Buying Real Estate as an Investment

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Whether you're a first time homebuyer or an established property owner looking for a good place to plunk your hard earned savings, Toronto real estate remains one of the best – if not the best – investment opportunities. In fact, not only can a good property investment effectively weather financial storms (remember the economic crisis of 2008?), real estate remains one of the safest places to invest your money.

If you're in the market for a sound real estate investment, the client-centred and knowledgeable Julie Kinnear Team in Toronto will not only help you with the PURCHASE of the perfect property, they can also help achieve outstanding results with their industry renowned marketing program when it comes time to SELL.

"Investing in real estate has always been popular, and for good reason," says Julie. "Real estate continues to grow faster than most other forms of investment, and allows investors a lot more control. You can see it, visit it, touch it. It just makes so much sense to take advantage of the continuing strong real estate market in Toronto and include it as part of an investment portfolio. And we can help purchasers make the right decision."

glorious bookcase
Glorious Bookcase in the Living Room byLorena

Opportunities Abound

One of the best opportunities currently, says Julie, is in an area of real estate that her team specializes in – Toronto's robust rental property market.

"Toronto continues to be a vibrant place to work and study," she says. "And this has led to a very strong demand for housing, not just for those looking to buy, but also amongst renters. And for those with property to rent, it looks as if it'll stay a strong market offering good returns for some time to come."

The current strong rental market, adds Julie, has led to an increased demand for suitable rental properties, whether they're older residential homes converted into duplexes and triplexes (or even larger apartment configurations), or multi-bedroomed condos. Other options include apartment space above commercial space (or indeed the commercial space itself), loft conversions, and even basement apartments.

"It makes sense to have your property work for you, and help pay for itself," says Julie. "Particularly for first-time buyers trying to get into the market or those who don't need a huge amount of space for themselves, such as empty-nesters or retirees living part of the year outside of Toronto.

According to Julie, another good option is living in one unit yourself while renting out other suites. "This will greatly reduce your living expenses," she says.

living room design
Living Room Design by Christopher Michel

Pro Tip: Amongst the best options for those looking to buy rental property is a building with a minimum of three units. This not only allows owners the chance to live in one of the units while being subsidized by income earned from renters, it also ensures there's no interruption in income should a unit be empty for a period of time due to renovations, maintenance or while awaiting new tenants.

Another benefit of owning rental property is the build up of equity to use the proceeds of the sale – often at a marked increase over the original purchase price – towards the purchase of a family home or larger property. Alternatively, the rental income could be used, if you hang onto the property, to offset the cost of a mortgage on this second home.

What to Look for in a Rental Property

As with any real estate purchase, it pays to work with realtors with the kind of experience in investment properties that The Julie Kinnear Team can offer. Working closely with their clients, the team will help you work through the following list of considerations before taking the plunge into purchasing a rental property:

  • Is it for you? Not everyone's cut out for life as a landlord. You'll need to be comfortable dealing with all kinds of people in all types of potentially stressful situations. Also, are you prepared to be on call for maintenance and emergency issues?
  • Screening Tenants: Be prepared to ask for references and employment history, and request a credit check. Try to get tenants to commit to a long-term lease, as every time one moves out you've got to go through the whole process again, with the potential for lost revenues. The Julie Kinnear Team will guide you through the steps to finding good tenants, including checking references, getting the security deposit, setting up a program for expenses and tax compliance, as well as what to look for in good tenants, how to check references, what questions to ask to avoid problem renters.
  • Partnerships: If you're a first time buyer, it might make sense to find a friend or family member prepared to invest in a rental property, and perhaps even live in one themselves (if so, look for at least a triplex to generate some additional income). This can also work well for those with aging parents wanting to downsize, thus spreading the risk and financial burden.
  • Think long-term: Like most investments, the best gains in real estate are to be made over the long-term. Be prepared to wait it out. Your Julie Kinnear Team realtor will stay in touch and keep you apprised of market conditions and any opportunity for a profitable exit.
  • Do your homework: Talk to The Julie Kinnear Team for advice about the best areas in which to purchase rental property, and be sure to spend time checking out the neighbourhood for yourself. Is it safe, and close to amenities and public transit? The Julie Kinnear Team recommends a home inspection before purchase and can direct you to the source of correct information on local bylaws and legalities if you are planning an addition or conversion of the property.
  • Buy well: Occasionally in the hot Toronto property market opportunities do present themselves for a quick sale that can lead to savings. Make sure your Julie Kinnear Team member knows if you're able to make a quick decision.
  • Tax Implications: Check with your tax advisor or accountant regarding the tax implications of owning rental property.
low key living
Low Key Living by Aurimas

To learn more about how to buy the right investment property, contact The Julie Kinnear Team for a free consultation and advice on navigating Toronto's hot real estate and rental property market.

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