Ultimate Guide to Quail Ridge & UBCO for Student Living

Ultimate Guide to Quail Ridge & UBCO for Student Living
March 27, 2024

The journey to higher education at UBC Okanagan (UBCO) brings with it the crucial decision of finding the best place to live. Situated in the northern end of Kelowna, in the Okanagan Valley, UBCO offers a unique blend. On the education side excellence in Research and Learning facilities, and on the living side - a great climate and beautiful natural surroundings, making it a sought-after destination for students worldwide.

As parents and students start the process understanding the different student housing options near UBCO is very important. This blog post is designed to guide you through the pros and cons of each form of accommodation, to help make the right decision for you, and a one-stop shop to find out further information. Whether you're contemplating the convenience of on-campus living, the independence of off-campus housing, or the long-term investment in buying a property near UBCO, making an informed choice will give you peace of mind.

Source: UBC

Understanding Your Options: Renting vs. Buying

Deciding between renting and buying near UBCO is a significant decision that hinges on several factors, including financial readiness, long-term plans, and personal preferences.

Renting offers flexibility, making it a popular choice for students and families not ready to commit to a long-term investment. It allows students to live close to campus without the responsibilities of homeownership. Renting on-campus can further ease the transition to university life, providing a supportive community and easy access to academic resources. However, the competitive rental market in Kelowna requires early action and thorough research to secure desirable off-campus housing.

Buying a property near UBCO, on the other hand, is an investment in the future. It can offer a stable living situation through the college years and beyond. Owning a condo or a house in the Kelowna area can also provide financial benefits, such as building equity and potential rental income. Areas like Academy Way, Quail Ridge, North Glenmore, and Rutland offer various options that cater to student needs with the added advantage of good transit access and proximity to campus.

Key considerations include the upfront cost, maintenance responsibilities, and the potential for property value appreciation. Families considering this route should weigh the long-term financial implications and consult with real estate professionals familiar with the UBCO area.

Source: UBCO

On-Campus Housing

UBCO's on-campus housing is designed to offer students convenience, community, and comfort. With ten residence buildings totaling 2,120 beds, the options range from shared rooms to studio apartments, catering to first-year students and upper-year undergraduates alike. Living on campus means being in the heart of university life, with easy access to classes, libraries, and student services.

Pros and Cons of Living On Campus Pros


  • Convenience: Short commutes to classes and campus resources save time and reduce transportation costs.
  • Community: Living amongst peers fosters a sense of belonging and provides ample opportunities for social interaction and academic collaboration.
  • Support: On-campus residences offer structured support systems, including residence advisors and programming geared towards student success.


  • Cost: On-campus housing can be more expensive than off-campus alternatives when considering the overall value.
  • Availability: Space is limited, and priority is given to first-year students, making it harder for upper-year students to secure on-campus accommodations.
  • Freedom: Living on campus comes with certain restrictions and policies that might not appeal to all students.

How to Apply for On-Campus Housing Applying

Applying for on-campus housing at UBCO is straightforward. Prospective residents should begin by visiting the UBCO Housing website to review eligibility criteria, application deadlines, and housing options. Priority is given based on various factors, including year of study and distance from home. It's crucial to apply as early as possible, as spaces fill up quickly. The application process typically involves submitting an online form along with a housing deposit.

This guide aims to reach as many students and parents as possible, offering them the insight needed to navigate the housing market near UBCO confidently. For more personalized advice or to explore your real estate options in Kelowna, Coldwell Banker Horizon Realty is here to assist you every step of the way.

Off-Campus Housing

The search for off-campus housing can be daunting, especially given Kelowna's tight rental market. Starting your search early is crucial. Resources like the UBCO Off Campus Housing Ambassador, Kelowna Off Campus Student Housing Facebook Page, and local classifieds serve as invaluable tools in this pursuit. Notably, Veda and Ivy Hall & Ivy Walk offer proximity to the campus, presenting viable options for students. These resources can greatly simplify the process, providing listings and advice to navigate the competitive rental landscape effectively.

Resources for Finding Off-Campus Housing

  • UBCO Off-Campus Housing Ambassador: Off-Campus Housing Support
  • Kelowna Off Campus Student Housing Facebook: A community-driven resource for rental listings and roommate searches.
  • Castanet Classifieds: Castanet offers local classified rental ads, providing a wide range of off-campus housing options.
  • Veda: Offering studio-style suites that are a mere 5 to 10-minute walk from the UBCO campus.
  • Ivy Walk and Ivy HallLocated at 755 & 805 Academy Way in Kelowna, these accommodations are also just a 5 to 10-minute walk to campus.
  • UBCO Room Mates and House Rentals Facebook: Another Facebook group for roommate searches and house rentals.

Tips for Securing Off-Campus Accommodation

  1. Act Early: Start your search well in advance to have the best selection of available properties.
  2. Verify Everything: Ensure listings are legitimate and inspect properties in person, if possible, to avoid scams.
  3. Understand Your Lease: Be clear on the terms, including the duration, rental rate, and any included utilities or amenities.
  4. Budget Wisely: Consider all costs involved, including rent, utilities, internet, and transportation to campus

Source: Trish Cenci

Buying Near UBCO: A Permanent Solution

Purchasing a property near UBCO can be a significant investment for you & your child’s future. Not only does it provide a stable living environment through the university years, but it can also offer financial benefits down the line.

Key Areas Near UBCO for Buying Property

  • Academy Way: Offers a range of properties from studios to three-bedroom condos, all within walking distance to UBCO.
  • Quail Ridge: Known for its beautiful golf course community, it offers a peaceful and relaxed environment slightly removed from the bustle of campus life.
  • North Glenmore and Rutland: These areas provide a variety of housing options with good transit access to UBCO, suitable for those looking for a balance between campus proximity and access to city life.

Factors to Consider When Buying

  • Transit Access and Distance from Campus: Ensuring easy access to UBCO via public transportation or walking can save time and transportation costs.
  • Community Amenities: Consider the lifestyle and amenities available in the area, including shops, parks, and recreational facilities.

Trish Cenci: Your Quail Ridge & UBCO Real Estate Specialist

Trish Cenci is not just any real estate agent; she's a dedicated professional with over 18 years of experience, specializing in the UBC Okanagan and Quail Ridge areas. Affiliated with Coldwell Banker Horizon Realty, Trish has a comprehensive understanding of the unique real estate market surrounding UBCO, making her an invaluable asset to anyone looking to buy or sell properties in this locale.

Her deep-rooted expertise in these specific neighbourhoods has facilitated numerous successful real estate transactions, earning her a reputation for excellence among her clients. Whether you're a student seeking the perfect condo close to campus, a family looking to invest in the area, or a seller aiming to get the best value for your property, Trish's comprehensive knowledge and personalized approach ensure you're in capable hands.


Choosing the right housing is a crucial step in the journey towards academic and personal success at UBC Okanagan. Whether opting for on-campus residence, an off-campus rental, or purchasing a condo near UBCO, it's vital to start your search early and consider what best suits your lifestyle and budget and purpose.

This guide aims to serve as a comprehensive resource, offering insights into the diverse housing options available near UBCO. For those seeking further assistance or ready to take the next step in finding or securing a property, Trish Cenci offers unparalleled expertise in the Kelowna real estate market, especially around UBCO and Quail Ridge.

Remember, the perfect student living arrangement is out there, and with the right information and guidance, you're well on your way to finding it. Start your search today, and don't hesitate to reach out for professional advice to navigate the exciting real estate opportunities near UBC Okanagan.