Thinking of buying an investment suite?  Here are features you should consider.


The geographic boundaries in which you intend to invest will be mostly restricted by whether you intend to outsource property management services or manage the property yourself. If the latter is the desired route, you are going to want to look for properties that are within a relatively close travelling distance. If you are contracting outside property management services, this is less of a factor.


Here are 10 features that investors should evaluate and consider when hunting for that perfect real estate investment property.


1. Employment Opportunities: Locations with a growing job market tend to attract more people. More people mean more renters, especially if you target an area with a large rent/own ration. You can visit Statistics Canada for reliable and timely data on the labour market for the area you are considering. If you notice a large corporation moving to the area, migration will follow. College towns are now also a viable option as there is the steady flow of students needing off-campus housing, although the demand may only be strong for the September to April school year.

 

2. Location, Location, Location: The quality of the location will influence the type of renters attracted to your rental property. Look at criteria, such as the Walk Score, proximity to transportation, hospitals, proximity to universities and colleges, major business centres, local restaurants and shopping. The more central the location, the greater the demand.

 

3. Rent: For income properties, your monthly rent is your staple. Find out what the average rental rates are in the area. Can you achieve above or below the average? At the very least, you are going to want to cover your mortgage payment, taxes and miscellaneous expenses like insurance. If this can be achieved, then you can move on.

 

4. Safety: No one wants to live in an unsafe neighbourhood. You can inquire about crime rates. Again, Statistics Canada is a great resource, and even the local police department can tell you whether the neighbourhood is safe and secure.

 

5. Amenities: What attractions are nearby that will both be a draw and requirement for renters? Things that must be considered are shopping malls, parks, movie theatres, gyms and access to public transportation.

 

6. Schools: One of the top considerations for your renters may hinge on the school district and specific schools that they want their children attend. Researching the local schools will be a key variable which can increase your renter pool as well as significantly impact the overall appreciation of your investment property.

 

7. Future Development: What developments are planned for the area which would positively or negatively impact the value of your investment property? Is it a high-growth area or one that is currently in decline? A neighbourhood in the early stages of gentrification might result in a faster and higher appreciation for your investment property.

 

8. Inventory: Is there a lot of inventory available on the market? Make sure you look at market trends for the last few years as you don’t want to be in a seasonal trend only when making your investment decision. You have to review the vacancy rates that have existed based on inventory levels and how this may impact your monthly rental rates.

9. Property Taxes: These costs affect your bottom line. Review the taxes and the current market value assessments and determine if they are high, and if so, whether there’s a reason.

10. Insurance: These are additional costs that erode your bottom line returns. Of course, you don’t want to invest in areas where you cannot get insurance, like flood plains or possible proximity to natural disasters. You can do your research with your insurance agent to determine the risks of claims that might exist and if you can get coverage at all.

 

The easiest and possibly best investment properties for beginners are residential single family homes and condominiums. Condos are low maintenance, as generally the condo corporation is responsible for external repairs. You must keep an eye out for high maintenance fees which are generally charged on a cost per square foot per month basis. Do your research and comparative analysis to ensure these costs are in line for the building in question.


When you have the type of property you desire and the neighbourhood narrowed down, look for the best properties that have both appreciation potential and good projected cash flow. You should choose an experienced realtor who has a proven track record. You’ll want a successful realtor to help and advise you with this exciting opportunity.

Feel free to me at 604-724-0725 for more information and tips. 



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Government to introduce a 15 per cent foreign buyer tax effective August 2

 

Message from the Real estate board of Greater Vancouver:

 

The provincial government will implement a 15 per cent foreign buyer tax on all residential transactions effective August 2, 2016. The tax will be added to the Property Transfer Tax and will apply to all residential properties purchased by foreign nationals or foreign-controlled corporations.

 

The new tax will be payable on applicable transfers registered with the Land Title Office on or after August 2 regardless of when the deal was completed.

 

The tax will apply to any transferee that is a foreign national, foreign corporation, or taxable trustee. Foreign nationals are defined as people who aren’t Canadian citizens or don’t have permanent resident status in Canada. (Permanent residents will have a valid permanent resident card issued by the Canadian government.)

 

“Housing affordability concerns all of us who live in the region. Implementing a new real estate tax, however, with just eight days’ notice and no consultation with the professionals who serve home buyers and sellers every day needlessly injects uncertainty into the market,” Dan Morrison, Board president said. “Government has had a long time to take action on the affordability issue, yet they decide to bring this new tax in over a long weekend, with no notice, and no time to prepare. It would have been prudent to seek consultation from the people most knowledgeable about the impact.”

 

Under the new tax, for example, a foreign buyer or foreign-controlled entity will pay an additional $300,000 in tax on a $2 million home.

 

“To minimize short-term volatility in the market, we’re calling on government to exempt real estate transactions that are in the process of closing from this new tax,” Morrison said.  

 

Foreign corporations are any corporation not incorporated in Canada, or are incorporated in Canada but controlled in part, or wholly, by a foreign national or corporation. Publicly traded companies are excluded.

Commercial properties are excluded, and mixed-use properties will only pay the tax on the portion of the property’s value that’s for residential use.

 

For more information:

Read the government announcement here.

Read the government’s tax information sheet here.

We’ll continue to share information with you on this development as we learn more.

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Home buyers remain active across Metro Vancouver

Home buyers continue to compete for homes listed for sale across the Metro Vancouver housing market. 


Residential property sales in the region totalled 4,400 in June 2016, an increase of 0.6 per cent from the 4,375 sales recorded in June 2015 and a decrease of 7.7 per cent compared to May 2016 when 4,769 homes sold.

Last month’s sales were 28.1 per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month and rank as the highest selling June on record.

 

"While we're starting to see more properties coming onto the market in recent months, the imbalance between supply and demand continues to influence market conditions," Dan Morrison REBGV president said.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 5,875 in June 2016. This represents an increase of 1.2 per cent compared to the 5,803 units listed in June 2015 and a 6.6 per cent decrease compared to May 2016 when 6,289 properties were listed.

 

“Since March, we’ve seen more homes listed for sale in our market than in any other four-month period this decade,” Morrison said.  

 

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 7,812, a 35.9 per cent decline compared to June 2015 (12,181) and a 1.1 per cent increase compared to May 2016 (7,726).

The sales-to-active listings ratio for June 2016 is 56.3 per cent. While clearly indicative of a seller’s market, this is the lowest this measure has been since February.

 

Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below the 12 per cent mark, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it reaches the 20 to 22 per cent range in a particular community for a sustained period of time.

 

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $917,800. This represents a 32.1 per cent increase compared to June 2015.

Sales of detached properties in June 2016 reached 1,562, a decrease of 18.6 per cent from the 1,920 detached sales recorded in June 2015. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 38.7 per cent from June 2015 to $1,561,500.

 

Sales of apartment properties reached 2,108 in June 2016, an increase of 18.8 per cent compared to the 1,774 sales in June 2015.The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 25.3 per cent from June 2015 to $501,100.

 

Attached property sales in June 2016 totalled 730, an increase of 7.2 per cent compared to the 681 sales in June 2015. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 28.1 per cent from June 2015 to $656,900.

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