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Quit Your Job With Just Two Rental Properties

It was Erwin’s birthday the past weekend.  He just turned 40. 

We went out with a bunch of friends to this place that we could do archery, throw some knives and axes as well, it was so much fun! 

His big 40th birthday also reminded me that how young we were when we first met and how I got into real estate investing in the first place.

It was 2011.  I got a stable job making just shy of 6 figure.  I lived in a considerably big townhouse and drove a nice Mercedes.  

This is the Canadian dream that many people longed for. 

I almost felt that I made it, except I was living paycheck by paycheck, seeing no money left in the bank account.

Through Erwin, I learned that there was a world of opportunities outside of the Greater Toronto Area. 

I could literally buy a detached home in St Catharines for low $200K (maybe even cheaper).

I had no money in the bank account.  The only thing working for me at that time was my Etobicoke townhouse. So I spoke to my mortgage broker, I got my very first home equity line of credit setup.

I wanted to quit my full time job and I would like to have some stable cash flow coming in to cover my daily expenses before I resigned. 

When Erwin suggested that we could “partner up” and buy our first investment property together, I was all in.  All I did was to surf MLS daily.  I never went out to see the property myself until a month after closing.  

Technically, I was the money partner and I qualified for a mortgage.

At that time, we’d seen each other for a year or so.

We never officially signed an agreement.  In the back of my mind, the worst case scenario, this house would be mine even if we were to break up.  LOL.  😉

We put in some extra money to renovate, started advertising on Kijiji, and got our first rental set up.

I quit my job, went out on my own full-time, thanks to Erwin and this student rental. 

I wasn’t eyeing the appreciation.  Before buying this property, I had no idea where St Catharines was.  It’s embarrassing.  I was buying it purely for the cash flow.

We had some usual hiccup along the way.  In the first year, one student ski board off our car port roof.  The property was flooded at one point, we got some insurance money.  The usual landlord stories, you know.

Benjamin Tall, Chief Economist for CIBC, has a quote – “if you think today’s prices are high now, wait until you see what they will be next year…”

That truly wasn’t the case for the first few years of investing.  We saw some appreciation, relatively minor in comparison to Hamilton and Toronto. 

Then 2017 hit and St Catharines market become a hot market!

The rest is history.

If you are one of the people who hesitate to get in the market waiting for the collapse, you’re timing the market.

Timing the market to make money is not easy.  I’d rather spend the time in the market owning a property and let the market takes care of itself. 

If you have not heard about how my client quits his job using his real estate holding yet, here’s a link to watch our quick conversation.  He quits his not so cushy shift work job last week so that he could volunteer at his son’s school.  It’s inspiring just seeing what he has done. 

Most importantly, you can take risky decisions because you know you have the properties to back you up! 

Until next time, happy Canadian Real Estate Investing.

Cherry Chan, CPA, CA

Your Real Estate Accountant

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