Thursday 20 December 2018

Looking Forward to 2019

The holidays are upon us, and as we batten down the hatches here in Campbell River (very stormy weather at the moment) we thought we would take this opportunity to share our look forward to 2019....

With all the real estate changes in 2018 (elimination of limited dual agency, speculation tax, stricter mortgage rules) we are hoping for a more settled 2019! It would be nice to see some reconsideration of the ban on limited dual agency for our more remote property listings, and we continue to communicate our concerns as well as those of our clients where appropriate. We will of course keep our clients updated with any changes that may come our way.

The coast is attracting a wide variety of interested buyers – from young people looking to live off grid to retirees looking for a recreational property and investors purchasing holding properties. This is reflected in the diverse range of properties selling in the remote and recreational market. Providing our listings with good exposure in a variety of venues is the continued focus!

Campbell River is being recognized as an affordable coastal location, and according to Zoocasa* is actually one of the top 4 most affordable places in BC. The City has been working on infrastructure improvements this year, most noticeably through sewer upgrades and high-tech upgrades in the downtown core. We have seen a number of new builds in the condo, rental and patio home markets reflecting current demand.  “Campbell River is still seeing high levels of construction with hundreds of new dwellings built in the past year. There’s a continued interest in new development as well, with many new subdivisions and multiple housing projects currently in the approval process.” City manager Deborah Sargent.

The BC Oceanfront Team is looking forward to another great year, with providing professional and exceptional service always front of mind. We wish all our clients a successful and healthy 2019.

*November 2018 report

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

Thursday 13 December 2018

What are Forest Service Roads?

Anyone who spends time exploring the central and northern parts of Vancouver Island will soon come to realize that the adventures happen mostly off the paved roads. There is an entire network of gravel roads on the island, most of which are Forest Service Roads.

What are Forest Service Roads? According to the BC Government, they are part of the Resource Roads of BC:

Resource roads are typically one- or two-lane gravel roads built for industrial purposes to access natural resources in remote areas. Over 620,000 kilometers of roads on the British Columbia landbase are considered resource roads. Resource roads are a highly valued part of B.C.’s transportation network and are essential to economic development.

The B.C. Government administers about 60,000 kilometers of Forest Service Roads (FSRs). FSRs are maintained by the forest industry under road use permits, or where there is no industrial user responsible for maintenance, by the B.C. Government.  Where there is no industrial maintainer, the B.C. Government carries out maintenance, subject to available funding, where communities, rural residents and high value recreation sites have priority.

Many of the BC Oceanfront listings will say that a property is accessible by limited Forest Service Road access. This is because Forest Service Roads are not guaranteed to be be open and in working condition at all times. However most of the main lines on northern Vancouver Island are generally open.

Driving on a Forest Service Road on Vancouver Island is not the same as driving on a private gravel road or farm track. The condition of the roads vary greatly depending on the season and the amount of industrial traffic using them at any given time. In the rainy winter months it is not uncommon for the roads to get very slick, and for parts to be partially washed out. For roads that head towards the mountains snow is more common than on the rest of the island. In the summer the roads can be rutted and dusty, making visibility a challenge. Drivers should be prepared for any conditions and if it is the first time driving on these roads, take it slow. Keep in mind, the large work trucks generally always have the right of way!

There are many maps available showing the forest service road networks. The one used most often in our office is the Backroads Mapbook - an excellent resource for anyone looking to venture beyond the paved roads of Vancouver Island. However spurs and side roads can open and close depending on the logging work in the region, so a sharp eye and good sense of direction helps in navigation.

For many people living on Vancouver Island, the Forest Service Roads provide access to remote communities, lakes, hiking trails, rivers, hunting grounds and much more, enhancing our connection to the rich landscape.

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

Thursday 6 December 2018

BCO Coastal Gems: 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!