How to buy a house in Youbou or Lake Cowichan

Carly Carey Marketing
| Marketing Director
Updated on
Published in Youbou

How to Buy a House in Lake Cowichan or Youbou, Vancouver Island

Thinking of buying a house in Lake Cowichan or Youbou on Vancouver Island? You’ve come to the right place. My family is from Youbou (pronounced You-Bow) and my husband and I have a home on Lake Cowichan- so this is one of my favourite topics!

Youbou and Lake Cowichan then and now

Historic photo of my grandparents in the mill town of Youbou BC

The area was originally a mill town (my grandfather and uncle worked at the mill!) but over the years it’s grown into a really fun seasonal town.If you’d like to learn more about the history check out this timeline of the History of Youbou going back to the early 1900s. 

These days Youbou and Lake Cowichan have a combination of year round residents and vacation home owners. If you’re looking to move to Youbou or Lake Cowichan you’ve come to the right place. 

What is it like living in Youbou, Vancouver Island?

Youbou is on the older side (the mill side!) of Lake Cowichan. Youbou is also considered the “sunny side” of Lake Cowichan which can be VERY important to some buyers. Exposure is important to me too, I get it! Sun was a major factor in deciding to purchase our home on Lake Cowichan.

What is it like living in Lake Cowichan, Vancouver Island?

If you like to be able to walk to the pub or enjoy live music at night you might prefer the town of Lake Cowichan. It’s also a little more bike friendly and easier to walk around town. The homes in Lake Cowichan range from small homes build in the 50’s and 60’s to larger executive homes in places like Point Ideal. 

Is there speculation tax in Lake Cowichan, Vancouver Island?

There didn’t used to be speculation tax in Lake Cowichan, but in July of 2022 it was announced that starting in 2023 Speculation Tax would be assessed. You can learn more about it by checking out this article (and map of the impacted areas) in this article here. You can also learn more on the B.C. government website. It appears Youbou will not be subject to speculation tax, but definitely check before you buy. 

Is it possible to find land to build a house on Lake Cowichan?

Vacant waterfront land is limited on Lake Cowichan. That said, there are some opportunities to buy land with existing structures on it. When I bought my lake house on Lake Cowichan we found a property with a garage and an older mobile home. This gave us an advantage as we decided what kind of home we wanted to build on Lake Cowichan. 

We decided to live on the lakefront property as it was for a few years before we started building. This was such a great way to get the lay of the land and build with intention. We knew where the best light was, the places we liked to relax, what sounds were around us, and all that good stuff. Our home is just finished being built now, and it’s perfect. We would never have had all this insight into the property if we hadn’t been able to spend some time here first. My advice? Be open to a renovation or a property with a home already on it!


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