Slow Wealth With London Ontario Income Properties

We get tons of calls every year for people wanting a fixer-upper, especially after they have just watched some TV show where a couple bought  something, fixed it up and made gobs of money! Really?

Fixer upper

What about a couple who are handy or even want to be handy and who do not have to keep up with the Jones’s for appearance sake? Instead of buying that $400,000 or $500,000 home with the finished basement, nice schools, close to work, 2 car garage and then busting your butt to ensure all your monthly bills are paid?

And then, hoping that your home will increase in value in 5-10 years.

What about the couple who buy a smaller home outside for cash or put 5-10% down, have a 1-2 year plan to fix the place up and sell it and repeat this 4-5 times in 10 years?

Look at the math. Instead of a $1000 plus going to interest every month, you buy something where that interest goes perhaps $600-$800 goes to fixing your place up. after 1-2 years you sell it, you may earn $20,000  to $40,000 plus but lets say you only net $15,000? That’s low but stay with me here.

You do that 5 times or more? If you compared the couple who has had only one house after 10 years, mortgage poor or to keep up with their friends, go deeper in debt and get a bigger home, or the couple who uses their sweat equity and common sense after 10 years?

I have 14 couples now who followed this plan and let me give you 3 scenarios:

  • Couple number 1 lives in a $360,000 home, no mortgage and are under 35 years old and have no debt

  • ​Couple number 2 live in a condo now, no mortgage and are living off the rental income of their last 7 homes they bought, and instead of selling, they rent out
  • Couple number 3 are into house 3, it’s worth about $375,000, they owe just under $100,000 on it and their first home they bought, they scraped, borrowed and begged to come up with a $5, 281 down payment!

 

Are the above 3 different than most? Yes. you see, they are willing to pay the price in time, effort and I’ll use this dirt word prestige, to build their financial stability. Now, at the end of the day, 10 years from now, who is living the good life?

Is it easy? Safe? Nope! Is it wise and financially prudent? You bet!

So I ask, do you have what it takes or are you going to go through the rest of your life in debt and looking well off or no debt and feeling well? If you have what it takes or want to learn more, why not give me a quick call at 519-435-1600 now?

 Some Income Properties For Sale

Real Estate Investing London Ontario Common Mistakes

Avoid 12 Common Mistakes Made by Novice Investors in Real Estate (and Experienced as Well!)

Real estate investment has provided many investors with positive cash flow, tax benefits and the satisfaction of making an impact in others’ lives.   However like any investment, real estate has intricate nuances and market trends that when ignored can cause an investor tremendous heartache.

invest in real estate

Unbelievably, many first-time investors are willing to part with their hard-earned cash without taking the time to study their investment.

They rely on traditional trends and gut feelings.

Before you risk your investment, take the time to learn all you can about your market.  By aligning yourself with the right professional, you can avoid these 12 common mistakes and you’ll ensure an excellent return on your investment.

1.   Failure   to  Determine   Your  Time  Need–  Cash flow, capital appreciation,  tax benefits, loss of management, equity pay-down and pride of ownership are just some of the things that need to be addressed before you make that investment.  A service-minded real estate professional can be a tremendous asset by taking the time to evaluate your needs and making sure you’ve got all your bases covered.

2.   Not Checking out the Seller or Seller’s Realtor’s  Numbers– Claims of extremely high rates of return run rampant in real estate investment.   Don’t  get caught up in the excitement  – check everything: rents, payment history, taxes, expenses, deposits, future modifications…everything!  Make sure you have the right agent.  It’s like having a good insurance policy against overlooking all the seemingly insignificant but very important details.

3.   Forgetting You’re Buying a Business– Owning investment property carries great potential for creating wealth and…some potentially difficult decisions.    Evictions, re-investment into the property and time management all need careful consideration. Remember this is not a “hands-off’ business.

4.   Avoid Negative Cash  Flow– Property that eats cash every month can drain your  working   capital. This creates stress, frustration and can become quite painful.  Predicting constant appreciation is extremely difficult if not impossible for the unseasoned investor.  A strain on your cash flow may cause you to sell the investment before the benefits of ownership are ever realized.

5.   Failure to do a Thorough Inspection– Look under every rock! Hire a professional inspector. Ask the tenants about pest problems, structural damage or recurring problems. Don’t overlook anything! A value-driven real estate professional will help you find the right inspector and can help you avoid costly mistakes.  When investing your hard-earned money, be sure and use sound business judgment!

6.   Failing  to Have  Adequate Insurance– Investment property brings liability.   Tenants, cars, parking lots, and property liability- the list is quite extensive.  Adequate insurance coverage is an absolute must!

7.   Inspect, Approve, and  Confirm All Documents– The list of documents  that need to be proofed can be overwhelming  to the first time investor.    Building permits, zoning  laws,  rental and lease applications, health licenses, laundry leases, underlying  loan documents, by-laws, title policies, inspection reports, purchase contracts, insurance…don’t attempt to do it alone.  The right professional can remove most of the stress and bring the transaction to a conclusion smoothly.

Inspect Everything

8.   Get a Bill of Sale For All Property Involved– Many types of personal property (appliances, furniture, fixtures, etc.) can be involved in an investment sale. Be very detailed…know who owns what!

9.   Charge Fair  Rents–  Vacancies,  turnovers and lease terminators  are your biggest    expense. Charge fair rents, treat your tenants with respect and respond as quickly as possible to their needs.   It’s  a lot less costly in the long run to take care of the little problems before they become big problems.  Vacant property is your Achilles heel.

10.   Select  Qualified, Good  Tenants From the  Start– Take  the  time  to check  references.    Previous landlords,  employers,  financial  references,  credit,  judgments  are  all  vitally  important.    If  there  are  any questions, investigate fully.  A little work up-front can save tremendous problems later on down the line.

11.   Make Sure  You get Tenancy  Letters– Get letters from tenants confirming the status of tenancy. Make sure their version of the rental or lease agreement corresponds with the seller’s interpretation. (If you are adopting tenants from a purchase)

12.   Don’t Spend  Positive Cash  Flow– Most successful investors have free and clear properties. Be sure to re-invest your cash flow back into the property payment and speed up the amortization schedule.   This decreases your debt load and increases your equity…which builds your net worth.

Investment property can be one of the most rewarding aspects of your financial portfolio.  Be certain to have all your “ducks in a row” before you invest.

get your ducks in a row

Do your homework and for goodness sake, work with a professional Realtor who knows income properties!

Income properties now for sale in London Ontario

 

 

 

Rent Prices Soaring in London Ontario

What are causing rent and lease prices to rise in London Ontario? Shortage of rental units, property taxes, property prices or just because a landlord wants to finally make some money?

rents rising

I have been getting  our new investor clients tenant leases that make them more than happy and all to glad to invest in London.

Our existing investor clients know that rent and lease prices have increased in London Ontario substantially over the last 6 months and this London Free Press article backs it up!

Ontario New Rental Lease Law is Flawed

Ontario’s flawed standard lease is now law

Ontario Lease Agreement

It should never have happened this way. It’s true that written tenancy agreements for Ontario’s residential landlords have been confusing and inconsistent. Many leases are jam-packed with illegal clauses, confusing provisions and in some cases, there is no written lease at all.

Some small landlord investors are of the mistaken belief that it was easier to terminate tenancies if there is no written lease. A lot of landlords also confuse the term lease with the concept of lease term. So yes, confusion abounds, but now it gets worse, not better.

Now, for all new residential tenancy agreements that are signed (with a few exceptions), landlords must use Ontario’s new Standard Form Lease. This lease attempts to remove some confusion from the current chaotic state of affairs. No homemade leases are allowed! Its use is mandatory for condos, apartment buildings, single-family homes, rooming houses and basement apartments. This lease also replaces the agreements Ontario Realtors traditionally have provided.

The provincial lease has two parts. The first has some basic provisions along with a place for signatures at the bottom. The second part is an appendix, but really, it’s just an explanation on some of the finer points, including some details about what provisions may or may not be legal.  In Ontario, you cannot contract out of the Residential Tenancies Act (the RTA), so landlords and tenants signing the new lease can be assured that what they are signing is enforceable through the Landlord and Tenant Board.

While well-intentioned, the lease is extremely bare-boned. The standard form lease tries to be all things to all people and ends up being suitable for no one. Because it tries to be generic enough to fit all tenancy situations, it ends up fitting no tenancy situations.

Fortunately, the government is permitting additions to the lease in the form of an appendix that the landlord may draft. But keep in mind, the provisions in the appendix cannot contradict what’s in the lease and cannot violate the terms of the RTA.

The standard government lease, being inaccurate, incomplete and confusing, will likely cause more litigation and confusion. I can almost guarantee you that if you use it on its own, you will have misunderstandings with your tenant, or find that you are without a remedy when you need one. If you are interested, here’s a link to a blog I did analyzing the required lease.

The government could have resolved the issue of illegal clauses and ignorance of basic tenancy rights by creating a mandatory appendix, required to be attached to every new lease, with the same penalties to landlords if they failed to provide it as there is for failing to deliver this new lease to a tenant. However, the Ministry of Housing chose to use a hammer to swat a fly. By doing so they further confused an already confusing regulatory system.

Prudent landlords will need far more than the Standard Form Lease to protect their interests. Our firm and others are providing clients with appendices to be used in conjunction with the Standard Form Lease. As a landlord, don’t even think about using the standard lease on its own.

If you are interested in finding out more, take 15 minutes to view my free YouTube video on the new standard lease, and how you can protect yourself.

By Harry Fine

Younger Canadians Becoming Landlords

A new CIBC poll says Canadians who own a rental property earn about $2,189/month – 50 per cent more than their monthly costs – and those who rent out space in their home offset their housing costs by 70 per cent.

Ontario Landlords

“High housing costs and the growing appetite for additional revenue streams make renting out space a popular choice, especially among younger Canadians,” says Jamie Golombek of CIBC Financial Planning and Advice. “While most homeowners believe the tax benefits alone make an income property a worthwhile investment, it’s critical to understand how it fits into your overall financial plan and be mindful of all of the tax implications of going this route so you can make the most of the venture.”

In a new report, Golombek and colleague Debbie Pearl-Weinberg address some of the tax considerations for homeowners currently earning or planning to earn rental income.

Key poll findings:

  • More than one in four (26 per cent) Canadian homeowners are already landlords (15 per cent) or plan to earn (11 per cent) rental income by letting out space in their primary residence or from a separate rental property
  • Almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of current landlords own one or more investment properties used exclusively for rental income
  • $2,189 is the average amount they earn in income each month
  • $1,461 is the average amount they spend on expenses each month
  • Nearly a third (31 per cent) of current landlords rent out a portion of their primary residence for long-term (22 per cent) or short-term stays (nine per cent)
  • $1,287 is the average amount they earn in income each month
  • $1,888 is the average amount they spend on their total household expenses each month
  • 72 per cent of all homeowners believe investing in real estate is an excellent way to earn supplemental income
  • 37 per cent of homeowners say they would opt for a home with a source of rental income if buying a home today

The poll findings reveal that Canadians aged 18-34 are more apt to be landlords than any other age group. Almost half (47 per cent) of millennial homeowners are already landlords (30 per cent) or plan to be (17 per cent), compared to only 29 per cent of homeowners aged 35-54 and 12 per cent of those aged 55+.

Get More Money for your London Ontario Home

Moreover, if buying a home today, twice as many millennial homeowners than boomers say they would opt for a home with a source of rental income, at 54 per cent and 25 per cent respectively.

More than half (55 per cent) of millennial landlords own a property exclusively for rental purposes, while 40 per cent rent out a portion of their home for extended stays of a year or more (30 per cent) or short stays (10 per cent).

Among those who let out a portion of their home, an almost equal number cite additional or surplus income for spending on non-essentials (29 per cent) and to offset mortgage or housing costs (26 per cent) are their top reasons for sharing their space.

“Younger Canadians are more open to sharing their space because they see it as financially advantageous,” says Scott McGillivray, a real estate investor, contractor and television personality. “There’s definitely a shift in attitudes and a growing interest in income properties, in part driven by a desire to offset high housing costs, but also because it can be a smart way to create extra income and build wealth.”

The survey finds that the majority (80 per cent) of homeowners agree that renting out space in their home makes financial sense but value their time and privacy too much to pursue it. Further, 30 per cent of landlords say their top concern is dealing with unexpected costs for maintenance and repairs.

Despite this, more than half of landlords (52 per cent) believe it’s “worth the headache”. Among those who own a separate rental property, half say their top reason to invest is to generate passive income now (22 per cent) or in retirement (28 per cent). Another 20 per cent have invested for long-term property appreciation, and only 14 per cent cite future occupancy by themselves or their children as their main reason to invest.

Further, 74 per cent of landlords believe that even with a negative cash flow, the benefits of tax deductions alone make owning an income property a good investment, but Golombek warns that if expenses exceed income on a consistent basis, you may not be able to claim those deductions.

“Being a landlord can be financially rewarding, but it’s not easy money, and would-be landlords often underestimate the taxes they’ll pay on rental income and may overestimate what deductions they can claim,” says Golombek. “It’s important to be clear on what can and can’t lower your overall tax bill.”

Run the numbers

While landlords who own a separate income property can deduct both capital expenses (renovations, real estate commissions) over time and current expenses (insurance, interest) immediately, those who share their primary residence with a tenant can deduct only a portion of their expenses, which relate specifically to the rental area.

The poll also found that most (69 per cent) landlords admit they would discount the rate if renting to family and friends, but Golombek warns that this could limit the ability to deduct expenses or claim a loss from a tax perspective.

“It’s well worth your time up front to consult with a team of experts including your financial advisor, lawyer and Realtor to be clear about the perks and perils before jumping in,” he says.

This blog first appeared in REM Magazine, a publication for Realtors.

London Ontario Real Estate Growth, Commercial & Residential

 

                 London Ontario’s Real Estate Market Growth & Why

   Income properties London Ontario

There is a huge demand for secondary markets like London and this is where the commercial and industrial investors are going as per this latest financial report.

With that and there being a shortage of decent rental properties, we are seeing rental rates increasing and income property prices increasing as well.

Getting a cap rate of over 6% is a challenge for residential investors, however, the long term investor’s confidence level is quite high and with the average Canadian’s debt load at its peak, the demand for rental units, be they multi-family, townhouses or apartment condos and single family homes is very strong.

We can toss and turn all night long about interest rates until the cows come home, I know from experience that smart investors buy value first and then allow the economy to catch up, even if it takes a year or two.

I, being an advocate of positive cash flow from day 1, the last paragraph was difficult for me to write!

One thing I have learned over the years is to dress to fit the change in climate, Mother Nature can be finicky and act without any warning, so can the economy, the bureaucrats and the rent review board!

Spring is here, London is expanding, interest rates are low and the door is open for those seeking good financial opportunities in real estate.

London Ontario Vacancy Rate And Rent Numbers

Average Rents London Ontario

The London Ontario vacancy rate for apartments, townhouses and houses as of February, 2018 is below 2%.

For Apartments, here is CMHC’s numbers and their 2017 London Ontario vacancy rate:

Type Avg. Rent Vacancy Rate
   
Bachelor $655 3.3%
1 bedroom $840 1.7%
2 bedroom $1041 1.9%
3 bedroom $1190 1.8%

 

Again, remember these are just averages; I have some clients who are getting $1500-$1700 for  two bedrooms and $1650-$1900 for a 3 bedroom.

energy efficient house London Ontario

My experience with townhouses mirrors what I see on MLS, decent 3 bedroom townhouses $1250-$1350 plus utilities and the last 3 we did, all leased out in 4 days! (It took 4 days because of background and credit checks)

For detached houses, the same thing, $1500 to $1800 is a sweet spot, anything over that the house better be nice, good location and in great shape. The last house we did at $2650 plus utilities was vacant for 8 days!

What does this all mean?

Wise investors will buy in any market because they are in it for the long haul, they do not care what the rest of the market is doing, and they invest because they are true investors, not hopers, flippers, dreamers or have a lack of confidence or courage as a real estate investor.

Yes, there is a shortage of quality rental opportunities at the present moment, however, there are still some decent buys and opportunities for those who grasp that vacancy rates will remain low for many, many years to come.

Income Properties in London Ontario, Missing Opportunities

Quite a few  times people looking for income properties in London Ontario miss the boat because by the time they have confirmed all the facts, or,  ‘run their numbers’ (usually erroneously), or, gathered solid information, the opportunity is gone because of other buyers or the property has been sold!

looking for real estate opportunities

I see this daily, the fence sitters, the ‘time is not right’ folks or in 75% of the cases, their analysis of the property and income is faulty, that their illusion or perception of cash flow, appreciation and risk tolerance is inconsistemt with what wise investors do!

The average real estate professional relies on what he or she  hears & perceives, a great real estate professional assimilates all the available facts, sifts out the chaff, and makes the go/no go decision on his/her ability to adhere to what I call the brutal truth.

Great investors never buy because of what the market is doing, they don’t care. It can be up, it can be down, they understand cash flow, they look at the big picture and they think long term.They buy on expectation and sell on results! Period.

As J.P. Getty said “Investors bank on climate, while speculators bet on the weather.” In other words, the real estate market works more like a barometer than a thermometer.

Getting good and accurate information and then being able to act decisively on that information is what really separates the wannabees and the wealthy.

Your boat will come in as an investor

Your boat will never come in if it never goes out.

Ty Lacroix Broker of Record

Ty Lacroix Broker of Record & Owner

 Not All Realtors Are The Same, This Is What We Do When We Work With An Investor Client

  • First Time Client Meeting: We understand that each & every client has different needs, goals and financial and risk tolerance. We spend an immense amount of time discussing, understanding and designing a systematic approach to match or even surpass your criteria. It can be an apartment condo or townhouse to rent, to multifamily to small commercial properties.
  • The Process: We then prepare a list of properties that will match your criteria and goals. We perform our due diligence on each property, verifying expenses, leases, licencing, permits, zoning, public transportation, schools, area rents, vacancies and perform our 44 point check list to ensure we are thorough. If we have a successful acceptance of your purchase agreement, (which has conditions and wording to protect you) we work closely with your lawyer to ensure he/she has all the information required to ensure the closing takes place. We even perform a final walkthrough before closing to ensure that what you purchased is in the same shape or better than when you decided on the property and that all chattels are included and  in good working condition.
  • Leases and Screening Tenants:  If you wish us to be involved in attracting tenants, doing credit checks and verifying employment and references and preparing a lease, we are very good at that. If, however, you wish to do your own tenant attraction, screening and leasing, that is fine with us, we do tenant leases only as an add on to our services. We are not Property Managers.
  • Optimizing Cash Flow & Capital Improvements: We will prepare a spread sheet outlining what you can do to maximize your investment and cash flow in the years going forward.
  • Selling: 99% of our clients are of the buy and hold mentality but weekly we are contacted by other owners asking us to sell their investment property or properties. Our selling process is even more meticulous than our buying process, the reason being, having all documentation and pro formas in place, we eliminate 90% plus of the stress in the closing period, proving that our properties sell for more and in less time!

 Search income properties for sale in London Ontario .

New Rules For Buying a Property in London Ontario With Tenants

If you have a client who is interested in buying a property, but it has a tenant, make sure to extend the closing date because the required notice days in Ontario have now doubled in length. In the past, only 30 days written notice was required to terminate a tenancy. Now it’s 60.

Landlord in London Onatrio

Another glitch: the date the tenancy ends must coincide with the end of term or rent period. This could result in a full year passing before your client can move in.

For example, if the tenant’s lease ends Dec. 1, 2018, your buyer can’t move until Dec. 1, 2018 even if the closing date is Nov. 1, 2017. And if you’re thinking of “fudging the dates” by giving less notice than is required, don’t! If the termination date is so much as a day off, the notice is invalid, and you’ll have to start all over again.

Previously, landlords have not been required to compensate the tenant if the landlord gave proper notice and acted in good faith. That’s no longer so. Section 48.1 of the RTA requires that the landlord compensate the tenant equal to one month’s rent. This amount has to be paid prior to the termination date specified on the N12 notice. This means a tenant can take the money and still refuse to leave!

Some real estate salespeople have encouraged investor buyers to buy a place and evict a tenant under the pretense that the buyer, or her family member, is moving in. Under the new rules, if the buyer gets caught, she can be fined up to $25,000. This fine can also be levied if the buyer decides to move out before 12 months are up following the date of eviction, rent it to her cousin and charge rent or demolish the place.

Given these rules, it’s important that you get a copy of the tenant’s lease. This way, you can gauge when your buyer can move in and how much she’ll have to pay the tenant to move out.  It’s also important that you always use the updated forms found on the Landlord and Tenant Board’s website, because the previous forms are no longer valid.

To avoid extortion by the tenant – a practice whereby tenants demand money in order to move – make sure that your buyer, once she becomes the landlord, files an L2 application and obtains an order terminating the tenancy pursuant to the notice prior to the termination date. Ensure that the order references the payment so that it is documented that you will be providing the tenant with proper compensation. Getting an order in place speeds up the process if the tenant refuses to move following the notice date and prevents the tenant from extorting the landlord by demanding more and more money in order to move out.

While affordability is an issue and the housing reforms attempted to solve this matter, the reforms have disproportionately hurt landlords and those who are scrimping and saving to buy a home. As such, buyer agents, as well as seller agents, must be aware of these financial and practical changes. They can destroy a deal.

The above was written by   Natalka Falcomer  a lawyer in the GTA area

 Another interesting tip about investing in London Ontario

Want To Sell Your Income Property In London Ontario?

Thinking of Selling a Multi-Family Residential Property in London Ontario & Area?

 Over the past few months there has been a shortage of good quality duplexes, triplexes, four-plexes and 6-12 unit properties in London and area.

All the ones I had were sold or are conditional  from 27 units and down and I have 7 registered buyers, (pre-approved for financing and experienced) that are looking to buy, actually more than looking, real serious, no nonsense types who can make a decision within 24 hours.

Do you want to take advantage of my seven or of the Realtors from the GTA area begging me to find their buyers a property?

Now, do not get me wrong, my investors are not wishy washy or unwashed, they want to see value or be able to create value and they are long term investors so they are not interested in drastically overpriced properties, junk or cap rates below 6%.

Stress Test for Mortgages

Come 2018, the stress test for mortgages comes into effect and I am hearing from mortgage providers that there be fewer buyers that will be able to pull the trigger on a purchase.

That is good news for my buyers, the stress test has little effect on them and will actually be better for them, less buyers, less competition.

So, if you have a property you want sold without a song and dance process, contact me, I don’t sing and the only time I dance may be if there is amber liquid around and that is very unlikely as well.