You know all too well that your $250,000 will only buy you a run down, fixer upper in Vancouver.
If you really want to put your investment dollars to good Real Estate use, then look up.
That’s what Dave and Lisa Richardson did. The couple purchased both units in a duplex in Dawson Creek in 2012, for investment purposes.
“We had heard good things about the investment potential of the area,” said Dave Richardson.
They paid $460,000 for the two Dawson Creek properties, with a $92,000 down payment.
Rental income on the two furnished units totals $5,000, leaving cash flow of $1,600 a month after carrying costs of $3,400.
Richardson points out that “the equivalent property would be at least double, if not triple the price in Vancouver.
“Property values, demographics, economic fundamentals, cost of entry and likelihood of cash flow make northern B.C. very attractive for real estate investing.”
Another local investor has been buying property in northern B.C. for four years.
He now owns 20 residential units within nine homes, duplexes and four-plexes, in Fort St. John and Dawson Creek, all rented. On some of the properties, he has teamed up with “money partners,” providing his investor with an eight- to 10-per-cent return.
He charges between $1,300 and $5,500 monthly rent, depending on the unit — sufficient to generate cash flow after deducting per-unit monthly carrying costs.
“I have found it difficult to find similar cash flow anywhere in the Lower Mainland.”
Vancouver-area properties might increase in value over time — as his northern holdings have been doing — but wouldn’t generate monthly profit.
Realtors are reporting an upswing in sales activity across northern B.C., particularly in communities anticipating a resource boom like Kitimat and Fort St. John.
Kitimat, of course, could become the terminus for the $6-billion Northern Gateway pipeline, and the site of an oil tanker port.
The coastal town of 9,000 also aspires to be home base for as many as three liquefied natural gas plants, which would have a combined price tag of $20 billion.
Fort St. John, meanwhile, calls itself “B.C.’s oil and gas capital” and is hoping the province will approve BC Hydro’s $8-billion Site C dam project.
Signs of optimism, premature or not, are everywhere.
The first Tim Hortons opened earlier this year in Kitimat.
In Fort St. John, Walmart has announced an expansion, and a new fire hall is being built.
WestJet last spring revealed its new regional carrier would soon start servicing the northeastern town of 20,000.
And, of course, real estate is hopping, with many of the buyers being from Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary.
The dollar value of July home sales was nine per cent higher than a year earlier, reports the B.C. Northern Real Estate Board. Resale housing activity in the north “reached the highest level for the month of July in five years,” says board president Gisela Janzen.
The median sale price for single detached homes in the region hit a record high of $255,000 in the second quarter of 2013, up six per cent from 2012. In Kitimat, the median sale price increased by nearly 60 per cent.
There are no sure bets, however, and resource booms often do go bust.
But investors looking for modestly priced rental properties, and canvassing the shabby pickings in the Lower Mainland, are bound to be impressed by the four-bedroom bargains to be found in B.C.’s north.
Travis Bowman, alongside his investment partners, have bought and sold multi-family units in Fort St. John within the last few years. To find out first hand, from an experienced realtor and property investor, how you can bring a great return on your real estate investment call 604-855-0800.