640 Riverbend Drive, Kitchener, Ontario N2K 3S2
Real estate agency
- ★ ★ ★ ★ ★05.01.2019Peter BurianWe had not considered investing in real estate (a rental property) until a friend who was already doing so introduced us to Bonnie Greenwood in 2012. She helped us buy a four year old Freehold townhouse at a reasonable price ($265,000) and we rented it out for five years. The rental fee covered all of the expenses but in our case, there was not a lot of profit along the way. Of course, our plan was to keep it for five years, have the rental income pay off part of the mortgage, cover the taxes, any maintenance and insurance, etc., and then sell it for a profit.
We did just that and it worked out very well, although we listed the house some three months after the peak of 2017 real estate sales/prices in KW.
Here's how it worked for us: After the closing date in September 2012, Bonnie found our first highly-qualified tenant (at no extra charge) within ten days; he stayed for four years and was ideal. Then, Bonnie found several potential tenants that she had pre-qualified (for a fee, of course); any would have been fine but we selected one couple. They did give us notice a bit early and left after ten months but that was perfect timing since our 5 year mortgage was almost due for renewal. (The closing date was six weeks after the mortgage renewal date; that was easy to solve by taking a one year open mortgage that could be paid off anytime without a penalty.)
Bonnie's handyman helped us fix some issues at no extra charge, and we did a lot of cleaning and painting, but it really paid off. The house was immaculate and sold after 10 days and that was in mid-September 2017, not in May 2017. The staging (with furniture) certainly paid off too. We got an unconditional offer. With some negotiation, Bonnie got the buyer up to the price we really wanted. Our total investment had been the $50,000 down payment and roughly $500 over the years for minor repairs since the house was relatively new. In five years, this proved to be a fabulous investment and the return ($100,000 after payment of real estate and legal fees plus $20,000 paid off on the mortgage) was dramatically better than the return we got on $50,000 in our Mutual Funds during that period.
Our daughter and her husband are convinced that selling a house yourself is the way to go. They resent the concept of paying real estate fees. Well, that might work sometimes, for some folks, but as investors, we are convinced that Bonnie Greenwood provided real value along the way (including an education on the rental process) and that the eventual sale would have taken much longer without a Realtor. The market was definitely not booming by mid-September 2017 and yet, the house sold in ten days and we got the desired price.
If we were 10 years younger, we would do it all again, with another house. But we are both retired now, so it's not the best plan for us.
Of course, we relate only a single experience, our own. As they say, "your mileage may vary". With any rental property, there is no guarantee of profit or of excellent tenants along the way. Your experience may prove to be different than ours.
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