Let’s get right to the point and address the ‘F’ word. This nasty four-letter word is what’s holding you back from investing in real estate. It keeps people frozen in indecision. It’s limiting and crippling, but only because it’s ruled by a lack of good information.
Four letters are getting in the way of something great.
Fear of the unknown. Fear of losing money. Fear of not being able to make your payments. Fear of not finding a reliable tenant. Fear of taking on more risk.
In our 30s, in the midst of building our careers and families, risk has no measure in our lives. We move full steam ahead with all our choices. We have the confidence that comes with limited experience and abundant youth. We leap into careers and relationships feeling like the world is ours for the taking.
As we grow older, our priorities shift and we start looking for more stability and a safe retirement plan. Our tolerance of risk is lessened and we are not so quick to make rash decisions.
When it comes to investing in real estate, most people let fear get in the way. We need to apply the confidence of the 30s to the experience of the 50s.
A Girl And Her Car
In 2002, I bought my very first BMW. It was a dream car, loaded with all the best that was available at that time. The car cost me about $57,000. I pulled $20,000 from my savings and financed the rest. I loved that car and took really good care of it.
In 2011, I sold that car for $3000.
Over the course of 9 years, that car cost me $54,000 in depreciation. An annual loss of $6000, not including gas, insurance and maintenance.
Back in 2002, the average price for a home in my current neighbourhood was $450,000, and I’m being a little generous.
If I had put 5% down on an income property – $22,500 – I would today be sitting on an asset worth more than $1.3M in today’s market. That’s an appreciation of 289%, which more than adequately covers the cost of carrying the mortgage over the years.
When I bought the BMW, I wanted to invest in a property, but I chose the path of least resistance. Plus, I wanted the pretty car.
“Feel the fear and do it anyway. Then call me.”
It’s reasonable to fear the unknown and to have a lot of questions. You might wonder if you’ve chosen the right neighbourhood in which to invest in or if right now is the right time to buy.
These are the questions you need to ask a realtor. We are the most qualified to search for information regarding comparable prices for homes or condos, what typical rates for rentals are, and can investigate the historical data for vacancy rates. Right now, in early 2020, the rental market is fierce. Over the last 2 years, rents have increased 20% and show now signs of stopping. My own rental property saw an increase to $2100 per month from $1650. Way better return than my BMW.
Get Help Paying The Bills
Finding a tenant is easy; finding a wonderful tenant is a challenge. There might be months when your property lies vacant. You may have to carry all the costs on your own until you can fill the space. It’s a risk, and it can be an expensive one. A real-estate purchase is a long-term investment. There’s an old saying in this business: Don’t wait to buy real estate; buy real estate, then wait.
Don’t let financial fear govern your decisions when it comes to investing in real estate. Human beings are resilient and can manage to make things work when we have to. If you really want to start building a property portfolio, you will find a way.
The Other “F” Word
It may sound silly, especially when you are spending big dollars, but sometimes, you just have to have a little faith. Trust your gut. Do your homework. Ask your realtor lots of questions. Investing in additional properties doesn’t have to be a blind leap of faith. It has to feel comfortable, but give yourself permission to feel nervous.
Pushing past the fear and arming yourself with as much relevant information as possible is the first step in understanding the risks of purchasing an investment property. I am here to help you through every step of the process, from understanding the process to finding that perfect property.
Owning one, or several, investment and income properties doesn’t have to be an overly risky venture. It can be a means to secure retirement income, build a nest egg, or leave a legacy for your children. Let’s chat about what we can do and where you can buy.