Category Archives: investing

What I Hope Is Not a Farewell Message!

by Julie Broad

In some ways I fear this could be a farewell message …

For nearly two years I have been lazy and scared … I first set my blog up on wordpress not knowing anything about blogs and ever since then I have allowed wordpress to host this blog. But, I am missing out on so many things like a simple blogroll or even statistics about the clicks and visitors to my blog by not hosting the blog with my own host. And so many readers have requested a Retweet button for Twitter or other easy ways to share their favourite posts with others and I can’t do that with the program the way it is today. So on this 4 Year Anniversary of our Rev N You Newsletter I decided it’s time we finally got brave and made the move … but I still worry that it will all be gone after I push the button …

Many of my fellow bloggers have assured me that it will be ok when I make the switch. If it doesn’t work out you will find me over at Good Faith Investing causing a ruckus because it’s really Shae that has assured me the most that it will be ok. Although Greg at The Wholesale Knockout King made it sound easy too so I might be on his blog making angry noises too.

But assuming all goes well and you’re still able to read this I wanted to share some of the other things I’ve written lately.

I welcome your comments, questions and concerns right here or on the host blogs.

Also … I am pretty excited about the calendar of events I have lined up for the month of May so I wanted to share that with you too. But first, a few of the other places you can find me this month:

Let’s Talk About Success Baby

A simple message about success I shared with the Bigger Pockets readers … and if you’re a Salt N Pepa or Hip Hop music fan I think you’ll really like it.

Marketing Your Way to More Money

An important message about marketing and real estate investing that I shared with the readers of Mark Loeffler’s blog The Versatile Investor. Mark’s most recent claim to fame is a writing one of the current Top 100 Best Selling Business Books “Rent To Own Real Estate Investing”.

Manslaughter and a Crackhouse: How my Husband Became a Real Estate Investor

The story of Dave’s early investments in Niagara Falls, ON as we both learned some really important real estate investing lessons.

Also … if you’re in Canada … check out my latest article in Canadian Real Estate Magazine. I’m pretty proud of the article that was published there this month called: Managing Your Property Manager. I wish they had links to their articles but alas … you’ll have to hit the newstands to read it. It’s on page 48.

I also wanted to share a public and gigantic Thank You to fellow real estate investor and blogger Neil Uttamsingh of First Rental Property. When I first started writing for Bigger Pockets he wrote a really awesome blog post about my inclusion in the Bigger Pockets team … and coming from one of the only Canadian real estate investing blogs that has a place in my RSS feed it meant a lot to me!! So thank you Neil!! Read that post here: Bigger Pockets Just Got Bigger.

There’s lots more stuff kicking around the internet from me these days but I figure that’s probably enough to keep you guys busy for the weekend. 🙂

Now … mark your calendars because we have a great line up of events planned and all but one of them are free to you!!

  • May 4th: I’m speaking at the Nanaimo Real Estate Investing Club about farming for real estate leads … I’ll be talking about our yellow letter campaign, our bus bench ads and some of the other marketing we’re doing to generate new real estate deal leads. Anyone can attend. It’s $10 at the door.
  • May 5th: We’re having a teleseminar with Philip McKernan, author of South of 49. If you’re a Canadian interested in buying real estate in the US then this is going to be a call you won’t want to miss. And honestly, having read Philip’s book, I know there will be gold nuggets ALL real estate investors can use. And the call is our gift to you … so watch the blog and our newsletter for more details.
  • May 19th: Government Deal Funding with Sean Carpenter. This webinar is for our US readers. One of THE most recommended programs and webinars I have ever come across … Sean’s program fills a massive void in the  market right now as he is teaching how to use government programs to fund your real estate deals. In this webinar Sean reveals some of the ways you can uncover government funding programs that are available to you and introduce you to tax credits and developers fees and so much more.
  • June 1st: We’re going to be chatting with Jim Sheils and Brian Scrone of Jacksonville Real Estate Wealth. These two guys have quickly become two of my favourite real estate investors in North America and I can’t wait to introduce Rev N You readers to them and to their simple but effective investing systems.

We’ll have more details and sign up information on all the events right here in the coming weeks … and, of course, from our real estate investing newsletter!!

All right … wish me luck … hope you’re still able to read this message by the end of today!! 😀

12 Comments

Filed under Blogs, investing, real estate, Recommended

How to Find a Great Realtor as a Real Estate Investor

by Dave Peniuk

Not all realtors are created equally. In fact, most realtors just aren’t that good when it comes to working with real estate investors. As real estate investors we need a realtor who will:

  • Take the time to understand our parameters and WHY we have those parameters. Just because a property has a basement suite doesn’t make it an investment property.
  • Respond quickly – when we’re working on a deal we are usually moving quickly and when we need information or want to see a place we would like a call back/email returned within 24 hours. And in most cases I would prefer a realtor respond within a few hours.
  • Be willing to try different things when it comes to making offers. We rarely make a standard offer. We almost always ask for special terms like vendor financing and we ALWAYS ask for the ability to access the property several times before closing to show to tenants.
  • Be comfortable with the foreclosure process, making aggressive offers and sniffing out the real story behind the sale of a property.

So – how do you know what to look for in a good realtor and where can you find one that will work well with a real estate investor?? I created a couple of short videos as part of our 31 Real Estate Investing Video Tips. You can check those videos out right here:

And I’d love to hear from you … what makes a good realtor for you? Do you have an awesome realtor? How did you find him or her??

And if you want more awesome videos like this be sure to sign up for our Real Estate Investing Video Series. Julie and I created 31 short videos full of tips to help you be a more successful real estate investor. The videos are all 3 minutes or less and they are free!! It’s our gift to you!!! 🙂 Enjoy!!

11 Comments

Filed under investing, real estate, Realtors

No Money Down Real Estate Investing Canadian Style

by Dave Peniuk

You might remember in the fall, when I was away on a commercial halibut fishing trip with my Dad, Julie signed me and her Dad up to go to Ron LeGrand’s Quick Turn real estate investing program.

We had just closed on 2 new properties and it had been a giant pain in the butt to get financing for those deals. She thought it was time we shook it up a bit and learned some new techniques. Plus, the more we know the easier it is to help our Rev N You with Real Estate Newsletter readers!!

The program led to us send out 5,500 direct mail letters, and in general, we hammered the city of Nanaimo with our marketing message.

It also led to the police calling us and the local newspaper running a story on our unconventional deal finding methods. It’s been interesting and we’ve had fun with it for sure.

But after 3 months of intense effort we haven’t secured a single deal. We’ve come close, and by the end of February I think we’ll have at least two deals firm, but as of right now we haven’t locked one in yet.

All this led me to contact an Edmonton based guy named Tony Peters.

Tony has become somewhat famous within the Real Estate Investment Network (REIN) club I belong to. He has purchased hundreds of homes using creative strategies that require little money down and in many cases NO BANK FINANCING!!! WOOHOOO!!

The folks I know that have taken Tony’s programs or heard him speak have given him glowing reviews … they’ve learned a lot and are starting to make things happen so I wanted to learn from him and I thought you would benefit to.

I am so pleased to be able to invite you to join us on a call with Tony on Tuesday, February 16th at 6pm PST.

AND the best part … there is no charge!

AND the second best part … when you register you’re going to get a free one hour audio interview between Tony & the Vice President of REIN, Russell Westcott where you’re going to learn some of Tony’s creative strategies, hear his story and start learning so when you come to the call on Tuesday you can ask any questions that you have!

Bring your questions Tuesday night – you can speak with Tony too!

Oh, and if you can’t make the call we’ll send the replay out to everyone that registers.

By the way … thank you to EVERYONE for all your comments on the What’s Missing From This Kitchen game!! We had a ton of fun and really appreciated your participation. Check the comments to see if you’re one of the 3 T-Shirt winners that we selected!!

8 Comments

Filed under investing, real estate, Tony Peters

A Broad Rant About Guru Real Estate Investing Courses

by Julie Broad

Last week Dave and I attended a real estate investing club meeting in Langley, BC. We went for many reasons… the biggest ones being that we like to meet like minded people, we wanted to meet the man behind the club, and we had a few questions about sandwich leases that we wanted to find answers for. Since we weren’t going to be far away from the meeting, we stopped in.

The feature presentation was from a local area mortgage broker. And he did an excellent job of explaining the important things you need to understand about mortgages as a real estate investor. It was a good refresher for us and an excellent talk for those new investors in the room. When we got to the part where we started discussing credit scores the mortgage broker mentioned a couple he just tried to find financing for that had a bad credit score because they had 16 credit cards.

"Get as many credit cards as you can" suggest many guru real estate courses

He went on to explain why having so many credit cards can be very damaging to your credit and how you should keep it to five max. He also gave some other great tips like to keep your credit card limit high but always keep the amount you owe low because your credit will be negatively impacted with balances that are close to your limit. For some other tips on how to effectively manage your credit, check out this article on how to check your credit.

At this point one of the new real estate investors in the room raised her hand. She said “I just took a real estate investing course that told us to go out and get as many credit cards as possible. They said that having all that credit was a good thing.

I actually felt Dave shudder beside me. That brought back memories of the real estate investing courses WE took early on as investors. And some of the advice that causes so much damage that it can take years to recover from (as it did with us). We knew instantly that it was one of a few get rich quick guru programs that had come through town recently … but the mortgage broker was horrified and said “Who taught you that?

Sure enough … she confirmed that a get rich quick guru course had struck again.

And the worst part is I think that this woman didn’t actually believe the mortgage broker when he explained why this was horrible advice. She tried to argue “well you’re not necessarily going to use the cards you’re just supposed to have them in case you need cash for a quick flip.

If it weren’t for the fact that we were trying to keep a low profile –  I would have stood up and suggested that there are many things that guru taught her that were high risk and very dangerous if she decided to act upon any of them without learning the fundamentals of real estate first.

There are also things that the guru taught just because they stand to make money off your fear!!

Here’s some of the horrendous things we were taught at a get rich quick guru program and the motive behind the lesson:

  • You must have a triple tiered corporation – you are stupid and foolish if you don’t have one. They actually used these words, explaining all the horrible risks and extra taxes we’d pay without one. Um… guess we’re beyond stupid because we bought a two tiered corporation and were not able to buy and finance a single property in that fancy pants $3,000 corporation the guru sold us – and for 3 years we tried!
  • Call your credit card company and demand a lower interest rate and higher balance on your credit card. Conveniently they get us to do this during your lunch break in the course. We did as we were told – and by gosh – we were successful. It’s a good thing too because thanks to that call we had $20,000 of available credit on our card that we could use to finance the big mentorship package they convinced us to buy at the end of the weekend. And, they reassured us, with one deal we’d pay it off so why not?! By the way, it actually took us over a year to pay it off and then 2 more years to fix all the problems we created for ourselves by buying several troublesome high leverage properties.
  • Wholesaling, assignments and sandwich leases are going to make you tons of juicy and gigantic cheques within weeks of learning the techniques. These were hot topics at the course we took because the cash looks so much juicier than a ‘boring old buy and hold’ that takes years to get super rich from. And yes, one good assignment or wholesaling deal CAN give you a nice juicy cheque but guess what, you aren’t going to find that deal a week or two after the course because there are still a lot of things you have to learn to do that first deal. But luckily before you leave the program they help you to realize that there are many more details you need to know before you can do those deals – AND they offer just the solution – specific courses on each subject for $3,000-$4,000 so you can go out and learn more.

Listen – we fell for everyone of those things so don’t feel bad if you did too. These folks are master marketers. If there is one thing the get rich quick gurus do know how to do it’s sell! And we were determined to be successful as real estate investors so we believed what they said and dove head first into everything they had to offer.

It’s a good thing we were determined or we never would have picked ourselves up and gone on to succeed after the early mistakes.

But now when I meet people who actually DO all these risky “techniques” that the latest guru has taught them I want to shake them to their senses and save them from the years of stories and pain we experienced.

People – you have to educate yourself in order to be successful as a real estate investor. And good quality real estate investing courses ARE a fantastic way to meet like minded people, get solid advice, and learn what you need to learn to move forward.

But look for the people who are genuinely trying to help. Look for someone that presents a realistic side to the story. I look for teachers who are upfront about risks, the time and the effort you have to invest. I also look for people who are teaching fundamental principles as well as their particular spin on investing. And most importantly, I want to know whatever else they are selling in advance, so if they are telling me I should invest in Florida I know whether they are saying that because they also happen to sell investment properties in Florida or because they just like the market fundamentals. It’s ok either way but I want to understand their bias. Just like if they say I need a 3 tiered corporation I want to know whether it’s because they are going to upsell me their package for  a 3 tiered corporation or whether it’s because it actually saved them from losing everything in a law suit.

As the next guru rolls into the city nearest you … I beg you to think carefully about what you NEED to learn. And if that course will give you what you need then go. But before you sign up for ANYTHING they are selling think about the bias that might be behind what they are teaching. And question what they are saying. Why in the world would anyone ever suggest you take on 15 different credit cards? Can you imagine what a mess your credit would be if you actually started to use them and something went wrong – and by the way some things will go wrong as you get rolling – so why put yourself in such a dangerous position? Just having so many credit cards does serious damage to your credit that takes time to repair without even using them. And as a real estate investor you should covet, love and care for your credit score.

And yes, I do have a real estate investing course to sell that is focused on the fundamentals, and yes I welcome you to purchase it, but no… that is not why I am ranting against guru real estate investing courses. I am ranting because I care about the moves you make as you become a real estate investor – and there are things you can do to make your life a whole lot easier as you start – and spending tons of money on guru programs isn’t one of them!

Get Our Free Newsletter!

30 Comments

Filed under investing, real estate

Retire to Your Dream Destination – Real Estate Investing in Brazil

Taking action is critical to your success. Too many people find a reason not to go after their big dreams (I just wrote about the big but that keeps you from investing in real estate). The excuses sound really good, but at the end of the day anything that stops you from being who you want to be and living the life you want to live is just an excuse. And sometimes all we need to get out of our funk or get off our butt and do something is a story about someone else that did!

That’s why I am pretty excited to share this story from two Rev N You newsletter readers that have stepped out of their comfort zone and created the life they were dreaming of. And, of course, when that life has some great real estate lessons and angles that makes it even better.

When Trudy Palmer wrote to me about her Brazilian condo investment I thought it would make a wonderful story for our readers. I know they aren’t the only ones considering retirement in a lower cost country with a better climate. I also know they aren’t the only ones considering Central or South American investments, so I thought you would enjoy this story.

And, if you’re interested in learning more about their Brazilian investments, you are welcome to ask your questions in the comments section of the blog – Trudy will be responding to them – or you can send an email to Trudy & Steven to get more details.

Retire To Your Dream Destination

By Trudy Palmer

Ever since my husband, Steven, and I first started reading about the great climate year round, cheap real estate, low cost of living and low taxes in Panama, we’ve been dreaming and scheming of moving to a tropical country.

After one particularly long, cold winter in Kelowna, B.C. we finally decided it was time to quit dreaming and make it happen. We spent 3 weeks in Panama checking things out only to return to Canada to find out the visa requirements were changing. Before we could get ourselves moved down there the visas had become cost prohibitive

That wasn’t enough to stop us from finding a new, and maybe even better, “retirement-haven” country.

We ruled out Mexico and other countries throughout Central America that are located in the hurricane belt. We narrowed our options down to either the city of Manta, on the coast of Ecuador or Fortaleza, on the north eastern coast of Brazil. We ultimately settled on Brazil because it offered a more stable economy, better infrastructure and larger city with more amenities.

Forteleza Brazil

Fortaleza, Brazil

For us, the dream was not about paradise and privacy. We want shopping, nightlife and lots of socializing, especially being the avid salsa dancers that we are.

We sold our Kelowna home for a nice profit which is what we used to finance our new life in Brazil.

With the city selected our next task was to find a home.

My criteria for our next home was simple – to be on or near the water. However, Steven’s eye was more towards owning a revenue property. After spending a few months in Fortaleza and starting to get a feel for the market, it became very clear that the traditional rental property route was not going to be the ideal scenario. Because many Brazilians earn so little, rents are very low and we really didn’t want to be in the position of having to chase Brazilians down for money, especially when many can’t afford the rent in the first place.

The real money, with the least amount of hassle or work, is in the short-term/vacation rental market, typically through renting out condos to foreigners. And, we discovered as we were looking for a place to stay ourselves, there is a shortage of short term and vacation accommodations.

But, this still posed a problem for us. We could only afford to buy one condo. If we rented it out, where would we live? Houses with suites are nearly non-existent and there really aren’t any houses on or near the water in Fortaleza.

In  the meantime, we had found a place to live in Fortaleza that had a kitchenette, twice-weekly maid/cleaning service, a pool and common TV room. The building was 4 levels with 21 furnished one and two bedroom apartments. It is owned and operated by an American who lives in one of the apartments and rents the rest out to foreigners on a weekly or monthly basis. The idea of purchasing the property began to form but the asking price was too high and consequently the returns just weren’t attractive enough for us or another potential investor. Thus, the search for a similar property began.

Apartment in Brazil

Upon researching the market, we determined that Cumbuco, a small beach town approximately 35 kilometres from Fortaleza had a lot of potential for value and growth. With it’s proximity to the city and its popularity with kite-surfers from all over the world we felt we’d found a real gem. In fact, Cumbuco is in the early stages of being recognized as one of the top 5 destinations in the world for kite-surfing.

Kite Surfing in Brazil

Cumbuco has really grown and over the past few years. Brazil, especially the north eastern coast, is in the early stages of a real estate boom. This is evidenced by the many large developments underway in Fortaleza, Cumbuco and up and down the coast. In addition, the World Soccer (Football) Games are approved for Fortaleza in 2014, and World Olympics are taking place in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. With the combination of the buyer’s market and the strengthening of the Brazilian Real which is projected to continue to strengthen, we feel strongtly that now is the perfect time to buy.

We found a beautiful property in Cumbuco, located one block from the beach with 16 rooms and a restaurant. The seller was motivated and we managed to negotiate the property at a 25% discount with 18 months of seller financing (which is practically non-existent in Brazil).

Our timing was perfect because we recently learned that a few weeks after the seller accepted our offer, a European investor offered her twice we paid for her property.

We are living our dream retirement in a dream destination. And we’d be happy to share more details with you.

<Note from Julie & Dave: Trudy & Steven welcome you to get more details about their investment. Feel free to leave your questions in the blog post comments section or if you’re interested you can access their investment proposal by sending a blank email to: pousada@betterways.net. >

8 Comments

Filed under investing, real estate

Is Your Big But Keeping You From Investing in Real Estate?

by Julie Broad

But I am just waiting until I’ve read your program a few more times before I make my first offer.

But I don’t know anybody with money to partner with.

But it’s not a good time to buy right now.

But I just haven’t found the right deal.

I wish I had just made those up but those are quotes from actual emails I’ve received this year. And I could go on and on with more from people who read our real estate investing newsletters, our blog posts and even join one of our real estate investing programs. These are people who really want to start investing in real estate but can’t even get themselves to put in a single offer.

I understand… it’s scary. There are people who have lost a lot of money investing in real estate.

But there are just as many (or more) that have made a lot of money.

And you’re taking the time to educate yourself on the fundamentals of real estate investing. And you’ve been learning from people like us that are showing you how to avoid the mistakes we’ve made. (I know you’re doing these things because you’re reading our blog!)

So, if you’re doing all of that and still not making offers, then you MUST read this book by Sean Stephenson called Get Off Your But. Sean says, “our BUTS are huge. And the longer we sit on them, the more they continue to grow!

It’s ok. We all do it! We all have a ‘but’ we’re sitting on that is holding us back from something we really want. But you have to know that YOUR BUT IS THE ONLY THING HOLDING YOU BACK from what you want.

I know this to be true, and yet I have allowed my but to be really big for some of my lifelong goals…  and I am going to change that. I’ve set my goals for 2010 and they are audacious. They are my biggest goals yet. I am going to get off my but and I hope you do too!

Besides being a fascinating and inspiring tale of the life of this three foot tall giant of a man who has never been able to stand on his own two feet due to having brittle bones (the non medical term for his condition), it’s a book full of resources and tools to help you overcome those fears, excuses and insecurities that are giving you the biggest buts.

I’ve said this before when I have talked about my mountain biking accidents … especially the one where I hit the root when there was a small path to the left of it that I could have used to safely get by … you get what you focus on. If you are focused on the things you fear the most or the things that are holding you back then you will have a hard time finding a way around those things.

Sean provides a great exercise in the book to demonstrate this. Essentially he gets you to ask a friend to spend 60 seconds finding everything that is blue coloured in a room. Then, after they have told you everything that is blue, ask the person to tell you a few things that were yellow or red.

It’s going to be nearly impossible for them to name anything that is a different colour because they have been so focused on the blue things.

The same thing happens to would-be real estate investors … they get so hung up on the financing challenges, the fact they can’t find good partners or the lack of good deals that they never actually get going and get off their big but.

So… get off your but! Stop making excuses and start making offers … or just stop letting your big but hold you back from whatever it is you want in your life.

And if you need a little help, I would highly recommend you pick up Sean Stephenson’s book or watch his new TV show on the BIO channel (check out a video about the show below).

No one is dealt a bad or a good hand in life; we’re just dealt cards. It’s up to us to stay in the game and play. Sure, some cards look ‘better’ but they’re really not.” – Sean Stephenson, Get Off Your But p. 257

Sign Up for Rev N You's Free Real Estate Investing Newsletter

5 Comments

Filed under Books, Engage Today 2009, investing, real estate

Real Estate Investment Analysis Made Easy

by Dave Peniuk

There are plenty of real estate investors that don’t use any spreadsheets or financial calculators to figure out if a property is a good one to buy or not. And with simple rules of thumb like our 1% rule you don’t necessarily need them. But I’ve been doing dances with spreadsheets since I began.

And, I think that doing some good solid analysis on a potential rental property serves many purposes:

  • You can’t get as emotional about the decision if you let the numbers guide you. The numbers either work or they don’t. It doesn’t matter how much you love the property if it doesn’t generate enough cash flow to cover it’s costs and give you a return then it’s not a good deal.
  • Knowing the variables that go into calculating the numbers allows you to identify areas where you can make more money. For example, if you can lower the financing costs or decrease the insurance you can increase your return. These are things you might not see clearly without a spreadsheet in front of you.
  • Allows you to speak and present professionally to your partners, realtors, mortgage brokers and lenders. Nothing like a concise and simply one page summary of the numbers on a property to make someone understand what you’re doing and want to work with you.
  • If you do analysis over time, it allows you to spot trends with your expenses. You can go back and look at your property’s performance over time and find areas to improve it.

Up until now I had created all of our spreadsheets myself. Well, actually Julie programmed the mortgage calculations into a spreadsheet for me but otherwise I created them all myself. And I like them. But they are a bit complicated and definitely not that pretty looking. So when I had the opportunity to test out RealData’s real estate investment analysis software I jumped at it. We’d interviewed the creator and founder of RealData, Frank Gallinelli, in a  teleseminar a few months ago and he invited us to check out his programs.

Anyway – Julie says I need to create a shorter summary version video instead of the long tutorial like videos I have for you here… but maybe if you’re a detailed kind of person like me you’ll appreciate seeing all the nuts and bolts!! 🙂

The bottom line is that the RealData Standard Edition product is excellent but pretty comprehensive for most residential real estate investors. Why not save yourself $375 and just get the Express Real Estate Analysis package? It’s got everything you need and more – and for Canadians – it’s even all set up for us with the right amortization tables!!

Sign Up for Rev N You's Free Real Estate Investing Newsletter

The links taking you to the RealData products are in fact affiliate links… and if you choose to purchase the product through those links we will make a small commission for our referral. However, we wouldn’t be recommending it if we didn’t think you’d be smart to buy it!! 🙂 The Express product is great – and would be a good addition to any real estate investors tool box of resources.

And of course, if you have a problem with the software and the folks at RealData don’t help you out let us know… we know the President of the company. 🙂

2 Comments

Filed under investing, real estate, Recommended