Spring is here so it's time to get on the water
Nothing like kicking back and enjoying a cold one after a lovely day on the water. Yes, I realize it’s been a bit of a cool and wet start to spring, but next thing you know it’s going to warm and actually spring like out. And really, it’s never too early to start planning about relaxing and recreating, right?
As I was saying, one of the best ways to enjoy some leisure time is by getting off terra firma and spending time on the waves. And because we live in this gem of an area, we have lakes, rivers and ocean from which we can choose.
If you’re new to the Comox Valley, you may not be aware of the great possibilities that await. So, here are some of the groups that know how to make the most of our local aquatic opportunities. Just click on their names to get to their websites.
Comox Bay Sailing Club: The CBSC promotes competitive and recreational sailing in dinghies and keelboats in the Comox Bay. The non-profit club owns Laser and 420 dinghies, which member are welcome to use if they don’t have access to their own watercraft. Wednesday evenings feature dinghy races and weekends are for keelboats. Events run from April to November, with plenty of action in the summer months including regattas, lessons and schools.
Comox Valley Yacht Club: Also known as “The Blue Jeans Yacht Club,” this is a friendly, casual group who like to get together to socialize and have club cruises. With no clubhouse or marina, this group was formed as a pleasure boating organization that allows folks with a common interest to get together, trade information and provide a common voice for boating issues in the community. Some members don’t even actually have boats, and the boats they do have range in size, age and sea capability. They’re a fun group, so feel free to get in touch with them.
Comox Valley Paddlers Club: The CV Paddlers Club is a way for people who share an interest in paddling and outdoor recreation to get together and have fun in a safe, supportive environment. New members and all level of paddlers are welcome. Members coordinate trips, outdoor activities and social events. Non-members are also welcome to join in on paddle events and pay a nominal fee. Paddling outing typically run from Spring to fall and monthly meetings occur from October to May on the first Thursday of the month at the Lion’s Den in Comox (below the Pearl Ellis Gallery).
Comox Valley Dragon Boat Society: The Blazing Paddles Club offers recreational and competitive paddling programs for women of all ages. With a view to fitness, community service, camaraderie and a whole lot of fun, they meet at Comox Marina and the season starts in March.
Comox Valley Canoe Racing Club: Looking for a challenge? This is it. This club is focused on competitive outrigger paddling and doesn’t have a recreational aspect to it. But that doesn’t mean you need to be an elite athlete to join. They paddle through the year, and the season runs from February to October. If you want to give it a try, contact them to join in on one of their training paddles.
There’s also a rowing club in the Valley. They don’t currently have a website, but you can get contact info by visiting the Rowing Canada website and checking out the provincial directory.
Phew! And that’s not even touching on another great water-based pursuit – FISHING! Stay tuned for my next blog and I’ll fill you in on some of the local options.
As always, to find out more about things this region offers, from recreation to real estate you can call me at 188.8.131.5295.
5 Downsizing Tips To Make Moving a Breeze
Okay, maybe not a breeze, but less painful!
The best part of moving? Figuring out where all your stuff is going to go in your new home. The worst part of moving? Figuring out how all your stuff is going to fit into your new home!
Yes, moving home can be a challenge, and if you happen to be downsizing in terms of space or storage, it can feel downright impossible. But don’t despair, it can be done. And if you approach it with the right attitude it can even be freeing. I mean, maybe this is just the excuse you need to convince your partner or kids that it’s time to say good-bye to their mason jar collection, back issues of Popular Mechanic, assortment of headless Barbie dolls . . . you get the picture.
Are you ready to be liberated from the burden of extra “stuff”? Following are some tips and guidelines that will help you streamline and simplify when preparing to make a move.
Tip 1 – Get going! It’s never too early to start downsizing
Don’t wait until the “For Sale” sign is in the lawn before you begin the process. Experts suggest you should get downsizing three months before you move. I think if you’re even considering listing anytime in the next year, it’s time to get going. Get the family on the same page and come up with a strategy that is clear to everyone.
Tip 2 – Get organized! Make a list
List are a fantastic way to keep organized and stay focused. Begin by listing the must-haves from each of your current rooms. Items should be functional; if they aren’t useful, then they must have some extra value to stay on the list, such as being an heirloom, unique, antique, etc. But don’t get wishy-washy here, stay objective!
Tip 3 – Get a floor plan! And plan accordingly
Once you have your new home selected, determine floor space and take measurements then think about whether all your furniture will fit. It might be an appropriate time to move from two couches to two loveseats. Or perhaps you need to invest in some multipurpose items, such as storage ottomans. And if you’re fighting for space, plan to use every part of your new home – a corner can become a reading nook with bookcase, put up shelves for extra storage, etc.
Tip 4 – Get technical! And tidy
Wi-fi and Bluetooth mean that we can avoid extra wires and speakers. Maybe it’s time to send the old cd player/stereo to the Salvation Army. Wall-mounted televisions also take up less room. Use your iPad instead of having a radio or television in the kitchen. Take digital pictures of your old home and other items (e.g., grandkids’ art) to preserve memories.
Tip 5 – Get help!
Call on a friend or relative to give an objective second opinion – and maybe even pawn some stuff on them to keep things “in the family” but out of your house. A good conversation about an item’s usefulness can help to bring things into focus.
Now, get moving!
Make sure to get in touch with me or my associate Andrea Davis about any aspect of moving in and out of the Comox Valley. You can connect with us through our website mikefisherhomes.com or by calling/texting me at 250.218.3895.
Have fun while giving back through unique opportunities!
In British Columbia, volunteers contribute more than 100 million hours toward various causes and organizations every year. Are you a volunteer? If so, awesome - and thank you! If not, have you thought about giving it a try?
Here in the Comox Valley, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved. I know it can be hard with today’s busy lifestyles, but there are so many great reasons to lend a hand, and so many worthwhile projects and associations that can use your time.
Believe me, volunteering is just as rewarding for those helping out as it is for those receiving the help. If you have a little time, rest assured, there’s some one or some place that will be happy to benefit from it. Maybe you’re recently retired and looking for something new to get involved in. Whatever your situation, here are a few reasons to give it a go, as well as some ideas and opportunities that may just be your right fit.
Some of the Benefits of Volunteering
The majority of people who do volunteer work don’t think, “What’s in it for me?” As we all know, it’s primarily about giving back and making a difference. But the reality is, volunteering offers those willing to give of themselves a chance to benefit from it as well.
Firstly, if you’re new to the Valley, this is an excellent way to meet people and make connections in the community. Not only are you getting involved, but you’re adding to the local economy. It’s also a way to keep fit, both physically and mentally. Volunteerism has been shown to improve overall health, especially outdoor activities that involve physical activity, and it can be helpful in battling depression and decreasing social anxiety. By using your skills and learning new ones, you keep your brain and body active. Empowerment, fulfillment, enjoyment and fun are just some of the positive side-effects of volunteering!
Volunteering in the Valley
Whether you live in Comox, Courtenay or Cumberland, there are neighbourhood, regional, provincial, national and international organizations that would love to put you to wo
rk! The Volunteer Comox Valley website is a quick and convenient way to see what kind of openings are out there. With a community directory, events calendar, training and educational opportunities and volunteer registry at your fingertips, it’s almost too easy to get involved. If you need help figuring out where to start or how to match your interests with a specific group, they’ll set you on the right path. Visit their website or call them at 250-334-8063.
Like animals? MARS Wildlife Rescue Centre would love to have you help with special eve
nts or public education, and training is provided. The folks at Comox Valley Therapeutic Riding are alway
s looking for people interested in helping others and working with horses. Some physical ability is required, but there is no experience necessary. Used to smaller critters? The Valley SPCA and KittyCat Pals would be happy to see you.
For those looking to get active, Special Needs Recreation and Courtenay Recreation welcome volunteers for their many diverse programs. The Vancouver Island Society for Adaptive Snowsports always needs help from skiers willing to share their love of snow with folks facing challenges. But if gardening is more your speed, consider pitching in at the Gardens on Anderton.
And if you’re not sure you can make a regular commitment, you may want to consider helping out at the various festivals that occur during the summer, such as Nautical Days, the Filberg Festival and MusicFest. Those affairs rely on volunteers but typically just require help right around the time of the event, so it might work better with scheduling.
As you can see, the opportunities are varied and almost endless when it comes to volunteering. It’s just another part of what makes communities special, so why not see how you can get involved and grow your community.
As always, you can find out more about all aspects of Comox Valley living by visiting my website mikefisherhomes.com. For questions about buying or selling Comox Valley and Vancouver Island real estate, please call or text me at 250.218.3895.
How to have foodie fun throughout the year
Hands up if you like food!
Okay, so that’s pretty much everyone. And as the holiday season is upon us, good eats certainly play a leading role. But did you know that the Valley’s gastronomic scene serves up some tantalizing events year-round?
Well, it’s true. And here is a handy guide to ensure that you don’t miss a thing and get out to enjoy a taste of the Comox Valley.
Winter means whiskey, for starters
What better way to see the New Year in than with the Comox Valley Whiskey Fest? Being held February 2nd & 3rd this year, the tasting room floor will showcase about 60 varieties of single malts, blends, bourbon and rye, alongside fabulous appetizers. This one’s definitely a highlight of my year!
February also sees the start of Dine Around Comox Valley. This annual, month-long event celebrates food by showcasing local restaurants offering special menus at special rates. Believe me, this will leave you more than satisfied.
In Spring things get fresh and fishy
April is when the Comox Valley Farmers’ Market (CVFM) heads back outside – seedlings, daffodils and veggies that like a chill in the air are in full abundance. And with the market enjoying a bit more room to stretch their legs, the musicians return to the market stage. Make a morning of it and enjoy some hot coffee, warm baking and cool tunes.
Early June means it’s time for the BC Shellfish & Seafood Festival. Being held in Comox from June 8 – 17, the countdown has already begun for the 12th annual seafood celebration. With tours and tasting events, such as chef showdowns and the ever-popular Caesar competition, you’ll want to get tickets early to avoid disappointment due to sell outs.
Summer suds and so much more
The first annual Wine-Chocolate-Cheese-Beer Festival held in July 2017 at Merville Hall was a giant success and will undoubtedly be even more anticipated this coming year. I mean, what’s not to like? Check out the events calendar on the hall’s website to confirm the date and time.
And also check out Tapped – Beer Food Music, Mount Washington's annual beer festival in July. Events typically include a variety of craft breweries, beer seminars, live music and a pig roast and/or BBQ. Enjoy it all while taking in the beautiful mountain vistas overlooking Strathcona Provincial Park. Visit www.mountwashington.ca for more info.
Then, in August you can head back to the Merville Hall for Garlic Fest and then go up the mountain again for the Alpine Wine Festival & Wine Pairing Dinner! Again, check their websites for more details on times and dates.
Summer also sees the addition of more morning markets to the CVFM schedule, with Wednesdays downtown and Sundays in Cumberland.
Fall harvest . . . and more beer
September enjoys a couple of events, including RibFest at the Exhibition Grounds, as well as the Comox Valley Farm Cycle Tours. And while it’s never a bad time to celebrate beer, October is undoubtedly the best, so check out Beerfest, sponsored by the Courtenay Rotary. Dates aren’t confirmed yet for all these events; keep an eye out on local media and the Discover Comox Valley webpage as the time approaches. Typically, the various local craft breweries get into the action as well, holding Oktoberfest celebrations through the month.
And for those of you who prefer to enjoy the Comox Valley foodie scene in your own home, or want to share with friends in other parts of Canada, check out Westcoast Gourmet Provisions, which sells a ton of local foodie products online and delivers right to your door!
When it comes to experiencing fabulous foods and succulent treats, there’s always something brewing around these parts. I hope you get the chance to enjoy some of the awesome local events this coming year – I know I will!
For more about the joys of Valley living, check out my other blogs through my website mikefisherhomes.com. And if you have any questions about buying or selling real estate, call me at 250.218.3895.
Choirs, choirs, choirs – plus a symphony and more!
Did you know that 3.5 million Canadians sing in choirs? And there are 50 percent more adult choral singers than there are hockey players in Canada? In fact, there are about 28,000 choirs across this country. Maybe it’s time to rethink our national identity!!
I admit, those stats caught me off guard, too. But then I got to thinking about all the choirs that are in the Comox Valley alone, and, well, it shouldn’t have come as any surprise. And when you consider all the benefits – stress relief, camaraderie, exercising the brain, having fun, meeting new people, no necessary equipment or, often, experience – it makes sense.
Then again, maybe you like music in a group setting, but prefer the instrumental version – no worries, there’s a few options for you, too. Read on to find out more about the Valley’s choral and symphonic scene.
Sing . . . sing a song (with one of these great local community choirs)
Celebration Singers: For more than 24 years, this nonauditioned choir has been grooving and moving audiences with their wide-ranging repertoire that includes classical pieces, ballads, pop, folk, gospel, First Nations and contemporary selections. Their jubilant performances occur in December and May, with registration in September and January. Check out their upcoming Christmas concerts, where there promises to be something for everyone to enjoy!
Just in Time: There are actually three choirs under the Just in Time banner, two auditioned and one not. You’ll find singer of all ages and levels of experience in this encouraging and uplifting group. Focussed on a contemporary repertoire, songs are from various genres including jazz, rock, pop, folk, funk, Latin, soul and gospel.
Letz Sing: Experience the joy of singing in harmony, whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned singer. Sing songs from other cultures and join voices in song to make the world a happier and better place.
North Island Choral Society: Around since 1991, this community choir sings classical and traditional music and has winter and spring concerts. Auditions aren’t required, just a love of music and a desire to sing. Register now for the spring session!
Island Voices Chamber Choir: For those committed to excellence in singing high quality choral music, this is the one. An auditioned choir made up of members from the Comox Valley, Campbell River and nearby islands, their Remembrance Day and a Gala Winter Concerts are highlights of the season.
Or just play along . . .
Comox Valley Concert Band: For 70 years, these folks have been making music in the Valley. A nonauditioned community band, participants are expected to have previous experience on an instrument and the ability to read music. Every week from September to June, about 50 musicians of all ages and backgrounds meet to work on repertoire of marches, band originals, orchestral transcriptions and popular music. Check them out!
Strathcona Symphony Orchestra: Entering its 11th year, the SSO meets Mondays and is made of members of all ages and skill levels. Another groups whose stirring concerts are “mark-it-on-your-calendar material.”
Fiddle Jam: Informal and fun, this group began as a way to celebrate, learn and share Canadian fiddle tunes. With a repertoire that’s expanded to more than 200 songs, they play a variety of styles and tunes such as Canadian Old-Time, Celtic, French Canadian, Cape Breton and dance music including foxtrots, two-steps, waltzes, jigs, polkas and swing. Featuring people of all ages and proficiencies, most musicians are fiddlers, but they also have a great backup contingent of piano, guitar, bass, mandolin, whistles, banjo and accordion. Too much fun!
What the heck, why not add to the stats and join up with one of these awesome Valley groups? You’ll be glad you did!
For more info on any aspect of Comox Valley living, including real estate listings, please contact me or my associate Andrea Davis. Please check out my website at mikefisherhomes.com or get in touch with me at 250.218.3895.
Harmonious Offerings and Opportunities
Many of the folks who move to the Comox Valley are lured by its exceptional outdoor and recreational prospects; but, for others, Valley life offers the chance to nourish their creative side.
Known for its lively artistic community, the area’s beautiful surroundings engage and inspire artists of all sorts, including many musicians. A community’s music scene is a significant part of its culture, often helping to shape its identity, and within the Comox Valley, we’re fortunate to have numerous events and venues that allow people to enjoy both taking in performances and taking part in performing.
Whether you prefer to observe or be observed, the Valley is certain to keep you musically entertained. Here are just some of the ways that you can get your groove on, including a couple of options that even give you a chance to pay it forward.
Festivals, shows and venues
Obviously, Island MusicFest is the biggest ticket in these parts. Taking place every July, entertainers from around the world are showcased for three days. But did you know that they also have a year-round concert series? Likewise, another smaller festival, Atmosphere Gathering, showcases live and electronic music every August and is co-produced by the folks at Cumberland Village Works, who also feature musical events throughout the year. The usual venue for both these concert series is the Waverly Hotel in historic Cumberland.
Courtenay’s Sid Williams Theatre is another popular entertainment venue. The 500-seat performing arts centre has hosted countless music acts through its 25 years and is always bringing in new and exciting performers.
Various local watering holes – The Mex, High Tide Public House, The Flying Canoe, Whistle Stop Pub and Roy’s Towne Pub – also feature weekly live music.
Jam nights and karaoke
Many of those establishments just mentioned also offer people the chance to get up and perform, be it through karaoke, drop-in jams or both. Check out their various websites to get the details on what happens where. Cornerstone Taphouse is another option at their Monday evening open-mic, where you can try out your latest tune or poem, if you’re brave enough.
And if you want to know more about local musical goings-on, such as events, performance opportunities, items for sale, etc., check out the Comox Valley Musicians Network page on Facebook.
Of course, one of the best things about having so many gifted locals, is that they’re more than willing to share their talents to benefit others. The Mex pub hosts an on-going concert series on the first Tuesday of the month in which artists are invited to perform with funds raised being donated to the charity of their choice.
And often when there is a family in need or some sort of crisis going on, such as the BC wildfires, musicians will get together to perform fundraisers around the Valley. Typically, you can hear about it through local media or by keeping tabs on the CV Musicians Facebook feed mentioned earlier.
One fundraiser that’s close to my heart is my “Fishbowl Movember House Concert for Men’s Health.” (Yes, I know, the name’s long-winded, but it gets the message across!) The Movember concerts started about five years ago to raise money and give support to my friend Brian who was fighting prostate cancer at the time. We still hold it each year in November to keep raising money for men’s health. Usually we have Des Larsen as headliner with other local musicians stepping in to play after his set. Get in touch with me for the date and time if you’re interested in attending or performing – it’s always a great time!
Love to play or sing but a little shy about getting involved? Stay tuned for my next blog highlighting some of the local choirs and instrumental options that may allow you to blend into the background while still fulfilling that need to make music and enjoy harmony.
Make sure to get out to explore and appreciate the local music scene. For more information on this or any other aspect of Comox Valley living, please contact me or my associate Andrea Davis. Visit my website mikefisherhomes.com or get in touch with me at 250.218.3895.
Get moving and make connections
The Comox Valley is loaded with outdoor opportunities. And while some people love the chance to get outside and enjoy the tranquility and beauty of the surroundings on their own, there are just as many of us who like to meet up with others while recharging in the outdoors.
Of course, there are plenty of benefits to being part of a group, not the least of which are safety, the sharing of knowledge and advice, as well as emotional and physical motivation and support.
For those who prefer to get active with a group, this area has several well-established clubs that focus on both fitness and camaraderie. Following, are a few of the recreational groups that make the most of the Valley’s amazing surroundings.
Comox District Mountaineering Club
Any club that’s been around since 1928 has got to be doing something right!
With more than 150 members raging from young adults up to 80-plus years, the Comox District Mountaineering Club leads the way. Offering members organized day hiking and backpacking trips, they also partake in cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and other nonmotorized activities. They try to plan trips suitable for all abilities and tend to mainly stay in the Strathcona Park region, with occasional forays to other local and Island destinations.
Comox Valley Road Runners
As the chief body in the Valley for running and running events, the Comox Valley Road Runners provide a fun, welcoming and safe environment that’s inclusive of runners of all abilities. They organize and offer running events and programs for people of all ages and work to promote the development and growth of running in the Valley by providing leadership, education and social opportunities. An excellent group to hook up with!
Comox Valley Triathlon Club
Providing support and encouragement to new, novice and experienced triathletes, this club’s motto is “Fun with Fitness.” Whether you’re looking to train for and finish your first event or wanting to compete internationally, they can support you along the way. CV Tri offers the chance to meet and train with other triathletes while celebrating your accomplishments in a supportive and social environment. Check them out!
Comox Valley Naturalists Society
Comox Valley Nature has been around since 1966, and their function is to “know nature, and keep it worth knowing.” A little more sedate than the other outdoor groups covered, this society offers weekly walks around the Valley. With about 200 members, the group is active in many environmental activities, as well as being a member of BC Nature.
Educational, informative and nature-friendly outings and events abound. Draw upon the members’ expertise in the local geography and ecology, and find out more about the flora and fauna that also inhabit this wonderful piece of the Island.
When you come the Valley there’s no excuse not to get outside and play!
Find out more about all this region offers, including local real estate, by visiting my webpage at mikefisherhomes.com. You can also contact me or my associate Andrea Davis or call / text me at 250.218.3895.
A beautiful place to keep fit and stay healthy
Living in the Comox Valley means being able to enjoy the outdoors year-round. Sure, we get the occasional day that feels like a monsoon has hit, but if you’re in the right gear, there’s always something to do or some awesome new place to explore. Between the temperate climate and our beautiful surroundings, it’s easy to get all the physical and mental stimulation you need.
No matter what your age or interests, the area offers a wealth of outdoor recreational options – part of the reason why so many people make the Comox Valley home. Looking for some open-air inspiration? Here are a few possibilities to choose from.
Walking and hiking
Whether you’re looking for a laid-back seaside stroll or a day-long hike up Mount Albert Edwards, you’ll find something that suits. Walking-wise you can enjoy forest and ocean with visits to Seal Bay and Lazo Wildlife Parks. Cumberland Forest offers a nice choice of walking and hiking trails, and the area around Nymph Falls is always popular. For a great collection of Valley parks that describes locations and attractions, have a look at the Comox Valley Regional District’s Parks page.
For those interested in more of a challenge, the trails through Paradise Meadows offer a variety of lengths and difficulty; from three to 20 kilometers distance, they’re worth the drive up the hill. But if you’re planning on heading up between November and March, you may want to pack snowshoes!
And, of course, Strathcona Park’s snow-capped peaks offer advanced hikers/climbers plenty of challenge, as both day and overnight trips are accessible in BC’s oldest provincial park. Plan accordingly because, as with any remote areas, these trails aren’t necessarily regularly maintained and weather conditions can change quickly.
Skiing and other snowy fun
Living near a ski resort will change the way you think about rainy winter days. And Mt. Washington Alpine Resort will keep you busy, no matter the weather or day of the week. In fact, snowshoeing, tubing, snowboarding, downhill and cross-country skiing can keep you busy from Monday to Friday! As Vancouver Island’s largest year-round family resort, there is always something going on and an activity for almost every age.
Golf – like walking but better
I know the phrase, “Ski in the morning and golf in the afternoon,” gets thrown around a lot in BC, but I think it originated here. Seriously, that’s what I think! And the great thing is, there are plenty of golf options to choose from and you don’t have to drive all over the place to get to them.
With courses to meet every skill level, you can find one that suits you. The Comox Valley Guide has a good listing of many local courses, and I can give you some insight into others if you want.
Parks and recreation
Not only is the Valley blessed with so many activities to enjoy, we also have great recreational facilities and programs in Comox, Courtenay and Cumberland. Click on those links to find out about different outdoor offerings. From fishing and tennis to mountain biking and Nordic walking, the local Parks & Rec folks can help you figure out where to begin.
Not sure if you’re ready to venture out on your own? Stay tuned for my next blog that highlights some of the local recreational/activity clubs that make the most of the area’s wonderful surroundings.
Move to the Valley and get your body moving! To find out more about all the Valley has to offer, including local real estate, please contact me or my associate Andrea Davis. Get in touch through my website mikefisherhomes.com or call / text me at 250.218.3895.
Hitting the ice in the Comox Valley
For many, September means back to school. However, if you’re anything like our family, September actually means back to HOCKEY!!
Sure, summer’s great – especially in the Comox Valley, with plenty of awesome hiking, biking, swimming and golf. After all, it’s important to get in some cross-training during the off-season. But, really, is there anything better than slipping into the old gear and hitting your stride after a few months off? Wheeling into that first turn and hearing the “shoosh” of your blades as they cut a graceful arc into a clean sheet of ice. Feeling that breeze blowing through the jersey, hair flowing back like Guy Lafleur, lyrics of Tom Cochrane’s “Big League” running through your head…. Sorry, starting to get a little emotional there.
Anyways, what I’m saying is that it’s always great day to play hockey. And the Comox Valley is a great place to play – in fact, it was one of the top 10 communities selected for 2017 Kraft Hockeyville. No matter your skill level, or even if you prefer to stay in the stands, the Valley has something for you!
Minor Hockey in the Comox Valley
The Comox Valley Minor Hockey Association offers a broad range of options for boys and girls starting with “Timbits” initiation programs all the way up to Juvenile. With opportunities to play house or rep, stay in the Valley or travel around the Island and beyond, kids from 5 to 20 will have a blast making friends and learning and loving the game with CVMHA. The association is filled with dedicated parents, coaches and volunteers, who are always eager to share their knowledge and enjoyment of hockey.
Recreational Hockey for Men, Women and Kids
A little rusty on the blades, not sure that your kid is ready for the minor hockey program? Local recreation programs for kids and adults can help you get feeling more comfortable on the ice. As well, the CVRD offers drop-in hockey for adults. And with two full-size arenas at the CVRD’s Sports Centre, there are a number of times for public skates throughout the week, so make sure to check out their skating schedules.
In terms of team play for adults, there are a few different leagues to choose from, including a men’s commercial league and old-timers’ leagues. My wife Teresa plays on the local women’s team, The Breakers, of which I am a proud sponsor. If you’re looking for a team, get in touch with me and I can set you up with names and contact numbers.
Junior Hockey is King in the Comox Valley
The Comox Valley Glacier Kings have been part of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League for 25 years. Playing out of the 1,400-seat Sports Centre, they offer great entertainment from September to March. Catch a game or two and you’ll be hooked! They also occasionally need families with a spare room to help billet players if you’re looking for a chance to be more involved.
Local Hockey Schools
Did you know that your high school student can actually play hockey during school? Offered as a program through School District 71, the Vanier Hockey Academy offers kids a chance to work on their skills and get grad credits. Wish they’d had that when I was a student! Outside of school hours there is also the High Calibre Hockey Academy. And various camps are offered during the summer.
Not as crazy about hockey as some of us? No worries. There are plenty of other local activity options. Make sure to have a look at the recreation section of my free guide to moving to the Comox Valley.
As always, feel free to contact me or my associate Andrea Davis to find out more about the Comox Valley living. And please visit our website mikefisherhomes.com for information on buying and selling real estate in the Comox Valley.
How to get the most from selling your house
No doubt about it, your home is a huge investment. And when it’s time to sell, you want to make sure that you get the most return on your investment.
Here are my top six picks for ways to ensure you make the most of your home’s worth.
#6 Make a good first impression – inside and out
You can’t judge a book by its cover, but when it comes to buying a home, people often do make judgements based on first impressions. So make that impression a good one! Increase curb appeal by tidying the front yard. Pull out shaggy shrubs and add some new life and colour. Get that grass looking lush and keep it trimmed. Fix up the porch and entry way; I’d even consider new stain or paint.
Inside the home, clean and de-clutter. Look into staging tips or bring someone in. Simple things like removing oversized furniture to make rooms look larger, and cleaning and organizing shelves and closets can make a big difference. You may even want to check out model homes or other open houses to get ideas about how to make your home look fresh, bright and spacious.
#5 Refurbish the basement or unfinished areas
This is an excellent way to add usable square footage, which quickly translates to more value. If you have been putting off plans to finish the drywall here, do it. Lay down some basic flooring and you’re good to go. It’s also a terrific incentive to rid yourself of extra clutter that doesn’t need to be there. If necessary, rent a storage space for a month or two, then you’ll be ahead of the game when it comes time to start packing!
#4 Keep rooms flexible
Sure, you may love your “sewing nook” or “model train station,” but the fact is a room is a room, and potential buyers want to see it as a clean slate. Customization can come at a price if you plan to eventually sell your home, so don’t go crazy. Good flooring, wiring for cable, phone and internet are appropriate, special built shelving and lighting may not see the return on investment. A space that has some specialization but can be easily adapted into a spare bedroom, office or den will be more valuable.
#3 Make necessary repairs
If there are structural issues, leaks or other things that you’ve been putting off tending to, do it now. After all, doesn’t it sound more appealing to buy a home with a new roof and water tank than invest in a “handyman’s special”?
#2 Focus on the kitchen and bath
If you have no major issues to deal with and think you want to put some money into your home to update or beautify, focus on the kitchen and bathroom. That’s where you’ll see the best return on investment. But talk to your realtor first to see if it will be worth it. Maybe a new coat of paint is a better idea than a new backsplash. And on that note . . .
#1 Listen to your Realtor
I’ll say it again. LISTEN to your Realtor! Real estate agents are professionals, know the market and know homes.
It’s especially important to trust your Realtor about pricing. Overpricing a home or accepting an offer from an unqualified buyer may cause your house to become stigmatized. Buyers become wary of homes that have been on the market too long or get put back on the market after a short period of time. So, to sum up, listen to your Realtor.
When you are ready to sell, we can help you get what you want and deserve. Put our experience and knowledge to work for you.
For further info on selling or buying properties in and around the Comox Valley, contact my associate Andrea Davis or me anytime. Visit mikefisherhomes.com today!
For more helpful tips on various aspects of buying and selling your home, click here for my Homebuyers Guide to the Comox Valley and here for the Sellers’ guide.