As strange as it seems, I get asked many times if I live here on Salt Spring Island. Yes I do, full time. That being cleared up, I have lived here full time with my family since 1990. My parents bought in the 60’s and moved over in the 70’s and started building what is now Brinkworthy Retirement Park. I had to herd our escaped cows back to the property from Ganges a few times. I attended a boys boarding school on Vancouver Island, Brentwood College, and Salt Spring was my weekend and summer home in the late 60’s. My early youth was spent in South Burnaby. I have never lived more than 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean in my life except when my parents took me to Regina for a year when I was 3. My mind seems to have erased that period for some reason.
I was married at 20 and am now approaching 40 years. We bought our first house at 22 in New Westminster for $29,000 ( sigh). We have lived in Langley, New Westminster, Surrey, Coquitlam and Burnaby, and of course Salt Spring. I moved the family to Salt Spring in 1990 and purchased the Vesuvius Grocery Store. My three children have moved on and all live in Victoria.
People joke that there isn’t much I haven’t done. The fact is I have had wide and varied life that mostly revolved around sales of one sort or another and owning my own businesses. What that gave to me was a broad understanding of dealing with both buyers and sellers of many products and services and the challenges of bringing them together.
Besides the joy of watching my first house almost double in value, I have also suffered the downfall of recession. In 1980 the market on the mainland crashed and I suffered because of that. Thinking I knew it all, I was buying and renovating and selling houses, all with borrowed money at 23% interest. It ended one day. Lesson learned. I took computer programming when no one knew what a personal computer was and decided that while I was top of my class, it wasn’t for me. I need to interact with people so I took my rubber hits the road business experience and started selling them. I sold some of the first Macintosh computers in Vancouver and had a profitable career as a commission only publishing specialist. Eventually I was hired as a sales manager, store manager and then the western regional manager of the largest privately owned Apple dealer in Canada. They wanted me to move to Toronto to head office but I figured they were getting ulcers in TO so they could retire to where I already lived.
On Salt Spring I operated the Vesuvius Store for a few years, tripled the business and then sold it. I started a bus transit and charter company on Salt Spring and ran it at a big loss for many years. It is the predecessor to the now publicly funded transit service. I got my real estate license in the year 2000. Finally, the timing was right. My wife had been a Legal Assistant doing mostly property transactions for over 15 years so it was a good fit. She actually got her license and partnered with me for two years but couldn’t stand the concept of not always getting a paycheque on a regular basis and phone calls at all hours and went into banking. Real Estate sales on Salt Spring did a steady climb until around 2008-2009 when the market got soft. Another old cliché, when the going gets tough, the tough get going.
My philosophy in real estate is much like my computer programming. You can’t assume anything. The devil is in the details. This works to the benefit of both buyers and sellers. The sellers want to know that what they are presenting is correct and the buyers want to know that the information they receive is correct also.
Read more about my Home Renovation Experience.