Deal Fell Apart

Recently I was approached to finance a commercial building in Hamilton, Ontario.

The property was a vacant and former rooming house and the clients wanted to transform it into a retirement home. The clients were a retired nurse and two personal support workers, all of whom had experience working with seniors, however they did not have experience operating a retirement home.

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Depending on whom you speak with there are many ideas of how to build a retirement nest egg. I have a specific plan for retirement that includes real estate. While many people still believe the stock market is the safer way to go, I decided long ago it was not for me.

For one, I did not want to invest and pay fees and for two I did not want to invest in the stock market, where I had relatively no control.

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Last week, I was contacted by a new client who lives and works in Richmond Hill. His renewal is up in November but he wanted to put some plans into place because he had just come into some money ($125,000 from an inheritance).

The balance on his mortgage is approximately $100,000 and he has approximately $500,000 of equity in his property.

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I recently worked with a first-time investor. He was referred to me by another investor client I have. He had no idea of how to start investing, what type of investment he wanted to do or in which area he wanted to start investing in. He had done the meet-up groups, signed up for various courses given by other investors, read many books and even spoke to other mortgage and real estate professionals, but he was still stuck on how to proceed. He was what we call in “analysis paralysis”. Continue reading


I was contacted yesterday by a new potential client, who had just received her renewal letter from her current lender.  She was being offered a 5-year fixed at 2.99%.  Being aware that current rates are not that high, she reached out for a second opinion to see if I could do better!

She had great income, beacon score was over 700 and her debt ratios were in line for a lending rates, so why was her current lender offering her a crappy rate? Continue reading

Is That a Duplex in Your Pocket

A real-estate investor client recently was looking to invest in another property to add to his growing portfolio. He had found his target market and was searching MLS, Kijiji and other relevant sites.

After months of looking he found what he thought was a great property – a duplex, which was a pocket listing! Realtor’s sometimes have pocket listings – listings that are not open to the public before going out to their top clients. This was one of those listings. The client thought that since it was a pocket listing, the details in the listing were all verified and he did not have to do any further due-diligence. Nothing can be further than doing your own due diligence as an investor – always! Continue reading


At present thousands of homeowners across Canada are eyeing their options with more than a little trepidation. The majority of Canadians after all, are risk averse and when it comes to our mortgage options many of us have traditionally chosen fixed rather than variable interest rates, in order to allow us to avoid sudden hikes in the Canadian Prime. In fact, even just the idea of being stuck on a variable rate after a hike in the prime leaves many of us on edge. Yes, we can lock the rate in if we think the prime is getting too high, but who is to say we’ll manage to do that right at the right moment? Rate hikes after all, can leave homeowners not just paying less off their principle, but them facing paying more interest over the long run.

All that said, recent studies have demonstrated that historically at least, homeowners on variable rates have actually saved more in the long term when compared to more risk averse homeowners opting for locked in rates. These being the case, between 2008 and the present, variable rate mortgage options have experienced something of resurgence in popularity. Moreover, those who have been part of this resurgence have made significant savings. The Canadian prime has consistently fallen since 2008 in tandem with Central Bank instigated economic recovery measures. This being the case, those who elected for fixed rate mortgages back in the 2000-2008 (supposed) boom years, have been left feeling a little cheated to say the least. Continue reading

Which Payment Frequency Is The Best For You?

Buying your first home can be a daunting process including figuring out the right mortgage and options for you. One part of this is knowing about what Payment Frequency to select. Here let’s talk about its definition and what it really means, the options available and how do you choose the right one for you?

Definition: Payments consisting of both a principal and an interest component, paid on a regular basis during the term of the mortgage. Refers to how often and when you can make these payments. Continue reading

syndicated mortgages

Over the past few months I’ve penned a number of articles on this blog looking at the benefits of non-traditional ways to invest equity, namely syndicate mortgages. However, how do you really know when you should be investing equity in syndicate mortgage options, and when it might be best to invest in a more traditional buy and hold property?

Firstly then, any kind of investment needs to be accompanied by solid research. Syndicate mortgages for example, are shied away from sometimes due to perceptions of high risk and insecurity. However, in reality, 90% of people who invest in syndicate mortgages make stable 8-10% returns per annum. Often as well, they profit from 2-4% annual bonuses and 90% of syndicate mortgage investors actually decide to re-invest in syndicate mortgages in the future. The key quite simply, is to do your own research and make sure to have as knowledgeable as possible a mortgage agent on your side. Moreover, this is even more important for people who choose to invest in buy and hold property. Continue reading


With the paltry returns we are seeing these days, Canadians are seeking other viable ways to get healthy returns through investing.

Some like to invest in properties – preferring a bricks and mortgage asset, while others prefer to look at their statements and see their money grow without dealing with tenants and toilets (so to speak!).

As a mortgage agent and real estate investor I like both, but lately with property prices rising and market rents not rising in relation, cash flow is not as healthy as it once was so I went on the search for a different product and liked it so much that I decided I would go on a mission to sharing what I learned.

Don’t get me wrong, I still like to have my bricks and mortar investments but at the end of the day, I prefer to be a backseat investor over dealing with tenants and toilets – at least for now! Continue reading