City slickers head east to cash in on real estate deals
Published Tuesday, March 1, 2016 2:28PM PST
Last Updated Tuesday, March 1, 2016 3:10PM PST
Sitting on the spacious patio of his custom-built log home overlooking the Fraser Valley, John Gyra says he has no regrets about cashing out of city life and heading east.
“None,” Gyra said, laughing.
The psychologist just traded in his home in North Vancouver for 10 acres in the Ryder Lake area east of Chilliwack – about 100 kilometres east of Vancouver.
He admits that it’s a new way of life, but that’s not a bad thing.
“[We] wake up in the morning and pinch ourselves,” he said.
“We wanted to get out of the rush and tumble of the North Shore and Vancouver and it's a very different place out here.”
One of the biggest differences is the price: The acreage with expansive views and an open-concept timber home was purchased for $730,000 – a full $1-million less than what he sold his previous home for.
Gyra still commutes to his practice in West Vancouver, but not five days a week, and not during rush hour.
“The commute is pretty brutal… so I start later and go home later,” he said.
Realtor Ian Hornby says he's seen a growing number of people swapping city life for a quieter and more affordable existence in the country.
“They can come out and actually get a moderate size piece of acreage and a nice home and still put money in the bank,” he said.
But the Fraser Valley isn’t immune from the boom that’s fueling red hot sales in Metro Vancouver.
The median sale price of a single detached home in Chilliwack in December 2015 was $400,000, up 16.6 per cent from a year earlier, according to figures from the Canadian Real Estate Association.
Hornby says properties in Ryder Lake have jumped 10 to 25 per cent in the past year. That said, they’re still a steal compared to Vancouver, and people are snatching them up.
“Places that were on the market for years and had one or two showings in a year, had a dozen showings and sold,” he said.
Realtor Jill Hall said areas like Garrison Crossing in Chilliwack are also home to many who have left Metro Vancouver in search of greener pastures.
“They sell their house there for a couple million, come here and they have money to play with,” she said.