Subdividing Property to Increase Density Can Raise Issues with Mortgages on Titles

Skinny House

Podcast Episode 121: “Subdivision Nightmare.”

Across Canada, there is an ongoing discussion about the lack of affordable housing. In some areas, developers won’t build rentals because building condos is more lucrative, because there are rent controls, or perhaps a combination of both situations. Some Canadians are completely priced out of the housing market—especially in the Great Toronto Area and the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. Even in Alberta, where I live and work as a real estate lawyer, affordable housing is an issue. One solution is increased urban density. This podcast/blog post is about the legal challenges of subdividing a single lot into two or more skinnier properties. If there is a mortgage on title, watch out!
 
Download the audio file HERE. Download the handout HERE. (control click or right click + save as)
  Continue reading

Rapid Cash Program Webinar

Join our webinar on April 18th to learn about our upcoming real estate investing workshops in Edmonton and Toronto. The Rapid Cash Program will teach you creative strategies that can work in any real estate cycle to generate income and grow your portfolio. You’ll learn the secrets behind Canada-specific quick-turn strategies that will put you on the pathway to investment success!

Save Your Credit Rating from Foreclosure with Negotiation

mortgage default foreclosure

A Strategy for Walking Away from Non-recourse Mortgages in Alberta

Buying a property doesn’t always work out. Sometimes investors and homeowners alike can’t keep up with their mortgages, and they face foreclosure from their lenders. This blog post is about non-recourse mortgages in Alberta and how they sometimes make it possible to avoid foreclosure with careful negotiation—as long as the lender is understanding.

Continue reading

On Winging It

How to Become a Real Estate Investor: Getting Started vs. Being Perfect.

Over the years, my viewpoint as an Alberta real estate lawyer has changed. I used to want and demand and counsel my clients that all the paperwork had to be perfect. That they should not accept any risk. That it just wasn’t worth it unless every issue had been 100% solved. That viewpoint and attitude was so wrong! Continue reading

Rent-to-Own in the USA

house keychain

Guest Post: Intro to Rent-to-Own in the United States, Including Investor Lawyer’s Thoughts on the Canadian Equivalent.

Rent-to-Own (sometimes called lease options) is a way of buying a home without taking on a mortgage, and versions of it have a worldwide presence. Our friends in the American real estate investing community have been working with Rent-to-Own for years. Now, Rent-to-Own is getting more attention in Canada as a Creative Investing Strategy. Furthermore, some Canadians are very interested in purchasing American properties using Rent-to-Own.

Today we are featuring a guest blog post from Ashely Lipman (see below), outreach manager for a Dallas, Texas-based rentals company called The Urban Avenue. She provides a short summary of Rent-to-Own in the USA, upon which I’d like to share some thoughts for my Canadian readers.

Continue reading

Creative Real Estate Goes Mainstream

Legal Strategies for Investing in Canadian Real Estate When the Market Is Down.

Finally! The real estate industry is starting to recognize that there is such a thing, indeed, a very worthwhile thing, as Creative Real Estate. I’m a real estate lawyer in Edmonton, Alberta, and for years I’ve been helping clients put together Creative Real Estate deals. I’ve also been teaching Focus Workshops (next event May 4–5, 2019) on Creative Strategies: Rent To Own a.k.a. Lease-Options, Agreements For Sale, Assignments a.k.a. Wholesaling, Fix & Flip, and Joint Ventures. For a long time, these strategies have been the poor cousins in mainstream real estate investing in Canada, at best ignored and at worst demonized by some as scams. As a lawyer, I can assure you that these are perfectly legal investment strategies—if you use them right! Continue reading

How to Work with a Property Manager

Hands protecting house representing property insurance

Podcast Episode 120: “Property Management Nightmare.”

I got an email recently from an unhappy investor about problems with his property manager in Edmonton. Real estate investing is all about relationships, and you need to be able to rely on the people in your team. Property managers are supposed to find tenants, collect rent, and deal with maintenance, among other things. The following Tale is an example of what can happen when you hire the wrong property manager—and how to do it the right way. The email is so descriptive I’m passing it along verbatim. See below:

Download the audio file HERE.
Download the handout HERE.
(control click or right click + save as)

Continue reading

How to Avoid Non-Resident Tax when Buying Canadian Real Estate

calculator with buttons for tax

Am I Liable for Canadian Taxes When Buying Property from a Non-Resident of Canada?

I’ve written before on the extremely dangerous issue of non-resident taxes on Canadian real estate. Real estate agents and real estate lawyers in Canada know about non-resident tax. To give buyers comfort that the seller is a legal resident, the classic way to get some protection is to get sellers to sign statutory declarations that say, “I am not a non-resident…” Buyers then rely on the statutory declarations to make a decision that they do not have to collect withholding tax and that there are no CRA non-resident tax issues. But what if that isn’t enough to protect yourself? Continue reading

Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for 2019

Season’s Greetings!

I get a little mushy this time of year, partly because I love Christmas and the whole holiday season. Plus, I’m grateful for my circumstances. I’m healthy, love what I’m doing, totally in love with my sweetie pie Donna, and live in one of the very best countries in the whole wide world (Canada). For all of that, I’m extremely grateful. From my wife Donna and I, to you and your loved ones, the very best in holiday wishes. To everyone, may you have internal peace, happiness, and a fabulous 2019.

Rethinking Goals to Increase Productivity, Part II: Affirmations

The Power of Positive Thinking Must Affirm Credible Goals.

Successful people set goals, and part of goal setting might be affirmations. The idea is that by affirming something in the present tense—as though it were already happening—one conditions the mind for achieving success. For we folk in the real estate investment game, an affirmation can be used to support financial goals. This is part two of a two-part set of blog posts on goal setting for the New Year (click here for Part I). Continue reading