Thursday 31 October 2019

Inspections and Due Diligence

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 24 October 2019

Archaeological Sites on Private Properties

Archeological sites are a common topic with coastal properties these days (the majority of these are sites with cultural and/or historical significance), and even make the news every once in a while. They can be controversial, but they are an essential part of developing property these days on the coast of BC so it is important to know what needs to be done.

Some properties have already had investigations done and have marked archeological sites on them. Understanding the implications of these sites is important, as an owner, or potential owner, needs to know what can and can't be done with the property. A small site can simply mean making sure you do not disturb it when creating development plans, while a large site can mean further action is required.

example of an identified site in an arch report

You can first determine if there are any known sites on the property by contacting the provincial government through their Archaeology Branch. This is something that we at BC Oceanfront, a part of the Royal LePage Advance Realty team, do on most of our listings. We have found the Arch. Branch to be very easy to deal with, and the forms required are straight forward to fill out. We submit directly from online.

If you wish to build on a property or make major alterations to a property, then an archeological assessment is generally required. Most municipalities and regional districts will require an assessment during the permitting process. These are done by private companies, and there are often many steps involved in the process, which the company should be able to facilitate.

From the Archaeology Branch's FAQ document, these are two things they see as important to property owners: "The current use of the property is seldom affected unless the use involves significant land alteration. A house on a fully developed lot is not affected by overlapping with an archaeological site. An active gravel pit is a concern, because this current use will damage or destroy a site.
New development, such as changing the building footprint, major landscaping, or installation of an in ground swimming pool, will be a concern, because the new activity may damage the archaeological site. When planning for land use change, ensure that a professional consulting archaeologist is part of the planning process. They can determine if the new development will have an effect on the archaeological site.
In many cases, the archaeological site is not within the development zone. As an example, sites on waterfront properties are usually close to the water and are often contained within zoning setbacks set up to protect other environmental values."

Owning property on the BC Coast is a dream for many, and it is important to have all the information on hand when making those dreams reality.

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

Thursday 17 October 2019

BCO Coastal Gems: Cortes Island

Cortes Island is one of the Discovery Islands between the mainland of BC and the east coast of Vancouver Island. It has ferry service via Campbell River and Quadra Island, which makes it appealing to summer travellers as well as people looking for an island to call home.

Like many islands in this area, Cortes has an assortment of rugged rocky coastline, sandy white beaches and warm summer ocean water. With all amenities and services, including a school for up to Grade 9, Cortes really does offer the best of both worlds - services when needed but the charm and appeal of a small island.

There is a population of approx 1000 on the island, from hippies to retirees and from loggers to fishermen to back-to-the-land farmers. It is this mix of people that gives Cortes its charm.

Lakefront, farm land, residential, rural and spectacular oceanfront are all available on Cortes. There are parks to explore, beaches to walk and community events to participate in. The climate of Cortes is slightly milder and drier than Vancouver Island or the mainland coast, as it is in the rain shadow of Vancouver Island, although it still fosters lush rain forest with its winter rains.

Cortes is a great choice for a summer vacation home or for a year-round residence. Ed and Shelley are frequently on Cortes, with both sellers and buyers. They are always impressed with the beauty of the island!

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

Thursday 3 October 2019

Fall Means Mushrooms

When fall arrives on Vancouver Island, so do the mushroom pickers. Locals and traveling pickers venture into the local forests, looking mostly for the golden glow of chantrelles.

A late summer and fall such as this one, with some sun and some rain, encourages good mushroom growth. Our temperate rainforest ecosystem is a natural breeding ground for them as well.

Both Shelley and Ed have been out mushroom picking this season. Shelley says walking through the forest on a mushroom treasure hunt is more fun then you'd think it would be, and both Ed and Shelley admit that hunting the chantrelles is addictive.

Every year it seems at least a few mushroom pickers get lost while on the island - usually ones who are not as familiar with the area. It goes without saying that good maps, being well prepared and paying attention to the weather and your surroundings is important. And although pickers are secretive about their locations, do let someone know your approximate whereabouts and what time you intend to be back.

While Shelley was out hunting chantrelles she started noticing all the other fungus formations in the woods right now, so took us on a photo exploration.

We live in a region of amazing abundance.

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