I have listed a new property at LOT1020 SOUTH OF THE SOUTH BOUNDARY OF LOT A in Nelson Island.
Want to get away from it all? Be completely off grid? Just a short boat ride from Garden Bay or Earls Cove. This beautiful 95.7 acre property located on Nelson Island in Green Bay has it all. You can own the whole or a share of this amazing property. 1500 feet of Low bank waterfront, on which to build your dream house/cabin or be nestled in the forest or perhaps you prefer a lake front cottage. The property boasts a 20 acre lake, a fabulous waterfall, crabbing, prawning and fishing at your doorstep. It has a rudimentary road system, so bring your golf cart or small jeep to get around. Welcome to supernatural BC.

Family Activities For Summer Fun

Check out these outdoor projects the whole family can enjoy, ranging from easy projects like starting seeds or creating a mini fairy garden, to more involved ones such as turning a stock tank into a raised bed.

Grow An Herb Box

It’s not too late in the season to start a pot of kitchen and have kids help pick leaves to add to your favorite dishes. Young children can help with all steps of the process: scooping potting soil into an empty pot, patting down soil to settle it, spacing plant starts (with some help from an adult) and then watering them in. A few easy-to-grow herbs to consider are basil, parsley, thyme, tarragon, sage, oregano, and chives. All thrive with full sun and consistent water.

You could consider tucking a few ever-bearing strawberries, which generally produce spring, summer and fall crops, around the edges to give little ones a treat to discover later.

Start Seeds

There’s nothing quite like the magic of seeing little leaves pop up from the ground as if by magic. Big seeds — like those of squash, melons, peas and beans — are the easiest to handle and can be a good place to start for your youngest or most beginner gardeners. Now is a good time in most climates to sow seeds for pumpkins to have them ready by Halloween. You can begin to sow crops like snow peas and fava beans now in cool-summer climates. In other climates, wait until fall for these cool-season crops.

Make Handprint Stepping Stones

Creating stepping stones with family handprints or footprints can be a fun afternoon project, and it’s a way to make your garden feel more personal. It’s easiest to use a handprint stepping stone kit, but you can also make them without a kit using fast-setting concrete and a mold. Have children or any family member whose handprint you want to commemorate imprint their hands or feet and arrange any treasures they wish — like polished stones, marbles or shells — into the concrete. Adults can help sign the names of young children with a stick or wooden pencil. Once the concrete sets, find a spot to display them in your garden.

Pick Your Own

If there’s one garden “chore” that kids of any age can get behind, it’s harvesting — particularly if it’s something sweet like berries, tomatoes, sugar snap peas or tree fruits like cherries, peaches and plums. Picking fruit from your garden or a nearby pick-your-own farm makes for a fun family activity and is a good way to teach small ones where their favorite fruit come from.

For slightly older children, you can make harvesting from the garden a daily or weekly responsibility. Asking children to pick tomatoes for the family meal can give them a sense of accomplishment and lend you a hand.

Open a Bug Hotel

The concept is as simple as hanging a bird house, except bug hotels resemble collections of items such as hollow bamboo canes and seedpods that aim to mimic habitats like tree cavities that are increasingly rare in urban and suburban environments. The little holes and bug-size crevices are designed to attract insects, such as solitary native bees, that look for such spaces to rest for the night.

You can purchase kits for DIY bug hotels or build your own. Just be sure to include some type of roof or cover to keep the gathered materials dry. Family members of all ages can help collect materials to use, such as dried seedpods, twigs, small pine cones and bark. Older kids and teens can help with building the frame for the hotel. Everyone can learn or be reminded of the vital role beneficial insects play in ecosystems and the challenges they face.

Create A Fairy Garden

Little kids, teens or really anyone with a whimsical side may enjoy creating a miniature fairy garden in a pot. Start with an empty vessel of your choosing and fill it with potting soil. Then have children choose small plants at the nursery, such as succulents, creeping wire vine or mossy-looking ground covers like baby’s tears or woolly thyme. Use indoor plants if you’d like to keep the garden inside.

Encourage children to arrange a scene from their imagination on the surface of smooth potting soil, tucking in plants as they go. Fine gravel can become fairy pathways or streams, rocks can be seats or stepping stones. You can purchase or make, if you’re feeling extra crafty accents such as miniature houses, benches, gates, animal or fairy figurines and toadstools. 

Plant Up Recycled And Repurposed Containers

You can repurpose almost any vessel as a container for plants, and kids can have fun scouting for unused vessels around the house or yard to repurpose into planters. Some vessels to consider: old teapots and cups, small wooden boxes, old hiking boots, helmets, urns and more.

For containers that don’t have drainage holes, either plan on drilling a few at the bottom or keeping plants in their plastic nursery pots set inside the vessel. Or, if you decide to plant directly in the vessel without drainage holes, be sure to water plants very lightly, as excess water will have nowhere to go.

Propagate Succulents

Succulents are a great place to start with plant propagation, as most of them root easily from cuttings or offshoots. Kids can help with all steps of the process, from splitting off baby succulent “pups” from rosette-forming types, to laying them out on a gravel bed or a paper plate to harden or potting up the new little succulent plants once rooted. Teens can own the whole process and, if they’re hooked, quickly multiply your succulent collection or create one of their own.

Turn A Stock Tank Into A Raised Planter

Turning a galvanized-metal livestock tank into a planter is easier than building a raised bed — and it’s a pretty stylish container too. Choose a stock tank based on how much space you have, what you’d like to grow and how much you’d like to spend.

Stock tanks range from $30 for a small, shallow one that could be used to grow herbs, succulents or strawberries to $300 and up for a large model where you could grow anything from tomatoes to dwarf fruit trees. They will all need drainage holes drilled at the bottom and enough potting soil to fill them to the brim before planting.

Plant A Living Wall

While professional living wall systems are fairly complicated projects best left to professionals, simpler models that use felt planting pockets are no more effort than planting a container and mounting it to the wall. Young kids will need help along the way with this project, but teens could do it nearly start to finish on their own but may need help attaching it to the wall.

Living walls made from kits generally look best with plenty of billowing and trailing plants that, once they fill in, can help cover the felt pockets holding the soil. A few to consider for hanging gardens that receive four to six hours of sun: bacopa, trailing fuchsia, sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas), lobelia and nasturtium. For shadier gardens, check out ajuga, variegated ivy, campanula, heuchera and ferns.

Remember that living walls, particularly those in sun, dry out very quickly; stay on top of the watering or set up a drip irrigation system.


Real Estate And Rising Interest Rates

The average interest rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage has remained near historic lows since 2013, but these rates have started to rise. It is important for real estate consumers to understand rising mortgage rates and how these rates will impact your ability to buy or sell a home. To ease Buyers and Sellers anxiety, here is what rising mortgage rates will mean to you. 

*  Higher interest rates, translate into higher mortgage loan costs.

*  Rising rates makes homes more expensive for Buyers, which lowers the demand for home purchases.

*  Less demand impacts Sellers as the price of their home decreases in order to attract Buyers.

*  Rising mortgage rates will not have much of an effect on property value or housing prices, as long as salaries and wages grow accordingly.

In Real Estate, conventional wisdom says that rising interest rates make buying or selling a home more difficult, and decreasing interest rates make buying and selling easier.

For example, if a Home Buyer wants a 4% rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage of $500,000, the monthly mortgage payment would be $2,377. But if the same Buyer only qualifies for a 5% rate on the same 30-year fixed mortgage, the monthly payment would rise to $2,668. A 1% increase in interest raises the Buyer's payment by $291, or roughly 11%. So, what does this mean for homebuyers? As mortgage rates increase, affordability decreases. 

Your credit score will greatly impact the interest rate that you receive on your mortgage. Try and improve your credit score before applying for a mortgage.

Rising mortgage rates also affect Sellers. For example, if the Seller wants to sell the house for $500,000, rising interest rates may decrease the number of potential buyers who can afford the home.

Rising interest rates do have a noticeable effect on the Real Estate Market. Property value and housing prices directly correlate to mortgage rates. Yet, if the economy grows fast enough, rising mortgage rates will not have as great an effect on property value and housing prices. If the economy is strong it allows employers to increase salaries to help compensate for the rising interest rate.

If you are thinking of buying investment property rising rates can be positive. The market for rental properties often increases because fewer people can qualify for mortgages. Rising interest rates reduce property prices, so it can be better to buy during this time. Often, fewer real estate transactions take place as lending standards tighten. Thus, more people will need rental properties until they can afford a mortgage. 

You don’t need to fear increasing mortgage rates, if you are thinking about Buying a home or Investing in real estate. Historically, todays rates are still very low. The annual average for 30-year fixed mortgage rates has not reached 5% since 2009. In 2006, the average mortgage rate was 6.41%; in 1996, 7.81%; and in 1986, 10.19%.

Need Real Estate advice? Don’t hesitate to contact me. I will give you the knowledge, confidence and security, so you can make the right decision on buying and selling real estate.


Give Your Yard and Garden New Life

It’s time to get out into the garden, take a look at your garden and decide ir there are any improvements you want to make. These can be as simple as adding new touches to existing spaces or as involved as building a new outdoor kitchen.

Here are some ideas for refreshing your yard and garden for outdoor living.

Update Your Furnishings

Evaluate the outdoor furniture you have. It sets the tone for your outdoor space, so it may be time to replace furnishings that are worn or perhaps upgrade to a new look. Conversely, if you have no outdoor furniture yet, it’s a good time to start planning for the upcoming spring, summer and fall months.

Spring is a great time for discovering fresh looks. You’ll also have a larger selection to choose from during the start of the outdoor season. 

If you like your current furniture, it might be time to add some finishing touches. New cushions and pillows will revive older chairs, sofas and benches. A new umbrella or shade cloth can turn a too-hot patio or deck into an all-day retreat. Small side tables placed by outdoor chairs and sofas provide a good spot for drinks and snacks.

Other possibilities? A chaise lounge or two provides a spot for napping or relaxing. An outdoor rug will ground a seating area. A setup for serving and a bar cart make outdoor entertaining easier.

Start a Plant Nursery

Give seedlings a head start before setting them out in the garden. A small area where you can group plants and provide protection if nighttime temperatures turn frosty can help smaller plants establish themselves before transplanting. You may want to add cloches that will cover several plants, especially taller ones, or look for covers that will fit over pots without actually touching the plants themselves.

Having a hose nearby will make watering them easier — plants in pots dry out far faster than those in the ground, and you want to encourage growth. A potting bench or similar setup is handy for transplanting to larger containers.

Create a Vegetable Garden

Jump-start healthier eating by adding a dedicated vegetable garden. Summer is the height of edible gardening season. Be sure to start your seeds or seedlings soon to enjoy delicious fresh produce from your own yard next season.

Add Built-In Seating

Built-in seating adds a finishing touch to a patio or deck. It anchors the space and provides more seating for when family and friends gather.

Permanent seating allows you to customize it to an exact fit. You can also add features such as a planter or lighting above or below to highlight the space.

A bench can also do double duty as storage for everything from extra pillows and cushions to yard toys, gardening tools and grilling supplies.

Spruce Up Your Storage

Whether your garden is your retreat, your hobby or your play space, you’re bound to have tools, supplies or equipment you want to tuck away from time to time. Adding an off-the-shelf shed is one solution, but why not turn your storage spot into an attractive garden feature? 

Turn a basic shed into something more interesting with plants. Adding small garden beds on either side of the entrance or installing a window box will add color and greenery. Pair either choice with a garden path, steppingstones or a small landing, and the utilitarian shed becomes a destination. You can even add color to the shed itself, whether via a new paint job or some colorful decorations.

For a shed that’s even more integrated with your space, consider a custom-built design that plays off the design style of the rest of the landscape.

Just Add Water

 A water feature is a welcome addition to even the smallest yard. Water instantly creates a sense of peace and tranquility. A fountain, garden pool or pond attracts birds and other wildlife, and can cool the air around it on a hot day.

Water features are available in an array of styles. Choose one that goes with the rest of your outdoor style. 

If you’re looking for a peaceful reflecting pool, all you need to do is add water. If you want a fountain, you’ll also have to install a pump and an energy source, which is generally electric or solar. You might also want to add lights for a nighttime reflections.

Beautiful as they are, water features require some considerations. Even a shallow pool can pose a danger to small children and pets. You might also need to look into ways to mitigate the presence of bugs, such as mosquitoes.

Play With Fire

 If your family likes to gather around an open fire, make a fire feature a permanent part of your landscape. A fire pit is more low-profile and also can be used as a grill. A fireplace makes a statement in the landscape. Both also can be adapted with grills and ovens.

Like water features, fire features run a gamut of styles to fit beautifully into most outdoor spaces. Traditional finishes include stone, brick and stucco, while metal and concrete add a more modern vibe.

 Your choices for fuel are wood, gas or ethanol. Wood is a classic and easy option that doesn’t require additional gas lines or a special installation. It also gives you the classic campfire or fireplace flames. It can be a drawback, though, when our “no fire” regulations kick in during summer.

For gas, you can use propane tanks, although for a permanent installation, having a plumber connect the fire feature into your gas line will be less obtrusive and less costly to use in the long run. In the short term, though, the installation will affect the surrounding hardscape and landscape as trenches are dug for the line.

Ethanol, which produces true flames, is gaining in popularity as a fire source. It does not burn as hot as other heat sources, so it’s a good choice for hotter days. It’s also a clean-burning source for true flames. You’ll want a professional to install the firebox and set it up.

Take the Plunge

 Looking for a refreshing place where you can take a dip on a hot summer’s day, but don’t have the room? Want a spot for relaxing in the water without a pool’s upkeep? Add a spa, hot tub or plunge pool.

A classic wood hottub — which also can be left unheated and used as a cool spot for chilling out — or a spa tub can be set in its own private zone or incorporated into a deck or patio. You can even lower it to ground or deck level for easy access. Add heat, some lights and a nearby hangout area for maximum enjoyment.

Plunge pools are the babies of in-ground pools. They’re smaller, ranging from slightly larger than a decorative pool or pond to large enough for someone to swim a few strokes in. They’re generally not as deep as standard pools.

As with any water feature, safety is paramount, especially for children. You’ll also need to check local regulations for requirements and restrictions.

Encourage Gatherings

If outdoor entertaining is a favorite activity, it may be time to expand your gathering spot. Building a new patio or deck, or increasing the size and functionality of existing features, will give you even more reasons to go outside to enjoy — and show off — your yard.

 In either case, evaluate your setup and how you want to use it. You might want more room for relaxing, a dining table that can seat your extended family, a fire or water feature, or an outdoor kitchen. Calculate the amount of room you’ll need to accommodate the items on your wish list.

The next step is assessing location. Is your entertaining zone in the right spot? Do you want easy access from the house? Or do you want an area that’s farther away, possibly taking advantage of a view, serving as a buffer from neighbors or a street, or creating a destination within your yard?

Patio flooring options can range from gravel and pavers to stone, tile and brick. Wood is the classic deck material, but don’t overlook some of the lower-maintenance possibilities that can give you the look you want. 

Install an Outdoor Kitchen

If cooking or barbecuing is a favorite pastime, then it may be time to splurge on an outdoor kitchen. Your ideal space might be as simple as a long serving counter that houses a grill and maybe some shelves and a dining table nearby. Add outdoor-friendly countertops and finishes, and you’ll be set for the summer.

You needn’t stop there. The options for an outdoor kitchen equal, or surpass, those for an indoor one. A smoker or pizza oven provides more ways to cook, a refrigerator keeps cold drinks handy, and a sink is an added convenience. Lights, an overhead roof for rainy days and amenities such as a bar setup can keep you cooking outside for a good portion of the year.


New property listed in Sechelt District, Sunshine Coast
I have listed a new property at 5816 SPINDRIFT ST in Sechelt.
Location, Location, Location. This 3 bedroom rancher is on a quiet cul-de-sac within walking distance to downtown Sechelt. Close to Parks, library, recreation centre, public transportation, shopping and restaurants. Sit back and relax on your patio or deck. Perfect for a new home buyer or someone looking to downsize. Call today to book a viewing.
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