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.

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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.
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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

Rethinking Goals to Increase Productivity, Part I: Projects

Get SMART with Your Goal Setting Technique for the New Year.

2019 is around the corner. Although 2018 has been a productive year, I didn’t get as much done as I might have wanted. Now, it’s time to look at 2019 and say, what’s out there? What are we, in the world of real estate, going to start, do, achieve, or finish in our financial goals for 2019? This is part one of a two-part set of blog posts on goal setting for the New Year (click here for Part II). Continue reading

Learn to Buy Property with Little-to-No Money Down!

Live Real Estate Investing Event in Calgary, Nov 17: Our New, All-Day, Dig-Deeper AFS Intensive Focus Workshop.

Anyone who follows this blog knows that I love Agreements for Sale (AFS)! It’s a seller financing strategy that is so, so relevant in today’s tough Canadian real estate market. AFS is a classic way of buying property with very little money out of your own pocket. On November 17th, we’re running a special AFS Intensive Focus Workshop, featuring comprehensive tools to help both new and established investors achieve financial success. Continue reading