Quintessential Island Retreat?

The weeks have ticked by since our visit to the coast. In Alberta we are in full blown winter. We watch the weather report in BC and amazingly all of the temperatures are above zero. This only adds to our desire to find a place out on the island. We check the new real estate listings daily…well, to be honest, multiple times a day, just hoping that a perfect and cheap place might come on the market. We start analyzing our options as everything coming on the market is selling for far more pennies than we have. The brain-storming begins. What about land? We could buy a lot cheap. We could tent on the land to begin with and build an outhouse for “facilities”. How about a Yurt (you can buy used ones on Ebay)? Maybe prefab housing, not the trailer park type, but the house type where all the components are built in the factory. Prefab housing, we decided was perhaps worth checking out. We had stayed in a prefab cabin in the past and it was very nice, and the added bonus is that the structures go up fast. So we investigated the prefab option, went to a home show, got price quotes for the build and the services and started hunting for land. We watched the land listings, our realtor sent us video of the lots that interested us, but nothing jazzed us. And so we continued to watch the listings posted on the real estate sites.

The week before Easter an interesting listing came up. The exterior was shake sided and looked like something out of a story book, and the price was cheap.

The write up went something like this:
Surrounded by Arbutus, this lovely, cute & cozy approximately 500 sq ft cottage ……… is tucked away down a winding path at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac.  This is the quintessential island retreat………………..Bring a good book, your hiking boots & get back in touch with nature in your very own backyard. “

The cabin looked cute. It had a sleeping loft making it more than big enough for our family (at 71.43 square feet each!). It certainly caught our attention. So we called our realtor, he did a video, and we decided that maybe we should go take a look at the place sooner rather than later. We planned to go out to take a look at Easter, but of course blizzards hit and it snowed for days. Finally at the end of the week after Easter, well actually at 11:30 am, it stopped snowing. My husband and I had a quick discussion and we decided to head for the coast; luckily the bags were packed!

So off we went. A VERY fast drive to the coast as this was a “weekend” trip.

Once on the island we went to see the cabin as quickly as we could. The “winding path” to the cabin was maybe more acurately described as switchbacks, but it did nicely tuck the house into the woods and made it very private. The house was little, and needed a lot of interior work. I can honestly say I have never been in a property with more fake, photo-copied wood in my life; but it was okay as it was nothing that a truck load of drywall wouldn’t fix. The lot was beautiful and the bedroom was big enough to work as a dorm room for our children which was a huge bonus. I knew it would be work. My husband knew he really liked it. Our family knew we loved the island. So we went for a drive to discuss what we had seen.

We decided to drive down Plumper Way to look at some land we had seen on the internet. The land really wasn’t what we were looking for, too difficult to build on and close to the road, so we took a couple of scenic pictures and decided to put in a bid on the cabin.

The next little while involved calling our realtor, back and forth price negotiations and eventually settling on a price. The next day we did up the paperwork (never try to sign all the paperwork required with five hungry children roaming freely!), and signed the final negotiation overlooking some beautiful ocean scenery.

The next day involved a fast drive over the mountains. We talked for hours about the work to be done on the cabin. We had a vision. We were excited. Now all we needed was to make sure all went well on the house inspection.

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About Deb

Photographer, artist and artisan splitting time between Alberta and British Columbia, Canada. Check out my new project at www.handmade-canada.com , a site for Canadian handmades and art.
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