Legal Suites and Airport Vicinity Protection Areas in Alberta

Podcast Episode 101:

“Deep Diligence Saves
Half A Million Dollars!”

I heard from a Calgary investor recently about dodging an expensive bullet.

Houses with legal suites or houses zoned for legal suites are all the rage in Alberta. What’s not to like about adding a secondary suite to a single-family home effectively turning it into a duplex with amazing positive cash flow? Everyone likes that. Tougher to do in Calgary, though. I hate to say it, our Calgary cousins are not nearly as advanced as we Edmontonians on the secondary suite issue. The City of Edmonton has amended bylaws to allow secondary suites all over the city and in most zoning situations.

City of Calgary, not so much. In Calgary, secondary suites are only allowed in certain areas. Calgary City Council is divided on whether to expand the areas where they allow secondary suites.

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Home Inspection Liability

Faulty Furnaces and Inspection Issues.

It’s always a good idea to get a professional building inspector to assess any property you’d like to buy. But it doesn’t guarantee 100% that you won’t have problems with your real estate purchase! Whose responsibility is it if there are issues that the inspector doesn’t find? The following is a story about a client, an inspection, and a rusty old furnace.

My client hired a reputable home inspector to check a potential house purchase in Calgary, Alberta. After what appeared to be a thorough inspection, which included the 17-year-old furnace, my client decided to purchase the 1960 bungalow.

Days before occupancy, the natural gas furnace died, apparently from a rusted out heat exchanger. My client thought the home inspector should have caught this. The two estimates for repair were $4,000 and $10,000. Continue reading

Joint Ventures and Land Titles

Who’s on Title?

Two of our clients at RMLO Law LLP formed a typical Joint Venture (JV) to buy a property in Alberta with a brand new mortgage. One client was the “Investor” (the money-man). His JV partner was the “Finder”, (typically a person with real estate expertise and no money). In this case, the Finder had already purchased properties using every cent of his own money. He was out of borrowing capacity.

Part of their JV discussions was, “How should we take title?” Both clients understood that they had a few basic choices. Continue reading

Avoiding Joint Venture Regrets

“Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda.”

Two of our clients at RMLO Law LLP decided to do a Joint Venture on an apartment building in Edmonton. The ‘real estate expert’ client had a lot of experience and already owned a number of apartment buildings in Alberta—all running very successfully. The ‘money partner’ client was relatively new to the real estate business. Projections were made, some data exchanged, and the Joint Venture went ahead.

Unfortunately, this particular apartment building did not work out nearly as well as the other apartment buildings already owned by our ‘real estate expert.’ Once things were not going according to expectations, both clients were unhappy with each other. Continue reading

Success with Buy and Hold Real Estate Investing

Edmonton Alberta Fireworks with 100!!!

Podcast Episode 100:

“A Tale of Real Estate Investing Success.”

I’ve been doing Tales from the Trenches for 15 years. These are amazing stories from real estate investors, mostly from Alberta, Canada because that’s where I practice law. Tales began as a segment during meetings of the Real Estate Investment Network (REIN), which I continue to do. And then about 4 years ago, it became a podcast, too.

Lots of those stories are about mistakes made and lessons learned. Feedback tells me you find Tales not only interesting, but also very useful in organizing your own real estate rules and how you invest. I love doing Tales and you love hearing them.

We post Tales on my blog website, where we are at 99 podcasts and counting. The 100th podcast is a big deal, at least in my mind. But, what should I talk about? Fond reminiscing about doing 99 podcasts, how I love the feedback, how many folks we have helped, why that feels good… what to do?

Today the lightning bolt struck. I know what I’m going to say!

Of course, it’s a story. But, instead of a typical Tale about mistakes made and how to avoid those mistakes, this Tale is all about success. It’s all about an approach to real estate investing that has a high percentage chance of creating success. You can up your chances of trouble-free real estate investing by listening to this great story, a very positive Tale from the Trenches.

 

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Tenant Problems After Move Out

landlord tenant law

Previous Owner Skeletons.

In a recent purchase of an Alberta fourplex, our client took over existing tenants. There was one utility service and utilities were apportioned between the tenants. The arrangement was that tenants would pay their rent plus an estimated portion of utilities. At the end of the year, the landlord would add up the actual utilities and either refund money or collect extra money from each tenant.

When our client took over, one particular tenant was on a month-to-month tenancy. It became immediately apparent that she was “one of those tenants!!” Continue reading

Hidden Problems After Real Estate Purchase

Caveat Emptor: Buyer Beware.”

What can you do if you discover major problems with a property after buying real estate in Alberta? There are a number of legal and practical issues. First let me tell you about a situation that a client brought to me, and then I’ll explain what I advised. Continue reading

Assuming Mortgages and Transfering Property to a Corporation

house outline with check mark

Podcast Episode 99:
“Happy Assumptions & Corporate Rollovers.

This episode of Tales from the Trenches contains two stories about transfers: one is about transferring mortgages and the other is about transferring property.

In theory, many mortgages are assumable, but in practice lenders in Alberta (and elsewhere) have been tightening up on their regulations. Some lenders just won’t allow it at all, while others require full re-qualification. This Tale explains how a real estate investor got the bank to agree to a mortgage assumption after he held a property for just seven days!

Rollovers are when a property is transferred from your personal name to your corporation or vice-versa. My Edmonton legal firm, RMLO Law LLP (formerly Ritchie Mill Law Office), helps people with rollovers all the time. But we always caution our clients to get additional accounting advice because capital gains might be an issue. In this Tale, the example is an investor who rolled over a property and had to pay the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) $30,000 dollars in tax…

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For all your Alberta real estate law needs, contact Barry and he’ll sort you out.

“3D Home Inspection Big Check” by http://www.ccpixs.com/ used under CC Attribution 2.0 Generic.

How to Become a Real Estate Investor

Focus on Real Estate: Quick Tips.

The way to become a real estate investor is by getting going. No matter how much you plan, analyze, and prepare, your first real estate investment deal is probably going to be a bit messy. But if you have a good strategy, and you keep using it, your next deals will be easier. Don’t wait for your first investment to be “perfect” or you might never get started!

This is the next instalment of Focus on Real Estate with Barry C. McGuire, a series of videos that provides bite-sized pieces of real estate knowledge.

For all your legal needs with Alberta real estate, contact Barry McGuire using the form below.

Videos co-produced by the Real Estate Investment Network (REIN) as a Google Partner.