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Pricing policy, factors and comparative pricing for our real estate.

IndexPhotograph of Cufra Inlet waterfront, Thetis Island, from the common property waterfront of Meadow Valley Properties.

Pricing policy

Based upon:

We know that our real estate is good value and we're confident that you will not find similar properties with similar servicing and with access to similar common facilities at a lower price on any Southern Gulf Island or in the San Juan Islands.

We have priced our lots for pre sale (pre completion sales) by taking a price well below that for a comparable lot on Thetis and adding $20,000 for servicing and common property/facility value. During this process we also have compared to prices on other gulf islands and the san juan islands. Comparable lots are taken to be those with similar views, exposure, land quality/quantity (where applicable), building sites, and privacy. See below for details of servicing costs for comparable lots.

Prices for unsold lots will be adjusted at completion (registration) of the phase, using undiscounted comparable values, this will result in a price increase of around 10%..

In this regard you may find helpful to contemplate cash value of servicing (especially sewage disposal and water supply) on Thetis Island. In our experience this is between 15 and 30,000 dollars per lot in general (can occasionally be much more); not including driveway, house site clearing, Hydro and Telephone (see below).

In addition to this servicing value you may also consider the value of exclusive access to 72 acres of land with lakes trails and waterfront for your recreation and use, both now and in the future - a future in which such tracts of land will be rare indeed.

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The hidden costs of an unserviced lot

We offer you acreages with sewer, irrigation water and Hydro/Telephone services to your lot line. All lots also have exclusive access to their own drilled well for household water. These wells have been tested and assessed by a hydrogeologist. At your option, a driveway can be roughed in and your house site cleared.

Most other lots on the market in the area do not have servicing. Some may have an untested well and some have a septic field or permit. Generally, if you see a lot listed at a very low price there is a good reason. On the southern Gulf Islands that reason is often related to high or uncertain servicing costs, particularly sewage disposal.

Sewage disposal

Cost of installation of a septic field (required for a building permit) can be very high on the Gulf Islands, particularly on smaller lots (where there are limited siting options). In some cases, particularly on lots below 2 acres, this is not even possible, rendering the lot almost unusable. Costs for septic systems on Thetis are as high as $25,000 or more-- one recent system will cost about $65,000 including design and appeal costs.

Even a lot with existing septic field or permission can be a problem in the future, because regulations are continually reviewed and become more and more difficult to satisfy. This means that you could purchase a lot with field, then have problems a few years down the road when you need a building permit. In addition you will need to get a new septic permit if the existing system breaks down, you will then be exposed to the expense, disruption and uncertainty associated with a new septic system.

On other Thetis lots (both those with a field and those without) you will need a double size system if you want a house and cabin, this can be expensive, difficult to achieve and have a large impact on the lot.

A hidden cost of poor sewage disposal systems in existing small lot subdivisions can be pollution of drinking water supplies.

Beyond the financial cost of an individual septic field system is the environmental and aesthetic cost of the large disposal field.

Our common sewage disposal system not only saves you money and reduces pollution, it also means peace of mind for lot purchasers, and for lot owners in case of future changes in regulation. You can be comfortable and secure in your investment knowing that you can build at any time you choose with no difficulties over sewage disposal.

Water

Most lots on the Gulf Islands rely solely on groundwater for their water needs. This means a drilled well. The cost of drilling a well on Thetis is from $1500 to $5000, with no guarantee of finding water of usable quality and quantity.

New lot owners often find having a well drilled a stressful process!

On some existing small lot subdivisions, and in certain areas of the Gulf Islands the aquifers are depleted through over use of groundwater. This has led to wells failing or to them becoming saline. When this happens the owners are left with a large expense to redrill, use reverse osmosis or rainwater catchment. This problem can be exacerbated by the need to set wells back from neighbors and one's own septic fields.

We have planned our wells with the assistance of a professional Hydrogeologist to ensure water quantity and quality into the future. The wells are for household water only. The provision of irrigation and outdoor use water from the pond system will prevent overuse of the groundwater resource. All our wells are over 1000 feet from any septic field (the Ministry of Health standard is 100 feet).

The secondary water system draws on runoff from a large catchment, using surface water. This means that you have plenty of water for irrigation and outdoor use-a rare feature on the Gulf Islands. We also provide a system of standpipes to improve fire protection- a feature of great value that you will not find on acreage lots in the Gulf Islands.

Hydro and telephone

When one looks at a lot and is overcome by the excitement of a new purchase it is very easy to overlook the cost of bringing hydro power and telephone lines to the property! Even with grants the cost of the poles, lines, clearing etc. can be high.

Once at the lot line, the poor layout of traditional developments often means that the best house site is too far from the services to make it economical, particularly since one must pay the full cost of hydro and Telephone once on the lot. This leads to people building the house close to the public road in a less satisfactory location. At Meadow Valley we have planned the private access roads to facilitate on-lot servicing.

Driveways and house sites

A conventional lot may also need a $40,000 driveway to access the best house site. For this reason one often sees lots with houses in less than ideal locations, or with very steep and unsafe driveways. Even what appears to be a fairly accessible lot can still need considerable expenditure for a driveway and house site.

The house site itself may also have it's problems, usually related to unstable bluffs or slopes, and incur costs for geotechnical engineering and site remediation before a house can be built--or the house must be built in a less attractive spot. Many lots on the market have been logged, so that clearing for a house costs the same but produces no useful logs/lumber.

At Meadow Valley we have planned our layout around the landscape, with assistance from a geotechnical engineer and a landscape architect. We can offer you safe, attractive house sites and will rough in a driveway and house site for the initial purchaser.

Properties not logged

Many developments in the Vancouver Island area offer for sale lots that have been subdivided from land that has been recently logged. This means you buy a lot with few useable trees, an impoverished ecosystem and often with a mess of logging slash to clean up.

At Meadow Valley Properties we have not done this, this means you are purchasing a lot of significantly higher value--both in direct financial terms and in environmental/aesthetic terms.

Comparison to US islands-the Canadian dollar

For potential customers from the United States and Washington State we point out the value you add to your money by purchasing in Canadian dollars and also the substantial costs savings in construction and basic living expenses in BC, Canada.

Comparable acreages in the San Juans are priced at about the same level as our lots, but in US dollars. This means our comparable lots offer a 35% saving.

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Comparative pricing and outlook

For comparisons we looked at four areas; Thetis itself, other southern Gulf Islands, Saltspring Island and the San Juan Islands in Washington State.

Lot pricing of our properties was based on an assessment of sales on Thetis and other small gulf islands, as outlined above. These prices were checked against other areas and listings to ensure that we are offering value.

Over time we continue to monitor listings and sales in these areas. The last check of pricing was January 2002. The following shows some examples of comparative values, and shows that we continue to offer exceptional value for money:

Thetis Island and other southern Gulf Islands:

Saltspring Island

The San Juan Islands

The outlook for recreational real estate

Real estate has been heating up in this area over the last year, and increasing activity is being seen in the market for rural acreages. With the upcoming retirement of the "baby boomer" generation the attractive retirement properties of southwestern BC will appreciate in value and the scarcity of quality rural acreages in safe, secluded locations (such as Thetis Island) near Vancouver/Victoria will only become more apparent and more clearly reflected in appreciating value.

The next market peak driven by these phenomena may occur in the next 5 years, now is the time to buy whilst properties are still priced reasonably.

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Financing

Island Savings Credit Union in Ladysmith (250-245-0456) have indicated that they are interested in providing financing to purchasers at Meadow Valley. They offer reasonable rates and good service.

Pre sale lots require 5% deposit in trust (you get the interest and we can't access the money) and the remainder when the lot is registered. This gives you a more time to arrange financing, if needed.

We are also willing to assist purchasers with financing in some cases.

If you have a particular requirement we are happy to discuss options with you.

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Other

This description of pricing is only intended as a guide.

Realtors wishing to contact us about our lots and real estate should first refer to the "Realtor Contact" page.

We will frequently update and enhance our website, so check back often. We are happy to respond promptly to any specific question, just e-mail us.

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Contact us

Contact us to discuss your requirements and arrange a tour of the properties.
E-mail info@trax.bc.ca, or call Ian Ralston at 250-246-4774
TRAX Developments Ltd., Box 9-6, Thetis Island, BC, V0R 2Y0, Canada.

We will frequently update and enhance our website, so check back often. We are happy to respond promptly to any specific question, just e-mail us, info@trax.bc.ca

Meadow Valley Properties, quality planned real estate by Trax Developments Ltd., Box 9-6, Thetis Island, B.C., V0R 2Y0, Canada.

Navigate; you are at our Properties page, click on the following links to visit other parts of our site:
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Site Guide and help | Navigation help (pop up) | You are at our property pricing page.