Thursday, 26 May 2022

BCO Coastal Gem: Tahsis

The coastal village of Tahsis sits at the head of protected Tahsis Inlet, on the West Coast of Vancouver Island near Nootka Sound. Tahsis is a (gravel) road access village, with services and shopping. It has a K-12 school, a recreation centre with swimming pool, bowling alley, workout room, gym and climbing wall, post office, hardware store, convenience store with gas station and restaurant, and a mechanic. Services include a medical clinic, ambulance, coast guard station and volunteer fire department. Campgrounds and B&Bs provide accommodation.

Tahsis offers access to a number of wilderness hiking trails, caving, incredible ocean kayaking, scuba diving, wind surfing, sailing and canoeing. The area is best known for offering world-class sport fishing as massive runs of salmon migrate down the west of British Columbia to their spawning grounds in coastal streams and rivers. Anglers can also venture out to the Pacific Ocean where fishing is excellent for halibut, flounder, rockfish and lingcod. Crabs, prawns, shrimp, oysters and other seafood are also plentiful. Wildlife abounds! Black bear, wolves, cougars, Roosevelt elk and coastal black-tailed deer are frequent visitors to this area. Guests from around the world marvel at the eagles, sea lions, whales and other marine wildlife that is common in the nearby waters. 

The picturesque and versatile west coast village offers a full-service marina and a safe, friendly small town atmosphere that boasts an incredible blend of outdoor adventures and some of the most rugged and breathtaking scenery in British Columbia, Canada.

To find out more about this coastal community, click here!

It's a Coastal Lifestyle ... Live It!

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Private Islands

Buying an island may seem like a dream to many, but in reality private islands are sold in almost every budget category. They are not common, because there simply aren’t a lot of them, but there is a wide variety, from a small rocky islet  to a large developed estate.

For some people the owning of the island is enough, and it will never be developed. It will remain a natural escape from the world, perhaps for camping on or just day trips. Or just for someone in a land-locked big city to know, they own an island in the Pacific Ocean.

Other people want to live on the island, at least some of the time if not full-time (and some definitely want to live there full time). That then becomes a more involved exercise. Some people circumvent all these complicated issued by buying an island already developed, and so only requiring upkeep. But others want to create their own, personal retreat and place. For them, the work and the creation of building is part of the desire.

Like any remote coastal property, logistics are a part of the consideration of owning a private island. Here is what you need to consider.

1. How will you get there? Is this easily accessible by boat? How far is it from a launch point? Is it easier to take a float plane to the property? If you want to travel to the island regularly, how long will that take you?

2.   2. What are the services? If there aren’t any already in place, how will you service a residence if that is what you want to have on the island?

3.   3. How will you get supplies to the property?

Private islands are fun to market as each one has something special, a character all its own. People love to look at the listings and we always get lots of questions about them. They are rarely the oddest coastal property we have listed but they are generally the ones that people are most curious about.

It's a Coastal Lifestyle... Live It!

Thursday, 28 April 2022

What are Forest Service Roads?

 Anyone who spends time travelling the central and northern parts of Vancouver Island will soon come to realize that once you move away from the eastern shoreline, except for driving in to Gold River, Port Alice and Coal Harbour, you are off the paved roads. There is an entire network of gravel roads on the island, most of which are Forest Service Roads.


What are Forest Service Roads? According to the BC Government, they are part of the Resource Roads of BC:

Resource roads are typically one- or two-lane gravel roads built for industrial purposes to access natural resources in remote areas. Over 620,000 kilometers of roads on the British Columbia landbase are considered resource roads. Resource roads are a highly valued part of B.C.’s transportation network and are essential to economic development.

The B.C. Government administers about 60,000 kilometers of Forest Service Roads (FSRs). FSRs are maintained by the forest industry under road use permits, or where there is no industrial user responsible for maintenance, by the B.C. Government.  Where there is no industrial maintainer, the B.C. Government carries out maintenance, subject to available funding, where communities, rural residents and high value recreation sites have priority.

Many of the BC Oceanfront listings will say that a property is accessible by limited Forest Service Road access. This is because Forest Service Roads are not guaranteed to be be open and in working condition at all times. However most of the main lines on northern Vancouver Island are generally open year-round, although not always in great condition.

Driving on a Forest Service Road on Vancouver Island is not the same as driving on a private gravel road or farm track. The condition of the roads vary greatly depending on the season and the amount of industrial traffic using them at any given time. In the rainy winter months it is not uncommon for the roads to get very slick, and for parts to be partially washed out. For roads that head towards the mountains snow is more common than on the rest of the island. In the summer the roads can be rutted and dusty, making visibility a challenge. Drivers should be prepared for any conditions and always take it slow. These are working roads, and you may pass large logging trucks or other work trucks. Keep in mind, the large work trucks generally always have the right of way!

There are many maps available showing the forest service road networks. The one used most often in our office is the Backroads Mapbook - an excellent resource for anyone looking to venture beyond the paved roads of Vancouver Island. However spurs and side roads can open and close depending on the logging work in the region, so a sharp eye and good sense of direction helps in navigation.

For many people living on Vancouver Island, the Forest Service Roads provide access to remote communities (eg. Zeballos, Winter Harbour and Tahsis), lakes, hiking trails, rivers, hunting grounds and much more, enhancing our connection to the rich landscape.

It's a Coastal Lifestyle ... Live It!

Thursday, 14 April 2022

8 Steps for Preparing for a Recreational or Remote Listing

Ready to sell a recreational property, or your remote residence? Here are some tips to make both the listing and showing process go smoothly. The more of these things that can be done ahead of a site visit, the better for both the photos and site description used our marketing materials.

 1. Accessibility

photo via unsplash

Is the entrance clearly marked with identifiers? Are the access routes clear for vehicles to drive along? If the access is by water, is the dock/property easily visible from the water with identifiers? Are there tie-ups available?

2. Grounds

While people expect to see some equipment, etc on the grounds, have you cleaned up the extra items? Are they neatly put away, or scattered around the property? A general clean up of the grounds is advised. This includes winter blow-down of branches, etc.

 3. Water Supply

photo via unsplash
Has the water supply and source been clearly marked? Are there directions for turning on and shutting off the water if required? Has the water supply been cleaned or serviced recently (if so, paperwork stating the details should be provided)?

 4. Residence

If there is a residence on the property, has it been cleaned? Are there belongings left out or are they put away? The neater it can be left, the better. Do the doors/windows stick? Are there small repairs or projects that can be finished which will enhance the showings? Do you have a spare key to provide us or can one be hidden at the property? 

 5. Docks/Piers/Ramps

photo via unsplash
Are there loose boards? Do they need to be power washed so they aren’t dirty/slippery? Are there simple repairs that can be done to enhance the showing?

6. Outbuildings

Any outbuildings on the property should be accessible and in a reasonable state of cleanliness.

 7. Paperwork

photo via unsplash
If you have done work (or had work/inspections done) on the property, paperwork providing details of that work is always good to have readily available should people ask.

8. Septic System

If there is a septic system on the property, marking the pipes, tank location, etc is a big help, and having any paperwork related to the system on hand is a benefit.

 Doing these things will definitely make it easier to present the property, and gives prospective buyers a better understanding of what your property offers.

It's a Coastal Lifestyle ... Live It!

Wednesday, 30 March 2022

BCO Coastal Gem - Zeballos

Gold mining created the town of Zeballos in the 1930s, when gold was discovered in the hills surrounding the small port at the mouth of the Zeballos River. The inlet was named after a Spanish lieutenant, Ciriaco Cevallos, in 1792.

At the height of the gold production, Zeballos was a thriving town of over 1500 people. However, the second world war and then a lower price of gold meant an end to the gold mines and the Village slowly reduced in size. Forestry is now the mainstay of the local economy, and approx. 100 people make Zeballos home year-round.

Zeballos calls itself the Golden Gate to the West Coast, as it offers access to Nootka Sound and the fishing on the west coast of the island, as well as the provincial parks of the northern Island (Woss, Brooks Peninsula, Cape Scott). 

With its road access and the open waters of the Pacific Ocean and the waterways of Nootka Sound beckoning, Zeballos has become a choice destination for fishing and wilderness recreation.

Zeballos is on the west coast of Vancouver Island, accessed by road from Hwy 19 just north of Woss. This is a Forest Service gravel road and can be in varying condition throughout the year.

The small coastal hamlet is located approximately 14 nautical miles from the open west coast Pacific Ocean and is 17 nautical miles from Tahsis, a small coastal community in the neighbouring inlet to the south.

There are limited services, including a medical clinic, general store, marina and boat fuel sales.

It's a Coastal Lifestyle ... Live It!

Thursday, 13 January 2022

Looking Ahead Into 2022

 We are excited to welcome 2022! 

According to most real estate predictions being offered, the biggest issue will continue to be low inventory, at least into the beginning of the year. This can present frustrations for buyers, so having the right agent in your corner is more important than ever.

Prices are also predicted to continue to rise in BC. The coast and especially Vancouver Island are desired places to both live and play, so with a high demand for properties and a lower than average inventory of both residential and recreational properties, prices inevitably will go up.

“In markets with high demand the importance of a pre-approval with your lender is more important than ever.  Not only does it secure a rate guarantee it provides weight when going against multiple offers.  Your agent can use your pre-approval letter to support your offer and it may help with you becoming the successful buyer!”  - Cheryl Hildebrand, Mortgage Specialist, RBC Royal Bank

As we move into the new year, the team is excited to explore how three agents can improve and enhance our clients’ experiences. We are now an office of five (three agents and two full-time unlicensed staff) and we are constantly working to find new and innovative ways to serve our clients in the best ways possible.

Have you made goals for this year? We have, and are already working on how to make those goals come to fruition in 2022. This includes things like new team photos and even more time out in the field now there are three agents in the office. What are some of your goals?

We wish you all a healthy and successful year.

It's a Coastal Lifestyle ... Live It!

Thursday, 9 December 2021

Port Hardy: Northern Gateway for Vancouver Island

Port Hardy, with a population of approx. 4000, is the largest coastal community on North Vancouver Island. The community embraces a strong First Nations culture and also recognizes a past rich in resource-based work.

The community is a gateway to the Cape Scott Provincial Park as well as to the diverse waters of Johnstone Strait.

Visitors enjoy the beauty of Storey’s beach, an expansive sandy and pebble beach just south of town. The seawall along Hardy Bay is also a great way to enjoy the beautiful views.

Recognized as having some of the most spectacular underwater scenery on the Pacific coast, the waters around areas like Stubbs Island, Christie Pass and Quatsino Narrows attract divers from all over the world, who see an array of interesting marine species as well as shipwrecks and sunken cargo ships.

Port Hardy services as a transport hub for the BC Central Coast region and is the terminal for the BC Ferries Inside Passage route to Prince Rupert.

The town offers a wide range of amenities including shopping, hotels, marine services, a full recreation/community center, seaplane base and more. Just minutes away is the Seven Hill Golf and Country Club.  

Spectacular mountain views, large expanses of natural wilderness areas and miles of undeveloped coastline are readily accessible and combine to create an ideal setting for a full range of outdoor activities, from sports fishing & boat cruises to wilderness hiking.

Marine recreation opportunities for visitors include fresh and salt-water fishing, world class caving, underwater diving and ocean kayaking and canoeing. A kaleidoscope of colourful marine life abounds in the waters around northern Vancouver Island.

Port Hardy is definitely a place to visit and use as a base to explore more of the North island region.

It's a Coastal Lifestyle ... Live It!