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When I started out as a real estate investor, I thought that if I had the money and found “a” property, it would be easy to make money. I soon came to realize that there was so much more to be aware of – like finding the right property and knowing the right time to buy the right property. I thought that if I “timed” the market right that I would find a tenant quickly and life would be easy. Was I completely wrong? Well yes and no – let me explain!

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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

Creating the Life

The other day I was driving to do some errands with my 8 year old daughter and she commented on some really nice cars ­ I first thought “wow she has good taste” and then she said “mom, when I am old enough to drive you are going to buy me that right?” and I thought, where do kids get their needs and wants from? And are we shaping their needs and wants?  I explained that when she was old enough she was going to get a J.O.B. and earn what she wanted to have and not be given what she wanted.  She did not like that one bit, which inspired me to write this post.

What if anything are we teaching our children about wealth creation, about needs vs. wants and how to attain those needs rather than wants? Continue reading

home equity

Do you have equity in your home, but have so far refrained from using that equity to reinvest because you are worried about the potential risk involved? You are not alone!

Many Canadians refrain from accessing their home equity, purely because equity in homes is considered a safe cash lump sum for the future. What we often forget though, is that whether we one day access our home equity through selling our home, using a reverse mortgage, or using a Home Equity Loan Line Of Credit, we are actually going to loose at least 10% of our home equity anyway. 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


As an Ontario focused Real-Estate investor, I attend a lot of networking groups to meet like-minded investors, make new connections and of course learn something new that will help me improve or increase my portfolio.

As a mortgage agent, I have been researching how to help myself and others get access to 2nd mortgages but most people don’t know that you can use any of your registered accounts (RRSP, RESP, RIF, TFSA, etc) to invest in an arm’s length mortgage. 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


You’ve worked hard all your life. Like most people, you’ve provided for yourself and your loved ones by making smart career choices and financial decisions. Moreover, just like everyone else you want to use the equity which you’ve built up in your home over the years to help better shore up you and your loved ones financial future. However, since 2008, you’ve learned to eye even the best-advertised investment strategies with more than a little scepticism, and rightly so.

Smart Canadians are however, still investing. People just like you are thinking outside of the traditional box of 40% stock, 60% bond financial portfolios, and they’re investing instead in reliable 8% per annum fixed interest earnings in syndicate mortgage options. Continue reading


Okay, so in my last post I talked a little about different ways to build equity, but what’s the best use for equity, which you might have already?

Well, equity is an asset, one that’s yours to do whatever you want with. Maybe you have outstanding debts, maybe you are thinking about renovating or making your money work for you for a change by purchasing a second investment property or even better by investing your money in second mortgages.

First thing’s first though. In order to unleash any amount of the equity, which you might have in your home, you will need a licensed mortgage agent (like myself), in order to help you find out how much equity you actually have available. Together, we can then calculate how much of your equity is actually accessible to you. (i.e. how much of that equity you can afford to service if you remove it from your property). Remember at any given time, 20% is unaccessible, therefore the most you can access is 80% of your equity. Continue reading