Salt Spring rental homes by the numbers

I get many people asking me about buying a rental home on Salt Spring and usually spend a lot of time answering all their questions.  So in this post, I hope to cover some of the factual information. Here are the typical questions and basic answers; What is the rental market like on Salt Spring?  As most know, but some do not, the vacancy rate on Salt Spring has been zero for about the … [Read more...]

Salt Spring Housing Crisis explained

Is Salt Spring in the middle of a housing crisis?  It all depends on who you talk to and what one defines as a crisis. If you move to Salt Spring and have limited funds and are looking to rent a home at about $1000 per month your probably out of luck.  There are basically no homes to rent on Salt Spring Island at this time and not just because it's the usual summer madness. If you are … [Read more...]

Ban on Dual Agency BC

On June 15th, 2018 the ban on dual agency just came into effect in BC. Here is a post I wrote about how the new rules will change the way I do business on Salt Spring New Rules for BC Real Estate As a continuation of the New Rules post, what happens if we are driving around on Salt Spring and you want to see one of my listings? What about the ban on Dual … [Read more...]

New Rules for BC Real Estate

On the 15th of June 2018, the new rules governing BC real estate have come into effect. These changes are causing some problems for Realtors® in smaller markets with a limited number of homes for sale that might not occur for agents in the big cities. This is a simple three step version of how the new rules will work on Salt Spring for people who want to work with Scott Simmons: When … [Read more...]

Salt Spring Island Trust Land Use Zoning bylaw 355

On Salt Spring Island the Island Trust is responsible for our local zoning.  You can find our zoning info here at the Salt Spring Island Trust LUB 355. The bylaw has maps that cover every part of the island.  Believe it or not every few months or so I get an email from someone saying they want to go somewhere where this is no zoning and go off grid.  I usually let them know they are about 40 years … [Read more...]

Is an offer an sale?

This last month I had an accepted offer on a home and had a backup offer come in.  The backup offer was a very weak offer because the condition precedent (subject to clause) was so subjective.  It was subject to the buyer viewing and liking the lot.  Normally no one would take an offer like this seriously but it was a backup and had just a 3 day subject time so it was accepted.  The conditions … [Read more...]

Nepal trek of the Annapurna Circuit

On my birthday (Sept) someone posted on the Salt Spring exchange about trekking in Nepal.  June noticed it and said Keith (my 19-year-old son) and I should go.  I emailed the person and met up.  He gave me the low down on the trek he was proposing and that set the wheels in motion for our trip.  He said it would be more than just a teahouse trek but I had no prior knowledge of trekking in Nepal … [Read more...]

West Coast Trail 2017

Don't get me wrong Salt Spring is a great place to live but the West Coast Trail (WCT) is the ultimate rugged west coast hiking trail.  Salt Spring is basically on the lee side of the mountains on Vancouver Island and in a rain shadow.  We do not get the massive amount of rain that they get on the outer edge of North America.  The West Coast trail is 75 km of rugged, gnarly trail put in over 100 … [Read more...]

Mount Sullivan hike on Salt Spring

Mount Sullivan is probably one of the least known peaks on Salt Spring.  Most know Mt Maxwell or Mt Erkine but not many know about Mount Sullivan.  It is one of the better hikes on Salt Spring and it's almost all on park land.  The hike starts at the parking area of Burgoyne Bay Provincial Park and heads south across the valley.  One of the first places to see is the first nations monuments that … [Read more...]

Buyer Beware Landmark court Ruling

The headlines were in the media about a month ago and this is something that keeps me up at night.  Especially this CRA to recover from the buyers the capital gains tax.  The other thing to note is this is just part of the trend of the federal government to bring in more taxes.  They are also going to be going after those that seem to claim various principal residences.  Here is the article from … [Read more...]

Discover, Decide and Disclose

Caveat Emptor is a Latin phrase that translates to "let the buyer beware"  but the sellers do not get off that easy in BC they still need to disclose Latent defects and the listing REALTOR® has to do pre-listing due diligence and make sure material latent defects are disclosed. Disclosure standards for the seller and the listing REALTOR®.  Are they different?  Yes, they are because the sellers … [Read more...]

Candidate for Regional Director CREA

I'm running for the position of board member Regional Director for BC for the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).  Below is my official platform after edits suggested by CREA lawyers. My name is Scott Simmons. I’m a REALTOR® on Salt Spring Island BC. If you go to the REALTOR.ca site and put in Salt Spring Island BC on the “find a REALTOR®” tab you will not find me. Even though I have been … [Read more...]

Water Sustainability Act or new tax grab?

Staff from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO) was on Salt Spring 18 Jan 2017 explaining the new Water Sustainability Act (WSA).  The WSA came into effect on the 29 Feb 2016.  The big changes that affect people on Salt Spring are the new licensing of groundwater (well water).  The new licenses will "run with the land" and basically be attached to the lot.  The … [Read more...]

CRD sewer and solid waste

The nuts and bolts of local goverment are really the non glamours basics of water, sewer and garbage (solid waste).   The CRD is the local service provider for Salt Spring.  On the night of 24 Nov 2016 Russ Smith Senior Manager, Environmental Resource Management for the CRD put on a waste presentation.  Here is a copy of the slide show for his presentation. Not covered during the … [Read more...]

Do I need a building permit?

I get this question all the time. Do you need a building permit to do a small reno on your Salt Spring home? Yes.  You will need a permit for basically any work on your home.  From the CRD office here is the official line; You will need a building permit whey you; A building permit is required before commencing: Site excavation or blasting Construction, repairing or altering a … [Read more...]

The haunted house! Do you need Ghostbusters?

This is something that comes up more that one would think on Salt Spring.  Over the last decade we have had more that few stigmatized homes come on the market.  One murder/suicide home and more than a few haunted homes.   This is a grey area of the law because how do you determine if the home is haunted it's so subjective.  It's not as if one can just call up the local Ghostbusters and have them … [Read more...]

Incorporation – A Third Option: Self-governance with contracted services

This was just posted on the Salt Spring exchange in 4 parts.  I have permission from John Gauld the author to publish this document on my Salt Spring web site;   SSI is known as a community that questions conventional practices and is creative and innovative in its response to community challenges. Perhaps the up-coming incorporation question is an opportunity for islanders to think … [Read more...]

Thinking of Buying raw Salt Spring land?

The other day I had coffee with Erin Bettger-Phillips from Island Saving and ask her to write up a little note that would explain why someone would go there for a mortgage on Salt Spring Island especially if one is thinking of buying land on Salt Spring. Here is her note; The difference a local perspective makes in Salt Spring’s real estate market Erin Bettger-Phillips Like any unique … [Read more...]

If you want a dock you will need a Foreshore Lease

A what? A Foreshore Leases.  What is a foreshore lease? and why do I need one if I want to put in a dock in front of my Salt Spring waterfront home? Here is the definition; Crown foreshore is, in basic terms, all land covered by either saltwater or freshwater. Almost all foreshore in British Columbia is owned by the province and can be tenured by way of Licence of Occupation, Lease, or … [Read more...]

The Property Disclosure Statement in BC

What is a PDS (property disclosure statement) and why you should anyone buying or selling Salt Spring real estate care.  If you are selling think of the PDS as your trusted friend.  Just like a trusted friend you can and should tell all to the PDS.   The PDS will be there with you if you get into a sticky situation selling.  If you have never seen one here is an actual PDS, please note there is no … [Read more...]