Guest Post by Yvette Barnes, Real Estate Salesperson at Right at Home Realty
We’ve heard a lot since the Federal and Provincial governments weighed in on the GTA housing market. Has the market cooled? It depends.
Prices soared last November because there were no listings. This April revealed 21,600 new (‘active’) listings – 33.6% more than April 2016. Our ‘active’ listing supply is 3% higher than this time last year. The May statistics verify new listings are about 47% more than the same period in 2016. In 2017, TREB reports a year-over-year growth of 20-25%; March was at 30%. This suggests the market has returned approximately 5% of the price increases gained.
As the summer approaches, I start to get inquiries from Canadian non-resident or expat clients, inquiring about how to purchase properties in Canada.
Many of these clients are Canadian citizens but they are working and living abroad in countries, such as, Dubai, Singapore, Abu Dhabi and England just to name a few countries. Canada, luckily enough is very favourable to foreign investment, and while these clients are not considered foreigners, once they live outside the country for a number of years, and no longer pay taxes at home, they are not considered citizens and thus do not enjoy the same financing benefits for residents of Canada.
Thus, I thought a good primer would be good. Let’s look at a recent example.
As a mortgage broker, I always strive to think out of the box, in order to stay competitive.
With that in mind, over two years ago, I went to the US (specifically Florida) and started making contacts with realtors, other mortgage brokers, lenders and wholesalers, just to name a few.
Once I had my contacts established and verified, meaning I would only work with referral sources that had been verified and could back up their offerings with proper protocols in place, I was then able to hit the Canadian market and start marketing this source of business. It has not been easy and has taken a lot of work but in the end, it has definitely worth it, as I have been assisting countless investors in Canada to invest in both residential and multi-family properties.
This is not my typical mortgage article but was important for me to write so I hope you like it!
As a self-employed entrepreneur and solo mortgage broker, it can get lonely and difficult in this business and having only been doing this for 3.5 years, I have had my days when I wanted to quit! I am sure I am not alone.
Last year was the best year I ever had and I was riding that wave until the new mortgage rules arrived in November of 2016. Where we as brokers were restricted by the new rules the government had initiated, I was hearing time and time again how the banks were not playing by the same rules.
Contrary to the so-called Trump Effect, the exchange rate and the low Canadian dollar, now is actually the BEST time to invest in revenue properties in the US.
Regardless of these issues, people always need a place to live, and with the ever-fluctuating market in the US, there are many opportunities to take advantage of low prices and the financing that is available to both Canadian and US investors.
For instance, you might consider purchasing wholesale properties in Tampa, vacation rentals in Orlando or turnkey properties in Atlanta, just to name a few of the available opportunities that exist.
There are so many amazing investors to learn from but one that I admire the most agreed to share her tips on why knowing your tenant profile, should be one of the most important things you keep in mind before buying that investment property.
For instance, when she goes property shopping into a specific market, she always has her tenant profile in mind before looking at investment properties. Specifically, she likes having young families with children so she will look for properties near great schools and with 3 bedrooms and 1 ½ or 2 bathrooms; or she might like to attract a single mom and her children and thus will look for a home that either has two units (upper and lower unit) or a house that can be converted easily and legally to two units (upper and lower) or two side by side semi’s. Again, in this instance she would look for a property near the best schools and nearby shopping areas, as it will be highly attractive to families with children and for ease and convenience in their busy lives.
Nothing drives me crazier than when somebody says “I can’t afford the down-payment ” or “I can’t afford to save”, but they are driving around a car that leases for $750/month!
This post was inspired by a new investor client that was thinking of getting into his first property. He had done the meetup’s, the courses, and tons of research on the areas he wanted to invest and was really prepared so I assumed he would have no problems financing his first purchase.
He had decided that since he was young and had time before getting married and having a family, he would purchase a duplex. He would live in one unit and rent out the other. He had found the perfect property that needed some work but he was able to get it for a steal – in Hamilton no less!
We have all been keeping an eye on what has been happening with our neighbours to the south and wondering how the so called Trump effect will affect us in Canada.
Many of my Canadian clients who have been investing in many US markets continue to pursue investing in the US as they don’t feel that the Trump effect is something to worried about.
Furthermore, with low property prices, low vacancy rates, high cash flow and most importantly no bidding wars, there are many opportunities to get into the market without breaking the bank – even with the exchange rates as they are!
Many of my clients, myself included still plan to invest in the US but are wondering what options exist for financing, so I thought this would be a great primer on how to finance your properties as a Canadian investing in the US.
Every year thousands of new immigrants arrive in Canada and more than half of those end up immigrating to Toronto. With property prices where they are, many people cannot afford to buy resale and therefore end up looking at the pre-construction opportunities, of which there are many in this growing city.
My current clients are Canadians but were living in Kuwait for the last 17 years. There two oldest have since come back for University and their youngest will be going to high school next year. They arrived in Toronto 6 months ago and the wife recently found work but the husband is still looking for work in a highly competitive marketplace.
I think the TFSA is one of the best gifts that the Canadian Government ever gave to us. What is surprising is how many people don’t understand the benefits of this – especially if you are self-employed, such as I am!
I started automatically contributing to my TFSA on a weekly basis about 2 years ago and have built up a considerable savings, within the contribution rules of course. See here for more information on how much you can contribute each year!
The problem I was having was how to maximize my returns or interest earned. It’s no secret that the interest offered by institutions is ridiculously low. We bank our hard-earned money with these institutions, which they then borrow from and lend back out at a higher interest rate! I will save this rant for a future post.