Monthly Archives: November 2011

Testimonials

Love Real Estate Group proved an invaluable help when helping us through the maze of buying a new home, especially when for us it was our 1st home in a new country. No problem was too big and their fun approachable demeanours meant that the whole process was a lot less stressful than it might’ve otherwise been.

Julie & Stuart Ockelford

Marie and LOVE Real Estate Team are simply the best. Marie’s excellent advice, knowledge of all things house-related, her attention to detail, and outstanding commitment all factored into us getting the house of our dreams!

Throughout our experience working with Marie, she demonstrated her integrity time and again through her dealings with us and with other realtors. Throughout the process of looking for and purchasing our new home, she was patient, understanding, and an absolute pleasure to work with. We have come to trust her completely and we would highly recommend her to anyone.

Chris and Miki Flynn

Carpenter Ants & Termites – what you need to know

Published By: on November 29th, 2011 in Category Nanaimo Real Estate News

Carpenter Ants and Termites – what’s the difference?

Carpenter ants love moist areas and dry wood. They cause damage as they tunnel through wood to create their “galleries” as seen in the photo above. You may find little piles of sawdust with ant bodies.

Carpenter ants have 3 body segments; some have a red center section. Carpenter ants come in all sizes and are very hard to identify. Some carpenter ants are all black and as small as 3/8”, so just because it’s small you cannot assume it is a sugar ant.   Carpenter ants are noctural so if you think you hear chewing in the walls at night, you are not going mad – you probably have ants tunneling in your bedroom wall.

In cold weather they go dormant. You cannot treat them in the winter anyway. Carpenter ants swarm in the spring so if they come back with the warm weather get a pro in to treat your home. They will treat the whole property because there may be satellite nests that will are hard to locate.

Termites have small black bodies and long wings. They swarm in the spring and in the fall when the rain begins. They cause more structural damage than carpenter ants because they consume wood for food rather than just digging tunnels. As you can see in the photo above, there can be a lot of damage hiding behind your drywall.

They create mud tunnels which often can be found near the house’s foundation:

They often come up the expansion joint between the foundation wall and the floor. Termites love sandy soil so that means that the land between the Country Club area in Nanaimo and Qualicum Beach is prime habitat for them.

Ways to prevent infestation are:

  1. regular inspection, especially foundation walls.
  2. trim vegetation close to the house
  3. keep all wood from contacting soil
  4. repair any water leaks

If you see ants – get a sample! It’s the only way to identify if it’s a destructive wood eater or a harmless nuisance.

Stephenson Point

Published By: on November 28th, 2011 in Category Nanaimo Communities

Stephenson Point is a rocky point of land that forms the south east border of Departure Bay. Ocean views with southern exposure are the unique offering of this area. Properties range from large waterfront estates to newer subdivisions built up the up. This area is close to the beach, schools, shopping and the Departure Bay Ferry Terminal. At the intersection of Stephenson Point Rd. and Hammond Bay Rd. you will find one of Nanaimo’s largest employers – The Pacific Biological Station, and across the street is Lifestyles Health and Fitness Centre. Continue reading

Uplands

Published By: on November 28th, 2011 in Category Nanaimo Communities

Bordered by Departure Bay Rd and Turner Rd on the West and East sides, the Island Highway on the south and Rutherford Ridge on the north. Many of the subdivisions in this area were built in the 80’s-90’s. In the Long Lake area there is a large bare-land strata called Long Lake Heights. Many of these homes are have views of the Lake and those on the southern edge have lakefront with private docks. There are a variety of homes surrounding the lakeshore as well as 3 private care seniors residences.

Upland Park Elementary School is situated in the center of this neigbourhood. Students from Uplands move on to Wellington Secondary School. Nanaimo North Town Centre (aka Rutherford Mall) is a popular shopping mall anchored by Sears, Fairways Market and London Drugs. Further along Uplands Dr. is found Origin, another independent living facility for seniors and also the large 55+ strata development of Longwood. It stands adjacent to Longwood Station, featuring several restaurants, clothing stores and services as well as Thrifty’s Foods.

Homes is this area are relatively affordable and centrally located. Continue reading

North Nanaimo

Published By: on November 28th, 2011 in Category Nanaimo Communities

North Nanaimo is generally considered to lie between Oliver Road and Dickenson Rd on the east/ west  borders with the Island Highway on the south and the ocean on the north. Woodgrove Shopping Center is the City’s largest shopping area with several “big box” stores and many amenities located in this area. This area is the most in-demand area of the city and prices are accordingly higher than in other nearby areas. The north-facing slope of the hills along Hammond Bay Rd. are filled with old and new housing developments, many with spectacular ocean views. This area is served by Rutherford,  Hammond Bay, McGirr, and Frank Ney Elementary schools as well as Dover Bay Secondary School. View homes for sale in north Nanaimo below. Continue reading

Sherwood Forest

Published By: on November 28th, 2011 in Category Nanaimo Communities

This is the nickname for the area up the hill from the corner of Departure Bay Rd. and Hammond Bay Rd. All the street names in this subdivision are from the tales of Robin Hood. Here you find many houses with great views of the bay and southern exposure. Here you will find some luxurious newer homes with fabulous views mixed in with older homes waiting for updating. Many homes in this area are giving a good return on investment because of their location and views. Departure Bay Elementary School sits at the base of the hill on Departure Bay Rd. Students from this school move on to Wellington Secondary just up the hill. Continue reading

Lynburn

Published By: on November 28th, 2011 in Category Nanaimo Communities

This area surrounds Departure Bay, extending up the hill to the Country Club area which is adjacent to the golf course. Alongside of the popular sandy beach there is an area of beachfront homes that sell for a premium because of their walk-on waterfront. Tiered up the hill are many homes with beautiful ocean views. Some homes in this area are on larger lots with mature trees. There are plenty of homes that need updating and will give you good return on improvements. Continue reading

Departure Bay

Published By: on November 28th, 2011 in Category Nanaimo Communities

This area surrounds Departure Bay, extending up the hill to the Country Club area which is adjacent to the golf course. Alongside of the popular sandy beach there is an area of beachfront homes that sell for a premium because of their walk-on waterfront. Tiered up the hill are many homes with beautiful ocean views. Some homes in this area are on larger lots with mature trees. There are plenty of homes that need updating and will give you good return on improvements. Continue reading

Cilaire

Published By: on November 28th, 2011 in Category Nanaimo Communities

Just west of the Departure Bay ferry terminal and north of Brook’s Landing shopping centre lies the quiet self-contained enclave of Cilaire. Encompassed by the circular Cilaire Drive this neighbourhood is served by Cilaire Elementary School and is close to Brook’s Landing shopping centre. Many of these homes have excellent views of Departure Bay and the ferries. The houses were built in the late 60’s and early 70’s; some have been updated and some are waiting for an enterprising new owner. Continue reading

Brechin Hill

Published By: on November 28th, 2011 in Category Nanaimo Communities

These areas lie side by side along the ocean shore between downtown and Departure Bay’s ferry terminal. Many heritage houses are found in this area. There is significant interest and commitment to retaining the character of this neighbourhood. Proximity to shopping, downtown and the ferry along with beautiful views of the ocean make this a very desirable area, especially for those who are interested in restoring older homes. Continue reading

Westwood

Published By: on November 28th, 2011 in Category Nanaimo Communities

Next to College Heights on the hills above Jingle Pot Road is the Westwood area, with Westwood Lake at its heart. Around the Lake’s perimeter is a popular walking/running trail. Also on the lakeshore is the Nanaimo Tennis Club and the Bethlehem Retreat Centre. Most of this area has a rural feel although there are some new subdivisions as well. Continue reading

North Jinglepot

Published By: on November 28th, 2011 in Category Nanaimo Communities

Jinglepot Road winds its way from the University District to North Nanaimo. Parts of this area are outside of the city limits, falling within the jurisdiction of the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN). Homes in the RDN depend on well water and septic as they do not have access to the Nanaimo municipal water and sewer system.  The Jingle Pot area is rural, with many hobby farms and 5 acre lots. There are several new developments in this area. This is one of those areas that allows for a country lifestyle within minutes of the city. Continue reading

College Heights

Published By: on November 28th, 2011 in Category Nanaimo Communities

Is the area on the hillside above VIU (Vancouver Island University).  Many of these homes have panoramic views of the city, harbour and the mainland mountains. Being close to the Parkway gives this neighbourhood easy access to downtown and the north end shopping areas. Also close by is Westwood lake with it’s walking trails and swimming. The homes in this area are a mixture of old. Continue reading

Cedar Yellowpoint

Published By: on November 28th, 2011 in Category Nanaimo Communities

“South” of town (it’s actually east), just outside of the city limits is Cedar. A beautiful rural area with all of the advantages of the country life and still within minutes of the city. Duke Point lies in this area with the ferry to the mainland and one of the area’s major employers – Harmac Pulp Mill. The Cassidy Airport is just 5 minutes down the road. Favourite destinations in Cedar are The Mahle House Restaurant for fine dining and The Crow & Gate for pub fare. There is a great farmers market near the Crow & Gate every Sunday afternoon from April to October. Property prices are very reasonable in this area. Lots are large but subdividing is more challenging because there is no municipal sewer system. There is, however, a municipal water system, though many properties still use wells. Continue reading

Old City

Published By: on November 28th, 2011 in Category Nanaimo Communities

The “Old City” or “The Old City Quarter” refers to everything north and west of Albert St., to Pine St. and Comox Rd. Here lies a 20 cityblock area that is in the midst of revitalization. An easy walk into downtown, this area is attracting homeowners who love the heritage buildings, the accessibility of the restaurants, theater and seaplanes as well as the fine views of the harbour. Continue reading

South Nanaimo

Published By: on November 28th, 2011 in Category Nanaimo Communities

Bordered by the The University District, waterfront, downtown and Petroglyph Park is South Nanaimo. Still a somewhat stigmatized community from the old days when it was the rough part of town, South Nanaimo is a great place for longer term investing. In 2011 this area consistently had the 2nd highest number of homes sold in the city each month. Here you can find older homes on bigger lots, family-oriented townhouses and lots of new housing developments with duplexes and single family homes with legal suites.  The area is gradually being renewed and there are fantastic deals to be had close to downtown and with ocean views.  In old Nanaimo, this was the “South Ward”. Continue reading

Harewood

Published By: on November 28th, 2011 in Category Nanaimo Communities

The University District lies between VIU and the hill above Downtown. It’s very convenient to downtown and the university, as well as being close to wilderness parks such as Collery Dam and the Morrell Sanctuary. This is an older part of the city having once been a rural community. There are a variety of larger home on larger lots and also small infill homes. In the past few years this part of town has been transforming from it’s former identity as Harewood – sometimes nicknamed “Scarwood”, into “The University District” in part thanks to the growing university, an influx of young professional families and students. Also transformed is Harewood Mall, now University Plaza. Continue reading

Protection Island

Published By: on November 28th, 2011 in Category Nanaimo Communities

Next to Gabriola, right in the Nanaimo Harbour is a small island called Protection Island. Known to most locals as the home of the Dingy Dock Pub, Protection has roads but no bridge and no car ferry. Residents of this jewel of an island commute to Nanaimo via personal watercraft or the little passenger ferry that leave the fishing docks in the harbour every hour. Transportation on the island is a combination of walking, bicycles, golf carts and a few old cars and pickup trucks. Anything that will not fit on the small ferry can be barged over. Many of these properties are affordable waterfront. Continue reading

Gabriola Island

Published By: on November 28th, 2011 in Category Nanaimo Communities

Gabriola is known as the “Isle of the Arts” for a good reason. It may have the highest density of artists of any place in Canada. With a population of over 4,000 the island is home to a mixture of retirees and families. Housing prices have been rising in the past few years but they are still reasonable compared to some of the neighbouring districts in Nanaimo.

Gabriola is accessible by a ferry that leaves the Nanaimo harbour approximately once an hour. While you can take your car, many people walk on and off to do there shopping in downtown Nanaimo.

Chase River

Published By: on November 28th, 2011 in Category Nanaimo Communities

A 10-minute drive south of Nanaimo, on the inland side of highway #1, you will find the thriving community of Chase River. There has been a great deal of house development in this area in the past 10 years, with a variety of sizes and prices of homes available. Southgate Shopping Center services this area.  The local elementary school is Chase River Elementary on Cranberry Rd. High School students are bussed into Barsby Secondary School. Continue reading

Pleasant Valley

Published By: on November 28th, 2011 in Category Nanaimo Communities

Bordered by Mostar Rd on the east and Woodgrove Shopping Centre on the west this rolling valley lies between the Parkway to the south and the island highway to the north. This area has many affordably priced house developments with mountain views. Proximity to the main transportation corridors as well as major shopping centers makes this a convenient and central area to live. Continue reading

Diver Lake

Published By: on November 28th, 2011 in Category Nanaimo Communities

Wellington was the name of the original village in this area in the mid- 1800’s.  Today it is often referred to as Diver Lake although the phone company still calls it Wellington. This area refers to the land between Long Lake and Boban industrial area (north/south) and Rutherford Road and Country Club Mall (east /west) . Diver Lake and Long Lake are stocked with fish each spring. Long Lake is the local favourite swimming hole in the summer, as well as home to the local rowing, Kayaking and Canoeing clubs. Continue reading

Central Townsite

Published By: on November 28th, 2011 in Category Nanaimo Communities

Townsite, as implied in the name, is one of the original residential neighbourhoods in Nanaimo, favoured in the early 1900’s by the local professionals as is was away from the industrial center. Many of the original homes still stand amongst newer homes.  This area lines between the island highway and Bowen Rd. (north /south) and Bowen Park and Northfield Rd. (east/west). Nanaimo Regional Hospital lies at the heart of this area.  Adjacent to Bowen Park, Terminal Park Shopping Centre and a short distance from downtown this affordable area offers solidly built older homes and many larger lots. Continue reading

Upper Lantzville

Published By: on November 28th, 2011 in Category Nanaimo Communities

Heading north up the island highway, just past Woodgrove Centre and Costco you will encounter the village of Lantzville. Lying between Nanaimo and Parksville, Lantzville was once considered a part of Nanoose Bay. In 2003 Lantzville became the District of Lantzville with it’s own municipal services, town council etc.
Proud of their small community and their independence Lantzville residents are determined to maintain their identity as a place where neighbours know and care for each other. Upper Lantzville, across the highway and up the hill, may not have it’s own amenities, but what it does has is many semi-rural properties with wonderful views. Continue reading

Susan Cudahy – New CEO of the Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation

Published By: on November 27th, 2011 in Category Nanaimo Real Estate News

Susan Cudahy – New CEO of the Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation (NEDC)

There’s a lot of excitement and optimism in the air after Susan Cudahy’s first 30 days as CEO of the NEDC. The NEDC has been formed to allow the business community to move forward with economic development plans at an arms-length from the Nanaimo’s city government. Economic plans will be made in-line with the vision of the city, but at the speed of business – not the speed of government!

The NEDC is basically a sales and marketing organization and Nanaimo is its product.

  • Priorities for the NEDC include:
  • Rebranding Nanaimo
  • Developing a clarity of vision for all stakeholders
  • A new downtown hotel to allow the conference centre to attract more business.
  • Attracting new carriers and new destinations for Nanaimo’s airport – Calgary being a top priority.
  • Re-establishing a fast ferry service, downtown Nanaimo to downtown Vancouver
  • Attracting a larger commercial and industrial tax base to take the pressure of the residential tax base.
  • Developing a “concierge philosophy” in City Hall. i.e. a customer service approach that gives the message – “Your business is welcome here”.

THIS IS NOT A BUBBLE!

Published By: on November 25th, 2011 in Category Nanaimo Real Estate News

Here’s a note from the head of RE/MAX NANAIMO:

I’ve been hard pressed to find a positive headline in the last few weeks. In view of that, I thought you may be interested in these comments. I had lunch today with Larry Pollock , CEO of the Canadian Western Bank. We were talking about the stability of real estate in Western Canada and on the Island.

CWB has a very large exposure to real estate and therefore a big interest in the stability of values. He first spoke of the differences between the Canadian and US markets that we often compare ourselves to. Given the tax deductibility of mortgage interest in the US, his analogy went like this. “In the US, the average homeowner goes to bed dreaming of a bigger mortgage to purchase consumer goods. In Canada, we dream of going to bed and paying off our mortgage”. 50% of Canadian homes are owned clear title. 30 to 40% have 50% equity or better. He sees a big difference between our two markets. These conservative habits have kept foreclosures to a minimum, giving his Bank the opinion that we are not in a bubble.

Other interesting points included; The Banks research suggests strong immigration numbers will continue to play a large role in the growth of Vancouver. The Bank has forecast prime rate to remain unchanged through 2012. More stability…

All in all, he stressed his optimism for real estate values and provided a list of impressive reasons to back it up.

Charlie