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The Hassle of Rental Properties

This is a nice article below that summarizes some of the struggles and challenges of owning a rental property. In the frenzied Fraser Valley residential real estate market of the pandemic years, many people purchased a second investment property. Some borrowed against their principal residence to do so.

Buying, operating and maintaining a rental property is often not a simple and easy thing to do.

See REITs provide safer alternative for wannabe landlords from BNN

As noted in the piece, there are some serious issues to give thought to before deciding to buy a rental property:

  • tenancy act rules, regulations and laws (i.e. tenant rights)
  • what is the impact on you if a tenant falls behind on their rent? Can you make your mortgage payment and meet other costs (i.e. property taxes, insurance, utilities etc.) tied to the rental property, if your tenant stops paying you?
  • what would you do if your tenant outright refuses or is unable to pay the rent and refuses to leave your property?
  • what measures are you taking to properly screen prospective tenants?
  • do you have a contingency fund to pay for inevitable emergency repair bills? Or for routine maintenance items?
  • do you have the time and energy to attend to maintenance and repairs on your own?
  • is the rental property offering you a monthly positive cash flow? OR, are you simply counting on capital appreciation year after year?
  • if you are looking at hiring a property manager, does that still make your investment financially feasible from a monthly cash flow perspective?

These are but a few key questions to consider before deciding to venture into the world of residential rental properties.  There can be unimaginable emotional stress and financial hardship due to a bad tenant or unexpected repairs. This is not to say that rental property never makes sense or isn't a good investment. It's just a reminder that there are a LOT of factors to consider, before you take the plunge into something like this. 

Owning and operating a rental property is NOT always easy money, as it may seem. And some have wrongly come to believe in easy money through rental property during the recent boom years in the real estate market, here in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. Like all investments, there are potential risks and rewards to objectively think about. This is especially important when the stakes are so high in expensive real estate markets like ours.

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Buying a Home in the Winter Can Be a Smart Move

The short days and long, cold, wet, dark nights of winter can put many people off from buying a home.  While spring is traditionally the busiest sales period for residential real estate, buying a home in the winter can be a smart move for the savvy purchaser.

In the traditionally busy spring selling season, more homes are typically available for sale and more buyers active than the other times of year.  This is often the case because families with kids want to get settled into their new home before the next school year starts, in September.  Others may want to get into a home in time to host and enjoy their home during the summer.  It may even be because they want to use the good summer months to renovate or fix things around the place upon purchase.  Think yard care and exterior painting etc.  Whatever the motivation, home buyers and sellers are just more active during the spring months.

While the spring market is usually very active, the winter months can be anything but.  The winter real estate market, that runs from about November to February, can be slow and dull.  But this can be a great thing if you are a buyer and can find a gem in the dark dreary Vancouver winter. 


Sift Through “Stale Listings”

Buying a home during winter can be advantageous if you are looking to score a good deal.  While there may be fewer homes listed for sale, you will have ample time to research and compare the homes that are available.  There could be several homes that failed to sell in the summer or fall months still sitting on the market in the winter.  Such “stale listings” may have a vendor/s that are now more realistic and flexible in their asking price, after a long period of market exposure.


Motivated Sellers

Indeed, you may tend to find a few more sellers that are highly motivated to sell in the winter.  So called distress sales may be a bit more apparent as there are sometimes people who can’t wait for the busier spring selling season to arrive.  They want or have to sell their home quickly to get desperately needed liquidity.


Have the Upper Hand in Negotiations

Another advantage of buying a home in the winter can be that there are fewer other buyers competing with you for the better homes on market.  This means less pressure on you as a buyer and can give you leverage in negotiations with a seller.  Negotiating from a position of strength is always desirable in any bargaining situation.  A slower sales period allows you to comfortably perform your due diligence, prior to purchasing a place.  Inserting contract clauses to your favour, is also likely more acceptable to sellers looking to move on from a place.  

If you are a buyer looking to find a good deal on a home in the Fraser Valley during the slower winter months, please contact me today.  Remember, you can negotiate a good deal in the winter and stipulate a closing or move-in date that’s in the spring or later.  Let me show you how I can help you buy a good home, at a good price, this winter.

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