Small town northern Ontario investor

5 Replies

Hello all,

After listening to BP podcast on YouTube I decided to come over and check out the site.  And I'm glad I did.  One thing about living and investing in a small town is there are not many if any like minded people to converse or discuss investing with.

Current strategy involves purchasing distressed property, renovating and renting for cash flow.  We do not calculate appreciation into our calc when buying as we have no expectations of appreciation. 

Would like to hear from any small town investors on how they are making out. 

Greg and Tracy. 

Hello @Greg Robinson and let me be the first member to welcome you to Bigger Pockets. BP is a great place to be when it comes to REI! It has a ton of information to help you get the deal done right, including free online videos and educational courses. BP also has it's own podcast in itunes. You came to the right place and I wish you all the best.

@Greg Robinson  I invest in what is considered a small town.  In my opinion it is both a blessing and a curse.  The curse is that there are generally only a few properties for sale at any given time.  The blessing is that the competition tends to be scarce.  If you can put together a good rental you can also attract the best tenants in town which basically drives out all of the lesser landlords since they get the tenants that are not good enough for you.  With time you may find that burnt out landlords become your main source of deals.  

One other bit of information I wish I had seen earlier.  In a small market there are obviously less good tenants.  Most good tenants eventually go on to purchase their own home.  This can be a great income stream.  As you build up rentals look to do rent to own with your good tenants.  As your portfolio decreases in size due to this keep buying worn down properties from worn out landlords and fix them up.  This way you have a constant supply of newly renovated properties (with some forced appreciated built into them) that you can use to attract the best new tenants coming into the market.  This cycle can repeat itself over and over.

Being in a small community can feel isolating but just know that there are many other like minded individuals out there doing the same thing you are.  BP is a great place to find and connect with these individuals.    

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Welcome to Bigger Pockets! @Greg Robinson I'm a new investor in North Bay working on our first deal (duplex house hack). Do you have an existing portfolio? It's definitely harder to find other local investors in Northern Ontario, but we are out there! Happy to connect if I'm in the area, I'm often up that way for work. 

Take the time to study the RTA before you decide to rent. Small town tenants are generally of much lower quality and can make the business very difficult as the Ontario RTA and LTB are extremely tenant friendly. Aside from rent payment the board is very reluctant to evict.

 Hi @Cassie Bott-Baxter We currently have a portfolio of 14 units and are working on growing that number shortly.  Just trying to decide on which path to take going forward.

@Greg S. While we have become well versed in the RTA both through the school of hard knocks and reading the RTA I'm sure there's a few more lessons to be learned.

@Nick Thompson The major benefit we've found investing in a small town (>5000 people) that we were born and raised in is we know or know of everyone one we rent to.  Of the three possible evictions we could have had two ended with the parents moving the tenants out, cleaning and covering most of their costs.  We have run into the same issue of trying to find properties to continue growing or portfolio of rental properties; whenever something does come available they are usually over priced if they are in decent condition or are too far gone to make it worth putting the time into renovate.

Our biggest concern at the moment is that we are starting to find that we have too many eggs into one basket.  Need to find a new basket to put eggs into....

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