Becoming a real estate investor

Dated: August 14 2020

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Purchasing real estate to live in is vastly different than purchasing real estate as an investment. With low rates and a healthy market, now is the time to consider becoming a real estate investor and putting your money to work for you. Ontario real estate conditions can vary greatly, depending on the city or town you’re considering. From expensive markets like Toronto to affordable markets like Niagara, as a real estate investor, each market offers different benefits and challenges.

As we mentioned, interest rates are at the lowest they’ve ever been, following a series of interest rate cuts by the Bank of Canada to bolster the economy during the Covid19 pandemic. Those who have job security could find that now is a good time to make an investment in Ontario real estate.

So where to begin??

Let's start with the 411 on real estate investing: simply stated, when investing in real estate, the goal is to put money to work today and allow it to increase so that you have more money in the future. The profit, or return, you make on your investments must be enough to cover the risk you take, taxes you pay, and the other costs of owning the real estate, such as utilities, regular maintenance, and insurance.

Pros of Real Estate Investing

  • Lower risk than the stock market: The housing market isn't subject to as much of the same volatility as the stock market. You don't have the same earning potential, but you can count on a steady incline most of the time.
  • Steady cash flow: When you have enough rental properties going, you can generate a reliable revenue stream for your business.
  • Good tax breaks: Real estate investors can deduct all sorts of expenses from their taxes, including mortgage interest, depreciation, property tax, and more.3
  • Long-term returns will usually be positive: Over time, most properties will appreciate in value.

With the help of REMAX Canada, we have pulled together a comprehensive dictionary of real estate investment terms and definitions. From the obscure to the obvious, we hope this list will help you find all the information that may inspire you to begin your real estate investment portfolio today!

Joint Investment

If you want to take advantage of current market conditions, but don’t have the capital to make an investment on your own, consider finding a partner and pool your resources. Ensure the partner you choose doesn’t overextend themselves financially and has good credit. Have a lawyer draw up a legal contract to outline the details of the partnership.

Rental Properties

Investors in the Ontario rental market have generally seen their property values increase over the years, all the while leasing their property to a renter in order to earn income. Look at desirable areas near public transit, employment and education hubs, where demand for rental units is high and consistent. If you do the math correctly and you continuously have tenants paying rent, you will have the cashflow to help cover your mortgage payments. Ensure that the rent you charge your tenants is enough to cover your mortgage payments and maintenance fees.

The Greater Toronto Area has been a popular area for people using this investment strategy. Since it is a highly desirable place to live with many lifestyle amenities, job opportunities, and proximity to public transit. Be strategic when choosing the right properties to increase your chances of renters being interested.

House Flipping

There’s no shortage of house flipping shows on tv that have popularized this real estate investment strategy. If done correctly, this can be a solid investment, but you may have to get your hands dirty. House flipping starts with finding properties in the province that are priced under market value. These properties may be undervalued because they need upgrades and require renovation. To flip a home, you need to see the potential of what the home could be.

If you swoop in and secure a property at a reduced sale price, to successfully flip the home, you will need to either do the renovations yourself or hire a contractor to do them. Strategic upgrades to key areas such as the kitchen and bathrooms will increase the value of the home. To be a successful house flipper, make sure you stay within budget. Under the right market conditions, when you sell the home it will hopefully be at a higher sale price than the amount of money you invested in it.

Buy and Hold

For homebuyers who are looking for an opportunity to dive into the market, starting the home-buying process while home prices are down could be a smart move – providing prices rebound again. The pandemic put a temporary pause on home sales in April 2020, however activity across Ontario real estate markets has picked up again quickly, and prices have remained resilient. With that being said, there are plenty of markets offering great investment opportunities.

An investor can purchase a house or condo that is priced below market value and hold onto it for the long term until the value increases again – and in Ontario, long-term values have been on an upward trajectory. During the time you maintain ownership of the property, you can have tenants rent it, and used the income to cover the mortgage payments. Eventually you can sell the property and get a high ROI from the increased value. By then, a good portion of your mortgage would have been payed off using rental income. Patience is key to this investment strategy!

Determining how to invest in Ontario real estate can be challenging. You can choose a straightforward buy-and-hold approach or undertake a renovation project and do a house flip. Consider your finances, the amount of time you would like to spend on the investment, your risk tolerance, the local economy and appetite for rental properties in the area. Take the right steps to do your research to choose the right investment strategy for you.

** blog and glossary details sourced from

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Sheena Cimino

With a multifaceted history in digital media that spans more than a decade, Sheena brings a wealth of knowledge and strategy to the Davids & de Laat team. Her impressive background and keen eye for de....

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