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Build the lifestyle you deserve in Nelson, BC, Canada

David and Lisa* were high school sweethearts who started building a busy professional life together right out of law school. They started their practices in Vancouver, and when Lisa was recruited to the top ‘magic circle’ firm in the UK, they moved to London.

The money was, of course, great. But it was becoming clear that the relentlessness of urban life meant that they couldn’t enjoy their success. Vacations were merely a brief respite.

One of those vacations brought the couple to Nelson to ski the famous deep champagne powder at Whitewater Ski Resort. Chatting with newfound friends on the chairlift, the couple made a  decision to drastically alter their lifestyle, and relocate to Nelson permanently.

They shifted their work to remote and online, bought piece of property on the waterfront, and built their dream home. 20 years and a child later, they don’t regret a moment of their decision.

“I  walk out my front door and get in my canoe for a paddle at dawn on glassy water, or be 20 minutes from door-to-chairlift to the best skiing in North America, all in a hip, artistic, culturally-vibrant community,” David explained. “There’s no amount of money in the world’s major cities that can compete with the feeling I have getting to live here.”

Fly fishing on Bear Lake, on the mountain pass between New Denver and Kaslo, one hour from Nelson.

San Diego’s James and Bianca* found Nelson after seeing an HGTV article online about ‘tiny towns with gorgeous real estate’. Being able to be in the mountains, surrounded by nature, but still only minutes from the culture and services of a community-minded town like Nelson was an immediate draw for the couple.

A retired professor, Bianca wanted to indulge her artistic side through pottery. James, recently retired from investment banking, was looking forward to fly fishing, skiing, and hiking - all without needing to get on a plane to pursue his passions.

“We built our dream home in the mountains above Nelson, looking over the lake and into the icy peaks of Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park,” said Bianca. “Best of all is the pottery studio I had built in the loft above our garage. Every day, my art is inspired by the view out my window.”

*names and details changed to protect privacy

What can Modus Vivendi, Inc. do for you?

A concierge at a great hotel adeptly assesses your wants and needs, and makes all the arrangements for an amazing night of dining and entertainment. It saves you time, and ensures that you’re getting exactly what you desire without the headaches that come with doing it yourself.

We take that concierge model, and apply it to helping you relocate your lifestyle to a one-of-a-kind lakeside mountain town in the southern interior of British Columbia, Canada: Nelson.

Why can’t I do it myself?

Lots of people attempt the process on their own, but are immediately  confronted with challenges:

  • Finding the perfect piece of property takes time and intimate knowledge of the area, and of the lifestyle you're trying to create
  • Creating an architectural vision that matches the landscape requires localized expertise
  • Developing a relationship with a builder with the experience and credentials to trust with your largest investment
  • Managing legal, tax, immigration, and other administrative issues

Those tasks are daunting enough for a move within your current city. Managing them from a distance is nearly impossible.

We’re experts in all-things Nelson. Well-connected to the top service providers in the region, we have built a team who understand your needs and can facilitate your lifestyle relocation to Nelson, British Columbia, Canada. We’ll help you discover your wants and needs, and be your on-the-ground representatives to make your dream a reality.

That’s where Modus Vivendi comes in.

What are the fees and timelines?

Every client’s wants and needs are different. Some might require extensive groundwork to locate the perfect piece of property and clear any roadblocks in making the purchase. Maybe you’re looking for commercial investment opportunities along with your personal lifestyle relocation; we can facilitate that process too.

Due to the bespoke nature of our services, there is no single set fee. The size and complexity of your project will determine the fees. For example, a 'simple' purchase of a listed, serviced lot with proper zoning in place and construction of home would be at the lower-end of the fee spectrum. Making arrangements to purchase a piece of property that isn't for sale, requires changes to zoning, installation of services, and a complex build would be at the higher-end of the fee structure.

The total timeline from initial consultation to handing over the keys to your new home in Nelson can range from 8 months to two years, depending on the nature of the property you are sourcing, and the scope and complexity of your build. For most projects, a one-year timeframe is a good target.

Here is an example of a ‘typical’ package of services we provide:

  • Initial phone or videoconference consultation
  • Detailed follow-up phone or videoconference consultation, based on  research conducted following the initial consultation
  • Sourcing property options and providing recommendations to you for the site that best matches your preferences
  • Liaison with one of our architects whose expertise best matches your desired home style
  • Consultation with our custom builder, in conjunction with the architect, to discuss scope and budget of your project
  • Priority referral to our team of expert service providers for assistance with legal, tax, and other administrative issues.

FEES: $3,000 - $10,000

When you come onboard as a Modus Vivendi client, you’re assured of personalized, concierge service for your lifestyle relocation process. We take only a limited number of clients per year, ensuring the attention to detail and individual consideration you deserve.

About Us

Modus Vivendi - Latin for ‘Way of Life’ - was formed by Nelson, BC residents Ed Olthof and Stephen Harris. The two came to the city in the mid 1990s, from Vancouver and Toronto respectively.

In the ensuing decades, Ed created Pacific West Builders, and the company quickly became known as the top-quality builder in the region. From custom homes to heritage renovations and commercial projects, Ed’s insistence on uncompromising standards in his work has made him the go-to builder for discerning clients.

Stephen’s career revolved around communications in Nelson, from journalism to corporate public relations. Now a professor of Management at Selkirk College and consultant for several clients in public and government relations, Stephen oversees Modus Viviendi’s operations and marketing.

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t: 250-551-9593

No commitment needed yet, but please tell us a bit more about yourself.

Please complete this brief (3-minute, 10 question) survey to help us get to know what aspects of the Nelson lifestyle are appealing to you. This information will not used or shared with anyone if you do not move forward in the process with us.

Start your lifestyle survey now

Luxury within reach

In Nelson, BC, you can have the lifestyle you’ve worked hard to earn.

Our team of experts provide bespoke ‘concierge’ services to bring you home.

Everything from sourcing and recommending the perfect piece of property, to connecting you with our team of architects and designers, to  building your dream home is part of our service to you.

Legal, tax, immigration consultation and more are part of our suite of services.