BCB MayJune 2022_LR

With a mission to inform, empower, celebrate and advocate for British Columbia's current and aspiring business leaders, BCBusiness go behind the headlines and bring readers face to face with the key issues and people driving business in B.C.

Issue link: http://digital.canadawide.com/i/1468031

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Page 30 of 83

HOLDING PATTERNS COVID-19 UPENDED B.C. REAL ESTATE–OR DID IT? FROM RESIDENTIAL AND OFFICE TO RETAIL AND INDUSTRIAL, WE EXPLORE THE PROSPECTS FOR PLAYING THE LOCAL PROPERTY MARKET b y M I C H A E L M C C U L L O U G H I l l u s t r a t i o n s b y S U H A R U O G A W A "We weren't those people who got into the real estate market early and who've managed to benefit from that. We are not those people who played the market, flipping homes," Adam Bullied says, by way of explaining how he and his spouse, Juniper Ridington, ended up buy- ing a heritage house in Nelson, sight unseen, in the middle of a pandemic. On the cusp of their 50s, the couple had been living in a rented townhouse in East Vancouver for several years, and been outbid on other purchases in the city, when they started looking farther afield. Pre-pandemic, they drove to the West Kootenay city to check out a house for sale, but it sold before they even arrived. Then COVID-19 struck. "We thought we'd better put this on hold until after the pandemic because maybe prices would come down," recalls Bullied, a self-employed writer and director of video games. "That's the opposite of what happened!" So last year, when an attractive house in Nelson came up for sale, they pulled the trigger without so much as an in- person look-see. After being on the sidelines of B.C.'s prop- erty boom for most of their adult lives, Bullied and Ridington now find themselves with two rented investment properties. (Ridington also has a condo in Vancouver dating back to a previous marriage.) They plan to give up the townhouse once their younger son, now in Grade 11, finishes school, rent out the main-floor suite in the Nelson house and divide their time between that and the Vancouver condo. COVID-19 upset many people's plans and assumptions about real estate. Would city folk flee apartments for more socially distanced housing in the suburbs and beyond? MAY/JUNE 2022 BCBUSINESS 31 R E A L E S T A T E I N V E S T M E N T G U I D E 2 0 2 2

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