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The Columbia Valley Pioneer • June 20, 2008

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New Homes Your Guide to New Housing Developments in the Columbia Valley

Elk Park Ranch

Business Feature submitted by Elk Park Ranch

Homestead – it is a word that conjures up the romance and adventure of the western, of the Ponderosa or The Big Valley. To own new ranch land seems a dream almost impossible to grasp in today’s world. Yet the Elk Park Ranch development offers a masterplanned community with 16 ranches ranging in size from 38 to 480 acres, for sale, just two kilometres from Radium. “If you want to have your horses and a few cattle, you can,” says Fred Schickedanz of Schickendanz West, developer of Elk Park Ranch. “Or you could simply build your dream home on it and enjoy the view of the Purcell Mountains, the lake, streams and all the amenities that British Columbia’s Columbia Valley offers – fishing, skiing, golf, mountain biking, hiking – all three hours from Calgary.” The Elk Park Ranch development covers 4,300 acres, of which 3,500 have been allocated for 16 variously sized ranches. A working 600-acre ranch, called the Upper Ranch, which offers horse boarding and trail rides, borders the offered acreages. A community has been planned within a core 200 acres that will feature amenities including restaurants, boutique shops and accommodation. Around this core will be a mix of single-and multi-family homes. Yet, one is never further than a horseshoe’s toss from the history that permeates the area. Elk Park Ranch was settled in 1886, when 18year-old James McKay bought 15,000 acres from the B.C. Government. Now known as the McKay Ranch, 160 acres of that land is a unique ranch offering that contains 80 per cent of Baptiste Lake. The other 20 per cent of the lake is part of the 40-acre Clear Water Ranch.

The original McKay ranch house will become a community centre for Elk Park Ranch owners.

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2 • The Columbia Valley Pioneer – New Homes


MOUNTA I N E S TA TE H OMESITES I n th e h e a r t o f th e p r e sti gi o u s C o p p e r Point Golf Resor t

Cop p e r Po i n t E sta tes an exclusive com m u n i ty f e a tu r i n g large, unique hom e si te s w i th stu nning, panoramic mou n ta i n a n d go l f cour se views. • Se c l u d e d e sta te h omesites fr o m ¼ a c r e to ½ acr e • Go l f C o u r se f r o n ta ge site s ava i l ab l e • Ar c h i te c tu r a l l y c o ntr olled • Ga te d p r iva te c o mmunity

Fr om $239,000

C a l l ( 2 5 0 ) 3 4 1 - 1 9 7 6 o r e m a i l r m a so n @ c opper f o r m o r e i n f o r m a ti o n o r to a r r a n ge a site tour.

June 20, 2008

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New Homes – The Columbia Valley Pioneer • 3

Continued from Page 1 McKay’s historic farmhouse, which he floated down the Columbia River from Golden in 1901, has been upgraded and will be integrated into a community facility. There will also be a private Homesteaders Club/ Lodge for the owners of the ranch parcels. It will contain its own fitness room, lounge and barbecue area. This spring, the first phase of the Village homesites is being released. They include one- to four-acre lots called the homesteads, single-family lots called the homesites, and side-by-side bungalow homes. Prices for the Ranches are expected to range from $1.1 million to $4.5 million with the McKay Ranch commanding highest price. Other ranches include the southernmost Snowy Owl Ranch which covers 473 acres. The largest parcel at 480 acres, the Trailhead Ranch, borders Kootenay National Park. The 405-acre Spirit Ranch also abuts the National Park. For a more pastoral layout, the 316-acre Ward Ranch features extensive meadowland. Bent Creek Ranch at 463 acres features a creek that runs from Baptiste Lake. Furthest north is the Mustangs Ranch which is at the end of the road allowance for those who wish to be left alone. All the acreages feature magnificent views and medium-forested land. For more information visit the Elk Park Ranch centre in Radium, or visit or call the toll-free number 1-877-347-6838.

NATURAL BEAUTY – The mountain lifestyle includes daily enjoyment of the wildlife and birds that share our home, especially the herds of deer and elk who roam the Columbia Valley.

4 • The Columbia Valley Pioneer – New Homes

June 20, 2008

along the 9th fairway of the springs golf course

To tour or for ownership : 1 888 766 9637 Fractional, 1/8, 1/4 & full ownership from $29,800 Receive 50% off rental rates for a 2 or 3 night stay when you book a tour

For a resort vacation : 1 877 344 2323

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New Homes – The Columbia Valley Pioneer • 5

Imagine this view Mountain views, although sought after in some parts of Alberta, are commonplace in the Columbia Valley, where you would be hard-pressed to find a home without a mountain view! Lake views are less common, and also prized by people from the prairies. And views of the water from this distance – the kind of water view that fills a picture window, like this one photographed by Kyla Brown – are practically priceless.

Kyla Brown Photography Invermere

Invermere’s best-priced new home ownership opportunity! Get more for your money, with beautifully finished three-bedroom homes starting at $359,900. Each home features a thoughtful floor plan, designed for comfortable living. On the main floor entry, a den/bedroom/office and garage… on the second floor, a large kitchen with eating area, living room, bath and balcony… on the third floor, a master bedroom with full bath en-suite, laundry, and a second bedroom. Cedarwood Glen is centrally located in the heart of the Columbia Valley. Imagine… just two blocks to downtown Invermere, and three blocks to the beach! Enjoy all the conveniences in a quiet and peaceful setting. Some homes are ready for occupancy now! For details, call (250) 341-1182.

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June 20, 2008

New Homes – The Columbia Valley Pioneer • 7

June 20, 2008

Risks and rewards of flipping real estate Business Feature by Sandra Kelly People who buy and sell real estate solely for profit are inclined to point out that property is a commodity like any other. The free market determines its value, and buying it solely for investment purposes isn’t a crime, at least not in most places. Opponents of the practice of “flipping” real estate—buying low and selling high within a short time period—argue that property isn’t like other investments. Diamonds and coal are commodities, but we don’t inhabit them. Real estate puts us all in a morally untenable position: we hope to make money from it, but at the same time we recognize the need for affordable homes. Flipping tends to artificially inflate the value of property. In France, flipping is illegal. Anyone who sells a home before having lived in it for five years must sell it at the price they paid for it. The practice is legal in Canada and the U.S., but there are constraints in both countries. During the frantic buying boom of 2006, some North American builders, including several major builders in Calgary, refused to sell to flippers: occupying the new home became a condition of the sale.

Their logic was that the artificially-inflated resale price wouldn’t reflect the true value of their homes, and might scare off future buyers. Moreover, flippers tend to turn new communities into ghost towns, at least for a short time. To be sure, most flipping occurs in a boom market and most flippers are either homeowners who quickly renovate a fixer-upper and sell it at a profit, or speculators, who buy a building lot in a new subdivision (for example), hang onto it until values rise, and then sell it without having built a home on it. The former are considered to be providing a service. They improve neighborhoods, create jobs in construction, and generate higher property tax revenues. But speculators get mixed reviews. “They make it hard for the average person to keep up,” says Kim Ostere, an Invermere resident who is saving for a down payment on a house. “By the time you have enough money saved, the values have shot up and you’re behind. And if you buy at the inflated price, you can end up losing money when prices drop.” Andy Smith, a realtor with Re/Max Invermere, says that flipping is not an ethical issue. “We are a capitalist society, and in a way this is capitalism at its best. And don’t forget that these kinds of investors take big

risks. They can make money or lose it. If you buy a residential building lot across the road from a property that gets rezoned for commercial use, the value of the lot will probably drop.” He points out that Canadian flippers get very little support from banks and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. That’s also the case in the U.S., where in 2006 the Department of Housing and Urban Development introduced a regulation stipulating that buyers must inhabit a home for at least 90 days in order to qualify for insured mortgage financing. Bighorn Meadows Resort in Radium Hot Springs promotes its upscale condominiums as an opportunity to own, rent or invest. “When have people not purchased real estate as an investment?” asks sales representative Nancy Atwood. “There was more of it going on during this recent boom, of course, but the practice isn’t new. “And from a purely practical standpoint, what do you do if you’re transferred and have no choice but to sell?” She adds that flipping is a rare occurrence at Bighorn. “We have over five hundred owners, and I know of only two who have purchased solely for investment purposes.”

It’s not about the journey to your destination, but how you feel when you arrive. Experience this feeling in one of the inviting alpine styled townhomes or luxury bungalow villas of Borrego Ridge in Radium Hot Springs, BC—North America’s most sought after recreational mountain resort. Choose from a villa or townhome, to fullfill your recreational mountain home dream.

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Take ownership of your escape Finally, a luxury four-season real estate investment you and your family can enjoy, just three hours from Calgary. Visit our Invermere sales ofďŹ ce and reserve your whole or 1/4 ownership opportunities now. Opening late summer 2008. 1-866-9LUXURY

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June 20, 2008

New Homes – The Columbia Valley Pioneer • 9

June 20, 2008

Kootenay home prices still very affordable Business Feature by Sandra Kelly The price of real estate in the East and West Kootenays has soared in recent years, but the region is still a bargain when compared with other tourist and resort destinations. According to the Recreational Property Report issued last week by Re/Max, the median price of a single-family home in Canmore is now $874,000. In Sylvan Lake, Alberta, a typical three-bedroom winterized lakefront home is now $1.2 million. One lakefront property recently sold for $3.2 million. The Whistler Real Estate Company Limited’s report for the period of January-March 2008 shows sales of singlefamily homes in that community ranging in price from $1.2 million to $3.8 million. No condo sold for less than $500,000. In Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the

American resort town most often compared with Invermere, the median price of a single-family home has reached a staggering $2 million. More than 1,400 families have turned to public and private affordable housing programs just to find shelter. Meanwhile, the Kootenay Real Estate Board reports that in 2007 the average selling price of a single-family home in Invermere was $421,475. In Radium the same home sold for $369,654. The average selling price in Golden was $294,608. Cranbrook’s average price was a very reasonable $219,916. Fernie reported an average selling price of $388,815, and a single-family home in Nelson could be had for $323,552. Re/Max realtor and Kootenay Real Estate Board President Andy Smith says that the Kootenays are a great deal when compared with similar regions. “We have everything that people could possibly want in a resort community.”


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Starter Homes in the Columbia Valley

5 e ly s a Ju h P n i g n n i o l si l Se sse w Po o N ke Ta Beautifully appointed and affordable Townhomes in Canal Flats. This growing and vibrant community offers the only public access to Columbia Lake, beautiful views, golf courses, hiking, skiing, shing, hunting, hockey, curling and playgrounds all just outside your front door.



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June 20, 2008

EAST SIDE CONSTRUCTION – New construction is visible from the western lakeshore, as more empty pieces of land are bought by eager homeowners. The steep hillsides and driveways are no obstacle if homes are properly designed and engineered.

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p u l o u t Your Guide to New Housing Developments in the Columbia Valley Continued on Page 3TheoriginalMcKayranchhousewillbecomeacommunityc...