Thursday 24 March 2016

Domestic Water Sources - Wells and Cisterns

Dealing with recreational and rural properties means looking at a lot of extra details. One of the big ones we ask/get asked is where does the water come from? The answer can vary from rain water collection, to a water licence on a local creek, to a well.

Wells generally come in two forms - dug wells and drilled wells. A dug well does not mean necessarily dug by hand, a bucket auger may be used for deeper wells. You will often hear Ed or Shelley reference these types of wells as shallow or deep dug wells, meaning  the depth of the well. Drilled wells are just as they sound, drilled by a machine to reach water.

The level of the underground water aquifer, the type of ground material, and the cost of the project all help determine what type of well will be installed. In BC a well should be installed by a qualified well pump installer, and there are specific rules that should be followed during installation. These rules are set out in the Ground Water Protection Regulations of BC.

Rain water collection can be as simply as a barrel to collect rain water to as complex as a cistern system that collects rain water from gutters and stores it in a large holding tank. These holdings tanks can be away from the main property and feed water through a pipe system, or they can be under a deck or patio connected to the house. Depending on demand a good winter of rain can supply enough water to meet the needs of a recreational property, while more full time properties (such as those on some of the Gulf Islands) may purchase water to refill the cistern in a dry summer.

Water licences are regulated by the Province. More information on this water source can be found in this blog post.

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

Thursday 17 March 2016

Recreational Lakes on Central and Northern Vancouver Island

While Vancouver Island is renowned for its oceanside beaches, it is also home to numerous lakes of varying size. Recreational opportunities abound for fishing, canoeing, boating, swimming and hiking at lakes all across Vancouver Island, but the central to north island lakes are not as well known. Here are 5 of the most popular, starting at the north end.

Alice Lake, Link River Regional Park

Alice Lake:
Known for excellent fishing and wilderness camping, Alice Lake is a great recreational lake. Accessed of Hwy 30 (to Port Alice) and then on gravel Forest Service Roads, Alice Lake offers a wilderness lake experience that will satisfy the craving to get away from it all. Link River Regional Park is a popular site for camping (24 sites), launching boats, having a picnic and playing on the beach.

Nimpkish Lake:
Just south of Port McNeill, this lake is home to a Provincial Park known for rugged wilderness and offers good fresh water fishing. What it is most famous for, however, is for being one of the most challenging lakes for windsurfing in BC. It has become one of the top destinations for serious windsurfers in the province and can provide hours of entertainment for those who like to watch the colourful sails whip across the lake.

McIvor Lake:
Actually part of the Lower Campbell Lake water system, McIvor Lake is the place to be for Campbell Riverites in the summer. With a boat launch, three great beach areas and lots of room to spread out, this lake is a very popular place to hang out.

Comox Lake:
Popular with locals as a hang out as well as outdoor enthusiasts, Comox Lake offers something for everyone. From picnic areas to hiking and biking trails and good fishing, this glacier-fed lake provides hours of recreation. Located near Strathcona Provincial Park, the lake is most readily accessed through the town of Cumberland, near Courtenay.

Westwood Lake:
on the outskirts of Nanaimo this lake sits at the foot of Mt. Benson. With a good hiking trail around the lake and a beach with a lifeguard, Westwood Lake is a popular spot in the summer. The lake also has good fishing, although only boats with electric motors or no motors are allowed.

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

Thursday 10 March 2016

Donating Property as an Eco Gift

While most people know that you can donate property to a charitable organization, not everyone may know that if one chooses and the land qualifies, the gift can be classified as an "eco gift". This comes up in our area occasionally, as much of the land on the coast could be termed ecologically sensitive or near to ecologically sensitive land.

The federal government oversees the process of having a donation declared an ecological gift, and there are regulations and criteria regarding how a property qualifies.

Not only properties can be donated. One can also donate easements and covenanted areas. The donated parcel only needs to meet one of the criterion on the list, although most of them will meet more than one.

According to the federal government, an ecological gift can provide significant tax advantages to the donor and can ensure that a land's biodiversity and environmental value is protected into the future.

For more information, go to the Environment Canada Eco Gifts page:

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

Thursday 3 March 2016

Preparing a Recreational Property for Listing

Thinking of listing a recreational property? Here are some tips to make the showing process go smoothly.

Listing Your Recreational Property
There are many things you as the property owner can do to increase your chances of success with selling your property. Getting it ready for viewing may require a bit of work, but it will pay off with better showings.

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?

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.

Water Supply
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)?

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?

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?

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

If you have done work on the property, paperwork providing details of that work is always good to have readily available should people ask. Also any inspection work regarding the property should also have paperwork readily available.

Ed and Shelley have many years of remote and recreational property experience between them, and have a lot of information for both buyers and sellers to consider.

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