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  • Today, it is exceedingly rare to find a peaceful lakefront town that is close to larger cities, offers proximity to shopping, recreation, and healthcare, and is still relatively uncrowded and affordable. Perhaps this is why Lake Cowichan has been named "Vancouver Island's Best Kept Secret" by locals.   Cowichan Lake Aerial View   Cowichan Lake, known as "B.C.'s second most pristine lake" according to Wikipedia,  is situated midway between Victoria and Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. It is a large freshwater lake and was formerly an integral part of the once thriving logging i

BC Waterfront Real Estate News on Waterfront West

Buying & Building


Do you want to know how to protect your waterfront property from erosion, or find inforiStock 000002215328XSmall edit678mation about  building on a waterfront lot? Perhaps you would like to find different types of log or modular homes available in B.C. or find the perfect dock for your property.
In this section of our site, you will find articles specific to waterfront living in B.C. . Some of our topics include purchasing tips, immigration to Canada, building on waterfront lots, septic and wastewater concerns with waterfront property and eco-friendly information on how to protect your waterfront land from erosion. In the future, we will be adding information about unique products designed to enhance and/or protect your B.C. waterfront such as modular homes, docks, outdoor showers, hot tubs, etc...
kitsbeach edit617Do you dream of:

Waking to the sound of waves lapping on the shore?
Watching a glorious sunrise from your deck?
Afternoon strolls beachcombing with your kids or grandchildren?
Fresh caught salmon sizzling on the grill?
B.C.’s oceanfront real estate offers an unsurpassed quality of life-an intoxicating mix of outdoor adventure and quiet serenity. Whether you’re looking for a private island, an estate home or a cozy cottage by the ocean, we have what you’re looking for!

Waterfront West is the only waterfront and water view marketplace in B.C. offering access to real estate agents'  listings, developments and private sellers.  

Please click here to go directly to all of our B.C. oceanfront properties for sale

Septic & Watewater Systems
septic2Septic systems are particularly common on rural and cottage properties; therefore, it is very important for shoreline residents to have a strong knowledge of them. Waterfront properties, which tend to have wetter soils, can pose extra challenges for septic systems. Soil conditions can make your system less efficient in treating wastewater and allow harmful pollutants to get into the water body you live beside. As a waterfront buyer, you must pay particular attention to the septic system of a property you are considering purchasing.

 On-site Wastewater Treatment System

Septic systems are a good way to treat waste - so long as they are functioning properly. If your potential property is not connected to a municipal or private sewage treatment system, it likely has an on-site septic system to treat the sewage from the household. Although out of sight, please don’t put the septic system out of mind! Faulty septic systems can be extremely hazardous since improperly treated effluent can harm both the homeowner's health and the health of the environment.

Prior to purchasing a property, you should always have the septic system inspected by a licensed septic contractor. When first viewing the property, here are a few indications of a possible failed system:


• The lawn over the drain field has patches of abnormally  

   healthy-looking grass.

• There are soggy areas, areas with surfacing grey water, or areas

   with surfacing sewage on or near to the drain field.

• The lawn above the drain field is wet.

• Sewage backup begins in the toilet and drains.

• The sinks, showers and toilets drain more slowly.

• There is a sewage odour over the area of your drainage field.

This information was reprinted with permission from the Living By Water Project. For further information Environmental Advice for waterfront owners, please visit: http://www.livingbywater.ca Copyright Sarah Kipp, Living by Water Project

Purchasing Tips for Waterfront & Water View Buyers

  1. If you are thinking about purchasing a developed waterfront lot, consider making an offer to purchase conditional on inspection of any elements you have doubts about: the home itself, dock, septic system, well, drinking water quality, or erosion risk. Even if you don't have doubts about these elements, making your offer conditional to these inspections is recommended.

   2. Before you buy, evaluate how the property might change on a seasonal basis, as a result of influences like runoff and changing water levels. Check for low-lying areas with water build-up, which could be breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

   3. snowhouseoceansmCheck floodplain restrictions and required building setbacks. You may have trouble obtaining flood insurance if a building is in a floodplain.

   4. The BC Government has imposed new regulations on disturbing wildlife close to shore areas-make sure you know the rules before buying.

   5. On high bank lots, have an engineer inspect the stability of the cliff.

   6. When purchasing, ask for records of drinking water tests. Likewise, pass yours on to new owners, should you decide to sell.  Also ask for rate of water flow from the well, as some areas in BC have issues with water shortage. Remember that property value is often related to water quality.

This information was reprinted with Permission from the Living By Water Project (italics added by Waterfront West). For further information and environmental advice for waterfront owners, please visit http://www.livingbywater.ca

Copyright Sarah Kipp, Living by Water Project

Erosion & "Buffer Zones"

Erosion Prevention

high bankThe shoreline, where water meets land, is where your waterfront property is most susceptible to erosive forces. Erosion is a natural process that causes a gradual wearing away of land surfaces by water, ice and wind. Erosion can cause slumping, surface runoff, silt deposits, and if left unchecked, major property and building damage. Protect your shoreline by understanding the value of the buffer zone. Alterations to your natural shoreline i.e. removal of rocks, trees, and other live and fallen vegetation, puts your buffer area at risk of becoming an erosion zone. Being aware of erosion risks and taking appropriate action will better arm you to safeguard your property, and protect your pocketbook.
Vegetation, logs and rocks along the shoreline also slow down floodwaters, reducing damage to your property. In addition, these shoreline plants increase the soils ability to absorb water, which reduces the negative impact of flooding

What is a buffer strip/zone and why is it important?

Deep-rooted vegetation such as tall grasses, shrubs, and trees, and aquatic vegetation such as reeds or cattails (freshwater) and eelgrass (saltwater), help buffer the shoreline. By reducing the energy of waves and currents, the buffer zone protects your shoreline from erosion.
Vegetation covering your property, including in the buffer zone, provides protection from erosion damage caused by surface drainage. Because shoreline properties are on the receiving end of uphill drainage, this is a common problem; the more cover, the better for you.

If properly established and maintained, a buffer zone can:

*    Remove up to 50 percent or more of fertilizer chemicals and pesticides.

*    Remove up to 60 percent or more of some bacteria

*    Remove up to 75 percent or more of sediment (soil particles)

For further information and environmental advice for waterfront owners, please visit  http://www.livingbywater.ca Copyright Sarah Kipp, Living by Water Project
Reprinted with Permission Oct 2005. 



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