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Market Insights - BC Waterfront Real Estate

There are a lot of "how-to" articles online that regurgitate the same advice about real estate related topics such as getting a good mortgage or prepping your home for the market. While those things are obviously very important, we want to write articles that are enlightening and valuable for visitors to our site. Rather than write about the same-old, same-old, we endeavour to create interesting and compelling articles specifically for people interested in (BC) waterfront real estate.

Thanks for reading.
Sharleen Kneeland
Publisher, Waterfront West

Qualicum Landing Show Homes Shine

My husband and I often travel to Victoria to visit friends on the weekend. For over a year now, on our various trips, we have been watching the evolution of the Qualicum Landing site. From the initial sculpting of the land to the framing and exterior finishing, we have been impressed by the thought put into this community and the classic style of the homes.

Needless to say, we were waiting with anticipation to see inside the gates and we (or at least I-my husband was watching our little one) finally got to see the show homes last Saturday and meet the team responsible for creating such a fine place. Being in the real estate business, I have had the chance to see many developments and this one stands out for its quality, attention to detail and design.

lr.jpgThe fantastic Cape Cod inspired show homes featured 14 ft ceilings, deluxe stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, pre-wired sound systems, heated tile floors and walk-in showers. The gated community will also includes a community garden, a clubhouse with heated outdoor pool, two spas and a games room. Keep in mind the fact that it is located directly on a fabulous piece of Vancouver Island oceanfront property and it's hard to believe you can get into this development for $369, 000!! 

On another note, some of you in Vancouver may have seen our prominent  advertisement downtown last week. This unique form of advertising, pioneered by Vision Media, put us right in the centre of things for the pre-Olympic hype and tourist traffic.





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Vancouver Island Oceanfront Developer First to Offer "Anti-Recession" Guarantee

The developer of exotic property known as ‘Canada’s South Pacific’ is marketing 30 waterfront, mountaintop and park-side estate lots with a creative ‘anti-recession guarantee’.
Purchasers will be protected by a retroactive price adjustment if the real estate market continues to soften: The developer will carry up to 20% of the price as a first or second mortgage, part or all of which will be forgiven if government property assessments over a three-year term show a drop in land value.  On a $500,000 lot, the price protection could be as much as $100,000.
“There can be good news in a recession.” says Michael Thornton, Silver Spray developer.  “We would have priced these lots 30% higher in a normal market, and no one would have thought about protecting buyers with a price guarantee. Obviously we’re convinced such unique properties will only increase in value, and we’re demonstrating confidence by putting our money where our mouth is.”
The Silver Spray Lands are on a peninsula at the extreme southwestern tip of Vancouver Island.  They are nestled between scenic surf and sunset coastline and the largest waterfront wilderness park in the Capital Regional District, featuring six miles of virgin oceanfront, pristine beaches, and 30 miles of west coast hiking trails.  With such a rare diversity of ecosystems, it took over 60 public meetings to obtain low-density residential zoning and approval for a small golf course, marina and an exclusive destination resort.
Reservations will be held in priority with a 10% deposit in a lawyer’s trust account until the lots are serviced and subdivided, which is expected to occur in late 2009 or early 2010, so early purchasers can secure almost four years of price protection.  Sales will be made only by Disclosure Statement.

For more information, and to view photos online, go to: www.silverspray.com or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (778.896.3370)

Silver Spray is located at the southwestern tip of Canada, just 26 miles southwest of Victoria on Vancouver Island.  Bordering a huge 3500-acre oceanfront Wilderness Park, this idyllic seaside community setting offers mild weather, spectacular scenery, abundant wildlife, end-of-road seclusion, and convenient access to shopping and amenities.
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Salt Spring Resort Purchases, New Flash Slider Image Viewer

I missed last week as I was away on my annual vacation to Salt Spring Island. Of course, we had the worst weather we've had in weeks while we were there but still had a good time. A couple of years ago, the owners of the resort that we stay at decided to strata the resort and sell off the individual cabins and camping spots. At the time, the (very) rustic one bedrooms sold for $60,000-$80,000. Now they have increased in value by 3 or 4 times their original purchase prices. Of course, our entire crew of vacationers (about 6 families) was saying "could have, should have"-something I swore I'd never say when I got into this business.

Anyhow, we recently just found out about another resort on Salt Spring offering full-ownership of their cabins from $329, 000. This resort has access to the only known mineral springs in the Gulf Islands and has an organic health spa on the premises. More information can be found at their real estate web site http://www.saltspringresort.com/.

On another note, I hope you have noticed our new flash image viewer. We finally decided to go ahead with this after much deliberation over slower image load time; however, so far, I think it is a definite improvement as  it adds an aesthetically pleasing look to the site while enabling buyers to view larger photos of the properties without having to scroll down the page. I hope you agree, but as always, any suggestions are welcome.


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Controversy Surrounds Cultus Lake and Shuswap Development

If you've been keeping up with the news lately, you've no doubt noticed some articles about the development planned for the mouth of the Adams River. The project, proposed by the New Futures Building Group, was to include 218 year-round residences, a 160-berth marina and commercial space. Due to its location at the mouth of the river, famous for its salmon run, it faced by strong opposition from the Shuswap Environmental Action society who believe it will pose a threat to the salmon run.

In light of the opposition, developers agreed to completely remove the marina from their plans and also lowered the height of the planned commercial space from 16 metres to 11.5 metres; however, opponents would like to see the entire project cancelled and the land be made into parkland.

Meanwhile, in the Lower Mainland, the city of Chilliwack made a move to extend its boundaries to the area surrounding Cultus Lake and caused an issue with local native bands who claim that any change in title to the lands should result in the land going to them first. The developed land around the lake, which currently includes waterfront homes, marinas and a water slide park is currently leased from the City under renewable leases. When the amalgamation with Chilliwack was proposed, some owners of these homes and businesses suggested having the option to buy their titles which started the controversy.

Although City officials claim there are no plans to allow owners to purchase their titles, native leaders are preparing an application under the federal government's new claim policy.

So what does this all mean? Native land claims and environmental concerns have been the cause of controversy in B.C. for many years. For developers, research and due diligence when purchasing property and planning is of the utmost importance here. Ensuring that you have resolved any potential issues with local First Nations and that your development is designed in an environmentally friendly manner prior to making your applications will hopefully help you to sail through the process trouble free.

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