Tuesday, April 8, 2008

97 Tips for Canadian Real Estate Investors: My Thoughts

I read the book 97 Tips for Canadian Real Estate Investors by Don Campbell. There are also 3 contributing authors, Peter Kinch, Barry McGuire, and Russell Westcott. Below are some of my thoughts on the book.

If you are new to investing in real estate, or even if your a veteran, I would consider this book a must read. It has a lot of great tips and ideas and i personally learned a lot from the book. The tips range from Tip#82: Use Closing Dates Strategically to Maximize Your Cash Flow to something more common like Tip#12: The TDSR- a Ratio to Remember. I think newbies and experienced real estate investors can learn something from this book.

The book made me realize a few things. If you want to be a sophisticated (think good here) real estate investor you need to do your due diligence on everything! From finding good tenants, to buying properties below true market value, to using great professionals (ie. accountant, lawyer, etc.) you need to be willing to go the extra mile. More than a few times the book stressed doing that extra 10% to make the difference between a winning property and a losing one. I also realized that for me personally, real estate investing is probably more work than what I am willing to do to be successful at it. Others however (maybe I'm talking to you), are willing to put in the extra effort and find it very rewarding and fun.

The book is broken down into 9 different sections. They are listed as follows:

Part 1: Stop Thinking! Start Knowing! The Foundation on Which All is Built
Part 2: Money Matters: Mortgage and Financing Tips
Part 3: How to Make Your Investment System Work
Part 4: Focus on the Two Types of Economic Fundamentals & Dramatically Increase Your Bottom-Line Results
Part 5: Data, Bricks and Mortar: The Practical Side of Wealth Creation Through Real Estate Investment
Part 6: Negotiate the Deal You Want (Practice Makes Perfect)
Part 7: Purchasing and Closing: The Art of the Deal
Part 8: Tenancy Issues: Make Defence Your Best Offence
Part 9: Legal Insights and Tax Tips: What You've Got to Know (So it Won't Hurt You)

There is an Appendix at the end with some great tools for doing your due diligence and finding a great property.

Bottom Line

Overall I thought it was a good book and worth the read. I would argue a person could use some of these tips for buying their own personal property and not just for investing in real estate. Borrow or Buy?

Buy (as long as you have an interest in real estate investing)

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