Saturday, December 19, 2009

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to all!

I just wanted to pass along Season's Greetings to you and your family. I hope that 2009 has been a prosperous year and I wish that 2010 is even more exciting for you.

Merry Christmas and keep smiling in 2010!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Give my house a job


Just wanted to let you know that so far since meeting Greg about 1.5 months ago after your seminar in October and with his help I have already given my house a job, bought 3 doors already and looking forward to more in the New Year.

I just wanted to thank all of you at Bennett Pros for sharing your gift in your professionalism and experience in what you all do in helping so many people realize that the normal "Joe" can do this to.

Thanks again,
Gary and Tracey

In a couple of weeks ...

Hi Greg
it's amazing what can happen in a couple of weeks. Thanks to your patient guidance, some encouragement from Marnie and great financial support from Lilianne, my wife and I have decided to invest in 2 condos. I truly appreciate the time you've taken to work with me and look forward to making more investments with you and the amazing Bennett Team.
Wishing you all the best,

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Bennett Team Exclusive Launch of 111 WEST a Great Success!

The Bennett Team Exclusive Launch of 111 West a Great Success!

Last nights exciting exclusive launch for our Bennett VIP club members and clients caught the attention of Ottawa's number one read newpaper, the Ottawa Citizen.

CLICK HERE to view the article.

Keep an eye on your email inbox for future lauches and events.

Have a Great Holiday Season,

Monday, December 7, 2009

Re/Max says housing market recovery to accelerate in 2010

Re/Max says housing market recovery to accelerate in 2010

Thu Dec 3, 9:29 AM
By The Canadian Press

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. - Residential real estate sales should recover in almost all major Canadian cities by the end of 2009, while average prices should post new records in an improved economic climate, according to a new housing report.

The Re/Max Housing Market Outlook survey for 2010 predicts the uptick in sales will be lead by an anticipated 45 per cent increase in Greater Vancouver, while Ottawa and Quebec City are expected to hit historic highs in the number of homes sold.

The report also says average prices are expected to improve in 65 per cent of markets as economic performance picks up. Eighty-three per cent of markets are expecting sales to increase over 2009 levels while housing values are predicted to rise in 91 per cent of Canadian centres in 2010. The remaining markets are predicted to match 2009 levels.

The average price of a home is also expected to go up in the future, rising two per cent to $325,000.

The Re/Max report examined residential real estate trends in 23 markets.

The previous high in units sold in the Ottawa Real Estate Board was in 2007.

Friday, December 4, 2009

New Furnished Rental Opportunity

Furnished rental opportunity - located in Hudson Park - Charlesfort built unit
Monthly Rent - $1800 to $2000
Monthly Carry - $1400

Monday, November 30, 2009

111 West - New Westboro Condo - RSVP today for December 8 exclusive opening

Exclusive opening - December 8, 2009 - 6:00 pm
Public price - starting in the $220,000s (Special pricing for Bennett clients)
Deposit - $20,000 for first 30 buyers
Closing - Fall 2012

Amenities -
4000 sq.ft of common areas amenity space on the ground floor featuring:
a home theatre
pilates studio space
fitness /cardio area
games room
party/event room with a kitchenette
fire pit outdoors in the central park area with a tranquil garden

2,000 sq. ft roof top terrace area featuring:
a hot tub
outdoor kitchen
4 separate outdoor dining rooms
sun lounge area

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Why not invest in Florida?

Above is a map of the city of Orlando. The pink houses show foreclosures. There is a significant portion of the homes in Orlando are under foreclosure. There are estimates that banks are holding off on foreclosing on numerous other homes (in the 6 digits).
The concerns for many investors is the economy in Orlando.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Wellington at Island Park

Last week there was a great launch at Wellington at Island Park.
- 38 of 39 condos sold on opening night -

Click here to register for our next launch!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Multifamily income property list

This week's multifamily income property list has arrived. Some new additions to our list have beefed up the numbers. Please take a look and let me know if you have any questions or comments. If the terms do not make sense to you, please feel free to email or call me to discuss -

Thursday, November 19, 2009

RRSPs in Real Estate

I often get inquiries on how to invest your RRSP in Real Estate. I can tell you it is not an easy process. It can be a complicated process to invest your RRSPs in Real Estate.

Complicated unless you use a real estate syndication. For information on how to turn your RRSP into a hard asset backed product please click here

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Wellington at Island Park

The Wellington at Island Park

A Better with Bennett exclusive PRE-PUBLIC Priority opening on Thursday November 26, 2009. Only $20,000 deposits. This property features top quality finishings, a garden terrace and

Please RSVP to my email me at:

The Ottawa Citizen is catching on to our strategy - click here to read

Parkdale Market Refurbishment

The Parkdale Market refurbishing project is moving along nicely. This is a nice touch to a quickly improving neighbourhood. The existing Parkdale Market Lofts, will soon be joined by the top-notch Soho Parkway project, due to start construction in March 2010.
The Parkdale Market refurbishment is a big step in creating the Arts District of Ottawa. The QUAD as it is formally known, will be a vibrant neighbourhood in the core of the city, attractive to the young professionals and down sizers looking for the urban lifestyle.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Income property list - November 16 2009

Income property list for November 16 2009.

Please note, the property in Rockland is less than one year old.

the Team Approach


I have been remiss in thanking you for your assistance in my recent investment reconfiguration. Since our first meeting at the Bennett Real Estate Professionals seminar on the 24th of May 2009, you have provided me with an excellent advice and cautiously guided me through the process of intelligent property investment. I have followed your guidance with military precision by first equally redirecting my RRSPs into purchasing shares from two Bennett recommended organizations: your RRSP company and Raymond James under the calculating and savvy outlook of Kash Pashootan. Both of these investments have already yielded promising dividends.

You also provided me with the necessary information for me to spear along fearlessly and purchase not two but three rental properties in three different cities in the period of only one month. Each of these rental properties have differing but complementary attributes contributing to a balanced portfolio aiming at reconciliating long term and short term growth and cash flow aspirations. This feat required a great deal of coordination and communication and would not have been possible without the outstanding services of Lilianne Eid. Under the cover of an irresistible smile, she provided me with competitive rates and easily dismissed her rivals; and worked with care to ensure contractual closing went as well as reasonably possible given some extenuating circumstances.

I will now slowly and wisely learn the intricacies of property managment and fiscal accounting before attempting the next wave of investment. It has been a pleasant learning experience and I hope we can work again in the future. Again, please accept my sincerest appreciation for your assistance in this endeavour.

Kind regards,

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Changing demographics

The workplace across Canada will be experiencing changing demographics. In the Ottawa Citizen on Saturday Nov 14 2009, there is an article on the impact of changing demographics on policing. Over the coming few years, many senior level officers will be retiring and there will not be enough incoming officers to replace them.

This is a common problem across the employment sectors. From my personal knowledge, the only government department that has been preparing for this changing demographic is the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAIT). The department of foreign affairs has been planning for the coming changing demographics for years now, with their innovative hiring practices.

A friend of mine, retired about two years ago and was telling me that over 75% of the people in his department are retirement age eligible within 5 years. With that large number of retirements coming, it is easy to see that there will be huge turnover within the government. This will likely lead to a huge influx of people moving into the city of Ottawa to fill those high paying, secure job positions within the Federal Government.

I am certain other departments have been working through this problem and in talking with clients who work for Human Resources Canada they are making changes to the working enviroment to try and recruit more top end candidates. Many departments are looking at flex hours and working from home solutions.

How does this affect a real estate investor?

In the city of Ottawa , this changing demographic should lead to an influx of under 40 year old people. This group will replace the "baby boomers" who are at the point of retirement with a comfortable pension. I think you shall see a large increase in the city of Ottawa population over the next few years.

This new population leads to a simply supply and demand equation - more people moving into the city, means a need for more houses, which means the existing housing stock will not be enough to service the future needs. As more houses are need, the prices will go up.

This positive growth in housing prices will occur in both the core areas, fueled by downsizing baby boomer and in the suburbs as the under 40 year old demographic need large backyards, hockey rinks and schools. My thoughts are core areas will increase first and faster, then followed by the suburbs in 5 to 7 years.

The current condominium market will stay strong for about 12 to 15 more years, then the market will turn completely towards the suburbs, when the Echo Generation are starting their families. Coincidentally, the Echo Generation's first home, is likely to be a smaller condo, downtown, close to work and convenient to walk to work, bars and restaurants.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Property Inspectors

It is important to make sure you have a property inspected prior to purchasing it. I have found a list of property inspectors that is regulated. My favourites are Marc Parent and John Clermont (Pillar to Post).

Schools and Investments

Where are the Ottawa schools in relation to the property that I am thinking about? This is an important question as investing in single family homes makes schools an important variable. A new family that is moving into a neighbourhood, one of their first questions is where are the schools.

I'm so happy that the internet is available, because within minutes I was able to find a map of the Ottawa-Carleton Catholic Schools and a map of the Ottawa-Carleton District Schools online.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Real Estate Millionaires

“Ninety percent of all millionaires became so through owning real estate. More money has been made in real estate than through all industrial investments combined.”
-Andrew Carnegie

This quote is very famous. Research currently puts this figure around 80% of new millionaires in Canada are created through real estate. Funny how over 100 years, the statistic has stayed much the same. It is that old 80/20 rule (Pareto principle), 20 percent of people end up with 80 percent of the wealth.

It really is a mind set. It is changing the way you do things. Trying a new method. If you follow the road map that a very successful person has followed, logic says you will have the same or greater success. Real estate investing is a repeatable process, you can follow the road map. You need a coach, or mentor who can help you get where you need to go.

I have had the fortune lately to re-connect with some clients and the successes that people are experiencing are amazing. Passive income, equity growth, dreams realized, plans put in place.

I still get the people who tell me that using home equity is completely out of the question, but I think that is the wrong attitude. I can show you real estate products, with 80% loan to value (LTV), that pay 11% annually in income. Based upon using a home equity line of credit (HELOC) to secure this money, you will get a return in your pocket monthly of $645.83 for a $100,000 investment.

Imagine, you are sitting on significant wealth in your own home. If you have a $500,000 house paid off, I can show you how, without changing anything in your day to day life, you can increase your monthly income by $2583.33!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

How do you determine the value of an income producing properties?

There are a number of methodologies that can be employed to determine value:

Cap Rate. Comparing the "capitalization rate" of the subject property to those of other properties recently sold, in the immediate area.

Gross Income Multiplier. Comparing the gross income generated by the subject property to that of other properties recently sold, in the immediate area, times a "multiplier". For example if a building grosses $35,000 and similar buildings have been selling for 5 times the gross, then the value could be assumed to be $700,000.

Net Income Multiplier. Comparing the net income generated by the subject property to that of other properties recently sold, in the immediate area, times a "multiplier". For example if a building nets $50,000 and similar buildings have been selling for 10 times the net, then the value could be assumed to be $500,000.

Average Price per Apartment. If similar buildings to the subject property have been selling for $90,000 per apartment and there are 5 apartments in the building, then the value could be assumed to be $450,000.

R.O.I. How much of a "return on investment" would a prudent Buyer want for his down payment on a property? Should it equal or exceed what he could get in the stock market, in bonds, or some other investment. The R.O.I. could then determine how much a Buyer is willing to pay for the subject property.

Cost of Replacement Value. Separating the land value from the value of the building, how much would it cost to construct a new building on the site of the subject property. Is construction replacement value $125 per square foot or perhaps $150 per square foot?

Income property list - November 3 2009

This week's income property list has some new entries.

Please note - the property in Chesterville is apparently in very rough shape. It will need someone interested in renovations.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

Multi Family Properties - Income Producers

Here is this week's income producing multi-family properties. Please review the list and as always, please pass along any questions to Greg at

Small Commercial Investment Mortgage

Small Commercial Investment Mortgage

Documents required for financing:
• 2 year's property operating statements and/or pro-forma operating statements
• 2 year's Financial Statements
• Personal net worth statements from guarantors with supporting documentation.
• Certified Rent Roll
• Copy of leases
• Purchase and Sale Agreement (if applicable).
• Confirmation that the property taxes are current.
• The Borrower is to maintain a bank account with TD (for the property at minimum).
• Borrower Environmental Questionnaire
• Property Inspection Report (Bank)
• A Phase 1 environmental assessment may be required, to confirm that the property does not contain environmental risks.
• A structural / mechanical report may be required.
• AACI Appraisal addressed to the Bank.

Security documentation:• Collateral 1st mortgage against the commercial property.
• General Security Agreement
• Personal Guarantees (full recourse)
• General Assignment of Rents
• Assignment of Insurance including Business Interruption and Broad Form Boiler & Machinery.
• Evidence of Public Liability Insurance.
• Mortgage documentation to be prepared by Bank commissioned outside solicitor.
• Corporate Guarantees (if required)
• Business Credit Life Insurance

Annual Review Requirements:• Confirmation that mortgage payments are current.
• Confirmation that the property taxes are current.
• Confirmation of acceptable branch site visit
• Certified Rent Roll.
• Fiscal year-end financial statements and any other documentation the Bank may require from time to time (i.e. if there is evidence of a material change in occupancy level and/or rental revenue from the Certified Rent Roll or any other circumstance such that the overall risk profile has changed and an amendment to risk rating is required).

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Commercial Financing v. Residential Financing

Just wanted to discuss with you the commercial financing difference
Commercial financing is very different than residential financing. Residential financing is usually 4 units or less, whereas commercial financing is usually 5 units or more. A few differences in commercial financing v. residential financing:

1 - you can only ammortorize over 25 years not the typical 35 year residential
2 - you get a better interest rate with only 15% down, not the typical 25%, so you are usually better to put down less money in commercial financing
3 - with the current rates, the interest rate will likely be in the 4.25% range, opposed to the very low residential rates
4 - the financing timeline should be about 1 to 2 months
5 - the fees are a bit higher, appraisal, rate hold fee, etc
6 - the qualification for a commercial financed property is based on the viability of the property, whereas residential financing is based upon your personal situation

It is a bit more of a process to finance a commercial property, but it is not earth shattering. I have done it, you can do it as well.
October 19 2009 - culled income property list posted -

Monday, October 19, 2009

Income properties October 19 2009

Here is the culled list of income properties for October 19 2009.

Note on CAP RATE - a cap rate is essentially a comparison tool that you can use to compare income properties. The general rule of thumb for capitalization rates is the higher the better.

If you are looking for tax advantages investments, not so much income, I have included a few sub 8% properties for your review. I have marked these with a '***'

For a larger purchase with reasonable numbers, I have marked these properties with '###'

Address - City - Cap Rate
25 Duncan - Easton Corners - 11.49%
216 Hannah - Vanier - 11.10%
707 Cty Rd 18 - Hawkesbury - 10.78%
753 Principale - Casselman - 10.46%
117 Madawaska - Arnprior - 10.46%
117 Main St N - Chesterville - 10.37%
5105 Cty Rd 10 - Fournier - 10.06%
143 Ste Cecile - Vanier - 9.88%
11 Winnifred - Smiths Falls - 9.32%
291 St Laurent - Manor Park - 9.31%
20 Secours - Alfred - 8.43%
22 Market St - Smiths Falls - 8.02%
195 King Edward - Lower Town - 7.05% - ###
124 Spadina - Hintonburg - 6.94% - ***
195 James St - Centre Town - 6.65% - ***

Address - City - Cap Rate
17 Main St E - Smiths Falls - 11.51%
36 Chambers - Smiths Falls - 11.08%
23 Lombardi - Smiths Falls - 10.11%
3874 Champlain - Bourget - 9.27%
18 Main St - Smiths Falls - 9.26%
88 St Paul St - Alexandria - 7.25% - ###
68 Sweetland - Sandy Hill - 6.71% - ***
177 Goulbourn - Sandy Hill - 6.48% - ***

For specific MLS listings or further questions, please feel free to email me ( or call at 613 788 2572. For those of you looking to view the properties, please read the following blog about Offer First, View Second.

Keep smiling,

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Property Management Software

The world has become increasingly online focused and is now being manifested in property management software. I have been doing some online reading about property management software by Chris Thorman, who blogs about property management software. As a real estate investor, so much time, but potentially so much upside profit can be made in top notch property management.

A property management firm can be an essential part of your team. They can find tenants, collect rents, do all essential paperwork and actually monitor your maintenance needs. A good property manager will give you the heads up to when things are beginning to wear out and need your attention.

Property management software can also coordinate your advertising needs. Using online advertising can increase your results when renting properties. Online advertising is the wave of the future in real estate rental properties.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

First make an offer, view second!

I realized recently that not everyone will be seasoned investors who are familiar with the process of “make an offer first, view second” so I thought I should expand on this.

As you become more experienced as a real estate investor you will discover this is an extremely common way to buy real estate. I personally never visit a property prior to having an accepted offer for several reasons:

1 - the property owner does not like having to disrupt the tenants numerous times.
2 - What if I love the property but I can’t agree with the price or terms (then I get involved in an emotional purchase)
3 - I can re-negotiate the original price if the property is not satisfactory on the inspection (for instance the property needs new windows - waive the condition on inspection with a clause that the vendor will replace the windows or lower the price $10,000)
4 - Most importantly, this gives me an edge over other investors because I can get the property tied up before most other investors and it saves me a ton of time. If there is no deal to be had, why waste the time seeing the property.

This is a sophisticated way to buy real estate. It saves you time and the seller. He knows an offer coming in, site unseen is a strong, competitive offer from a serious investor.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Using a Realtor v. FSBO

A recent National Association of Realtors survey found that homes sold by an agent sell for an average of 13% more than those sold by their owners.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Just wanted to wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving and a happy/safe holiday weekend.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

10 unit building in Brockville - Exclusive opportunity

10 Unit building for sale in BROCKVILLE Ontario

$545,000 selling price
Exclusively listed

Expenses accurate for the last 12 months:

Tax: $9168.73 (2008)
Insurance: $2312.13
Water/Sewer: $2206.17
Hydro: $5233.86
Gas: $10,106.24 (includes heating of hot water and tank rentals)

Gross rental income (last 12 months):


NOI - $47,340.87

CAP RATE - 8.7%

Email me today for a chance to learn more about this exciting opportunity -

Penthouse 1205 - 200 Besserer

Check out this hot new condo located in the Byward Market - 200 Besserer penthouse 1205

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Know anyone looking to rent a 3 bedroom terraced town house in the West End (near Ikea)? Call 613.722.1232 for details!
2pm - Experts on Call - Increase your wealth through Real Estate -
WANTED - multifamily listings (duplex, triplex and fourplexes) in the Ottawa area. I have lists of buyers looking to purchase right away!

Multifamily listings

Right now, in the Ottawa market place, there is a lack of inventory that is well priced in the multifamily listing. Multifamily listing means triplex, duplex, fourplex, etc. If you have a multifamily property that you are thinking about selling, please give me a call or email asap.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Finally closed!

Today, 5 months after starting the process, I successfully closed the 6 unit building I purchased in the Byward Market. It is a bit of project to get the property running smoothly, but it will need some renovation and updating.

The property was under rented and has a much older and inefficient furnace that runs at less that 65% efficiency. A new furnace, replacing some rotten balconies, new hot water tanks and a new front door are going to get the building running much smoother.

The expenses should be cut by about 25%,combined with an increase of rents should add significant value to the building. For every $100 of increased monthly cash flow, the building should be appraised for $20,000 more.

Now is the time to get the building running better, then get it re-appraised and leverage the property into downpayments for more properties.
Live on 580 CFRA this Saturday at 2pm, listen to Marnie Bennett, Lilianne Eid and Greg Blok talking about real estate and increasing your wealth through real estate

Saturday, September 26, 2009


1. An RRSP is mostly aimed at saving
for retirement. A TFSA is for all your
other savings goals.

2. You don’t pay tax on the money you
save in an RRSP until you take it out.
With a TFSA, you must pay any
income tax due on the money you
contribute. You don’t get to deduct
your contribution from the income
you report on your tax return.

3. When you take money out of an RRSP,
the amount is added to your income
and taxed at current rates. With a TFSA,
there’s no tax on any money you take
out – not even the money you made
investing, including capital gains.

4. You have to close an RRSP after age
71. There is no time limit for contributing
to a TFSA.

5. With both plans, you can name your
spouse or common-law partner as a
beneficiary. The money will roll over
to them upon your death. But with an
RRSP, after your partner dies, there will
be taxes due on any money left in the
account. So if your children inherited
the money, they would have to pay
that tax.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Prime Minister Harper - Home renovation tax credit

This is not a post on a commentary on the home renovation tax credit, which coincidentally I have taken advantage of (new bathroom).

Take a closer look at the picture - it is Prime Minister Harper, my wife, son and myself at Rona shopping for new bathroom fixtures. Pretty exciting to have the Prime Minister as my personal shopping buddy!

'Do it!'

There are many things that are important when establishing a new business. Investing in real estate is a business. There is cash flow analysis, making solid connections, building a network, hiring the right people, marketing, accounting, etc. The most essential thing to do is "DO IT".

Watch this video on starting your business and the power of "Do it" -

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Mortgage logic

Sometimes we miss the point. It is so obvious that we overlook it. As an investor, I always put my properties on a line of credit. I was asked yesterday why?

I thought for a moment, then realized that this person is not familiar with the Smith Maneover. They did not know how to make their mortgage tax deductable. Many people do not understand the advantage of tax deductable debt.

I found out tonight this is not that uncommon, as a person approached me with $60,000 in cash to invest. I chatted with them and told them we need to check their mortgage to see if they are on a 20/20 program or a 15/15. Then we pay down their mortgage by the maximum allowable amount. We then set up a line of credit on the property, borrow the money out and invest it in real estate.

This person was puzzled and looked at me kind of funny. "Why do all that stuff, I can just use the $60k".

I agreed, we can, but by doing this more complicated system, you can borrow the money back out of your house and write off the interest charge on this money (as long as it is used for an investment). We are going to buy cash flowing real estate and use the excess cash flow created to us the other part of the 15/15 program, which is 15% over payment per payment.

Back to my original question, why are my investments on lines of credit? I can pay interest only on a line of credit. I use the increased cash flow created to put in a bank account and once a year, I make a lump sum payment on my mortgage. This differential is around $1550 per $100,000 annually. That means you can take off $1550 from your personal residences mortgage (which is not tax deductable), instead of paying down the tax deductable mortgage on your rental property.

One other positive on this - your primary residence, when sold, the profit made is tax free, whereas on an investment property when sold, you pay capital gains.

Property Management Solution

I have come across the most effective property management solution out there. It is a software program that allows you to keep complete control over your business.

Having a computerized system of tracking income, expenses and such items is invaluable for the real estate investor.

Check out Landlordmax, the property management solution of professional investors!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Get CASH FLOW with no management, no tenants

Everyday I meet investors who want to have cash flow with no management problems created by tenants. This has been very difficult to find, as tenants are the source of the cash flow, by paying you a monthly rent that exceeds your carry (bills). Most people, lets face it, do not want tenants but what the cash flow and equity growth associated with buy and hold real estate.

Houses in Phoenix Arizona are selling for $85 per square foot. Building costs to build a house in Phoenix is $100 per sqft. I found a company buying houses between $35 and $65 per square foot. Once net migration into Phoenix overtakes the current housing stock, the builders will have to build again and prices will go up. Even if prices went to a minimum of $120 per square foot, these homes will double in value.

I went to Phoenix Arizona this past week to investigate a cash flow/equity real estate investment. What I found was really impressive - a 6% annual bond return and when the assets are liquidated, a 60% share of the net profits.

What does all this mean?

After 5 years, you will likely realize a doubling of your money. So if you put $50,000 into the investment, each year for 5 years you will receive a 6% return ($3,000 annually - total of $15,000 over the 5 years). At the end of the five years, when the project is exited, you will get a lump sum of $35,000. This means a total return of $15,000 + $35,000 = $50,000

The real exciting part is that the 6% is a bond and the back 60% of the net profits is distributed as a dividend, making this extremely tax friendly. If you invest through your RRSP, it gets better, as the 6% bond is paid back into your RRSP (along with your $50,000 invested), but the 60% of the net profits is paid to you in cash (as a dividend). For all the baby boomers in the house, this is a great RRSP meltdown type strategy. Please note, this strategy has been devised by KPMG a top end accouting firm.

Another exciting way to get into this opportunity is using leverage - borrow $50,000 on an unsecured LOC. You will pay prime +1% (3.25% annually). You are creating 6% per year, this means a net positive to you the client of 2.75% annually ($1375 per year) and you would still get that 60% of the net profits. This is an example of good debt!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Distressed Real Estate Investing

I found this informative link on investing in distressed real estate. If you are interested in learning even more, please contact me today -

Monday, September 21, 2009

$115,000 house in Arizona

Check out this house, this is what $115,o00 buys you in Arizona. Here is a photo of all the people who went to Arizona on a fact finding mission in front of a 3200 sqft house, with granite, 3 bathrooms and 4 bedrooms on a 60 by 100 lot. Total price ... $115,000!

Pre-construction condos are hot!

Sold two pre-construction condos today, the Ottawa market is very active. Call today to learn how to increase your wealth through real estate!

Land Banking in Action

I had the opportunity to visit the future site of Keystone Business Park, a land banking project that has gone through the process of real estate syndication. It is no longer available as an investment, but it was pretty amazing to see!

The property is across the street from the Crossiron Mills Mall, the largest square footage mall in the world. This mall is huge! I only had a small side trip to the Sunglasses Hut as my travelling partner lost his sunglasses. Thankfully, our tour guide guessed right that the Sunglass Hut was near the food court.

The road that fronts onto the land banking property was a small country road with a huge pot hole and a combine farming the land. The farmer is left there, to use the land for a rental fee, to pay the property taxes on the land. The road that the property fronts onto will be only the second access point to the city of Airdrie, a smaller satilitte community in North Calgary.

Airdrie is a top notch community with lots of big homes and great quality finishing. Hockey players, executives and oil and gas barons live in this community and commute to downtown Calgary daily. There is only one route from Airdrie to Calgary, until the new four lane road is developed in front of the land banking opportunity that has finished syndication.

This piece of land is dripping with possibilities. I was impressed with this idea of land banking and can see some really high returns in the future for the lucky few who bought into this land banking opportunity in Northern Calgary.

Register for our upcoming seminar to learn about hot new opportunities in land banking and a new concept house banking. 613 233 8606 x 1
Increase your wealth through real estate seminar this Wednesday night. Book now, few seats remaining! Call 613.233.8606 x1, learn about RRSP real estate in Arizona and opportunities right here in Ottawa
Real estate syndication is the easiest way to create cash flow and equity growth, using experts, who have a track record!
Phoenix, Arizona has an average of 127,000 people moving there each year (average number over the past 25 years)

Better with Bennett

"I was very pleased with the service I received from the Bennett Team - they were very professional, yet personable and helped me to resolve some difficult circumstances with a potential buyer and dealing with my emotional ties to the property. The Bennett Team by far outshines any realtors I have worked with in the past and I look forward to working with them in the future as a real estate investor."

Monday, September 14, 2009

Penthouse 1205 - 200 Besserer

Welcome home to your penthouse apartment, skying above the Byward Market. This is a lovely 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom condo with great views of the Gatineau Hills and the downtown core. Top of the line finishes highlight this condo.

Art in the sky! Views, views! Enjoy stunning NW views of the Peace Tower and the Gatineaus from the chic corner unit.Lux. Brand New Condo, located in the heart of the City, seconds from the Byward Market. 10ft ceilings, oversized corner windows flood condo with natural light. Brand new condo ft. dark hrdw floors, stylish granite counters, stainless appliances and 2 luxury baths. Building includes a pool.

40 Kempster

I have had the opportunity to list a hot new property located at 40 Kempster in Britania. This is a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom detached single family home with a huge back yard. It is fully renovated with hardwood, granite and stainless steel.

Check this house out, it will not last long!

Why have two places, when you can live the cottage lifestyle in Ottawa? This home was originally a cottage, then transformed into a fully renovated dreamy New England-style home. 3 bed/2 bath on quiet street mere blocks from river. Granite, hrdwd thru, main floor family rm, s/s appliances, large treed lot, tons of windows allow natural light to flow in, this is a must see!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Real Estate Syndication

Real Estate syndication is an investment structure that allows groups of like-minded investors to acquire, control, and profit from large and lucrative commercial and residential income properties. In common speak, this means pooling your money with others to buy really large properties.

This week, I am off to Calgary and Arizona this week to visit a real estate syndication that buys homes at $0.40 on the dollar to 2007 prices. They are targetting 175 homes, that cash flow during the hold period, then sell when the prices return to close to the 2007 levels.

I will be doing our radio show this coming weekend, September 19, 2009 from Phoenix, Arizona. I am down studying the market in the Arizona and looking for signs of recovery. My thoughts are we are going to see the US market rebound strongly by mid 2013.

mortgage rates going down ....

The rates have gone down this week:

The 5 year variable is at prime plus 0.30% (2.55%)
The 3 year fixed rate 3.45%
The 5 year fixed 3.89%

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

HST and new condo investments

I called the CRA Excise and GST/HST Rulings and Interpretations Service to speak to the specific sections that were leading to confusion. An individual purchasing a condo unit in a “Residential Complex” (not to be confused with a “Multiple Unit Residential Complex as those do not include condominium complexes) for the purpose of renting it out upon closing – would qualify for the NRRP (New Residential Rental Property Rebate) under Type 6.

However, they say, the type qualifications aren’t necessarily the definitive determination of whether or not one qualifies. Looking at the definitions for “Residential Unit” and “Qualifying Residential Unit” it becomes clearer that, provided the purchaser has a 1 year lease in place and does not sell the unit within the first year, the rebate qualification will hold, subject to the rest of the conditions in that document (RC4231-09E).

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Rate Increases ?

The Bank of Canada Govenor Mark Carney said earlier this year that he is not going to increase interest rates until April 2010 at the earliest. Some reports are now saying that interest rate hikes are likely to be at earliest in 2011. Interest rates are currently at historic lows, but in the future, maybe April or maybe in 2011, rates will go up again.

How do you prepare for coming rate increases? What effects will this have on your cash flow properties?

I have two strategies to follow to help prepare you for the coming rate changes

1 - Stay variable, for now. I am watching the US unemployment rate. Once the US unemployment rate drops, it is likely the US will raise their interest rates and Canada will follow suit thereafter.

By staying variable in the short term you can realize good positive cash flow, then once the indicators start to switch, lock your mortgage into low interest 5 year mortgages. When rates return to between 5 and 7 percent, you will be locked in at 4 percent and reaping the benefits.

2 - Pay down your principle rapidly. By using your bank's pre-payment opportunities you can pay down your principle by an extra 15 to 20 percent per mortgage payment. By following this simple process, you can reduce the principle amount of the mortgage rapidly, all the while still keeping your property in a cash flow positive position.

Once the rates go up and you have locked into a 5 year term, you can stop the pre-payment program and reduce your payment amount each month. This will allow you to remain in a cash flow positive situation for the remaining term of the mortgage. Since you paid an addditional 15 to 20 percent for upwards of 8 months, your principle is greatly reduced and a higher percentage of your monthly payment will now be directed toward principle.

Once the term is up on the mortgage, five years from now, the principle has been reduced and even if rates are at a 5 to 7 percent level, you will have had approximately 6 years of mortgage reduction plus the additional 15 to 20 percent you paid down while rates were at the current levels. This should allow for a very good positive cash flow in the property even at higher rates.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

August resale home sales solid

August (2009) resale home sales solid
Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,216 residential properties in August through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® system compared with 1,181 in August 2008. This is an increase of 3 per cent.

Of those sales, 259 were in the condominium property class, while 957 were in the residential property class. The condominium property class includes any property, regardless of style (i.e. detached, semi-detached, apartment, etc.) which is registered as a condominium, as well as properties which are co-operatives, life leases and timeshares. The residential property class includes all other residential properties.

“August was another solid month for home sales in Ottawa. With strong sales and a listing inventory that is still very low, the capital remains in a seller’s market position,” said Board President Rick Snell. “Sales year-to-date are now up 2.6% over last year’s sales for the same period, which reflects consumer confidence in the local real estate market.”

The average sale price of residential properties, including condominiums, sold in August in the Ottawa area was $315,074, an increase of 12.3 per cent over August 2008. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $225,167, an increase of 5.1 per cent over August 2008. The average sale price of a residential-class property was $339,406, an increase of 13 per cent over August 2008.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Vegas Baby!

I have just returned from a couple of days in Las Vegas, looking at some housing and taking in the fun times there. I have a couple observations, especially how lucky we are in Ottawa!

- estimates have overall tourism down 40%
- over 300 foreclosers per week are happening in Las Vegas
- houses are now roughly 1/3 the price they were a year ago
- jobs are down correspondingly, with immigration heading the wrong direction (out of the city)

Las Vegas has gone through 3 recessions in the past 30 years. It has bounced back in the past and will bounce back at this point. There are some really positive points in Vegas right now. The rental market in the North, South and Western parts of the city is strong.

Foreclosures are a dangerous business, many of the homes have been severely damaged with concrete down the toilets, pipes cut, etc. Not a pretty sight!

Apparently, people are doing this because they feel taken advantage of by their mortgage lenders. They signed documents with low introductory interest rates that ballooned at the end of a term. At the end of that term, people cannot make the payments and are furious with the lender. They destroy the house to "get back at" the lender. The lesson here is to make sure you understand your mortgage commitement (re - interest rate deductable penalty)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Commercial Financing

It has been a long process, but the financing is now in place for our 6 unit building in the Byward Market. I am very excited to close the transaction either later this month or early next. This building is ideally located with a good mix of units. As they say in real estate, Location, Location, Location!!!

Now starts the hard work of getting the building running smoothly and efficiently. You do not realize the amount of waste there can be in a day to day operation. For instance, the furnace that runs at 60% efficiency, the electric hot water tanks (when gas is available), the lack of bathroom exhaust fans - meaning windows left open and heat escaping.

Through renovation, tenant turn over and smart management this building should produce 4 times the income it is currently showing.

I have just finished the long and arduous task of commercial financing on this building. (thanks Lilianne!) It really is a 2 to 3 month process. Couple of pointers in commercial financing
i - financing is based on the buildings numbers not your personal numbers
ii - get a CMHC insured mortgage, your interest rates are much lower
iii - understand rate hold fees, CMHC fees and bank fees as they are much different in commerical
iv - make sure you build in extra cash flow as commercial properties have many more costs involved

Now, as a reward, I am drafting up an offer on an 18 unit building!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Real estate and bamboo

Real Estate's Long Term Investment Strategy can be compared to the Chinese Bamboo Plant.

In North America we are obsessed with the next day, week, month, or quarter's results - in contrast to our Asian counterparts. Patience is sometimes a true virtue.

To be a a successful real estate investor, you should draw your real estate investment lessons from the example of the Chinese Bamboo plant. This plant can grow to unprecedented heights and it can grow very quickly!

The bamboo seed is planted. It is watered. It is fertilized. But in the first year nothing happens. The second year it is watered and fertilized again, but still nothing happens. The same process is repeated during the third and fourth year; and still nothing happens. Yet, during the fifth year, in a period lasting no more than six weeks, the bamboo grows from seed to over 90 feet!

Did the bamboo grow 90 feet in six weeks, or 90 feet in five years? This is a good question.The answer is five years, because at any time during that five year interval, had fertilizing and watering not been done as required, the plant would have died.

Your portfolio can sometimes feel the same way. You buy a property, you rent it, you pay the bills and nothing seems to happen, but over time the rents go up, the mortgage balance goes down and then one day, things break loose quickly.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Westwood Hill Lofts - The rental conversion

Westwood Hill Lofts
- sold between $179,900 and $189,900
- November 2008 to June 2009

rental income monthly $1300
monthly carrying costs (approx.) - $950

Positive Monthly Cash Flow - $350

- 733646
Selling price $224,900
Bungalow style

- 732959
Selling price $209,900
2 storey style

Client who took advantage of this opportunity have been making $350 per month in cash flow, $215 in mortgage reduction and between $20,000 and $45,000 in equity growth.

This results in a ROI of 103% in one year.

Not a bad investment decision, congratulations to those who took advantage of this opportunity!!!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Revitalizing Bronson Avenue

New Domicile condos bring fresh look, affordable living to the Glebe
By Patrick Langston, The Ottawa Citizen July 11, 2009

Land, as Mark Twain noticed, isn't being produced any more. Especially not in the Glebe, Ottawa's ultra-desirable, price-skyrocketing neighbourhood.
So Domicile Developments Inc. has been doing the only sensible thing -- maximizing what's available. The company, one of Ottawa's leading boutique condo builders, began with G (for Glebe), a 21-unit condo on Bank beside Central Park. Phase two of the company's great Glebe grab is Second Avenue West, a lowrise, 71-condo project on the west side of Bronson facing Second Avenue.

Since the sales office at 619 Bank St. opened four weeks ago, Domicile has sold about 25 per cent of the units at Second Avenue West. Not bad, considering the shaky economy and the season: potential buyers are more focused on fun in the sun than mortgage calculations.

"We're pretty happy with the start," says David Chick, Domicile's senior vice-president. "But it's whether a place gets built and people are happy with the result that counts in the end."

Second Avenue West buyers will have lots to smile about. The four-storey, clay brick building, scheduled for occupancy in spring 2011, will be a short walk from Bank Street's bustling shops and serene Dow's Lake. It will also be close to restaurant-rich Little Italy.

Designed by Ottawa architect Roderick Lahey and described by some as "New York-inspired hacienda," the building will feature an inset, circular entrance courtyard on Bronson Avenue, jutting wings, and a façade chock-a-block with sunrise-facing windows.

Remaining units range in size from about 600 square feet to just under 1,000, and cost between $219,700 and $395,300. Models include one-bedroom, one-bath with or without a den and two-bedroom, two-bath units. There's also a three-bedroom, two-bath design, The Rivington, available, priced at $433,000 for 1,175 square feet. The condos include balconies or terraces.

Monthly condo fees range from $250 to $372. Heated, indoor parking, not currently available for some smaller units, adds $29,500 to the purchase price.

All of which makes Second Avenue West less expensive than G, where factors like a slipping economy meant Domicile had to redesign the pricey top floor. Two penthouses, priced from $700,000 to $1 million, were divided into four more affordable units.

Denis and Danielle Lafleche were the first of two dozen people in line when Second Avenue West's sales office opened June 11 for "priority registrants." Those were folks who, having completed paperwork in advance, were ready to plunk down $500 to reserve their condo. That was followed several days later by completing a standard Agreement of Purchase and Sale. The $500 was refundable if the potential buyer changed his or her mind, as some did, and the whole "priority registrant" process was cleverly designed to generate buzz.

The Lafleches showed up two hours early and went for a walk when they realized they were alone. Once inside the sales centre, where a friendly bartender was offering Portuguese and Ontario wine and Beau's beer, the couple snapped up a first-floor, 882-square-foot Chatham unit. It has two bedrooms and a 72-square-foot balcony; the building's remaining Chatham units are priced from $354,800 to $380,300.

"We wanted to get back to the source," says Denis, an accountant, about their decision to swap their Orléans home for downtown.

"We wanted to give it a try," says Danielle, a nurse, who grew up in Old Ottawa South.

The Canal in particular appealed to her, while proximity to Bank Street was a magnet for her husband.

If he is admitted to Carleton University's architecture program, the couple's 19-year-old son, Philippe, may move in with them when Second Avenue West is completed in early 2011.

With their son or without, the Lafleches will find their new digs a change from Orléans, where they have an 1,800-square-foot home with a 1,000-square-foot finished basement. Denis seemed unconcerned: "I don't think this will be a problem ... we'll just go with the flow."

Their condo will feature hardwood birch flooring, granite countertops in the kitchen (which includes an island) and bathrooms, six appliances including a gas range, and low-E windows. The heating/cooling system is forced air and, like hot and cold water, is paid for from condo fees. The couple has yet to decide on such options as a natural gas fireplace and a gas line to the balcony for a barbecue.

The building also features an equipped fitness room with a flat-screen TV on the ground floor. Security includes a telephone-permission entry system, a camera linking the vestibule with a homeowner's television, and other security cameras.

Once finished, Chick says Second Avenue West should help revitalize Bronson Avenue -- some of which looks decidedly tired. "It should bring residential living back to Bronson."

The building should also attract a range of buyers, according to Greg Blok, a real estate agent with Ottawa's Bennett Real Estate Professionals from Keller Williams Ottawa Realty. Five of Blok's clients, including four investors, have bought units in Second Avenue West.

Mentioning that an entry-level resale home in the Glebe would likely sell in the high $400,000s, Blok says Second Avenue West's price point means "anyone can now move into the Glebe. This gives a young couple a chance to get into the Glebe now without having to wait until they can afford it in their 40s."

He adds that current Glebe residents who are eyeing potential downsizing should also be interested in the project. Investors, meanwhile, will be attracted by a chance to buy before prices start jumping and may even wind up deciding to live there themselves.

Stressing Domicile's reputation for quality construction, Blok says that prices at Second Avenue West are on par with other condo developments downtown.

One major difference, he adds, is the "intimate feel of this one -- not everyone is into the monolithic 18-storey tower."
Ultimately, says Blok, "condos are a lifestyle decision. People want the amenities in the neighbourhood. Here, you're not far from the festivals and lifestyle events in the city."

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

New condo investment strategy

Property Purchase Price - $219,420.00
Deposit (15%) - $32,913.00
Monthly cost (Home Equity Line of Credit – 2.75%) - $75.43

Construction time (assume 30 months) - $2262.77
After tax investment (assuming 46% tax bracket) - $1221.90

Historically a minimum of 20% increase in value has been achieved.
Property Increase in Value - $43,884.00
After Capital Gains tax - $35,984.88

Return on Investment annually – 28.45%

Monday, July 6, 2009

Resale housing sales have another record month in JUNE

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,895 residential properties in June through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® system compared with 1,685 in June 2008. This is an increase of 12.5 per cent. Listing inventory is at a very low level, which has led to competitive bidding on many properties.

Of those sales, 418 were in the condominium property class, while 1,477 were in the residential property class. The condominium property class includes any property, regardless of style (i.e. detached, semi-detached, apartment, etc.) which is registered as a condominium, as well as properties which are co-operatives, life leases and timeshares. The residential property class includes all other residential properties.

“This is the third consecutive record setting month this year and the fourth month where sales exceeded the previous year’s sales,” said Board President Rick Snell. “Year-to-date sales as of the end of June are up one per cent over the same time period in 2008. We have seen a strong recovery from the slow start to this year,” he added.

The average sale price of residential properties, including condominiums, sold in June in the Ottawa area was $306,924, an increase of 3 per cent over June 2008. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $236,830, an increase of 8.3 per cent over June 2008. The average sale price of a residential-class property was $326,761, an increase of 2.5 per cent over June 2008.

Monday, June 22, 2009

New pre-construction condo OPPORTUITY

Soon I will have further information on an upcoming condo project that has great potential for pre-construction investment - the SoHo Parkway.

Please check out the web site for research on their properties in Toronto and Vancouver -

Housing Prices over Time - Looking back....

“The prices of houses seem to have reached a plateau, and there is reasonable expectancy that prices will decline.” – Time Magazine 1947

“Houses cost too much for the mass market, Today’s average price is out of reach for two-thirds of all buyers.” – Science Digest 1948

“The goal of owning a home seems to be getting beyond the reach of more and more Americans.” - -Business Week 1969 (average price at the time:$28,000)

“If you are looking to buy, be careful. Rising home values are not a sure thing anymore.” – Money Magazine 1981

“The era of easy profits in real estate may be drawing to a close.” – Money Magazine 1981

“Most economists agree… a home will become little more than a roof and a tax deduction,
certainly not the lucrative investment it was…” – Money Magazine 1986

Friday, June 19, 2009

Cap Rates

Capitalization rate

Capitalization rate (or "cap rate") is a measure of the ratio between the net operating income produced by an asset (usually real estate) and its capital cost (the original price paid to buy the asset) or alternatively its current market value. The rate is calculated in a simple fashion as follows:

For example, if a building is purchased for $1,000,000 sale price and it produces $100,000 in positive net operating income (the amount left over after fixed costs and variable costs are subtracted from gross lease income) during one year, then:

$100,000 / $1,000,000 = 0.10 = 10%

The asset's capitalization rate is ten percent.

Capitalization rates are an indirect measure of how fast an investment will pay for itself. In the example above, the purchased building will be fully capitalized (pay for itself) after ten years (100% divided by 10%). If the capitalization rate were 5%, the payback period would be twenty years.

Monday, June 8, 2009

2nd Avenue West

It is finally time! The launch is on Thursday. Please let me know if you need any further information. I can get you the information package prior to Thursday so we can register for the priority opening.

This is an exciting opportunity to own a brand new condominium in the GLEBE. Traditionally, we see an over 20% return on purchasing pre-construction condos.

Contact me today to reserve your unit GREG BLOK, 613-788-2872 -

Cash Flow Opportunity

I have found a great cash flow opportunity. This is a $36,000 investment that will present $1000 per month in income (minus maintenance and vacancy). This is a cash cow! Let me know if you need further details.

Purchase Price $179,900.00
Deposit $35,980.00
Financed Amount $143,920.00

Income Expenses
Rent $2,850.00
Mortgage Payment $536.82
Management $285.00
Property Tax $95.67
Water/Sewer $178.33
Heat $208.33
Hydro $491.67
Insurance $30.00

TOTALS $2,850.00 $1,825.82

Monthly Yearly
$1,024.18 $12,290.14

Cash on Cash Return 34.16%
Mortgage reduction $2,417.08


Your deposit is returned to you, cash in, from cash flow in under 3 years!!!

North Overbrook Loft Opportunity

I have the opportunity to sell 8 condos in a package that is quite unique. These units are closing in February 2010, so you are buying them pre-construction priced. I was able to negotiate a price reduction on the properties based upon the 8 sales.

Further to this, I arranged a special mortgage package and a management program. The manager will find tenants, manage the property and provide you with accounting statements. The property will cash flow $100 per month after all expenses.

I have provided the potential returns after three years in the program. These are based upon the historical rate of return of 6.27% annual increase in property values in Ottawa.

After Three Years (average 6.27% growth)
Unit # Cash/Mortgage Equity Return on Invest
212 $16,083.95 $71,139.89 40.90%
204 $16,022.02 $70,959.77 40.89%
104 $15,978.00 $71,039.82 40.86%
313 $16,114.49 $71,440.10 40.88%
312 $16,017.96 $71,259.98 40.85%
304 $15,945.04 $71,099.86 40.84%
205 $15,848.21 $69,999.09 40.91%
105 $15,870.22 $69,959.06 40.92%

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Record-breaking number of resale homes sold in May

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,969 residential properties in May through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® system compared with 1,896 in May 2008, an increase of 3.9 per cent. That number also represents a 19 per cent increase over the 1,594 sales recorded in April 2009.

Of those sales, 348 were in the condominium property class, while 1,621 were in the residential property class.

“This was the best May on record for residential resale home sales in Ottawa,” said Board President Rick Snell. “Homes in every price range are selling well, from starter homes to luxury properties. Homebuyers and sellers are showing a lot of confidence in the Ottawa real estate market,” he added.

The average sale price of residential properties, including condominiums, sold in May in the Ottawa area was $312,045, an increase of 5.3 per cent over May 2008. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $231,351, an increase of 4.6 per cent over May 2008. The average sale price of a residential-class property was $329,368, an increase of 4.7 per cent over May 2008.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Mortgage Solutions

Please contact my mortgage person, Lilianne Eid, for your residential mortgage needs.

Rumours have rates going up a third of a point in the near future, so lock in that rate as soon as possible.

Lilianne Eid

Manager, Residential Mortgages

Mobile Mortgage Specialist

Cell:613 222-2852

Fax:613 526-0635

Pager:866 767 5446


I will be on 580 CFRA on Saturday from 3 to 4 pm. Please feel free to listen and give us a call to discuss your questions.

I am hosting an open house at a fantastic home located at 1237 Collins. This house is in Alta Vista and is a 4 bedroom, 2 full bath, top notch renoed property. Check it out Sunday from 2 to 4.

GST New Residential Rental Property Rebate

For an investment property, an amount equivalent to 35% of the total G.S.T. calculated is payable by the purchaser to the Vendor on final closing. Within a 2 year period the purchaser is entitled to claim this amount in the form of a GST Investor rebate if they meet the government's criteria. These include (but are not limited to) having a minimum one year term residential lease on their property whose tenant was the first occupant of the suite.

Purchaser / Landlord eligible for the "residential rental property rebate" should file GST 524.

Please consult your lawyer and account to discuss these options further.

Ontario's Condominium Act

The act provides strong protection for buyers by setting out information (e.g. whether the developer intends to lease some of the units) to be provided when they buy a unit. It makes sure owners have a say in the way the corporation is run. It also establishes new types of condominiums.

If you want to change your mind and cancel the contract, the legislation gives you a 10-day “cooling-off” period from the time you receive a copy of the signed purchase and sale agreement or the disclosure statement (whichever comes later).

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Where do I put my money?

$250,000 mortgage
5% interest rate
25 year ammortorization
$75,000 annual household income
marginal tax rate - 35% (income tax rate)
interest charges over life of mortgage $186,204.00

When you earn an income in Canada, you are taxed on a graduated system. Your 5% interest rate on your mortgage is in AFTER TAX dollars.

If you paid off your mortgage using your 20/20 program (or similar program at the mortgage lending company), you would earn a 7.69% return on your money. In an RRSP vehicle, you would be happy with a 7.69% return.

Paying off your mortgage is an important step in your financial future. They money borrowed on your primary residence is not tax deductable, so start young, get a home, over pay the mortgage, then once you have the mortgage paid off, investigate RRSPs and other investments. Freedom truly starts with no mortgage!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

RRSP mortgages

I have been researching RRSPs for a few clients and have found some interesting information on Canadian RRSP accounts. The average management expense ratio (MER) for mutual funds in Canada is 2.87%, more than any other developed country in the world.

This means very little, unless you put it in financial terms. Lets assume you have $100,000 in RRSPs, with a 2.5% MER and an 8% annual return. Let's fast forward 20 years into the future, your total gross investment is $466,100 (the original $100,000 plus $366,100 in growth). Not too bad!

But, alas, do not forget the MER - $89,700 in annual fees. Remember as well that these fees are not generating more monies for your investment portfolio, so that MER becomes $179,800 in actual loss.

This leaves your total return as $186,290, which is 51% of the anticipated return ($366,100). You have earned a total of 5.4% on your money, not the predicted 8%.

Lets assume you lent to $100,000 out as an RRSP mortgage. We assume the same 8% return and the same 20 year time line. You would receive $828.36 per month in return for your money, which over 20 years amounts to $198,806.40. Your money is backed by a hard asset (the property you lent your money on) and is a paid back on a monthly basis.

You will earn an additional $12,516.40 from an RRSP mortgage. Remember though, this RRSP money is guaranted or you can foreclose on the property. You can also reinvest money that is made, meaning you could double dip on your returns, pushing them even higher.

When dealing in second mortgages you can usually charge and even higher interest rate to lend out your money. Rates in the 12% range are not unheard of. To use the previous example, 12% on $100,o00.00 for 20 years is $259,4.35.20. This translates into an additional $73,145.20 in RRSP earnings over the traditional 8% return from the markets.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Marnie Philosophy

The Marnie philosophy

Real estate success is 60-per-cent energy, 40-per-cent wanting to learn, then there's the bluster -- don't forget the bluster

By Sheila Brady, The Ottawa CitizenMay 9, 2009

Marnie Bennett, holding grandson, Jameson Daniel (JD) Blok, was recently named Business Woman of the Year, professional category by the Women's Business Network. She is still celebrating with family, who also work in her real estate firm. Son-in-law Greg Blok, left, daughters Kristi Blok and Lynsey Bennett, son, Taylor Bennett and husband, George Bennett.
Photograph by: Bruno Schlumberger, The Ottawa Citizen, The Ottawa Citizen
Twenty-three years ago, Marnie Bennett was complaining about the perversity of the summer heat, yet not slowing down as we sped through a sumptuous home across from the Ottawa River in the west end.
Her flip flops flapped against the thick carpeting of the big model home that surpassed 3,000-square-feet and $300,000. Big numbers, even for Pat Piamonte, a custom builder she signed on with as a sales rep in 1984.
Late last month, Bennett was dancing across the stage as the Women's Business Network recognized top performing women in three categories: professional, corporate and entrepreneur.
It wasn't clear if the reigning queen of real estate sales and marketing was overwhelmed by the recognition of winning the professional category at the annual gala or by the fact her eldest daughter, Kristi Blok, had only moments before given birth to her first child, a son, Jameson Daniel (JD) Blok.
"It doesn't get any better," Bennett said before racing over to the hospital to see her new grandson, daughter, and son-in-law, Greg Blok. "I still can't believe I am a grandmother," she said earlier this week. "Life goes by so quickly. I wanted to be at the awards and wanted to be with my daughter."
So she did both, which is the Marnie way.
"You have to follow your passion," says Bennett who earned her spurs selling homes for the now defunct Canada Permanent Trust between 1980 and '84, before coming to the conclusion, she couldn't manage the long hours and still care for her three young children, Kristi, Lynsey and Taylor.
Selling new homes promised regular hours, so she landed a job with Piamonte selling 36 homes planned for a string of lots behind the Fairlawn Plaza in Ottawa's west end, using family connections, a helping of bluster and claims she knew all about blueprints and home construction.
Sales came easy and her boss, Piamonte, laughed after she fessed up she didn't know a blueprint from an architect's drawing or how to build from scratch.
"You did a pretty good job," said the gregarious owner of Woodlea Homes, who went on to head up the Ottawa-Carleton Home Builder's Association. "Imagine what you could have done if you had know all the stuff from the start."
Bennett went on a learning binge, mastering customer service, designer advice and land purchasing and rising to become an executive vice-president at Woodlea.
The '90s weren't easy years with Bennett often the only woman at the table, aware she couldn't leave a meeting early to pick up a child because others would see it as a weakness.
Piamonte died prematurely from a heart attack in 1993 and Bennett took over leadership of the custom building company for a year, before family took back control and she was fired.
"I now know not to answer the door bell at 7 a.m. if someone in a suit is carrying a white envelop," she says with a laugh. Except there wasn't any laughter in 1994. "I was devastated and thought my life was over at 40."
Instead of giving up, Bennett regrouped, setting up a consulting company, landing developers and builders as clients. She hit it off with Jack Stirling, then general manager of Genstar, a company which was developing Kanata Lakes. "Jack recognized my talent, that I was smart and not only froth," says the ambitious, indefatigable workaholic, who still rises most days at 7:30 a.m., working non-stop until 10 p.m.
"I am never on land. I am always in the air," says Bennett, who recruited new builders to Kanata Lakes, convincing John Doran to build terrace homes overlooking the 18-hole golf course, opening the doors to Chello homes with a mix of innovative town and semi-detached homes and spearheading marketing campaigns for Denis Laporte and his custom homes on the second fairway.
She was always on the search for fresh spins, introducing in 1996 a saucy marketing campaign with fat red lips announcing it was time to "Kiss the Landlord Goodbye" in a series of ads for the Regional Group which was radically renovating tired townhomes in Ottawa's east end to attract first-time buyers.
Kiss the Landlord was a smash hit, with many sleeping in their cars, then standing in frigid weather to be first in line. Within hours, 72 townhomes had sold stickers on their front windows.
Bennett and the Regional Group prospered as the rest of the industry faltered but sales dipped as the federal government laid off employees. So she took the same campaign to London, Brockville and Arnprior, scoring more sales.
"I am always looking for new spins, new ideas," says Bennett, who bases her success on 60-per-cent energy, 40-per-cent wanting to learn and a helping of bluster.
Through the years, there have been many large and small builder clients, ranging from Tartan to John Doran and Domicile's series of condos and townhome projects across the city.
In 2007, she formed an alliance with Keller Williams Ottawa Realty, while running with a team of six sales representatives backed up by three sales assistants and a fat Rolodex of contacts collected over the past three decades.
Last year, when the housing industry struggled, the Bennett team generated 400 sales worth an average of $300,000. "My bank account is OK," says Bennett, who still lives in Old Ottawa South, preferring to renovate than move.
However, she has encouraged her children to invest in real estate. All three, as well as her husband, George Bennett, a retired public servant, are involved in the company.
They have been from the start, pasting sold signs on renovated townhomes or helping organize buyer information sessions Bennett first introduced 13 years ago. That's when she invited mortgage officers, lawyers and experts from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. to explain details of buying into her various campaigns.
This mistress of the airwaves is also handing out investment advice every Saturday morning on CFRA and runs monthly seminars for prospective buyers. She's smart because 30 per cent of the 100 or so participants end up buying with her agents.
"Education is everything," says Bennett. "So is one-stop shopping."
Now, Bennett is promoting investment campaigns to buy land and homes in Arizona, earning generous returns.
It's another twist on Bennett's philosophy to improvise and to keep learning. "I find the best experts in town and then offer the information to my clients. It's the only way to survive."
That and a smile on Mother's Day from a certain newborn spells happiness to this high achiever.
Sheila Brady is the Citizen's Homes editor. You can reach her at .
© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen

Thursday, May 7, 2009

From the ground up

Investing in pre-construction condos can be a very lucrative investment strategy if you know what you are doing. Retaining the services of a professional, who knows the market is advisable in this endevour.

Purchase Price - $231,000.00
Deposit - $46,200.00
Financed Amount - $184,800.00

P&I - $798.36
condo fees - $143.23
taxes - $221.00

TOTAL MONTHLY - $1162.59

principal paid down annually - $2566.54

Rental income monthly - $1250

monthly carry - $87.41 (12 months x carry = $1,048.92) – if you add the cash flow plus the principal reduction you are at a $3615.46

Projected sales price, based upon current market figures (assuming little to no growth in the market over the next two years) - $18,600.00

This means a return of $22,215.46 on an investment of $46,200.00 inside of 2 years
(24% per year).

Looking at the attached document, annually the Ottawa market increases by 6%. Factoring this in would put your sales figure much higher in two years.

$53,066.02 return on an investment of $46,200.00 inside of two years (57% return annually)

Please note, this strategy does not work with every building, this is specific to certain properties and certain buildings.

CFRA - Saturday 2pm - Experts on Call

Tune in this week to Experts on Call on 580 CFRA to hear Marnie and I talk about real life success stories of clients we have worked with over the past year.

Looking forward to helping you achieve your goals! Give us a call or visit us on the web at

80% rental offset

One of the very best financing tools that has come available in the investment property financing side is the 80% rental offset financing. In this scenario, 80% of the rental income is subtracted from your PITH (principle, interest, taxes and heat calculation), then the property is assessed to see if you fall under the 42% gross debt ratio. This means that on a property, if you total monthly carry is $1200 and your rent is $1400, the financing company would do the following calculation

$1400 x 80% = $1120
$1200 - $1120 = $80

Inside your gross debt ratio you would have to finance a total of $80/mth to carry the rental property. This is a very unique way of looking at financing a rental property.

The 80% number is used to protect the bank from vacancy, repairs, bad debt, etc. Please let me know if you need further details on this. Check out some excellent investment ideas at -

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Busy times - Baby JD

I have not been posting as much lately as I have been swamped at home with the birth of our first child, JD (Jameson Daniel) Blok. He was a healthy 7 pounds and 9 ounces, born April 22 2009 at 8:11 pm.

It is a very exciting time and we are

truly blessed to have the little guy here.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Rose coloured glasses

I was speaking to a potential investor this week and we were discussing the current economic state. He was mentioning job losses and uncertainty with companies, decline in manufactoring, etc.

I smiled.

That really bewildered him. How could I smile?

Where you see problems, I have trained myself to see opportunities. Low interest rates, consumer confidence (in sellers), this is an unprecedented buying opportunity.

True rental real estate is recession proof. Think of the Hierachy of Needs, at the bottom is food and shelter, the two basics needs. Residential real estate is a basic need. Commercial real estate is a bit more risky, because it is not essential.

Your rental property pays down a mortgage, puts some cash flow in your jeans and offers some tax advantages. In times of economic uncertainty, many people will hold off on buying a house for "better times" (there will not be a better time), this sways the supply and demand equilibrium toward the investor. More demand, for the same supply means higher rents.

My rose coloured glasses are telling me, that as an investor, now is the time to be buying homes and getting the most out of the current interest rate drop.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Eco-energy rebates

“Energy and persistence conquer all things”~ Benjamin Franklin

Dear Friend,

Over the past few years, the word “energy” has been heard frequently in the news. From issues of global warming and climate control to pollution and conservation efforts, we should all be aware of the importance that energy has on our lives. But one must ask themselves - What exactly is energy?

Energy is defined as the ability to do work and can be found in many different forms - chemical, electrical, thermal, radiant, mechanical and nuclear. Energy lights our homes, plays music on the radio, moves our cars along the road, airplanes through the sky. It helps our bodies grow and allows us to think. Fundamentally, our lives depend on energy and although we have exploitable reserves for natural gas and coal, those reserves are slowly running out. While we may have discovered renewable forms of energy such as solar and wind energy, it is important for us ALL to take precautionary measures in order to ensure that there will be supple amounts of energy for future generations. Therefore, energy conservation and energy efficiency are now more important than ever.

Energy efficiency, the use of technology that requires less energy to perform the same function, is the wave of the future. The Government of Canada as well as the Government of Ontario have each introduced several initiatives to help Canadians save millions of dollars in energy costs while contributing to a healthier environment. By making your home more energy efficient, you can help reduce high energy bills while improving comfort in your home, all the while helping to protect the environment. The Canadian Government’s Office of Energy Efficiency (OEE) as well as the Ontario Home Energy Savings Program have introduced several initiatives to help Canadians save millions of dollars in energy costs, while contributing to a healthier environment by retro-fitting your home.

The OEE`s ecoENERGY Retrofit Program which was launched April 1, 2007 and is scheduled to end March 31, 2011, provides financial support to homeowners, small and medium-sized businesses, public institutions and industrial facilities to help them implement energy saving projects that reduce energy related to greenhouse gases and air pollution.

By making your home more energy efficient, such as changing windows and doors or replacing your toilets, furnace or insulation, you can get big returns from the Government. Up to $10,000 to be exact. Factor this into your renovation costs and you can save a lot of money on potential repairs. And as of March 30th, 2009, for a limited time, the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Natural Resources, announced that grants for the ecoENERGY retrofit program have increased by 25%. Therefore, if you are thinking about home renovations, now is definitely the time to do it. For more information visit

In addition to the ecoENERGY retrofit grants, there is currently a home renovation tax credit (HRTC) which offers a 15% rebate (up to $10,000) on home renovations including finishing your basement or re-modelling your kitchen. That means that you can get up to $1,350 back from the government for repairs that will only add value to your home! For more information please visit

So get started because there’s no place like home!
But remember, the future is ours—we just need energy to get there!

Prime rate lowered April 21 2009

Bank of Canada lowers overnight rate target by 1/4 percentage point to 1/4 per cent and, conditional on the inflation outlook, commits to hold current policy rate until the end of the second quarter of 2010

OTTAWA – The Bank of Canada today announced that it is lowering its target for the overnight rate by one-quarter of a percentage point to 1/4 per cent, which the Bank judges to be the effective lower bound for that rate. The Bank Rate is correspondingly lowered to 1/2 per cent. The deposit rate - the rate paid on deposits held by financial institutions at the Bank of Canada - is left unchanged at 1/4 per cent and provides the floor for the overnight rate. Details of the Bank's operating framework at the effective lower bound can be found here.

In an environment of continued high uncertainty, the global recession has intensified and become more synchronous since the Bank's January Monetary Policy Report Update, with weaker-than-expected activity in all major economies. Deteriorating credit conditions have spread quickly through trade, financial, and confidence channels. While more aggressive monetary and fiscal policy actions are underway across the G20, measures to stabilize the global financial system have taken longer than expected to enact. As a result, the recession in Canada will be deeper than anticipated, with the economy projected to contract by 3.0 per cent in 2009. The Bank now expects the recovery to be delayed until the fourth quarter and to be more gradual. The economy is projected to grow by 2.5 per cent in 2010 and 4.7 per cent in 2011, and to reach its production capacity in the third quarter of 2011. Given significant restructuring in a number of sectors, potential growth has been revised down. The recovery will be importantly supported by the Bank's accommodative monetary stance.

The Bank expects core inflation to diminish through 2009, gradually returning to the 2 per cent target in the third quarter of 2011 as aggregate supply and demand return to balance. Total CPI inflation is expected to trough at -0.8 per cent in the third quarter of 2009 and return to target in the third quarter of 2011. While the underlying macroeconomic risks to the projection are roughly balanced, the Bank judges that, as a consequence of operating at the effective lower bound, the overall risks to its inflation projection are tilted slightly to the downside.

With monetary policy now operating at the effective lower bound for the overnight policy rate, it is appropriate to provide more explicit guidance than is usual regarding its future path so as to influence rates at longer maturities. Conditional on the outlook for inflation, the target overnight rate can be expected to remain at its current level until the end of the second quarter of 2010 in order to achieve the inflation target. The Bank will continue to provide such guidance in its scheduled interest rate announcements as long as the overnight rate is at the effective lower bound.

To reinforce its conditional commitment to maintain the overnight rate at 1/4 per cent, the Bank will roll over a portion of its existing stock of one- and three-month term Purchase and Resale Agreements (PRAs) into six- and twelve-month terms at minimum and maximum bid rates that correspond to the target rate and the Bank Rate, respectively. These longer-term PRAs will be issued according to the schedule released today.

Today's decision to lower the policy rate by 25 basis points brings the cumulative monetary policy easing to 425 basis points since December 2007. It is the Bank's judgment that this cumulative easing, together with the conditional commitment, is the appropriate policy stance to move the economy back to full production capacity and to achieve the 2 per cent inflation target. The Bank retains considerable flexibility in the conduct of monetary policy at low interest rates, consistent with the framework to be outlined in the Bank's Monetary Policy Report on 23 April.

Information note:
The next scheduled date for announcing the overnight rate target is 4 June 2009.