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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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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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As a mortgage broker, I am lucky to work with investors and help them start and/or build their portfolio’s. One of my investors’ recently shared his experience of selling one of his properties and how Home Staging made a difference for him in standing out amongst the competition!

As a past home stager, I was reminded how sometimes we overlook important aspects of a property or have our eyes on the wrong things, when looking at all the options in the marketplace.

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Wholesaling has always intrigued me but here in Canada the deals don’t exist here as they do in the US, so the same money that you can make in the US doesn’t always exist here. Furthermore, you can buy 2-3 properties in the US vs. 1 property in Canada.

This article speaks about investing as a Canadian but the same rules apply for any foreign investor!

Not knowing much about wholesaling, I dove into researching different companies in the US and also spoke to various wholesalers, who I am very grateful to for sharing their knowledge and experiences.

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As a real estate investor, I took the time to get educated in various aspects of real estate before proceeding with my first investment property purchase. However, at some point I knew that getting educated was only part of the process – at some point I would have to pull the trigger, so to speak and actually purchase the property to meet my investing goals.

Everybody has reasons for starting their real estate investing career – mine started because I thought it would be a great way to supplement my income. I never expected to evolve and learn what I have learned to date. I keep expanding my goals and hopefully this post will inspire to keep expanding yours as well. I am now involved in residential, commercial and private lending for other investors and with so many different ways to invest the overall goal is to not only grow my own passive income but to also enjoy the journey.

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This story takes place in modern day times! The story is about a real estate investor who has to decide between two properties. One property is in the bustling and over-priced city of Toronto and the other property is in a smaller community to the west known as Kitchener.

The Toronto property is in Guildwood – a sought after area of Scarborough but backs on to a Go Train track. The home is beautiful and offers a main floor with the potential for a basement apartment but it would need renovations to make it happen. The price is $749,000.

The property has been sitting on the market for 31 days in a sought after area because of it’s close proximity to the train tracks. What happens in a few years when my client wants to sell this property – will he have the same issues as the current owner? Even in a seller’s market? Probably!

The Kitchener property is in a sought after area with schools and shopping nearby and also has the potential to add a basement suite but the separate entrance would have to be built-in. The asking price is $325,000.

Seems like a no-brainer right? But let’s look at the numbers to see what makes more sense!

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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

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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