Buy an oceanfront acreage!

  • February 26, 2014 · 7:00 PM
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Better yet buy 5. This is here in the 'Dare to Dream' category.

First a quick story. Last year Liana and I purchased an oceanfront cabin on 1.5 acres just North of Sechelt. Since then we have been there nearly every weekend. We knew we were lucky to find the place but over the past year we have come to understand how truly unique our property is.

We are approx 2 hours from Vancouver door to door including a 40 minute ferry ride from Vancouver. From the Langdale ferry terminal we are a 40 minute drive to our lot, we park at the top and then have a 5 minute hike down the hill to our cabin and beach.

There are a few other beach cabins but no permanent houses in on our bay yet. Other than a few summer evenings we have this bay mostly to ourselvs year round. Some of you have been at our place and can attest to its uniqueness. i don't think you can find this level of oceanfront wilderness and privacy anywhere else within a 2 hour drive of Vancouver for any amout of money let alone the $500,000 amount we paid for 1.5 acres.

There was a woman living nearby and she owned 5 of these lots. Her property is not directly adjacent to ours but it is nearby. She passed away in September and the lots have been up for sale as a package for 2.5 million. This has since been reduced to 1.7 and after running into the appraiser today I think the number will drop to 1.4 or less shortly. That is 1.4mil for 5 lots, approx 8 acres with 400 feet of ocean frontage and an old house. There are otters, seals, sea lions, dolphins, orcas, deer, salmon, racoons and a bear in the area that we have seen in the past year. We sit in our wood fired hot tub on the beach watching the stars and marine life absorbing just how great life can be.

Here is the dream part. What if we collected a group and purchased these lots? It might seem crazy but... Before buying our cabin I would dream of the day. Now that we have achieved the dream my only regret is that we didnt find a way to do it earlier.

Perhaps together we can achieve the dream for more of you.

The concept in my mind is to get a group of people together to form a company, each owner has shares. In advance we would develop a usability plan including what type of facilities we would build on the site and how we would finance that construction.

My primary idea at this point would be low cost, small foot print (under 120 square feet would not require a building permit) "sheds" that could be cozy sleeping cabins. Google tiny houses to get ideas of the potential. If scavaging used materials and using collaborative volunteer labour it is possible to build places for a very small a amount of money and give visitors a cozy place to bunk while at the property. Perhaps they could be rented out to generate enough money to pay property taxes and fund the construction of additional cabins. The concept is only limited by our imagination and certain legal considerations. The existing house could be used as a support building for the sleep cabins and as a main house with full facilities (sewer, power, water).

How much money? That would depend on how many were interested and how much each of you could afford. If anyone has any expertise in these types of arrangements I would like to hear from you. At 1.5 million we would need approx 30 people with 50k each. If we allowed smaller share blocks (say down to 10k each) that number grows to approx 150 people. At $1000 each it would take every member of our meetup but would still be possible. 

What would you get for that? The investment potential of the property long term is very good but the focus should be on lifestyle and experience. There hiking and mountain biking trails on your back doorstep, kayaking and fishing off your beach. Life is good here, city stress melts away from us with every visit yet it is only two hours away.

Are you even just a little interested in seeing if we can pull this off? Post comments, if there is enough activity to warrant a follow up i will organize a pub meeting to gather and discuss this further. We will see if it goes anywhere after that. Bring your ideas. 

Link to the property listing:

http://www.realtor.ca/PropertyDetails.aspx?&PropertyId=13737372&PidKey=-38782432&CultureId=1


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  • KATHLEEN H.

    Nick it might be up to a few of us to take the lead on next steps with this.
    My thoughts at this stage:
    To all seriously interested, it will be important to establish the number of committed people in order to get a good estimate at the minimum investment amount/person.

    As an alternative, if there are a number of us willing to commit to x larger dollar amount, we can determine how many people we will need in order to set it at that figure. For example: whether we are talking 5 people committed to $30,000 or 10 people at 15,000 for a down payment.

    1 · May 20

    • Nick B

      Hi Kathleen, thanks for your message. I'd be more interested in 5 people investing $30k for the downpayment, but the investors would need to be prepared to put another $5-10k in per year for property tax and other carrying costs, until some lot(s) have been sold. I would think the bank will require a portion of the mortgage to be paid down for every lot sold...definitely interested in discussing the options and considering the prospects in more detail. Cheers, Nick

      May 21

  • Al

    Murray if you could please post another meeting with an open date and open location... And make one of us an organizer for planning and organizing this event/ meeting and following up etc, that would be a good start I believe? ~~~~~ We could then start with setting a date and place for the meeting... Discuss the investment structure and a little bit of a business plan..... ~~~~~ Followed by a field trip? ~~~~~ in the meantime I could send the geotechnical report to the people signed up on the new posting.... ~~~~~ Along with a potential investment proposal perhaps? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Thank you Murray, Kathleen and Nick for responding.

    May 20

    • Al

      in a nutshell... after all of us doing a lot more RESEARCH & checking out ALL the comparable sales etc etc etc... I think we could proceed ON THE BASIS of potentially purchasing the 5 lots at aprox ($280ave+/-?=) $1,400,000+/-? and putting them back on the market with a "possible" price of aprox ($350ave+/-?=) $1,750,000... Which would possibly take 3-4 years after a bit of marketing... or even more depending on market conditions & other listings etc etc... Thereby a potential gain of aprox 25% over the "possible discounted market value"* purchase price... Therefore possibly doubling the 20% down required ($280+costs+cash flow)... After paying RE, legal & PPT (which could possibly be saved too by corp structure).

      1 · May 20

  • Murray C.

    Al the meetup is already set up so anyone can post an event, pick a date and go for it.

    1 · May 20

  • Nick B

    Hi there, I am still definitely interested in the Sechelt Waterfront property as a joint investment opportunity. I might be able to get one or two further investors. Let me know if there will be another meeting between co-investors. Thanks, Nick

    1 · May 20

  • KATHLEEN H.

    Hi Al and Murray,
    an fyi: I am still interested. A Vancouver venue for a mtg might allow more of the 20 people to show, given a more central location.

    May 20

    • Murray C.

      I hadn't seen Al's comments re Geo-Tech. If either one of you want to take the lead on this go for it! I am pre-occupied with too many projects already. Good luck!

      May 20

  • Al

    Hi Murray & anyone else interested... I received a detailed Geotech report from their Realtor some time back & he has been in touch with me & I explained I will be busy until after last weekend, he was going to be away too. ~~~~~ So it sounds like the property is generally okay & after the group viewing, talking to Geotech engineer & viewing comparable solds.... this property might be an opp to purchase all 5lots at a further discounted price then reselling 4lots should give us a good return (I would only be interested if it feels like, based on the current slumped rec property market, that there is a fairly safe bet of 20-30% return in 2-3 years... and I can assure the group that neither you nor myself have a conflict of interest) ~~~~~ I've checked with one bank, pleased to note that they are willing to do this based on the property on its own without lien on any other assets... Therefore the down payment could possibly be borrowed as well on...

    1 · May 20

    • Al

      ... ......Therefore the down payment could possibly be borrowed as well on a personal asset/ credit basis, as a bonus.~~~~~ If you wish to post another open date meeting, see if any of the 20+ people initially showed some interest I think it would be worthwhile ~~~~~~ Otherwise I think it's okay for me to let the Realtor know that the group is not ready to look further into this property. Thank you. (call me)?

      May 20

  • Nade

    Murray I might be interested in going on the field trip on March 9th so can you post directions to the property? Thank you.

    March 5

  • Al

    It's possible due to the meetup site being down and no access to the site for long periods for the past week, the messages/ comments below were missed... So I thought it might be a good idea to repost... We shall have another meeting after the field trip... Feel free to stay in touch with everyone if you are still interested and /or wish to join in for the field trip...
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~ A few of us are heading out there on Monday the 10th of March & I would recommend those that can not make it for that weekday to go on Sunday the 9th.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~ It's a beautiful way to spend the day on a very scenic cruise and walking/hiking dining etc anyways. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ we have a choice of 3 ferries in the am 7:20, 9:20, 11:20 and returning at 4:30, 6:30, 8:20. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ How about we depart on the 9:20am and return 6:30pm? (shall we get in touch with each other to confirm within the next few days)?

    March 5

  • Al

    8 of us showed up and It was good to meet everyone and I felt it was very informative and productive for our first meeting. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ A few of us are heading out there on Monday the 10th of March & I would recommend those that can not make it for that weekday to go on Sunday the 9th. ~~~~ It's a beautiful way to spend the day on a very scenic cruise and walking/hiking dining etc anyways. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ we have a choice of 3 ferries in the am 7:20, 9:20, 11:20 and returning at 4:30, 6:30, 8:20. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ How about we depart on the 9:20am and return 6:30pm? (shall we get in touch with each other to confirm within the next few days)? ~~~~~~~~~~~~ I highly recommend the easy 1 hour round trip Smugglers cove hike which is just 6 miles drive north of this property and a beautiful destination for kayaking... Will give everyone a little taste of the many beautiful places around there. ~~~~ I'll post some pictures of some of my favorite places on the SSC. ~~~~ Maybe another meet soon?

    February 27

  • KATHLEEN H.

    moving forward after the mtg tonight, can we look at a Vancouver venue as a more central location, especially for those of us south of Vancouver? Possibly we could check before setting the date if there are some nights interested parties can consistently make/not make.
    Looking forward to hearing of the results from this evening.

    February 26

  • Al

    I'm already here... 6.20pm... Look for me as I don't think I know most of the group ... I figured I might as wel come early, relax and dine here.

    February 26

  • Nade

    I was able to come to the last meeting but I have plans to night. Look forward to hearing about the meeting. Cheers Nade

    February 26

  • Cindy

    Unfortunately I won't be able to make the meeting tonight. I would like to be updated and learn more about this great idea.

    February 26

  • Laura

    Sorry, but something has come up and I can't make it now. Sounds like a great idea!

    February 26

  • Mubina

    I am nowhere near ready for my midterm tomorrow am, will have to pass on tonights meetup, please keep informed as I am very interested.

    February 26

  • xycjustin

    I am interested in learning more!

    February 26

  • Al

    Murray I'm assuming this meetup is still on for today...?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ (It's been almost 3 weeks since the last comments from you on the posting, and hopefully you're back from your trip).

    February 26

    • Murray C.

      You bet, I'll see everyone tonight

      February 26

  • Erik B.

    I work up in the Arctic 2 weeks at a time and will not be able to attend a formal meeting this week but I am very interested. I have been toying with the idea of buying property on the Sunshine Coast to moor my floating home off of. If anything this meetup may let me know if it's possible or not. On a side note, I import Kimberly Stoves that are made for Tiny Houses so it would be pretty awesome to see them get put into the cabins here! Check out http://www.ironashsales.ca/

    February 24

  • ShawnSeattle

    Does one have to be Canadian Citizen/Resident to own a property or shares in Canada?

    November 22, 2013

    • Murray C.

      I don't believe citizenship or residency is necessary.

      November 22, 2013

    • Louise B.

      No you do not need to be a citizen.

      February 22

  • Louise B.

    I am looking for property in Sechelt myself and am a realtor. Am interested in finding out more and bringing my ideas on how to set it up.

    February 22

  • Murray C.

    Everyone, I'm sorry but I have to travel next wednesday and might not be back in time for the meeting so I have postponed two weeks. I hope this doesnt create problems. Ill be out there this week gathering information and photos in prep for our meeting.

    February 7

  • Al

    I am Very interested... Thanks for putting all this together and spending your time on this... Feel free to send me some more info or post here... (Ps I've invested in real estate in Calgary in the past over 20 years experience,) I love the Sunshine Coast, just got back from a cabin/ boating vacation in September including Thormanby, lasqueti and Jedediah island (could do about $50k). Hope you can post a meeting soon.

    November 18, 2013

    • Al

      Thanks again for putting all this together Murray... I'm still very interested... If I may add a couple of things please...? I don't remember seeing a NEW posting for this to the WHOLE group (although I might have missed it) which might be a good idea especially since there might be new members that have joined & others that did not sign up initially... And if I may, also suggest another posting without a date to see if there is interest for a 1day field trip (which would only cost apx $25pp with BCexp card w/3/carpool) And it would be a beautiful use of the day with scenic ferry rides & maybe lunch at Painted Boat Resort or Lighthouse Pub? ~~~ & Maybe even an easy hike to beautiful Smuggler cove marine park? https://www.google.ca/...­#

      1 · February 3

    • Murray C.

      Good suggestions and regarding a field trip, its something Ill discuss at the meeting.

      February 7

  • Murray C.

    Hey everyone, we are all busy busy people with lives to attend to. I get that but this type of endevour is going to require work from others to be successful. Sometimes that effort will involve driving in from surrounding areas and sometimes it will involve research into legalities and resources and at somepoint it will require a financial investment. The point is, it will require effort. Perhaps too much effort to be realistic, we will see. This first meeting will be a measure of our commitment. I am not going to do all this solo, I already have a place and its awesome.

    At the meeting we will gather a core leadership group, develop an action list and delegate tasks necessary to move this forward. Goal: min 3 other people willing to step up.

    I will bring detailed property, assessment and land title info along with some usage and building concepts for us to explore. If we dont have enough interest to move forward from here it should still be a nice night for a pint and a visit.

    February 3

    • KATHLEEN H.

      Moving forward, and recognizing that Murray, you are at least getting the ball rolling, which is something we should be thankful for, perhaps the initial meeting in N Van can allow further direction and then we can have a follow up meeting in Vancouver (as a presumed more central location). Not being able to make one set date/time/and location, without any flexibility should not be perceived as a lack of committed interest. Murray, are you agreeable to bring forth the results of this meeting to one in Vancouver in the near future?

      February 3

    • Murray C.

      Absolutely, there will be plenty of future opportunity to get or stay involved if we have enough interest to move us past the next step. The key is identifying and attracting more individuals willing to migrate from a spectator role into a participatory role.

      February 3

  • KATHLEEN H.

    I come from Tsawwassen so N Van is a trek.
    I will also need to bring my daughter on a Wednesday and some pubs do not allow kids (some do). Possibly, we could have a followup meeting in a Vancouver if people are far away from N Van. I realize that it is very difficult to organize this type of thing with everyone's local and schedules so I appreciate Murray, that you are making a decisive move to get the ball rolling.

    February 2

  • Deanna C.

    Thanks for the venue suggestion. Can't offer another pub alternative in N. Van myself as I live near Vancouver City Hall. It's quite the distance especially if it's in the evening. Would go if there's car pooling.

    February 2

    • Murray C.

      For anyone commuting it is generally easy to get to Phibbs exchange via transit, seymours is a short walk (10 min) from Phibbs

      February 2

    • Murray C.

      After the event i can give you a ride back to phibbs or to the seabus.

      February 2

  • Murray C.

    Im going to get there around 6:30 and have a bite to eat, feel free to join me, we will hold the discussion re the property idea till 7.

    February 2

  • Anne M.

    Hi Murray, I have doubts about getting so many people involved in a share holding agreement, but I am interested in finding out more. Thanks for sharing.

    November 14, 2013

    • KATHLEEN H.

      I do not see a date or time for the face to face meeting at Seymours Pub. Maybe there was a post I missed.

      February 2

  • Nade

    Just got the change of venue. I am Still very interested. Let me know when you have a DATE to meet please. cheers Nade.

    February 2

  • Murray C.

    Time to organize a face to face for this topic.

    February 2

  • elsa

    I'm interested.

    Thanks for putting this out.

    January 26, 2014

  • Deanna C.

    Sounds intriguing. Would like to have an assessment done the legalities of shared property as well as what can be built on these properties. Count me in as an interested party.

    January 21, 2014

  • Linda M. E.

    Would be interested to hear more and consider 3 x $1000 investment for my three children : )

    December 2, 2013

  • KATHLEEN H.

    I second that Murray.
    Many international citizens own property in BC.

    November 22, 2013

  • Murray C.

    Thanks for the interest Al, I have a bit of work travel to do between now and Christmas so this will probably get organized for early January pending sustained interest. I think a weeknight pub gathering would be a good place to start. From the beach these properties are located between thormanby and merry islands just south of halfmoon bay and welcome beach. Right close to where you would have been in September. I take my 12' out to thormanby regularly.

    November 18, 2013

  • Leanne

    Interested in learning more.

    November 15, 2013

  • Murray C.

    Regarding legal structure and how we would process when people want to cash out... Yes, all of that will be detailed at the initial stages of the project. Regarding how many people... That will depend on interest and means. Kathleen, your past experience would be an invaluable part of the discussion. I know others who have done similar arrangements and the experiences they have had did not go muddy at all. They were rewarding and profitable but the process needs to be detailed and planned out.

    There are other discussions to have if we develop sufficient interest. Of the 5 individual titles that are being sold in this package, 3 share the same beach I am on, the other 2 are closer to tbe fancy houses to the North. This opens the possibility of selling off one or two of the lots to provide some initial return or to fund development of the other 3 properties.

    1 · November 14, 2013

  • Nick B

    Murray, this sounds very interesting and I definitely want to explore the possibilities. Nick

    November 14, 2013

  • KATHLEEN H.

    I am interested in seeing how much additional interest there is. I have invested in recreational property with only two other partners and we formed a business partnership agreement and formalized the purchaser arrangements with lawyers when we did the purchase documents. Standard partnership agreements are viewable online.
    The details of the agreement do need to be clearly laid out at the onset. This includes things like how someone will sell their share, how decisions will be made. Likely a strata agreement registered through the BC Land titles office is best.

    1 · November 14, 2013

  • Lyndon

    Get lawyers involved early. Have everything in black and white. These things always get muddy quick and before you know it, Lawsuits!

    November 14, 2013

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