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Vacation Homes: Buying Remote Luxury

Written by Posted On Monday, 17 August 2015 19:13

Are you searching for a remote vacation environment where you won't have to sacrifice luxury and ease of access?

If so, you're part of the remote-luxury trend that is at the intersection of emerging lifestyle patterns, including those below:

Perhaps you belong to the growing community of committed marathon and extreme athletes who combine holidaying and training, and have a preference for high-end living and amenities.

Are you searching for a secluded, pristine environment to share with your partner, so you can refresh yourselves for the return to demanding careers?

You may want to maximize precious time-off by finding a remote corner that keeps you in North America and maybe within driving distance—a growing trend as air travel becomes an increasingly expensive challenge.

The "work from anywhere" flexibility of the net is now available in rural areas, so location has a completely different context when it comes to real estate ownership.

Across North America, buyers driven by remote-luxury dreams are inspiring real estate developers (experienced and wannabes) and resort owners to offer vacation ownership to this growing number of kid-free, environmentally-conscious adults who want to get far away from their urban lives, but who do not want to work hard to travel there. In untapped and overlooked corners, new vacation ownership opportunities are emerging.

Recently, I was invited to Wing Creek Resort and its new development, Wing Creek Residences, on the shores of one of my favorite pristine corners—Kootenay Lake, one of British Columbia's longest lakes and near the headwaters of the Columbia River. The rugged Purcell Mountains, running parallel to the Rockies, rise out of the eastern shore of Kootenay Lake which is famous for trophy fishing, kayaking, canoeing, secluded beaches, breathtaking beauty, dark starry skies, and silence. Add to this, spectacular mountain trails for hiking and biking through forests alive with wildlife. Is that the kind of "remote" you're looking for?


Ariel view of Wing Creek Resort on Kootenay Lake

"At Wing Creek Resort, the Strata [condominium] acts exactly as it would in a [highrise] condominium—instead of hallways you have 20 acres of waterfront property, instead of an apartment you have a luxury timber frame home," according to Debra Hamilton who, with partner Kevin Hoffart, is co-owner of The Resort and co-developer of The Residences.

"The snow is still ploughed and the garbage is still picked up, only here you have an orchard with over 100 fruit trees, a beautiful walking path to 500ft of beachfront, and many more features not possible in a condominium."

Hamilton explains that target Wing Creek Residences owners are "couples who could choose to live anywhere, but who want to live here…Wing Creek is designed for 26 homes, not for 260, and for a very specific person."

These neophyte developers worked since 2004 to understand the West Kootenay area, real estate development, and their property. Their first step was opening the small-scale Resort with 5 storybook cottages and a two-couple vacation home, which also serves as the presentation center. This approach offers prospective buyers first-hand experience with Wing Creek before they make a commitment.


Courtesy of Don Hunt, Bonner Photography

Owners at Wing Creek will receive clear title to their custom-designed home, built by Hamill Creek Timber Homes, and its lot. In addition, owners will have a 1/26 share of the entire 20 acre property. The maximum number of Wing Creek homes, including the existing cottages, is 26. Buyers may choose from designs ranging from an 800 square-foot timber home plus lot at a cost of approximately C$400,000 to a significantly larger home and lot valued at C$1.4 million. The degree of customization and up-grading will determine final buyer costs. Homes will all be "green," that is, LEED certified. Negotiations are underway to see the first two homes designed and built for occupancy next August.

How remote do you want to be? Those working from home or in need of periodic entertainment will find all they want a short drive away in Kaslo, a small vibrant community of Victorian buildings and great coffee. This village hosts the renowned Kaslo Jazz Fest, with its floating bands, and mountain biking events like Kootenay Sufferfest.

The unique offering at Wing Creek and at other small, remote developments and resorts can involve risk, so caution and professional advice regarding clear title, longevity of the development, water quality, energy services, and many more area-specific issues are vital. Commitment to a proactive "buyer beware" attitude is still your greatest guarantee of achieving your remote luxury goals.

If "off the beaten path" is your preferred style, search the overlooked corners of areas you love and explore new horizons. You'll discover developers and resort owners who are tackling just the type of real estate project that may include your dream vacation home.

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PJ Wade

Futurist and Achievement Strategist PJ WADE is “The Catalyst”—intent on Challenging The Best to Become Even Better. A dynamic speaker and author of 8 books and more than 1800 published articles, PJ concentrates on the knowledge, insight, communication prowess, and special decision-making skills essential for professionals and their clients who are determined to thrive in the 21st-Century vortex of change.

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