Hello, Montreal newbie here.

9 Replies

Hello investors, I'm a prospective real estate investor based in Montreal. I'm really glad I found this website as I am looking for a mentor and future partners.

How I got here:

I'm a 24 year old Lebanese immigrant with great ambitions. I have studied Finance and Marketing for a while but decided to drop out of university to pursue something bigger. Seeing my father being forced to retire after being a Deputy General Manager at a bank for 30 years like he hasn't done anything there was a true shock to me. Ever since, I decided to take the unconventional path in life, which turned out to be very hard. I have read Rich Dad, Poor Dad, which gave me a strategic idea on what I wanted to do to get where I wanted to be. Initially, I learned entrepreneurship but due to my father's situation and my lack of credibility, I needed to raise capital somehow. I decided I was going to pursue a dream of mine and study trading stocks. I learned technical analysis and because of capital restrictions, again, I ended up trading foreign exchange; which I was good at. However, After some time, trading currencies seemed very redundant and boring. After acquiring my knowledge in technical analysis, I realized all I was doing is speculating on bar movements in a chart. I didn't want to do that for the rest of my life; so I needed a change to challenge myself. Initially, my plan was to trade currencies, raise money to trade stocks, build a business and invest my money in real estate. However, my goal is now the complete opposite, I want to raise capital through real estate wholesaling, acquire income properties, invest that money in stocks or businesses. Here I am today, pursuing a very interesting and challenging career where the goal is to make everyone a winner. I will make a seller happy, myself happy and a future buyer happy. Much better than speculating on bars moving up or down!

I am very driven, intelligent and am looking for a mentor that would help me burst my first deal bubble. After all, real estate investing is not a single person's game, it's a team effort, and I like working with other people.

I have a lot of questions that need to be answered, and in turn, what I can do is provide myself and my undivided attention, which will result in future deals!

So hello again investors! Who's ready to invest in me?

@Ziad Maalouf

Welcome. Are you going to invest in Canada, US or both? Fill in the foundation below.

Check out the Start Here page http://www.biggerpockets.com/starthere

Check out BiggerPockets Ultimate Beginner's Guide - A fantastic free book that walks through many of the key topics of real estate investing.

Check out the free BiggerPockets Podcast - A weekly podcast with interviews and a ton of great advice. And you get the benefit of having over 70 past ones to catch up on.

Locate and attend 3 different local REIA club meetings great place to meet people gather resources and info. Here you will meet wholesalers who provide deals and rehabbers.

Two Great reads, I bought both J. Scott The Book on Flipping Houses,The Book on Estimating ReHab Costshttp://www.biggerpockets.com/flippingbook

Download BP’s newest book here some good due diligence in Chapter 10. Real Estate Rewind Starting over


Good Luck


Thank you guys!

Account Closed Wow, great list you have set up for me there Paul. I can see some great benefit coming out of it in the near future, and I will do my due diligence on it.

I have read "The Real Estate Wholesaling Bible: The Fastest, Easiest Way to Get Started in Real Estate Investing" by Than Merrill. He touches on a lot of the subjects related to real estate investing and wholesaling more specifically and I definitely recommend the book to any future or current wholesaler because it is so comprehensive and direct. I have also read "Investing in Real Estate With Lease Options and "Subject-To" Deals: Powerful Strategies for Getting More When You Sell, and Paying Less When You Buy" by Wendy Patton. Both are great! I have also found great youtubers who shared their insights and experiences on the subject, whom I've learned a lot from. Not to mention the flipping shows I have seen such as A&E's Flip This House, HGTV's Income Property and last but not least, Montreal based The Property Shop.

I like to believe my basic foundation is there. My problem here is that I can't find many Montreal specific websites or services that one may find in the US. I do plan on investing in Canada and possibly branch out to the US in the future as the market is more competitive and the ROI is higher (as far as I know).

What are some of the websites a Canadian REI may use to generate leads for example? Where can I do an analysis of the market? Is Zoocasa as comprehensive as Zillow? If I were do to Direct Mail Marketing, who will I be sending mail to? Where can I find pre-foreclosures? These questions are only the tip of the iceberg. My issue really is finding websites or the location (even names) of government agencies other investors implement in their search and valuation process of a property.

@Ziad Maalouf

Welcome to BP! The information on this site - including that brought to your attention by Paul will be very beneficial. However, while much of the information is universally applicable, those areas related to financing, regulation, and taxation will be different here in Canada from the U.S.A.

As for wholesaling in Canada, I remain dubious that it can be a viable business due to the relative size of the market, differences in privacy law, foreclosure/power-of-sale, etc. That said, there are some Canadians here on BP who have managed some wholesaling. You could reach out to @Gary McGowan in TO as he has experience in this realm. You will also need to keep in-mind there are differences in PQ from the Rest of Canada (RoC).

There is not really a Canadian equivalent to Zillow (which is both good and bad). Privacy laws will make it difficult for you to obtain lists of "pre-foreclosure" properties. Not to mention that half the provinces in Canada utilise Power of Sale in lieu of judicial foreclosure and the banks have an obligation to make best efforts to sell the property at FMV ... hence these properties are typically sold through a real estate agent and listed on MLS.

When you do have additional Canada specific questions, feel free to reach out.

@Roy N. The subjects you have touched on are real eye openers because most books and educational material are based on the US Market. I'm going to have to pick up a book on real estate law here in Canada and more specifically Quebec since tax laws are different. My assumption would be that real estate laws will have their nuances too.

I now understand why the markets aren't so volatile over here and why you aren't particularly fond of wholesaling in Montreal. It must be harder than usual to find motivated sellers as Power of Sale and banks selling for fair market value definitely have their effect on the market for motivated sellers.

My brainstorming brought me to these conclusions:

1 - I'm going to work on getting into the Real Estate Agent course offered at LaSalle college. Being a broker sounds like the easiest and surest way to really delve into real estate investing over here.

2 - I'm going to have to put my creative hat on and find deals in a different manner. I understand I can find deals through the MLS (which relates to point one since I can't use it unless I'm a broker), through Craigslist, Facebook Ads, Door Hangers, Bus Bench Advertising and naturally other investors. These are some of the more affordable ways I can think of.

3 - I can go back to learning about Lease-Options and Subject To deals, where I may just stick to Lease-Options because I don't have any capital to put down for Subject To deals. From my understanding, it's very rare to find zero money down Subject To deals versus Lease-Option deals. I think Lease-Options are called Rent To Own over here? Is there a difference between the two?

Any thoughts on this?

@Ziad Maalouf

Go to http://www.iremquebec.org search for ARM certified property managers. Call 5 ask them what sides of the city they like/dislike and why. Ask what they see them selling for and what expenses are by category. Ask if they know anything coming up for sale. Great way to find deals coming up and gather info about an area.

Find the local REIA or Landlord association meetings attend and gather info on how things are done locally and the best real estate team members.

Finding deals talk to everyone you meet and know let them know what you are doing and what you are looking for. A buddy gets wholesale deals going door to door i the areas he targets, he speaks to everyone on behalf of the local politician he ends asking if they know anything coming up for sale or thinking about selling, he offers referral fees.

Reading a book is good, getting the best real estate CPA and attorney is much better.

Remember reality shows are staged the numbers and stories are made up, not real and designed to create drama. Do you really want to follow a reality show star and expect you are getting the straight scoop. My buddy was asked to do one years ago, he refused because he was not comfortable with the fiction.

The US returns will be significantly higher than Canada. Let me know when you are ready for the US I have some info and insight based on some buddies success.

Happy hunting.


Hi @Ziad Maalouf welcome to BP! The help community here can definitely you navigate the REI waters. Search around and ask questions as needed. The information I've got from fellow members has been invaluable.

See you around the sight!

Well, it's been awhile since my last post on here. I feel I needed a little more time to mature and take action without being scared. I've gone a long way from the place I've started and still have a lot more learning and probably a lot more reality checks to go through. I took a break from investing and education during the World Cup as I'm an avid football (we call it football, not soccer :P) fan. 

I have to thank the people who helped me on BP and set me on the right track. I've refrained from building real contacts right now as I've yet to build enough credibility to do so.

The blog, podcasts and webinars have helped me tons as well. The main thing they did to me is give me a reality check on just how hard wholesaling is, and how much experience you need to find these killer deals. Legality is a very important issue for me still and I've tried to connect to a notary in my area.

I've attended seminars by Fortune Builders. Than Merrill, founder of Fortune Builders and CTHomes, has been one of the most influential people in my journey but I was disappointed with their education company. Their Mastery program was offered to me at $25K, which is a ridiculous price for me right now. I've also been selected for their Jump Start program, which was offered to me at about $2.6K. With the help of BP, I've been able to dodge that bullet and didn't let my enthusiasm get the best of me. I instead used rational thinking.

I'm still working on my Real Estate Agent license and I'm simply missing my CSQ right now. This will be my safety net and my real life experience in the coming years.



I really enjoyed reading your posts Ziad. Hopefully everything turns out well for you! Keep us posted! 

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