Saskatoon Mortgage Broker shares article on residential properties

Residential property can bring a steady payoff

Article by David Israelson, Special to The Globe and Mail, October 31, 2014

“When Diane Leahy decided to become a do-it-yourself investor, she looked for a winning strategy and found that there’s no place like home.

“We became landlords in 1993, starting with our personal residence,” says Ms. Leahy, an airline service director who lives with her paramedic husband, Mark Halden, and their two teenaged sons in Toronto.

“I’m probably the poster child for property investors.”

For more than two decades, Ms. Leahy has followed a sometimes risky but lucrative self-investment strategy, buying, selling and managing residential properties in Ontario and Western Canada. She and her husband started by taking in a tenant at their first home in Toronto.

“Our first experience was a nightmare,” she says. Undaunted, Ms. Leahy kept trying, while her husband concentrated on his paramedic work.

Right now Ms. Leahy holds four residential properties, or “doors” as she calls them, in Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Alta., Orillia, Ont., and Cornwall, Ont. “We invest in cash flowing properties based on economic fundamentals,” she says.

The fundamentals that matter most to her are mortgage interest rates, cities or towns where average incomes are going up, communities that are growing and where there is strong demand for housing. (The Cornwall property is an exception, though it also has been a good investment, she says.)

As a do-it-yourself investor, Ms. Leahy says she has always preferred residential property to securities. “Real estate is a tangible asset that creates wealth and allows me to sleep at night. Some say it’s not liquid enough, but I say: How liquid were your stocks or mutual funds during the crash [in 2008]?”

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