Expanding the Valley – again!
When Fraser Valley Rent 2 own began operating in 2011, our name said it all. We were servicing the Fraser Valley. That meant, for us, Surrey to Hope.
It was a great opportunity, as there were not many rent-to-own providers servicing deserving clients in the Fraser Valley. Besides, this is where I live—Abbotsford, to be exact—and I was advised that it’s best to stick within an hour of your office.
That was a pretty successful market area for me. We did deals, and had client successes in Abbotsford, Langley, Mission and Chilliwack, just as intended. (Surrey, Maple Ridge, and Hope would have been fine too, but potential deals there never materialized).
The housing boom after 2015 increased the challenge, though, for many who needed our help to get into their own homes. Our model is aimed at entry-level properties and clients. But single family homes were being priced right out of the entry level market and even, to a great extent, out of the reach of most everyone else, too.
Entry level was gradually being restricted to condos and townhouses. Those kinds of properties are tougher (though not impossible) to fit into the rent-to-own model, and many people do not want strata properties, in any case.
Many people were giving up on the notion of ever getting into the housing market.
So, we pivoted. While still maintaining the Fraser Valley focus, with a mix of condos, townhouses and single-family homes, we also moved further afield. After all, I was destined to make numerous trips between the Fraser Valley and the Shuswap anyways, so why not service the areas along that route? Besides, several of my colleagues in the Kamloops area had vacated the rent-to-own market.
And housing prices? They were still affordable up the highway.
Many Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley residents were thinking the same, leaving behind the insane housing costs of the coast and moving up country. Communities along that corridor began to see growth, and an upswing in their housing values, though still far below those of the Fraser Valley.
It has worked well for our business and for the numerous clients we’ve since serviced. We’ve now got rent 2 own clients in Merritt, Logan Lake, Kamloops, Salmon Arm and Sicamous.
We’ve certainly not abandoned the Fraser Valley, but many (not all) are now resigned to condos or townhouses in this area.
Many rent 2 own providers avoid smaller communities. I know of one who limits their involvement to communities with populations over 50,000.
It’s been the opposite for me. Our model seems to be working well in at least some smaller communities. Logan Lake, one of our most successful communities, has a population of only about 2000 people.
We’re now seeing increased interest in communities even further afield. Migration in search of affordability and new job opportunities up-country (the pipeline, the Inland rail terminal, etc.) are pushing the housing market into the Cariboo and up along the Yellowhead, and those areas are starting to boom, as well.
So, after further research, we are prepared, under the right conditions, to add a few more, even further afield, communities to our service area. These new communities include Ashcroft, 100 Mile House, Barriere, Clearwater, Enderby and Armstrong.
If you know of people interested in moving to these areas who may need help in reaching mortgage qualification, why not let them know that we’re there to help them under the right circumstances.
But we’re not changing our name!
Like a glacier, we’re just carving the “valley” further up the Fraser River watershed—measured in pace, like that glacier.