Vancouver Island on the ground knowledge

3 Replies

Hello all,

I am masonry contractor (brick, block, stone, etc) who is moving to Vancouver Island (likely Victoria) in April with my wife. I lived in Vancouver for 15 years previously and know the Island and coastal areas fairly well. 

I'm asking for advice of anyone with experience property investing on Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast, Sea to Sky area corridor and/or the Gulf Islands. We love these areas and are wondering what opportunities there are for investing in these areas long term. My intention is to transition from contracting to investing. Some questions I have are;

  • is there opportunity for wholesaling? would this be in the older towns (Duncan, Port Alberni, Nanaimo) or somewhere I wouldn't suspect?
  • Are pre-sales for apartments offering good returns on Vancouver Island?
  • Is there a demand to convert commercial/industrial (mostly masonry) buildings into residential? 
  • How do you invest for cashflow successfully in isolated communities (Gold River, Quadra Island for example)?

Any help would be appreciated, thank-you, 

Adrian

Hi Adrian,

I have experience in Short Term Rentals in Whistler. Expensive market but cash flow is more than worth it; and as the world opens up a little more over the coming year the data suggests tourism in the area will explode (on top of how busy it already is from the lower mainland)...I can also tell this is true from how booked out we are (almost fully) from Dec - Mar already this coming winter. 

Hi @Adrian Masterskaya

Wholesaling isn't really a thing in BC. The BC Financial Services Authority (formerly the Real Estate Council of BC) has rules in place restricting the assignment of real estate contracts. You can no longer get a house under contract and sell that contract for a profit, without consent from the original seller. If you get written permission from the seller it can still be done, but most sellers won't sign off on that if there's no benefit to them. It still happens from time to time but mostly on commercial real estate. 

Pre-sale apartments can offer good returns, but we're in a crazy inflation market right now. If you were to tie up a pre-sale, and while it's under construction the market takes a downward turn, you're going to be at a loss. This is really no different than doing a flip and seeing the market take a downward swing mid rehab. 

Converting commercial buildings into residential use could be a real money maker. It would require a rezoning and approval from local municipalities. Obviously the conversion would require meeting all building codes which might be challenging depending on the building. Most municipalities are in favour of more residential housing, so this might be a solid idea.

Investing for cashflow in isolated communities isn't much of a challenge really. You just need to find a decent property manager in the area. If you need to do any renovations to the property, a contractor might be difficult to find, but if you're willing to pay a premium, you can find one. Vacancy rates are very low everywhere on the island and golf islands. Finding tenants won't be a challenge. I recently placed tenants in Youbou, and had a lot of response to the ad for the unit.

I think some of the smaller communities are under valued right now and a good place to find cashflow and potential appreciation.

Feel free to reach out if you have any other questions

Promotion
Innago
Property Management Software
Manage Your Rentals Better For Free. Save Time & Money.
Easily Collect Rent, Screen Tenants, Sign Leases, List Properties, Manage Work Orders, & Much More!
100% Free Try It Now
Originally posted by @Dean Eggleton :

Hi Adrian,

I have experience in Short Term Rentals in Whistler. Expensive market but cash flow is more than worth it; and as the world opens up a little more over the coming year the data suggests tourism in the area will explode (on top of how busy it already is from the lower mainland)...I can also tell this is true from how booked out we are (almost fully) from Dec - Mar already this coming winter. 

Hi Dean,

Have you been in the Whistler market long? I'm thinking about purchasing there in the next 6 months with a STR. Are you booked up mostly through Air BNB?