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Take a Trip Back In Time Down Sooke Road With Google Streetview

Back to the Future Delorean Time Machine

Recently, Google added a neat little feature to its Street View product – the ability to go back in time by displaying their previously-captured images of the streets and towns in its Street View database. Street View was launched in 2007, so for many areas you can see how they’ve changed over the past seven years. For Sooke, most of the community was first captured in 2009, then again in 2011 and 2012.  Read more

Sooke Real Estate Statistics – Now With 100% More HPI!

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Evening Street Scene in Sunriver Estates, Sooke

In November of last year, the Victoria Real Estate Board released its MLS® Housing Price Index, or HPI. This is a statistical measurement that paints a more accurate picture of housing prices, by examining sale prices each month and using a data model to scrub outliers from the data set. Simply put, it is more realistic because it goes beyond the simple mathematic measures of average and median. Keep reading to learn more. Read more

SOLD | Sooke House For Sale – Sunriver Estates – 2085 sqft 3 bedroom 3 bathroom Family Home – 2367 Sunriver Place

Sunriver Estates Sooke 2-level home for sale Stonewood Plan

2367 Sunriver Place

 SOLD | MLS® 328391 $439900 – New Price!

The original Stonewood Plan show home at Sunriver Estates could be yours! A rare floor plan in the development, this one is rarer still with all its upgrades and recent improvements!  Read more

Sooke Real Estate Statistics – August 2013

Waterfront property with dock

49 Seagirt Sold in August 2013

August was much busier this year than in 2012 – not only in Sooke, but all over the Capital Region. Personally, most of the business I did was carried over from July, and was finished by the first week. From there on it was rest and relaxation the rest of the month, while managing the listings I have. One of the most relaxing Augusts I can remember in recent memory. The Thursday before the Labour Day long weekend, my phone, like clockwork, started ringing for appointments for the first week of September. It is those appointments which kept me from posting August stats until now. Let’s have a look at the numbers: Read more

Sooke Beaches: Fishboat Bay Park

Sandy beach

Beautiful Sandy Beach at Fishboat Bay

I know summer is drawing to a close and school is back in next week, but I noticed this morning that the forecast had changed – where rain was called for on the weekend, it now looks like the sun will be out on Saturday and Sunday. This could be one of the last weekends of the year to enjoy some beach time on our beautiful island. While sandy beaches seem to be few-and-far-between in the Sooke Region, when you find one you’ll want to return again and again.
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Sooke Real Estate Statistics – July 2013

A living room of a home in Sooke, BC

2220 French Road sold in July, along with 25 other properties in Sooke

Sales activity in Sooke was nearly the same as it was in 2012, with prices remaining fairly flat overall. It is still my opinion that while prices seem flat, they are actually declining. This is to say that although the average and median prices seem to hover in the high $300,000s and low $400,000s, a buyer in 2013 is probably getting a nicer, larger and/or newer home for the same money as in 2012 or 2011. Sales activity continues to be better than last year in most cases, and it is good to see the number of houses for sale continue to decline.

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Reflections Langford Condo For Sale – 856sqft 2 bedroom 2 bathroom – 308 – 2745 Veterans Memorial Parkway

Relfections Condo for Sale In Langford, Victoria, BC

308 – 2745 Veterans Memorial Parkway

MLS® 326712 – $244,900

Live in the centre of it all at Reflections in Langford! This conveniently located building features many extras, like a rooftop deck, running track, and small pool, as well as numerous shops and restaurants right there on the ground floor.  Read more

Sooke Real Estate Statistics – June 2013

Deck Season. From http://TimAyres.ca/113

Deck Season. From http://TimAyres.ca/113

Here we are, a third of the way through July and I’m just getting around to posting the June stats! I’ve been a bit busy lately, with listings and with buyers. The market seems to be ticking along, though no sales records are likely to be broken. The weather in June was the best in recent memory, despite a rainy period mid-month. How did the real estate market stack up? Read on… Read more

Sooke Waterfront Townhouse For Sale – 1360 sqft 3 bedroom 3 bathroom Sooke Harbour Resort Unit 141

Sooke Harbour Resort - Townhouse for Sale

Unit 141 at Sooke Harbour Resort and Marina

MLS® 325769 $279,499

Resort-style living, year round, at one of Vancouver Island’s premier ocean front properties! Sooke Harbour Resort and Marina offers guests comfort and adventure, but there is also the opportunity to buy a unit and live there all year long!  Read more

SOLD! Sooke House For Sale – 1775 sqft 3 bedroom 3 bathroom Family Home – 6711 Nott Place

House for sale, 6711 Nott Place, Sooke

6711 Nott Place, Sooke

SOLD! MLS® 325417 | REDUCED! $344,900 $339,900

Awesome, tidy family home on a quiet cul-de-sac just a short walk from downtown Sooke, schools, shops and recreation. At 1775 sq ft it’s just the right size for your growing family  Read more

Sooke Waterfront Estate For Sale – 11+ Acre Waterfront Parcel with 500m+ of Shoreline – 5201 Sooke Road

Private cove, part of 11 acres of waterfront property for sale in Sooke

Hutchinson Cove, part of 5201 Sooke Road

MLS® 324572 $1,330,000

Nearly unlimited potential for this amazing legacy property on the outskirts of Sooke (closer to Victoria) At just over 11 acres, it stretches about a half-kilometre along the shoreline, including all of Hutchinson Cove in the Sooke Basin.  Read more

Sooke Real Estate Statistics – May 2013

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In May, the sale of the old golf course building completed.

May 2013 overall was a relatively busy month for real estate in the greater Victoria region. While the number of sales for the whole area was exactly tied with May of 2012, Sooke did better than in 2012. Let’s take a look at the numbers! Read more

SOLD! Sooke Waterfront House For Sale – 2825 sq ft – 3 bedrooms 3 bathrooms – 49 Seagirt Road

Waterfront home in Sooke, BC

SOLD! $749,900

Imagine waking to the sunrise over the Sooke Basin in your tranquil waterfront retreat! Currently used as a vacation rental home, this gorgeous, updated, 1993-built residence has left nothing to do but move in!  Read more

SOLD! Sooke Half Duplex For Sale – 1543 sqft 3 bedroom 3 bathroom Great Starter Home! – 2220 French Rd

Half Duplex For Sale In Sooke BC

SOLD! $287,900

Amazing value in this gorgeous, updated strata duplex at the end of a no-through street on a private lane. Nothing to do but move in and enjoy the summer in your new family home.  Read more

The Bees Knees in Sooke is For Sale

Children's clothing on the rack

A true Sooke Original – Turn-key business

Known all over the community for the best deals in quality consignment items for children and the whole family, The Bees Knees Boutique is up for sale. This profitable, turn-key business has been operating in Sooke for over a decade, with the past five years under the stewardship of Judi and Rob. They’re now ready to turn the business over to somebody else who can carry on its legacy as the go-to source for upscale consignment items.  Read more

Sooke Real Estate Statistics – April 2013

The master bedroom of 2407 Poplar - Click to learn more.

The master bedroom of 2407 Poplar – Click to learn more.

April 2013 was my busiest month in quite some time. There were lots of showings, I had buyers coming in from out of town, and I managed to put deals together on two of my listings. Hopefully this is a sign that our sluggish market is picking up. Overall in the greater Victoria region, sales were up 5% over last year’s April sales – the first year-over-year monthly increase this year and the best April since 2010. Let’s dive into the Sooke numbers, shall we? Read more

Sooke Rotary Auction is This Weekend, May 4

sookerotaryfairIt’s time once again for the Sooke Rotary Auction and Spring Fair! Here is what the club told me about the event: Read more

Revenue 4-Plex For Sale In Sooke – 7885E West Coast Road

7885 E West Coast Road

MLS® 320135 – $499,900

Are you looking for a cash-flowing revenue/investment property? Do you want to live comfortably and manage the building yourself, allowing your tenants to pay your mortgage? Both are possible with this rare legal 4-plex just west of Sooke.  Read more

Sooke Real Estate Statistics – March 2013

Aylard Farm Beach, East Sooke Park

Aylard Farm Beach, East Sooke Park

Looking back on last month, I’m not sure if March came in like a lion, but it certainly went out like a lamb. What an amazing Easter long weekend we just had. I spent the weekend with family in from out of town, and enjoyed the way warmer-than-usual weather on my patio with a cold beverage and a book. But – how did the real estate market fare? Let’s take a look
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Sooke Real Estate Statistics – February 2013

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With Spring coming, our thoughts turn to gardening at outdoor activities

Ah February, we hardly knew ye! The shortest month of the year has come and gone – and not including my trip to Winnipeg, I didn’t see a single snowflake – it looks like we’ve escaped winter this year in Sooke. But how did the real estate market do this month?  Read more

30 Days Left To Claim Your $10,000

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Yeah, there’s $10,000 there. I counted. Really.

This is going to sound like a pitch – but I promise there are no balloons, streamers, or wacky waving inflatable arm-flailing tube men here. If you’re a first-time buyer, there has never been a better time to buy a new home… Read more

Hikes in Sooke – Bluff Mountain Ridge Trail

Bluff Mountain Ridge Trail

Bluff Mountain Ridge Trail

What a beautiful day we had in Sooke this past Sunday. Sunny, warm, and still just mid-February. It’s no wonder my Saturday was spent showing folks from Alberta around our gorgeous region! My wife (who is 8 months pregnant), our 2-year old daughter and I decided we’d get outdoors and do a hike. Read more

Valentines Day in Sooke – Top 5 Ideas For Romance

Sunset at Otter Point by Jason van der valk

Sunset at Otter Point by Jason van der valk

It’s Valentines Day – are you stuck for ideas for romancing your sweetheart? Here are 5 top places and activities to ignite the candle of romance in your life. Even if you’ve already got plans, bookmark this page for the next time you’re looking to impress that special somebody.

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Strong Start to 2013 for Sooke Sales – Sooke Real Estate Statistics – January 2013

Ahh, Winter on the West Coast!

Ahh, Winter on the West Coast!

It’s been a busy first month of the year for local real estate agents – myself included! After a very quiet last quarter of 2012, I’m hoping this means that we can look forward to a year marked by robust sales yet affordable prices here in Sooke. Let’s see how the numbers break down: Read more

Rural Living In Sooke: Heating With Wood

WoodStove

When I bought my house in Sooke – in the Otter Point area, one of the things that attracted me to it was its cozy Pacific Energy wood stove. Having never heated with wood in the past, it was a bit of a learning curve to figure it out. I learned that a modern wood stove isn’t just a steel box you burn wood in – it is actually a complex system with many variables that need to be accounted for in order for it to function safely and efficiently. Luckily, my stove came with a fairly detailed manufacturer’s manual from which I was able to learn some valuable information. Read more

SOLD! – Gorgeous Acreage And 4 Bedroom House For Sale In Sooke – 3750 Otter Point Road

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SOLD! MLS® 318314 – $399,900

A place to get away from it all and raise your family in peace and serenity. This awesome faux-Tudor style 4 bedroom, 2100 sqft home sits on an absolutely lovely 1.26 acres of lush forest that has been selectively logged to open it up to the south-east sunlight. Read more

Sooke Real Estate Statistics – November and December 2012 – Year End Wrap

Another year, another Green Christmas for Sooke.

Another year, another Green Christmas for Sooke.

I guess December got away from me – as it turns out I was quite busy during the last half of the month with two separate buyers, and of course that little holiday and all the associated eating and drinking that goes along with it! I actually compiled all the November stats early in December and they sat on my desk all month because I kept forgetting to post them. So here is a double stats post and a year-end wrap up – let’s see where we’re at…

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New Sombrio Bridge is Now Open – Watch Its Construction [Video]

Image Courtesy of Ministry of Transport

In 2009 the Provincial Ministry of Transport announced an improvement project on Highway 14 between Jordan River and Port Renfrew. Since then, there has been about 22 km of new roads, bridges, and other improvements on the Pacific Marine Circle Route. The Route, which allows motorists to travel between Sooke, Port Renfrew, Lake Cowichan, Duncan, and Victoria in either direction, is a major driver of tourism and local economic growth. It is one of the reasons Port Renfrew is quickly developing as a getaway destination similar to other West Coast ports like Tofino and Ucluelet. Read more

Take a Gorgeous Flight Over Southern Vancouver Island [Video]

With all this dreary, wet, rainy weather, it’s hard to believe that scarcely 2 months ago it was still gorgeous and sunny. I watched this video last night and was instantly warmed as I smiled from ear to ear at the sheer awesomeness of this rock we call home. This video is from a Nanaimo-area pilot and is an 18-minute account of his one-and-a-half-hour flight from Nanaimo airport, south over the Gulf Islands, up the Saanich Peninsula to Victoria, out over the Strait of Juan de Fuca past Sooke and Jordan River, and finally hanging a right at Nitinat Lake and following it towards Cowichan Lake and Copper Canyon towards home. Read more

Sooke Real Estate Statistics – October 2012

Photo Credit: RichardBowen on Flickr

Were buyers spooked in October? Maybe. Overall across Greater Victoria, it was not a great month for real estate sales outside the core municipalities. Outlying areas, especially the West Shore experienced serious declines in sales, including Sooke, which saw roughly 33% decline in overall number of homes sold of all types, and 28% fewer single family homes than October of 2011…

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Sooke Real Estate Statistics – September 2012

http://TimAyres.ca/100 sold in September

September 2012 brought with it some great, dry weather, and also a bit more activity in the Sooke housing market than both August 2012, and September of last year. Prices remain fairly stable year-over-year. While it’s not booming, there was a noticeable uptick in activity and 50% more single family dwelling sales than last month. Let’s dive in and look at the numbers. Read more

What is a Back-Up Offer And How Does It Work?

While it doesn’t happen too often in the current Sooke real estate market, occasionally, you might find a property that you love which already has an accepted offer on it. Or, maybe you saw the property a few weeks ago, and finally decided to make an offer and were too late. At this point, you have two options: wait and see if  the first offer becomes unconditional (and the property is sold), or you can sometimes write a back-up offer. Read more

SOLD – East Sooke Duplex on Acreage For Sale – 6006 East Sooke Road

Well-maintained Full duplex on 2.5 acres

SOLD! $399,900 – MLS® 313726

Looking for something different? This is a rare opportunity to purchase a full duplex (not a strata) and rarer still to find it on a tranquil, sunny 2.5 acre parcel with lots of flat land. With 5 bedrooms (2 in one side and 3 in the other) this older home could use some cosmetic upgrades, but it has been well looked after over the years.  Read more

Manufactured/Mobile Homes and CSA/Electrical Safety Stickers

Currently for sale – http://TimAyres.ca/104

In British Columbia, you cannot legally sell a manufactured/mobile home (sometimes known as a trailer) without either a CSA (Canadian Standards Association) or BC Electrical Safety Authority (BCESA) certification. When a trailer is manufactured in Canada, its manufacturer applies a decal, usually on the exterior near the front door, with its CSA number, and sometimes inside the home in the kitchen or electrical panel. Read on to find out what to watch out for if you’re buying or selling a manufactured home.  Read more

Sooke Parks in Profile: China Beach (Juan De Fuca Provincial Park)

At low tide there is plenty of sand to play on.

It’s been way too long since I posted about parks in Sooke. My wife’s sister is in town for a few day and we took advantage of the great weather we’ve been having lately for an excursion out to China Beach. Located at the trailhead of the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail just a few kilometres west of Jordan River, China beach is a bit of a hike from the parking lot, but is well worth it! Read more

Victoria and Sooke Real Estate Photographer: Jason van der Valk

Jason captured the best of my listing at 7760 West Coast Road

One of the many things that I believe sets me apart from other REALTORS® is that I am very concerned with the visual presentation of a property to discerning buyers. With so many properties on the market these days, it is crucial that my listings stand out and are presented in the best way possible to maximize the number of people who want to view the property in person… Read more

Stick Fest 5 – The Stick In The Mud Celebrates 5 Years In Sooke

 

Congrats to The Stick on Five Years in Business Here in Sooke

Coming up this Saturday, July 7, starting around 11:00 is Stick Fest Five, put on by David Evans and his coffee crew down at The Stick In The Mud Coffee House in Sooke. David officially opened the stick on 07/07/07, and every year since he’s thrown an anniversary party to celebrate and give back to his loyal following of caffeinated customers. I had a chance to ask David a few questions about coffee, success, and celebration, and he was kind enough to step away from the roaster for a few moments to answer. Read more

Acreage Building Lot For Sale – 1.06 acre in Sheringham Estates, French Beach West of Sooke

Click the Pic to Visit This Property’s Page

$159,900 – MLS® 311480

Unbeatable value in the established acreage neighbourhood of Sheringham Estates! With precious few lots not already built on, this lush, green lot nestled right next to the ocean and French Beach Provincial Park is rare indeed! A sunny corner location with towering trees and lots of wild vegetation, this lot offers many easy-to-build-upon sites for your rural getaway or full time home… Read more

Ocean View Building Lot For Sale – Lot 2 Sherburne Drive, French Beach, West of Sooke

Amazing Ocean View – Click the Pic To Visit This Listing

$199,900 – MLS® 311477

Imagine waking every morning to gaze out over the shimmering Strait of Juan de Fuca and the majestic snow-capped Olympic mountains from the comfort of your dream home on your rural ocean-view acreage. This exclusive 2.47 acre property located just 15 minutes west of Sooke is in an area of fine homes on similar-sized acreages perched above the towering trees of French Beach Provincial Park . Read more

SOLD! Commercial Land and Building For Sale In Sooke – Former Mulligans Restaurant 2197 Otter Point Road

2.16 Acres of C-2 Zoned Commercial Property

SOLD! $699,000 – REDUCED!

Amazing opportunity to buy one of the last large commercial properties available in Sooke. At just over 2 acres, this C-2 zoned property is centrally located within walking distance of hundreds of single family homes, and a newly-approved 127-lot subdivision across the street (Nott Brook Estates). What a location for a neighbourhood commercial centre!
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Manufactured/Mobile Home For Sale in View Royal – Affordable In-Town Living

14 – 1521 Cooper Road, View Royal

$149,900 MLS® 309861

Just a short drive or cycle to CFB Esquimalt or downtown Victoria – you just can’t beat this location. This well maintained and updated 3 bedroom 2 bathroom single-wide manufactured home with addition boasts nearly 1300 sqft of flexible, comfortable living for you and your family… Read more

Sooke Waterfront Development Acreage For Sale – 1 Acre Low-Bank Waterfront With Older Home – 6107 Seabroom Rd

1 acre of low-bank waterfront on the Sooke Basin

$749,900 MLS® 307762

What an amazing opportunity for a quiet seaside lifestyle and an incredible future development. This one acre parcel has a charming, rustic 3 bedroom cottage set at the rear of the property amongst towering fir trees, overlooking a flat, level, grassy field that fronts right on to the Sooke Basin… Read more

Sooke Mariner’s Village Waterfront Condo For Sale – 1 bedroom, 1 bath, 650 sqft

The View from Mariner’s Village

$349,900, MLS® 309431

Live the lifestyle you deserve at Mariner’s Village. This multi-phase waterfront community within a community is already attracting attention from all around. This beautifully-appointed one bedroom condo in the newly-completed Phase I – Navigator’s Pointe – boasts all the extras like extra-thick granite countertops, automatic window shades, and more… Read more

SOLD! Sooke House For Sale – 1900 sqft 3 bedroom 3 bath on 2 levels – 6696 Acreman Place

 SOLD! $349,900

Wow – so much house for such a great price! This immaculate, 2003-built family home boasts 1900 sqft of well-laid-out family living space. Set on a quiet cul-de-sac, the home is just steps away from elementary and middle schools, and convenient walking distance from Sooke village, shopping, trails, parks, and more.

Read more

What Is Your Home Worth?

If you want to start an argument on the Internet, or anywhere else, for that matter, start talking about the pros and cons of owning vs renting your home. It’s guaranteed to get people fired up on either side of the argument. Of course, depending on your level of debate, you might never get invited out with that group of friends again. There are points on both sides that make a lot of sense. Let’s take a look: Read more

Population of Sooke Now 11,435 – Growth of 18% Since 2006

The data from the 2011 Canadian Census was released this week, and, not surprisingly, the greater Victoria region continues to grow. Also not surprisingly, growth tended to centre on areas with available land for new houses to be built. Read more

Three New TV Spots Encourage People To Discover Sooke

If there’s one guy who loves the Sooke region as much as I do, it’s my pal Jason at Discover Sooke. Jason was the first friend I made when I moved to the Island 6 years ago. He and Mrs. Discover Sooke eventually decided to move out here from Langford and haven’t looked back. Read more

Rural Living In Sooke: Well, Well, Well – All About Your Water Supply

Photo Credit: congvo on Flickr (click photo for link)

Chances are, if you live on an acreage in Sooke, or anywhere else in greater Victoria for that matter, you have a well. If you’re considering buying an acreage property, this may be your first experience with your own water supply. Water in our region is plentiful, thankfully, and we enjoy abundant, cheap, good-tasting municipal water supply from the CRD. How is it different to own a well and what considerations do you need to take to ensure a reliable, safe, and tasty water for decades? Read on to find out!

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How Do Property Taxes Work, And When Are They Due In 2011?

First, the easy part: your 2011 property taxes are due July 4, 2011. If your property is in the District of Sooke, you can pay in myriad different ways. There is a drop box for your cheque at municipal hall, or you can visit and pay in person. You can pay in person or online with most banks, or you can mail a cheque. If your property is in the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area (Otter Point, Shirley, Jordan River, Port Renfrew, or parts of East Sooke), your taxes are payable to the provincial Minister of Finance and can be paid in person at a Service BC office, dropped off at the Surveyor of Taxes in Victoria, or online or in person at most financial institutions.

Many home owners will have their taxes paid automatically by their mortgage lender. Lenders will estimate your taxes owing and you’ll pay, along with your mortgage payment, into a side account from which the taxes are paid every year. Lenders do this because they want to be sure the taxes are paid – property tax debt takes priority before mortgages should the borrower default!

However, even if your lender pays the taxes, you’ll want to apply for the Home Owner Grant. The Home Owner Grant is a yearly grant from the provincial government to help offset your property taxes. If you qualify, that’s $570 off your property taxes! You’re eligible for the grant if :

  • you are the owner (or spouse/relative of the deceased owner) of the property;
  • you are a permanent resident of British Columbia
  • you occupy the building on the tax notice as your principal residence
  • you have not applied for or received a home owner grant on any other property in the Province during the calendar year; and
  • no other person can have received a home owner grant on the property for the calendar year.

Most property owners in Sooke will qualify as long as it is their principal residence. The grant is less for properties over $1.15M in assessed value. There is also an additional grant for seniors and other groups.

The thing that confuses people the most is the timing of your taxes. Even though you pay your taxes on or about July 2 of every year, you’re paying for that whole calendar year (ie, January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011, not July 2, 2011 to July 2, 2012). Where this can come up is when you sell your house. People sometimes assume that if they sell their home in the spring, they’ve already paid their property taxes. Not true, because they haven’t been levied yet. When you sell your home, no matter what time of year, your lawyer or notary will have to adjust for the taxes on the statement of adjustments at closing.

For example, If you sold your home and it closed on March 31, 2011, the adjustment would be negative (a debit) to compensate the buyer for the time you occupied the house in 2011 (90 days) – since they will be responsible for paying the property taxes in July. If you sold your home and it closed on August 1, 2011, you would have already paid the taxes, so the adjustment would be positive (a credit) with the buyer compensating you for the time the buyer enjoys the house in 2011 (152 days).

Where does your tax money go? In the District of Sooke, it is interesting to note that only 42% of your tax bill funds municipal services directly. The rest is paid on your behalf to other taxing authorities, including BC Transit, Vancouver Island Health Authority, the Capital Regional District, schools, hospitals, and fire and police service. In the Juan de Fuca Electoral area, it depends on which unincorporated community you live in.

Some other Sooke property tax tidbits:

  • Sewer parcel tax is $515, included in the total payable taxes on your property tax notice, if you live within the sewer specified area.
  • Taxes in Sooke remain among the lowest in the Capital Regional District
  • The District of Sooke has a 5-year financial plan which it updates yearly

 

 

 

SOLD | Langford Townhouse For Sale – 1550 sqft 3 bedroom 3 bathroom – 203 – 2731 Jacklin Road

Townhouse for sale, Langford, Victoria, BC

203 – 2731 Jacklin Road, Langford, Victoria BC

SOLD | MLS® 328300 $369,900

Well maintained, perfectly-located 2009-built 3 bedroom 3 bathroom townhouse in central Langford. Just turn the key and move in – nothing needs doing here. With a location close to schools, shopping, recreation, and all commuter and bus routes, this is a compelling package!  Read more