RE/MAX Crest Realty 5731 No. 3 Road, Richmond, BC V6X 2C9 Ph. 604-618-2128 Em.

Top 5 Christmas Gifts for the Person Who Has Everything

5. Sapadilla Organic Home Cleaning Products

Sapadilla makes nice little eco-cleaners that do nice little things for you, your home and the earth. Their smart formulations use only plant-derived ingredients and pure essential oils to leave your home sparkly clean and smelling wonderfully fresh. Who knew green cleaning could be such a beautiful thing? We especially like the dish detergent, countertop cleaner, hand soap, and all-purpose cleaner. Granted, these are about 2 times more expensive than your regular cleaners… but then again, you are buying for someone special who already has everything… except for this of course! Know that whenever your recipient uses these products, they can feel great; not only from the amazing scents, but by also knowing that everything going into the drain will not damage our planet. You can purchase a bunch of these awesome eco-cleaners to make a gift basket at from $5 to $8 each.

4. Thierry Gift Basket of Baked Goods

For your gift recipient who has a sweet tooth, a gift basket from Thierry would be the way to go. The top quality sweets range from chocolates to macaroons to jam and every item in the basket is completely delicious and worth sharing. Baskets range from $80 to $200 for every budget.

3. Infinite Aloe Skincare

Certified organic ingredients are used in this light cream that penetrates up to 7 layers deep in your skin and doesn’t wash off. We love this cream as it can be applied on your body AND your face, is used to combat rashes, dry skin, eczema, is for cuts, burns, and even insect bites! I once had a very itchy mosquito bite last summer, and when I applied the aloe cream on my bite, the itchiness instantly went away! Truly a miracle cream, and this line of creams also carry anti-aging products and microdermabrasion scrubs made of bamboo to gently help you shred damaged surface cells leaving your face silky and rejuvenated. For more of their products, please visit Prices range from $45 to $400 depending on product type and size. You can sometimes catch this company at Costco and at the PNE during the summer months where you can purchase their package specials. Alternatively, you can contact Renuka Kumar and she will be able to give you special prices at 778-288-0092 or

2. Audibles/Blinkist Subscription

Many people who has everything loves to read, but may not have the time to do so… with an Audibles annual subscription, they will be able to listen to audiobooks of their favourite fiction and non-fiction titles from an app on their smart phone or tablet. And for those who already have an Audibles subscription who also loves non-fiction books, we highly recommend the Blinkist App.   It summarizes the top 2500 non-fiction books like “Rich Door Poor Dad”, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” to Biographies and many many more… the app allows you to read or listen to books in under 10 minutes! Each “blink” is a main point in the book… now, imagine how reading a few books a day can do to your success?

The Blinkist App is a must and the subscription is either $15.99 per month or $109.99 for a year.

1. Cuisinart Toaster Oven with Steam Function

I have recently got this wonderful gadget at home and I can guarantee you would love this fantastic kitchen helper so much that you would use all the time (or even every single day!)

This countertop convection oven has a full steaming capability that cuts cooking time up to 40%! There are 9 single and combination functions including: Bread, Bake Convection or Bake Steam, Broil or Broil Steam, Steam or Super Steam, Keep Warm and Toast. It attaches with a viewable water reservoir on the side so that you would know when you refill the water for the steaming function. You can steam or poach any type of vegetable, fish, poultry, or frozen dumplings. Or you could also use steam in combination with both Broil or Bake functions to create roasts that are beautifully browned on the outside, yet moist and juicy on the inside. Special settings allow you to proof breads, rolls – even homemade pretzels and donuts. Bake them faster, with bakery-quality results.

You can purchase this Steam Oven from major appliance stores, Costco or online through Amazon.

How to Pay Off Your Mortgage in Less than 10 Years?

I recently read a book called the Smith Manoeuvre by the late Fraser Smith, a financial planner, written in 2002.  Just a disclaimer, I am in no way affiliated with Fraser Smith or have anything to gain by helping sell his book, but I feel it’s my duty to report to you that this book is a complete game changer!  I learned how I could pay off my mortgage in just under 6 years, when I currently still have 25 years remaining on my amortization. Now lets us talk about this powerful financial strategy a bit more.

To summarize, the Smith Manoeuvre is a system that gradually helps restructure the non tax-deductible mortgage in your principal residence into a tax-deductible investment loan where you pay simple interest. Additionally, you will receive annual tax refunds on your investment loan, reduce years off your mortgage, and thus increase your net worth!

Now, you maybe asking…“Is this legit…?” Thankfully, I am happy to report, it IS!! All techniques that’s mentioned in the book are legal and have been reviewed by the CRA. So now, how does this Smith Manoeuvre really work? Here are the steps listed in the book, which assists in converting your non tax-deductible mortgage interest into tax-deductible debt.

In order to take full advantage of the Smith Manoeuvre, you will need to have a principal residence with a mortgage.

Step 1) Obtain a re-advanceable mortgage from a reputable financial institution: A re-advanceable mortgage is different from a traditional mortgage as it’s a mortgage with a home equity line of credit all in one product. When you pay down your mortgage, the principal portion that you pay down simultaneously increases the credit limit on the HELOC. To give you an idea of how that’s done, my current mortgage is with TD Bank with over years left on my term. The penalty is about $2400 to break this mortgage (3 months interest), and I will be switching to Manual Life 1 or RBC, which are two financial institutions I know that provides re-advanceable mortgages.

Step 2) Use the funds in the HELOC to invest: Withdraw the HELOC portion of your mortgage to invest in investment properties, or any type of investments like stocks or bonds. If you already own investment property(s) in your personal name (not in a corporation), the HELOC would be used each month to pay all your monthly expenses while all rental income is applied towards the principal pay-down each month on your principle residence mortgage. Be careful here, as you must pay dollar for dollar for your expenses. Talk to your accountant to help you with this as if it’s not done correctly here, you may disqualify your ability to claim expenses on your HELOC. Remember again that your HELOC limit will increase with each regular mortgage payment paid, which in turn allows you to invest the newly available money in your HELOC. This in accounting terms is called “Cash-damming”.

Step 3) Deduct interest paid on your HELOC when filing your taxes: When you are filing your tax return every year in March, deduct the annual paid interest amount from your HELOC. This should result in a tax refund based on your marginal tax rate.

Step 4) Re-invest the interest from the tax refund: Apply the tax return and the investment income (dividends, interests, etc.) against your non tax-deductible mortgage and invest the new HELOC money available.

Step 5) Repeat Steps 2 to 4 until your non tax-deductible mortgage is paid off!

This doesn’t sound super-complicated, right? Keep in mind that the Smith Manoeuvre does not happen overnight; it requires years to achieve.

I strongly recommend you read the Smith Manoeuvre so that you too can learn how to pay your mortgage off much much faster, AND be able to claim tax deductions. And don’t forget to run everything pass your accountant first, or talk to a financial planner who is familiar with this strategy to assist you 🙂

Refocus, Recharge and Roar into 2016!

Refocus, Recharge and Roar into 2016!

With a new year comes an opportunity to reflect the past year’s successes and lessons learned, and set goals for the upcoming year.  As a Real Estate Investor, I reviewed my life priorities, added goals associated with each of them, and defined a plan of action to achieve what I want for 2016.

Here are the 7 life priorities that I have identified for myself for 2016:

  1. Finances
  2. Self-Development
  3. Relationships
  4. Health and Fitness
  5. Spirituality
  6. Real Estate Investing
  7. Hobbies & Recreation

What priorities have you set for your life? Perhaps you have identified some that are similar to my list?

Identifying your priorities is a great first step, because it gives you an overall picture of what’s important to you in your life right now. The next step is to be clear about the goals associated with each, because that’s what gives you a sense of direction.

  1. Real Estate Investing – increase # of doors to 18 by end of 2016
  2. Finances – maintain same level of income in 2016 as in 2015
  3. Self-Development – finish commercial real estate program and one public speaking course
  4. Relationships – have #1 relationship with my teenager
  5. Health and Fitness – go on low carb diet and remember to take my Usana vitamins daily
  6. Spirituality – continue to attend church on Sundays and donate monthly
  7. Hobbies & Recreation – learn how to use my Sony camera and make an album of my favorite photos for Christmas 2016

When creating my goals, I purposely set out to make sure they are realistic for me. I didn’t want to make them too aggressive because I don’t want to stress myself out when trying to achieve them.

Most people stop here.  But the key to achieving your goals is to have a plan of action.  Below are the actions steps I have taken, or will take, to achieve the first 2 goals just to give you an idea of how it’s done.

  1. Real Estate Investing – increase # of doors to 18 by end of 2016
  • Host Cashflow 101 evenings with fellow investors and network
  • Research JV-worthy projects to promote to other investors and clients
  1. Finances: Maintain same level of income in 2016 as in 2015
  • set lunch & dinner dates with all past & current clients
  • exhibit and speak at minimum 7 Keyspire events
  • contributing author in new book, “Tax Savings Bible” – done!
  • Become Finalist for Realtor of the Year 2016 with Canadian Real Estate Wealth Magazine
  • Continue writing for Canadian Real Estate Wealth Magazine
  • Continue blogging and updating business website

You’ll notice that some goals don’t need any additional action, because I’m just maintaining what I’m already doing.  For some of your goals, it’s ok to just maintain. For the  goals that make you stretch outside of your comfort zone, you will need to add many action items and review daily, weekly and monthly and adjust accordingly.

Also, it’s best to tell others about your goals to make yourself accountable. You said it, so you MUST do it.

More importantly, I’ve share my goals and the process I go through because I hope you find this helpful as you define your own life priorities, set your goals, and start making your 2016 dreams a reality!

How lucky we are

How lucky we are

Sometimes when we’re busy or stressed we forget how good we have it, until news from around the world, or even down the street, jars us back into gratefulness.

Below is a slide deck that has been passed around online for years. Perhaps you’ve seen bits and pieces of it on your Facebook feed, or maybe it was sent to you by a friend.

I think it’s a great reminder of how blessed we are to live in Canada.

Wishing you and yours a happy holiday season and a prosperous 2016!

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…