Thursday 27 April 2017

Working After the Offer

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.

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 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 20 April 2017

BCO Coastal Gems: Kildonen Inlet

The west coast of Vancouver Island has so many pocket communities that are almost unknown to the majority of islanders unless they live or boat nearby. One such area is what was historically known as Kildonen.

 This is a spectacularly scenic and well-protected location on the west coast of Vancouver Island, 21 nautical miles from Port Alberni and 14.5 nautical miles from China Creek. The Alberni Inlet not only provides quick, easy access to Barkley Sound but also at the head of Uchucklesit Inlet is 1km of river which flows out of Henderson Lake. The lake is approximately 22.5km in length and averages 2.25km in width. This combination of access provides excellent opportunities for both fresh water and salt water activities. 

The area known as Kildonen is on the eastern shore of Uchucklesit Inlet. Like many of the small settlements on the west coast, it was originally the site of a cannery in the early 1900s. It was named after the town in Scotland where the cannery founders were from originally.

Now Kildonen is a recreational residential area. Cheeyah Island is also in the Kildonen region of the inlet, and is a nicely developed recreational residential area as well.

With easy access to both Port Alberni and Barkley Sound, Kildonen is an excellent option for a west coast retreat. At the BC Oceanfront website you can see two properties currently available in the area.

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

Thursday 13 April 2017

Aerial Photography

While drone photography is now making low aerial photography more common on real estate listings,for years Ed has been taken photos from planes to best market BC Oceanfront listings. As so many of these listings are remote and often acreages, aerial photography presents a good overview of a property and a perspective of the size that is hard to achieve with photos from the ground/water and mapping alone. 
 Bligh Island

While we have used photography from drones flown by an independent company for a few listings, our aerial photography is still done by Ed or Shelley going up in a plane and taking photos. This is challenging in itself - properties can be hard to identify from the air! The more times they fly over places the more familiar they become with the view from up there, but they still rely on extensive mapping and landmarks to locate properties. They also make sure to take lots of photos before and after the subject property, so we have lots to choose from. When you are flying you don't have time to review all your photos and go back for more - so you need to get as many photos as you can in the time available!

North Rendezvous Lot 14

Taking photos from a plane can also be challenging as you are in a small space and there are a lot of parts to get the lens around. Some of our favourite office photos are ones where the plane has gotten in the way of the subject property and changed the focus. They're not useful for marketing the property however. Even things like glare off a window need to  be taken into account. There are no do-overs, at least not until the next time one of them is up in the plane in that area.
Propeller rainbow!

When the photos come back to the office there is then the challenge of identifying the entire property. If it is an oceanfront property we can generally identify that portion, but it can take a lot of mapping and careful comparison to get the rest of the property identified. And even then we make sure to advise that the lines are only approximate. Sometimes, as with North Rendezvous above, the angle of the photo makes it too difficult to determine property lines and so an arrow will be used to identify the property from the shoreline.
Cape Scott

Aerial photography is a useful tool for the properties BC Oceanfront markets. It is not uncommon to hear in the office "We've got the opportunity to fly - what properties do we need photos of in this area?"
Turn Island

Just another unique aspect of the BCO office.

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

Thursday 6 April 2017

Ronning's Garden, Northern Vancouver Island

This post, from five years ago, was the second blog post we put up and is one of the most viewed posts ever on the blog....

The BC Coastal regions are rich with historical stories, thanks to the many unique characters and groups that have settled through-out the area over the past several hundred years (or further back in the case of our First Nations). Many of these areas are no longer inhabited, but if you know where to look the stories remain.

In 1910 a Norwegian man by the name of Bernt Ronning settled in the forests on the northwestern end of Vancouver Island. At this time there were almost 1,000 people living in the area, all trying to make a go of homesteading and surviving in this remote region. Most of them were of Scandinavian descent. The government of the time had promised a road from Cape Scott through to Port Hardy, but that never happened and so many of the settlers left after a few years. But not Ronning, who over the next 50 years made a living as a trapper and fisherman, and established an incredible exotic garden in the midst of the northern island wilderness.

According to an article written in the 1950s which is posted at the garden, Ronning used to order plants from nurseries all over the world and then hike them in to his place, sometimes taking a couple of days to get there. The 5 acres of gardens almost disappeared, until some locals decided to save what remained and reclaim the gardens from the surrounding forest. No buildings remain, but many of the plants are now giants, appearing oddly at home in the midst of the rainforest.
A giant Monkey Puzzle tree.

 To find Ronning's Garden, you take the gravel road to Cape Scott. The turn off is about 1.5 hours from Port Hardy, and is well marked by a wooden sign. From the marked parking area it is about a 15 minute walk to the gardens, where there is an information board posted to tell you about the plants and the work being done to rescue the gardens. 

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