Newbie from north of Toronto, Ontraio

6 Replies

Hey folks,

Newbie here currently in the education stage. I'm currently working a 9-5 job in mid management, but looking to one day quit the rat race and hopefully focus on REI full time. Would like to eventually have enough $ to put towards my kids education, travel and retire early. That's my why.

Anyway, I'm sure this likely has been asked before but does anyone have any tips on investing in a higher priced market? Being a newbie I wouldn't say I'm entirely comfortable in doing anything long-distance for my first purchase. If anyone's familiar with Ontario, I've been looking in the Barrie area. A couple of advantages I have going for me are a good credit rating and access to my HELOC.

Thanks all.

@AJ Alexander ! I love your plan and your goals. They are pretty much my goals as well. I'm in North York and investing in Barrie, Guelph, and Chatham so far. I also meet a lot of people at various meet ups who invest in GTA including Barrie. Let me know if there's anything I can help you out with. Please feel free to email/call any time. Good luck with all the future deals!! 

@AJ Alexander Great to see you taking action! I was a long-time GTA resident before moving to Calgary (and now Dallas). I would suggest deciding what your goals and objectives are. For instance, if you're in middle-management, then active investing might not be the best fit for you. As such you could look into pooled money vehicles and other areas in your local market. 

If you're purchasing SFRs (single family residences), then I would suggest attending a few local REIAs or even getting advice from @Sarah Larbi . She's a successful, local investor who should be able to guide you.

If you do decide to invest south of the border, please, DO NOT get an American coach. The vast majority have little or no idea on the tax and other implications of investing and their standard answer is "invest and you will make great returns". 

April Stewart Landlord Legal Inc.

If you are in your learning stage it is imperative that you learn your RTA and study the operation of the LTB. Ontario is extremely pro tennat and you must understand that getting rid of a bad tennat is nearly impossible. As a landlord you have very limited rights once a tennat is in place. Screening is imperative and very difficult to learn properly.

Unlike investors in the US you can not risk getting the wrong tennat since we are not permitted to terminate a tennat lease. Tenants can end a lease, landlords can not. 

Start by studying the RTA and attending a few local LTB hearings to get a feel for the business. The Barrie area has a reputation for bad tenants and as such I would advise you steer away from SFH investing. SFHs are a prime target for professional tenants.

Put April Stewart (Landlord Legal Inc.) on your contact list. She is extremely experienced in dealing in representing landlords with tennat issues.

Finances, real estate, investing all extremely valuable information to acquire but if you want to survive  our nanny state pro tennat environment learn the system.

The province has now also introduced a mandatory government lease that landlords must use. The purpose is to better educate and protect their molly coddled tenants and give the criminal tenants more support at eviction hearings.

Best advice is make all purchase offers conditional on vacant occupancy, assuming of course you are qualified to screen applicants or have a very good highly trusted PM.

Thanks everyone for the responses so far!  LIke I said, still in the research and education phase so every little piece of advice helps.  Hoping to get one property at some point this year depending on prices and interest rates.

@Anna Belov , if there are any upcoming meetups you know of in the GTA (preferably in the northern end), I'd love to hear of them.  I actually work in North York myself (Leslie/York Mills area).

@Omar Khan thanks for the advice!  I'll have to look more into the pooled money vehicle you mentioned, it sounds new to me.  I had thought briefly of investing south of the border but you're right it sounds like there are a lot of tax and legal implications there which no one really tends to tell you.  I'll stick to Ontario for the time being.

@Thomas S. good advice as well. I'm aware of the standard lease we have to use here in Ontario and the rules around LTB. Although I haven't done any rentals yet, I would agree that tenant selection is probably the most crucial step here. It seems 99% of the horror stories I hear from people trying to discourage the move into REI revolves around horrible tenants....don't want to prove those people right!

Originally posted by @AJ Alexander :

Thanks everyone for the responses so far!  LIke I said, still in the research and education phase so every little piece of advice helps.  Hoping to get one property at some point this year depending on prices and interest rates.

@Anna Belov , if there are any upcoming meetups you know of in the GTA (preferably in the northern end), I'd love to hear of them.  I actually work in North York myself (Leslie/York Mills area).

@Omar Khan thanks for the advice!  I'll have to look more into the pooled money vehicle you mentioned, it sounds new to me.  I had thought briefly of investing south of the border but you're right it sounds like there are a lot of tax and legal implications there which no one really tends to tell you.  I'll stick to Ontario for the time being.

@Thomas S. good advice as well. I'm aware of the standard lease we have to use here in Ontario and the rules around LTB. Although I haven't done any rentals yet, I would agree that tenant selection is probably the most crucial step here. It seems 99% of the horror stories I hear from people trying to discourage the move into REI revolves around horrible tenants....don't want to prove those people right!

 I should also add that @Larry Smet runs an excellent meetup/networking group that you should look into. PM him and he should be able to guide you.

Also forgot to mention steer well clear of any one on government assistance of any kind. They are not held accountable by the welfare system and have been deemed untouchable by the government. When they stop paying you can not collect any money owed and they will milk the system to the limit. It is not uncommon to take 3-6 month to evict. That means zero income plus the cost of evicting.

They will often try to convince you that their rent is guaranteed direct from the government...BS it is not. The tennat can cancel the payment at will.

Set your credit score requirements high and you will be able to eliminate all but a few and they can be eliminated by choosing a more qualified applicant. We are not allowed to set income requirements but should in our own minds when screening.

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