Questions & Answers
Are SookePoint Ocean Cottages 100% Ownership?
- Yes. This is not leased land, time-share or fractional ownership. You are free to purchase an Ocean Cottage or Yacht Suite yourself, jointly or in a partnership with someone else, or in a company name. From time-to-time we receive enquiries from people who would like to share ownership with someone else, and we provide introductions so you can explore your options. Regardless of how you purchase, you own your strata lot plus an undivided interest in all the common property, so you have title to both the building and the land.
May I live in my Ocean Cottage, or is it 'limited' or 'restricted use' like some recreational and resort property?
- Your Sookepoint Ocean Cottage can be your principal residence, or a recreational home that you may swap with others for vacations around the globe. In addition, our special hybrid Private Residence Club & Destination Resort zoning allows owners to secure first mortgage financing at the lowest possible homeowner rates, currently well below 3%. And at the same time, you have extreme flexibility, by being able to make your property available to rent long term (more than 30 days per stay), short term (30 days or less), and earn premium overnight rates. This way you enjoy the very best of all worlds.
Do I get my own parking spot?
- Yes. Every SookePoint Ocean Cottage and Yacht Suite comes with its own reserved parking stall. There is also guest parking throughout the SookePoint community.
May I choose different colours and/or interior design?
- On an unfinished pre-sale Ocean Cottage or Yacht Suite you can customize your cabinetry by working directly with our craftsmen. You also have your choice of several different floor and wall tiles that meet or exceed high interior resort standards. If you want the flexibility to earn overnight resort rental income, we will then be able to make replacements, repairs or touch-ups promptly, to keep your property ship-shape for guests. Anytime you plan to live here, you are free to customize the interior of your residence as you wish.
How are property taxes calculated?
- Property taxes are a function of municipal, regional and provincial government administration, and we can make no representations or predictions as to how they may be adjusted or calculated in the future.
- The BC Government has implemented a split designation for resort properties for those days when short term rentals exceed a total in excess of 36 days per year, some details of which may be found in Section 1 (1) (a) (iii) and in Sections 10 & 11 at: http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/438_81#section6.
- Although adjusted annually by the municipality, 2014 residential tax rates were just under .0077 of unfurnished assessed value, before subtracting any BC homeowner's grant.
How are strata fees calculated and what do they cover?
- To maximize convenience and benefits from economies of scale, strata fees are the same for every individually-titled Ocean Cottage and Yacht Suite. They cover costs that individual homeowners would typically pay without the need to set up separate accounts for water, wastewater, landscaping, security, exterior maintenance, garbage pickup, strata roads, building and common property insurance plus a contingency fund. They also cover membership to the Ocean Club, explained more fully below.
In addition to the strata fee, what other costs will I incur?
- Owners are responsible for their own electricity, property taxes, personal contents insurance, telephone, internet and cable. We hope to later secure a cost-effective way to bundle phone, internet and cable into strata fees to reduce or eliminate monthly accounts for owners.
What are the risks that strata fees might jump?
- A great deal of thought has been given to mitigate this risk, which is prevalent when stratas have too many financial obligations beyond their immediate control. At SookePoint, initial strata fees are estimated to average $335 a month rising to approximately $386 per month after the Ocean Club is open. There will be a further $10 increase to $396 a month upon completion of the swimming pool and hot tub. Well over 80% of strata fees go toward basic services and necessities like water, wastewater treatment, exterior lighting, landscaping, security, garbage pickup, recycling, building and liability insurance, back-up generator electrical power, maintenance and the reserve fund. Most individual homeowners will spend that much or more without the economies of scale SookePoint can offer. In addition, we believe there is a substantial value for the convenience of being able to bundle all those different services into a single strata account, and having others deal with all the logistics. This way owners have the security of knowing their property is serviced and well maintained all the time, whether or not they are in residence. Since we dedicate well over 80% of our strata budget to these services, we elect our own strata council to spend our money as wisely as we can.
- Strata fees also include Ocean Club membership, to provide fitness facilities, including weights, mats, treadmill, elliptical, climber, spin-bike, and rowing-machine. The Ocean Club will also have a comfortable lounge with flexible space for cards, crafts, reading and chatting, helping you meet people and make friends right at SookePoint. Although it will probably be moved later to add the pool and hot tub, we presently intend to start the Ocean Club on the lowest floor in the SW Tip of Canada Pavilion. As part of the Orca Alley Lounge, we will have the most awe-inspiring views, just one-metre from the water, looking south over the highly-energetic 'Swirlpool' and the west entrance to Orca Alley.
- An Owner’s membership is $49 a month per strata lot once the Ocean Club is open, increasing by $7 plus $3 a month when the swimming pool and hot tub are added respectively, to a maximum total of $59 a month. That's about $2 a day per couple. As a bonus extra, membership benefits are extended for free to children, parents, grandparents, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and in-laws while they are staying in your Ocean Cottage or Yacht Suite.
- To protect strata owners from price increases, the Ocean Club facilities are independently owned, and the strata has no financial liability other than membership. Furthermore, although the Ocean Club can raise rates for others, our owners' membership agreement provides that the Ocean Club may not raise strata membership rates by more than 3% per year without owners having the right to cancel membership and discontinue paying for use of the club if more than half wish to do so. We believe this puts the risk on the Ocean Club to continue delivering an affordable amenity that benefits everyone, from both a fitness and a financial perspective.
- Ocean Club facilities are important financially because having these amenities on site can increase resort rental demand. Increased demand can boost rental rates, and the market value of all Ocean Cottages and Yacht Suites, as revenue producing real estate can trade at values above the local market when justified by rates of return as an investment, or by the laws of supply and demand.
Must I rent my Ocean Cottage when I'm absent, or can I just lock it up when I'm away?
- The decision is entirely up to you. Some owners intend to rent just a couple of days a month to cover strata fees, while others intend to earn investment returns and use depreciation to shelter other income.
What is the resort rental income potential?
SookePoint is un-duplicatable. We are on a peninsula that is the SW Tip of Canada, adjoin a huge waterfront wilderness park with 50 km of lush forest and coastal hiking trails, are zoned to secure both low homeowner mortgage rates and high premium overnight resort rental rates, have special permission to build ocean cottages and yacht suites on solid rock just 5 metres (16 feet) from dynamic wrap-around oceanfront that's filled with an abundance of exciting sea life, are at the very end of an old country road with no drive-through traffic, and we own the south-western tip of private Canadian land where we can enjoy epic storm-watching and romantic sunsets that sink into the open Pacific.
Although there's no other peninsula with an ecosystem like SookePoint, there are 3 charming local resorts north of SookePoint that prove the historic and growing demand for tourism in our immediate area of 'Super Natural British Columbia'. We encourage you to visit and/or Google the excellent reviews for each of these facilities and compare:
- Point-no-Point Resort Cabins: Point-no-Point Resort Cabins: Operating successfully for 63 years since 1952. 25 rustic cabins & duplexes set back in the trees behind the shoreline. Published January 2015 rates from $140 to $350 per night, with kitchens and fireplaces. This is in the village of Shirley further up the coast, not within Greater Victoria. The view is to the south across the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Very well-reviewed with strong occupancy that has demonstrated a 60-year sustained demand for local get-away vacations. http://pointnopointresort.com/cabins/
- Sooke Harbour House: Sooke Harbour House: This Inn opened 86 years ago, in 1929, and was purchased by its current owners in 1979. It is inside Sooke Harbour overlooking Whiffen Spit. There are no ocean sunsets and the waterfront view is east and south across the harbour toward SookePoint. There are 28 guestrooms with published January 2015 rates from $199 to $450 per night, typically without full kitchens, dishwashers or washer-driers. This property is very highly reviewed and summer rates often exceed $600 per night. http://www.sookeharbourhouse.com/room-rates/
- Prestige Oceanfront Resort: This Best Western Hotel opened in 2011. It is further inside the Sooke Basin with water views east across to East Sooke. On-line prices range from $188 to $256 per night for double occupancy rooms, without full kitchens, dishwashers or washer-driers. http://www.prestigehotelsandresorts.com/locations/sooke/photos-tours/
What is the local occupancy?
- SookePoint is the south-west corner of Greater Victoria (and Canada). Victoria's tourism industry reported an 89.1% occupancy rate in August, 2015. For the 4,300+ rooms represented in Tourism Bulletin data, the average year-round occupancy was between 66% and 68%, so on average 2 out of 3 nights were rented. (More info at http://www.chemistryconsulting.ca)
Do you have any ideas with respect to potential investment returns?
- Generally speaking, look for an Ocean Cottage or Yacht Suite that you think will most comfortably earn daily rates of about .07% or more of its purchase price. For example, do you believe one-bedroom SookePoint Ocean Cottage priced between $469,900 and $539,900 will attract guests willing to pay $250 to $350 per day on average, for unique accommodation right beside the ocean with huge opening glass walls, elegant interiors, designer soaker tubs and full kitchens? If so, then consult with your professional advisor. Among other things, determine whether you may be able to take advantage of depreciation to shelter other income, might gain through trading use of your property for accommodation around the world, or are willing to bet that the future rental rates or market values at SookePoint will command a higher premium than today. We offer no advice, just our enthusiasm.
Can my friends and family stay in my Ocean Cottage or Yacht Suite when I'm not there?
- It's your choice. You can let others use your property for free, or collect rent yourself. You are not compelled to participate in any specific management plan or pay any additional fees as long as the strata bylaws are honoured and exteriors may be attractively maintained.
How will wastewater be treated at SookePoint?
- SookePoint has commissioned an EcoFluid wastewater treatment plant based on new technology that the United Nations Industrial Development Organization claims is "an important environmental process revolution," and the California Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering rates as "the highest ranked biological treatment system out of almost seventy technologies reviewed." This new wastewater treatment utility is subject to legally binding regulations, financial security and regular monitoring to ensure it meets or exceeds environmental targets, and we hope to use this plant to re-cycle much of our wastewater for landscape irrigation in the future.
Where can I see details on the zoning bylaw?
- The SookePoint Disclosure Statement has excerpts from the zoning bylaw, and you may find it in full on the District of Sooke website. Look for the 'SilverSpray CD-3 Zone'.
Where may I review the Disclosure Statement and Strata Plan?
- Please click below to download the Disclosure Statement.