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I recently had an inquiry about purchasing an ocean-front property in Costa Rica? More and more Canadians are looking at investing in this beautiful country – I myself am very interested but holding off due to the dollar.

Living in Canada and especially in the eastern provinces, where it can get down to minus 40 or below, some of us tend to dream about living near the Ocean, in much warmer climates. I know I do! However, the question becomes is the reality a dream or a nightmare waiting to happen?

Being a real estate investor myself, I tend to be on the conservative side when it comes to my investment properties because the end result comes down to cash flow and protecting my investment.

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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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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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Property Tax adjustments

It’s not unusual for Purchasers to get settled in their new home and get a Property Tax reminder stating they owe the whole years worth of taxes. Frightful right?

Just after moving in to her new home, my client received a notice in regards to the property tax adjustment and as a First Time Home Buyer, we had discussed this could happen so she did not freak out –completely!

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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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RRSP OR TFSA

The RRSP deadline has just passed and statistics show that on average in Canada, just over half of the population has a RRSP and of that only a third max it out each year. Not everyone chooses to contribute to an RRSP. Many of us who are self-employed, have opted instead to contribute to a TFSA.

Many of us, who start out contributing to a TFSA are more concerned with accumulating cash in our TFSA than how to grow it – initially that is! What about when you have a substantial amount that’s sitting there not earning any interest – what can you do then? Continue reading

analyse

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

RENEWING YOUR MORTGAGE

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

Choices & Rights of Borrower

As a mortgage agent, I not only arrange first mortgages but in many cases second mortgages and in very rare cases third mortgages as well. I can go to non-bank lenders or private individuals who want to lend their own funds. The difference is in the risk that is being undertaken.

As mortgage agents and brokers, it is our job to prove that the borrower can manage the interest only payments and that they have a low risk of defaulting on the loan. Continue reading