Happy New Year to all of you investing in Hamilton Ontario!!
Boy oh boy what a 2011 to look back on and even more importantly Hamilton’s 2012 to look forward to. I’ll be posting about the former and the latter later this month so this will actually be about planning your investments for 2012 but before we get into that here’s what’s been going on in these parts..
I’m back from my Celebrity Eastern Carribean cruise with stops at Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. Maarten, and St. Kitts. The cruise was awesome, the food unbelieveable, and most importantly I needed the break to recharge the batteries and think of some new investing and business ideas. I hope you all had a wonderful holidays as well and plan on making 2012 the best year yet like I am!! One small comment I need to share from the cruise. Most cruise patrons where Americans who are lovely people. The ones we met, we would ask each other what we do for a living and I’m obviously in real estate to which they would respond with sympathetic looks and sounds: “oooh, bad time to be in the market!” “Hope things are not as bad as they are in X city where I am from.” To which I reply “actually in Canada the market is quite healthy, our banking system is the best of the developed countries, and the market is generally a bit too hot in the larger cities.” Anyways, my takeaway was that the Americans I spoke to have no clue what is going on here in Canada and they are quite pessimistic about their own markets for the next few years.
As for my new house in Hamilton and the ongoing renovation, well here is my master ensuite bathroom.
And here’s the kitchen. We had the existing one, which was decent, taken out and sold on kijiji for $500 (score!)
So there is a bit of work left to do but that’s alright because I have an amazing team behind me so I can sleep well knowing everything will be completed to my standard. It defintely helps when you have a rolodex of professionals in Hamilton
Anyways, back to investing in real estate in Hamilton. If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you’re like me and have plans to purchase your next (couple) investment properties in Hamilton. Some of you have yet to get started and that’s who this guest post is for. It was written by John Roumanis, my client, who is one of the smartest and most dynamic gentlemen I know. He has his MBA, CMA, manages a large team for Air Miles, and in his spare time, John teaches Math at Sheridan College for fun. What sets John apart from the majority of people I have met is he understands how to run a business, build/manage a team and most importantly take action. Here is what John has to say about why and how he started investing:
“I had always dreamt of being a property investor and entrepreneur. After all, I wasn’t immune to the euphoric effects that the dream of property ownership has on most Canadians. I remember family gatherings where my cousin and I, who at the time had been making our first forays into the stock market, talked about buying a rental property together. Of course we knew next to nothing about real estate investing and I was still living in my parents’ basement! But I digress. Today I am the proud owner of two properties in Hamilton, one is tenanted, the other is undergoing cosmetic renovations to get it ready for rent. But before I delve into the minutiae of working with agents (like the excellent Erwin Szeto), mortgage brokers, property managers, lawyers, etc, I’d like to take the opportunity to narrate to you the journey that brought me to where I am today.
Like most other knowledge-driven individuals, I started by foraging my local bookstore. In 2009, I was looking for a book on real estate investing that outlined a buy-and-hold strategy and not a buy-and-flip one. Specifically, I was hunting for something that would help me create a gradual and steady stream of income and wealth. I’m very sceptical of get-rich-quick schemes and flash-in-the-pan trends that peter out as soon as interest fades (RIM or Nortel, anyone?). As luck would have it, I came across Don Campbell’s (and associates) wonderfully written “97 Tips For Canadian Real Estate Investors”. For those of you who don’t know Mr. Campbell, he is the President of The Real Estate Investment Network (REIN) and a fantastically successful real estate investor, speaker and author. Here was a book that not only took a long-term view of investing, but was written in clear and simple English. I read it from cover to cover but, alas, sat on the dream of investment property ownership for a while longer. I was in the midst of a personal-life upheaval and was focussed on purchasing my own primary residence. However, I did take action in a most significant way. I joined REIN’s mailing list.
Sometime in early 2010, I received an email from REIN about an event called ACRE (Authentic Canadian Real Estate). The premise behind the event is simple. The ACRE event is held annually in April and is a powerful and rich educational forum, bringing together investors and experts under one roof. The weekend-long event covers topics ranging from legal complexities and tenant selection to building a real-estate Power Team. I knew inside me that this would be the event that would catapult me from starry-eyed dreamer to property owner overnight. I solicited a friend to join me (for his company and, of course, the multi-purchase discount) and off we went to ACRE.
I quickly learned that the information flow from ACRE was akin to drinking water from a fire hose! This is a good thing! After a long and exhausting weekend, I had come away with both a holistic view of real estate investing as well as very specific tactical tips and knowledge. Who knew the power that fresh paint would have over prospective tenants? Really, tenants care about the condition of the front door’s doorknob? I had so many questions before ACRE and coming away from the event, I felt fulfilled and in a much stronger position than prior to it. What I really appreciated was “getting into the weeds”. In Tom and Nick Karadza’s excellent book “Canadian Real Estate Investing Lessons From The Street”, the brother Karadza (owners of Rock Star Real Estate Inc.) advise you to “be an active investor”. In other words, know, understand and appreciate the little details of property ownership. After all, even with an amazing Power Team, the only person who will ultimately be responsible for your success is YOU! ACRE was a game changer and the first of many steps in the right direction. Post ACRE, I officially joined REIN and set the wheels of real estate investing into motion.
Armed with a sense of urgency and eagerness, I was ready to go out and make a deal. But it would be over a year until I owned my first property. What transpired between April 2010 and July 2011, when I took ownership of property number one, is another story I’ll cover next time!”
John’s story of how he got started basically mimics my own. Decided to take action, long term investment strategy, read Don’s books, went to ACRES and joined REIN (four years ago), joined Rock Star Inner Circle (RSIC)… Anyways, I hope 2012 is the year you decide to take action as well. I know my REIN, RSIC clients and I are.
By the way, here is what other investors have to say about working with Mr. Hamilton: Testimonials
Hope that helps! Till next blog post – happy investing everyone!!
Erwin | MrHamilton.ca
PS: If you would to work with Mr. Hamilton please email Maria and she’ll set it up: Maria (at) MrHamilton.ca
PPS: sign up for my newsletter in the top right so you don’t miss out out on what’s going on in Hamilton!!