It’s never happened to us before! But, it was bound to happen eventually… Dave and I have three e-mail addresses for our Real Estate Investing website Rev N You with Real Estate. One is a general account that we both check, and the other two are our own where the other one doesn’t access it. We get most of our reader mail to the general account, and unless we feel the other person is better suited to respond, we reply to the reader right then and there.
So what happened? We both responded to the same e-mail at the same time! This poor reader was probably wondering what was going on as “Rev N You” appeared in her inbox twice in five minutes with two totally different emails!! I thought it was worth sharing our reader’s email and what we wrote to her… and maybe you have other ideas to help her?? Or maybe you can just laugh at how different Dave and I think sometimes!
So first, here is our reader’s email about Real Estate Investing in Windsor, Ontario:
I really enjoy your informative articles!
You’ve written about affordable and expenses places in a previous article, and I was wondering if you have any information about the Windsor area.
I live in Vancouver (expensive) and I’ve noticed that prices for multifamily residential buildings in Windsor are quite attractive (inexpensive). I’ve been investigating the east Windsor area near the university, near the river (east of the Abassador bridge the river side area has been cleaned up and fixed nicely) to buy a multifamily building, but finding a competent realtor to work with me is proving difficult as the ones I have contacted seem unwilling to work through the process of due diligence as are property managers. I think apathy has gripped this city.
Have you written about this area, or siimilar ones, in the past (I couldn’t find it in the archives) or do you know anything about the area improving or will you be addressing these types of cities in a future article?
Any information you can provide is much appreciated.
Dave’s Response to our reader about Real Estate Investing in Windsor:
Thanks so much ****! We are always happy to hear from our readers.
We too live in Vancouver and are very aware of the expensive nature of this city. I am always on the lookout for inexpensive places to buy, but usually inexpensive is that way for a reason. It could be high vacancy rates, high unemployment, small town, no reliable property management, etc. So, of late, we have avoided most of those areas.
Regarding Windsor, we have some good friends that did just what you are thinking. They bought a multi-family near the university and, at the time, thought they had a competent manager. Unfortunately, the manager was really just a realtor who said she also did property management. Well, to make a long story longer, they started to have higher vacancy and the manager wasn’t keeping close tabs on the property. They eventually sold at a loss just to get rid of the headache. Now, this doesn’t mean it will happen to you, but it is a common challenge in places such as Windsor. If you aren’t going to be there to make sure things are going well, it’s IMPERATIVE that you have a professional property manager lined up BEFORE you buy the property.
Regardless of management, Windsor is in a huge downspin. With the auto and manufacturing industries getting hit so hard (and they make-up a huge portion of the labour force there), the city has taken a huge turn for the worse. This, plus the close proximity to Detroit (which shares similar industries), would put it near the bottom of “places to invest in” in my opinion. It will likely take many years before it re-cooperates. But, it comes down to your objectives. It could turn out to be a good place to buy now and hang onto. But, there is huge risk involved with it. In my opinion, you’re better off focusing in a city that is still moving along nicely or could get even better such as Saskatoon, St. John’s, NFLD, or Regina. Again, as long as you get professional property management in place before you buy and continue to do your research on the area (but that’s a whole different topic), you would likely be better off.
We will try to address “picking a city” in an upcoming newsletter.
I hope the above has answered some questions.
Regards and keep on reading Rev N You with Real Estate!
Ok, my turn, here’s what I wrote at the same time as Dave was writing our reader, unbeknown to me!
reliance on the auto sector and exports made me nervous. I always kept Dave from looking too hard there. Your timing could be pretty good though – it’s been a hurting city for awhile with the high dollar and high gas prices. There probably are some good deals to be found there, and if you stick to areas like the University that don’t rely on people in the auto industry to fill your rooms it does sound like a good plan (of course, assuming it cashflows positively from day 1).