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Docs & FAQs - The Cottages at Seabright Farm
Frequently Asked Questions
What do I need to know about crossing the US-Canada border into Point Roberts?
- Anyone under 18 travelling without both of their parents must have a letter of authorization, signed by the absent parent(s).
- Do not bring fresh produce to the border, especially apples; frozen or processed food is okay.
- Make sure all pets qualify under border crossing regulations. Bring documents of recent vaccinations with you.
- Know what your duty-free exemptions are for returning to Canada.
What is Seabright’s current status?
Are Seabright’s lots fully serviced? Will we need to pay for any hookups or infrastructure?
Are there show homes available to tour?
How long does a cottage take to build?
What amenities can we expect at Seabright Farm?
What mortgages and other home and construction loans are available to Canadians?
What do I need to know about a warranty coverage?
Is the property dog friendly?
What utility services are there for The Cottages at Seabright Farm?
- Propane: – 1st Propane out of Blaine WA 360.332.3121
- Electricity: – PSE @ 888.225.5773
- Water: PR Water Dist #4. 79 Tyee, Point Roberts. 360.945.4946
- Garbage: PR Transfer Station but there will also be garbage bins and recycling on site. 2005 Johnson, Point Roberts. 360.945.1516
- Phone & Broadband Internet: Whidbey Telephone. 1957 Johnson, Point Roberts. 360.945.1122
- Cable/TV: Satellite services are available nearby
What are the property taxes like in Point Roberts?
Is it easy for Canadians to buy and own property in the US?
Is this a gated community?
Can I live in the cottage year-round? How long can a Canadian stay in the United States?
What kind of ownership will I have for my cottage?
How big are the lots?
Can I rent out my cottage?
What Community facilities and recreation options are there at Seabright Farm?
Are there Homeowners Association fees? What are they and what do they cover?
What restaurants are there in Point Roberts?
Does Seabright Farm offer beach access?
What medical services are available in Point Roberts?
How long does it take to cross the US-Canada border into Point Roberts?
Are there boat moorage or docking facilities available at Seabright Farm?
American & Canadian citizens and permanent residents can generally cross the US-Canada border with few restrictions. Here are a few things to keep in mind before crossing the border:
You can find more information about border crossing on our blog.
Since being subdivided last August, we have sold over a quarter of the lots and begun construction on the owners’ custom homes. The remaining lots are open for offers, and we expect to also have completed cottages built out and for sale later this year.
If you visit us early this year, you may see our team finishing up pavement improvements on the adjoining public roadway, installing an environmentally-friendly stormwater bioswale or finishing up details to community facilities such as the pool, farmhouse, barn, gardens and outdoor kitchen. The Buddha says “life is change”, so we will always be working to improve the Seabright Farm neighbourhood, but the bigger work mentioned above is expected to be done by summer 2017.
Seabright Farm is pleased to offer fully-serviced lots, with all required utilities and access delivered right to the lot entry. This includes water, septic, electrical and DSL-based internet service. Driveways, on-site septic system elements and any required storm water mitigation elements are installed once the house location is finalized, but fully paid for in your lot price.
We currently have several model homes near the bluff that are open for visitors to tour, in the same complex as our Site Office and Design Studio. If you’re interested in a tour, please contact us today.
Construction begins once you’ve signed off on the plans and specifications and we obtain a building permit for your lot. Building times can vary depending on what your needs are, but most projects can be completed within six months.
We have planned a number of leisure and recreation areas for the neighbourhood, and over the next few months we will add a sports field, ball court, heated pool & spa area, picnic grounds and outdoor kitchen. We have already built out the community greenhouse & gardens, farmhouse social centre, a barn-themed community hall, kids playground, outdoor fire pits, stairs to the beach, eagle sanctuary and bluff & forest paths.
The United States has a very active and competitive home loan market, but the vast majority of loan programs are not available to non-residents. That’s a shame, because in terms of currency exposure it’s prudent to match your US$-valued cottage asset with at least some US$ financing.
Some banks do have loan programs for non-resident buyers; of note Bellingham-based Banner Bank helps Canadian residents finance their vacation properties in the U.S. Currently this loan program includes lot loans and construction to perm loans, in addition to regular mortgages. Fixed rates are available out to 30 years with no prepayment penalties. Canadian borrowers require a credit score of 700+. Lot-only loans require a 25% equity payment, while construction loans and mortgages require 20% equity.
Banner has a branch office on the Point in the International Marketplace grocery store, where you can get more specific information and start your application.
Buying a new home is one of the largest investments you will ever make, which is why it’s important to ensure your home comes with protection. As a 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty® (2-10 HBW) builder member, Seabright Farm provides every home we build with 10 full years of structural home warranty protection from the nation’s leading home warranty company.
Very; like most of Point Roberts, Seabright Farm is in general a very dog, cat, horse, eagle, deer and seagull-friendly community. But outside of leash-free areas please respect your neighbours by leashing your pet and picking up after them.
Here’s a list:
Point Roberts is an unincorporated part of Whatcom County in Washington State. Owners will have a property tax rate applied to the assessed value of their Seabright Farm cottage, with property tax payments due on April 30th and October 31st. The property tax rate can change each year, but in 2015 it was set at 1.057 % of assessed value (Point Roberts is in Tax Code area 3010). Assessed values typically are approximately 80% of the purchase and build price of the home.
Yes. It is no different than owning property in Canada, without any GST or PST being applied to the land purchase. You can even get a loan from a US bank to help finance the purchase of the lot and construction of your Seabright Farm cottage! The transfer/excise tax and title insurance (covered by private companies) are expenses of the Seller. If you are Canadian and sell the property then there will be a hold-back of some of the sale proceeds until you file your US tax statement pertaining to the sale. Also note that in itself owning property in the US will not make a Canadian subject to US income taxation; only permanent residency in the US will do that.
No, The Cottages at Seabright Farm will not be gated.
Seabright Farm is open year-round and the cottages are designed for all seasons. The US allows Canadians to visit without a visa for up 6 months. There is not a specific limit on how many days in a calendar year you may stay, but longer term residency in the US does require a visa.
Cottages and lots are free-hold title. As a side note, owners are responsible for all maintenance inside a fenced yard; but any portion of the lot not fenced will be maintained by the HOA in tidy native vegetation.
The homes sites at Seabright Farm are all larger than ¼ acre, and range in size from 12,500 square feet to over 19,000 square feet. The community has also been designed with lots of buffers and open spaces throughout the project, in keeping with the design vision of a light and open “footprint” and to protect environmentally sensitive areas.
Yes, cottages can be privately rented out. The developer is remaining engaged in the development and will be offering rental management services for homeowners. There is a 1 week minimum rental period. Point Roberts is a popular summer destination but there are no hotels in the area, so demand is there if you choose to make your cottage a rental property.
Residents of The Cottages at Seabright Farm, and their guests, will have use of a barn-themed community hall, an outdoor seasonally-heated swimming pool and hot tubs, a ball sports court, a bouldering playground, a beach volleyball pit, horseshoe pits, a lookout, an eagle sanctuary, horseback riding and hiking trails, and access to the community greenhouse and gardens.
All home owners at The Cottages at Seabright Farm will be voting members of the Homeowners Association (“HOA”), which will manage the common areas and amenities of the community. HOA fees are estimated to start at $250-$275 per month per lot. Future HOA fee levels will be determined by the HOA management and membership. The HOA services will include maintaining the portion of your lot not within a fenced area, community-wide wi-fi, insurance on the common areas, maintenance of the community center, heritage cottage, swimming pool, hot tubs, playground, horse paddock and sports courts, septic system monitoring & maintenance, maintenance of all common area paths & roadways, and open-ended access for all residents to the bounty of the community gardens.
Between local markets, ocean view dining and homey cafes, your appetite and soul will be more than satisfied. Some of our favourites include:
For more restaurant options, the town of Tsawwassen is at your feet in just 10 minutes. For authentic Chinese cuisine, Richmond is only a 30 minute drive away.
Seabright Farm has 1,450 lineal feet of high bank oceanfront, with stunning views southwards over the pristine waters of the Gulf of Georgia. From the bluff to the ocean is a 100 feet drop, but our really cool stairway gives residents direct access to the classic Pacific Northwest public beach below.
Point Roberts is ringed with public beaches, we recommend sandy-bottomed Maple Beach as the best for swimming!
General medical services are available in Point Roberts within a 5-10 minute drive from Seabright Farm, at the Point Roberts Clinic on 2030 Benson Road. For more details on hours and services please call them at (360) 945-2580.
For patients not covered by a US medical payment plan, treatment at the clinic and doctors can be paid for with credit cards or cash; your plan may provide for partial or full reimbursement of such out-of-pocket expenses.
For emergency services, more intensive services or if you prefer to use a Canadian provider, it is only a 10 minute drive into Tsawwassen.
Crossing the border between Tsawwassen and Point Roberts (officially Boundary Bay – Point Roberts) border is usually a quick process that takes only a few minutes. The only times when it routinely takes longer is during peak times in the summer (e.g. Friday afternoons), when vacationers and cottage-owners come to enjoy the beautiful Point Roberts weather.
Trusted Traveler programs for US and Canadian residents, such as the NEXUS pass, pre-approve participants to use special lanes and allow for even speedier transits.
No, the protected environment status of the shoreline zone does not allow for any boat mooring, although kayaks and canoes can be pulled up onto the shore. However, boaters need not despair because only a 3 minute drive away from Seabright is the Point Roberts marina, which has served Pacific Northwest boaters well for many years, and where you can arrange temporary or permanent mooring for your boat. The Marina is affiliated with numerous boating clubs. We suggest you visit their webpage for more information.