Thursday 17 December 2015

Looking Forward to 2016 at BC Oceanfront

As this will be the last blog post of the year, we thought we would share our BCO outlook for 2016 (this went out with our calendars on our newsletter). We wish you and your loved ones a wonderful holiday and all the best in the new year.

Looking Forward to 2016

A new year is a great time for assessing practices and implementing any new procedures. At the BCO office we are always looking to make our systems, procedures and marketing program the best they can be to create success for all our clients, and we look forward to an exciting and productive 2016.

As we are currently in a buyer’s market, we will see that continue into 2016. Certainly in the recreational market we see great buying opportunities as prices are still at cyclical lows. We can expect that US interest will continue, and to that end we do see our number of US visitors to the website increasing. Acreages and oceanfront undeveloped properties continue to be of interest to many potential buyers, as the appeal of a piece of land out on the coast attracts many more urban residents looking to get away from a more hectic life. Recreational development projects, such as the acreages at Discovery Passage, have been attracting much attention as well. Ed, and the BCO Team, use the 20 years plus of experience and the wealth of information gathered over that time to work on behalf of clients in helping them achieve their goals.

Campbell River has seen a busy year, with work moving forward on both the new hospital and the John Hart Dam project. We have also seen the completion and opening of a new Berwick Residence downtown and right next door a new Comfort Inn. Mt. Washington was recently reported as sold. All of this development is good news for the city.

Ed and Shelley, as well as the BCO unlicensed office assistants Jennifer and Kate, look forward to working with our clients in 2016.

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

Thursday 10 December 2015

Creating the BCO Calendar

When we say the new BCO calendar has been in the works for years, we aren't kidding! The idea has been in the office for at least 6 or 7 years. Every year we moved a little closer, until this year it finally happened.

The hardest thing about putting the calendar together was choosing the photos. With the number of properties we market Ed and Shelley have thousands of reference photos. Add in the amount of time we all spend outdoors and you have another thousand photos between the team, easily. Getting that down to first 30, and then 13, photos was not an easy task.

This one didn't make it

We are pleased with the final product and are already looking forward to choosing the photos for next year.

In the meantime, we are giving away calendars! Head over to our Facebook page to participate in the contest.

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

Thursday 3 December 2015

Embracing the Wet West Coast Weather

It's true, on Vancouver Island we experience some of the mildest weather in Canada. This makes for lovely, comfortably warm summers and allows us the benefit of four distinct seasons. It also means that come fall and winter we experience a fair amount of rain.
Rushing river from fall rains are worth the hike.

As true west coasters and islanders, we know that you can't hide from the rain. Weeks like this one, where the wind and rain has been quite relentless, remind us that our forests are lush for a reason. So, we don't let it stop us from living an active life.
Wet leaves and bright green ferns - sure signs of an island winter.

Storm watching is a popular past time when the weather gets like this. For some the wild west coast of the island is where they want to be, and places like Tofino now offer great storm watching packages for those who want to spend time on the rugged coast. But even on the east coast of the island the storms are spectacular.
After the storm - logs washed up on Campbell River's shore.

Good, waterproof gear helps in this weather, as does good footwear. Don't bother with umbrellas - the wind generally defeats them.

This year is supposed to be an El Nino year, which means generally wetter and milder weather for the coast, although there is little consensus among forecasters as to what it will look like this year. Last year was unseasonably dry in the winter, so a wet winter will not be a bad thing for our forests, rivers, lakes and mountains.
Just be sure to gear up - and remember, a little water never hurt anyone.

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

Thursday 26 November 2015

What are FINTRAC forms and why do you have to fill them out?

FINTRAC forms have become a standard part of the Real Estate paperwork. FINTRAC stands for Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada. The completion of these documents by realtors and the brokerages they work for is a federal requirement.

According to the government's FINTRAC website: FINTRAC is part of Canada's national initiative to combat money laundering and terrorist activity financing. It is a specialized agency created to collect, analyze and disclose financial information and intelligence on suspected money laundering and terrorist activities financing.

Not only is filling out the documents required for every transaction, the documents need to be witnessed by a professional, in our case either a realtor or a notary/lawyer. A realtor in a cooperating office generally will not charge for this service (so if you are a Royal LePage client you can go to any RLP office to fill out the paperwork) but a notary/lawyer generally will.

The information collected is kept locked away and confidential, by the brokerage office. It does not stay in our files.

For more information on this, please visit the website:
It's a Coastal Lifestyle ... Live It!

Thursday 19 November 2015

Personal Real Estate Corporation

You may notice that Shelley's name has gotten a little longer in advertising after this week. Like Ed, Shelley has become a personal real estate corporation, and as such now has a real estate license in the name of the corporation. Real Estate Council of BC regulations require advertising to have her full corporation name.

So the ad text will get a little longer as the BC Oceanfront Team is now Ed Handja Personal Real Estate Corporation and Shelley McKay Personal Real Estate Corporation. Same great BCO service and experience; more paperwork for Shelley!

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

Thursday 12 November 2015

Vancouver Island Amenities

When people think of the islands and the coast of BC, they think of rugged wilderness, large trees and vast spaces. While these are all accurate and definitely part of the charm of the coast, what people don't realize are just how many amenities Vancouver Island offers as well.

The four main urban areas on Vancouver Island are (in order of population) Victoria, Nanaimo, the Comox Valley (including Courtenay and Comox) and Campbell River. All of these centres have major hospitals (Victoria has two) and vibrant downtown districts.

Vancouver Island has two universities. The University of Victoria has been around for 50 years and attracts students from across Canada as well as many international students. It is also a popular choice for students on Vancouver Island. The second university is Vancouver Island University, which is based in Nanaimo. It was originally Malaspina College, and in 2008 was granted full university status under its new name.

The Save On Foods Memorial Center regularly features high profile music acts. MacPherson and Royal Theatres in Victoria and Port Theatre in Nanaimo attract major stage and dance productions, while the Sid Williams Theatre in Courtenay and the Tidemark Theatre in Campbell River provide a nice variety of live entertainment for those communities. Victoria also boasts the world-class Royal BC Museum as well as an art gallery.

Both Victoria and Nanaimo have a number of indoor shopping malls, including The Bay Centre and Mayfair Mall in Victoria, and Woodgrove Centre in Nanaimo - all very popular with island residents. All the urban centres have a wide variety of shopping available.

One of the appeals of living on Vancouver Island is that you can truly have it all. Anywhere you live on the island offers amazing coastal beauty, while all the amenities needed or wanted are also available.

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

Thursday 5 November 2015

Signs on the Water

Looking at the land from the water offers a different perspective. One of the things people who are out sight seeing or fishing for the first time may have questions about are some of the markings you can see on apparently unoccupied land. These can appear to be art work or secret messages, but actually they are for the benefit of everyone.

When fishing in amongst the islands and just off the coast, it is the responsibility of the person fishing to know and follow the regulations set out by the Department of Fisheries. These regulations include closures, places in the water where fishing is not allowed, or is only allowed to certain sectors of the fishing community (commercial, sport, etc). The boundary markers are generally visible from the water, some newer than others, some faded with time (many boundaries have been in place for years). Sometimes good old-fashioned signs work.

The markers are generally a triangle and a square, although there is no clear definition on the DFO website as to which is used when and generally the regulations will simply say "between the boundary markers at ..." Whenever you see one of these markers, search the shore opposite (often in a bay) for its mate. Line the two markers up, and the "invisible line" between the two markers is your boundary. You don't want to get caught on the wrong side of the line, as there can be hefty fines!

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

Thursday 29 October 2015

BCO Coastal Gems: Port Alice

The west coast of Vancouver Island is marked by large inlets and remote villages and towns separated by wild coast and mountains. Only a few of the towns are accessible by paved road.

Port Alice is on the north-west of Vancouver Island, on the banks of Neroutsos Inlet. Often referred to as "The Gateway to the Wild West Coast", Port Alice draws fishermen looking to access the waters off Northern Vancouver Island as well as Neroutsos and Quatsino Inlets.

The town itself has approximately 800 residents. The main industry has historically been the local pulp mill. The town offers basic amenities and shopping as well as a marina and a golf course.

Beach in front of Port Alice

Port Alice is surrounded by amazing natural beauty, with great access to Alice and Victoria Lakes recreational areas. This is an area popular with outdoor enthusiasts. The climate is mild and wet, like most of the north island.

Alice Lake

To get to Port Alice is approximately a 3 - 3.5 hour drive from Campbell River, along highway that cuts through some very remote and beautiful coastal forest.

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

Thursday 22 October 2015

Non-Residents and Buying Property in Canada

The coast of British Columbia is known as one of the most beautiful places on earth, offering a natural wilderness and sense of adventure not to be found in many other places. With quick access from urban centres to the more remote areas of the coast, BC is a unique offering. It is no surprise then that it appeals to people from all over the world. Whether it is a visitor who wants to have a place to retreat to once a year or someone who is seriously thinking about relocating for a different lifestyle, the coast draws people from all over the world.

Every country has its own way of dealing with non-resident buyers, and so it is important that someone coming from outside Canada and wanting to buy property educated themselves on the requirements and rules.The BC Real Estate Association has a good overview here.

For people looking to make a more permanent move to Canada, then the place to start is the Government of Canada and their requirements for immigration.

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

Thursday 15 October 2015

BCO Coastal Gems: The Southern Gulf Islands

When people think of the Gulf Islands of BC the first islands that come to mind are the big ones: Saltspring, Mayne, Pender and Galiano. While these are the anchors of this island system, the Gulf Islands are also home to a myriad of smaller islands.

 Galiano Island
Islands such as Ruxton and Gossip are smaller, boat access islands but still are home to many - either as a recreational get-away or as a permanent residence.
Gossip Island in the foreground

There are also private islands dotted among the bigger islands.

Leech Island with Thetis Island behind

The Gulf Islands are renowned for natural beauty, great climate, relaxed atmosphere and diverse culture. They are becoming known as a food destination as well as a vacation destination.

Decourcy Island

The Gulf Islands offer residents and visitors alike a quick escape. They are close to both Vancouver and Vancouver Island yet are very different in culture. Each island offers something unique. The islands are very popular with boaters who like to explore the many beaches and protected hidden coves.

Visiting the main Gulf Islands is as simple as a ride with BC Ferries, while the smaller islands require either a personal boat, a water taxi or a charter flight.

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

Thursday 8 October 2015

Preparing Your Recreational Property for Fall/Winter

Fall is upon us and with it comes the promise of rain and wind and storms. Just like you should clean your gutters, unhook your hoses and put away the patio furniture at your residence, you should prepare your recreational and remote properties for the fall and winter seasons.

Driftwood piled up by a winter storm.

Water - if you are not going to be using your property over the winter your water supply should be properly shut down. There is nothing worse than burst pipes in the spring!

General tidy up - make sure all the loose items from summer, such as chairs, tables, planters, tools, etc are put away in a secure place. Winter weather can wreck these items, and winter storms can send them flying.

Clean up - make sure that food stuffs are either well packaged, stored somewhere else or thrown out. Mice love a winter meal! Putting linens, towels, dishcloths, etc somewhere extra dry will help keep mould from growing on damp fabrics.

Lock up - make sure the property is closed up properly. Windows and doors should be latched so wind doesn't blow them open and so that critters can't get in.

Docks - make sure the surface is "gripped" or cleaned so that if someone needs to use the docks they won't slip on the slick surface from all the winter moisture.

Trees, shrubs, etc - now is a good time to prune any dead branches or long branches that are getting too close to buildings. These can come down during winter storms doing a lot of damage with no one around to clean up. Better to deal with it now.

A small amount of time spent shutting down, cleaning up and locking up will save time and possibly money come spring. It's not too late to get it done before the big storms come!

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

Thursday 1 October 2015

River Fishing on Vancouver Island

While Vancouver Island is world famous for its ocean water fishing, it also boasts some amazing river fishing. Every year, anglers from around the world converge on some of the biggest rivers on the island for the annual salmon runs.

fly fishing in the Quinsam - a past time for all ages

The Campbell and Quinsam River system is very popular, and on any given fall day you can find both local residents and anglers from places as far away as Italy standing side by side in the water.
fall fishing in the Campbell

Fly fishing on all the local rivers is a challenging and fun way to spend a day, while spin casting can also get the job done. Fishing on a river in the fall is a great way to connect with the outdoors and spend some time in the fresh air. It doesn't require a boat, just a rod and some gear (although waders definitely make it a better adventure in the fall when it is colder).

Drive by any of the Vancouver Island rivers in the fall (and there are a lot of them) and you are sure to see an angler or two (or many more) flicking a rod into the water. Just another amazing aspect of west coast living.

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

Thursday 24 September 2015

Meeting Your Communication Needs on a Remote Property

Twenty years ago, or even ten years ago, communication on a remote recreational or residential property was a non-issue. If the phone company didn't go there, you didn't have service and that was that. People who lived or vacationed on these properties did so knowing they were cutting themselves off from the rest of the world when it came to day to day communications.

Today, with smart phones and cell service and high speed internet filling every part of our lives, fewer people are willing to accept a complete cut off from their daily lives of communication. While there are still some who simply want to get away from it all, for many people getting away from it all no longer means being completely out of touch. While they want the peace and serenity and sense of getting away that these types of properties provide, they don't want to be cut off from the world at large.

Today there are options for those wanting to stay in touch. 
~Satellite phones provide phone service where cell phones can't. Sat-fi devices even allow you to use your wi-fi enabled devices to text, call and email over satellite networks. For example: 
~There are some internet companies that specialize in providing service to places no other company reaches. Xplornet specializes in providing reliable high speed internet to rural locations in Canada.
~Satellite TV companies such as Shaw Direct can provide service in many remote recreational locations.
~Some smaller communities in places where regular service doesn't always work (such as Sayward on northern Vancouver Island) are providing their own internet services. 

Communications services can allow people the freedom to escape to a remote recreational or even remote residential property while still being able to connect with their lives when needed. For some people it may mean longer vacations, or the ability to work from a home that is not in an urban centre. 

Of course, you can still go with no communication. It's all about choosing how your coastal lifestyle will look and work for you.

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

Thursday 17 September 2015

BC Coastal Gems: Sointula and Malcolm Island

Sointula is a small community on Malcolm Island, off the north-east coast of Vancouver Island. It is reached by ferry from Port McNeill. The town is vibrant with colourful buildings, murals and shops and it is easy to walk around.
The village was originally founded by Scandinavian settlers looking for a secure place to create a Utopian society. After world wars and personal disagreements, the settlement dispersed. 

By then fishermen and other resource workers had joined the town, resulting in a varied and rich history for the community.
Pulteney Point lighthouse is just a short drive to the north tip of the island. As soon as you are away from the town all the roads on the island are gravel, but they are in fairly good shape. The lighthouse offers a great vantage point to look at northern Vancouver Island as well as the narrow waterways to the north.

Malcolm Island's beaches are wonderful for walking, and show the exposure of the coast to the winter storms. Views from the east side of the island look out over the BC mainland and the Broughton Archipelago, where one can watch the marine traffic go by.

Of course, one of the main reasons people come to the area now is to see whales. There are lots of opportunities to go on whale watching boats, but often the whales can be seen from the shore. There are certain areas on the north-east side which are commonly frequented by the whales at different times of the year, including some beaches where the whales are known to gather and rub along the cobble stones (as in the pictures above taken at Bere Pt Regional Park).

A gem of a place; one that adds some magic into the lives of all who visit.

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

Thursday 10 September 2015

BCO Coastal Gems: The Discovery Islands

The Discovery Islands are a group of islands in the narrow Inside Passage between eastern Vancouver Island and the remote BC central mainland coastline. First the home of many First Nations groups, in the past hundred or so years many other groups of people have explored the islands, some staying to put their own marks on the place.

The Discovery Islands are made up of a number of islands. The two most well known of these are Quadra and Cortes. These also have ferry service originating in Campbell River on Vancouver Island. Due to the easier access, these are the most populated of the islands as well. Some of the other islands, such as Sonora and Stuart, have become popular resort and vacation destinations, with many private retreats. 

The islands are inhabited by an eclectic mix of environmentalists, homesteaders, resource workers and independent thinkers. In addition, the summer population more than doubles with adventure seekers, nature lovers and boaters all converging on the islands during the warmer months.

The diverse population is attracted to the islands specifically because of the diverse nature of the place. From the amenities and services found on Quadra and Cortes to the remote shores of East Thurlow, the islands offer an escape from the urban environment. 

With short distances between the islands and the communities of both Campbell River and Powell River near by the Discovery Islands provide an easily accessible get away. The many smaller islands which dot the waterways add to a sense of adventure and escape. So many places to explore!

Add in amazing fishing, diverse wildlife and resident whale populations, and it becomes evident that the islands really do offer something for everyone.

The region is popular as a repeat destination and for recreational properties because it has so much to offer, keeping people coming back time and again.

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

Thursday 3 September 2015

Dealing with Waste on a Remote Property

A reprint from an earlier blog post, with some additions, as many people have asked about this topic recently.

Even with indoor plumbing on a remote property, a conventional septic system may not be an option. While some people are content to turn to the convenience and tradition of an outhouse, not everyone wants the basic hole in the ground. There are many other options out there in the world of alternative systems and they are getting easier to find.

Many of the systems available still require pumping and disposal of the waste from a holding tank. These can be great options for those living on larger islands where pumping services are available (such as Quadra, Cortes or Gabriola), however that is not the case for many recreational and more remote properties.

Waterfront properties have the option of an outflow system, with waste being piped out into the water. This is a controversial option on the coast, however it is still common practise on many islands. Outflow systems can be as simple as an outhouse with pipes flowing downhill, or as complex as a full waste management system with a pump to run grey water.

There are also three waterless options that property owners can consider.
*Composting Toilets. These are toilets that use aerobic processing through composting. This is a controlled composting system that protects the surrounding environment. These are popular systems and readily available in many countries.
*Incinerating Toilets. As the name implies these toilets burn the waste. This can be done in a few ways depending on the system's design but generally the waste is reduced to an ash in a holding tank and then can be safely disposed of.
*Evaporating Toilets. These systems actually dry-out the waste and create a sterile, compact waste that can be safely disposed of in the trash system. There are both passive systems that require no outside electricity and systems that do require some energy input. Evaporating toilets are very low maintenance.

Living without a regular flush toilet does not automatically relegate one to an outhouse if that is not wanted. There are options out there and doing a little research will lead to suppliers and resources.

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

Thursday 27 August 2015

Disclosure Statements in Real Estate

Disclosure Statements are a common term in real estate, but the term can actually refer to two very different documents.

When you buy a home the seller most often has completed a "Property Disclosure Statement". This is a real estate board form which provides answers to set questions regarding a property. A Seller can choose how many of the questions to answer or even if they want to fill out this form. It is signed by the Seller and at the time of a sale can also be signed by the Buyer as having been read and accepted. This becomes a binding part of the contract and holds the Seller accountable to the answers provided.

When buying a property that is part of a development, there may also be a "Developer's Disclosure Statement", but this is a document prepared for the developer by a lawyer. This Disclosure Statement will include various rules for the development as well as any easements or covenants placed on the land. It may also include a Building Scheme - explaining what the rules are for building a new home. Examples of some of the things to be found in this type of a Disclosure Statement is no clotheslines; no front yard fences; landscaping or lawn requirements; lighting requirements; driveway requirements and even house building standards (siding, roof line, etc). These Disclosure Statements are not just found in residential neighbourhoods. Many more remote developments, where a Seller has parcelled off a number of lots in a development, will have a Developer's Disclosure Statement. This may cover things such as how long a recreational vehicle can be parked on the property, whether a mobile home can be put on the property, how access is to be used, etc. There may even be a Building Scheme, if the developer wants a certain look to the development, such as cottage specifications or no two level homes. If a property has a Disclosure Statement then the Contract of Purchase and Sale must acknowledge the Buyer's receipt of the document as well as any subsequent amendments, prior to being presented to the Seller/Developer. A contract should not be prepared on a property until the prospective buyer has had the opportunity to read and acknowledge the Disclosure Statement.

It is important in all cases to make sure you are aware of Disclosure Statements, as they can have a big impact on how you use the property you are interested in purchasing.
It's a Coastal Lifestyle ... Live It!

Thursday 20 August 2015

New Look for BC Oceanfront Website

Today we launch a new look for the BC Oceanfront website. This has been years in the making it seems, but was started in earnest a few months ago. It was time!

 Larger photos and easier to read online listings are just some of the improvements that were made with the help of Chameleon Creative. We are very excited to have a website that is platform responsive so that no matter what device or browser you are using you will get a full-service and easy-to-use website. There are also some backdoor editor improvements that you may not see but will make Kate and Jennifer’s ability to edit and upload to the site easier.

We have kept what made the site special, in particular the wealth of information and knowledge that Ed, Shelley and BC Oceanfront are known for. Our information packages, also sporting a fresh look thanks to Jennifer, include all the information they have in the past such as great property details, mapping and lots of pictures. The information we now provide can be as simple as a good online map, or as detailed as latitude and longitude coordinates or even UTM coordinates. We have worked to address the needs of different clients, from the ones who surf the site casually dreaming of the property they want to own one day to the clients who are very clear on what they want and expect more detailed information. The site now has a search function (using keywords, try it out) and allows us to put more information in front of the client.

We hope you enjoy the upgraded site, we are excited to bring this fresh look to our clients!

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

Thursday 13 August 2015

What are Marine Parks?

The coast of BC has over 40 designated marine parks. These are parks that include both water and land areas but are generally accessible by float plane or boat only (with some exceptions). Many of them allow wilderness camping but only a few offer even basic services (an outhouse, water, campsites).
Rebecca Spit Marine Park, accessible by road as well as boat on Quadra Island.
These marine parks run along the entire coast of BC and among the numerous islands that dot the coast. They are an attraction for boaters, kayakers, hikers and many others. The largest marine park on the coast is the Broughton Archipelago Marine Park, off the NE coast of Vancouver Island, which consists of dozens of small islands and the waters around them. This park is very popular with kayakers and people whale watching.

Marine parks often provide a welcome refuge for people traveling along the coast, and are common meet-up spots for boaters.  Desolation Sound Marine Park, along the central coast, is very popular with boaters due to its protected waters, easy access to the Discovery Islands and its beautiful beaches.
private properties within Desolation Sound Marine Park

Some of the remote and recreational properties we have listed through the BC Oceanfront office either border or are very near to marine parks. A select few are even lucky enough to be private property within a marine park - very rare.
flying over Surge Narrows Marine Park

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

Thursday 6 August 2015

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!

Thursday 30 July 2015

The Amazing Offerings of Vancouver Island

For a nature lover, it doesn't get much better than being on Vancouver Island. From any of the cities and towns on the island, you have access to a wealth of outdoor options.

Want to hang out at a lake? Every region has a number to choose from, whether it is Elk Lake near downtown Victoria, Shawnigan Lake on the south island, Westwood Lake in Nanaimo, Comox Lake near Courtenay, McIvor Lake near Campbell River, or Alice Lake on the north island.
Alice Lake

Want to go fishing? From one tip to the other, there are fishing spots a plenty, many with easy driving access.
Camping? Choose from provincial parks, forestry sites, private RV parks or regional campgrounds, stretched along both sides of the island and in the centre as well.

Hiking trails can be found throughout, with major multi-day hiking trails concentrating around the Strathcona Park region, on the west coast of the island and at the northern tip of the island.

Ocean access is readily available, with choices of sandy beaches or rocky shores depending on what you want to spend your time doing.

And don't forget there are two ski hills as well!

Vancouver Island draws visitors every year because of the abundant outdoor opportunities, and this same wealth of nature is why so many stay and make this home.

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

Thursday 23 July 2015

Gathering Information

When someone asks Ed and Shelley to list a property, especially a remote property, a lot of energy goes in to gathering information. Some of the questions they ask may seem very specific, but they have always operated under the belief that the more information provided up front, the more prepared a potential buyer will be.

The information gathering starts with any legal documents around the property. Title, covenants, easements, foreshore leases, specific permission, water license, etc. If the client does not have these we will track them down or assist the owner in tracking them down. Next up are the service documents. These would be things like well logs, septic inspection reports, septic approval documents, etc.

The real detail search comes during a property visit. Visual information is very useful, and so Ed or Shelley will go around taking photos of anything that may have a label on it, such as wood stoves, generators, fuel tanks, etc. These details are incredibly useful when it comes to writing the property information package back in the office.

The more information we can gather at the time of listing the better prepared we are for potential buyers.

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

Thursday 16 July 2015

Campbell River Estuary and Tyee Spit

For decades the Campbell River was used as an exchange and holding area for many logging operations. In recent years efforts have been made to repair and restore the area, transforming the shoreline back to healthy, indigenous vegetation.

The Tyee Spit itself has been transformed into a wonderful park, complete with walking paths and beach access, a great place to look out over Discovery Passage and across to Quadra Island. It is popular with families as a great place for bikes, scooters and kites and also popular with dog walkers. The centre lawn is perfect for playing on and the numerous benches provide great spots to rest and look out at the water and marine traffic. The beach along the edge of the park is a nice place to sit as well.

The park has also become a popular spot for photos!

The estuary and Baikie Island are still works in progress, but are quickly becoming naturalized once again thanks to hard work by a number of groups.

A great place to explore in the middle of the city.

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