Thursday, 18 July 2019

BCO Coastal Gems: Quadra Island

Quadra Island is the largest (approximately 34 km long) and most populated (approximately 2,500 full-time residents) of the Discovery Island group. It lies between Campbell River on Vancouver Island and the mainland coast of British Columbia, off Canada's west coast. 

Quadra's residents enjoy a rural lifestyle surrounded by a clean unspoiled environment. The breathtaking wilderness scenery, mild temperate climate, and natural beauty make it a popular destination for visitors from around the world. 

There are complete services on the island as well as a wide variety of accommodation and dining from deluxe resorts to rustic campsites. Unlimited adventure recreation includes sport fishing, diving, hiking on over 200 km of hiking trails, sea kayaking, powerboat and sailing. There are many beaches, sheltered coves, protected channels and islets along the intricate shoreline and the rich waters fed by large tidal exchanges nourish abundant marine life.  

All regular services are available on Quadra and the full service community of Campbell River on Vancouver Island is just a 10-minute ferry ride away from Quathiaski Cove. From Heriot Bay, ferry service operates to Whaletown on Cortes Island.

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

Thursday, 4 July 2019

Transformations on the Shore 2019

Every year on the shores of Campbell River chainsaw carvers gather for a four day competition. Spectators are welcome and there is always a good crowd. Between the location - Frank James Park in Willow Point - and the time of year - late June - this event is a great one to attend.

If you visit more than one day you can really see the artists' visions come to life. Going from a rough piece of wood to a finished carving in just four days is an impressive feat! There are a number of categories and prizes are awarded in each.

While some of the carvings are already spoken for and so leave right after the competition ends, a number of them remain in Frank James Park for a good part of the summer, allowing locals and tourists to get a good look at them.

Transformations on the Shore is definitely one of the things that heralds the start of summer in Campbell River!

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

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Room for Recreation

Lots of people move to Campbell River, and the central/north Vancouver Island region, because of the wonderful outdoor lifestyle opportunities. Camping, boating, kayaking, hiking, atv-ing, mountain biking, skiing, hunting, fishing - the list goes on; as a home base, this region offers some of the most accessible outdoor activity area anywhere. Within 45 minutes of town one can be on a ski hill, at a beach, enjoying a lake, fishing a river, camping in a forest, or exploring the ocean and islands off shore.

With all that recreation, however, comes equipment. And if you are moving here to take advantage of the great outdoors, thinking about where you are going to keep your equipment is important.

Are you thinking of downsizing so you can spend time RVing? Then you need to have somewhere to store your RV. Coming here to fish on the ocean or lakes? Will you have a boat and if so, where will you keep it? Skis, ATVs, mountain bikes, kayaks - all need a place to sit when not in use.

Listings in this region should tell you if RV parking, extra outdoor space and good storage space is available. Most properties allow these types of outdoor items, although there are still some neighbourhoods that do not, so check if there are any covenants on the title restricting property use.

When you come to the area, come prepared to take advantage of all it offers and make sure your home allows you to easily access what you need. Whether that means a sturdy pair of walking shoes or a state-of-the-art RV beside the house is completely up to you!

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

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Top 5 Summer Beaches on Vancouver Island

Summer on Vancouver Island is generally warm, sunny and dry – perfect beach weather. This top 5 list is for beaches outside of Victoria that are perfect for summer relaxing.

·         Rathtrevor: This stretch of beach in Parksville is popular with tourists and locals alike, and big enough that there is room for everyone. At low tide the sandy beach stretches for miles. This is the site of one of the province’s most popular provincial parks, Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park, as well as home to numerous resorts. No dogs are allowed on the beach in the summer months, so don’t bring Fido.

          Chesterman Beach: Tofino and Long Beach on the west coast of the island have many beaches to choose from, but Chesterman is a favourite with the locals and for good reason. With two beach fronts it is easy to be protected from any wind and to choose what wave action to play in. Both sides are nice and sandy, and the large space where the two beaches join gives lots of room for play.

      Saratoga:  Just north of popular Miracle Beach, Saratoga Beach is home to small resorts and RV campgrounds, as well as the popular Pacific Playgrounds Resort and Campground. Another sandy stretch, Saratoga has stunning views of the mainland coastal mountains and is great for a swim when the tide is coming in over the warm sand.

·         San Josef Bay: At the top of the island in the Cape Scott Provincial Park, San Josef is a walk-in beach well worth the easy 40 minute walk on good trails. With an interesting forest environment through the trails leading down to the marshy tidal area of the San Josef River, the beach itself is a shock with its stretches of sand broken only by amazing rock formations. This is a remote area, so the beach is never busy (although locals from Port Hardy do like to come there on sunny days).

·         China Beach: West of Sooke at the bottom of the island, China Beach is another one that requires a short hike to reach. It is well worth it though, with a long stretch of sandy beach, amazing views, and even a waterfall at one end of the beach close to the day use trail. This is also the head of the Juan de Fuca multi-day hiking trail. There is a small campground at China Beach, separate from the day use area.

These are all sandy beaches great for summer fun. Do you have a summer favourite?

It’s a Coastal Lifestyle ... Live It!

Thursday, 13 June 2019

Be Prepared!

Many of the properties we market are remote, and we love them as do our clients. They are accessed via Forest Service Roads, private gravel roads, water, and long stretches of unserviced highway. There is often no cellular service, and certainly no wi-fi. So if you are going to travel in these regions remember the number one rule: Be Prepared.

gravel road

blown tire

Have a spare tire! In addition, a shovel to dig out (from dirt or snow), a mat to lay down on when you look under the vehicle, and a vehicle that can withstand scrapes from overgrown shrubs and trees are all assets. Remember that having warmer temps in town does not mean there won't be snow on the ground in the more remote areas. For some areas, a saw to take apart small windfall that's across the road could be useful.

yup, that's broken

Make sure people know where you are going and your approximate time of return. Letting people know your route ahead of time is also a good idea. We always ask people who want to just go look at a property on their own to tell us when they return. Have good maps with you so you can identify where you are, especially if you need to walk out to a more main road for assistance.

stuck in the snow

A first aid kit is important. Extra food and water as it may take longer than you'd expect. Good footwear. Warm clothes and a rain coat (even in the middle of summer) as the weather can change quickly on the coast! And for those of you who prefer the comforts of home, a spare roll of toilet paper is nice.

lots of water on hand

We love the coastal wilderness we are surrounded by, and if you are prepared then enjoying it and exploring it can be a great way to spend time.

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

Thursday, 6 June 2019

The Due Diligence, or Conditional, Period and Inspections

You've found your dream property, you've had a look at it and you've had your offer accepted. What comes next?

There is a lot of paperwork involved with buying property, but there is also a lot of due diligence involved. Whether the property is local or remote, residential or recreational, there are things about the property that you may want to have checked and/or verified before you commit completely to purchasing. These items would have become conditions in the purchase contract, and there would be a time frame included for completing these conditions.

Due to the diverse range of properties we sell in the BC Oceanfront office at Royal LePage Advance Realty, we have a wealth of resource information when it comes to the various inspections a property may require and who might be available to perform those inspections.

These could be:
  • For properties that aren't on a city sewer system a septic inspection could mean having someone come out and check the system, as well as verifying with the local health authority that the system has a valid permit.
  • For properties that aren't on city water, a water inspection insuring that water lines, wells or other domestic water sources are all in healthy, working order.
  • Building inspections, for all properties with improvements on them. If wood stoves are involved then certain certifications (WETT) are required of the building inspector so they can also check the wood stove system.
  • Docks and moorage for oceanfront properties, to insure all is in safe, working order.
  • Electrical systems - this can require an electrician for a basic wired system or an alternative energy systems company for off-grid power systems.
These are just some of the onsite inspections our office arranges for clients. Many of these require Ed or Shelley's attendance, and some properties can require several days of inspections depending on the complexity of the systems.

When you work with the BC Oceanfront Real Estate Team, you are benefiting from a group experienced with the logistics and inspections required for all types of properties - and we put that expertise to work for you.

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

Thursday, 30 May 2019

BCO Coastal Gems: Coal Harbour

Coal Harbour sits at the northwest end of paved road on Vancouver Island, about 20 minutes from Port Hardy. It is the access point for Quatsino Sound and a popular launch for those heading out to explore the myriad of waterways in the region.

 During World War II Coal Harbour was a Canadian Air Forces base for Pacific seaplane patrols, and some of the buildings are still in use today. After the war many of the buildings were bought by BC Packers, and it became a whaling station. It was Canada's last whaling station to cease operations, closing in 1967. From the 1970s to 1996 a near by copper mine brought more business into the community.

Since the closure of the mine, Coal Harbour has become a bedroom community for Port Hardy as well as a launch point for fishermen, boaters and kayakers looking to explore Quatsino Sound and the open waters of the Pacific. There is also seaplane service offering flights to west coast fishing lodges and various work camps as well as some of the water access coastal communities, such as Quatsino.

Quatsino First Nations operates the marina in the community, where there is moorage, fuel, showers and a laundromat. There is also a government dock.

Coal Harbour is a pretty little community and with paved road access from Port Hardy and the rest of Vancouver Island, it is the ideal end of the road before getting on the water.

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