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New property listed in ML Shawnigan, Malahat & Area

I have listed a new property at 1 2970 Glen Eagles Rd in Shawnigan Lake. See details here

Silence is golden on Glen Eagles Rd alongside the Koksilah River in this charming co-op community of the Kinsol Cottages. This family friendly recreational property has so much to offer including 300 ft of private river frontage providing sensational spring fed river swimming! The beautifully designed and well built cabin comes fully furnished including the king size bed, furniture, 3 sofa beds, linens, cookware, bbq, axes, a full stock of firewood and more! The enclosed front porch, the balcony and the private back deck bring a lovely charm to the home's outdoor living experience. The large field, playground and indoor crafting area are wonderful shared spaces for the kids to enjoy. Steps to the historic Kinsol Trestle and the Trans Canada Trail provides quick and easy access to world class biking, hiking and so much more! 100% exclusively owned (not a timeshare). Occupancy/rentals up to 26 weeks (182 days) per year. See information package for more details on this exciting offering!

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I have sold a property at 10864 Westdowne Rd in Ladysmith

I have sold a property at 10864 Westdowne Rd in Ladysmith on Mar 18, 2024. See details here

Get the highway exposure your business needs alongside the Trans-Canada Hwy in beautiful Ladysmith. A ten minute drive to the Nanaimo airport, this unique 1.5 acre industrial site is conveniently located between the islands two biggest cities providing quick and easy access to both northbound and southbound traffic. The property is connected to city water offering great potential for the right business to thrive on location. There are currently two decommissioned unauthorized houses on site. The main house is connected to septic. Explore this exciting opportunity alongside Vancouver Islands main highway in the beautiful Cowichan Valley.

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I have sold a property at 220 Sea Meadow Dr in Gabriola Island

I have sold a property at 220 Sea Meadow Dr in Gabriola Island on Nov 24, 2023. See details here

Serenity now on this sensational private oasis on beautiful Gabriola Island. This unique offering is for a 65% portion of interest of the whole 5 acre property with exclusive rights to the main house, timber frame cabin, crawl space, woodshed and the half acre fenced in area containing the large yard, gardens, chicken coop and fruit trees. Along with these exclusive rights, the Buyer will have shared use of the custom sauna, the woodlands, pathways, meadows, fire pit and magnificent pond. The property has been beautifully developed with a unique blend of classic west-coast-style fused with Japanese influences. Peacefully located at the end of a no-through road with an abundance of fauna and wildlife and only a 5 minute drive from the ferry terminal. A co-ownership agreement overview is available upon request including a bio of the community minded co-owner. The property will also be considered for sale in its entirety for $900,000.

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By: Brian Horwitz 
 
As we all know and now more than ever, affordable housing seems to be a prominent concern. Not everyone has the equity, financial backing from family or savings for a down payment and ever since the housing crash of 2008, it has become much more challenging for buyers to get approved for a mortgage.
 
BC developers, this is a call out to you on how you can make a difference by providing more affordable homeownership in this time of need.
 
Let’s take a look at a relatively new program, created by the Province of British Columbia through BC Housing, called HousingHub. Established in 2018, HousingHub focuses on creating partnerships with the development industry to facilitate the creation of new affordable rental housing and homeownership options for middle-income British Columbians.
 
One of the programs offered under HousingHub is called the Affordable Homeownership Program. This program provides low-cost construction loans and facilitates partnerships between developers and municipalities in order to create savings. These savings are then offered as a no payment, no interest second position mortgage to eligible homebuyers. 
 
The Affordable Homeownership Program offers eligible middle-income individuals and families with an opportunity to purchase new homes between 5 to 20 percent below market value. Buyers don’t need to put as much money down and their monthly mortgage payments can be lower than in a typical home purchase situation with the same purchaser’s down payment. The construction loans are repaid once construction is complete, allowing HousingHub to reinvest in additional housing.
 
As part of the approval process for a proposal under the Affordable Homeownership Program, a Memorandum of Understanding between the municipality and BC Housing is created. This Memorandum of Understanding is an agreement between BC Housing and the municipality, laying out the terms for the support that will be provided to the project. 
 
Municipalities buy into this program by providing assistance to the project in the form of municipal contributions that could be in the form of relaxations, easing density restrictions, a streamlined process, deferment of fees or anything else that helps lower the cost of the project.  
 
Once this formal agreement is in place between BC Housing and the municipality, a three-way Project Partnering Agreement is formed between BC Housing, the municipality and the developer, outlining the details of the specific project.
 
As part of Budget 2021, the Province of British Columbia increased HousingHub’s borrowing capacity to $2.8 billion, which will increase the number of homes built for middle-income households over the 10-year lifespan of the program.
 
The funding and support networks are in place. BC developers, you have the opportunity to make a difference. Through HousingHub, and with the support from our municipalities, there is great potential for you to access this provincially financed program, giving hope to middle-income earners who just can’t seem to get into the market as homeowners.
 
For more information on HousingHub and how the Affordable Homeownership Program works go to bchousing.org/housinghub 
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By: Brian Horwitz - April 2021
            
There are many moving parts that need coordinating in order to co-purchase and thrive as co-owners on shared land.  Nothing worthwhile comes without hard work and creating this type of homeownership requires knowledge, full commitment and unified collaboration.    
 
 It is crucial that groups have a clear understanding on how shared land will be owned, financed and governed in order to live harmoniously on a shared property.  Each of these elements need to be approached in fine detail and organized in a manner that is agreed upon, understandable and legal.  Having a clear understanding on these fundamental components will enable a group to establish a unified social framework and legal framework, adding clarity on how decisions are made, how units are sold and how the land will be used.    

The way a group chooses to live on the land will further impact on how a group is structured legally.  The structure of a group can be shaped and molded into an infinite amount of possibilities; creating unique forms of home and land ownership that support sustainability, affordability, security and social networks.  
 
A group can incorporate as a company, as a not-for-profit society, a strata, a co-op or form as a partnership.  Some groups are equity focused while others are not and no framework is the same.  Every landshare will have its own unique structure regarding liability, accountability, return on investment, taxation and governance relationships. 
 
Once these essential elements are in place and a framework has been established, a group can further explore different types of conceptual design plans.  A conceptual design plan is a visual presentation, encompassing the framework and how the land will be developed and used.  Every property is unique and groups must realize that each design plan will need to be specifically tailored to each project’s needs.
 
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The conceptual design plan is the backbone to a group’s proposal.  Having a solid proposal in place is essential in order to gain support from local municipalities and lenders.  Visuals and modelling are a great way to bring life to a proposal, illustrating how water, energy and waste are all used and managed.  Everything needs to be in place at the time of the proposal.  
 
Now, more than ever, the world is embracing progressive and creative initiatives.  New technologies are constantly emerging, improving efficiency and creating a deeper understanding of sustainable land use.  Landshares come in many shapes and forms and in today’s world it seems that thinking outside the box is appropriate and realistic.   
 
Preparation is essential when it comes down to co-purchasing and developing land in a group dynamic.  Groups need to meet regularly and realize that a unified co-ownership agreement requires cultivation in order to fully understand how the land is owned, governed, developed and lived on.  These key components are the true building blocks to any successful landshare before any shovel goes into the ground.  
 
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By: Brian Horwitz - October 2021
 
Within all the political polarization and differences of opinion on our planet right now, one thing is certain; our population is growing faster than we can build homes, while our planet is heating up, confronting us with all sorts of issues to deal with.
 
More than ever, the time is now for us to embrace and integrate progressive green building technologies into our homes and neighbourhoods of tomorrow while building sustainable and resilient infrastructure systems that have the capacity to withstand climate uncertainty. 
 
As a member of the Planning Institute of British Columbia, Jack Anderson is a certified sustainable planner and expert in the field of designing green homes and green communities. Focusing on sustainability and resilience, and how these two essential elements to our long-term survival integrate with our 7 basic human needs of water, energy, clean air, shelter, food, companionship and waste management, Jack and his Greenplan team continue to play an integral role promoting sustainable living. 
 
Designing the first ever constructed home of it’s kind in the world, located in Sooke BC, Jack designed a house containing a marvel of green building technologies under one roof. Utilizing sunspaces, solar panels, batteries and water cisterns, this sustainable home services itself through solar energy and a practical rainwater harvesting system. The gutters of the home funnel rainwater into three large concrete cisterns under the garage slab while solar panels connected to batteries supply more than enough energy to service the home and 2 electric vehicles.

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This self dubbed “Harmless Home” is constructed out of non-toxic blocks that fit together like Lego pieces, creating a home that is carbon negative, fire resistant, soundproof and mold and pest resistant. 
 
Designed and manufactured in Alberta and comparable in price to many other alternatives, these carbon free Just BioFiber blocks are fully breathable, requiring no need for vapor barriers at the time of construction, bringing together the age old practice of building with hemp and lime to a whole new level by applying modern applications to the process, such as designing the blocks with a modular composition of the interior core with pre-drilled holes, allowing for easy installation of wiring, while remaining structurally sound and easy to work with on site. 
                                              
Trapping cool air in the summer and hot air in the winter, this green-wall technology creates a super insulated home, lessening the need to use heating and cooling systems. And like some of our great pyramids of the world, also made from hemp and lime, Just BioFiber blocks absorb carbon, contributing to a healthier planet while becoming harder and stronger as they age, essentially turning into limestone while providing long-term resilience.
 
Things get a bit more complicated when it comes to designing self-sufficient multi-family developments, as stormwater management and waste management become key issues to address.
 
The use of permeable roads, pathways and bio-swales throughout the property is a practical and non-invasive way to manage stormwater runoff, as the slow release of precipitation into the ground contributes to greater ease of stormwater management without having to build or access storm drains.   
 
         Another remarkable green technology to note dealing with the complexity of sustainable waste management is a system called a Biodigester. Best used in multi-family developments, a Biodigester is a unique system that handles human waste, capturing excrement and turning it into three beneficial resources: a sludge that is mixed with compost used as fertilizer, a nutrient rich fluid that’s pumped underground to support orchards, and last but not least, a bio-gas that is used to provide heat. Biodigesters are revolutionary systems transforming our waste areas into production areas!
 
Not all green building techniques have to be expensive or complicated. Integrating passive solar sunspaces into a home is a very practical way to capture the sun’s energy to provide light, heat and to allow for indoor food production. As well, incorporating the correct positioning of a home in relation to the trees on a property will not only provide shade in the summer but can also create micro-climatic heat traps that increase the temperature around the home.
 
Living in the Pacific Northwest provides the opportunity to harvest huge amounts of water over the winter months. In conjunction with rainwater harvesting and grey-water recovery systems, atmospheric water generators are remarkable machines that create clean, filtered drinking water from air. Providing water security during times of drought when reserves are low, some of these residential units can produce up to 30 litres of drinking water per day! With these systems in place, people are becoming more confident living on land that has no access to a well or city water.  
 
Realizing that adapting our behavior to our environment is critical to our survival, it’s reassuring to see governments and city planners support the integration of progressive green building technologies into future developments. 
 
The more we can develop without the need for municipal services, the less the strain our population growth will have on our regional infrastructure systems. 
 
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Embarking into a climate of uncertainty, we owe it to our children and our future generations to embrace this concept of sustainability and resilience by incorporating progressive systems into our homes and neighborhoods that support our basic needs; guiding us into healthy, resilient, self-sufficient homes and communities while contributing to a healthier planet. 
 
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MLS® property information is provided under copyright© by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board and Victoria Real Estate Board. The information is from sources deemed reliable, but should not be relied upon without independent verification.