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As a mortgage broker the worst question to get asked is “what’s the best rate you can get me?”  When you shop for rate alone, you are unfortunately missing the bigger picture!

Let’s look at why this makes a difference when purchasing property in Canada and the US.

When you buy in Canada rate might be a good focus for you, because there are so many lenders competing on rate alone and with the high property prices rate is the main focus, because it indicates in many cases whether we can cash flow or not.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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January is a time of year that new resolutions get made and also broken! For instance usually try to start some kind of diet or exercise program, only to give up by February.

For those that are looking at their debts – especially after Christmas with higher spending than usual, they may endeavour to start a budget or stick to a budget or even get some help with credit counselling.

For investors, this may be a great time to reflect on the past year’s successes or misses. For instance at the start of the previous year, you may have set a goal to buy 1-4 properties during the year or you may have wished to start lending your money instead of becoming a landlord or you may have started off great only to be brought to a full stop due to the inability to qualify for a mortgage or lack of a down payment.

So what do you do when your credit has suffered, you have credit issues or debt issues and you cannot qualify?

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There is a clear distinction between shopping for a property as an investor and as a homeowner.

As an investment property, you may be looking at properties that need lots of work or may have smells that you would avoid as a potential homebuyer. Recently, an investor I met, said “the smell of poo is the smell of money”. While that is gross, it is also true! As an investor, the worst shape the property is in, the better the deal you will get. Remember the money is in the buy!

On the other hand as a homebuyer, in most cases you are looking for a turn-key property and one that you can call home for years to come.

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