We are often asked about Whistler as an opportunity for real estate investment, and the simple answer is that people choose to buy in Whistler because of the lifestyle and quality of life, the ability to rent and gain cash flow is just a bonus.
Those looking to invest in the area are usually looking for some level of personal use from the property, whether they choose the option to incorporate monthly or nightly rentals as well.
Whistler draws people in with a unique lifestyle and incredible recreational pursuits, along with a wonderful community. If you are looking to invest in Whistler it is important to understand your options depending on your investment goals.
If you are purchasing a property to gain rental income you will be looking at Phase 1 and 2 properties.
Phase 1 properties can be occupied by the owner year round for an unlimited number of days, but must be made available to the rental market when unoccupied. Phase 2 properties on the other hand restrict owner usage to 28 days in summer and 28 days in winter. You can find a detailed outline of property phasing in Whistler HERE.
Due to the rental requirement Phase 2 properties are the most common forms of investment property in Whistler for those looking for consistent cash flow. The owner owns the full property but must book their personal use days in advance and place the property in the rental pool for the rest of the time.
Phase 2 properties are mainly located in hotel complexes for example: Adara Hotel, Cascade Lodge, Whistler Inn and Suites, the Westin, Delta and Pan Pacific to name a few.
Costs vary from complex to complex and include a monthly strata fee (which can also differ in terms of what is included), annual property taxes, and a Tourism Whistler Fee.
In addition to this you should also factor in your mortgage payment, usage and cleaning fees, repairs and maintenance, along with fees from any property management/rental company you choose to use.
When we talk about returns for Phase 1 and 2 properties we are looking at cash flow generated from rentals. This can vary from property to property so it is best to speak to your Realtor regarding the specific listing. Those looking to invest in these homes are usually investing in the Whistler lifestyle for themselves and will get the most personal use out of the property.
That being said, many who do choose to invest do anticipate generating returns when they eventually choose to sell.
Investment properties are ideal for people who spend regular weekends in Whistler, or with Phase 2, are looking to come up occasionally and enjoy the hassle free benefit of having their own place to stay.
When looking for an investment property in Whistler it is important to choose a knowledgeable, local Realtor due to the complicated and varying phasing of individual properties. Failure to do so could result in purchasing a property under the pretence of nightly rentals, then discovering you are unable to do this (you would not be the first to make this mistake!).
For more information on Phase 1 and Phase 2 properties, contact one of our agents or stop by our office.