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What’s the finish line? It’s retirement and some of us will reach that milestone and some of us won’t. Why? – simply it’s because we either lack a plan for it or we are leaving it up to somebody else to plan for it and either way you are going to lose!

Lacking a plan or even if you have one, putting all of your eggs in one basket is a recipe for failure. Say you have a RRSP but all of those funds are in mutual funds or ETF’s. They are dependent on the stock market, which equals volatility.

Then there are those, who use a financial advisor (no disrespect) but in many cases they are getting richer than you, simply because of the structure of the funds and the MER’s – management expense ratios. Even with a MER of less than 1% – if your funds are only making 1-4%, you are in a negative position, when you take into account inflation, which is less than 2% at this time. Continue reading

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This past weekend the weather was finally amazing to get out in the garden, dig through the earth with my fingers and pull out all the weeds before planting my vegetable garden. It got me thinking that it takes one seed at a time to harvest your garden.

What if we took the same view on our real estate investments?

When we first start we are so keen to learn and invest in investment property that comes our way – but that can be foolhardy if we don’t consider all the consequences – especially when it comes to investing! WHY?

Ask any successful real estate investor and he or she she will tell you that the secret to their success was knowledge. They learned everything they could before investing in their first property. They planted one seed at a time! Did they stop there? No they keep learning and applying that knowledge to build on their portfolio. Continue reading

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Yesterday I was contacted by an investor, who found me on Linkedin and had been reading some of my blog posts. He and his brother were investing in a smaller market about two hours east of Toronto. This would be their first purchase in this area and it was a multiple bidding situation.

As first time investors they made some errors, which are common, such as putting in the offer before being pre-approved for financing. Especially in a multiple offer situation you want to make sure that your bid for the property has no conditions of financing. The only condition you want is the inspection. This way if the seller is presented with all of the offers, they will most likely accept the one with no condition of financing as that is a sure thing vs. somebody who still needs to be assessed for financing and does not really know whether they can afford the property. Continue reading

Overcoming obstacles to investing in real estate

Are you a hopeful real investor but are facing obstacles to getting started? You are not alone – here are two obstacles that are common and some suggestions to overcome them.

#1 – You have read or heard about somebody who started with nothing and is now a big Real Estate Entrepreneur.

This is an easy one! First, remember Rome was not built in a day and neither are experts in their fields. No matter what you want to do in life, it takes learning, aptitude, practice and application. Continue reading


As a mortgage agent and real estate investor, I meet many first time as well as experience investors. Knowing that the government won’t take care of us in our golden years, most of us have come to realize that investing in real estate instead of other types of investments, such as GIC’s or mutual funds for example, can provide us with long-term growth and security, not to mention monthly cash-flow.

Being a real estate investor, I write a number of blog posts about investing and I attend a lot of real estate based networking events. There is always something to learn! Continue reading

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A few weeks ago, I attended a creative financing course and met some first-time real estate investors.  Many of them have been taking courses and spending thousands of dollars to get better educated about real estate investing, but even after all this they are still confused about, which strategy is best for them.

Like many other investors (myself included), we take courses, go to network groups to meet other investors and learn from them and we learn and analyze real estate deals to get acquainted with the process of investing. Some get stuck in analysis paralysis but others take the jump and actually start investing! Continue reading


Last week a colleague and fellow investor called me seeking a mortgage for a property she wanted to purchase in Amherstburg, Ontario, which is just outside of Windsor.  As part of her financing, she wanted to include a VTB (Vendor Take Back).  A VTB is when the seller offers financing on their own property they are selling.  For instance you might have 75% LTV from the lender or bank; a 15% VTB from the seller and 10% from your own funds.

Sellers do this in a tough market, or as an incentive when they can’t sell their property or even to help the buyer when they have a shortfall in funds.  Most of all a seller looks for tax deferral as they don’t have to pay capital gains until the portion lent is fully repaid. Continue reading