This is the Log House story 🙂
I was obsessed with having a vacation rental property, and I told all my friends.
I looked at listings and talked to everyone about it, and one of the areas I felt it was a good investment was the Sunshine Coast.
My friend Kika was invited to go to the Sunshine Coast in August 2015 and she fell in love with it, too! I remember her sending me pictures and saying how beautiful it was out there. She actually paid attention to details in the place she was staying and even talked to the neighbour! When she was in the ferry back to Vancouver, she met a friendly guy that said she needed to see Roberts Creek. That’s stayed in her mind.
So when we decided to buy a property together (I mentioned how we got to this point in another post), the girls were assigned with scouting for properties and the boys were assigned with dealing with the financing part.
Kika and I were eager to start and we booked a tour with a relator of a friend of ours. We liked him, and he gave us a tour of only one city on the coast. We didn’t fall in love with anything. (I mention this because OFTEN people GIVE UP at the FIRST TRY!!! It’s important that you know that we had many tries in different situations.)
Not long after that, my realtor in North Vancouver gave us the name of another realtor. We booked another tour. Everything started unfolding then…
I remember that day! We crossed the ferry on foot, because Gail offered to pick us up. (Check their website at joniandgail.com) First she asked us how far we wanted our property to be from the ferry. We said “maximum 45 minutes drive”. So she said we would go as far as Halfmoon Bay, then.
She started showing us Gibsons, and she went on to several areas in Gibsons, Roberts Creek, Sechelt and Halfmoon Bay.
We were excited. Places were beautiful. We took little roads and walked to the beach in several parts of the Coast. She explained the profile of each neighbourhood. It’s all blurry but a few parts I still remember.
The one place I remember clearly was Roberts Creek. I don’t know what came first, if the beach or the Gumboot Cafe. I get goosebumps just thinking about it! It was late September. We bought a cinnamon bun and some coffee and tea and shared the cinnamon bun sitting outside the Gumboot Cafe.
I remember she took us to the beach. Kika and the Gail walked ahead of me and I stayed behind, taking in the view… My God. I can feel it now. It was the most beautiful place on Earth. I just felt it. We had found our place.
Later Kika and I exchanged notes and she said she felt the same. That, combined with the profile of the community and the fact that Kika had already heard on the ferry that Roberts Creek was a “must see”, we felt it was meant to be.
With the place decided, now we needed to find our house. At first we even thought of building. Thank God we dismissed that idea pretty quickly. You see, if you build, you need to pay for the mortgage way ahead of renting the property, which makes it more complicated as an investment. At least for us, that didn’t have the money laying around. We wanted to start renting ASAP.
Right on that first trip we saw a property we liked. It had two houses on the same property. To make that story short, we ended up losing a bid for that house. It was right when the market started getting hot in October 2015. Lots of investors started looking into the Sunshine Coast because some big investing opportunities happened at that same time.
But before we even bid on that property, we booked an appointment so our husbands could see it. And since we would all be there, we asked our realtors to show us a few more properties in the area. And that, my friends, is when the magic happened…
Amongst the properties we saw it was the Log House. It was priced higher than the other ones. There was only one house on the lot… and financially we could “make it”, but it wouldn’t be as profitable as the one with two houses. I remember clearly Joni (one of our realtors), Kika and I sitting on the couch in the living room. We got so comfy there. It was a beautiful sunny day. Our husbands just looked and looked and looked around. I saw the expression on Kika’s husband face… he was in love. And he doesn’t show his emotions easily!
But all in all we were looking for an investment property and we decided for the other house. And we lost the bid. And we waited a bit more and I don’t remember who said it first, but we decided to go for the Log House! And the rest is history!
Amazing how things are just meant to be, right?
We got it all done in October. Possession Day was January 17, 2016. Our contractor moved in and renovated the kitchen, two bathrooms, the bedroom floors downstairs and the deck upstairs in about a month!
Kika and I ran like crazy and got it all furnished by mid-March, just in time for Spring Break. This was not all easy as we had a new gas fireplace installed and it was challenging with the roof being so high.
On March 17th, we had the first guests: a family for spring break 🙂
The Log House income paid for all its expenses in 2016. The “profit” was just a couple of hundred but hey, it’s not debt! We still owe ourselves a bit for some of the renovation costs, but we are all very happy that we decided to take the plunge and buy our first investment property. A few things were a bit more expensive than I expected. Insurance was our biggest expense aside from renovations. On the positive side, we are constantly booked. Most weekends are booked and to our surprise, the low season is busy as well. The only month we had almost no guests booked was January. October, November and December were stronger than we imagined.
We are now more experienced going on our second year and we are very excited for the future of our Log House. We are so touched by our guests reviews and I am sure they have lots of stories and beautiful memories from our magical place.