Happy October, and Happy Hallowe’en! The big night is almost here, and it’s nice that it is on a weekend so we can all enjoy it. I’m not sure the weather is going to cooperate for the little ghouls and ghosts trick-or-treating, but there are still lots of fun family activities going on. Read on… if you dare… Read more
Sales up, listings down. Prices…?
It has been a busy spring and summer market for real estate in Sooke and all over the greater Victoria region. In the overall Victoria Real Estate Board trading area, sales as of August 31 showed a 21.7% increase in number of sales for August 2015 over August 2014, and the highest number of single family sales in August since 2007. At the end of the month, there were 3688 active listings on the MLS® system, representing nearly 15% fewer than were available in August last year. All of this is pushing the overall market into sellers’ territory fairly strongly. Prices in Victoria overall are on the rise, with the benchmark home up nearly 7% over the same home last year.
So how is Sooke looking this year?
Well – it’s been a while. Between being a busy dad, REALTOR®, 2014 president of the Victoria Real Estate Board, and a few other things, I certainly have neglected this blog. I’d like to start posting regularly again, even if it’s short bits and pieces. Let’s take a quick look at how the market has been performing in the last year or two. Read more
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
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
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
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.
SOLD | Reflections Langford Condo – 856sqft 2 bedroom 2 bathroom – 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
$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
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
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
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
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
$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
$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
$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!
$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
$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
$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
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.
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
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
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 | 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