Thursday 19 December 2019

Looking Forward to 2020

(As this is our last blog post of the year, here is our look ahead to next year as sent out in our year-end newsletter.)

With buyers interested in a wide range of recreational and remote properties, we are looking to increase our inventory. If you are thinking of listing a recreational or remote property but aren’t sure of the timing, give us a call and let’s talk!

The speculation tax and increased property transfer tax implemented in the larger urban BC areas is having an impact on surrounding markets, but it is an unsettled one. On one hand, we expect to see buyers who are now avoiding those areas turning to other regions to invest. On the other hand, sellers in those areas who had wanted to sell and move away are perhaps re-thinking as they are not selling at the higher prices of a few years ago. Campbell River is poised to appeal to both groups, as we are an affordable and attractive community in a spectacular coastal location with great amenities. Our northern Gulf Islands and more remote recreational properties appeal to those buyers who may have been looking for investment land or properties on the southern Gulf Islands.

We will continue to work to promote our coastal lifestyle to out of town buyers. Although a large percentage of our buyers are regionally local, there are buyers further afield who are looking to invest or relocate in a coastal region. To this end we are looking at some target-specific publications as well as targeted marketing in social media venues.

With two boats between them, Ed and Shelley are looking to get boots on the ground more often at our remote and recreational properties as well as still spending the time in the office that helps build relationships and bring deals together.

Our BCO Team looks forward to serving you in the new year, and we wish all our clients the very best in 2020.

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

Thursday 12 December 2019

What Is That? Recreational, Rural and Remote Real Estate Terminology

Buying a remote, rural or recreational property is quite different from buying a municipal property. When talking about these properties, there are terms that we might think are common that in reality are not in most people's general vocabulary. Here are four things that get mentioned regularly in our office!

Perc Test: a percolation test is a test to determine how quickly fluid is absorbed by soil. This is done to determine if a septic system is possible, as good percolation is required for a leach field (to absorb liquids). Simply stated, these tests are done by digging a hole (usually by auger either hand or machine) to a specified depth and then filled with water to time how quickly they drain. Perc tests are required before a septic system can be installed and can tell you where, or even if, a septic system could go on the property.
a perc test pit 

Dug Well vs Drilled Well: A dug well is a well, generally 10-30ft deep, that is dug out by hand or by backhoe. It is generally lined to prevent collapse and has a large diameter. A drilled well is constructed by a drilling machine and can be as deep as required to reach water. Often it is only seen as a capped pipe on the surface.

drilled well cap

Survey pegs: It is generally easy to determine where the boundaries are on a city lot and city staff can come investigate when there is a dispute or discrepancy. But on rural or remote properties that are generally larger and less developed, it can be difficult to determine boundaries. If the property has been surveyed in the last 20 years or so, it should be possible to find what are called survey pegs. These are placed by the surveyor to mark corners, road crossings, etc on a property. With survey in hand, if you can find one pin you can then generally use measurements and compass directions (or the trusty GPS) to find the other boundary markers. On older properties that may have been surveyed 50-150 years ago, it is still possible to find markers but not as likely. Instead of the white pegs favoured by most surveyors today, these pegs are just as likely to be metal (making them harder to see in the west coast undergrowth).
typical modern, white survey peg

WETT inspection: Any home with a wood stove or fireplace will likely need this for an insurance provider. WETT stands for Wood Energy Technology Transfer and an inspection will be done for all wood burning appliances and fireplaces. Sometimes an insurance provider will accept one done previously (say by the previous owner for their insurance) but sometimes they want a new one done. Inspectors need to be WETT certified to be able to provide the report.

If you hear Ed or Shelley say something, or see something in one of our listings, that you aren't sure about - ask! Questions are always welcome.

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

Thursday 5 December 2019

Late Fall Weather on the West Coast

The wet west coast is a common phrase out here, but as with any cliche it isn't always true. This year has been drier than average through most of the fall. While this is very nice for anyone who works or enjoys spending time outdoors, it does have repercussions. No one is concerned about watering their gardens, but the local ski hills are concerned that they won't be opening on time (no rain at lower levels means no snow at higher levels) and the local conservationists and river watchers know that less precipitation in the fall can mean lower water levels and drier forests come spring and summer next year.
 views over the coastal mountains are not so common in the fall, but this year they have been stunning!

Clear and cold weather near the ocean often leads to thick marine fog that can come and go all day, generally clearing off at night. As the sun is further south in the sky it also makes for some beautiful soft lighting. Sunsets and sunrises have been quite beautiful.
gorgeous sunsets and sunrises

More moisture is supposed to be heading our way in December and everyone knows that it can snow at any time on Vancouver Island. It may not last long but a lot can fall in a very short period of time, creating a magical winter wonderland.
beautiful dusk colours

Rain and grey may be the norm that lead to the moniker "the wet west coast" but that doesn't mean we don't see a great variety of weather in late fall and through the winter.
getting outside into the green woods

The one constant is that it is always beautiful on the coast, no matter the weather, and that true west coasters will get outside in anything!

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