Sea­side cot­tage a su­per sec­ond home

Cal­gary cou­ple drawn to Parksville’s re­lax­ing B.C. wa­ter­front life­style

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - New Condos - AN­DREA COX

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.

Adrian Shel­lard/For the Cal­gary Herald

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.

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