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Posts tagged ‘Condo’

SOLD | Reflections Langford Condo – 856sqft 2 bedroom 2 bathroom – 308 – 2745 Veterans Memorial Parkway

Relfections Condo for Sale In Langford, Victoria, BC

308 – 2745 Veterans Memorial Parkway

SOLD 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 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! Downtown Victoria 1 Bedroom Condo For Sale: 408 – 835 View St The Metropolitan

THIS PROPERTY IS NOW SOLD! To get Tim working for you, call 250-885-0512 or email Tim@TimAyres.ca

Downtown Victoria at its finest! The Metropolitan is a very popular concrete-and-steel building in the heart of all the action of the city. Walk to work, pubs, shops, restaurants, parks, and all that the vibrant City of Victoria has to offer. This completely updated, south-facing 1 bedroom unit features Read more

SOLD – Langford Condo – Huge 1 Bedroom 1 Bath – Ground Level – 102 – 908 Brock Ave

$229,900 SOLD!

Rarely does such a large one bedroom unit become available! At over 840 square feet, this stylish and conveniently located townhouse-style condo is hard to beat. Perfect for couples of all ages, especially retirees, this stair-free unit exemplifies one-level living at its finest. With a large, sunny Read more

What is a Strata Duplex – And Why Are They So Great?

I’ve always been a fan of strata duplexes – and I’ve never understood why some people shy away from them. Often, I find the same people who would not buy a duplex would quite readily buy a townhouse, which seems counter-intuitive to me.

A strata duplex is a duplex which is registered under the Strata Property Act. The purpose of such registration is to allow each side to have a separate title, and therefore, enable each side to belong to different owners. You could think of a strata duplex as a 2-unit condo or townhouse complex. Each side is a separate strata lot (like each unit in a condo building), and the common property is the exterior of the building including the roof, and sometimes, a common driveway. Usually the yard area is designated as limited common property: common property designated for the exclusive use of a certain strata lot.

The difference between a strata duplex and a condo or townhouse lies in the way the Strata Property Act affects the owners. Typically, strata duplexes are much less formal than condos or townhouses. Technically, they are subject to the same rules and regulations as any other strata – they must have a council, records, bylaws, collect strata fees, and contribute to a contingency fund. However, in practice, most strata duplexes do none of this. Beyond splitting the cost for insurance (a fire/earthquake policy covering the exterior of the building and common property liability) and common property maintenance and repairs (cleaning gutters, roof maintenance, etc), there is very little strata-like business that goes on in a strata duplex.

Strata duplexes are great because they are often larger and cheaper than a comparable townhouse, and don’t have some of the potential headaches that come with strata property ownership. Instead of 50 other owners to deal with and make happy, there are two. Good neighbour policy will prevail in most cases and the owners will come to an agreement about repairs and maintenance. In addition, you will often find that strata duplexes have much larger lots than the tiny postage-stamp that you’d have in a townhouse.

Sometimes, you can find a half duplex with a rental suite in it, making it ever-more-affordable and potentially attractive from an investor’s standpoint. It’s important to note, however, that most suites in duplexes are unauthorized.

If you’re considering buying a townhome or condo, you should look into a half duplex – you might be surprised to find a great alternative. If you decide to buy a half duplex, it would be wise to inquire with the owner of the other half about maintenance responsibilities. Obviously, it’s no good to replace just your half of the roof if the whole thing is getting to the point of replacement and the other owner refuses or doesn’t have the money. You’ll want to ensure the other owner is on the same page as you about replacing it.

If you’ve got a strata duplex to sell, and want an agent who understands this market segment, I’d love an interview. For more information about strata duplexes, including current listings, contact me.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Strata Mondays #7 – Fractional Ownership vs Timeshare

In my continuing series about strata property, Strata Mondays, I answer a different question about condos, townhouses and other strata property in Victoria, Sooke, and British Columbia. Make sure you subscribe via RSS or E-mail to get each new post.

Sooke Harbour Resort and Marina - Fractional Ownership Available

Sooke Harbour Resort and Marina - Fractional Ownership Available

Q. What’s the difference between fractional ownership and timeshare?

A. When most people think of timeshares, they immediately conjure up images of being hauled into a room full of other unsuspecting tourists for a 90-minute hard-sell presentation in exchange for a free dinner or some other activity. Timeshares are popular in many resort destinations around the world, giving people an option to stay in a resort property for several days out of the year. With timeshare, you don’t actually own anything other than a right to occupy the property. Selling a timeshare can be difficult, and prices may not be related to the general market price of similar properties. Rules for selling timeshares are different than that of selling real estate, so engaging a real estate agent to market the timeshare may be impossible.

Fractional ownership is just that. You own a fraction of the property, independent of and along with other owners. Unlike timeshare, your name is registered on title, and you can freely sell your property just like any other piece of real estate in British Columbia. For recreational property, this makes great sense, since you’ll likely only use the property a few weeks out of the year. Why pay the big price and then have it sit empty the rest of the year?

Use of the property is governed by an  agreement between the owners which specifies which owners will have use of the property for which weeks of the year. Often, there is a rotation system in place, which ensures that no single owner will have exclusive rights to the peak season weeks. There is typically a management company and staff on site to handle the upkeep and maintenance of the property on behalf of the owners. In many cases, you can rent out your property if you won’t use all of the weeks of your share.

As with any real estate purchase, it would be well worth your while to engage an experienced REALTOR® to guide you through the process, as well as having a qualified real estate lawyer go over the legal details of the fractional ownership arrangement.

I currently hold the listing for a full ownership unit at Sooke Harbour Resort and Marina – and can also arrange quarter and eighth shares, too.

If you have any questions about strata property that you’d like me to answer, call me at 250-885-0512, send me an email at tim@timayres.ca or fill in my contact form. I’d be happy to help!

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Sooke Harbour Resort and Marina – Recreational Ownership Opportunities

Sooke Harbour Resort and Marina

Sooke Harbour Resort and Marina - photo by Jason van der Valk

Sooke Harbour Resort and Marina is a beautiful oceanside resort development located in the heart of Sooke, British Columbia. Sooke is a small seaside community on the southwest tip of Vancouver Island, about a 45-minute drive away from Victoria.

The development was completed in 2006, and since then, 70% of the project has been sold. The developers recently engaged the team at Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty in Sooke to market the remaining units. They felt that our local representation and the strength of the MLS® would be the key to getting the rest of the project sold.

IMG_7524

The Resort is unique in Sooke in that you can own a whole unit, or choose a fractional ownership option of one quarter or one eighth share, depending on your budget and your needs. I currently hold the listing for unit 145, which is for sale at an amazing price of $399,900. I can also sell quarter shares at $125,000, or eighth shares at $64,000. Fractional ownership is whole ownership of a part of the property. It is not the same as timeshare. With timeshare, you do not own anything and are not registered on the title to the property. With fractional ownership, you are the registered owner of the property, along with the other owners. An agreement is put in place for use of the property, and there is a rotation ensuring that each owner gets his or her share of prime time in the unit.

IMG_7532All the units at Sooke Harbour Resort and Marina come fully furnished and equipped, and have an on-site management team who will take care of all maintenance, interior and exterior. You simply show up to your vacation getaway, and it is exactly as you left it before. If you wish, you can also place your townhouse in the rental pool, and earn income when you’re not using the property!

Unit 145 has stunning panoramic views of Sooke Harbour and Basin, the Strait of Juan De Fuca, and the Olympic Mountains. It has about 1140 square feet of luxury living space, two balconies, two bedrooms and two full baths. The floor plan is well thought out and functional.

Sooke Harbour, looking towards Whiffen Spit and East Sooke

Sooke Harbour, looking towards Whiffen Spit and East Sooke

Salmon and halibut fishing is outstanding in Sooke, and this year has so far been the best in recent memory. Sooke fishing charters can be arranged right from the comfort of your vacation getaway home, or launch your own boat from the ramp. Book a scenic and exciting tour with a local Sooke whale watching company, right on site. Kayak rentals are also available, to explore the placid waters of the Harbour and Basin. Be sure to check out the new photo art gallery by local photographer and graphic designer, Jason van der Valk of Discover Sooke.

This is truly a great opportunity for an easy, accessible, and affordable vacation home or investment property. This is the only such development in Sooke, which is fast becoming the place to be on southern Vancouver Island.

Please see the listing page on my website for more information and pictures. Call me any time at 250-885-0512, email Tim@TimAyres.ca or fill in my contact form to ask questions or book your personal tour.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Exciting New Ocean View Condo Development for Sooke!

Late last month,  I was invited to a lunch event at the fabulous Markus’ Wharfside Restaurant to learn about two new development projects that will soon be breaking ground in Sooke.

Harbour View Center is the most exciting of the two. I’d venture to say it’s probably the most important development in the last 5 years, besides perhaps Sunriver Estates. It’s been at least a decade since the last condominium complex was built in Sooke, and I believe the market is desperate for some new, quality condos in Sooke.

The building will be located at Dover Street and Sooke Road on Sooke’s southern slope, just east of the town centre. This is an area that Council has designated as the major growth centre for the town, and for good reason. The gentle slope from Sooke Road down to Sooke Harbour is ideal for building beautiful ocean and mountain view homes and commercial space.


View Harbour View Center Location in a larger map

The development will feature 32 suites, most with spectacular ocean views. The non-view suites start at a very affordable price – $189,900 for 555 sqft, and prices range up to a very reasonable $399,900 for a top-floor, 1012 sqft ocean view unit. All units will feature 10 or 11 foot ceilings, granite countertops, hardwood floors, private balconies, and the complex will have underground parking – as yet unheard of in Sooke due to lack of storm sewers.

This is the first of what I hope are many affordable, quality condominium projects that will be coming available in the next few years. If you’ve been waiting for a chance to have a brand-new condominium in Sooke to live in, rent out, or as a vacation property, this is your golden opportunity. With only 32 units available, I’m fairly certain that this will sell out, and sell out fast.

For more information on how to register to reserve your unit, please contact me at 250-885-0512, Tim@TimAyres.ca or fill in my contact form.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Strata Mondays #6 – Leaky Condos Part III

In my continuing series about strata property, Strata Mondays, I answer a different question about condos, townhouses and other strata property in Victoria, Sooke, and British Columbia. Make sure you subscribe via RSS or E-mail to get each new post.

A building awaits new landscaping after membrane replacement.

A building awaits new landscaping after membrane replacement.

Q. I’m considering buying a condo in an older building here in Victoria, BC – it was built in 1978. Do I need to be worried about leaky condos and expensive repairs?

[Read Part I of this post here, and Part II here.]

A. Yes and no. While older condos built in the ’70s and ’80s are not usually subject to the systemic problems that caused premature building envelope failure, there are still things you need to know. First, “leaky condos” were caused by premature building envelope failure – with an older building there might be problems with the building envelope related to its age, necessitating a renewal project. Hopefully, over the life of the building, the strata corporation has been doing the necessary preventative maintenance.

Increasingly common with buildings of this era are problems with the underground parking garage. Leaks develop and water slowly trickles down through the suspended slab of the parkade roof and into the garage. You might wonder what the big deal is; there are always drains and no one lives down there. But over time, if left uncorrected, the water will corrode the reinforcing steel embedded in the concrete, causing concrete decay and eventual structural damage – and the condo building is built upon the garage, after all.

The footprint of the building is smaller than the footprint of the parking garage, like this:

Finally, a use for MS Paint.

Finally, a use for MS Paint.

When the building was constructed, the parking garage was built first, and then the foundation of the building on top of the suspended slab roof of the parking garage. To prevent water leakage, a waterproofing membrane was attached to the sides of the building and over the top of the parking garage. On top of the membrane, the finishing landscaping and walkways, etc, were placed:

No, I didn't even TRY to draw a car.

No, I didn't even TRY to draw a car.

Over time, depending on the quality of the membrane originally installed, leaks will develop. Roots from trees could penetrate the membrane, there could have been small holes when it was originally installed, or it could just be breaking down after so long. The only real solution to the problem is to replace the membrane. The only way to do this is to dig up all the landscaping and other surface finishing, tear off the old membrane, replace it and then re-finish the landscaping. As you can imagine, this is not cheap – it’s not like you can re-use the  the excavated trees, concrete, and dirt – there’s no room on the property. It all has to be trucked away, and then new landscaping trucked in. I know of one building in Victoria whose residents had to shell out $20,000-$30,000 to have this done.

There are cheaper “solutions” sometimes floated by strata councils who don’t want to bite the bullet and replace the membrane. If the source of the leak can be identified, the area can be excavated, and the membrane patched. However, this is a temporary solution that may or may not work, and it will only prolong the inevitable, pushing up the cost when there are no more patches to do.

So, as a condo buyer, you should carefully examine the strata council minutes and find out if parkade waterproofing is an issue. If there has been an engineer’s report in the last few years you should carefully examine it. If there is no evidence in the strata records, you should specifically as your property inspector to have a look at the underground parking for potential leaks. You could also ask your REALTOR® if he or she knows whether or not the parking waterproofing has been replaced.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Strata Mondays #5 – Leaky Condos Part II

In my continuing series about strata property, Strata Mondays, I answer a different question about condos, townhouses and other strata property in Victoria, Sooke, and British Columbia. Make sure you subscribe via RSS or E-mail to get each new post.

A leaky condo undergoing repairs

A leaky condo undergoing repairs

Q. I’ve heard that most of the systemic problems that caused the leaky condo crisis in the 90’s have been fixed. What’s changed since 1999? Are there still leaky condos being built?

A. [Read Part I of this post here] Changes in building design and technology and the building code have come into effect since the end of the 1990’s. Instead of thinking of the building as one system that needs to be sealed up to prevent air loss and thus reduce energy costs, we now consider two separate systems: the exterior wall and the building envelope. The building envelope includes the roof and exterior cladding. Building codes now require an airspace between the exterior cladding (such as hardi-plank siding or stucco) and the exterior wall (covered by a water-tight membrane like building paper or Tyvek®). The idea is to allow airflow in behind the cladding to dry out  any accumulated moisture, while at the same time creating a means by which any wind-driven rain can drain out via gravity. See below:

You may hear the term "Rainscreen" in new or remediated buildings.

You may hear the term "Rainscreen" in new or remediated buildings.

It should be noted that you can’t blame the leaky condo crisis in BC entirely on the building code. It has been discovered in many court cases regarding leaky buildings that the exteriors of some buildings were not built to the code that was in place at the time. However, it certainly was a contributing factor.

Many of the leaky buildings built during the leaky condo era have been remediated at great expense to the owners. Typically they now employ some sort of rainscreen construction as detailed above. Most will be without problems, as long as a regular maintenance programme is put into place and followed. In fact, the warranty that comes along with a remediation is usually contingent upon a proper maintenance schedule.

When shopping with a REALTOR® for condos, especially those built in the 1990s, you should ask whether or not the building has undergone remediation, and inspect all documents that lead up to the work being done, including the engineer’s report. There are some buildings in Victoria and vicinity that have not been remediated, but instead opted for a “preventative maintenance” programme that will end up costing them more money in the end.

In British Columbia, anything built with a building permit filed after July 1, 1999 must come with a ten year new home warranty. Usually these come in a 2-5-10 or 2-10-10 format: 2 years materials and labour on the home – this would cover things like nail pops, cabinetry, and other deficiencies. 5 or 10 years on the building envelope system, the exterior cladding and weather barrier of the home, and 10 years on the major structural components of the home.

What about condos built these days? Do they still leak? Hard to say. I’d tend to reason that if there was still widespread and systemic premature building envelope failures happening in modern construction, we’d be hearing a lot more about it on the news. I’m sure there are probably a few recently built buildings where there has been water ingress issues, but nowhere near the magnitude experienced last decade.

Check back next Monday for Part III, when we’ll talk about another type of leaky condo you don’t always hear about!

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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