#110, 9780 Cambie Road, Richmond, V6X 1K4 Ph. 604-618-2128 Em. teresa@pointbinvestment.ca
Liberals Win Election 2015: What will it mean for us real estate investors?

Liberals Win Election 2015: What will it mean for us real estate investors?

The Liberals’ first budget after their landslide victory in the 2015 federal election won’t be released until next spring, but that hasn’t stopped analysts from looking at Trudeau’s campaign promises to try and tease out what it might mean for the economy and rental markets, and ultimately what it might mean for us investors.

According to an article in Money Sense magazine, one plan that may benefit renters as well as real estate investors is Trudeau’s promise of a “10-year investment in social housing infrastructure, prioritizing affordable housing and seniors facilities (including more building units and refurbishing existing units) and tax breaks – including removal of GST on new capital investments – to encourage construction on new rental housing.”

The article also states that Trudeau’s modest stimulus to boost the economy may cause higher interest rates, cooling the housing markets in places like Vancouver and Toronto. However, since Trudeau also promised to help the middle class, it remains to be seen how higher interest rates will square with his plans to help first time home buyers. One of the promises made was to change the Home Buyer’s Plan (HBP) to give more people access to money for a down payment for a house – i.e., by loosening existing qualifications to allow Canadians affected by sudden life changes (death or divorce of spouse, an employment move) to access RRSP savings for a down payment. Modernizing the HBP will mean that it’s not just limited to first time homebuyers.

So what’s the translation?

If the Liberals are able to go ahead with their plan to spend, the federal debt load will mean interest rates will likely rise in Canada, making mortgages more expensive and home ownership and investment purchases more difficult. But for investors who can still qualify to purchase investment properties, buying new inventory that comes with new home warranty will be desirable if the GST is eliminated.

The upside, at least for investors who have the properties, is that rental demand will increase as home ownership becomes more difficult due to higher home ownership costs.

My recommendation is to do your cashflow projections and purchase with caution. If the numbers work with today’s rates, lock-in your mortgage at today’s low rates, and increase rents annually to protect yourself from the inevitable.

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Financial Literacy: Don’t Let Your Family Be Another Statistic

Financial Literacy: Don’t Let Your Family Be Another Statistic

Did you know that the average family has over $16,000 in credit card debt, and that over 50% of families live paycheck to pay check?  And did you know that the average college graduate has over $23,000 in debt?

If you have a good grasp on your own finance and you can teach your kids the keys to successful money management, than pat yourself on the back!  But if you know that you need to brush up on solid money management, then consider the EnRICHed Academy!

EnRICHed Academy, an entertaining and informative DVD series created by Kevin Cochran and Jay Seabrook designed to teach youth and young adults about financial literacy, was featured on Season 7 of Dragon’s Den. The Dragons were impressed with the program and Cochran and Seabrook were able to get the support of Jim Treliving and (by the looks of their Facebook page) Bruce Croxon.

While the program was initially geared at youth and young adults, I also found this program eye opening in solidifying my own money management.   I highly recommend this to anyone who wants to take real action towards establishing their basic financial well-being so that they can take the next step towards their dreams of financial freedom. I also recommend this to anyone who wants to ensure their own kids are on the right path towards personal financial responsibility.

Never too young to invest. Never too late to invest.

One of my youngest clients, Emily Ellison, says that she’s grateful to her parents for teaching her about financial literacy and real estate investing, and she was able to buy her first investment property at age 20. By starting at such a young age, she’s setting herself up for financial freedom for life!

(You can read more about Emily here, and click on the button at the top left corner of the newsletter to Subscribe).

But if you didn’t have parents like Emily’s to help guide you towards real estate investments and setting up your dreams of financial freedom, it’s never too late to get started!

To purchase EnRICHed Academy at Amazon.com, click here.

Property Management Myth Busters

Property Management Myth Busters

Many people may feel that using a Property Manager to take care of their investment property is an unnecessary added expense. Some may even want to manage their property themselves if it is in the same town they are living in. And with so many Property Management options, it can be quite confusing. Therefore, from a presentation presented by Alture Properties’ Property Manager, Rinco Chan, I’ve compiled a list of the most common property management myths to help you determine if using one is right for you.

MYTH 1 – Only if you have many properties do you need to consider the need to have your properties professionally managed.

FACT – Even one investment property can take up lots of your time (and cost you lots of money), especially if you don’t know what you are doing. Property managers are trained to pre-screen for potential problem tenants, reducing future headaches and tenant evictions.

MYTH 2 – Anyone can manage a property, you don’t need to outsource to get the job done.

FACTS – Even if you have the time, do you have the knowledge of how to deal with tenant issues? If you have the knowledge, do you have the time to manage yourself?

Can you deal with the issues impartially and not let emotions get in your way? Most owners will get emotional when tenants tell them their sob story on why they can’t pay the rent on time. Owners then allow tenants to pay late and the next thing you know, a month or two has passed with no rent collected and then the owners start to feel the need to evict the tenant. With property managers, they are non-emotional with these types of stories as they hear it all the time. As they have owners to answer to, they take on eviction procedures according to tenant relation laws rather than waiting longer than necessary. This prevents months with no money collected for owners.

MYTH 3 – Managing a property is simply a case of managing tenants

FACT – Property Managers attract better tenants and will qualify those using credit, background and eviction checks.
FACT – Ownership of rental property is governed by many landlord tenant laws and regulations.

Learning all these rules and applying them properly is very time consuming, not knowing them can put you at great personal financial risk.

MYTH 4 – Only local properties can be managed effectively, not out of town properties

FACT – The systems put in place can be duplicated anywhere.

MYTH 5 – Property managers are not worth the costs involved

FACT – Using a property manager actually increases NET rental income because they charge “market rent” and leave nothing on the table.
FACT – Management fees are tax deductible but a landlord’s time when self-managing their own property is not.
FACT- When it comes to repairs/renovations, trades companies give larger discounts/higher priority when working with trusted PM companies.

MYTH 6 – I’ll lose control of my property.

FACT – Experienced property managers have handled many tenant issues before and can work with owners and tenants to resolve difficulties.
FACT – The property management agreement clearly states the responsibilities of the PM and the owner, everything is transparent and legal.

MYTH 7 – Managing my own investment property is easy.

FACT – Property Managers are able to anticipate the potential for many rental property problems, thereby mitigating impact from the start.
FACT – Property Managers are much more aggressive in rent collection; owners are more sympathetic to a tenant’s monthly excuse.

MYTH 8 – Property managers just accept anyone who wants to rent your property.

FACT – Property managers have more tools than the average landlord to screen and qualify tenants – they don’t want the headaches any more than you do.

MYTH 9 -Property managers are all the same, get me the cheapest one!

FACT – As an owner, you should communicate your goals clearly and interview PM companies to make sure they meet your needs. There are good managers, and there are extremely bad ones, therefore, it’s ok to ask lots of questions and to ask for current and past clients references.

MYTH 10 – Tenants don’t like to deal with Professional Property Managers and will seek out private landlords

FACT – Visit a few tenant “gripe” sites on the web and you will read what tenants really think about non-professional property managers.
FACT – Professional property managers have resources and systems in place to deal with tenant issues quickly and keep them happy.

MYTH 11 – Property management companies will care about my properties as much as I do.

FACT – Rarely will Property Managers care about your properties like it’s their own. It’s just a fact of life, it’s not their property, and they will treat it as their job.

In order to determine if you are suited to manage your own investment properties, ask yourself the following questions?

1) How much time do I have to oversee repairs and maintenance?
2) What if I am away for a week?
3) Would I know how to handle a problem tenant/eviction?
4) Why am I losing sleep over this?
5) Do I want that 3am phone call?
6) Why am I spending the whole day showing tenants the wrong property?
7) Why am I attracting the worse tenants?
8) What do you mean I have to pay to unplug your toilet?
9) How do I deal with bed bugs?
10) Why am I still doing this by myself?

If you don’t know the answer to even one of the questions above, it’s probably a good idea to hire a Property Manager.

My Recommendation:

Using a property manager saves time and worry over marketing rentals, collecting rent, maintenance, and repairs. It helps avoid the headaches of being a landlord but allows you to continue to reap all the benefits of an investment property. By having a trusted property manager, you can avoid tenant nightmares and any 2am maintenance issue calls will be directed to them, and not you.

Teresa Leung is an active Investor and Investment Realtor® (Keyspire™ Preferred Realtor®) specializing in helping people grow their wealth exponentially through the acquisition of strategic real estate investments.  She is also CREW’s 2015 Finalist for Realtor® of the Year. www.pointBinvestment.ca.

REAL ESTATE INVESTING FOR THE NEWBIE

REAL ESTATE INVESTING FOR THE NEWBIE

You’ve made the decision to take more control over you financial health by investing in real estate. And just like the decision to take care of your physical and mental health, taking care of your finances seems like a no-brainer.

So why is buying your first investment property wrought with fear, and how do you overcome it?

Dealing with skepticism

Perhaps your fear is fueled by skepticism. The good news is that skepticism is a healthy trait in real estate investing, because without it, you might be drawn into a deal that is not in your best interest. But problems may arise when your skepticism becomes unhealthy and leads to inaction, which leaves you no better off today than you were yesterday.

To prevent inaction from setting in, check out these 7 Strategies for Conquering Skepticism. Below is my take on it:

  1. Be educated – get a mentor, join a network of likeminded people, and realize that investing is not something that should be done without learning how to invest in a strategic way
  2. Get out of your comfort zone – when you feel uncomfortable, it actually means that you’re growing. Everything that you currently have is within your comfort zone, therefore, in order to get things outside of your comfort zone, you’ll need to get uncomfortable.
  3. Does it cash flow? – real estate investing in unemotional. If the rent is higher than all the related expenses and mortgage payment, that means that property is making money for you.  The property may look good, but until you do the numbers, you never know if it’s a ‘business’ or a ‘liability’.
  4. Follow your gut (once you’ve done your due diligence and weighed the risks unemotionally) Remember that failure is inevitable. Even long-time investors have had some deals go sour. But they have learned from their mistakes and become more successful because of the experience.

Back to the basics

But what if you find yourself stuck with fear, skepticism and inaction? What then?

  1. Go back to the basics and start with WHY?

Why did you want to get into real estate investing in the first place? Why did you want more control over your financial freedom in the first place? What was the dream that fueled your desire to begin learning, preparing, and networking to get you to this point? Keep that deep seated reason front and center, and then…

  1. Take daily action.

The best thing to do is to move forward. What’s one thing you can do today that will get you further ahead tomorrow? Then repeat the process tomorrow. Do one thing tomorrow that will get you further ahead the next day, and in two days, you will have accomplished two things that get you closer to your goal than you are today.  And remember that sitting on the sidelines  is NEVER going to make you money.

Magic Happened in Just 12 Months!

Magic Happened in Just 12 Months!

My first year as a Realtor was a huge success!

April 30th marked my one year anniversary as a licensed BC REALTOR, and it’s been a great year!
I became a Finalist for Realtor of the Year with Canadian Real Estate Magazine, I was featured in the REIN Real Estate Report’s December issue, I am co-author with Best-Selling Author and Business Mentor Colin Sprake for his new book “Entrepreneur Success Stories”, and I will be launching the Vancouver chapter of Synergy Real Estate Investment Network with Best-selling author and Commercial Mortgage Broker, Sua Truong in May.

But that didn’t happen without taking daily action.

When I became a licensed BC Realtor last April, I had a slow 6 weeks to start and didn’t make my first sale until June.  Then in September, I decided to really focus on my business and take massive action.  I communicated my sacrifice plan with my daughters and also put romantic relationships aside. That’s when I started to really see the results which led to a great year that I can feel proud of.

What was my success formula?

  1. I got myself some great mentors: one for my business, one for investing in Canada, and one for Investing in the US.
  2. I ensured a forward momentum in my life by taking daily action.

There’s nothing like learning from people who have already done what you want to accomplish, but it takes action on your part to make it happen.

What have you really desired in your life? If you really want it, and if you take action every single day,  that’s when magic happens…