Monthly Archives: March 2009

Setting Goals for Real Estate Investing

Dave and I are practicing our video creation skills for a video series we’re going to start recording in April. As part of that, we’ve been recording lots of different videos. This video is all about setting goals for real estate investing.

For us, goal setting is the first step in our investing process. When we signed up for our first real estate investing program, we’d already successfully purchased two rental properties. We had decided that we wanted to get rich as quickly as possible and  set a “goal” of earning $2,000 per month in positive cash flow from real estate within a year.

However, just because you have a measurable outcome and a deadline for achieving it doesn’t mean your goal is feasible.

You have to consider the time, money, and skills you have to invest in that outcome, and determine where the gaps are. Then, you fill those gaps. Making a plan to fill in the gaps is what goal setting is all about for me.

Learn the secrets to becoming a millionaire real estate investor…in your spare time. Get the Rev N You with Real Estate Starter Tips Guide free when you sign up for our complimentary Rev N You with Real Estate e-zine.

Real Estate Investing Newsletter & Real Estate Investing Advice

Real Estate Investing Newsletter & Real Estate Investing Advice

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Finding Rental Property Locations

We’re slowly learning how to record, edit and post videos. We will continue to get better – we promise! In the meantime, here’s a video filmed in Nanaimo, on what makes a good rental property area. And, specifically, I talk about why I like Nanaimo’s prospects for the future.

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Why Real Estate Investing Partnerships can be like Chocolate Bars

real estate investing partnerships can be like chocolate barsThe main reason my husband and I were able to build a multimillion-dollar real estate portfolio in less than eight years is because we found a few trustworthy partners.

After we made two purchases, one of our partners became preoccupied with a rapidly growing business he had recently started. It got to the point where it would take weeks to get in contact with him. After a few years of struggling to make the partnership work, we agreed to split up. We figured it would be an easy split. We owned two rental units, so we each could take one. Except we both wanted to own the same unit, and we couldn’t agree on how much more that unit was worth!

<Read the rest of my article called Real Estate Investing Partnerships: Breaking Up is Never Easy which was published by Early to Rise yesterday>

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Filed under investing, partnerships, real estate

Upgrades to Negotiate with a Builder when buying a New Home in Today’s Market

Negotiate the Best Deal from Your Builder when Buying a New Home (photo by Jason Floyd)

Negotiate the Best Deal from Your Builder when Buying a New Home (photo by Jason Floyd)

Last week Dave wrote about our friends that just purchased a new house in Toronto. They did a fantastic job of negotiating the best price AND a ton of upgrades into their deal. Dave didn’t take the credit for the great deal they made, but he did spend hours on the phone coaching and prepping them for the negotiation so I think he could safely take some of the credit!

The bottom line is that our friends had done their research and came prepared when they met with the builder. If you are buying a new home in today’s market, if you want to get the best deal available, you should too!

Often a builder will be unable to negotiate on price – or will have very little room to move. This can be for many reasons, but the biggest one could be constraints that have been placed on them by their lender.

Where you can often get some fantastic deals with a builder is in upgrades and finishing work on your new home. But, what can you ask for? I will give you a list of ideas, but your best source of information will come from competing builders. Shop other new home developments in your market. Find out what incentives, upgrades and terms the other builders are offering and use those to negotiate the absolute best deal you can.

Upgrades to Consider Negotiating into Your New Home Purchase Deal:

  • Flooring (better quality of hardwood or carpet, different colour, more of it, etc.)
  • Higher quality windows
  • Light fixtures
  • Mirrors
  • Paint colours or type
  • Plumbing and fixture improvements (or additional – sometimes you may want things roughed in for a wet bar in the basement or a different spot for the washer and dryer – all of these things can be done much easier before the house is finished!)
  • Basement (sometimes the basement will be unfinished but you can negotiate some of the finishing work to be done)
  • Quality of finishings like light switches, door handles, railings, cabinet hardware etc.
  • Doors
  • Countertops – you can negotiate the type, the style, the colour and maybe even get extensions like our friends did (see http://lifeasrealestateinvestors.com/2009/03/real_estate_deals/)
  • Appliances – you can usually negotiate at least a better model of the same brand but sometimes you can even get a totally different brand
  • Insulation – maybe you want thicker insulation or a different type
  • Driveway material
  • Fencing
  • Landscaping
  • Other exterior finishings.

If you aren’t able to negotiate exactly what you want, you can always try asking for a discount on their current upgrade package. While the builder may be unable to move much on their list price, there might be more room to move in the price of their upgrade package.

Learn the secrets to becoming a millionaire real estate investor…in your spare time. Get the Rev N You with Real Estate Starter Tips Guide free when you sign up for our complimentary Rev N You with Real Estate e-zine.

Free Email Newsletter on Real Estate Investing

Free Email Newsletter on Real Estate Investing

Get started real estate investing today.

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Filed under New Homes, real estate

Video On Potential Redevelopment Land in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay Area


We were in Nanaimo, B.C. last weekend meeting with our property manager and checking out a few of our properties. While we were there we shot a few videos around town. This video is of a 1 acre site just steps from the beach, a few little shops and some parks and recreational facilities. It’s a piece of land with potential, but there are also some challenges. Listen as we do a preliminary walk of the property and discuss the issues.

We’ll be uploading more videos in the next few weeks. You can stop by the Rev N You Group page (or become a member) to see the videos as they are added: http://www.youtube.com/group/revnyou.

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Filed under real estate, redevelopment, Video

Scared of Real Estate Deals on Friday the 13th?

Photo By Jason Floyd

Photo By Jason Floyd

Well, here we are Friday the 13th and wouldn’t you know it, almost everyone is scared to do almost anything – especially buy real estate! “Prices forecasted to drop 10% this year”, yells the newspaper! It is a scary time!

Well, for our very good friends, they didn’t think too much about it. Why? Because they are buying a home that they plan to own for many years. They aren’t trying to speculate the market will go up, and they don’t plan to flip the property. They bought it because they are tired of renting, about to get married and likely wanted to stop paying their landlord’s mortgage. And I commend them for that decision!

Before I go on and on about how excited I am for them, I wanted to share a bit of info as to what they did before they bought. You see, while everyone else has stopped buying, our friends have been carefully looking for not only a house they can fall in love with, but for a good deal in the process.

After nearly a year of going to open houses, checking MLS and just generally figuring out what they could get for the money they had, they decided that they wanted to buy a new home. Ideally, they were looking for one that was not quite finished so they could add their own special touches to the place.

Last week, they found what they were looking for on the West side of Toronto. It’s a large townhouse in a new development. They learned that the builder hadn’t sold a unit since late summer of ’08 and still had nearly 25% of their units to sell.

Our friends know that the unit is priced right, the builder has a great reputation in Toronto, and the development is in a great area. The units are just not selling because everyone is SCARED to buy! But, the beauty of our friends’ situation is that they aren’t scared and they were able to get an extra special deal out of it because they were ready to buy it.

They spent a lot of time researching the builder and other new development offerings. They learned that negotiating on price was going to be tough but that they would be likely to get just about any upgrade they asked for. They still pushed the price down a bit. But, more important to them is that they got everything they wanted in this house for no extra charge including hardwood on the stairs, extended granite counter tops in the kitchen, high end hardware and faucets, $1000 more to spend on higher end washer and dryer etc. The best part is they negotiated almost $15,000 in extra upgrades along with getting the price down several thousands of dollars below asking.

They excitedly told us that they were able to put EVERYTHING into this place that they wanted. In fact, what would have been a good home is now a perfect one for them.  And, they are only going to be paying 4.2% interest on a 5 year fixed term mortgage! Fear of what the market is going to do next year hasn’t even been a consideration for them.

The point of the story is that if you know what you want and are in a reasonable position to qualify and pay for a new property, there are some great deals out there right now. But even more importantly, if you are buying for the long term, as our friends are, you shouldn’t worry if now is the right “time” to buy.  Their home may drop in value next year, and maybe even the year after, but eventually that property will increase again. And, in the meantime they will have spent many years enjoying life in their perfect home!

So, what are you waiting for? And what are your goals? If you are buying a property as a home or as a buy n’ hold, if it’s for the long term there is no time like the present! And, maybe, you will get a great deal in the process while everyone else is running scared like it’s Friday the 13th all year long!!

Free Email Newsletter on Real Estate Investing

Free Email Newsletter on Real Estate Investing

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Read This Before You Sign Up for Any Real Estate Investing Course

archerWe felt swindled. We’d spent nearly $20,000 on several instructional programs, on a mentor for our real estate investments, and to incorporate. Despite all of that, my husband and I found ourselves in court trying to defend fire code violation charges for a six-unit property we’d purchased.

We blamed the property manager who had turned our property into a drug distribution center. And we absolutely blamed the Canadian postal system for not delivering the first violation notice. Mostly, we were angry with the people behind the programs we’d put time and money into.

Eventually, we came to accept the ugly truth. The mistake that was nearly fatal to our finances and our real estate investing business had been 100 percent preventable… and it was nobody’s fault but our own…

Read the rest of my article – published in yesterday’s Early to Rise e-zine by clicking here: http://www.earlytorise.com/2009/03/10/the-problem-with-fire-2.html

And, while you’re on their site reading the article, I highly recommend that you sign up for their free newsletter. As they say on their website: Read this email newsletter for 5 minutes every morning and before too long the result will be a healthier, wealthier, wiser, and happier you – we guarantee it!

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Filed under Guest Articles, investing, real estate