Hi, my name is Jeremy Zwicker

13 Replies

I live in Truro, Nova Scotia. I have a 3 unit apartment (I live in one of the units) and have recently started looking into flipping. My background in is carpentry. I currently have my red seal and have been practicing my trade for 6 years now.

I encourage anyone from the Truro area to get in contact with me. Maybe we could get a coffee somewhere and talk real estate.

I am also interested in starting a RIA in my area. If anyone else is at all interested, please, let me know.

Hey Jeremy,

I've been watching Bigger Pockets on YouTube for a couple years now, and want to get more involved in the forums. 

I live in Dartmouth , and have been living there since March when I bought a 100 year old over/under duplex. This spring/summer me and my father cleaned up the upstairs and i've been renting it  out through Airbnb, and it's been going very well. 

I am a red seal electrician, most of my experience has been in industrial and high voltage settings. I plan on getting my real estate license this winter. Long term I want to be able to support myself from passive real estate income. 

I recently have had a friend move down to Truro for school , and she has only great things to say about the area. I'd be interested to hear your perspective on all things real estate in Truro.

Hey Paul. It's great to see that there are other people from Nova Scotia on the forums. I also love meeting other tradespeople. I have very similar goals with having real estate as a way to support myself in the long term.

I would Love to see what you have done with the place if you have any pictures. I am curious if the extra management is worth the extra income from doing Airbnb as opposed to doing a typical month to month lease with a tenant.

I've recently started to collect and input data into a spreadsheet on rentals that are for sale in the Truro area. Most listed places only seem to cash flow if you do not hire out property management, and do it yourself instead. I have found a few that would barely cash flow with property management, but they were in not the greatest parts of town.

As for flipping, I have only analyzed 3 properties and none of them had enough space for much of a profit. I'm sure if I keep looking I will eventually find something profitable though.

I am also curious about your opinion about real estate investing in Halifax. It is a much bigger area than Truro and seems to be growing at a good rate as well.

Hey Jeremy , thanks for the message back. If you go on Airbnb and look up Dartmouth, there's a unit close to Lake Banook that has the headline "Refreshed 3 Bedroom Flat, Near Row Club/Dt" It has a crisp white kitchen photo as the main photo. Take a look, i'm quite proud of it, and feel free to ask any questions. 

I was a little concerned that we would not get bookings because it's in Dartmouth, but the neighbourhood has a lot of great things going for it. I think I was able to portray that in the Airbnb listing too. Bookings have been about 90% from when I started in July until November, which is running at 47%. I have a 2 night minimum on the unit, and have been charging between $150 and $220 a night. 

Good job on the house hacking, how have you found being a landlord and being a homeowner?

Paul 

You have done a great job with the place! All your reviews for the place are exceptional as well. It must be nice to hear all those good things from so many different people. I know next to nothing about Airbnb, but that booking rate looks very good to me. I'm not familiar with the expenses that go with doing Airbnb either, but it sounds like you're making out very well with what you are doing. Do you think I should try turning one of my units into an Airbnb? 

Being a landlord and a homeowner has been great. After all the expenses are taken into account, it almost breaks even with me living in one unit (I do my own property management). If you include the 300$ my girlfriend pays me a month, then it cash flows about 250$ a month.

Thanks for the compliments! If I were you, I would watch the Bigger Pockets episode on Airbnb with Zeona McIntyre. Then I would spend an evening reading about Airbnb. 

I know my market very well, I know what hotels are booking for in HRM, I also know Airbnb comps in the neighbourhood as well as their ratings and bookings. (If you click on a persons listing, and then their calendar, you can tell pretty quickly how they're doing.

I just went on Airbnb in Truro, and there's only 5 listings for all of Truro. The one and two bedrooms list for $60-$75 a night. I also went on Expedia, and it looks like hotels are $100 and up in Truro. This could be an opportunity for you. 

Airbnb charges a 3%  booking fee, and you can create your own cancellation policy. It's like a Expedia for property owners. I've had about 30 bookings so far, and zero damage, parties, or horror stories. The unit has a pin pad on the door, so I don't even need to greet them at the door. I stock k cups , condiments, soap, shampoo, etc and between guests it usually takes 2 hours to clean. 

Oh and like you, I knew very little about Airbnb until about 8 months ago, during renovations of upstairs it was suggested to me. 

I hope that helps!

Paul 

I really appreciate all the information. I will definitely check out that episode. I love listening to their podcast. If one of my units fall vacant then I think I will try it. From what you have told me, it seems like a really good thing to get in on. I also appreciate you looking into the Airbnb in Truro for me and telling me what to look for. You have definitely been a big help.

I was wondering what you expect the winter to be like? Do you think there is a demand for Airbnb in Nova Scotia in the winter months?

Winter is really uncharted territory for me. November had 14 nights booked, December has 5. My YTD is over 16k for 19 weeks and i'm confident spring/summer will be good as well. I think the unit would be worth 1100-1200 unfurnished plus utilities. Something I would think about is, Setting your place up to be a furnished suite. Rent it Sept to June to a NSCC student (I know someone in a unfurnished bsmt bachelor paying $800).

Then during the summer, rent it out through Airbnb. That was always gonna be my back up incase I had a hard winter.

I might have the Truro market wrong, but i'd like to know your thoughts.

Paul 

Wow, you have made quite a bit more this year through Airbnb than you would have through renting and the year isn't even over yet. 

Sounds like a solid idea. You really do get the best of both worlds that way. I don't know the Truro market that well myself as I haven't been renting for that long, but it does sound like it could work.

Hey guys, I know I’m late to the party here, but I usually look for a short term winter rental for Airbnb spaces. Have had great luck so far with people who are moving into town or settling in for the winter and then moving on in the summer. You need to screen like any other tenant, but it saves a lot of money and headache during our unpredictable winters, and then you can be back at it in April/May.

Do you think that is the optimal strategery for squeezing the most money out of your units in Nova Scotia?

Hey @Jeremy Zwicker  

Currently, in Downtown Halifax or Dartmouth, I'd say yes.

I'm not certain of the market in Truro, but I do like this NSCC option in the slower months (I've done something similar with a spot near the Dartmouth Waterfront campus). Have you checked Airbnb and the listing calendars? If they look totally booked up (no open nights) that might be an indication they're currently off the market for the winter (draw your own conclusions).

My experience has been Truro is crazy expensive for Hotels (same as Halifax) relative to demand. I think you could do great. Keep in mind this is hardly a passive way to make money though. You'd need to stay on top of it or have a team/person that does so for you.

There is likely stricter regulation coming down the line as well. This may fall city by city, but be prepared for it if you're planning for the Vacation Rental route long term.

In the summer, it's a great source of income. You'll usually make far more than you would with a long-term tenant. There could even be the possibility of you keeping it empty in the winter if you do REALLY well, but I prefer to find winter tenants just to be safe. 

If you're considering the initial upfront investment to furnish the spot, I'd go ahead and give this a try. Worst case scenario you don't find a winter tenant and you just open the Airbnb calendar back up and hope for bookings. 

Also take a look here: https://www.eliotandme.com/estimator

This isn't perfect, but it will give you additional data. You can also try AirDnA (but they put certain info behind a paywall)

Thank you for all the information, I really appreciate it.

The website you linked is really nice, it shows a lot of useful data. 

If either of my apartments fall vacant during the summer months, I will more than likely give it a try.

I do want to try it out before the stricter regulations inevitability come out.

Hey Guys, 

Im a fellow Bigger Pockets follower in Halifax. I own a roofing company (Refined Roofing Inc.) and Ive got two properties, 1 in Halifax  that I've house hacked and a flip in Truro that has just gone on the market. Good seeing a following in Halifax. Would love to chat more RE!

Ian Armour

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here