B.ESt (Arch)  M.EDes (Planning)

Licensed Realtor . GRAND Realty 

403.383.5706  |  wilton-clark@shaw.ca  |
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Having served many clients over the last 10 years, here’s some sound advice for you brave First Time Buyers. 


Have you really considered your goals? What is your BEST case scenario? We always ask these two question when meeting with first time home buyers. So often, the enormity of mortgaging hundreds of thousands of dollars descends on first time buyers and can cripple or even paralyze the process. Many buyers start looking at properties that really don’t meet their needs or future goals, just because they don’t know what they can afford.


Maybe its cliché but Information is POWER. The sooner you can establish the monthly cost of a purchase, the sooner you can compare it to your current monthly out goings. Rent vs buy. One path builds you equity, while the other builds someone else’s. Lets take for example the monthly cost of mortgaging a $400,000.00 property in the Calgary area and compare it to rental costs for a similar property.


With current 5 year fixed Mortgage Rates swimming around 2.5% and a minimum 5% down payment, you would be paying under $1800 Principle and Interest monthly. That’s the low end of what rent would cost for the same property.


With your goals in mind and having considered your BEST possible outcome, what’s the next step? We really can’t stress this enough. GET PRE-APPROVED! This will save so much time and heartache and often give you the upper hand in negotiations. Knowing what you can afford and having your financing in order will be a much more attractive offer to a seller than someone who hasn’t even started crunching numbers. 


Life happens, opportunities present themselves and your goals may change. Your first property purchase is unlikely to be your last. Keep information flowing. No question isn’t worth considering. Could your first purchase be the beginning of a property investment portfolio? This takes us back to the first two questions we ask. Have you considered your goals; and what is your BEST case scenario? For most people, purchasing a property will be their biggest investment. Making sure your financial decisions keep you in line to meet your future property goals will always be key to a successful outcome 


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THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX.  I've told my family's story many times over the years. Immigrants from Hungary, my parents had very little income and no real prospect of ever retiring. They needed to be innovative about how to build their future.  With next to no savings, when they wanted to purchase a run down fixer-upper a block from our home in NW Calgary 25 years ago, it was a difficult decision. I was at the time attending university and working part time, and ended up lending them $3000 to add to their savings to complete the purchase. They bought the home, fixed it up, but rather than flip it they ended up having it reappraised and chose to keep it ... and because it appraised 15% higher in value after it was fixed up, they were actually able to remortgage that first investment home and take out their initial seed money they had invested and then use it as down-payment on a second investment home.


So from one investment home they went to two investment homes in a matter of a few months, then from two homes they went to four homes, from four homes they went to eight, and on it went. Monthly mortgage payments were made using rent money, and equity in the homes grew. Today, my parents are happily retired and live very comfortably, travelling and spending time with family.

After graduating from university, I worked as a subdivision planner for Calgary land developers but eventually decided to follow in my parents' footsteps in residential real estate investment. It was a change that offered a more flexible schedule, time at home with the kids, pursuit of hobbies and a tangible opportunity to grow an investment portfolio that helped us for the future. I've been doing this for over a decade. Real estate investment and management has taught me invaluable lessons that I'm happy to now pass on and share with anyone interested.

Perhaps you are asking yourself some of these questions:

  • Is it possible to retire with income from investment properties? 
  • Is it possible to build a small portfolio of properties with little savings? 
  • Can monthly mortgage payments be covered by monthly rental income? 
  • How difficult is it to deal with tenants?
  • Is there an ideal number of homes one should have to secure long term income? 
  • Is now a good time to start? 
  • How should I start?

I'm happy to share my experience with you.  Give me a shout!


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