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Yellow Point Slumlords
We may be moving to a forested, 5-acre hideaway on Vancouver Island. The bidding war has begun for a 2400-sq.ft. home in Yellow Point. Find out more!
From the Packs on our Back, to a Big House, 5 Acres, Landlords, a Kid & (Deeply in Debt) in Less than 4 Years!
In 2002, all our "stuff" was in storage and we spent six months trekking from Mexico to Canada, along the Pacific Crest Trail. Everything we needed we carried on our backs.
Fast forward to 2006. After a house-hunting trip to Vancouver Island, in early August, we fell in love with a 2400 square-foot home in Yellow Point, a rural area just south of Nanaimo. The house is on a 5 acre parcel that includes part of a beaver pond, clearings and many tall, second-growth Douglas fir trees. There's also a mobile home that's currently being rented, which has it's own address, driveway and cannot be seen from the main house. The property is than a quarter of a mile from the ocean and there's a 14 hectare Provincial Park a stone's throw away. There are a number of resort lodges along the main road, "Yellow Point Road". The property is private (cannot be seen from the road), on a dead-end spur which receives little traffic.
We've put in an offer and are in the midst of the offer-counter offer bidding process. Wow, we may be living in our own little slice of heaven!
To find out more, read on ...
The Poop on the Place
We flew from Edmonton to Vancouver, took public buses to the Pilley house, where we picked up the family car and then boarded a ferry for the 1.5-hour ship-ride to Vancouver Island. We were on the island by early afternoon and we took a drive by all 12 of the homes we had on our list. Most we scratched off from the curb. They were on busy roads, corner lots, or in dubious areas. Discouraged, we met briefly with our realtor and then made our way back to our hotel in Nanaimo, just across the street from nearby docks.
It was a long day, especially for Alex, but she held up well and we stopped a couple of times near parks, so she could ride in the swing and let off a little toddler steam. (She's also smack dab in the middle of potty training, so we brought along her little plastic potty, which garnered a number of knowing smiles and quizzical looks from fellow travelers. When she had to "go", she'd climb into the back of the Pilley Jeep and do her business. We're happy to report only one "accident" the entire trip and especially happy that is was a less-smelly, wet variety!
Finding a house to rent in Nanaimo was tough. The climate is mild enough that not many of the homes even had a carport, let alone a garage. (Rachel was heard to curse Scott for having so many tools, which necessitated that we find a rental with a garage.) After looking at one 3-bedroom, 2-bath, 2-car garage rental for $1,300 a month ( it did have sweeping ocean views ), we decided to scale back a tad. After two days of rental hunting, we only turned up two prospective places. A too-tiny, 2-bedroom place just off the docks, for $850 per month and a nice-sized, 3-bedroom, 1-bath basement suite, with a garage and workshop. The only drawback to the basement suite was the single mom living above, with two teenagers and a pair of dogs to match. We weren't too keen on barking pooches and teens dancing on our ceiling, especially with Rachel working night shifts and trying to sleep sometimes, during the day.
We met up with our realtor again, who showed us six homes. Three we quickly scratched off the list. One was a tad too suburban, which left only two in which we were interested. Both were five acre parcels, but one already had an offer made on it. (The home was nothing and even at that, needed a LOT of work to bring it up to a livable nothing).
The other, had a much nicer home and included a mobile home (separate address and driveway), which has been rented to the same person for 15 years. The home was in fairly good condition, had enough rooms and an eclectic enough layout that we saw a number of potential changes. It's also old enough that we're not afraid to put a couple of dents or scratches in the walls. (The first home we were shown was a "Better Homes and Gardens" show home, which was pretty to look at, but no normal person could actually live in the thing, unless you want to be constantly tidying up after yourself. Do people really "live" like that?)
In any case, the location of the home is perfect. It's about a 20-30 minute commute for Rachel (under the 45 minute limit we had set for ourselves). It's a private, quiet setting. On a dead-end spur road off the main drag, which keeps traffic down. It cannot be seen from the road and is nestled in amongst the tall Douglas fir trees (no shedding pine needles, yay!) With five acres in total, there is more than enough elbow-room for Scott. There's even a beaver pond in the back part, a couple of clearings (one a potential building site that can be used when the mobile home eventually becomes uninhabitable).
The home is a generous 2,400 square feet, with 4 bedrooms (3 up and 1 down). There's a 4-piece bathroom on each level. The upper bath has a bright, louvered skylight, which can be opened. There's a formal dining room and large living room, with a galley kitchen in between. It's missing an informal dining room, something we could rectify in the years to come, as there is space to add on. It has a large patio area off the dining room and an attached garage/workshop on the opposite side. There are a number of outbuildings ... pump-house, chicken coop, children's playhouse, woodshed and electric connection shed.
The best part, beside the tranquil, quiet, treed setting, is the immediate area. Yellow Point is a pastoral and picturesque area between Nanaimo and Ladysmith. It's on a bit of a peninsula and off of the main Coastal Highway. Made up of small farms and rural acreages, it's unlikely to change much in the face of all the development that's taking place in the surrounding cities. (This bodes well for our "20-year plan", as we're looking for a home we'll be in for a long, long time.)
Though the property isn't on the water (we can't afford that!), it is less than a half a mile from the ocean, with access via a Provincial Park that is within walking distance. There are a number of multi-million dollar homes along the shoreline, so it's in a great neighborhood. There are also a number of resorts, just a mile or so south, on Yellow Point Road.
Why reinvent the wheel? For information about Yellow Point, have a look at this page. It's informative!
The price tag for all of this? Over $400,000.00 CAD, which has us reaching deeply into our pockets and signing multiple dotted lines. It's a stretch, but we think the property will be a great place to raise Alex and will, ultimately, appreciate in value!
We're still batting the offer ball back and forth, but we're honing in on a deal and we're hoping that we can come to terms.
With any luck, our 5th year wedding anniversary (October 6th), will be in our new, dream home in Yellow Point!