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Real estate legend shares investment, life tips

Jenny Wagler
Coast Reporter

September, 2010

Ozzie Jurock

There are great real estate investment opportunities out there, we've been through tough times before and survived, and the Coast has a great real estate future.

These were some of the messages that real estate guru and self proclaimed optimist Ozzie Jurock shared with a packed room of Rotary Club of Gibsons members and friends at an event at the Sunshine Coast Golf and Country Club Thursday, Aug. 27.

Regarding the economic downturn, Jurock traced through previous economic downturns and real estate troubles since the 1970s noting, for example, the market crash of 1987 and Vancouver's leaky condominiums disaster in the 1990s.

"I'm not saying it isn't serious, but I'm also saying, remember the times that we've been there before," he said, adding that downturns can be optimal moments for buyers to find "sparkling" deals.

Jurock explained that his faith in the value of real estate is premised on his conviction that we live in inflationary times.

"I believe we are in the world's most unreported inflation of all time," he said, noting that Canadian inflation doesn't factor in the prices of oil, food and pre owned houses "anything that you and I buy." As a result, he said, money is devaluing and hard asset prices such as real estate are inflating.

From an investment perspective, he advised attendees to review real estate holdings and assess if they can hold their position if interest rates rise two or four per cent. He pointed out that following changes made in the spring, "commercial loans are going to take longer and everything will be a lot harder." He also urged people to refinance investments now, even if they won't come due until next year.

"The question isn't if the rates are going to be higher by one per cent; the question is will you get the money at all," he said. "We see some large portfolios not getting any money."

He advised investors to limit themselves to investing in North American real estate, rather than tropical destinations such as Mexico.

"You think the laws are the same there as here," he said. "They aren't."

Jurock said he and his investment group continue to recommend the Coast for real estate investment.

"I love this area," he said, noting that the population is growing faster than the provincial average, the renting rate is lower than the provincial average, and crime is lower.

But he cautioned that the Coast's high marijuana use poses a real risk for investors: "As an investor, you don't want anybody on your property growing pot," he said, noting that owners are severely financially penalized for marijuana operations on their property.

He advised "full contact" property management and warned owners to beware of renters who want to pay cash.

Jurock wrapped up with some life advice: "Be confident even through the tough times. Use your crystal glasses and your best china every day. Appreciate what you have. Have a bubble bath and put some candles around it and persuade your significant other to join you. Don't be boring. Be different. Eat a steak once in awhile. Die of something interesting."

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