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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all,

I'm looking to buy a rental property in Calgary. I've got ~40k saved up and am looking at buying pretty soon.

I've got a bunch of questions that I hope any experienced investors might be able to help me out with. I hope the question is not too open ended, but I'm guessing there will be a combination of the points I'm asking below, that have historically proven themselves to be a better choice with regards to being a landlord. Keep in mind - its my first time doing this, so I want to take baby steps if possible :)

Should I target individuals or small families?
Should I go Condo or Townhouse?
Should I go 1 bedroom or 2 bedroom?
Should I go downtown Calgary or in the Suburbs close to good transport (train or main bus route).
What age range should I be looking at.

Many thanks!
 

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You should always look for more bedrooms than less.
You should screen your tenants as bad tenants come in all categories.
People prefer townhouses to condos.

That being said, look for good cash flow first and only. A one bedroom you buy for 50k and rent for $8-900/month is better than a 2 bedroom townhouse that you buy for $250k and rent for $1100/month.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Id like to get some property if thats what you are asking? :) I like the idea of utilizing Other peoples money.
 

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Why not just buy REITs (or stocks) instead? That way you get real estate returns without the hassle of managing renters, repairs, maintenance, etc.

You can't sell part of a house when you need the money - you _can_ sell part of a REIT.

Also, getting a mortgage to buy a property is more risky than buying stocks (unless you buy on margin). While the property may not "Go to zero" it could easily drop below the 40 k you've invested (which will probably be more like 20k by the time all the fees are paid).

I know people like to get house fever (I've fallen prey to it myself), but in many cases, equities are a far safer, often more profitable investment. If you do decide to buy, don't forget to factor in current market rents, maintenance costs, CMHC insurance, renter's insurance, taxes, condo fees, months without rent (you _will_ have those), etc.

One rule of thumb I've read is that you should pay no more than 15 times the annual rent for a rental property. i.e, if you think you could get $1000/month for a property (with the renter paying utilities), you would have to get it for less than $180k. I suspect there wouldn't be many properties in Calgary where this is the case.
 
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