Vancouver Island Real Estate and Community News

 

Sept. 9, 2021

1489 Admiral Tryon Blvd | $2255000 | Stunning Waterfront Rancher w/ Sweeping Strait of Georgia Views

Located within the Columbia Beach neighbourhood of French Creek is a charming, character-laden, beachside house.  It is a 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom rancher, south facing, cul-de-sac location, & sits mere feet from the beachfront on the Strait of Georgia. Inside, you’ll find a spacious living room with adjacent dining area & expansive kitchen complete with island, natural gas 5 burner stovetop, newer stainless steel appliances including a Kitchen Aid double wall oven. Hardwood flooring flows throughout main areas of the home, living rooms & all bedrooms. Bathrooms have been beautifully updated & bedrooms are of a generous size. The primary bedroom with California blinds, also includes a spacious walk-in closet & updated ensuite. If you love to entertain, European doors allow guests to flow onto spacious decks facing the ocean. Endless opportunities for the passionate gardener with gardens literally surrounding the property, fully irrigated, & comes with a greenhouse. West Coast living doesn’t get much better than this!!

3D Tour: https://youriguide.com/1489_admiral_tryon_blvd_parksville_bc/ 

Aug. 10, 2021

B29-2650 Turnbull Road | $199,900 | Private Recreational Lot w/ Trailer at Spider Lake Springs Resort

Spend your summers at the beautiful Spider Lake Springs Resort on this private lot with a great trailer that features 1 bedroom and 1 three piece bathroom, a great kitchen, natural light and spacious living room. Enjoy indoor and outdoor living conveniently. This lot is surrounded by nature, comes with an outdoor kitchen, a storage shed and plenty of room to walk, sit, entertain, and park vehicles. Take advantage of all the great activities the park has to offer - swimming, tennis, volleyball, play sets, fishing ponds, and a dog park. The family will make tons of memories enjoying time together in this great location. The park is open from April 15-Oct 15 each year with gated on site security 24/7 so no need to worry about your lot in the off season. If you are looking for a great opportunity to have a low maintenance vacation, this could be an incredible option for you.

Aug. 10, 2021

B28-2650 Turnbull Road | $199,900 | Private Recreational Lot in Spider Lake Springs Resort

Make your vacation get away spot at Spider Lake Springs Resort with this recreational private lot on a site that is fully serviced with water, power and sewer. Featuring cedar panels for privacy, room for multiple vehicles, pea gravel and stepping stones making walking shoeless easy this site is set up for all your needs. The site includes a wooden storage shed with a large fridge/freezer, outside gazebo kitchen with 10’x12’ concrete paving stone floor, Rubbermaid cupboards, a double stainless steel corner sink, hot water on demand and 2 stainless steel prep tables. Love the experience of a rain shower? The lot comes with a private outdoor shower with rainfall shower head. Spider Lake Springs Resort is a family friendly park with dog park, swimming ponds, fishing ponds and even a pond for the dogs. With many amenities and free activities, the whole family can find things to enjoy. The park is open from April 15-Oct 15 each year with gated on site security 24/7 so no need to worry about your lot in the off season. If you are looking for a great opportunity to have a low maintenance vacation, this could be an incredible option for you.

July 19, 2021

3750 Ross Road | $499,900 | Centrally Located Uplands Family Home w/ Great Layout

Located in the family neighbourhood of Uplands, you will find this incredible 4 bedroom 3 bathroom home with a great open layout, living and family room, private back yard, and plenty of parking. Walking in on the lower floor you are greeted to an open entry way leading upstairs to the spacious living room with beautiful fireplace, a great dining space for the whole family and a stunning kitchen with stainless steel appliances and plenty of storage space. Enjoy having your family together in this space whether it’s for homework sessions or movie nights. Downstairs is a family room, laundry and the 4th bedroom. Outside take advantage of the privacy with a large deck and yard, a fire pit area, storage shed, and space for a garden. With plenty of parking out front you can also accommodate all your vehicles & friends & family. This home is close to all major amenities including schools, Country Club Mall, parks, restaurants, transit and more. Check it out today! Msmts approx., pls verify if important.

July 12, 2021

What the Heck is a Cistern

Ever wonder what that big plastic green tank sitting on properties as you drive by?  This big ugly thing is called a cistern and is a holding tank for water.  This can be used for a catch basin for rainwater that is collected off of your roof down your gutters, an extra holding tank pumped out of your well if it doesn’t have a quick refresh or fill rate, or if you don’t have enough water in your well it could be a holding tank for water that you have trucked in.

Let’s start with a collection tank for the rainwater off of your roof.  This is a pretty cool idea to use the rainwater for either your watering or filtered for your household water.  Being on the island we sure have enough rain to capture and putting it to good use is a smart idea.  It is easy to do as your rain is collected anyways from your roof and gutters and then the downspout will just feed into the top of the cistern and done.

If your well has a slow refill rate, you can use the cistern as an extra holding tank so that if you are second in the cue to have a shower, you don’t run out of water.  The holding tank will be pumped from the well when it gets below the line that you set up or when the well gets enough water in it to pump some out.

 

Getting water trucked in is not the best, but it's what we have to do if we have a shortage.  This is pretty simple a big truck backs up and pumps the cistern full.  Normally people don’t have to do this often, maybe just in the hot month or months is when it is needed.  If this is a more common issue then a second cistern to collect the rainwater would be a good idea to keep the costs down in trucking it in.

There are a few other reasons that someone would have a cistern that are above my paygrade but for some of the sediment and sulfur in your water a cistern can filter some of that out before it hits your house system.

Are there any other options other than the big green tanks?  Some tanks go into your foundations now when you are building which is pretty cool.  These would be to collect the rainwater for use of your toilets, dishwasher, and any other item other than drinking which wouldn’t have to be filtered as much, and then your well would be just for drinking and cooking with.

Water is a pretty important item in your quality of living so make sure you talk to the water guys who are much more knowledgeable in what will work best for you but I hope this helps you understand just a bit more about what a cistern is and used for. 

 

*This blog made available by The Jim Grieve Group is for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of real estate, not to provide specific real estate advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no Realtor-client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for competent real estate advice from a licensed professional Realtor. 

July 5, 2021

Heating Sources

There are a few different heating types and the advances over time have made them much more effective and efficient.  

Let us start with good old wood stove heat.  If you have ever got in from outside and had a fire going you just feel it in your bones and it warms you very quickly.  An open wood stove doesn’t push the heat around as a sealed unit will.  Normally they will have a damper that will adjust the air ratio to burn faster or slower and must be vented outside of course. 

If you have a sealed unit they must be wett certified which means it meets the regulations of the manufacture so it doesn’t start a fire.  A woodstove sealed or open doesn’t push the heat around like other sources, but you can put a heat-regulated fan on top, giving it a bit more distance on heating.

Baseboard heat is the cheapest to install as most of the heaters are only about $20 apiece.  They normally have a thermostat on the wall by the light but sometimes will have a small turn dial on the end of the heater itself to regulate the heat.  The great thing about baseboard heat is that you can regulate the heat per room.  If you don’t need the heat on in the bedrooms you leave them off costing you nothing and just turn the heat on for the rooms as you need it.  

There are a few problems with baseboard heat.  The main one being that there is no airflow and you get stagnant air in your house which may cause other issues.  The other issue is that baseboard heating is more expensive as hydro increases and will also take a bit more breakers in your panel and could be an issue if you have a smaller panel.  

Forced air heating sources mean exactly what it says, heat that is forced through pipes throughout the house.  

Oil forced air is the oldest type normally we are seeing around and the most expensive to run. If you have an oil system make sure you have it checked out because it more than likely is nearing its end of optimal function.

Electric forced air and gas forced air work the same but with the gas pricing now it is a bit cheaper to run the gas forced air.  With the gas forced units, it is easy to tell if they are a high-efficiency unit by a PVC or white or grey plastic pipe running out of its top.  

Heat pumps can be attached to any forced air units as they work through the ductwork systems.  You must have the original system as a backup in case the system needs help normally due to too cold outside.  The systems are much better and work well below 0 but start needing help around -5 which hopefully we don’t see very often.  A heat pump is great as it will give you air conditioning as well.  

If your home doesn’t have ducting and maybe just has baseboard heat you can get a ductless heat pump which is a box unit outside and then a large rectangular box or fan unit on your wall.  They need an open space to push the heat, making it not as effective but a great alternative.

Forced air units give you the air circulation that your house needs.  Air movement will keep the moisture off the windows and that stagnant air smell you can sometimes get in your house.  

I hope this helps explain a bit more about the different heating sources that can be found in your home and when you are looking.  It's always an option to upgrade and if you have an older forced air system the best option is to add a heat pump to take the stress off of the older system.  There is always a solution to every problem.

 

*This blog made available by The Jim Grieve Group is for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of real estate, not to provide specific real estate advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no Realtor-client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for competent real estate advice from a licensed professional Realtor. 

June 28, 2021

Rodents

Rats!  A swear word that comes out of an inspector's mouth every time.  I haven’t found anyone that has heard they have little furry creatures in their crawlspace or attic and was happy about it.  

Let’s start with rats in the attic.  It is common but harder to deal with them than in the crawl. They like it up there because it's like tunneling through a huge pillow and they can get all around peacefully.  One of the largest problems with those little guys is their feces. They poop and pee everywhere and on everything and that can cause smells and it's just not good to ingest.  If it's really horrible then the best option is to remove the insulation with the pee on it and put fresh stuff up there. Finding out how they got in and sealing it up so they can’t get back up to the pillowy playground again.

The crawlspace is the most common as there are many easy spaces for them to crawl into from the outside and come and go as they please.  You would be amazed at how small of a space those little guys can squeeze their bodies through if they want to get somewhere.  If your floor in the crawl is insulated, it is an amazing place for rats to hang out.  Cleaning the feces up and then keeping them out is the best fix for there as well. Steel wool is a great option for small holes around plumbing pipes as our furry friends don’t like sticking their noses against it and will stay away.  

It will seem like a gross mess to clean up and a lot of work but a shop vac, some steel wool, and a bit of insulation if needed will take care of them.  An exterminator can also come and assist in letting you know where they are coming in from and to help move them from their current home to a new one. 

Everything that comes up can be taken care of and the more we know how to fix the problem the less of an issue they seem.

 

*This blog made available by The Jim Grieve Group is for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of real estate, not to provide specific real estate advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no Realtor-client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for competent real estate advice from a licensed professional Realtor. 

June 23, 2021

402-3040 Pine Street | $229,900 | Beautiful Chemainus Condo w/ Ocean Views

Welcome home to the quaint town of Chemainus where you will find this 2 bedroom 1 bathroom unit at Lockwood Villas, a quiet and yet highly accessible complex. This bright unit features ocean views, a galley kitchen with open living room that can include a dining space, a covered deck that overlooks the ocean and is centrally located close to all shopping, restaurants, parks and schools. The well-run strata allows for pets & rentals and there is no age restriction. Whether you are looking for a new home for yourself or are an investor, this will definitely be one you won’t want to miss. Msmts approx., pls verify if important.

June 21, 2021

Slabjacking

What is slabjacking and why would you ever buy a house with issues like that?

To know why and how this may be an issue for you we need to know how the house is built a little bit. The normally concrete foundation is like an upside-down T all of the way around the house and then inside where the load-bearing walls are. If your house is on a slab, the easiest way to tell is to stomp on the floor. If it sounds hollow then you know it is on a crawl but if it is solid then you are on a slab.

The inside of the house is filled with sand and here is where the issue can arise. If the sand isn’t packed down or tamped, it can wash away and cause a weak or hollow spot and crack or drop. This normally will show closer to the edges where the tamping machine they use can’t get too close. You may see a drop in the flooring and a gap under the baseboard a couple of years after its built. If it’s not too much sometimes the flooring guys will float/spread more concrete to level it out again or if a larger issue, then there are other options.

I have seen some floors that have dropped a few inches from front to back and some with some large cracks in them. The cracks can be filled and taken care of and if dropped too much you can do a process called slabjacking. This is where they come in and drill holes in the slab and pump the floor back up to the level it off. This can be done inside the house as well as outside for walkways and patios.

Walkways and patios are easy to spot and drop all of the time. You can see the mark on the foundation wall where it originally was and then see how much it dropped. You don’t want it moving at an angle that will drain water to your foundation wall. You will see the walkways and patios move up and down and they put the crack lines in the slabs because of this. Cracks happen with the movement so be careful of a tripping hazard and in winter you may enlarge it when the water gets into it and freezes and expands. Very common to see these issues in houses of any age.

Remember the slab inside isn’t a structural issue so take a step back and see that it can be fixed pretty easily when the right guys get at it. It probably also took a lot of time for this to happen and moves very slowly so not a rush and just fix it when you are redoing the floors. Walkways and patios are also poured after the foundation goes in and isn’t attached to the house in any way so it can move up and down as the weather does its thing. 

Take a look when you are taking a look at the house and the more information you know the better.

*This blog made available by The Jim Grieve Group is for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of real estate, not to provide specific real estate advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no Realtor-client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for competent real estate advice from a licensed professional Realtor. 

June 14, 2021

Underground Oil Tank

An oil tank beside a house isn’t the most decorative item nor does it enhance the look of the house. At one time they used to find it better and easier to bury the large tank in the ground hiding it from view and allowing for a larger tank to fuel your house. Now, of course, we realize that it could and has caused all kinds of environmental issues if they get a leak in them spilling the old oil into the soil and water sources. Most of the time you and I will never know that there was or is a tank in the ground at your home but there may be a few ways we can investigate and then call in the professionals to scan the ground. 

I always look for evidence as the buried oil tanks needed a few things to connect, fill and vent them so we need to look for these clues. The location in town and the age of the house is a good one. If you are buying in an area known for underground tanks there is a larger chance you may have one as well. The hardest one to find is the fill cap. This was a round screw-on cap that will be above the tank. Normally this gets buried over time and grass growing overtop but if you are lucky you might find one.

Next is an air vent. This is normally a 2-inch metal pipe that released air from the tank allowing it to fill and empty without burping or gurgling. It’s the same concept as putting a hole in the apple juice container or shotgunning a beer. The pipe would be normally be attached to the house with a few straps and sometimes you would see just the holes for the straps after it has been removed.

The last one I have found multiple times is the lines into the house to the furnace. If the furnace has been replaced most of the time they cut the lines off but leave them in the foundation just cut at the wall. Keep a lookout for that and follow the lines out if you can. 

Underground tanks can cause huge financial costs and I have seen expenses of as little as $8k and up to $150k just in our local market. Out of our local market, I have heard of double and even triple that number. When the tank is getting removed the larger the tank normally the stronger the walls are and the less likely the tank was to have leaked so don’t worry too much about the size of the hole afterward when you see it. The biggest thing is the soil sample after the tank is out and the clean bill of health for the soil. I’ve never seen it as well but I have heard of there being more than one tank buried so if we have any question that there might be a tank we need to have the property scanned by the professionals to make sure before we move forward with the purchase. The most interesting buried oil tank I did find because the feeder lines had a gas line over the top of the oil tank. I’m not sure if they saw the oil tank as it was only about 6 inches above the top of the tank but it sure made for a more difficult removal.

A scan is the only way to ensure a there is no tank and for the $550-800 it might cost you to have one done its well worth it if removal at the least is $8000. Again, there is a solution to everything but If we find a buried oil tank or evidence there might be one, stop, and let us come up with a game plan on how to move forward or away.

*This blog made available by The Jim Grieve Group is for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of real estate, not to provide specific real estate advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no Realtor-client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for competent real estate advice from a licensed professional Realtor.