Seaside cottage a super second home
Calgary couple drawn to Parksville’s relaxing B.C. waterfront lifestyle
Amenities, location, convenience and price were at the top of the wish list for a Calgary couple looking for a vacation home. And in Oceanside Village in Parksville, B.C., they found it all.
For Dave and Carol Fergus, it’s a home away from home.
“It’s probably one of the best kept secrets on the Island,” says Dave Fergus, 70. A selfcontained six-hectare community nestled among centuryold arbutus and Douglas fir trees, Oceanside Village Resort is located a short walk from the stunning shores of Rathtrevor Beach in Parksville. Here the water is warm and shallow and the tide recedes for miles, creating little tide pools, perfect for youngsters to swim in.
“You can walk out and keeping going,” says Carol Fergus, adding she is looking forward to having her preschool-aged granddaughter visit. And the sea was a big draw for this couple, both of whom hail from Britain.
“I grew up around the water and really miss it,” shares Carol. For a few years, the couple had been toying with the idea of buying a second home on Vancouver Island where they could spend extended vacations, but they hadn’t really done much research. They wanted to be close to the sea, while staying in Canada because of health issues — Dave has a lung disease that keeps him on a portable oxygen generator. So on a warm spring morning two or so years ago, Carol was reading the Saturday paper and came across a story that caught her eye.
“It was about Oceanside Village. It had lots of pictures and it really captured my attention,” says Carol, who deftly filed the information away and promptly forgot about it. Until two months later, when on holiday at Tigh Na Mara Resort in Parksville, she realized Oceanside was just across the street.
“I remembered the story in the paper and we walked over and took a look. We were really impressed with the property,” she says.
So much so that they had to try it on for size. They rented a cottage at the development for three weeks last August.
“We found we were very comfortable here. It is a very nice ambience and lifestyle for us,” says Carol, who enjoys walking on the beach with her two dogs. Dave joins in when he feels able. And in fact, he says his health improves substantially when he’s by the sea.
“Sometimes I can go without turning on the oxygen. It is quite surprising,” says Dave. The couple also enjoy Parksville’s pubs and restaurants, art galleries and artisan shops.
After their three-week visit, the couple was sold. They purchased a strata lot where they’d build the Arbutus, a two-bedroom, bungalow-style, 864-squarefoot cottage.
“Really, for owners outside of the province, it’s a worry-free type of situation. They can just come and enjoy the space,” says Rob Hill, managing director of the Hill Group, the developer behind the project. “We really wanted to create an environment that fostered community and getting to know the neighbours.”
Amenities include an onsite recreational complex with indoor pool and fitness centre. Coffee shops, galleries, restaurants and a day spa are also located on the property. Construction began on the Fergus’ cottage last fall. The build process was quick and stress free. The couple took possession in February, and they’ve been out enjoying the beauty of the west coast on several occasions.
“We are hoping to use it 14 or 15 weeks of the year,” says 60-something Carol, who owns her own consulting business. She has the freedom and flexibility to visit often, as does Dave, who is retired.
“But the best part is we can rent it out when we are not using it. That was one of the real deciding factors,” says Carol.
That and the price. These homes start at $229,000. But there is a catch: The area is zoned by the City of Parksville as a tourist resort area and therefore residency is capped at 180 days per year. For Dave and Carol, it works out perfectly. The management rental program takes care of everything.
“It’s just so easy. We crunched the numbers and it looks like we will earn approximately $10,000 per year in rental income, which covers all of our expenses.”
The developer has just released the final eight lots and at final build out, which is slated for the spring of 2015, 140 West Coast cottages will grace the property. Three cottage styles are available, from onebedroom and loft designs, to two-bedroom and loft and two-bedroom bungalow. All feature large front and rear decks, a choice of colour palettes, vaulted cedar ceilings, a fireplace and stainless steel appliances. Exteriors are crafted from cement Hardie board and all cottages are outfitted with sprinkler systems.
“We just wish that there were similar units here in Calgary, so that we could sell our house and spend six months here and six months at Oceanside,” says Carol with a laugh. PROJECT: Oceanside Village in Parksville on Vancouver Island. BUILDER/DEVELOPER: The Hill family PRICE: West Coast styled cottages with strata title start at $229,000. HOURS: The show cottage is located in the development at 1080 Resort Dr. in Parksville. Hours are Thursday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visit www.ovrcottages. ca or call 1-250248-6766.
Dave and Carol Fergus recently bought a cottage in Oceanside Village Resort on Vancouver Island after falling in love with the area while on vacation.