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It's interesting, you know...real estate in Oak Bay. People might think it's a knock out punch every time a property here gets listed. The assumption might be that the sign goes in the ground and before the ink is dry on the listing agreement...there are a pile of offers waiting to be gone through.


Well, that has been the case in the past but over the last few years sales here in OB have been as challenging to complete as ever. I created an infographic document (click here to view) in order to show graphically just how difficult it can be to sell properties in Oak Bay.


For instance take Single Family Dwellings (SFD) in all parts of Oak Bay. Properties of this sort which were Listed for sale between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2013 totalled 413 in all. As you can see in the first graphic in the infographic...224 of those listings sold the first time they were listed. Sounds great, right? Afterall...those 224 solds represent 54.3% of all listings.


And those 224 sales took only 36 Days on average to sell. I'd say that's an ideal period of time to be on the market. Just over a month! Not too quick, not too long. Might just point to a list price that was accurate and in line with the market. Well done!


That's the group I bet we'd all want to be a part of. But if you've had your SFD for sale in Oak Bay through 2013 and you remain unsold...then unfortuately your listing falls into the 45.7% of UNSOLD listings.


45.7% of the total 413 listings is 189 unsold homes. So...what's the big deal right? Well...there are a couple of things you have to look at to see to get the idea...Instead of being on the market for an average of 30-something days like accurately priced homes in Oak Bay were...these UNSOLD listings were on the market for a median average of 97 Days...that's 2.7 TIMES LONGER THAN SOLD LISTINGS.


So next time...before you list your home for sale...Get a 2nd opinion...Sell your home the 1st time and save yourself the headaches of listing two or MORE times...On average, having to list your home a second times will push your total number of days on market to 97 + 36 = 133 Days!!!


A 2nd opinion like the one I will do for you will use market statistics like this but more importantly will identify what's SPECIAL about your Home. That afterall is your competitive advantage. All homes are not the same...I get that. So what I'll do is market your Unique Selling Position to the group of most likely buyers at a price that's at and above where the market is telling us it will go out at. We don't want to leave any money on the table, right?


What do you think of the INFOGRAPHIC as a whole? (click here to view)


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Don't List Your Home Without A 2nd Opinion

The stats in the INFOGRAPHIC above...

Show the importance of getting a 2nd opinion on the value of your home before listing it on the market. It shows that about 50% of all SFD & Condo listings in the areas of Oak Bay, Fairfield and Saanich East through 2013 went Unsold in 2013...At least the first time on market...And that SOLD listings stay on the market an incredibly shorter period of time (based on Median Average Days on Market) than Unsold listings do.

For your information as a seller seeking the True Value of your property...


There are other statsitics I've compiled from successfully Sold Properties as well that show very clearly Ratios of List Price to Sold Price that are absolutely astonishing.

I looked at each of the neighbourhoods of Oak Bay, Fairfield and Saanich East individually then amassed the statistics related to each through research and interpretation of data available through the Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB.) I can replicate the exact findings in full as all info is "unwashed." You just need to know what you're looking for and how to access it. Pretty simple. Available to view on request.

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That "Deer Ad"

So here's an ad that I wrote which got a lot of attention. I knew I was onto something when I started showing the copy to friends and family, colleagues and then happily I had the chance to show it to a few PR type of people as well. (They were the most straight faced of everyone. Still don't know why.) Overall I got a few chuckles and a couple of doubters...those who thought it was a spoof, that it would never go into print. (Guess they know now it was for real.) Anyway, the point of the ad...the reason I wrote the ad like I did is because first and foremost I've been bored. Bored with the ads I've been using to market my business. Bored with the ads and the mediums being used to market clients' homes. It's all so safe, so sanitary, so boring. Across the board. Wash, rinse, repeat. I think you know what I am talking about. So this is something a little different. The ad is called "Oak Bay 101" because it's where I live. And I for one see Oak Bay as a beautiful, quirky, inspirational community. I think I get what it means to live here. And I think the Deer do too.

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Some Spirit Bay Quick Facts...


  • 30 minute drive from Victoria
  • Located on Canada's southernmost property with south facing orientation
  • Master planned town with a variety of housing types in a pedestrian oriented environment
  • Walkable neighbourhoods with meandering country roads
  • Health oriented focus with plans for a spa, hot springs, playing fields, trails and recreation facilities. 
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  • Creat more biomass, biodiversity and resilience in the ecosystem than exists today.
  • Create economic prosperity for the Scianew Nation and those who come to live and work at Spirit Bay.
  • Be a net generator of renewable energy.
  • Build homes that contribute to the health and well-being of their occupants.

Get to know us at

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Last Wenesday August 21, 2013 we gathered at Beecher Bay Marina in Metchosin BC...The Cheanuh First Nations Band, the Trust for Sustainability, Spirit Bay (TSD), our children, our loved ones...all together. And with the Salish Sea behind us Band Chief Russell Chipps and David Butterfield (TSD) announced to the world their partnership to create an exciting new kind of town...A sustainable resort town called Spirit Bay.


It was a great day, a huge announcement and an exciting plan, one I am happy to be a part of as a sales person and hopefully, soon, as a new home owner as well.


Get to know us at

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100+ Little Known Facts about Oak Bay*

*The followong content created and generously shared for posting here by Gary Wilcox:

Did you know . . .

  1. that Bowker Creek was once a spawning ground for salmon?
  2. that a large Indian village — Sitchanalth — flourished at the mouth of Bowker Creek 2600 years ago?
  3. that Oak Bay was first seen by Europeans in 1790 when the Spanish sailed into the Strait of Juan de Fuca and noted Gonzales Hill?
  4. that the first whites to live in this area were Hudson's Bay Company employees involved with the building of Fort Victoria in 1843?
  5. that Oak Bay's oldest road — Cadboro Bay Road — was originally a wagon trail from Fort Victoria to the HBC farm in Cadboro Bay?
  6. that Oak Bay land was purchased from the aboriginals in 1850 for the price of a few blankets?
  7. that Tod Road was originally the access road from Cadboro Bay Road to the house of John Tod, Oak Bay's first landowner and homeowner?
  8. that Tod Road is Oak Bay's second-oldest road?
  9. that Bowker Creek was once called Tod's Stream?
  10. that John Tod's house — Oak Bay House — was built in 1851 and is probably the oldest house west of the Great Lakes?
  11. that the first manager of the HBC's Cadboro Bay Farm, Charles Bayley, is the only person in Oak Bay known to have been attacked by Indians, an incident that happened in 1854?
  12. that by 1858 five HBC landowners laid claim to all of Oak Bay?
  13. that Oak Bay's first commercial establishment — the Willows Hotel, built in in 1864 — was a pub?
  14. that Oak Bay's first school (one-room) was built in 1885 at Lansdowne and Cadboro Bay Roads?
  15. that a racetrack — the Driving Park — was built in the Carnarvon Park area in the 1880s?
  16. that a magnificent exhibition hall was built adjoining the racetrack in 1891?
  17. that all streets on the Lansdowne slope have a "downe" suffix in deference to the racetrack heritage of the Carnarvon Park area, as this term is associated with horse racing in names such as Churchill Downs, Epsom Downs and, locally, Sandown Park and Fraser Downs in Surrey?
  18. that Oak Bay's first unique attraction for day-trippers and settlers was the view of Mount Baker?
  19. that the Mount Baker Hotel, built in Oak Bay in 1893, was Victoria's finest hotel?
  20. that the Victoria Golf Club, established in 1893, is the second-oldest club in North America to remain on its original site?
  21. that Oak Bay Park (Windsor Park) was built in 1895 to encourage ridership on the streetcar line to Oak Bay?
  22. that Oak Bay's second school (one-room) was built in 1895 on Foul Bay Road?
  23. that the historic voyage of the "Tilikum" set sail in 1901 from Oak Bay?
  24. that the Chinese Cemetery built at Harling Point in 1903 (now a National Historic Site) is the oldest cemetery in Canada designed on the principles of Feng Shui?
  25. that in 1906 Oak Bay had 243 landowners?
  26. that Oak Bay landowners petitioned to become a municipality in 1906 after the City of Victoria refused to extend its eastern boundary to include Oak Bay and provide basic services?
  27. that Oak Bay's first council in 1906 was self-proclaimed "without the expense and annoyance of an election"?
  28. that Oak Bay experienced a building boom starting in 1910 that saw much development?
  29. that the Patrick Arena was built at Cadboro Bay Road and Epworth Street in 1911?
  30. that St. Mary's Anglican Church was built in 1911?
  31. that bylaws were passed in 1911 to control dogs and bicycle riders? 
  32. that the first ice hockey game played on artificial ice in Canada was played in Oak Bay on January 3, 1912?
  33. that Oak Bay's first municipal hall was built in 1912 at the corner of Oak Bay Avenue and Hampshire Road?
  34. that Oak Bay's first high school was built in 1912 on the site of today's municipal hall?
  35. that Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church and the monastery for the Sisters of the Poor Clare Order were built in 1912?
  36. that the Uplands Golf Club (at first called the Municipal Golf Club) started in 1912?
  37. that house-to-house mail delivery to selected partsof Oak Bay started in 1912?
    that the Uplands subdivision opened for sales in 1912?
  38. that the Royal Victorial Yacht Club re-located to the Uplands in 1913?
  39. that the Hampshire Road Methodist Church was built in 1913?
  40. that three and a half acres of land was purchased for Willows Park in 1913?
  41. that St. Christopher's private school started in 1913?
  42. that the Willows School annex was built in 1913?
  43. that in 1913 Victoria's first motion picture theatre — the Avenue Theatre — was built in Oak Bay, and that this building is still standing?
  44. that Monterey School was built in 1914?
  45. that the St. Columba Presbyterian Church was built at Granite and Mitchell Streets in 1914?
  46. that St. Michael's private school for boys started in 1914?
  47. that the Bowker Creek ravine beside the firehall became the municipal garbage dump in 1914?
  48. that Oak Bay's building boom came to an abrupt end with the onset of World War I?
  49. that a severe snowstorm hit Oak Bay in 1916 leaving many residents in dire straits until the Navy came to the rescue with sacks of coal for heating?
  50. that vacant lots, and even Willows Park, were used to grow potatoes and beans to feed needy families?
  51. that the original parish hall for St. Mary's church (St. Mary's Memorial Hall) was built in 1919/20?
  52. that Willows School was built in 1920?
  53. that the rule of the road changed in 1921 requiring motorists to now drive on the right hand side of the road and pass vehicles on the left side of said vehicle?
  54. that Burdick Avenue was being used as a municipal gravel pit in 1922 to supply material for roadwork?
  55. that a bylaw was passed in 1923 banning pigs in the municipality except in farmland north of the fairgrounds?
  56. that in 1923 Oak Bay was classified as a "Country Village"?
  57. that by 1924 almost 500 lots had been forfeited to the
    municipality because of taxes and that these lots were sold to a consortium of Victoria realtors known as The Oak Bay Land Co.?
  58. that the 1925 Stanley Cup was won in Oak Bay when the Victoria Cougars beat the Montreal Canadiens?
  59. that Oak Bay Presbyterians and Oak Bay Methodists merged in 1926 to form the Oak Bay United Church?
  60. that Council decided in 1927 to use the former gravel pit on Burdick Avenue as a garbage dump until filled?
  61. that construction began on the Oak Bay Beach Hotel in 1927 despite protests and a petition presented to Council?
  62. that in an attempt to simplify mail delivery, a Council initiative in 1927 to change St. Ann Street to Monterey Avenue was discouraged by one dissenting resident?
  63. that in 1928 Oak Bay had a population of 5,447?
  64. that Oak Bay High School was built in 1929?
  65. that the garbage dump at Monterey Crescent was closed in 1929 when the Municipality contracted this service to the City?
  66. that Mary Tod Island was bequeathed to the Municipality in 1929?
  67. that the Patrick Arena was destroyed by fire in 1929?
  68. that with the onset of the Depression, Council was
    constantly seeking funds to create make-work projects to keep residents from starving?
  69. that Glenlyon private school for boys started in 1932?
  70. that Council cancelled its agreement with The Oak Bay
    Land Co. in 1933 as the consortium had sold 205 lots but returned 281?
  71. that the Oak Bay Theatre was built in 1936?
  72. that the Oak Bay firehall was built in 1938?
  73. that a community swimming pool was being considered in 1939 to be located either in the Uplands, at Willows Beach, or adjacent to the Oak Bay Boathouse? That the local community pool today is at Recreation Oak Bay?
  74. that May 30, 1939 was called "Gala Day" when Their Majesties King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visited Oak Bay to strengthen loyalties to the homeland prior to Britain's declaration of war against Germany on September 3, 1939? (Canada declared war on Germany on September 10, 1939)
  75. that the firehall flagpole was erected in June, 1939 as a show of solidarity following the Royal Visit? that the former horse show building on the Willows fairgrounds was converted to a ice skating rink in 1941 by Barney Olson?
  76. that in 1941 men from the RCAF base at Patricia Bay received firefighting training at the Oak Bay firehall?
  77. that by 1942 the Municipality had 450 forfeited lots, many of which were used as Victory Gardens to help relieve the local food situation?
  78. that a fuel shortage in 1943 necessitated the cutting of trees in the municipality?
  79. that the Olsen Arena was destroyed by fire in 1944?
  80. that in 1946 the 65 acres that would become Uplands
    Park was acquired by the municipality in lieu of back taxes owed by The Uplands Ltd.?
  81. that the Tea Room Pavilion at Willows Park, built by the Oak Bay Kiwanis Club, opened in 1947?
  82. that in 1947 Oak Bay became the first municipality in the province to use luminous stop signs?
  83. that Council resolved in 1948 to provide the Assistant Building Inspector with a bicycle to attend his duties throughout the municipality?
  84. that the main building at the fairgrounds was destroyed by fire in 1948?
  85. that the Oak Bay War Memorial in Uplands Park was built in 1948 and unveiled at the inaugural memorial service held on November 11, 1948?
  86. that heavy rains in January, 1949, flooded many basements throughout the municipality, including the basement of the Municipal Hall where many legal and historic documents were destroyed?
  87. that the Carley Riding Academy moved from the former fairgrounds to a new site on Cedar Hill Cross Road in 1949?
  88. that the ratepayer associations from both Gordon Head and the Saanich Panhandle petitioned Oak Bay in 1950 for amalgamation with Oak Bay?
  89. that Oak Bay Junior High School was built in 1951?
  90. that a B&K store was built on the empty lot at the corner of Oak Bay Avenue and Hampshire Road in 1953?
  91. that the Model Flying Club was prohibited from using the High School grounds in 1953 because one resident complained?
  92. that areas of Oak Bay suffered severe flooding in 1955, especially immediately south of the Lansdowne slope and in the Central Park area?
  93. that Carnarvon Park officially opened in 1955, and was built at no cost to the taxpayers because of a surplus of funds from the sale of lots in the new subdivision?
  94. that the bowling green at Carnarvon Park was built in 1956?
  95. that on July 2, 1956, the municipality of Oak Bay celebrated its Golden Jubilee?
  96. that the new Municipal Hall was built in 1958?
  97. that property was purchased by the municipality to enlarge the parking area at Willows Park in 1959 rather that allow an apartment block to be built there?
  98. that the breakwater at Turkey Head was built in 1959?
  99. that St. Patrick's church was built in 1960 and the former Our Lady of Lourdes church became the private chapel of the Poor Clare Sisters that Council purchased property and dwellings at Haynes Point in 1961 and cleared the site to create Haynes Park?
  100. that the scenic drive at Cattle Point was completed in 1961?
  101. that the old boathouse was demolished in 1962 when the marina was built on this site?
  102. that the first Oak Bay Tea Party in 1962 was in celebration of the City of Victoria's centennial? 

*Content created and generously shared for posting here by Gary Wilcox:

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Q: Why should I pay an agent to sell my home rather than sell it on my own?

A: Want to hear something funny? After six months of trying to sell his own home, the founder of the #1 website people use to sell their own homes sold his home...using a real estate agent.

That's right. Colby Sambrotto, the founder of spent six months trying to sell his New York City apartment through online listings and classified advertisements. But he eventually decided to turn the sale over to a professional and even paid the standard 6% commission when he sold his two-bedroom New York condo for $2.15 million. (You can read the entire article here.)

Know what else?

You may have seen the current TV ads warning you that if you don't use a real estate agent, you'll end up living next to a bunch of aging nudists. But I think there are even more compelling reasons (after all, what's so bad about aging nudists?) to reconsider no using an agent, whether buying or selling. 

If you're thinking of selling your home on your own, consider the following:

I'm not telling you all this so that you'll run out and list your home with an agent (okay, I kind of am, in fact, if you're thinking of listing, why not shoot me an email and we can talk about it) but I just want to counter so much of the current chatter that agents are a waste of time and that we don't do anything but throw your home on the MLS and then sit back and wait for our commission cheques to roll in. While we have heard in the past stories of bidding wars and homes selling in days and even hours after they are listed for bundles above their asking price, that is simply not the reality in today’s market where accurate pricing is as critical as ever.

A real estate agent knows the market, has the network to get your home seen by as many eyeballs as possible, knows how to negotiate for you and ensures that every "i" is dotted and every "t" crossed. 

I mean think about it really, can you afford not to hire a professional to sell your most expensive asset?


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What is a depreciation report?

"A Reserve Study (Depreciation Report) calculates the risk of special assessments and discloses unfunded liabilities to the owners and to prospective buyers."

The condominium home owners of BC have published an excellent summary document on depreciation reports. Depreciation reports are a legislated planning requirement for strata corporations in British Columbia. Depreciation reports are used to establish long term planning for common property and common assets to determine:

1) What assets you own (an inventory.)
2) The asset condition (evaluation.)

3) When things need to be replaced (the anticipated maintenance, repair and replacement.)
4) How much money you currently have (contingency reserve report.)
5) What it is likely to cost for future replacement (a description of the factors and assumptions in projecting costs.)
6) How you are going to pay for the costs (three cash flow models projecting 30 year replacement periods.)

"A Depreciation Report is not only about the replacement of building components. It it also about "Major Maintenance" activities to preserve the assets so that we can leverage their full service life. This is one of the biggest misconceptions in the industry at this time."

The regulations have set out requirements for time periods of the reports, qualifications of persons providing reports, schedules for updates, disclosure of reports, conditions of the reports and what information must be contained and financial planning and disclosure.

A Reserve Study (Depreciation Report) should reflectall the primary physical systems of a building.


To download this very informative summary document covering all aspects of depreciation reports click this hotlink and save the full depreciation report summary document as a PDF to your computer. Or contact Graham at or visit his website at and he will email you the depreciation report PDF as an email attachment.

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Bavington Real Estate Infographic


An Infographic is a graphical representation of information...


I created this real estate infographic for home sellers to help illustrate who their target market of buyers are as broken down by the 4 key generations of buyers.


The infographic is also designed to show how each buyer sets out to find your home when it's for sale...what tools do they use to discover your listing? From a computer to newspaper ads. Beyond that, how they will research your home for sale to evaluate it? Do they like to do that in person, online, through social media...etc.


The whole point of the graphic is to say, is your buying public. It's not just one homogenous group of people. They come from all walks of life, and for each of the 4 generations...there are a wide variety of places they can be reached at and communicated with. Basically, this real estate infographic breaks down how to speak their language...from the Generation Y who like texting and social media sites to research your home to traditional buyers who prefer to speak on the phone and in person.


If you're selling your home you cannot afford to market and sell ONLY in the ways of the past. It's a wide, wide market out there and it's competitive. If you're not on the web and all over social media like your competition is, you're going to suffer and lose out on attracting the buyers you need to be speaking with to be successful in today's market.


My marketing plan is wide reaching...stretching well beyond the confines of Victoria and BC...all the way across the country to capture those buyers moving West. I speak to all age groups and talk in the language they like most to bring those barriers to purchasing down.


Check it out...if you like the infographic that I designed myself and put together from exhaustive research, imagine what I'll do for your home when it's time to sell.

is real estate infographic also presents graham's 21 point marketing plan designed to reach your target market of home buyers. It's an interesting way to illustrate how the market is segmented, how each buyer prefers to find, locate and research your listing using their own favourite channels...and it shows also the best way to market to your buyers. All of them.


"Market with a purpose, reach all generations of buyers. And sell with an expert!"

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