Thursday 28 March 2019

How to Prepare to List a Recreational Property

Ready to sell a recreational property? Here are some tips to make both the listing and 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 accessible and in a reasonable state of cleanliness.

If you have done work (or had work/inspections done) on the property, paperwork providing details of that work is always good to have readily available should people ask. 

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

Thursday 21 March 2019

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 660 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 14 March 2019

Top 4 Northern Vancouver Island Provincial Parks

Provincial parks are plentiful on the northern end of Vancouver Island, and a travel itinerary could easily be compiled to do a road trip visiting a select number of them (or spend the whole time just visiting one of the bigger parks).

 1. At the top of the island is the famous Cape Scott. While people think of this as a serious hiker's park (for the well-known Cape Scott Trail) it has some easily accessible day-use areas, including the beautiful sandy San Josef Bay. Wilderness camping is allowed in this park, but there are no services. Just outside the San Josef entrance there is a private campground with cleared sites and picnic tables.

San Josef Trail

San Josef Bay, Cape Scott Park

2. Raft Cove is not far from Cape Scott, on the open west side of the top of the island. It is easier to access by boat however there is a short but sometimes challenging walking trail. Some people also choose to walk in from Cape Palmerston at low tide. The sweeping sand beach at Raft Cove is well worth the adventure to get there. This is a popular spot with intrepid surfers, who somehow manage to carry boards down the trail!

Raft Cove

3. There are a number of lake parks scattered around the north island - Woss LakeSchoen Lake and Nimpkish Lake are all provincial parks. Schoen Lake Park is the largest and actually comprises several lakes. At Schoen Lake there is a small campground accessible by forest service roads. Woss and Nimpkish Parks are mainly boat access and have no established amenities. Wilderness camping is permitted. All three parks offer visitors a glimpse into the rugged and remote beauty that makes up the interior of northern Vancouver Island.

4. Marble River, at the edge of Quatsino Sound, is an easy river park to access (via logging roads) and there is a forestry campsite just outside the park boundary. Marble River offers hiking and biking trails as well as good angling.

the Marble River Park surrounds most of Varney Bay 

A number of the parks on the north island are much more difficult to access and in fact some are almost inaccessible. Much of the access into the northern portion of the island is dependent on logging roads, and once a road is deactivated it is no longer serviced and can quickly become impassible. This has happened with the Artlish Caves Provincial Park, where there is now a hike in to the park as the logging road access was deactivated several years ago. These parks have been established to protect sensitive habitats and ecosystems, so access is not a priority.

You can discover all the provincial parks (and ecological preserve areas) through the BC Parks website. A good place to start is the geographical locator page, which lets you zoom into the region you want to explore.

Vancouver Island north of Campbell River is a massive space that may seem empty as the communities are small and spread out, but for the intrepid explorer there are some beautiful areas to discover. Doing a circuit of Provincial Parks is just one way to get out there.

It's a Coastal Lifestyle ... Live It!

Thursday 7 March 2019

Where to Park the Boat... Moorage in BC

There are a lot of logistics involved in owning oceanfront (or lakefront) property. Many of the properties BC Oceanfront deals with are boat access properties, which means the main way to reach the property is by boat or float plane. So what are the rules for moorage at a property like this?

At one time to have a legally conforming dock required a foreshore lease or license of occupation. Then Specific Permission came into place, which allowed for an owner to register a dock once and not have to worry about renewing a lease or license. As of January 2017 the government has created what is known as General Permission, which would now apply to some property owners requiring docks. This authorization is handled by the Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. The BC Government information page on private moorage can be found here. All of these types of moorage authorization are still available, depending on the type of moorage required and other criteria (use of moorage, location, etc).

General Permission requires no application or fee to the government. There are certain requirements that are expected to be met when a dock is put in place, for example where the dock is placed and the size of the dock. Those are laid out clearly in the pdf document at this link: General Permission.

There are certain areas where General Permission cannot be used, including most of the south-eastern portion of Vancouver Island (and all the southern Gulf Islands). There are other criteria that would also make a location not qualify for General Permission, which can be found here.

There are occasions where a property owner may have moorage that is not connected to their property (for instance some inland property owners on small islands may have moorage at the end of a common access road or in front of another property) and in this case they would also need a different type of permission.

Sourcing out this type of information and knowing what is happening in the world of remote, recreational, waterfront properties is just part of what we do here at the BCO office.

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