How to Invest in Ontario Real Estate

Ontario real estate conditions can vary greatly, depending on the city or town you’re considering. From expensive markets like Toronto to affordable markets like Cornwall, as a real estate investor, each market offers different benefits and challenges.

Interest rates are at the lowest they’ve ever been, following a series of interest rate cuts by the Bank of Canada to bolster the economy during the Covid19 pandemic. Those who have job security could find that now is a good time to make an investment in Ontario real estate.

While open houses have taken a back seat during the pandemic, homebuyers and sellers have relied on technology to buy and sell homes. The key to success for real estate investing is choosing the right strategy and not overextending yourself financially.

Anybody can be a real estate investor. If you decide to invest in real estate and you do it right, you have an opportunity for a big payoff. Here’s how to invest in Ontario real estate.

Joint Investment

If you want to take advantage of current market conditions, but don’t have the capital to make an investment on your own, consider finding a partner and pool your resources. Ensure the partner you choose doesn’t overextend themselves financially and has good credit. Have a lawyer draw up a legal contract to outline the details of the partnership.

Rental Properties

Investors in the Ontario rental market have generally seen their property values increase over the years, all the while leasing their property to a renter in order to earn income. Look at desirable areas near public transit, employment and education hubs, where demand for rental units is high and consistent. If you do the math correctly and you continuously have tenants paying rent, you will have the cashflow to help cover your mortgage payments. Ensure that the rent you charge your tenants is enough to cover your mortgage payments and maintenance fees.

The Greater Toronto Area has been a popular area for people using this investment strategy. Since it is a highly desirable place to live with many lifestyle amenities, job opportunities, and proximity to public transit. Be strategic when choosing the right properties to increase your chances of renters being interested.

House Flipping

There’s no shortage of house flipping shows on tv that have popularized this real estate investment strategy. If done correctly, this can be a solid investment, but you may have to get your hands dirty. House flipping starts with finding properties in the province that are priced under market value. These properties may be undervalued because they need upgrades and require renovation. To flip a home, you need to see the potential of what the home could be.

If you swoop in and secure a property at a reduced sale price, to successfully flip the home, you will need to either do the renovations yourself or hire a contractor to do them. Strategic upgrades to key areas such as the kitchen and bathrooms will increase the value of the home. To be a successful house flipper, make sure you stay within budget. Under the right market conditions, when you sell the home it will hopefully be at a higher sale price than the amount of money you invested in it.

Buy and Hold

For homebuyers who are looking for an opportunity to dive into the market, starting the home-buying process while home prices are down could be a smart move – providing prices rebound again. The pandemic put a temporary pause on home sales in April 2020, however activity across Ontario real estate markets has picked up again quickly, and prices have remained resilient. With that being said, there are plenty of markets offering great investment opportunities.

An investor can purchase a house or condo that is priced below market value and hold onto it for the long term until the value increases again – and in Ontario, long-term values have been on an upward trajectory. During the time you maintain ownership of the property, you can have tenants rent it, and used the income to cover the mortgage payments. Eventually you can sell the property and get a high ROI from the increased value. By then, a good portion of your mortgage would have been payed off using rental income. Patience is key to this investment strategy!

Determining how to invest in Ontario real estate can be challenging. You can choose a straightforward buy-and-hold approach or undertake a renovation project and do a house flip. Consider your finances, the amount of time you would like to spend on the investment, your risk tolerance, the local economy and appetite for rental properties in the area. Take the right steps to do your research to choose the right investment strategy for you.

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