experts: real estate column Thursday, April 26, 2007

Write Down Your Goals for Real Estate Investment

You've got to know where you're starting from before you can map a route to where you want to go.

By Ozzie Jurock

You've got to know where you're starting from before you can map a route to where you want to go.

First, you take an honest look at yourself and then you decide what results you want to achieve. This has to be based on what you are willing to do over the period of time it takes to achieve these goals.

This is not rocket science, but still, all the relevant factors have to be in balance to achieve the desired results.

You look at how much money you have to invest and how much money you can set aside for the future.

If, for example, your goal was to own 10 properties and you were starting with $50,000 in cash, you'd be looking at an average down payment of $5,000.

So you're not going to be buying properties in downtown Vancouver or Calgary. You'll be looking in smalltown B.C. and Alberta.

This is the point where a lot of fortunes are made or saved. If you ask someone who's supposed to know what their opinion is and call that due diligence, you are probably on the road to ruin.

What you should do is something like this:

  • Get the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp (CMHC) vacancy survey for your target cities.

  • Get Statistics Canada growth rate projections to show what the expected population growth is in these areas.

  • Get school board statistics to see if Grade 1 registration statistics are increasing or decreasing.
These three simple steps, by themselves, will tell you what kind of a tenant base you can expect to have -- whether it is an area of young families or retirees.

That way, you'll have an idea of what to expect from various kinds of rental properties in these areas.

Now depending on your degree of sophistication, you might want to take some courses (like mine ... in Calgary on Saturday, April 28 ... ahem!) as part of your action plan.

In order to function in the marketplace, you have to be able to speak the language: What is a vendor; a take-back; a deferred down payment; an abatement; or a foreclosure? How do you handle an auction or a balloon payment? How do all these factors fit within your particular action plan?

There are very few things in this business that I am as sure of as this: If you sit down with yourself, analyze your objectives and then write them down -- and having done that, then create a written action plan on how you can achieve your objectives -- you will have a useful measuring stick and a compass that will take you where you want to go.

It doesn't have to be perfect because you're going to be continuously fine-tuning it as you go along.

The most important thing of all is to have that written action plan -- and you just don't do it and then put it in a drawer and forget it. It has to be something you are continuously working on, adding to and adapting.

The person who does this will outstrip people who are richer and smarter and better connected.

It is one of the most important single things you can do.

Published in The Calgary Herald, Saturday, April 14, 2007

Canadian journalist Peter Newman, in his book the Titans, called him a real estate guru. Donald Trump features him in his latest book, Trump: The Best Real Estate Advice I Ever Received. For the first time, Jurock will be in Calgary teaching his one-day real estate action express seminar personally April 28 at the Marriott Hotel Calgary. For more information, call 1-800-691-1183 or visit

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Recent Articles by this columnist:

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All articles by Ozzie Jurock

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