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Old 01-16-2012, 11:41 AM
 
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Default Summer Crossings US through Sumas/Destination Chilliwack

We live in the US and are thinking of purchasing a vacation home in Chilliwack BC. I have never did the border crossing through Sumas and was wondering are there customs backup in the summer time weekend and if so, how long is the wait, approximately? Any advise? Also if anyone would like to tell me if Chilliwack is good place to vacation? If looks breathtaking from the photos. Original plan was to purchase in Bellingham, WA but after doing some research on Chilliwack, it's hard to compare the beauty and would be willing to drive the extra hour and half as long as border crossing is not a nightmare in the summer which is when we would travel the most. Thanks for the help!
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Old 01-16-2012, 07:31 PM
 
Location: British Columbia, Canada
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Crossing through Sumas or even the Huntingdon border crossing (at Aldergrove) are usually not as busy as the Peace Arch crossing. Personally I've found the Sumas crossing to be the quickest of the three just because it gets less commercial traffic through there and the border guards there are generally friendlier than at the Huntingdon and Peace Arch crossings. Especially if they get to know you as someone who crosses through on a regular basis or that you have a vacation property nearby.

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Old 01-17-2012, 01:17 AM
 
Location: BOY-see
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jojo7 View Post
We live in the US and are thinking of purchasing a vacation home in Chilliwack BC. I have never did the border crossing through Sumas and was wondering are there customs backup in the summer time weekend and if so, how long is the wait, approximately? Any advise? Also if anyone would like to tell me if Chilliwack is good place to vacation? If looks breathtaking from the photos. Original plan was to purchase in Bellingham, WA but after doing some research on Chilliwack, it's hard to compare the beauty and would be willing to drive the extra hour and half as long as border crossing is not a nightmare in the summer which is when we would travel the most. Thanks for the help!
Sumas is usually not real backed up. I usually jog over to Aldergrove, though, if I'm going toward the BC interior. Most of the border traffic is going between the Van metro area and whatever the Canadians want to do in Blaine, B-ham or Seattle, and Puget Sound area folks heading up to Van for a day of fun. The non-Blaine crossings are less known and less used, though I personally think Sumas/Abbotsford is a quicker way into Van considering the border backup.
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Old 01-17-2012, 02:26 AM
 
Location: Canada
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Chilliwack would be a nice place for a vacation home. Compared to Bellingham, which has a similar population, I think it's nicer.
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Old 01-17-2012, 05:28 AM
 
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Why not rent a place this summer in the area you intend on buying, that way you can more fine tune the the area you want to live in and you'd get a real feel for the border situations..
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:36 AM
 
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Great information and advise. We are going to spend a week there this summer and get a better feel for the area. Real estate is a bit more expansive than Bellingham, WA but the beauty looks like it might be worth it.
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:41 AM
 
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I grew up next to Chilliwack, in Abbotsford. The Sumas crossing is not very busy (same as the Aldergrove, but Sumas is closer). Avoid Peach Arch. Chilliwack is a common vacation spot for people from Vancouver, it is a nice place for recreation. It is definitely nicer than Bellingham. Check out online: Cultus Lake, Chilliwack Mountain, local white water rafting, etc).

However if you want to buy, I suggest getting in on it quickly - prices are rising dramatically and Chilliwack will be a very good investment opportunity, aside from recreation. Prices in Vancouver are becoming unlivable and Chilliwack is the next big place. You will make a lot more money than Bellingham.
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Old 01-17-2012, 01:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aliss View Post
I grew up next to Chilliwack, in Abbotsford. The Sumas crossing is not very busy (same as the Aldergrove, but Sumas is closer). Avoid Peach Arch. Chilliwack is a common vacation spot for people from Vancouver, it is a nice place for recreation. It is definitely nicer than Bellingham. Check out online: Cultus Lake, Chilliwack Mountain, local white water rafting, etc).

However if you want to buy, I suggest getting in on it quickly - prices are rising dramatically and Chilliwack will be a very good investment opportunity, aside from recreation. Prices in Vancouver are becoming unlivable and Chilliwack is the next big place. You will make a lot more money than Bellingham.
This information was so helpful! We would love to get in on the ground level of an up and coming community. I've always wanted to purchase in BC but it always seems to be out of my reach financially. I think I can find something in Chilliwack even though it will be at the top at my highest point of what I want to pay. Looks like it might be a worthwhile investment.
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Old 01-18-2012, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Calgary, AB
485 posts, read 1,460,152 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jojo7 View Post
This information was so helpful! We would love to get in on the ground level of an up and coming community. I've always wanted to purchase in BC but it always seems to be out of my reach financially. I think I can find something in Chilliwack even though it will be at the top at my highest point of what I want to pay. Looks like it might be a worthwhile investment.
Why not purchase something as close to the Canadian border on the US side as possible? Same views but without the border crossing. From what I have seen, prices literally double just by literally stepping over the 49th Parallel. Much more favorable mortgages too...

The whole area though has a reputation for marijuana cultivation. Not saying the region is rife, but I would make sure the property you are purchasing isn't a former grow up, or that there aren't any nearby.

As well, the term "real estate bubble" especially in reference to BC is becoming more and more common in the mainstream press in Canada... Do a search at http://www.globeandmail.com articles highlighting the topic ever few days.
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Old 01-18-2012, 11:41 PM
 
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Well, sadly it doesn't look like Chilliwack is going to be an option. I found out that US citizens can borrow a maximum of 60-65% of the purchased price of real estate in Canada. Purchasing a $350,000 would mean I would have to come up with almost $100,000. I read it on several websites so it must be true. Definitely don't have that kind of money for a down payment. Looks like I will have to stick to my original plan and purchase in Bellingham/Ferndale area of WA. Not as pretty as Chilliwack but I do like that area a lot.
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