Category Archives: Buying

Owning An Investment Property, Adam Hawryluk, Mortgage Specialist

The Simple Hack To Owning An Investment Property

Many Canadians dream of one day owning an investment property. Unfortunately, in the face of tightening qualifying regulations and the significant down payment required to purchase one directly (20% minimum for rental purchases) most feel it is difficult turning that dream into a reality. Despite this, there is good news! Thanks to savvy investors, there is straightforward process to side-step most of these big hurdles.

Owning an Investment Property

Step 1: For Your First Home, Buy with Your Head, Not with Your Heart

As a real estate investor, you want to make sure the first home you buy (Home #1) will eventually be suitable as a rental property. Because this home is bought for you to live in, you can purchase it with as little as 5% down payment, using CMHC mortgage default insurance. Don’t buy Home #1 solely because you love the neighbourhood, or because it is close to your work, as future renters may not value these aspects as much as you do. Consider up-and-coming neighbourhoods, which may allow you to purchase a property at a better value with the option of renovating as you live in it, if necessary. Work with your REALTOR® to maximize this value and lean on them for their expertise.

Step 2: Start Saving for Home #2

The key here is to take your time gathering your money for the down payment on your next home. Because your plan is to eventually move into your next home, you can purchase future Home #2 with as little as 5% down payment as well (or save up the 20% to avoid another default mortgage insurance premium). If Home #1 has increased significantly in value since you purchased it, you may be able to tap into some of it’s equity to help bolster the down payment for your next home.

Step 3: Qualifying for Home #2

Using the down payment you’ve saved up or the equity in Home #1, find out how much of a mortgage you can qualify for with your next home. Note: not all banks/lenders use the same formula to determine this dollar amount. Since Home #1 is going to turn into a rental property, lenders will use an appraiser to determine how much rental income this home can expect to earn each month since nobody can expect you to have a signed lease in place while you still live there. That determined income is then considered into your financial picture to calculate your maximum purchase amount for Home #2.

Step 4: Buying Home #2

If your goal is to have one rental property and one home for yourself, you can then look at this property through the lens of what would be ideal for you. Again, work with your REALTOR® to determine the neighbourhood, schools, facilities, layout, etc. that works best for your situation. If the intention for this property isn’t for you to live in forever, start back at Step 2 again and start saving!

The key to owning an investment property and buying homes in this manner is that the intention MUST be for you to live in them. This is not a “*wink-wink, nudge-nudge* suuuure you’re going to “live in this house” *wink-wink*”  shady type situation. CMHC has rules about your intentions for the property and how long you must reside in it, as does any mortgage lender for the property. All these people have in common is that they don’t plan on being in that property forever. Their time-frame may be three years or thirteen years, but they buy Home #1 with the thought in the back of their mind about how well it will function as a rental property in the future. The hardest part is actually BEING a (good) landlord, but that’s another post of its own.

Search Investment Properties   |   Property Management Services

5 reasons to live in Nanaimo, Nanaimo, Real Esate

5 Reasons To Live In Nanaimo

If you’re thinking of moving to Nanaimo, here are 5 reasons to live in Nanaimo.

5 Reasons to live in Nanaimo.

  1. Small city feel with big city amenities.

Nanaimo offers all of the amenities, events, festivals, arts, sporting activities, and shopping. There is so much more without the headache of big city traffic. If you want art exhibits, the theater or other cultural activities and events, Nanaimo has them. If you want an active outdoor lifestyle, Nanaimo has everything you could ever want. Try paddle boarding, to sailing, hiking, camping, sports or anything else you can think of. The City of Nanaimo website has a calendar of events that lets you easily find events or activities for you and your family. Go to to see what’s happening throughout the year.

  1. Cost of living.

Housing prices in the Nanaimo and mid-island area are on the rise but it’s still a great time to buy a home in the area. There are homes available to suite almost any budget and every lifestyle. With a small community feel, Nanaimo is a wonderful place to raise your kids. Or if you think you want to retire here, now is a perfect time to buy an investment property to move into later.

  1. Moderate climate.

Summers are typically warm and sunny, perfect for doing all the outdoor activities you love. Winters are moderate. Nanaimo doesn’t generally drop much below freezing and for the most part, doesn’t get a lot of snow (occasional exceptions apply).

  1. Well-regarded education system.

Starting with pre-school and kindergarten, and continuing through University, Nanaimo has a wonderful school system. Private, public and French immersion schools can all be found in Nanaimo and Vancouver Island University, home to a large number of international, as well as local students, offers first-rate programs for those interested in furthering their education, no matter what their age.

  1. Medical services.

In Nanaimo, there is no shortage of excellent medical care. Doctors are drawn here from all over the world. For a lot of the reasons we’ve already looked at and Nanaimo residents benefit from their world experiences and care. Nanaimo Regional General Hospital is easily accessible and offers top-notch medical assistance to those who need it.

While there are many more reasons why Nanaimo is a terrific place to live, these are a few to get you started. When you’re ready to make the jump to island life, call one of our expert agents at RE/MAX of Nanaimo at (250) 751-1223.

The Housing Market In Canada And The US Dollar

The Housing Market In Canada And The US Dollar

The housing market in Canada is as diverse and wide-ranging as the people themselves. While we all hear about the extreme highs of the Toronto and Vancouver markets, there are still many areas of the county with affordable housing. Nanaimo is one of them.

Housing Market In Canada. Why Nanaimo?

Nanaimo is a city of around 83,000 (2011 Census) and while it may still be considered a small city, it offers all of the amenities, activities and opportunities as some of its’ larger cousins.

With top notch education, it’s a wonderful place to raise a family. It also has a universal health care system, so you’re well taken care of. The cost of living here is less than in larger metropolitan areas, so the need to work more and earn more is not as prevalent. Nanaimo residents can enjoy a more active, stress free life.

Nanaimo is centrally located on Vancouver Island, making it easy to access many outdoor activities – ski at Mount Washington, surf in Tofino and Long Beach, whale watch up north, or take a drive to Victoria and check out the many museums there. Nothing is out of reach, there’s something for everyone!

Mortgage financing.

Both TD Bank and the Royal Bank announced rate hikes, as of November 2016, to their 3, 4 and 5 year mortgage interest rates. The increases range from 25 to 40 points which, by example, means that a $300,000 mortgage on a 25 year amortization, will now cost roughly $45 per month more, or approximately $13,000 over a 5 year term.

Other lenders will no doubt follow the lead of these two major financial institutions in the near future, so buying a home now will protect you from further interest hikes in the short term and prepare you for the possibility of higher rates in the future.

The US dollar.

After the presidential election south of the border, the Canadian dollar dipped below 75¢ but has since shown signs of a slight recovery. With the buying power of the US dollar, and interest rates still quite low, now is the perfect opportunity for Americans to think about buying in Canada.

If you’re looking to purchase a home in the Nanaimo area, call RE/MAX of Nanaimo today at (250) 751-1223. We have agents on hand, ready to help.