January 31, 2011.
Looking for an oceanfront, with privacy, premier sun exposure, walk-on sandy beach, plus foreshore licence (build your dock and keep your boat at home), with an eclectic blend of "west coast" charm and Tuscan flair? Here it is!
Opportunity for geothermal energy!
Arable land: fenced veggie garden, orchard...be self-sufficient, here!
Close to all services/amenities...sunsets, privacy, in an area of fine homes.
Summer here...retire later...it's a superlative choice, with appreciation in the long term/preservation of capital in the "short term".
January 30, 2011.
Looking for a spectacular retreat home, on exceptional Salt Spring Island? Here's a superb opportunity!
A renovated cottage home, with a year round dock, plus mooring buoy for overflow guest boats!
Main level offers entry/foyer, open plan living and dining, cook's kitchen, all with those alluring ocean views! Guest bed and full bath. Master bedroom/ensuite in its own "wing", with garden patio and oceanside deck opportunities...easy access to oceanside deck, to pleasing lawn area, and to dock, from all principal rooms.
Lower garden level offers a self-contained "suite", plus "bunkie" accommodation for those visiting grandchildren!
Keep your boat at home, here!
This gem is sunny, private, close to all services/amenities, and yet serenely itself.
Terrific summer/weekender retreat, or the perfect retirement gem. Either way, this one is a "best buy"!
Call me: firstname.lastname@example.org
January 29, 2011.
Am truly enjoying my radio shows on Salt Spring's community radio station (www.cfsi-fm.com).
Every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, 7 to 9 a.m., Pacific Time, I do the "All Things Salt Spring...and More" show: music, musings, and interviews with Islanders.
I could talk about real estate, but choose not to. I've been very lucky to meet with so many interesting, eclectic, and passionate people in my real estate career (since 1989), and I wanted to showcase what they do!
Check out the podcasts of some of my varied interviews at: www.liread.com/radio.htm
If you're thinking about Salt Spring, wondering who else is here/what goes on, then listen to the many different interviews, on my podcasts. It's the flavour of the Islands!
Check out my daily blog, too (www.liread.com/blog.htm) -- have been sharing my thoughts and showcasing Islanders since 2005, on a daily basis.
Am so pleased to be able to be a part of this Island lifestyle. I believe in the concept of "paying it forward".
We are part of the tapestry of community, all of us. None of us arrive where we are without the help of others, on our path. We don't always get to thank those who helped us...we "pay it forward", then...that is our gift of gratitude.
If you're looking for real estate on Salt Spring Island, I would be so pleased to guide you in your search, and to represent your best interests in the connection with "your" special property! Please call me.
It's also important to me to support and to nurture my community...as a part of this, I have accepted an invitation to serve on the Board of the Chamber of Commerce.
I believe that the entire community benefits when the business core is healthy. This is my focus...any ideas/concerns you want brought forward? Let me know!
Here we are, close to February...Spring is whispering its way to reality....
Ahhh...the softness of the season, pre-Spring, is with us...enjoy!
January 28, 2011.
We have such great bookstores on Salt Spring Island! Volume 2 is found next to the Coast Guard Dock, where the floatplanes arrive. Black Sheep Books (formerly Sabine's Bookstore) is at the entrance to Grace Point Square. Salt Spring Books and Watermark Books are on McPhillips Avenue, across from each other. All with a little different focus, they promote the works of our amazingly talented novelists and poets.
So many art galleries to feed our souls! In Grace Point Square, be inspired by Gallery 8, Steffich Fine Art Gallery, and Starfish Gallery. On Mouat's Boardwalk, discover the esteemed Pegasus Canadian Art Gallery. Wander a little farther up McPhillips Ave, past the two bookstores, and enjoy the Salt Spring Gallery of Fine Art. Also, ArtSpring's gallery and lobby showcase artistic presentations throughout the year.
Coffee houses also showcase local artists: Cafe Talia, TJ Beans, Salt Spring Roasting Co., Barb's Buns, Rendezvous Cafe (by Salt Spring Marina).
Restaurants, too, showcase artists "oeuvres": Bocados Bistro, Harbour House Hotel, Calvin's Bistro, Marketplace Cafe...an amazingly diverse and talented artistic flair is available on this Island!
Pick up a copy of the Studio Tour map at the Chamber, in Ganges Village. Enjoy the many studios open to you...discover the talent right under your nose!
Live music venues keep our vibrant musicians talents front and centre: Treehouse Cafe, Harbour House Hotel, Moby's...catch them when they play! A "wow"....
A very rich cultural life is enjoyed by Islanders: theatre, films, concerts...it's all here!
More info? Call me!
January 27, 2011.
Great to know that Sunset Magazine has named Salt Spring Island as one of the top 10 places to live in the West...Salt Spring is the only Canadian location to be included. Lucky us, to already be a "citizen of the Islands"!
Check out Galiano Island's community lending initiative...an innovative option that is redefining the way locals lend and borrow money, in a friendlier and more personal light. For more details, visit: www.galianofund.ca
Live music at Treehouse Cafe: Friday, the 28th, it's Richard Cross and Special Guest. Saturday, enjoy Ramesh Meyers. (5:30 to 8:30 p.m., for music). Enjoy A Taste of Morocco on Feb 2nd.
Don't forget the Salt Spring Folk Club offering on Monday, Jan 31st...the April Verch Band! Opening act is Kelly Burk. Soups, Suppers, and Sweets by Fiddlehead Catering. Doors open at 6:15, at Fulford Hall, with show starting at 7 p.m. Tickets at Acoustic Planet, Salt Spring Books, Stuff and Nonsense. Enjoy!
Harbour House Hotel live music venue: Friday, it's Sweetwater and Co. Saturday, jazz with Lloyd English and Friends. Sunday, the Barley Brothers. Not to be missed! Always wanted to paint? Here's your opportunity! Gillian McConnell is offering a series of colourful art classes, beginning in February. Call Gillian at 250-537-4439 or email at: email@example.com
Music and Munch launches its 15th year on Wed, Feb 2nd -- it's a nautical theme, with a male a cappella octet known as Hector's Friends. Noon at All Saints By The Sea. Be there!
Looking for a new path to fitness? Contact Deb Leblanc, the famed DebFit, and "go for it"! Deb's new facility on Park Drive is up and running...contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Am very pleased to have been invited to be on the Board at the Chamber. I've been a Chamber member and supporter for several years, and look forward to bringing to the attention of other Board members, and to the Island as a whole, the concerns of small business owners on the Island. I do believe that a strong business core delivers a viable and strong community.
Interested in tea? The annual Victoria Tea Festival takes place on Feb 11/12. Interesting event...tea tasting can be like wine tasting! Did you know that the nearby Cowichan Valley has a tea growing enterprise? And a cranberry growing concern? Lucky us!
Don't forget to mark your calendars for the 2nd Annual Galiano Literary Festival, on Feb 25 to 28th. Call 250-539-3340 for more info/registration.
ArtSpring's offerings for Feb/March: George Ehring (yes, one of our trustees) is offering "Music and Society in 19th Century Europe: Music Appreciation Course", Sundays, Jan 30 to March 6th. Enjoy the Afiara String Quartet on Feb 10th, 8 p.m. (Pre-concert chat at 7 p.m.). Augustin Hadelich and Angela Cheng on Feb 22, at 8 p.m. (Pre-concert chat at 7 p.m.). In The Steps of Django Reinhard, with Denis Chang, at 8 p.m., on March 4th (Garry Oaks Winery tasting at 7 p.m.). Tim Ward Literary Reading at 7:30 p.m. on Feb 12th (readings from: "What the Buddha Never Taught"). Don't miss the show "Seeing", in the Lobby, a showcase of David Baughan's black and white photographs blended with Metis artist Johnny Lee's drawings. Salt Spring's Film Festival plays March 4, 5, 6th. Mark your calendars!
It's the Year of the Rabbit coming up, in the Chinese Horoscope tradition...starts on Feb 3rd. Perhaps a little surcease from the hurly-burly of the almost gone Year of the Tiger? I'm ready!
Ah...here we are, in the last moments of January...February ushers in "very early Spring" in this region...snowdrops, daffodils, early rhododendrons, early cherry blossoms, tulip bulbs in readiness to follow on behind...keep an eye on the lengthening days of growing light, on the softening of the air, of the unfolding of buds...we're on our way to that beautiful awakening of our coastal Spring...ah...so lovely!
It is the best of all worlds to be here, in the midst of this Pacific Northwest Coast gem of the Gulf Islands, swimming in the Salish Sea...breathe it in. Enjoy this treasure!
January 26, 2011.
French countryside? No, this is in the beautiful Cowichan Valley, the famous "warm land", in the Maple Bay neighbourhood of Southern Vancouver Island.
A turn-of-the-last century barn was renovated as a wonderful home, in the early 80s, and current owners have continued a restoration/renovation that has retained the yesteryear feel, while delivering on the amenities required in this 21st Century.
This acreage enjoys both a pastoral and a lake view, and is mere minutes to boat moorage in Maple Bay itself.
Mature landscaping, ponds, seasonal creek, a barn structure that would be ideal for that classic car storage, or for sheep, or as an antiques/collectibles locale, or...lots of options, and even sheep or horses would be happy here.
Very charming guest cottage!
The home offers formal entry/foyer, dramatic guest powder room, formal living with library/office off, country kitchen with breakfast area, formal dining, music room, and guest bedrooms/bathrooms in their own private "wing". This floor plan configuration would also lend itself to B & B / "country inn" options. The master sitting area/ensuite, enjoys the upper floor "aerie"...
Lake, garden, pastoral vistas...sunny, close to all services/amenities, and yet wondrously "apart".
Waiting for you to move into and to enjoy.
Call me...this one won't last!
January 25, 2011.
This is Robbie Burns Day...celebrated by Scots around the world!
A poet noted in his own time, for his call for social equality, and for his compiling and saving of Scottish poems in the vernacular, Robert Burns is also remembered every New Year's Eve, with the singing of Auld Lang Syne.
Read a poem or two...enjoy his wit and charm...his romantic spirit (My Love is Like a Red Red Rose)...and his recognition that we are all "brothers", globally, regardless of circumstances of birth.
In his time, he was known as a Pre-Romantic, foreshadowing Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Keats and Shelley...and could be viewed, in his own era, as a revolutionary.
Enjoy his writings!
January 24, 2011.
I know that real estate agents are lucky enough to encounter many beautiful properties, as they go about their business. It can be very uplifting, to show qualified buyers through motivated sellers properties, espceially when the scenic beauty of same is startlingly lovely.
Aside from the immediate satisfactions and challenges of a realtor's main focus, the linking of two parties in a transaction, the seller and the buyer, the real estate agent is also the generator of great activity in several other business lives. Such as?
Well...architects, contractors, interior designers, stagers, lawyers, notaries, buiilding inspectors, labs for water tests, well drillers, septic installers, flooring installers, custom windows, security systems, landscaping design, landscaping installers, fencing, swimming pool installations, decks, patios, suppliers of granite and marble for kitchens/bathrooms, window coverings, dock builders, furniture makers, lighting experts, plus decorative arts, fencing for pets, sheds for farm animals, barns, those who follow families, such as educators, shopping centres, building supply outlets, pharmacies...you get the picture!
It all starts with that meeting between a real estate agent and a client and the successful transaction that puts a family into a home....
This is an important profession, indeed!
Incubator? I think so, as it starts a chain without end....
And your thoughts are? Always welcome!
January 23, 2011.
At this time of year, real estate boards and individual companies share the sales statistics for the realtor membership, for the previous year.
By late January/early February, then, some franchise companies will showcase their realtor members who have achieved a certain sales record for the previous calendar year, and other realtors, perhaps from boutique style business models, will be recognized by their Board affiliations. The statistics are all based on the same information, although Board recognition is based only on MLS statistics. If a realtor sells a property, and it wasn't on the MLS system (this happens quite often), then it won't "show" in the Board statistics provided, although it may be counted in the franchise office statistics.
Some years back, the various Boards decided to do away with specific ranking, and instead put out certain awards for certain percentages of the overall Board membership.
When I was in the Victoria Board jurisdiction, I achieved Gold and Silver Award status, on a consistent basis, and was also honoured with the President's Award, in the Victoria Board region: ten consecutive years of Gold Award recognition. The Gold Award was given to the top 10% in sales, in the Victoria Board, the Silver in the top 20%, and the Bronze in the top 30% of the total membership. At that time, associated with a franchise company, I also received their top sales awards at that time. At the moment, there are 1,313 realtors in the Victoria Board region.
Currently, I am affiliated with the Vancouver Board, and they have similar designations for sales achievement. The top 10% in sales is known as the Medallion Club. I have achieved this recognition, and am very pleased to share this with my clients and friends. Again, these statistics are just for MLS listings, as that is what the Boards encompass. The sales I was involved in, that were not MLS listed, would not appear. At the moment, there are 10,000 realtors in the Vancouver Board area.
I always feel that sales awards are a recognition of excellence in customer service, from one's peers in the industry. Other realtors understand the energy, enthusiasm, expertise, perseverence, and quality service that creates a real estate career, and their recognition of that is the reason behind the awards system.
I am very happy to share my inclusion in the Vancouver Board's Medallion Club, which congratulates the top 10% of the realtor membership in that Board.
Thank you to my many clients and friends! I so appreciated your support.
January 22, 2011.
Here's a "best buy" opportunity for lovely Salt Spring oceanfront!
Looking for an oceanfront on special Salt Spring Island? Here's a very private parcel, with sandy beach and mooring for your boat in the bay!
Sunrises and sunsets from this gem, in the summer season...quiet area, close to Village and to all services/amenities, yet in a tranquil and rural environment.
The renovated and upgraded character home, the original family home of a homesteading Salt Spring family, offers three bedrooms/two full bathrooms, plus spacious living, oceanview solarium/dining, galley style kitchen, separate laundry, formal entry/foyer.
Wood floors, ocean or garden views from all principal rooms...a mature garden, with very pleasing and easy-care "natural" plantings.
The plus? Separate studio, a true writer's retreat (current owner finished his book in this thoughtful space) or overflow guest space.
Oceanview patios, hot tub with a view, dock for the kayak or canoe, separate garage, a forest and meadow mix...not a good driveby, as is totally private from the quiet country lane access.
Another plus? Same owner for the adjacent oceanview property, with a pretty one-bedroom cottage in place.
Yet another plus? Adjacent to the cottage parcel, is another lot ready to develop...again, the same owner.
Owner is willing to sell as a package, too, and welcomes offers. Good tenants in both the home and in the cottage...24 hr notice re all viewings.
Don't overlook this one. Full of beauty and charm, and dramatic vistas....
January 21, 2011.
Catch the Jack Akroyd showing at Cafe Talia, on Hereford Avenue. This is part of the Unheralded Artists of B.C. series. All sales go towards publication of this series. Arranged by Mona Fertig of MotherTongue Publishing. Don't miss this...runs till end of month.
Want to learn more about wine? Join Hastings House's wine club! Cost of $18 per person includes wine and cheese. Every other week, tasting and talking about a variety of top international and B.C. wines. No previous tasting experience required. Limited seating: call Milly or Kelly at 250-537-2362. Next one is the 31st.
Mark your calendars and plan a short voyage for this much awaited event: it's Galiano Island's Literary Festival on Feb 25 to 28th. Readings, interviews, writing workshops, panel discussions, small press book production...it's all about books! For more info or to register, call 250-539-3340. Check out www.galianoliteraryfestival.wordpress.com for the writers lineup.
Enjoy the Salt Spring Chamber Players with Matthew Stubbs on piano...January 27th, at 8 p.m., at ArtSpring.
Well done Kaya Hunter...first runner-up finish at Victoria's Idol contest.
Live music venues:
* Sat, 22nd, it's Soul at Moby's, with Krystle Dos Santos. Mark your calendars for the 29th, Sunyata at Moby's (dance).
* At Treehouse Cafe, enjoy Don Tarris and Tess Fama on Friday, 21st and Sweet Water Revolver on Sat 22nd (5:30 to 8:30 p.m.). Treehouse offers A Taste of India on Jan 26th (part of their twice monthly celebration of food from different regions of the world).
* Harbour House Hotel presents Paul Mowbray on Friday, 21st, and Lloyd English and Friends (Jazz) on Sat., with Sunday bringing the Barley Brothers (music: 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.). Enjoy!
Interested in the Maple Syrup process? Join Harbour House Hotel's free Maple Syrup Boil at their farm, Sunday, 10 to 4, with tastings, demos, and live music!
Any Celtic beings out there? It's Robbie Burns Day on Jan 25th, and there's a celebration to commemorate the Bard's birthday at the Lions Hall, on Feb 5th, presented by the SSI Pipers and Drummers. Tickets at 250-537-1676.
The Scottish Country Dance Club is also hosting a dinner and dance at Fulford Hall, beginning at 5:30 p.m., this Sat, the 22nd, also to celebrate Burns' birthday. Call 250-537-9997, for more details.
The Salt Spring Island Conservancy has been successful, with the help of donations from Island residents and a major contribution from Shaw Communications, in purchasing a huge parcel of land along Musgrave Road. Check out the website at www.saltspringconservancy.ca for more details.
B.C.'s first ever province-wide eathquake drill will also include Salt Spring. The ShakeOut Drill takes place on Jan 26th. Call 250-537-7902 for more info. Be prepared!
An alternate seaplane air hub, proposed for Vancouver, means more expensive fares. Floatplane operators are seeking public support to try to change the city's plans. Philip Reece, of Salt Spring Air, can explain the details.
The ambulance service has found a new home: on Park Drive. Good news for the Salt Spring paramedics.
Looking for a "winter treat"? Try a quiet moment at Rendezvous Cafe, across from Salt Spring Marina: one of Brigitte's amazing French pastries will lift the spirits! Settle into Cafe Talia, on Hereford, for a Sausalito style experience! Barb's Buns remains the quintessential Salt Spring people watching place, and those sticky ginger yummies are on my wish list! Treehouse Cafe enjoys an eclectic island allure, down by the Boardwalk. TJ Beans has the patio to catch some sunbeams on these rare clear days!
Want a new perspective on the Village? Wander out the floatplane dock and look back to town...it's a very different viewpoint....
Signs of Spring in all the gardens...and lengthening days. I'm ready!
January 20, 2011.
St. Mary Lakefront beauty...just for you!
A lakefront retreat is a special opportunity...summer/weekender enjoyment now, and a great retirement choice for later.
This gem is on St. Mary Lake, on Salt Spring Island, and enjoys s/sw/w sun exposures (get the sunsets, here!), and offers arable potential...be self-sufficient here!
The well built home is currently tenanted (good tenant would stay, if desired), and the design allows for a separate garden level suite or could do B & B here.
A mix of forest and meadow, private and quiet, this property allows one to "rest one's soul"...the perfect kind of retreat home. Walk to movie theatre, to tennis at nearby park, plus to golf course. Equestrian centre nearby to board a horse!
The lake is stocked with fish (trout and smallmouth bass) for fly fishing aficianados. No gas power motors are allowed...only sail or canoe or kayak or electric motors.
Ah...breathe in the tranquility and enjoy!
January 19, 2011.
What does it mean, to be a real estate agent?
Most people think the job description is just about sales.
That, of course, is a component of the career choice...it is certainly about connecting a willing and qualified buyer with a willing and motivated seller. The agent's fee is in the form of a commission, which is only paid at the close of a successful transaction.
Unlike many other sales positions, though, which may have a quite cut and dried aspect to their sales processes, real estate is full of emotional quotients.
It involves the word "home"...full of evocative meaning!
At any given moment, the "home" may have to be sold.
Death? Divorce? Moving to assisted living? Transferred? Foreclosure/conduct of sale? The terrain is fraught!
Suddenly, the sales transaction involves an extra dimension not encountered in another kind of sales process...change is needed, and it's not always a happy thing.
A home sale or purchase is about lifestyle, and choice by the consumer is a big part of the decision process. A home is often viewed as an extension of the inhabitant.
In stressful situations, such as aging, death, divorce, a realtor needs to bring forth empathy coupled with expertise...the job description involves a listening skill, a detached compassion, a knowledge of market statistics to ensure good value, patience in the process of offers and counter-offers, an insistence on the long term good of the client over the short term gain of a specific commission.
What about that listing realtor?
A lot of costs, all borne upfront by the realtor: MLS fees to put the listing on that system, fees to add it to competing systems so that the spread of marketing is as wide as possible, the costs of advertising, whether specialty print, signage, brochures, internet options (website, new social media marketing opportunities), costs of continuing education to remain current with ever-changing laws and standards and new marketing "methods", extras to promote the listing beyond the "expected/bare minimum requirement", flyers, etc. There's also the professional execution of a listing contract, measuring the home, a photo shoot.
The upfront costs mount up, and in a secondary home/discretionary area, where the buyer is not local and the marketing thrust has to go "out there", to attract the buyer in the first place, the marketing costs escalate further.
What about that buyer's agent?
Some costs are the same as those for a listing agent: both pay company fees (called "desk fees", whether or not the realtor works from a corporate office or from a home office), plus licencing and insurance fees, plus Board fees. Both have car expenses (gas, insurance, maintenance), business card and promotional options. The buyer's agent also has continuing education requirements, at their cost, just as a listing agent does.
In seeking buyers, the buyer's agent also has to "advertise" to attract those buyers. Expertise in writing a binding contract of purchase and sale is an important item. Helping to arrange for and interpret results from "due diligence" professionals: financing/appraisals, building inspectors, septic inspectors, well water tests, insurance inspections (fireplaces, wood stoves), etc. -- all areas where a buyer's agent's expertise is essential.
The bottom line for both realtors, a listing or a buyer's agent, is the satisfaction and well-being of the client.
A property sale or purchase is the biggest investment for most people, and a realtor also has to be able to explain clearly the process involved, to their client, and to guide them throughout that process.
It is not a business that has longevity if the realtor approaches it only on a deal to deal basis.
It is a business and the realtor is being recompensed for work done, of course, but it needs to be tracked on a yearly basis...the culmination of several transactions, not just on each deal at the moment of the deal.
It's the "long tail" view, not the "short-tail", that denotes a professional. Patience, consistency in "message", perseverence, ethical choices, continuing education...these are all hallmarks of a long-term and professional real estate agent.
Every transaction is different, there is no "one size fits all", because it's about an individual client's requirements, and for both listing and buyer's agents it's about recognizing and remembering that real estate is a service business.
Although one can end up doing well, in any sales business model, as a sales career rewards creative endeavour over the "long haul", there can also be many dips/lows between the "highs", and the ability to plan and to budget is also a characteristic of long term "success". One has to be able to live through downmarkets, while still maintaining a viable presence (more upfront costs), and this means planning ahead for the inevitable "lulls". Real estate is a market driven reality, not a static model.
People who, from the "outside", think "anyone" can be a good realtor, and go into the business thinking its all about easily earned commissions, soon get a shock.
It is a business, and needs a business plan. There are huge upfront expenses, borne by the realtor, and incurred en route to finally earning the outcome of diligent work: the commission.
A service business is about people. One has to like people, and to be able to work with all kinds of people. As people are constantly surprising, then so can the business "surprise". Patience is a good quality to foster.
I remember an instructor, when I took my real estate courses, 20+ years ago, saying: "look around...80 percent of the few hundred in this room will be out of the business within 2 years". Looking back, I would say this is true. A sales career is not for everyone, and it's just as well to recognize this, early on.
The training to be a realtor, though, will stand one in good stead, no matter the career path: financing, law, understanding of contracts, design/appraisal information, property management components, etc. These are excellent background knowledge elements to retain.
It is very important to have a passion for what one does in life. In spite of inevitable setbacks, such a love for the chosen career will carry one over hurdles, past the time interruptions of a sales career (one is at the call of the client's agenda/timeline), and will encourage a quality of enjoyment.
I think a professional real estate agent is an integral part of a community experience...caring expertise on behalf of a seller or a buyer, a commitment to the welfare of the community as a whole, through support of worthy charities and fundraisers, a creator of business for many others (construction, interior design, property managers, financing, furnishings, landscaping, education, and so on and so on....).
If it's a train, then a real estate agent is the engine that starts the journey....
I, for one, love what I do....
And your thoughts are? Always welcome!
January 18, 2011,
"You could labor ten years under a master
Trying to discern whether the teachings are true.
But all you might learn is this:
One must live one's own life."
(Deng Ming-Dao: "Tao...Daily Meditations")
January 17, 2011.
Looking for a delectable private island retreat opportunity?
Here is wonderful Pym Island, for you to enjoy!
Five acres, with a mix of forest and meadow, a "lake", tennis court, room for a helipad if desired, gazebo with a sunset view, beaches, dock (arrive by private boat or floatplane, right to your door), and with spectacular ocean, islands, and mountain viewscapes! Beauty, everywhere!
Dramatic main home, with indoor pool and games area...marble floor throughout formal entry/foyer and powder room, sensational living with feature stone fireplace, custom wood flooring, room for a concert grand piano!
Formal dining...entertain with flair!
Two master sitting rooms, with spacious ensuites, plus breakfast area/family dining, cook's kitchen/pantry, guest/inlaw or nanny's separate suite.
Games room, library/den, atrium feature leading to indoor pool/spa. Expansive storage, wine room on lower level. Several wood-burning fireplaces!
So many custom and unique features here, with privacy and style. This fine home echoes the allure of a Swiss estate!
The plus? Four separate guest cottages, all self-contained. Three enjoy frontage on the lake, and the fourth enjoys a point of land allure.
Separate caretaker's home, plus trails to amble, beaches to wander, and sunrises and sunsets to enjoy...
Generator in place, plus power delivered by cable from Canoe Cove, a private marina, where there is a boat slip for this island. From Canoe Cove to your dock is approximately 8 minutes!
Very private, your own tranquil lifestyle, yet easy access to all amenities/services in Sidney-by-the-Sea, and to Victoria International Airport. Victoria, B.C.'s capital city, is a short drive away.
Proximity coupled with privacy, and all surrounded by environmental beauty, in all directions...it's a "wow"!
In the heart of some of the best protected boating waters in the world...call me, for appointments to view! 24 hour notice for all showings.
January 16, 2011.
It appears that tax assessments for 2011, on Salt Spring, have reduced by around 20 percent.
This reflects the suppressed market conditions in our secondary home/discretionary marketplace, which have been in effect, perhaps, since 2007.
Taxes are based on immediate past statistics. 2011 assessments, for example, are apparently based on statistics up to July 2010.
No market stays "up" or "down". Fluctuation is the baseline of all market driven segments.
The huge economic meltdowns in evidence by Fall 2008 resulted in a "flat market" in secondary home/discretionary purchase marketplaces, and globally. No one "has to" buy such an item...retirement and recreational purchases can be put "on hold", until better times.
Are those better times now in the wings?
If people "stopped", out of fear, and remained in cash heavy positions as an antidote to deflation concerns, then they were not buying non-liquid hard assets. All secondary home regions were affected. It does appear that this "pause" lasted from early 2006 to late 2010. Prices did reduce substantially from mid-2007 to mid-2010.
Fear of inflation may now be encouraging people out of cash heavy positions, and back into good hard asset opportunities.
In October, 2010, an uptick in viewing interest/subsequent offers began to appear.
The main action still remains in the residential category, though now in all price ranges, but there is also a fresh beginning to activity in undeveloped land and in commercial options showing itself. Signs of positivity?
Fear of currency instability, concern over inflation, a desire to preserve capital (preservation is not about appreciation), and a search for a "safe haven" may be the drivers to this sudden uptick in activity, in all discretionary areas.
So...stability in our country's economy. A strong currency. Locally, a temperate climate that encourages arable pursuits and self-sufficiency capabilities. A sea and mountain and clear sky beauty....
Historically low interest rates, substantial price reductions that make excellent property choices "affordable", an environmentally aware community...just some of the reasons to consider a quality hard asset purchase, in the here and now, in this particular area.
Questions about real estate opportunities on Salt Spring Island and on the Southern Gulf Islands? Call me!
How may I help you to buy your dream Island property?
January 15, 2011.
We are very lucky on this special Island to call Laura Roveda a Salt Spring Islander...for several years, she has encouraged a seeking of spiritual and ethical values from her eclectic and healing arts store: Windflower Moon.
This metaphysical shop is now no more...redevelopment caused Laura to decide to close her enterprise, rather than to relocate. Her space and presence will be missed!
What is interesting is what she has decided to do next: she has left for Calcutta, where she is to volunteer for two weeks, teaching crafts, with Made By Survivors. This is a project of The Emancipation Network (TEN), a program that suppoets people who have been rescued from slavery by helping them learn skills in handicrafts.
Interested in helping? Check out the website: www.madebysurvivors.com
Enjoy Peter Vincent's sage editorial in this week's Driftwood...a plea for listening skills! Gary Cherneff, the noted potter, also brings up a thoughtful analysis in the InDepth column...read this!
Live music continues at Treehouse Cafe, Harbour House Hotel, and Moby's...enjoy!
Hope you've been down to Grace Point Square to be mesmerized by the wind sculptures there...created in the U.S., and brought to our enjoyment by Steffich Fine Art Gallery.
Not happy with your property tax assessment? You have until January 31st to "disagree".
Catch the Simply Organic concert on the 19th...bubbly and uplifting pieces, mostly from the Baroque period, to allure you. It features Don Conley, and is organized by the Music Makers group from All Saints church. The concert begins at 10:10, and the music is free. See you there!
Tonight, at 7 p.m., at All Saints, it's Bach On The Rock. Again, tomorrow, at 2 p.m. Lucky us!
Mark your calendar: Salt Spring Folk Club presents April Verch Band, with opening act Kelly Burk! January 31st, at Fulford Hall; show starts at 7 p.m.
I'm very interested in serving on the Chamber's Board...as a new Board member, I look forward to helping other Board members to create a viable business climate to serve the retail and service businesses on the Island. I believe in entrepreneurship...we have so many opportunities on this special Island.
Catch my live radio show on the new community radio station: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 7 to 9 a.m., Pacific Time...music, musings, interviews with Islanders. Podcasts of interviews at: www.liread.com/radio.htm (called All Things Salt Spring...And More). Thank you!
Some people escape to sunny climes in the first three weeks of January.
For those of us who remain, we float between Arctic Cold fronts and "pineapple express" warmth...every day it gets a little lighter for a little longer, tulip bulbs are poking above ground, snowdrops are out...the slow march to Spring has begun...ah, lovely!
January 14, 2011.
What about the guest bathroom? What makes a great powder room?
I love the mix of textures in this one...one wall of stone, which is the back of the living room fireplace, plus a skylight for ambient light, a slab of stone as the countertop, concrete floor with a skim of copper...it's a small space, but very alluring and captures the essence of the rest of this home.
The owner has built a number of properties, and always felt that it was a "plus" to have a designated and separate bathroom space for guests...in other homes, one of the bedrooms shared a bathroom with drop in guests.
If there's enough room, this is a "winning idea" in design, I think.
In some regions, maybe marble, and different lighting (if its an "inside space") would be appropriate. In my west coast environment, though, this mix of natural materials appeals to me!
And your thoughts are? Always welcome!
January 13, 2011.
What makes a great dining room?
It's always a gift to have a soaring view right outside the window, but even when that's not the case, there can be evocative dining experiences....
Is it about the style of table? This one is absolutely square, which seems to have the same effect as a round table...no one at the "head space", all diners equally involved in conversation and appreciation of the food offered.
It's a glass table, though I think I'm partial to wood...a gleaming surface, in any case, is always an invitation to sit down, to pause, and to enjoy.
Lighting is another essential...I quite like this tear drop fixture, with its pooling of light centred on the table top.
Even in an "open plan" / "great room" kind of design, a designated space for dining is a feature that adds to the quality of our lives, I think. Communicating with friends and family over an appealing dinner, served at a compelling space, gives us that "lift" that we all need, on a daily basis.
My thoughts, anyway. And yours are? Always welcome!
January 12, 2011.
"Meaning in life is arbitrary.
Why ruin the universe with rigidity?"
(Deng Ming-Dao: "Tao...Daily Meditations")
January 11, 2011.
Hmmm....I know that soaking in a tub at the end of a long day can be very therapeutic, but I have to say that there's something terrific about this shower!
The light behind the glass wall is an amazing feature at night, and the doors open totally wide onto the deck, and there's the hot tub with the sensational view, waiting for one....
The word sybaritic comes to mind!
So many homes today have great bathrooms, almost spa experiences, and it's fun while showing such a home to take note of "winning ideas"...you know the kind, the ones we promise ourselves to enjoy, too.
In all my ceaseless renovations, I don't think I've experienced a great bathroom...maybe you have to build from scratch to get such an animal?
This one is one of my favourites....
January 10, 2011.
What makes a great kitchen?
Lots of different opinions on this one, and it may have to do with whether the homeowner likes to cook or not!
There are elements in this particular design that seem to be on many buyers "hot lists"...the door at the rear of this shot (adjacent to the fridge) leads to a very expansive and well organized pantry. A good idea, I thought, as it keeps the clutter down.
The cabinets in this kitchen are also fitted out with spaces for mixers, etc...again, a way to reduce clutter on countertops.
Whether one likes granite or stainless appliances becomes a personal decision (I like butcher block counters and white appliances, especially in a country setting), but the streamlined appeal of this kitchen, and its ease of use (is a galley design the best for overall workability?) has resonance.
This is not a showhome kitchen, and people really do live and cook in this space...I see that this is going to become one of my New Year resolutions that I try to keep...enjoying a clutter free kitchen environment!
Hmm.....maybe it's the minimalist approach that makes a great kitchen?
And your thoughts are? Always welcome!
January 9, 2011.
Here's a terrific investment opportunity on special Salt Spring Island!
Post and Beam "west coast" style, on a very private lot, with a dramatic ocean, islands, and mountain viewscape -- a WOW!
Good tenant in place...would stay, if desired.
Well-maintained, this 3 bed/2 bath one level home would be easy to renovate to 21st Century allure, and the land/location would encourage a rebuild...enjoy now as an investment "hold" or as a summer/weekender retreat, and develop your dream home later.
Close to Village, and to all amenities/services, and to Sailing Club, plus to park hiking/walking trails, and to beach accesses. On community water.
A true "best buy" opportunity, in oceanview options, on this enticing and year round lifestyle Island gem.
Ocean vista decking is waiting for you...a morning coffee paradise!
Call me for appointment to view....
January 8, 2011.
It seems that the post-internet world is now really delivering the "true" 21st Century ethic, and the opening decade of transition is definitely over. What does this mean?
Change is the name of the game.
The time for a hybrid reality is over...you're either in or you're out.
No place is exempt.
If we thought we could put up our seaside version of China's Great Wall, to hold onto our familiar Island lifestyle, and keep out the levelling influence of the 21st Century, it's not to be.
So...we have the Islands Trust's current Trustees on Salt Spring struggling to stop Everything to save Something, and thus allowing the potential destruction of Treasure Island as we knew it (is that a "law of paradox" outcome?). We have the disappearance of the odd, the eclectic, the organic in business models, to be replaced by the packaged format of the franchise model. Yes, I know...it's a Salt Spring version of a franchise experience, but it's a long way from the Island's individuality motif....
We have a long time business owner in Fulford stating that Fulford Village has been overwhelmed by the ferry traffic, and so is no longer viable...don't know that other business owners would agree, but it's true that Fulford has a problem with the increased ferry traffic/no way of controlling that...it's ease/not congestion that is the desired outcome.
Hmmm...do we need an expanded voice on Salt Spring, to aid the Trust's mandate of "to preserve and protect"?
It's not particularly clear what the Islanders for Self-Government would suggest as an alternative to the Trust/CRD option in place now, but it is clear that needs and proactive outcomes are not being addressed by the 1974 mandate.
Something needs to evolve to maintain the spirit of the Trust without creating unnecessary hardships for the Islanders.
A conversation, not a confrontation, is essential.
Don't just sit back and complain...get involved, share your vision and your concerns...a community is a grouping of ideas that mesh into a cohesive blueprint...your voice needs to be heard, too.
How to begin? Attend Trust meetings. Drop into the CRD office. Go to Chamber events. Be interviewed on a community radio station programme. Write a letter to the editor of the weekly community newspaper. Find out what the Islanders for Self-Government are all about. You don't need to agree...to start with, it's a fact-finding mission.
In a community, every voice/every thought process and interpretation is essential. Listening skills are also essential. Change is with us, whether we want it or not, and flexibility is key. Knowledge, and not bias, is also key.
One interesting observation: I'm always encouraging people to back up a little, to get out of the forward crouch position of tunnel vision, and to practice peripheral vision, that wider frame of reference...there, shimmering on the edges, is the creative impulse that brings solutions....
For Salt Spring, shimmering on the edges of a peripheral vision/180 degree frame of reference, we have the newly framed Salt Spring Exchange's Digital World...catch the next meeting! I attended the second one, and found the total array of Islanders there...a good sign that they are onto something!
The internet world is about connections. The previous timeframe allowed for pods, secure in their own worlds, not bridging to other pods. No more....
Salt Spring's Digital federation is all about connections and collaborations...that may save our Island gem.
Check it out!
And your thoughts are? Always welcome!
January 7, 2011.
Check today's Driftwood Weekender paper...Lisa Sliwowska is featured, with her terrific new business: Figs and Honey. Check out Lisa's website, too.
An end of an era with Bruce Patterson closing his Fulford Village business in November of 2011. I wonder...do you think this will end up as the much needed expanded B.C. Ferries parking lot? Hmmm...let's see what develops....
Yes, it's truly the "off season" in January...even Islanders zip off to Hawaii, Palm Desert, Tucson, La Jolla, Marco Island, Puerto Vallarta...you get the drift: sunny and warm!
Oddly enough, though, we have potential buyers popping in...they say they want to see the Island "at its worst". Even in the off season, though, this is a very alluring area...a nice surprise!
The Salt Spring Dollars (designed by artists -- beautiful currency options!) are alive and well. In 2011, the directors of the Salt Spring Monetary Foundation are looking towards taking the currency from universal acceptance to universal useage. Interested? Want to volunteer/learn more? Check out their website: saltspringdollars.com
A thank you to Windflower Moon and to Admiral's Specialty Foods...with the new building slated for that location now underway, these two businesses have closed their doors. They will be missed!
Salt Spring Soapworks will reappear in the new building, and Acoustic Planet Music has withdrawn to their nearby studio space. The funky and alluring spaces and businesses will be missed!
Make sure you buy the RCMP calendar...it's a fundraiser for the Meals On Wheels program. A huge thank you to the many volunteers of this so valuable community endeavour! Thank you!
Always wanted to paint? Join the Salt Spring Painter's Guild...a selection of workshops for all levels of artists in this winter's guild program. Check the website: ssipaintersguild.com
Check out Evelyn Russell's latest work...on display at the Credit Union. TJ Beans coffee house is showcasing photos by Lou Ellis -- don't miss this!
Bach on the Rock at All Saints by the Sea, January 15th, 7 p.m., and 2 p.m. on the 16th. Tickets at ArtSpring and at the door.
Tree House Cafe showcases David Jaquest tonight and Vaughn Fulford tomorrow (5:30 to 8:30 p.m., live music). A Taste of Thailand on January 12th, for dining pleasure.
Moby's tonight: pop/rock with Tom and Matt, and a repeat tomorrow. Open stage with Stephanie Rhodes every Wednesday. Live music venue!!!!
Something to say? Be a part of Wendy Judith Cutler's workshop: Women Writing Memoir: Writing Our Lives. Call Cutler for more info (250-653-4286).
Tonight, at Harbour House Hotel, enjoy Stephanie Rhodes (6:30 to 9 p.m.). Tomorrow, it's Lloyd English and Ian Van Wyck, and Sunday it's the amazingly engaging Barley Brothers. Lucky us!
Check out the community radio station's schedule (cfsi-fm.com), and tune in to the volunteer and eclectic programming choices...definitely mirrors the wonderful dimensions that are found on special Salt Spring Island!
Looking for a morning show? It's all live, remember! On Monday/Wednesday/Thursday dial in at 107.9 fm or streaming audio off the website, 7 to 9 a.m., Pacific Time, and catch my show: music, musings, interviews with Islanders (podcasts of interviews at: www.liread.com/radio.htm). Thank you!
Wanting to discover the boating world? The next Salt Spring Island Power and Sail Squadron Boating Course begins on January 11th. Call by today to register: 250-537-5377.
Enjoy the wind sculptures in Grace Point Square (thank you to Steffich Fine Art Gallery).
Give yourself a treat at this "soft season" moment...dinner at Bocados Bistro in Grace Point Square. Piccolo's on Hereford Avenue for fine dining. Marketplace Cafe at Harbour Centre, next to Centennial Park. Harbour House Hotel. Rock Salt Cafe in Fulford Village. Seaside Kitchen in Vesuvius. Bruce's Kitchen for the very best take out (also eat in) -- in Harbour Centre. A little spoiling at this time of year is de riguer!
Yes, it's the "off season/soft season", but this is Salt Spring Island...magical no matter when!
January 6, 2011.
This is Twelfth Night, in the English and German Christmas season tradition. The Twelve Days of Christmas begin with Christmas Eve, and putting the tree up. On January 6th, it's the celebration of the Epiphany in the Christian calendar, and venerates the Wise Men in the Christmas story. It's also the signal for the end of the festivities, the tree comes down, and there is a special cake (has a coin in it...the person who finds the coin in their slice gets a lucky year to follow!) at a Twelfth Night celebratory dinner.
Traditions are fun, and even if it wasn't one's original background, in this eclectic world it's interesting to "borrow".
With lengthening days, and tightly wrapped buds showing on bushes and trees, with snowdrops already out in some protected areas, and early flowering rhododendrons and cherry trees, we are lucky in this temperate region to experience "early Spring" days.
Enjoy your Twelfth Night celebrations and keep an eye on the natural world...it is steadily marching to Spring.
January 5, 2010.
"Don't be afraid to explore;
Without exploration there are no discoveries.
Don't be afraid of partial solutions;
Without the tentative there is no
(Deng Ming-Dao: "Tao...Daily Meditations")
January 4, 2011.
Am still enjoying doing my live radio show on Salt Spring's community station (www.cfsi-fm.com). I welcome you to "tune in", 7 to 9 a.m., Pacific Time, on Monday and Wednesday. It's at 107.9 fm, if you're on Island!
I've been very lucky in my 20+ year real estate career on Salt Spring Island and the Southern Gulf Islands, and have met hundreds of interesting people. My show isn't about real estate, but is about interviewing and introducing some of these people to the rest of the Island/Islanders.
Check out my website for podcasts of some interviews to date ( www.liread.com/radio.htm) -- thank you!
I always think that Salt Spring delivers an opportunity to us all to reinvent ourselves. We all carry so many parts, and at any one time we allow such a "part" to become known by our fellow islanders.
Gus came in to talk about fly fishing, Grant spoke about building amazingly beautiful banjos, Mona presented her book on the underacknowledged artsists of B.C., Robert read his evocative and powerful poems for us, Steve talked about wine pairings, Garth about his textile collection, Gayle about her series of books on coastal cities/towns, Celia about showcasing the amazing woodworkers on the Island, Milly about the Hastings House events, several superlative artists involved with the annual Masterpiece Weekend spoke about their works, designers came by to showcase their expertise, holistic spa style elements with Lisa, Dennis shared his architectural vision, Peter brought his guitar and reminded us of what it means to be a raconteur, Ed dropped in to share flying visions, Gurjinder read from her award winning novel, Anthony spoke with us about the Arts Council on Salt Spring, Bruce shared his kitchen delights, and so it goes.
We are so lucky on this eclectic and talented and remarkably beautiful Island!
The live show is about the Island, the Islanders, and I get to enjoy playing the music I like to listen to...hope you do, too!
Comments and suggestions are always welcome!
January 3, 2011.
Some thoughts, as we begin a new calendar year....
A reminder: my market thoughts are exactly that..."thoughts".
If graphs and statistics are your thing, then the Real Estate Boards provide same.
Something to remember: in the Southern Gulf Islands, the various real estate boards (Vancouver, Victoria, and Vancouver Island are the 3 in our region) describe the entire Gulf Islands area as "grey territory".
This means that realtors who work in the islands, under various companies, are a member of a specific Board...in a "grey territory" the Board affiliation can be chosen by the company in that "fringe" area. What does this mean?
Well, the "private client service", for example, is Board sensitive -- that means the listing alerts received by a consumer, who has agreed to receive same from a particular realtor, will only be alerts for listings in the Board area of that realtor.
If the realtor works for a company on the Victoria Board, say, then the consumer only gets "alerts" for Victoria Board listings. Vancouver Board and Vancouver Island Board listings will not show, thus. Such a service then, whether offering listings or "solds" information, is only partial information/is Board specific.
In the past, perhaps there used to be one overall repository of knowledge, but those days are gone forever, in our post-internet world.
Now, there is choice in information...no one place has a monopoly on information on listings or on "solds to date".
As a part of this post-internet era, the mls system in Canada must now offer a broader spread of services to a consumer, after several years of discussion with the Competition Bureau in Canada (more info? Call me!).
The consumer must check several sources now, to get the "full picture". There is no "one stop shop". This applies to both listings information and to "solds" statistics.
Just know this, then, when a realtor is stating the "solds for the year"...they mean the "solds" on their particular Board affiliation, which is their source of that information.
So...no longer just one dedicated place for full information.
Also, no one checking on personal realtor websites...thus, information on these may not be current.
Just be aware, that's all.
So...here we sit, at the beginning of a New Year.
There has been a sudden, though late in the season, difference in our secondary home/discretionary resort-based area, and it seems to date back to the first week in October, 2010.
An uptick in interest in residential properties, in all price ranges, appeared at that time.
Throughout 2009, and most of 2010, the sales pattern was only seen in entry level residential options.
A very few higher end properties sold, but such sales appeared to be "one offs", isolated cases, and thus no market trend was in evidence.
Commercial and undeveloped (raw land) offerings were not of interest, either, to the still reluctant buyers.
After an increase in pricing of close to 60 percent, between 2002 and 2005, we saw a plateau period develop in 2006 and 2007.
This "flat" time was followed by the economic meltdowns of Fall, 2008. Appraisers feel that prices have now reduced by 20 to 30 percent, depending on the type of property involved, from 2007 levels.
Fear makes people "stop", and this expressed itself in all secondary home markets and globally so. (Although real estate is regional in one sense, the market trends are now global...another outcome of the post-internet era, perhaps?).
In uncertain times, no one has to buy a second or retirement home...such discretionary purchases can be put "on hold". This is what happened on the Gulf Islands, and in all similar secondary home venues.
When price reductions of a substantial nature were tried, in an effort to jumpstart activity, it very rarely resulted in either increased viewings or in sales. When a buyer sits back and says: "I don't know...I'll think about it", they mean it. In such a downtime, it's rare that pricing will create a desire to buy.
Fear can also propel activity, though, and the sales at the moment seem to be happening, for the most part, without a financing subject condition...is this a "get out of cash" movement, then?
Fear of currency instability, coupled with a concern that inflation will be the inevitable outcome of the massive bailouts at government levels, globally, may be pushing people out of cash heavy investment options and back into "real" hard assets. If so, it will be a desire to preserve capital that is propelling this activity.
No one has a crystal ball.
It is true, though, that no market remains static. Real estate is a market driven item. It has been "flat" and "depressed" since very early in 2006. That's five years of sluggish conditions. One theory is that markets have seven year cycles.
Indicators seem to be pointing, even in the U.S., to an acceptance that the housing market has bottomed. That implies that a slow shifting to an uptick trend may be occurring now.
Inventory often shrinks in the off season...sellers take properties off market in poor weather months. What if they are also removing product from the market, though, in recognition of a shift back to hard asset investment?
January is a time when first indicators of a coming year's trend slowly begin to take shape. By mid-March, that trend is usually much clearer.
It's good to attend investment seminars, just to hear "prevailing wisdom". Be listening, and remember to practice "peripheral vision". Media like us to be locked into tunnel vision, focusing on data. Back up a little, catch a wider field of vision...there, on the edges, shimmering, is the creative impulse that delivers solutions. Up to us to be attentive to the unexpected!
Since early October, 2010, then, our local Gulf Islands market has been showing strength in all price ranges, in residential offerings.
I think we are getting close to the moment when a buyer will consider buying land and then building a home. As quality residential options sell off, well priced undeveloped land will suddenly appeal, and building will once again be a viable choice.
Short term, then, we have continuing low interest rates, good inventory, motivated sellers, and the Gulf Islands / Salt Spring Island remain very alluring opportunities, over time, for both enjoyment and investment.
How may I help you to achieve your special Island dream? I look forward to your call!
January 2, 2011.
What is it about beaches that attract us?
A stretch of sand, lapping waves, some islets dotted about just to give perspective...right away, we're taking off our shoes and going for a beachcombing stroll, right?
Even those of us who do not enjoy the coastal lifestyle, with beach experiences as part of our everyday lives, crave that ocean air, that idling walk on the hard packed sand, the seaweed clusters at the tide's edge....
This empty beach is a good image to carry into the New Year. At the close of the year, it's a wise thing to let go of the things that can make us hesitant, uncertain...just throw it all into the "shredder", and lift it off our minds.
Let's remember the clean sweep of the ocean, on a daily basis...the sandpipers get a new palette to play on every 24 hours. The bird and sea life don't carry forward the upsets of the past...it's always a "new beach" in one way, right?
Let's see if we can't borrow a little of that "be in the now" stance. It keeps us fresh for new enterprises, new thoughts, new ways to "be". It gives us the freedom of creative choices....declutter the mind as well as the space we inhabit.
Ah, the beach awaits.
And your thoughts are? Always welcome!
January 1, 2011.
Happy New Year!