Ban The Word ‘If’ in Real Estate in London Ontario

As humans, why do we if ourselves all the time? If I would have done that, or this, or said this and on and on it goes. Just yesterday in my real estate business I heard the following:

ban the word if

If I, if we, if they, if she, if he

You see that field over there? Look at all the houses on it, if I only listened and bought it when I had a chance.

What do you mean they did not accept my offer on that house? (It was way too low) If I listened to you would I have got the house at the price you suggested? (Probably)

How come we are not getting any offers on our house? We had 2 the first week and we are getting at least 3 or 4 people a week seeing our house, but no more offers. (The house is a little tired and  buyers and their Realtors feel it is now overpriced) If I would have accepted that second offer, it was pretty good wasn’t it? (Yes)

I if myself as well, if I stand in that checkout line, will it be quicker than the other 3? If I don’t make those follow up phone calls, what are the consequences? If I do this, if I do that!

I read that iffing is a normal human (emotion) (reaction) (call for help) (uncertainly) or all of those.

I do not have the answer but I vow not to use the word if today!

Selling a House in London Ontario? Improvements?

Generally speaking, there are two ways to go about home improvements when selling a house in London Ontario.  You’re either going to splurge on your home because it’s your abode and you simply want a beautiful place to live, OR, you’re going to take a more logical, pragmatic approach designed to increase your home’s value.

Problem is, you’ll never achieve both.   In fact, many homeowners expose themselves to the very problems they’re trying to avoid in the process of home fix-ups.

Take Carol and Tom McKenzie, who four years ago purchased a home for $190,000.  Since buying their home, they’ve spent over $60,000 fixing it up and making it the “perfect” place to live.  A few months ago, they put the home on the market with another brokerage at $270,000.   The best offer they received was only $245,000.

Their mistake?  Spending money on amenities and features that did not add true to  value of the home and also, it will be the highest priced home on the street. Because their house did not sell, they called me in to give some advice. (You now are reading what my advice was)

Just because you spend $30,000 or $60,000 on the fix-up of your home doesn’t mean you’re going to get it out when you sell.  It doesn’t automatically make your home worth $30,000 to $60,000 more.  And that’s exactly why you may want to know which fix-ups pay off big, and which ones could cost you potentially thousands of dollars.

Another house sold by Ty

Sold by Ty Lacroix

A Possible Solution?

There is no question, getting the best dollar for your home is not as easy at it appears.  One poor move can cost you thousands. That’s why I  have created a proprietary system meant specifically for homeowners looking to increase the value of their home.  My Home Seller Fix-up report that will get you a great return on your renovation and if you do decide in the future to put your house or condo up for sale, I do what I call my ‘No Charge Home Audit’.

Poor Real Estate Investing in London Ontario

How to Ruin the Bottom Line, Real Estate Investing in London Ontario

1-Holding on for that “dream” deal

If the area supports it and the property is $1,300 in the current market, you can lose/waste a couple months income chasing $1,400. How many mortgage payments, taxes, insurance etc.  are you willing to make trying to get that “dream deal”?

2- Waiting to get repairs done

“I will paint the house if it doesn’t rent in a couple of weeks”. Sound good? This is actually a really bad idea! You should always consider the tenant your home will attract.  If your home isn’t in optimal shape to attract the very best tenants in a competitive market, you will only get tenants who don’t care what their home looks like. You may get the home rented without the cost of the repair, but it may not be the tenant you want in your home for the next 12 months.

real estate london ontario

3- Ineffective marketing

A simple “For Rent” sign or a Kijiji ad on page 22 may be the quick end to your vacancy. Be careful though – 99% of consumers search the internet, social media, etc., and the best applicants now come through online ads. You have to track your efforts to see what media produces the best (not always the most) calls per dollar spent. A “free” ad can cost you days or months of vacancies if it keeps you from finding the best tenants.

Whether you choose paper or online ads, you must have a well-written ad to get the phone to ring. You also have to be priced right, and have the unit available to rent. If you aren’t getting any calls, it is usually about price. If you are too high, most people won’t even take a look. If you are getting plenty of lookers but no takers, check the home out to figure out what is turning people away.

4- Using an inexperienced Realtor or doing it yourself?

There are many reasons to use a Realtor, but if your Realtor isn’t experienced, there isn’t much benefit at all. In any major markets, there are literally thousands of real estate agents who want a commission, but very few with enough property management and marketing experience to make them a good choice.

5- Poor (or no) tenant screening

Most evictions are the result of a poor or inadequate screening process. By extension, that means most repairs, vacancies and legal expenses are also due to approving the wrong tenant. This is an area where you MUST do your homework and not rely on first impressions or instinct. Looks can definitely be deceiving. Unless you have money to burn, screen well and know when to say NO.

Many people who try to manage their own rentals are very trusting, sometimes even skipping the use of a basic application and background checks. An eviction notice starts the day you rented your place!

I tell all my clients, it is less expensive to keep the place vacant than to have an unsuited tenant.

6- Using a substandard lease agreement

Most leases on the market are very generic and seem to be built to not scare off a prospective tenant, rather than protecting the landlord. Do some tenants refuse to sign our lease because we have a credit check clause? We sure hope so. Does our pet tolerance language discourage the owner of 3 large dogs, 14 turtles and an emu? You want it to. If the lease protects the tenant more than the landlord, then you are headed for trouble unless you get lucky finding the perfect tenant.

7- Lost time

Losing time is the easiest and most common mistake in real estate investing in London Ontario. Calculate the rent value of each day on your unit. If it rents for $1,395/month, then each vacant day costs you almost $50!  We see people all the time who cannot afford my fees but lose a week getting their ad in the paper ($350)… or take a couple of weeks getting the house rent-ready ($700)… or feel bad for the tenant and delay the eviction for a month ($1,400).

If you aren’t prepared to be completely diligent and focused on the details, then you probably can’t afford NOT to use a professional Realtor. Sloppy practices with your rental property can kill what should be a very profitable and rewarding experience.


Managing rental property in London Ontario is more complicated than it looks. Do your homework and either become an expert, or hire one. Every rental property is a business and should be treated like one. The problems outlined here are easy to avoid, but expensive to experience. Give your business the time and attention it needs and it will pay you back very well over time.

Don’t get tricked by a suspiciously cheap management solution; by the time you find all the hidden ways that the “cheaper” guys make money, it will be too late. The cheaper a property manager looks on the front end, the more they make up on the back.

Note: I am a Realtor and not a property manager. I help clients buy condos, duplexes etc. and then help them market their properties for rent and do the credit checks, confirm references and employment, do the lease and collect first and last month’s rent.

I also help many professional landlords with their tenant choices but leave everything else up to them or a few handymen or tradespeople.

Buying a House in London Ontario, Get Preapproved First!

Why would you consider getting preapproved before buying a house in London Ontario? 

Years ago, buyers didn’t worry about financing their home purchase until after they found the home they wanted to buy.  Once they had an accepted offer, they’d shop around for a week or so and then submit a loan application.

buying a house in London Ontario

The recent low inventory of homes for sale in London Ontario and a very competitive market  can make home buying a little stressful.  To compete better, most buyers are getting pre-approved for a mortgage.  This way, the buyer is seen as more stable, has greater influence in negotiating a purchase price, and can act quickly when they find a home the really love.  A pre-approved home buyer is considered almost as strong as a cash buyer.

There are two parts to mortgage approval:

  1. approval of the borrower
  2. approval of the property.

Mortgage pre-approval is a process whereby the borrower is approved for a specific mortgage amount.  The approval is usually good for a period of time.  A property approval is one with a satisfactory appraisal  being done by an appraiser chosen by the lender.

Final mortgage approval also requires a purchase agreement that is signed by the buyer and the seller.

If you’d like other helpful ideas before buying a house or condo in London, or how to get pre-approved for a mortgage, I work with various lenders who have the same work ethic as I do. They will not stop until they can help you!

Bungalow For Sale in Strathroy South East, Strathroy

Photo Link
Former Model Home

•  1,290 sq. ft., 1 bath, 2 bdrm bungalow – $284,900. Spotless
MLS® #587522

– Located in Queens Gate is this immaculate detached condo and former model home in Strathroy Approximately 1290 square feet with highlighted extras including: engineered hardwood, updated light fixtures. pot lights, granite counter tops in kitchen, large kitchen island, soft close cabinets, pot and pan drawers roll out shelves in pantry.

Enjoy the large covered front porch, beautiful landscaping, and very private deck (10’x12’) off the kitchen with a fenced yard.

Master bedroom has a walk in closet, cheater ensuite, with walk in shower and separate tub. There’s main floor laundry and lower level is unfinished with rough in plumbing for bathroom.

The driveway is concrete and garage is 1 ½ car with inside entry and a garage door opener.

This home is definitely worth a look.

Property information