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How to Make an Extra $50k When Selling Your Home

Volition was featured on HGTV.ca to share strategies for getting top dollar for your home – you can check it out here.

As usual, we have more to say. Read on for the extended version!

To get top dollar for your home, you need to be strategic.  We’re going to go beyond the “regular” advice (i.e. staging, remodelled kitchens, curb appeal, etc.) and challenge some of the preconceived assumptions around getting top dollar for your home.  Any run-of-the-mill Realtor can throw something up on MLS and hope for the best… What separates an average realtor from a great one is their strategy and their market knowledge, and their ability to create a personalized Market Strategy for your home.  Also keep in mind: Investor Realtors make the best Realtors!  Investor Realtors work with regular home-buyers and home-sellers as well, and are trained to have higher-order thinking skills and possess the ability to see value where others can’t, leading to better outcomes and higher sale prices for you as the seller.  

Be Strategic

  1. Realtor Strategy: You need to be strategic about who you select as your Realtor.  Your Realtor is the quarterback for the entire transaction, so don’t hand out this responsibility lightly.  And definitely don’t go with someone just because they are “cheaper”: you may very well be stepping over pounds to pick up pennies.  The $5,000 you may save could mean that you’re leaving $25,000 or even $100,000 on the table – it’s not always “all things equal” because you may not be getting the absolute top sale price for your property.  You wouldn’t want a discount heart surgeon; why would you settle for anything but the best on the biggest financial transaction of your life?  Do your due diligence and find the best; you owe it to yourself.  What makes the best Realtor?  Keep reading to find out.
  2. Market Strategy: not to be confused with Marketing, a market strategy will help you understand the inner workings of your particular market, and give you deep insights into the current market environment, including important considerations such as supply/demand, mortgage interest rates, new government-imposed vacancy property taxes, pending tenant law policy changes, etc. – and more importantly, what this means for you and selling your home.  A good market strategy would then create an ideal target buyer persona and determine how to best position your home in light of the market conditions, and then cater all activities toward trying to attract that particular buyer profile.  If your expert Realtor develops a personalized Market Strategy for you and your home, then everyone else flows naturally from this… marketing, renos, staging, descriptions. 
  3. Reno Part 1 – Reno Strategy: Now that you know who the intended audience is, does your home already fit your particular buyer profile’s needs, or do you need to make upgrades to cater to their desires?  Don’t just make changes on a whim, or because you read an article about it.  Your Realtor expert should be able to clearly identify with laser precision what fixes or upgrades need to be done in order to attract the right buyer and what increased selling price you can expect as a result.  It’s even better if your Realtor expert has the renovation team internally (for example, Volition Properties has done many $25k kitchen upgrades resulting in an increased $75k sale price for clients!) or at least has partners who will do the renovations under the supervision of your Realtor expert. 
  4. Reno Part 2 – Best Reno Bang For Buck:  That begs the question: will spending $25k on a kitchen remodel always yield an extra $75k in selling price?  Will I get a better ROI if I finish off the basement or if I improve curb appeal?  Contrary to popular belief, there is NO one size fits all answer – every property and every market is different.  Perhaps your property is a starter townhouse and your target buyer needs a move-in ready home because they won’t have any money left over for renos, in which case it makes sense to do renos prior to listing and you would see the ROI in the increased sale price.  There are lots of simple, general, easy to understand, but wrong, answers to this very popular question.  Get expert advice from your Realtor as your starting point. 
  5. Reno Part 3 – Knowing When To Do Nothing At All:  Sometimes, you just aren’t going to get the money back, and the ROI isn’t worth it.  In a hot sellers market, perhaps you just need to get it listed ASAP to catch the hot market.  Timing could be everything, especially if you’re trying to get sold prior to new stricter mortgage regulations coming into effect, or other proposed changes that could affect the market.  Or maybe you do nothing because in your particular property in your particular neighbourhood, buyers require a blank canvas to put their own finishing touches on.  In addition to reno costs, other things to consider are time/energy spent, additional holding costs, living through renos or moving out, approvals/permits, and additional headache that you may not wish to take on. 
  6. Listing Strategy: It’s not just maximum exposure that you want, you want the right exposure.  Your Realtor will create a Listing Strategy, which will demonstrate how they plan to target your ideal buyer, while simultaneously getting you maximum sale price.  What is your pricing strategy, should you have an offer date, and is this best served as an Exclusive Listing?  Should you be advertising in foreign language publications and marketing to overseas buyers?  How is your Realtor going to target their list of private buyers/investors?  Your Realtor’s marketing plan should demonstrate how they will be highlighting the property against current market needs (i.e. during Covid, outdoor space, walk-out/rooftop patios, and dedicated office nooks demand a huge premium).  Keep in mind – much of the “advertising” that regular Realtors do is really just to generate more business for themselves, and does very little to actually sell the property for a higher price.

Putting an Investor Hat On

  1. Be Flexible: Buyers may value certain things that aren’t important to you as the seller.  The key is to hone in on those aspects, and offer them to the buyer – especially since it’s no skin off your back.  This could include offering flexible timing on closing, or allowing the closing date to be extended at the buyers’ sole discretion (to a limit, that is). Perhaps if the buyer is planning for an extensive renovation, you could allow unfettered access to the property, allow permits to be drawn up and submitted prior to closing in your name, and then transferred to the buyer at closing.  You’re only limited by your imagination – Volition’s Investor Realtors have the depth of expertise necessary to conceive and negotiate these considerations to get you top dollar. 
  2. Be Creative:  Creative deal-making can be an excellent way to get an extra boost in sale price.  If you don’t need the entire proceeds from the sale, you could offer the buyer a  Vendor Take Back, a form of Seller Financing in which you act like the bank and receive regular interest payments by lending the equity in your home to the buyer… and if this is not your Principle Residence, a VTB reduces your capital gains tax by deferring it over many years.  Other forms of creative deals include Rent-To-Own, Agreement For Sale, Sandwich Leases, Joint Venture with a contractor prior to sale, etc.  Caution: these are advanced-level strategies; make sure you are working with an expert Investor Realtor like Volition on these. 
  3. Get Your Rents Up Before You Sell:  As an investment property, one of the primary ways that a buyer valuates the property is by looking at the rents it generates.  The higher the rents, the higher the ROI and therefore the higher the property value.  This means staying on top of rent increases every year.  Depending on your province, this also means investing in an area where there is a more transient tenant profile where you can increase the rents upon tenant turnover.  This also means looking for creative ways to boost income sources; for example, coin-operated laundry, renting out the garage separately, renting out parking spaces separately, etc. 
  4. Create Value For The Buyer: this isn’t necessarily for the novice home owner, but you can create tremendous value though change of use.  Examples include putting in a basement rental suite, getting approvals for an extension or a laneway suite prior to sale, changing a single family home into a legal luxury triplex, severing/assembling a large plot of land for development use.  If your land is well-positioned for a land assembly by a big developer, perhaps band together with your neighbours in a united front to demand top dollar.  Change of use can, but doesn’t necessarily always involve, expensive renovations but time/energy will definitely be put into the planning process 
  5. Work With Your Tenants: Investment properties can be more challenging to sell due to them being tenanted.  This often means that you can’t stage the property, access can be restricted, sometimes the units can be messy due the tenants, coordination of schedules can be difficult, etc.  One of the best tactics is to incentivize tenants: gift cards to Tim Hortons or Starbucks often work well in exchange for cooperation with showings, keeping their unit tidy for showings, vacating the unit for showings, agreeing to house their pets at their parents’ place for the listing period, etc.  More extreme action could include asking them to temporarily move out for the listing period and you put them up at an AirBnb as a mini vacation for a week, or maybe if you need the property completely vacant you could negotiate a mutually beneficial scenario.  Volition Investor Realtors are experts in navigating these tricky scenarios and mediating these discussions with your tenants for you. 
  6. Is It All About The Money?:  Although as sellers we always want top dollar, it’s also worth considering the non-monetary aspects that are important to you.  A quick sale may be an important factor for you.  Minimized headache might be your most important consideration.  Perhaps reduced disruption to your lifestyle is paramount.  While maximum sale price is typically the #1 goal, have a frank discussion about this with your Realtor expert about what your priorities are, and this should be incorporated into your Listing Strategy as well.

Ready to sell? The Volition team is here to help. Get in touch with us at info@volitionprop.com

 

Incredible opportunity to own at the highly desirable Artworks by Daniels!

Development Details

  • Project Name: Artworks Condos
  • Developer: Daniels
  • Major Intersection: River & Dundas
  • Neighbourhood: Regent Park
  • Storeys: 32
  • Estimated Completion: Summer 2022
  • Maintenance Fees: $0.56 /sqft /month – includes gas & water
  • Taxes: Approx. $3,000/year

The Suite

  • Functional open concept 991 sqft. “Renaissance” unit
  • 3-bed + den (potential to use the den as a 4th bedroom)
  • 2 full baths
  • 78 sqft balcony
  • Ensuite laundry

The Building Amenities

  • Co-working space
  • Outdoor terrace
  • Outdoor CrossFit & Yoga spaces
  • Kids’ Zone
  • Party room
  • Arcade
  • Mega Gym
  • Connected indoor and outdoor communal space
  • BBQ area & gardening plots

What’s so special about this opportunity?

Exclusive Volition Assignment. The Volition team is giving priority to our community – we have an actual unit available, not just phantom inventory that “theoretically” may become available if an owner decides to assign it (like other agents/websites).

Suited for Investment or Own Use. The area is part of the Regent Park Revitalization project that began in 2005 and has large upside potential given that the neighbourhood continues to gentrify with greater commercial development and more condos in phases 4 and 5 to come over the next 3-5 years. The redevelopment of Regent Park continues to attract young families, and working professionals as well as students – given its close proximity to Downtown Toronto’s post-secondary schools.

Ideal Layout. Boasting 3-beds + den (which has the potential to be used as a 4th bedroom), 2 full baths and a balcony, this unit stands out from others during current times with ample work from home and outdoor space.

Did we mention the location?

  • Closest major intersection: River & Dundas
  • 12 mins walk to Ryerson University
  • 20 mins walk to Distillery District, Yonge & Dundas Square, Leslieville & St. Michael’s Hospital
  • 17 mins walk to the Financial District
  • Next door to the Pam McConnell aquatic centre
  • Quick access to the DVP
  • Walking distance to restaurants, shops and entertainment
  • Nearby parks include Oak Street Park, Sumach-Shuter Parkette and Riverdale Park West
  • Walk Score of 88 – Very walkable
  • Transit Score of 100  – Rider’s paradise
  • Bike Score of 100 – Biker’s paradise

Buying an Assignment

  • Buying the right condo assignment can be an extremely lucrative investment opportunity, but the process can be fraught with PITFALLS if you don’t know what you’re doing.
  • Assignments are not as straightforward as buying resale or preconstruction.  The assignment contract is extremely complicated and needs to be structured PROPERLY.
  • You need to work with an Investor Realtor who thoroughly understands the process and knows how to do assignments, or you could be opening yourself up to SIGNIFICANT risk.
  • The Volition team has bought & sold many assignments both personally and for our clients, we even recorded a Meetup about the PROCESS watch it here.

Asking price: $899,000

Interested in learning more? Contact Chris at chris@volitionprop.com for more information.

Joint ventures are like marriage, you are “financially married” to that person!

However, most people go about raising the capital the wrong way.

So what is it they’re doing wrong and what should they do differently?

Ming and September’s guest speaker, JV Master Dave Dubeau, discuss the two biggest issues and give suggestions on the most logical way to raise capital!

 

Want to learn more? RSVP for free to “Become a Money Magnet – Learn How To Raise Capital with JV Master Dave Dubeau!”

 

We are back with the second installment of the pre-reno walkthrough at the Danforth project!

We are considering options for our basement, which include:

  1. Leave unfinished, but move the mechanicals and electrical panel
  2. Finish as a recreation room plus den, extra bedroom and bathroom
  3. Finish as a legal secondary suite

We initially planned to leave the basement alone, but we realized that installing a new furnace and hot water tank (and removing the existing boiler and rads) present an opportunity to move the mechanicals, and plan future room layouts so the mechanical engineer can plan HVAC systems accordingly.

We worked with the architect to assess feasibility for a legal secondary suite as well as potential floor plans for options 2 and 3.

Considerations for each option:

1. Leave unfinished

Pros:

  • Lowest-cost option
  • Creates a more usable basement for now (storage space without the “icky” feeling) and future (can do rough-ins for drains and space plan for the future)
  • Assess waterproofing options and effectiveness as there are leaks through the cinder blocks with every rainstorm

Cons:

  • Delayed gratification – no finished space to enjoy right away
  • Costs more to do later as there are efficiencies rolling the work into the same project
  • Inconvenient – will have to dedicate headspace to finish later, and live through renos after move-in

2. Finish as a recreation room plus office/workshop/den, and add extra bedroom and bathroom

Pros:

  • Best “quality of life” option – we gain an extra floor to use and to grow into
  • Will still increase the value of the house and as it will become a 3 + 1 bed, 2.5 bath family home
  • Don’t have to rent out part of our primary residence

Cons:

  • No rental income to offset additional expense
  • Locks us into a less flexible option
  • Additional costs if we decide to create a legal basement suite in the future, although we can reduce costs by roughing in a kitchen now

3. Finish as a legal secondary suite

I will begin by emphasizing it is critical to work closely with professionals if you are considering this approach!

Construction strategy is one of my specialties (and one of the perks for Volition clients, as we guide investors through optimizing renovation investments and maximizing rental income), but there are many requirements to meet in creating a legal secondary suite, and I consult with the experts (i.e., architects and engineers) to ensure compliance with fire and building codes.

Here is why 80% of Toronto’s basement apartments don’t comply with all the rules – look at the steps involved to create a legal one!

Source: https://www.secondsuites.info/resource-centre/

Legal secondary suite considerations would be multiple blogs on its own, but here is a flavour of what we contemplated with this option:

  • Basement walkout – does one exist or would it need to be created?
  • Side setback to the property line – 0.9 m minimum, but our house is grandfathered due to its age and 0.8 m is sufficient (this is where I rely on SMEs), but we would have to demo part of the chimney to comply
  • Minimum ceiling heights – if we have to underpin, it is not financially viable
  • HVAC – independent or shared system?
  • Fire separation requirements
  • Sound attenuation requirements
  • Egress (escape window)
  • Attractive layout for two use cases: tenants now, and us later with the option to reclaim for personal use

… and the list goes on!

The key determinant for us is whether we can reach the basement minimum finished ceiling height of 1.95 m (6’ 4¾” – but I said 6’ 5” in the video) without underpinning.

This is a tall order (see what I did there?) when we take the extra layer of drywall and resilient channel for fire separation and sound attenuation into consideration, which is why we were digging the holes shown in the video to determine how far down we can go by breaking the slab.

Source: https://www.ontario.ca/page/add-second-unit-your-house

Pros:

  • Rental income to offset the additional cost of finishing the basement
  • Apply our specialized knowledge to create a rare legal secondary suite, and increase the potential buyer pool with a mortgage helper if we sell in the future
  • Flexibility through thoughtful design to reclaim the space in the future with multiple use cases: age-in-place option for family members, in-law suite for personal/non-rental use, convert back to recreation space plus office/workshop

Cons:

  • Most expensive option due to conformance with requirements
  • Giving up personal space that we may need, and realizing we could have just gone with option 2 with less time and cost instead
  • Minor costs to reclaim the space for personal use (e.g., open wall from interior stairs to basement, will end up with an extra set of washer/dryers, may get rid of or reduce size kitchen in the future)

There is a lot to think about and we haven’t made a decision yet. What would you consider? What would you choose? 

A question we get asked often is why and how do you invest in a crazy expensive market like Toronto?

Usually, the answer to this single question takes us a full-day Masterclass to explain, but we narrowed it down to a 1-hour presentation for Dave Dubeau’s Money Partner Formula, and now we’re sharing it with you!

Within the presentation, we breakdown the five most important questions when investing in Toronto:

  1. Where is the economic growth in Toronto?
  2. Who are the customers for my business?
  3. Who are the buyers and where are they buying?
  4. What type of asset should I buy?
  5. What is the single most desirable feature that will help me determine where to buy?

 

Dave Dubeau will be Volition’s guest speaker on September 15, 2021, for “Become a Money Magnet – Learn How To Raise Capital with JV Master Dave Dubeau”!

Join our Toronto Real Estate Investors Mastermind and RSVP for free.

Expert Tips That Will Help You Become a Homeowner Before 40

Accelerate your journey to homeownership.

Volition was featured on HGTV.ca to share our top tips for becoming a homeowner before 40 – you can check it out here.

As usual, we have more to say. Read on for the extended version!

We are going to steer clear of the typical stuff you often hear like start saving early, live frugally, don’t spend more when you get a raise, don’t order that avocado toast, etc. We want to broaden your thinking – especially because the traditional methods of getting into home ownership may not work in more competitive and more expensive markets.  These 10 expert tips will accelerate your journey to homeownership before you’re 40.

To help provide a frame of reference for the article, we’ve grouped the 10 tips into 3 groups: 

  • Tips #1-4 are Real Estate Strategies
  • Tips #5-7 are How To Get The Money
  • Tips #8-10 are Think Differently About Real Estate

1. House Hacking

Turn your biggest liability into your greatest asset – earn money from your home.  If you were thinking of a 1 bedroom condo, consider buying a 2 bedroom condo.  If you were thinking of a 2 bedroom or 2 bedroom + den condo, consider buying a small house.  This might seem counterintuitive, but the idea here is to buy MORE than what you need, rent part of it out, and lower your living expenses – including utilities and even wifi!  For example, let’s say that the difference between buying a 1bdrm condo and 2bdrm condo is $150,000, which equates to a $425 increase in monthly mortgage payments.  But consider this: if you could rent out your 2nd bedroom for $1200, you’re effectively ahead by $775 per month (even after the increased mortgage payment) and now you’re building equity on a larger asset!  Similarly, let’s say that you were able to buy a small house where your monthly costs including mortgage are $4200, you could live in the basement and rent the upstairs unit for $3000, then your monthly living costs would be only $1200 (and you would own a house instead of a condo!).  A larger purchase also provides you with more versatility as your needs change, i.e. you could move into the upper unit later.

2. Purchase a Triplex (or Convert a House into a Triplex)

A triplex is a 3 unit house: you could live in one unit and rent out the other two.  This is taking house-hacking to the next level… the price tag is high, but the reward is even higher!  Even though you’ll be spending more up front, the flip side is that you’ll be making significant rental income which helps immensely with the carry costs, and you’ll own a much more valuable house with much larger growth potential.  It is also more versatile since you can move between units as your needs change, or you can even combine two units if your family grows.  Typically with a triplex, your living costs would come down even further than in a smaller property: let’s say that you were able to buy a triplex and your monthly costs including mortgage are $5000, you could live in the basement and rent main floor unit for $2200 and the upper unit for $2200, then your monthly carry costs would be only $600!  

3. Buy a Property with Laneway / Garden Suite / Coach House Potential

A laneway house is a separate building that is located at the rear of your lot, and replaces where a laneway garage would normally go.  Enjoy the perks of having tenants without the downside of sharing walls!  No shared entrances, no shared laundry, no shared space.  In order to build this, you need a property that can accommodate a laneway suite (there are very specific requirements, so not all lots can), and the property needs to be located in a municipality such as Toronto and Vancouver that allows them to be built.  The price tag is steep: the cost of building one starts at about $400,000.  But the rental income that you get for that investment more than makes up for it; you could rent out a laneway house in Toronto for $3000+ per month, much more than a condo of the same amount!  The key here is to have the foresight and to consider futureproofing yourself – you may not have enough funds now, but over time as laneway suites become more popular and more attention is paid to them, lots that can accommodate laneway housing will carry a bigger premium.

4. Furnished Rental

Currently there are headwinds for the Short Term Rental (AirBnb) or Medium Term Rental market, but chances are that it won’t stay this way forever.  If you have available rooms/units and want a way to boost your rental income, employing a non-traditional approach to your rental strategy could provide you with what you need.  It is not for everyone: it is very hands-on, some municipalities have licensing restrictions on what you are allowed to rent out short term, and demand for STRs is relatively low right now due to Covid.  Employing this rental strategy, however, may actually allow you to reduce your cost of living down to $0 (or even make you cashflow positive while living there)!  The cost of furniture adds to the initial outlay, but can pay dividends in the future since it can help immensely with the cost of carrying the property and there is flexibility on how often (or not) you rent it out.

5. Turn Your Parents into Real Estate Investors 

If your parents want to help you out in getting started with your house purchase, they don’t have to act like your personal piggy bank.  Oftentimes, the better way to structure it is a win-win scenario, so it’s not a handout!  If they have a Line of Credit, or (even better) a Home Equity Line of Credit, they could lend funds to you for your down payment, and in return, you would pay their interest on the borrowed funds.  To structure it as win-win, you could pay them a premium on top of their own interest payments.  For example, if they borrow at Prime, you could pay them back Prime + 0.5% or Prime + 1%.  Or you can structure it in a Joint Venture model (more on this below) whereby they help with the purchase, you do all the work and manage the property as a rental, and you both share in the equity upside.  If you are creative and resourceful enough, there are countless ways to make this work.  But make sure it’s all in writing!

6. Co-Living

Shared ownership with family or friends to buy something bigger to accommodate everyone’s living needs can be a great solution.  We have clients who have purchased together in groups of 2-6.  It can be trickier, and everything needs to be well defined and documented beforehand (sharing of expenses, major repairs, upside capital appreciation, decision making / voting rights), but done right, this can provide an excellent opportunity for younger individuals to get into a bigger and more valuable house, with more upside potential.  This comes with the added complexity (and risk) of owning with other people, so clear, direct, and regular communication is key (e.g. scheduled regular meetings to review living arrangements, rules of the house, deciding on who gets which bedroom, what happens if one person wants out, etc.).  Note that buying in groups of more than 4 can get tricky from a mortgage perspective, so make sure you speak with your mortgage professional early.

7. Joint Ventures

Joint Ventures are a way of using OPM (Other People’s Money) to buy real estate.  When purchasing real estate, you need all of the 4 M’s: Money (downpayment), Mortgage, Mastery, and Management (Asset Management, not just Property Management).  Whereas in a normal real estate purchase where one individual (or a couple) brings all of these things in order to buy a house, the reality is that these things can come from different people.  In a traditional JV, if you are willing to provide the Mastery and Management, then your co-venturer would provide the Money and Mortgage, and you would both share 50/50 in cashflow, mortgage paydown, and equity upside of the property.  Often, this does require you to have a proven track record so that you can demonstrate you know what you’re doing, but there are many investors who used JV money when purchasing their very first property – these people spent all of their time & energy learning about how to invest in real estate by joining real estate investment groups like the Toronto Real Estate Mastermind, the largest & most active real estate meetup group in Toronto with over 3,000 members.

8. Stepping Stone Approach

The biggest advantage that young people have is that they have time on their side.  Buying property early, even something smaller like a condo, has a compounding growth effect that will work in your favour.  Just as an example, buying a $500,000 condo now can potentially mean it being worth $700,000 in 5 years.  This compounding growth effect, which Einstein himself described as “the most powerful force in the universe”, builds tremendous equity which makes it much easier to upgrade to a house by the time you are 40.  Jumping straight into buying your dream home might not be a reality when you are starting out; consider a stepping stone approach instead, rather than waiting and waiting.  This is not a call to arms over FOMO – this is to demonstrate that taking action and getting in early is generally the best strategy.  The Toronto market has grown 7-10% every year, so that $500,000 townhouse you were eyeballing 7 years ago is now $1,000,000… while your $100,000 downpayment that you had ready 7 years ago but didn’t use is now worth $115,000 while sitting in your savings account.  The rest of Einstein’s quote: “Compound interest is the 8th wonder of the world.  He who understands it, earns it; he who doesn’t, pays it”.

9. Build an Expert Team

You are the CEO of your house.  Your job as CEO is to ensure that you have the absolute best team.  This is probably going to be the biggest purchase you will ever make in your life – don’t settle for second-rate team members.  Do you really want to entrust the fate of your financial future on using Uncle Joe as your Realtor?  You pay the same amount to most Realtors, so why not go with the best… or the one who truly offers the most value?  If you are considering a house with a basement unit, work with a Realtor who knows what to look for to ensure that it’s a legal basement unit.  Similarly, if you are considering a laneway house, work with a Realtor who knows the requirements and criteria for laneways so that you won’t be unpleasantly surprised later.  Demand this level of excellence and value-add from all of your service providers: Realtor, mortgage broker, insurance broker, accountant, real estate lawyer, contractor, etc.  When you start thinking about it in this way, you start realizing that home ownership isn’t a one-person show; the team that you surround yourself with can help you ensure that your purchase goes smoothly, and more importantly, ensure that it’s a well-considered part of your overall plan and financial future.

10. Invest In Real Estate, Even If You Stay As A Renter

Real estate investing can be one of the most lucrative ways to grow your wealth.  If you don’t necessarily NEED to live in the property that you purchase, then you can continue to be a renter – there is nothing wrong with that!  In fact, several of our clients have purchased investment properties in downtown Toronto, but continue to live as renters because they have apartments with very reasonable rents and financially, it just makes more sense to not live in their own property!  Keep in mind that your own home is a luxury, not a necessity (and as such, it is often a liability, not an asset).  With your equity growing in your investment properties and with renters paying your mortgage, you may eventually reach a point where that equity can help you purchase your own home by the time you’re 40… in a way that is sustainable and not a major financial burden!

Volition Properties

It’s hard for young people to buy real estate, especially with rising prices, escalating uncertainty in the market, and not knowing what you don’t know. 

Volition Properties sets out to demystify the real estate process. We get it – buying real estate is daunting.  It has many more zeros than your typical retail store purchase.  Volition is unique in that we aren’t just Realtors, we provide Advisory Services on your home purchase, which is immeasurably valuable when dealing with the biggest purchase in your life.  We can advise on your real estate needs and how it fits into your overall lifestyle, investment, and financial goals… beyond just the single transaction you will make with us.”  One great way to get started is to join a real estate meetup, such as the Toronto Real Estate Mastermind

Getting your Maximum Mortgage Qualification

You need to be as strategic about your mortgage as your real estate. Here’s how.

To grow your real estate portfolio, you need to be able to qualify for as much financing as possible.  To get your maximum mortgage qualification, you need to work with an investor-focussed Mortgage Broker.  Most people think about their real estate as a portfolio, for good reason.  But they overlook the fact that they need to be thinking about their MORTGAGES as a portfolio as well.  This means that you need to be AS STRATEGIC about your mortgages as your real estate.  It cannot be an oversight, since one wrong move could limit your ability to get financing for future properties.

Simple Example

Just as a simple example, let’s say that CIBC is the easiest lender to work with.  That means that I should go there first, right?  WRONG.  If they are a flexible lender, you want to save them for when your back is up against a wall.  Conversely, let’s say that Scotia has a 4 door policy, beyond which they will not lend to you.  This may mean that you want to utilize Scotia first, because you won’t be able to use them later.

This is necessarily different from how most people think about mortgages.  Most people think of mortgages as a commodity – you can get it from here, or there, or anywhere.  The reality is much different.  Getting your first mortgage is easy, anyone can do it.  Even getting a second mortgage isn’t that hard.  But once you start growing your portfolio to 5, 7, or 10+ properties, you will see a different side of the mortgage industry.

This means that you actually need to think of your mortgage portfolio as a chess game.  You need to be thinking 5, 7, or 10+ moves ahead.  You need to have all the lenders mapped out in the order in which you wish to use them.  You need a financing blueprint.

There are many clients who we’ve worked with who didn’t plan out their financing, and at best it severely hindered and slowed down their real estate investment progress, and at worst it was very VERY expensive to remediate (i.e. mortgage prepayment penalties in order to move them to a different lender, etc.)

Advanced Example

For a more advanced example, imagine that you are employing the BRRR strategy, in which Volition is helping you find, purchase, and renovate a Single Family home in a fantastic neighbourhood into a Legal Luxury Triplex.  The key component to making this work is being able to refinance at the higher ARV value in order to do an equity takeout and get most (or all) of your $500k reno money back out so that you can roll forward with another project.

The reality is, mortgage rules are a constantly moving target.  Literally, lenders rules and regulations and conditions change on a weekly basis.  This makes it incredibly difficult (read: impossible) for the average investor to follow and figure out how to optimize.  This is where the investor-focussed mortgage broker comes in.  They should be able to map out your plan for you, according to your goals.

Keep in mind: THIS is the bigger fish!  This necessarily means that sometimes/often, you won’t be going after the absolute lowest mortgage interest rates!  Be strategic, don’t be myopic.  Think about the bigger picture.  It’s more important to be able to reach your goals than to try to save a few bucks every month on a slightly lower mortgage payment.

Importance of Investor Mortgage Brokers

Investor-focussed mortgage brokers are important as well because they understand how to get financing specifically for investment properties.  The problem with investment properties is that for every investment property you purchase, it makes it HARDER to get a mortgage for the next one.  On top of lender policies for door limits and appetite for investment real estate (or lack thereof), the problem is 50% add-backs (and not 80% rent offset, which is more favourable for investors).  In general, lenders only consider 50% of your rents, but use 100% of your expenses when calculating your GDS and TDS ratios.  This means almost ANY investment property in Toronto will have a negative impact on your ratios.  In order to continue buying more properties, you will need to service the remaining debt using your own personal salaries (which you will eventually run out of as well), or switch up your strategy and consider Join Ventures (using other people’s mortgage qualification), or going bigger into larger Multifamily (which utilizes commercial financing and the asset itself for qualification purposes, not you personally).

This is exactly why an investor-focussed Mortgage Broker is incredibly essential to your success.  They know which lenders to approach, they know how to structure your file in a way that the underwriters will understand, and they can even (somewhat) advise on the parameters of the investment properties you will need to acquire in order to be able to continue qualifying for financing.  Your Investor Realtor and your Investor Mortgage Broker will work hand in hand according to your strategy, your plan, and your goals.  If they aren’t working together, there is a gaping hole in your real estate investment execution that immediately needs to be shored up.  Volition is constantly working alongside our clients’ mortgage brokers, accountants, lawyers, and other advisors to ensure that we are all working off the same playbook.  And oftentimes, that playbook was originally designed BY Volition’s Advisory Services, in accordance with our client’s life, financial, and real estate goals.

Investor Mortgage Brokers also know how to work with real estate held in corporations.  At normal lending institutions, if you are intending to put properties into a corp, and you are working with just a regular mortgage specialist at that bank, chances are that they (and the underwriter) will not know how to deal with the corporation.  They will even sometimes resort to turfing your mortgage application over to the commercial lending department.  SERIOUSLY!?  A commercial mortgage for a normal residential house is NOT the solution!

Advanced Investor Protip to “Improve Cashflow”

Something you may want to consider is getting a readvanceable mortgage at the time you are getting your financing.  This means that you will get a HELOC alongside your mortgage, and the HELOC grows with every mortgage principal payment you make.  Again, your investor mortgage broker will be able to advise, since it’s very hard to get HELOCs on investment properties, and so your best bet is to try to get them early on when your portfolio is smaller (and definitely on your primary residence as well).  HELOCs can also be a way to “improve cashflow” on a property, if you consider moving funds from your HELOC back into your bank account upon every mortgage payment (equivalent to the mortgage principal paydown on each mortgage payment).  You are “improving cashflow” at the expense of “mortgage principal paydown” (in reality, you are just moving money from one pocket to another pocket).  If that tradeoff makes sense for you in your situation, it could be a way to improve cashflow for your investment business.  In a market like Toronto, where true wealth is built on capital growth of the asset and not by the slow process of paying off the mortgage, this could make sense.

Another way to do this is to get the full 80% LTV as a 65% HELOC segment and 15% mortgage segment  (NOTE: HELOCs are not allowed to be more than 65% LTV).  This means that you won’t be paying off any principal when making HELOC interest payments, and only a small principal payment when making your mortgage payment.  This can drastically improve cashflow as well, in a similar fashion to the previous example… the mechanics are just slightly different.  Qualification for a large HELOC can be much tougher than a mortgage, though, so this might not be for everyone.

Finale

And as you start progressing into more complicated and complex projects, there is a whole other world of financing: B-lenders, Purchase Plus Improvements, construction financing, private lending, RRSP 2nd mortgage lending.  Some of these will be thru your mortgage broker, but you will only learn about some of this from advancing your knowledge of Investment Real Estate and being part of real estate investment communities, like our Real Estate Investor Meetup (which is the largest in Toronto).  In fact, November 2021’s meetup is about RRSP 2nd Mortgage Lending!

Volition is strategic partners with the top investor-focussed mortgage brokers in the country.  As a result, our clients have the best chance to qualify for as much financing as possible.  Reach out if you are interested in being a Volition client, and we can refer you to our top mortgage brokers partners.

Realty Coordinator

Join Volition and Power Toronto’s Leading Real Estate Investment Realty Team to New Heights

Position: Back-Office Investment Realty Support Coordinator; 6-month contract (with future evolution into Investor Realtor)

Number of Positions: 1 (Part-time to start)


About Volition:

Volition Properties (www.volitionprop.com) is Toronto’s Leading Real Estate Investment Advisory & Realty Firm helping clients invest in Multi-Family, Luxury Multiplex Conversions, Laneway Housing, and more.  We provide all the services Private Real Estate Investors need in order to be successful in Toronto, having helped clients invest over $228M+ in real estate and generate over $113M+ in wealth.  We run Toronto’s largest Real Estate Investor Meetup (www.meetup.com/volition), and we were recently featured in HGTV (www.hgtv.ca/real-estate).


Job Description:

Back-Office Investment Realty Support Coordinator: Support our Investment Realty team in working with clients and getting deals done

  • Drafting offers, deal paperwork, booking showings, coordinating schedules with clients/agents, confirmations, rescheduling, mapping out routes in a methodical & efficient way, booking into Realtors’ and clients’ calendars, putting showing notes and lockbox codes in calendar appointment, calling listing agents for more information / home inspection reports, Sales Reports, etc.
  • Time-sensitive, often dealing with urgent requests from the Realty team.
  • Exact hours TBD, but availability generally required during working hours (9am-5pm).
  • If already licensed, occasional need for opening doors for showings, inspections, revisits, etc.
  • Volition’s intention is for the candidate to initially gain experience and contribute in the Realty Coordinator role, but eventually train and transition towards being an Investor Realtor on the Volition team.


What Volition Offers You:

You will gain valuable experience:

  • Learn the real estate industry, processes, paperwork, how to structure deals. 
  • Learn about investment real estate and how to be a successful real estate investor in Toronto!
  • Work alongside expert real estate investors and Investor Realtors on the Volition team.
  • Transition into being a successful Investor Realtor in a risk-mitigated way (you will already have exposure, training, clients, etc.)


Growth Opportunities:

For the right candidate, possible career growth opportunities include:

  • Part-time to start (15-20hrs/week) with the potential and flexibility to grow into full-time as needed.
  • Investment Realty: Get licensed and transition to becoming one of the Investor Realtors on the team.
  • Investment Knowledge & Experience: Learn investment fundamentals from Sr. Volition team members enroute to becoming an expert real estate investor.
  • “The Hub”: Back-office deal-finding support for the Realty team.  Filtering of potential listings, property analysis pro formas & financials, pulling comps, matching properties to client needs.
  • Client Relations: outreach campaigns to keep in touch with old clients and hot leads (no cold calling!) who have engaged Volition previously, organizing database/CRM, lead generation activities.
  • Leasing Manager: lease out rental units for Volition clients & team members.  Learn to manage client expectations, rental rate analysis, prepare listing and lease paperwork, coordinate with existing tenants, screen prospective tenant applications, move in/out reports, coordinate repairs/photography, etc.


Attributes/Experience We Are Looking For:

  • Attention to detail
  • Extremely organized
  • Responsive & efficient
  • Ability to multitask and handle multiple deals/agent requests simultaneously
  • Friendly, collaborative, approachable attitude
  • Able to follow direction clearly
  • Passionate about real estate investing & about Volition
  • Real Estate Investor experience and mindset [MANDATORY]
  • Exhibits the characteristics necessary to evolve into an Investor Realtor on the team


Other Conditions & Requirements & Considerations:

  • Contract role (6 months) with possibility of extension and/or evolution into full-time.
  • Nice-to-haves:
    • Already licensed or enroute to being licensed (unlicensed will also be considered)
    • Lives in Downtown Toronto (or GTA) & has a vehicle (not immediately required, but will be required as an Investor Realtor)
    • Prior administrative/operations experience
    • Prior sales or client facing experience
    • Real estate investment experience (i.e. owns 1 or more investment properties already)
    • Understands Volition’s investment business model & investment strategy


How to Apply

  1. Fill out this Google Form
  2. Send your resume to info@volitionprop.com with the subject line as Application for Realty Coordinator – [Your Name]

Become a Money Magnet – Learn How To Raise Capital with JV Master Dave Dubeau

People aren’t investing in deals… they are investing in you.

Date: Wednesday, September 15
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Place: Zoom

“There is more money chasing good deals than good deals chasing money.” There is truth to this old adage… but this statement is an incomplete perspective.

Remember: people aren’t investing in deals… they are investing in you.

As a result, before you are able to attract this kind of capital, you need to invest in evolving yourself into the type of person that people will invest in.

Dave Dubeau literally wrote the book on How to Raise Capital (and shows you how to do it without being pushy or salesy). No one wants to be the slimeball who is constantly pitching their “latest and greatest deal” at family backyard BBQs.

It’s time to turn the tables and have investors approach YOU!

Here’s what you’ll learn:
– Best practices for attracting potential investors
– A simple, proven five-step plan to have prospective money-partners calling you
– Where the best investor prospects hangout (and how to get in front of them)

It’s no secret that Toronto is an expensive market. While Volition is able to teach you how to invest in Toronto and even help you find the best deals in Toronto, eventually every single Toronto investor will run out of money. This Meetup is your opportunity to learn how to raise capital so that you’ll always have a pool of Joint Venture partners to draw upon and never be chasing money for your next deal ever again!

About Dave Dubeau:
Dave Dubeau is the creator of the Money Partner Formula, and he works with mom ‘n pop real estate investors and helps them to get started with raising capital. He’s a best-selling author and speaker based in Beautiful British Columbia, Canada. He began his real estate investing career in 2003 doing 18 deals in 18 months and nowadays he invests passively in multi-family properties.

Get a complimentary copy of his newest book, Money Partner Formula at: www.InvestorAttractionBook.com

Watch the full recording and access Volition’s slides below!

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