It’s Just One Purchase… It’ll Only Irrevocably Change the Final 50 Years of My Life!

Investment DecisionsWhat can $100,000 buy you?

  • Home expansion / renovation (~500-750 sq. feet)
  • Luxury car & costs for 5 years (insurance, gas, maintenance, etc.)
  • Camping trailer, insurance & lot for 5 years

What can $100,000 earn you?

Alternately, if you deposited the $10,000 saved each year over the duration of 10 years instead of spending on one of the luxuries above and then earn an average return of 7.8% each year for the next 30 years you would own investments valued at $694,763.08.

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The Fundamentals to Successful Real Estate Investing

fundamentals to successful real estate investingReal estate is one of the best investment vehicles for your hard earned monies. Although it is not a passive investment, it offers numerous benefits over other vehicles:

  • Low barrier to entry
  • Easy to learn as you go along
  • Most decisions are common sense (e.g. a tenant doesn’t pay -> evict; repairs needed -> perform repairs; vacancy -> advertise, etc.)
  • Allows you to leverage other people’s time (e.g. property managers, lawyers, accountants, real estate agents, etc.) & money (the bank, private lenders, etc.)

But before you consider investing in real estate it is vital that you invest some time to learn the basics.

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Get Organized Before Buying Investment Real Estate

real estate investing checklistIt’s important to be organized when you acquire new investment real estate because there’s a list of documents that are required for each and every deal. When you have a few weeks to obtain financing approval, the last thing you want to be doing is stressing because you’ll need time for inspection, closing, auditing leases, etc. Here’s a list of documents you should have ready:

  1. Purchase offer (including all counter offers), dated, signed and accepted
  2. Proof of down payment
  3. Updated and signed net worth statements of all co-owners / primary shareholders if purchased through a company
  4. Tax reports & appendices on income and expenses of each rental property
  5. If purchased through a company, financial statements of the company for the last 3 fiscal years
  6. Detailed income list for all rental properties you own
  7. Current copies of all current leases (along with documentation supporting rental increases that have happened over the years for longer-term tenants)
  8. Detailed mortgage financial statements for all properties
  9. Detailed financial statements of all investments held (stock, real estate, etc.)

If you purchase real estate a few times a year take the time to organize and update these every few months. These documents are the lifeline to growing your portfolio.

Brent Mondoux
Founding Partner, Amplified Investments
brent@amplifiedinvestments.com
Investing in real estate

I Thought I Was Dying

Personal blog by our founder, Brent Mondoux

December 15th 2011

7:00 AM

My familyJust as any other work day, I awoke to the sound of the alarm clock. Sleeping on the opposite side of a king-sized bed, I was forced to crawl across to silence the irritating buzzing. As I went to move a sharp jarring pain radiated from the center of my back outwards. I couldn’t move, I was frozen in pain. I tried to breathe through it, assuming I had just pulled a back muscle as I had done previously, but the pain wouldn’t subside. I forced myself across the bed, struggling through the pain and silenced the damn alarm.

It felt like it took forever to get myself out of bed and into a vertical position. Getting dressed that day felt like the most tormenting ordeal I have ever endured. Far worse than an abscess tooth; far worse than a broken wrist; it was awful. I made my way downstairs to face my wife (Nat) and my son (Aiden). They knew right away that something was wrong. Visibly anguished, I bemoaned that I needed to go to the hospital. Nat looked at me and asked in concern “What happened? What did you do?” to which I confirmed “I don’t know. I must have pulled something in my back while sleeping but I can’t take this pain. I need to get it checked”. She acknowledged my comments and proceeded to get Aiden ready to drop off at school.

We drove up the street to drop Aiden off. Not wanting to alarm him, I put on my “big boy” face and grimaced through the pain as I got out of the car to hug him before he headed in. And then we were off. While heading to Ottawa, Nat was making small talk trying to comfort me from my pain, I could tell that she could sense my concern as well. She looked over at me and said “I think you should go to the medical center first. You won’t wait hours to be seen.” I agreed that it was a good idea.

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Financial freedom: Where Do I Begin?

Steps to Financial FreedomThe first step is to consider what area interests you the most; it’s always easier to choose something that you have some degree of interest in because you will be more likely to best absorb the materials and take action.

If you’re a beginner and not sure what area interests you most I recommend you read one of the following blogs I’ve written that are geared for beginners on these topics:

Blogs

Financial freedom

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How to Make Realtors Want to Work With You When Buying Investment Real Estate

Relationship with realtorTaking the time to inform a realtor that you will not bid on a real estate investment opportunity and presenting him / her with the reasons why is an important step in the communication process for a number of reasons.  It helps you to create a relationship with the realtor based on trust, transparency and shows a respect for his / her time.

Showing a realtor that you are experienced and have a set of investment guidelines that you follow while also informing that the property doesn’t cashflow provides the required information for him /her to discuss with the seller and assess their flexibility.

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Due Diligence: The Difference Between a Successful and Failed Investment

Performing your due diligence when considering a real estate investment opportunity is the single most important step to ensuring an investment that meets your expectations.Due diligence

Unfortunately most real estate investors that I’ve mentored have shared with me countless tales of errors and assumptions that have cost them severely. For this reason I am sharing an email that I sent this morning to help novice investors to learn.

The following email with attached cashflow analysis asks the questions required to ensure that I can make an informed decision without assumption. It also shows the realtor that I am serious, experienced and respectful of his time.

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Can you keep great tenants from leaving in the first place?

So can you keep great tenants from leaving in the first place?
Keeping Good Tenants
“Definitely,” says Brent Mondoux, who has been investing in the Ottawa area for a number of years. “Some of the keys to holding on to our great tenants are by going back to the basics and simply treating them with respect.”
Moudoux has had a relatively low turnover in properties himself, and has forged good relationships with most of them, although he’s quick to point out that business is business when it comes down to things like missed or late payments. He recommends having a preventive system in place that will make payment a straightforward process for tenants and yourself, such as collecting post-dated cheques ahead of time and accepting rent via direct debit or e-transfer. So what are some other tips?
Key Tips
  • Be present. Tenants are unlikely to renew a lease for an absentee landlord, and they’re unlikely to be very quick to report breakages and structural issues as well. If you neglect your tenants, chances are your property will pay the price.
  • “Respond to all reported issues within an hour,” advises Mondoux.“Set expectations in terms of estimated resolution timeframe, and don’t lie. If it’s urgent, don’t delay. Set the wheels in motion immediately to resolve the problem in a timely manner.”

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How to Perform a Real Estate Cashflow Analysis

This is what a real estate cashflow analysis looks like. It informs you of your up-front costs, assesses cashflow positivity with current and potential future scenarios, budgets appropriately for vacancy/repair/contingency and accounts for overhead costs even if they may be unrealized (e.g. property management, accounting, bookkeeping, etc.). It is also vital to highlight any assumptions and verify them in writing, absolutely no exceptions.

real estate cashflow analysis

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Get Over Your Fears and Take Action Today!

ObstaclesBy the end of 2011, I had completed nine years of real estate investment courses.  Acquisition, cashflow, buy & hold, flipping, landlording, rent to own, taxation law… the list goes on and on.

Despite my educational knowledge, I still had not yet purchased a single investment property. Even though I had successfully run my own company for the previous fifteen years with positive cashflow in each and every year, I was still afraid to take the plunge.

I kept asking myself “How could I take so many calculated risks but be afraid to take this one?” I was stuck in a state of fear commonly coined as “analysis paralysis”.  I would look for the perfect deal but before I would pull the trigger I’d make up excuses as to why each potential deal wouldn’t work. The truth is there’s no such thing as a perfect deal. The human mind can be our own worst enemy and I was battling against nobody other than myself. Trying to psyche myself into taking the next step, but for some reason I kept backing down, convincing myself as to why each opportunity wasn’t optimal.

In mid-2012 I booked vacation. I decided to stay home and relax. The previous two years’ vacation was spent repairing the house after extensive water damage which had nearly depleted all of my savings. It was early afternoon and I grabbed an ice cold Corona from the fridge and went to sit in the yard and do some reading. As I hunched down in my lounge chair I continued to read my latest real estate investment book. My attention was drifting in and out and I found myself reading and re-reading the materials. I felt frustration growing within me as I thought to myself “I know this s&%t. I’ve read it a hundred times in other books.” I stood up and blurted “That’s it! I’m going to buy a property or I’m going to stop reading about real estate investing.” That was the catalyst, the last nudge through the barrier of procrastination, the trigger required to break through my analysis paralysis.

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