Thursday 26 June 2014

BCO Wildlife - Deer oh Deer

Living on Vancouver Island, or most regions on the coast of BC, there is always a chance of running across wildlife. Bald eagles are a regular sight, evidence of beavers can be seen on local trails, and bears and cougars are not unusual visitors to most communities. However the most common wildlife on Vancouver Island is by far deer.

Deer are opportunistic, and have realized that lovely urban gardens are not only great food sources but also tend to be free of predators. There is a lot of controversy over the rapidly growing urban populations of deer, but there is no denying that they make an interesting sight around town. Whether it is a stag crossing at a crosswalk (three times this year Kate has seen this) or a mother and fawns grazing at the side of the road, deer are now a part of residential life on the island.

Even on the top of a bluff, the deer will visit. Ed had a good time with one in his back yard recently, who appeared to enjoy the modeling.

It's a Coastal Lifestyle ... Pass It On!

Thursday 19 June 2014

Flushing on Remote or Recreational Properties

If you are looking at remote or recreational property, have you asked all the questions you can think of? Have you asked where the waste goes?

For many people this question might not even occur to them, as people are so accustomed to a city sewer system and flush toilets. But it is an important question.

There are many options. If it is an established property then it will already have a system in place. This can include outhouses, septic fields, septic tanks or straight outflow to the ocean. All of these options have been popular in the past and so are commonly seen in properties on the coast.

If you are building your own development, or making major improvements, there are many new innovations in the world of waste management. From composting toilets to incinerating toilets and many options in between, the world of septic waste management is more detailed than one might think.

Location and available land/space will play a major role in which system is chosen. Land that can't be easily dug may not be so suitable for a septic field and tank system, although an above ground holding tank may work. If a well is used for water can the system be placed far enough away to avoid contamination, or would a composting toilet be best? Amount of use can also determine the right system - will there be big groups on the property on a regular basis or just a couple of people throughout the year?

There are companies that specialize in septic systems as well as alternative systems for off-grid properties, and the BCO office can put you in touch with people on the coast who can help.

Remote and recreational properties can bring a lot of joy to one's life, but having all the systems in place ahead of time and being aware of the work required will go a long way to helping keep those properties a place of joy rather than a headache or hassle.

This is just one of the many questions the BCO office has to think about on a daily basis because of the interesting properties we market and sell.

It's a Coastal Lifestyle ... Pass It On!

Thursday 12 June 2014

BCO Coastal Hidden Gem: Knight Inlet

Knight Inlet is a majestic body of water. The largest of the major south BC coast inlets, it has become well known in recent years for magnificent Grizzly Bear watching. The spectacular landscape and easy access from Johnstone Strait and Vancouver Island make this body of water attractive to sight seers, fishermen and whale watchers.

The inlet is 125km long and averages 2.5km in width. It produces strong turbulence and outflow winds, affecting conditions in Queen Charlotte Strait at its mouth.
Properties in this region are accessed by boat or float plane. It is home to wilderness lodges and fishing resorts, most of them floating.

Knight Inlet is a place that takes your breath away and leaves you feeling in awe of the raw wilderness that shapes so much of coastal BC.

It's a Coastal Lifestyle ... Pass It On!

Thursday 5 June 2014

Power on Remote and Recreational Properties

When dealing with recreational and remote properties there are considerations that don't come up with regular residential properties. For instance - is there power and where does it come from?

Some recreational and remote properties are close enough to small communities that they can hook into existing BC Hydro power supplies. It can be surprising how many boat access communities, such as Quatsino on the NW coast of Vancouver Island, actually have power from BC Hydro. This is then just like obtaining power for any new property - lines need to be accessed and power brought into the property through coordination with BC Hydro, neighbouring properties and local communities.

For properties beyond the scope of BC Hydro, there are still options for power. Many of the older, more established remote properties will have gas generators of some sort. This involves generators and usually a battery bank to store power so that the generators aren't running all the time. This requires gas to be brought on to the property, and general upkeep on the equipment.

Solar power has become an attractive option for some, and it is not unusual to see a house or cottage with an array of solar panels on the roof. These supply a battery bank which stores the energy. Some larger properties have been known to use solar power but keep a gas generator on hand as an emergency back-up system.

Another option for those who have access to a running water supply is personal use hydro-power. This requires a license for the water use, and on a good, strong water source can be a great power supply. There are a variety of set-ups depending on the amount of power required.

All of the options have pros and cons when it comes to upkeep, initial cost of installation and materials, efficiency, etc. It requires some good research both on the options and the property itself. At BCO we have a good deal of information on alternative energy and are always looking out for new and innovative ideas in power for remote/recreational properties.
It's a Coastal Lifestyle ... Pass It On!