More “Got Rich Off Vancouver Real Estate” stories – “Glad he’s done well and hasn’t changed his stripes. “Smarter” people would have sold it or developed it far earlier.”

rofina at RE Talks 3 Feb 2010 6:22 pm“My parents are a pretty typical Vancouver RE success story. They bought multiple properties at a reasonable time. Their principal residence has tripled in value in the last decade, this property alone makes them paper millionaires. All their rental condos are up a ridiculous amount, and all rent for cash-flow. Their outstanding mortgages are minimal, and really make little difference on the bottom line. The ironic part? They are very bullish people, to them Vancouver RE can do no harm. This is ironic for a few reasons. They purchased a NV property in 92 or 93, three years later they needed to sell it to raise capital for a new PR, they were unable to sell at a 20% discount.”

thinktom at RE Talks 3 Feb 2010 7:20 pm“I have a friend who paid $800k for a Point Grey Property and live in the crappy house for a while. Sold the lot, essentially, for $3.2M a few years later. That’s about the best one I can think of for a one-time transaction.”

RiskArb at RE Talks 3 Feb 2010 11:25 pm“Dumbest guy in our grad class in high-school…. we studied on exchange in France and he couldn’t find Vancouver on a map to show our French classmates. Also notorious cheap-ass who would scrounge for pennies underneath the football stands . Worked as a security guard back then and still does now. Anyways, he worked his butt off during school and put down ~$50,000 alongside his brother into an acreage in Surrey near/beside King George Hwy. Was a tear down home on agricultural land (ALR). This was during the NDP days with Glen Clark at the helm…. and Surrey was the sh*thole par excellence. Here’s basically what happened in the ensuing 7 years:
Year 0: ALR acreage with tear-down house. Sits vacant
Year 2: Removed from ALR and zoned for 2 single-family houses
Year 4: Rezoned from single-family towards higher density/multiplex (3 or 4 lot potential I think)
Year 7: Zoned commercial / strip mall
The guy and his brother just let it sit because they had no clue how to develop it and just wanted to hold it. As of 3 months ago they hadn’t sold it yet but had offers north of $3mm. I don’t know even think he ever formally listed it and could probably get more than that via a competitive process. So I think he’s gonna list it pretty soon….. and he told me that once he sells it, he’s finally gonna get a decent car – A VW Jetta. Glad he’s done well and hasn’t changed his stripes. “Smarter” people would have sold it or developed it far earlier.”

gpdu at RE Talks 4 Feb 2010 4:53 pm – “I met a couple in their seventies a couple years ago. The gentleman was a engineer at BC Hydro. He bought a 20 unit building in Van West, for $170,000 and is still holding it, in the 70’s. You figure how much it is worth now.”

RiskArb at RE Talks 6 Feb 2010 12:43 am – “I know one couple that started with 1 rental property investment about 17 years ago. Every few years they’d sell, pony up a bit more of their savings and move on to something bigger. Now they’re retired, have two 30 room apartments (those 4 level buildings that take up half a block)and act as the property managers doing the upkeep, maintenance, lawn etc.. They’ve got a funny Keyser Soze shtick going on whereby none of the tenants know they own the property… they’re just the friendly ‘fix-it’ people. And I know at least 3 other families, all educated immigrants working as accountants/engineers who did the whole “develop, live, flip” routine every 5-7 years…… but I don’t want to extol their savvy as 2 of them don’t pay nearly enough taxes.”

gpdu at RE Talks 6 Feb 2010 11:51 am“I think I can tell my story. I started by buying a duplex in Surrey in June 2002. There are four units in it. I sold it in 2006 after the price doubled, netting $250K. I paid off the mortgage on my primary residence and sent my daughter to private school. I bought almost every year after that, and now have a total of 30 units, in the Fraser Valley, Northeast BC, Alberta, and Texas. I never bought closer than Surrey because of the cash flow situation.”

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