and work in Jasper, drive up prices even more, and put more
pressure on the need for more development.

Anyone in the world can own property here (I
recently sold a property belonging to a man from Tokyo) but the
occupiers of the home must have a "need to reside" which
qualifies them as eligible residents. Briefly, an Eligible Resident
is one who:

  • is employed in Jasper or owns a business which requires his/her
    attendance and is his principal source of income, or
  • is the spouse or dependent of an eligible resident.

You cannot establish your eligible residency through an office
in the home. This rule is designed to prevent a wealthy retiree
from buying a home here, calling him or herself some sort of consultant,
printing up business cards and not working at all. The hopeful
retiree would have to lease (or sublet) some office space for a
couple of years (or work for somebody for a couple of years) before
retiring.

What does this mean for someone who wants to move to Jasper? Look
for employment or business opportunities. If you are employed or
have a business (or you are a spouse of same) then you’re in!

Investment:

Because of the high rents in Jasper, many people who are not
residents own property here and rent to Jasper residents. The best
bets are houses with 2 or more suites, and 4 or 5 bedrooms. They
will cost upwards of $550,000. Apartments rarely come up for sale,
and the owners typically want way over market value.

Royal LePage, Summitview Realty, Pyramid Mountain, winter

Re/Max Jasper, logo
Summitview Realty

"Independently owned and operated."

Box 1600
Jasper, Alberta,
Canada. T0E 1E0

tel: 780-852-5500
fax: 780-852-5503

e-mail: rpotter@royallepage.ca

One Response to “Residential and Commercial real estate services for Jasper and Jasper National Park.”

  1. Josh Kerson

    Hello,
    My partner Elana and I are interested in moving to Jasper, with our little hand built bicycle company.

    We live in Colorado, USA, and are interested in driving up, and setting up a little apartment, with a garage, to build some E bikes, to be shipped around the USA and Canada.

    Please give us some more information on how to find an apartment in Jasper.

    Thank you kindly, Josh K.

Leave a Reply