Real Estate as an Investment


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Buying to Make Money vs Buying to Live

Real Estate is definitely an investment – just don’t expect to make a huge return after only a few years of ownership, especially in the higher priced Vancouver Market (especially Kitsilano). In the past few years, property values have jumped significantly, so those who bought before the jump are in a good position as compared to those that bought after. Let us know if you’re curious as to the current market value of your Kitsilano home, we’ll go through a Market Analysis with you to give you an idea of what it can fetch in the current market. If you’re looking to buy, we’ll give you an idea of what you can get within your budget and what different areas of the city can command in home prices.

Not that this refers to owner-occupied properties. Buying rental properties can be a great idea, especially in Kitsilano where access to the UBC is easy and the area is known to be desirable for young people (your future tenants).

First things first – you’re buying your home! It’s where you spend a majority of your time, and if you aren’t home often, it’s where you keep your accoutrements and sleep at night. You’re paying for the luxury of your own, the freedom to live as you like (within strata rules of course) and the hope that the monthly mortgage payments and interest you pay may be returned to you in the form of a “higher than you paid” selling price.

When you’re buying property, you will have a list of items that influences your decision, one of the major ones being financial, both in the present and in the future. I fully support this idea, not only do you have to be able to afford the property now, but you want retain as much money as possible. Thanks to the high cost of Vancouver Real Estate, most people are buying property as they need it. You start with a one bedroom condo, perhaps move on to a two bedroom townhouse, then move onto a detached house with a mortgage helper, and hopefully one day you solely own your property. In order to keep moving up in the world (literally) you need to save money and continually retain the equity you have in your real estate investment.

Unfortunately, real estate markets change every few years, so if you’re unlucky enough to have purchased in a high market and are trying to sell in a low market, you could be losing money on this investment. Understanding this risk, we can make smart decisions today.

I encourage the consideration of property appreciation to be one aspect in your decision to buy. For condos? Buy those that are well managed, built by a reputable developer, has in suite laundry (or at the very least, the opportunity to install it), and a parking stall (especially if it’s far from transit). For homes? Consider the zoning (this can affect whether additions or laneway homes can be built), the land and the height of the basement. For both? The location and the future development near the home are important. As is the opportunity for you to renovate the home to add value (i.e. with a new kitchen, new bathrooms, new flooring, or a complete overhaul).

As your realtor, I’ll make sure that these factors are known to you, and if the investment aspect of real estate is high on your list, I’ll introduce you to some of the small pockets in the city where we see future growth in value, or a consistent interest in the style of housing. Townhomes and half duplexes in Kitsilano have been a steady market the last few months, as well as more affordable houses. Kitsilano condos north of fourth, with a good patio and with views are always in demand.

Remember that we can’t predict the future (as much as we try) so don’t agonize over the decision or regret anything when you learn 3 years down the road that another property you were considering increased more than the one you bought.

Yes it’s an investment, but your return consists of the pride of home ownership, your well being & lifestyle and (hopefully) an increase in value.

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