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Posts tagged ‘2010’

Upcoming Music Festivals In Sooke and Port Renfrew

Clover Point Drifters

The Clover Point Drifters will perform at the Sooke River Bluegrass Festival

Sooke River Bluegrass Festival and Tall Tree Music Festival

Back once again, the ever popular Sooke River Bluegrass festival goes this coming weekend, June 18-20 for three full days of music, camping, and hopefully, sunshine.

Held every 3rd weekend in June, the Sooke River Bluegrass Festival is well known for being a family-friendly affair, and the setting couldn’t be better – at the Sooke River Campground, along the banks of the river. As music festivals go, it’s tremendously affordable, with a weekend pass going for only $35, and single day passes also available. There is on-site camping for both tents and RVs, and a huge lineup of players, including The Spinney Brothers and Four Chords of Wood.

With the summer weather having finally arrived, I can’t think of a better way to take in some great music!

Tall Tree Music Festival

Tall Tree Music Festival

New (as far as I know) this year is the Tall Tree Music Festival on June 25 and 26th, being held on the edge of the earth in beautiful and rustic Port Renfrew, about an hour’s drive west along the highway from Sooke.

A 2 day festival featuring bands such as Aidan Knight, Current Swell and, uh, Donkey Dong (yeah, you probably don’t want to Google that), you’ll be listening and camping on the site of the old Rec Retreat on Baird Road just past the general store in Port Renfrew. This site is soon to become Wild Coast Cottages (post on this to come soon). The festival is being held in support of “Avatar Grove,” the stand of old-growth trees recently “discovered” in the area. A group called Ancient Forest Alliance wants to protect this special place for all to enjoy for posterity.

Anything happening in Renfrew is a great idea in my opinion. The tiny village of about 200 is well known for great fishing, and as a jumping off point to hike the West Coast Trail or the Juan De Fuca Trail. I predict that it will grow in popularity in the coming years, much like Tofino has.

If you go:

  • NO DRINKING DRIVING – and there will be roadblocks (pretty easy when there’s only one road).
  • Uneven ground & coastal weather – bring good footwear & clothes
  • If you plan to camp on site you must buy a camping pass separately
  • There is no gas in Renfrew so GAS UP IN SOOKE  (or Lake Cowichan if you’re coming that way)!
  • No cash available on site – BRING CASH
  • No vehicles on site – caravans can stay in the parking lot
  • Carpool – let’s save the planet & avoid congestion. Free parking for carpools of 3 or more.
  • 19+ event – there will be a Salt Spring Ales beer garden
  • No campfires, no pets, no bad attitudes.

Have an event in the Sooke Region this summer? Send me the details and I’ll post about it here!

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Victoria BC Real Estate Buyers Profile – April 2010

Modern homes in Victoria, BC. Photo: pnwra on Flickr

It’s once again time to look at our “on the street” snapshot of Victoria-are real estate buyer activity. April’s data from our Member Market Survey has just been released by the Victoria Real Estate Board. Each month, agents who’ve completed a transaction while acting for a buyer are polled on various questions about their buyers. The goal is to get a snapshot of the situation on the street directly from agents who are actively involved serving their clients.

Highlights from this month’s data:

  • The trend of decreasing number of first-time buyers continued, with  19.23% identified as such
  • Nearly one-third of buyers were moving from one property to a similar one. Perhaps this correlates with the lower number of first-time buyers in recent months; after they sell their smaller homes to first-timers, this set of buyers is now shopping for their ‘move-up’ house.
  • This month, single females bought fewer houses than single males.
  • As usual, the fast majority of buyers (67%) moved within the greater Victoria area. The next largest group came from within Canada, but outside B.C.
  • The Western Communities were more popular with buyers than the Saanich Peninsula.

As our inventory of properties on the market increases, there continues to be more choice in the market for buyers. Not surprisingly, most agents were reporting fewer instances of multiple offers (54 vs 12 reporting more multiple offers).

Check out the full details of this month’s survey here.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Victoria’s Largest Garage Sale: Royal LePage Garage Sale For Shelter [Video]

On May 15, 2010, in support of the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation, Royal LePage REALTORS® across Canada will be holding massive garage sales in their communities. Building on the success of last year’s event, Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty will be holding what we believe is the largest garage sale in Victoria history!

With the generous support of our clients, friends, and AMJ Campbell Van Lines, we’ve been able to amass more than 8 storage containers of household items, furniture, knick-knacks and more garage sale treasures. The response from the community has been overwhelming and you’re definitely not going to want to miss this sale. There will be deals galore, and all for a great cause.

The Royal LePage Shelter Foundation is our national charity, which supports local women’s and children’s shelters and national violence prevention programs. The best thing about the Shelter Foundation is that because its administration costs are covered by Royal Lepage, 100% of every dollar donated goes towards women and children in need.

The sale will run from 9:00 to 3:00 and is being held at AMJ Campbell’s warehouse in Langford at the corner of Jacklin and West Shore Parkway [map]. Enter off West Shore Parkway and look for our REALTOR® volunteers and signs.

Check out this short video (click through if you can’t see it on your email or feed reader) showing the sheer volume of stuff we have to sell. Last year, lots of great stuff went for a quarter, so you’re sure to get some great deals!

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Victoria BC Real Estate Buyers Profile – March 2010

Last month’s data from our Member Market Survey has just been released by the Victoria Real Estate Board. Each month, agents who’ve completed one ore more transactions while acting on behalf of a buyer are polled on various questions about their buyers. The goal is to get a snapshot of the situation on the street directly from agents who are actively involved serving their clients.

Highlights from this month’s data:

  • First-time buyers did not represent the largest segment of the buying population, with 27.85% identified as such
  • More people moved into a condo or townhouse from a single family home than vice versa (10.76% vs 8.23%).
  • Once again, single females bought more properties last month than single males. (23 vs. 16)
  • One in five buyers were classified as empty-nesters/retired.

Check out the full details of this month’s survey here.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Sooke Rotary Auction and Spring Fair 2010

Springtime in Sooke – Cherry blossoms, daffodils, tulips. A season of renewal is upon us as the days get longer and the weather gets warmer. For the last 20 years, another sign of spring in Sooke has been the Sooke Rotary Club‘s annual auction and spring fair.

This year’s fair, the 20th anniversary of this important fund raising event for the Rotary Club, will be held Saturday, May 1, 2010 from 10:00am to 10:00 pm. As usual, the entire SEAPARC leisure complex on Phillips Road will be taken over with exhibits from local businesses, fabulous food, and dozens of items up for sale in silent and live auctions.

This year will be a little different in that the Rotarians are hosting a community party with the theme “Sooke – A Great Place To Be!”

Don’t miss:

  •   Business Expo
  • Children’s Play Area
  • Art Show and Sale
  • Community Dinner
  • Silent and Live Auctions
  • Sooke’s O-Zone Display (from the Olympics)
  • Used Bike Sale
  • Country Market and Plant Sale
  • Raffle, door prizes, and giveaways

Everyone is invited, from new residents to long-time Sooke-ites to those that don’t yet live here. Mark your calendars and come on down on the first to enjoy the bargains, the sights, sounds, and smells of the Sooke Rotary Auction and Spring Fair.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Victoria BC Real Estate Buyers Profile – February 2010

The Johnson Street Bridge, Victoria. Photo credit: Sylpherware on Flickr

The latest data from our Member Market Survey has just been released by the Victoria Real Estate Board. Each month, agents who’ve completed a transaction while acting for a buyer are polled on various questions about their buyers. The goal is to get a snapshot of the situation on the street directly from agents who are actively involved serving their clients.

Highlights from this month’s data:

  • First-time buyers represent the largest segment of the buying population, with 36.5% identified as such
  • Interestingly, the number of people moving from a single family home to a condo or townhouse was nearly the same as those moving from one property to a similar one.
  • Single females bought more houses last month than single males.
  • Only one buyer came from outside of Canada last month.

Check out the full details of this month’s survey here.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

Your comments are welcomed and encouraged!
Just use the form or link below this post.

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Victoria BC Real Estate Buyer’s Profile – January 2010

The Railyards in Victoria, BC (Vic West)

The Railyards in Victoria, BC (Vic West) Credit: pnwra on Flickr

Last month, I started a new series about buyer activity in the greater Victoria real estate market. The data comes directly from the “man (or woman) on the street” by way of a survey sent out by the Victoria Real Estate Board to agents who worked with a buyer to complete a transaction in that month.

Key highlights from this month’s data:

  • 25% of buyers used high-ratio (more than 80%) financing to purchase their home
  • Sooke, Langford, Colwood and Metchosin accounted for 20% of all purchases last month
  • Only three buyers found out about the property they bought via print media like a classified ad or real estate newspaper/magazine.
  • Agents are reporting more traffic at open houses, and more instances of multiple offers on the same property.

Check out the full details of the survey here.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Staying Away from The Vancouver 2010 Olympics? Forget It! Go!

Image Credit: Jeffery Simpson on Flickr (Click for profile)

I was one of those people before. I had no interest in taking the ferry to Vancouver and braving the crowds, lines and security to hang out downtown. What’s the big deal?

I was wrong. I returned from Vancouver yesterday totally energized and excited about the Games. The city is simply buzzing with activity 24 hours a day. Yes it’s busy, yes it’s crowded, but that’s half the fun. If you’re complaining that the Olympics are a 2-week party for the rich, you’re dead wrong. I didn’t have a ticket to any events, nor a plan or a list of attractions I wanted to see. I spent next to nothing, but felt like I took in everything.

And it couldn’t be easier for us in the greater Victoria area. BC Ferries has added an early morning (6:00am) and late evening (midnight) sailing for your convenience. Bus to or park at Swartz Bay terminal, walk on the ferry. Take one of the many buses outside the Tsawwassen terminal and get on the Canada Line downtown. Quick and easy. There might be a lineup, but with trains coming every 3 minutes or so, you won’t be waiting long. I never had to wait for more than one train before being able to get on. Wander around, explore. Take in some of the free entertainment at the various pavilions. See the Olympic flame burning outside the convention centre. Feel the vibe and enjoy the spirit!

Watch the events unfold from numerous outdoor high-definition screens. There really is nothing like it – standing on the street, cheering on our athletes with 1000 of your closest friends. Everyone is smiling, waving flags and having a great time.

The Richmond O-Zone is great too. Just steps from the Richmond-Brighouse Canada Line station, this 60-acre site includes a large mainstage with free concerts all Games long, beer gardens, restaurants, arts and culture displays, the ever-popular Holland Heineken House, and BC Street, where you’ll find displays from all over our glorious province, enticing the world to come and visit. Sooke’s booth has really stolen the show, people absolutely love it.

Try out the Olympic line – an electric streetcar (with comfy leather seats!) on loan from Brussels, Belgium – and you thought sprouts were the attraction from Brussels. It runs from Olympic Village Canada Line station to Granville Island, where you can take in even more Olympic fun, including House of Switzerland, and Atlantic Canada House.

I had an awesome, exciting weekend and didn’t spend a lot of money. Transit is cheap and reliable, and with so much free stuff to do, you’d be remiss not to take it all in.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Sooke BC at the 2010 Olympics [Video]

Sooke 2010 Booth Under Construction

Sooke 2010 Booth Under Construction

With just 10 days to go until the 2010 Olympic Winter Games open in Vancouver, the excitement is growing and reports from Vancouver indicate the atmosphere on the streets is electric as athletes, supporters, and visitors are already arriving in town.

Sooke is one of several British Columbia communities taking part in the B.C. Street exhibition, which is taking place throughout the Games at the Richmond O-Zone, just minutes away from the speed skating oval and a short ride from the airport or downtown on the Canada Line.

A team of artists, designers, visionaries and builders have been hard at work in the Sooke Fire Hall building what is sure to be an amazing display of the Sooke to Port Renfrew region.  The display is about 40 feet long and is designed around the theme “Wild by Nature.” It will feature an “ocean” and “beach”, trees, and boardwalk, overlooking a 40×8 foot panoramic photo of Sooke Harbour. A killer whale is captured in sculpture, breaching the water, and the familiar site of Sheringham Point Lighthouse is also present.

Local graphic designer, photographer and videographer Jason van der Valk of Inktvis Creative shot the panoramic photo and produced the Sooke 2010 website and video, shown below. The work he put in was extensive and the results definitely show. If you’re looking for somebody with creative vision and skill for your next project, Jason is your man!

For those of us that live here, the video reconfirms that we live in an amazing place – perhaps Vancouver Island’s best-kept secret. For everyone else, perhaps it’s time to have a look at the video, and find out what you’ve been missing.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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2010 Olympic Torch Relay Comes To Sooke Saturday Morning

2010-torch

I was driving around downtown Victoria yesterday, where I saw several VANOC staff and vehicles in various parking lots, a huge stage being erected on the lawn of the legislature, portable lights, temporary NO PARKING signs, and other signs of the imminent arrival of the Olympic Torch. Lit a few days ago in Greece, it’s due to arrive in Victoria tomorrow – the first stop of its 45,000 km journey across this vast nation, touching over 1000 communities in every province and territory before arriving back in Vancouver to light the Olympic flame in February.

After its arrival and the celebrations (and protests) in Victoria, early risers in Sooke will be treated to a ceremony at Sooke Muncipal Hall, and a relay down to the T’Sou-ke Nation and a breakfast at Edward Milne Community School.

It will be a short visit – the torch is on an understandably tight schedule – before it’s whisked away to Metchosin and other points along its journey.

Set your alarms! At 7:00 am, Mayor Janet Evans will present a short speech at the municipal hall and a short video clip of Ed Johnson’s record breaking 27 second climb up a 100-foot pole at All Sooke Days in 1984 will be shown to give a sense of Sooke’s community heritage. The torch will then travel down the hill and across the Sooke River Bridge to Derbend Road, leading to a ceremony at the T’Sou-ke Nation.  The send off ceremony will include a concert and breakfast at Edward Milne School at 8:00 am.

With any luck, the current forecast will hold – partly cloudy with a chance of showers. I plan to attend, shoot a few photos and some video – check back after the event to see what I managed to capture.

Hope to see you there!

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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