Thursday 21 April 2016

More than an Outhouse (Waste Disposal Alternatives)

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.

A lot 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. There are also filtration systems and outflow systems, all of which direct the waste somewhere else (holding tanks, gravel fields, or in some cases directly out to bodies of water).

There are three other 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 ... Live It!

Thursday 14 April 2016

Real Estate Language

It’s easy for those of us who work in real estate every day to forget that the general public, who maybe buy or sell only a handful of properties in a lifetime, aren’t always well versed in real estate terminology. There is a language that is specific to the world of real estate, from terms involved with listing properties to the language of a real estate contract. The more accessible we can make that language to our clients, the more comfortable and at ease they are going to be during the process.

Here are some basic terms you may hear mentioned when talking about property sales:

Conditional: “It’s still conditional” – this means that there is an offer to purchase which has been accepted by the seller, and the buyers and/or sellers are now working through the items they placed as subject conditions on the offer to purchase; this is referred to as the due diligence period. There is a set date for these conditions to be removed and if they are the contract will then be considered unconditional. When a contract is in its conditional phase, there is a chance that the purchase may not go through, as the conditions may not be satisfied.

Subject-Free: This relates to the conditions set on a contract (or perhaps there are no conditions). When all subject conditions have been waived or removed and both parties are in agreement then a deal is considered ‘subject-free’ and buyer and seller are obligated to complete the deal as outlined in the contract.

Deposit: While the concept of the deposit is fairly obvious, clients don’t always understand that the deposit will form part of the agreed upon purchase price if the sale goes ahead and is not a separate, stand-alone amount of money.

Appraisal vs Assessment: An appraisal of a property is done by a professional third party accredited appraiser and provides the property’s value as set out in the scope of the appraisal (if it is for market value or lender value for example). An assessment is provided for the local municipality as value of the property and is used to apply taxes to the property.

Commission: The gross commission for a listed property is determined at the time of the listing. If there is one agent for the sellers and one agent for the buyers, they will share that gross commission in a pre-determined way (also set out in the listing contract for the property). The gross commission is paid by the seller upon the receipt of funds for the sale of the home, and both agents are then paid from that monies.

The best advice when it comes to dealing with real estate and the language is to ask lots of questions. Your real estate agent is there to assist you, and explaining things you don’t understand is part of the job.

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

Thursday 7 April 2016

BCO Coastal Gems: Owen Bay, Sonora and Busby Islands

Owen Bay is located on the south side of Sonora Island on Okisolo Channel, just above Hole in the Wall. Owen Bay has a long history, at one point it was a thriving coastal community of about 1200 people and home to a school, general store. It has now evolved into a quiet, coastal vacation and recreation community with a small complement of full-time residents. There are government dock facilities located in the bay.

This is a popular recreation area in the heart of the Discovery Islands. In the summer there is regular water taxi service.

As with most of the islands in this region, there is much evidence of a varied history of settlement on the island. 

Located within the heart of the Discovery Island group you are surrounded with beautiful natural scenery and an abundance of wildlife. The Sonora Island area offers all types of outdoor recreation and sport activities - fishing, boating, diving, and wildlife viewing, and the availability of seafood such as crab, prawns, clams & oysters are all within minutes of this region. There are also a few marine parks to enjoy within close proximity. The Octopus Island Group Marine Park is only minutes away. Access to the property is by boat or float plane only. Traveling to the property by boat takes a little less than 1 hour from Campbell River and approximately 40 minutes from Heriot Bay on Quadra Island. Both locations provide services and amenities. During the summer months there is regular scheduled water taxi service to and from Campbell River. 

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