Hello Real Estate Investors in Hamilton Ontario!
Did anyone happen to read the article in the Hamilton Spectator titled: Hamilton ownership gap windening for first-time buyers… Wow, is the glass ever half empty!?!? The article then leads off with “Hamiltonâ€™s housing market will lead the country next year â€” for some buyers.” and â€œHamilton is the only market where weâ€™re seeing some growth for 2012,â€Â Interesting how the head line is rather negative yet when I attended the conference, I was excited to hear about how and why Hamilton is expected to outperform in 2012… some other key takeaways from the conference:
- Hamilton will outperform (but Toronto will underperformÂ 😉 but is anyone surprised?Â the Real Estate Investment Network predicted this last year when they named Hamilton as the #1 town for investment in Ontario
- Strong job growth from Canada Bread and Maple Leaf is driving inmigration from Toronto and immigration.Â This is what drives rents and property values UP!
- First time buyers are having difficulty saving enough for a downpayment and an expression of that trend is the low apartment vacancy rate.Â Great news for us landlords!
- The conference ended with a panel discussion which included the man Neil Everson, Director of the Hamilton Economic Development Department.Â The entire panel was heavily in favour of Light Rail Transit.Â Quick sidenote – it was yours truly who stepped up to the mic and asked the panel their opinion on the importance of LRT to Hamilton 🙂
But enough about how it makes so much sense to invest in Hamilton, where is Mr Hamilton going?Â I’ve sold my house with almost three acres in the country side of Burlington (for 20k over appraised value).Â I loved this house because: it was only 15 minutes from downtown Milton or downtown Burlington; you can actually see the stars at night, breathe fresh air, enjoy the view of the Niagara Escarpment and Rattle Snake Point and fall asleep at night to the sound of frogs and crickets.Â But as you can imagine, living in the country means a lot of maintenance and a 25-30 minute drive to Hamilton.Â When you’re in Hamilton as often as I am, the commute adds up, plus you just can’t beat the fantastic affordability in Hamilton!
So I have done a complete 180… my wants/needs had changed and here they are: gas is never going to get any cheaper so I wanted to be in Hamilton in a location with excellent walkability so I can leave my car in the driveway and get to where I’m going on foot (close to retail stores, restaurants, entertainment, transportation), Victorian architecture, parking, etc… I ended up purchasing a 2.5 storey, solid brick home with a large lot (large for a property so close to downtown, it even has a double wide driveway that can fit 6-8 cars :)).Â Now I know you should not negotiate your own deals but I did fairly well and negotiated 28k off the asking price plus 7k for my closing costs.
What to like about the area:
- Close to Locke St: trendy shopping, restaurants, and Starbucks
- Close to Hess Village: main nightlife attraction of Hamilton
- Close to highway 403
- 400 meters from a proposed LRT stop and Queen and King
As for the pictures of the inside…. well, its going to be a few months before it’s ready.Â As some of you may already know, I’ve been through a few renos… this will be my seventh personal property… well I don’t do them myself as I’m dangerous to be around when wielding power tools but the plan is for a new kitchen, two new baths, lots of flooring, remove two maybe three walls, rip out some asbestos and galvanized steel, etc… you know, minor stuff 😉
Hope that helps! Till next blog post – happy investing everyone!!
Erwin |Â MrHamilton.ca
PS:Â If you would an on-the-ground tour of Hamilton and select investment properties please let us know (email Maria and she’ll set it up: Maria (at) MrHamilton.ca)
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Congrats on the purchase of a new home here in Hamilton. About time i should add, now you can really call yourself Mr. Hamilton, being a true Hamiltonian 😉
In my property watch i came across this property. Wasnt it a multi-family? If so are you keeping it as such or converting to single family.
Im interested in your comments because my ongoing dilemma is what to do with higher valued multi-family properties in desirable downtown neighbourhoods. As these properties increase in value (above the 350K mark), most cannot support the minimum/desirable cap rates for resale to another investor.
In the past this wasnt really an issue as most multi-family properties had 3 or 4 units which made them profitable. But with Hamiltonâ€™s “project compliance” giving fines for illegal units, im seeing more investors, including me, unable to rent these extra units resulting in a poor ROI. (BTW these downtown neighbourhoods recommended to invest in are currently being targeted by by-law, for the past year ive seen them almost weekly staking out various properties including my own â€¦luckily Im currently legal). Right now Hamilton doesnâ€™t seem to be willing to rezone of downtown properties to include higher density dwellings, or basement apts.
To increase or at least compensate for lost revenue, landlords need to charge higher rents. But Hamilton has relatively low rents that donâ€™t economically support buying a duplex at 350-400K if you want a high cap rate. Add to the surplus of apts (I donâ€™t see a low vacancy rate yet, the spec should check kijiji), so you have to price well to be competitive, keeping rents low.
Instead of waiting for rents to adjust to home prices as they have in TO, should one convert their multi-family to single family home. For example, the St Clair neighbourhood seems to have sfh out pricing multi-family by 50-100K. It would take quite a while to make 100K off rents with poor revenues. Also assuming it wouldnt take that much money to convert your home back to sfh.
What if your property is one of the few legal multifamily then what? (Donâ€™t quote me but I think there are only 13 triplex and 60 duplexes registered as legal or legal non-conforming in Hamilton). Will the future be more profitable being in a limited property market?
So can you see my dilemma as an investor?
That is a great looking property in a great area, I’m jealous. 🙂
Thank you Joe!! In all the years I’ve known my home inspector, he’s never once said he loved a house until he saw this one. What I didn’t love was how thick the report was that he gave me with issues that needed to be fixed!! Comes with buying century homes, something I’m quite familiar with 🙂
Dwayne, I’ll get back to you next week! Crazy busy these last few.
Congrats on your purchase! You’re literally 4 blocks due south of my new place on Peter Street. Welcome to the neighbourhood. I’m sure I’ll run into you on Locke, or in Victoria Park.
Thanks Jay! I won’t officially move till late spring. Can’t wait!