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Neighbourhood Markets

Neighbourhood vs. Neighbourhood.

Comparing the lifestyle, location, and livability of Willoughby and Walnut Grove.
By REW Editor Sep 14, 2022

British Columbia is short on some things (sunshine and a professional basketball team come to mind). But one thing it’s not short on is excellent neighbourhoods to call home. Narrowing down your top choices can be a challenging task on your homesearch journey, so in this series, we’re going to break down some of the most commonly compared neighbourhoods on REW to help guide you home. 

Let’s get to the bottom of who’s the real Top Gun in Langley: the hotshot new-comer, Willoughby, or the established steady hand, Walnut Grove.
 

Walnut Grove vs. Willoughby Heights

The Township is often referred to as a “community of communities” which makes it a great place to kick off our neighbourhood comparison adventure. Brookswood, Murrayville, Langley City, and the “Birthplace of BC” in Fort Langley all get a lot of interest from homeseekers on REW, but no two neighbourhoods see more searches than Walnut Grove and Willoughby. 

Beyond being the most searched in Langley, they’re actually the fifth and sixth most-searched neighbourhoods in the entire province so far this year. So, yes, this is a pretty evenly matched head-to-head. 

Same here. 

These neighbourhoods are, well, neighbouring, so it shouldn’t surprise you that they have some similarities. Let’s talk about what they have in common.

Where you at?

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Walnut Grove is located in northwest Langley, north of Willoughby and the Trans-Canada Highway, and west of Fort Langley. Willoughby borders Walnut Grove to the south but is still in the northwest of the Township, centred around 208th Street and 80th Avenue. There’s quick access to the Golden Ears Bridge from Willoughby and Walnut Grove, which makes it easy to visit friends, family, or to work in the Tri-Cities, Pitt Meadows or Maple Ridge. This is a huge draw for many homeseekers. 

Going nowhere fast.

Keep in mind that these two neighbourhoods border the highway, so there’s more than a bit of traffic getting in and out at rush hour. Unless you jetpack to work like the author of this article, you can’t escape it. While traffic is no fun, many homeseekers have no problem trading that negative for the net-positive benefit of living near the highway. It makes getting anywhere in Greater Vancouver not so daunting. 
 

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Teacher’s pet. 

The Langley school district has put out impressive numbers over the past five years, reporting within or above the average results of schools in BC in categories like reading, writing, and numeracy. Both Willoughby and Walnut Grove have access to parks and schools, and are sports and dog-friendly parts of the province. They’re great communities to start a family. 

Here’s a list of all the public and independent schools in Langley, BC. 


What’s goin’ on?

Both these neighbourhoods have local businesses and coffee shops, movie theatres, and grocery stores in abundance. You’re not going to need to go far to get your morning pumpkin spice whatever or your after-work lactose-free milk stout (how does that even work?). Whether you like chain restaurants and big-box stores or mom-and-pop cafes and independent grocers, you can find your new go-to spots in Willoughby or Walnut Grove.  
 

What sets them apart.


Let’s look at what separates these two neighbourhoods (other than the highway). 


Walk this way. 

You probably need a car if you’re going to live in Walnut Grove or Willoughby, especially depending on where you live in the community. However, there are large projects going up in Willoughby that offer a bit more walkability. Much like Mad Max, Walnut Grove is always going to be difficult to navigate without a car. 


The wheels on the bus. 

Again, we’re giving a slight edge here to Willoughby. The Carvolth Exchange is the largest transportation hub in Langley, and though it’s close to both neighbourhoods, you’ll have to cross the highway to access it from Walnut Grove. It offers a park and ride so if you plan on using public transportation frequently, be sure to consider your proximity to the Carvolth Exchange.


On the house. 

When most Langley residents think of Willoughby, they think of construction, traffic, and how long it took them to find that tiny, back-of-the-lot parking space the last time they went to Willoughby Town Centre. New condos are always underway, as are new townhouse developments. There’s been a lot of expansion in the area, particularly over the last decade, and in Willoughby you can expect to find a good mix of condos, townhomes, and detached homes. Prices here are slightly higher per square foot than in the rest of Langley. 

Walnut Grove, on the other hand, has a much higher skew of detached homes and rancher-style townhomes. There aren’t nearly as many condos in this neighbourhood, and, as is the case with rancher-style homes, there are fewer basements (and thus fewer basement suites for renters to choose from). Homes here have large lots with plenty of space, and the price per square foot here is roughly on par with Langley as a whole. 
 

Breakdown of property types for sale

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Like a fine wine. 

 

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Overall, Willoughby is one of the youngest areas in the province, with the median age coming in at 34 years old. There are a lot of young families in the area, and first-time home buyers are drawn to the amenities and lifestyle that the neighbourhood offers. 

Walnut Grove is more in line with the rest of Langley, the median age is 41 years old (compared to 43 years old for the entire city). The rancher-style townhomes we previously mentioned are often part of retirement communities that have master bedrooms on the main floor, and there are many 55+ and adult-only communities in the area. It’s still a busy place for families looking for a bit more space, but the average age does skew a bit older in Walnut Grove.  

 

The bottom line. 

Each of these neighbourhoods has a lot to offer. The one that’s right for you completely depends on your needs. Scroll through some of the available listings on REW and spend a day driving through the areas in person. There’s a lot to do in both neighbourhoods, and the locations are so similar that, at the end of the day, it might just come down to what type of property you’re after. Whether it’s a new apartment in Willoughby or a spacious townhouse in Walnut Grove, there’s a lot to love about making the move to Langley. Just like there was a lot to love about Maverick and Iceman. Hopefully, Willoughby and Walnut Grove can take turns being each other’s Wingman, too. 

 

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