Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Professional Advice - Where Do I Invest In Real Estate?

The current conditions in the USA have created a dilemma for those of us north of the border. Where do I invest my money in real estate, especially if the market is uncertain. By investing in rental properties in your own area you leave yourself open to local market fluctuations, which also will effect your primary residence. You could invest in a community removed from the fluctuations that would effect your primary residence, but it is hard to be a efficient landlord if your property is many hours away. Perhaps the answer is a real estate fund.

Real Estate funds will charge a fee, but because they are much larger, money wise, their is more security. And you don't have middle of the night calls about a leaking hot water tank.

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT's) also have a great rate of return, but can be more volatile.

Returns of REIT's can be as high as 30%, and returns on Real Estate fund are a more conservative 15%.

Experts say diversity is the KEY.

The Globe and Mail has the full article.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Since You Need A Lawyer At Some Point In Your Real Estate Transaction, Why Not Start With One

Since you need a lawyer at some point in your real estate transaction, why not start with one. A team of lawyers in Eastern Canada has started a website were they handle all of your real estate needs. There is no need for a realtor and a lawyer. They are the same person. Read on to see how the firm also does good in the community.

Save money without realtors Innovative lawyers support GSC
(Aug 11, 2006)

Ten innovative lawyers have developed a new website in Hamilton to help people sell their homes without the need for a real estate broker. The website address is

"This allows home sellers to save thousands of dollars," said Christine M. Lewis, Hamilton spokesperson for the group behind the new project.

Sellers can list the details of their property on the website, add up to 20 pictures, as well as telephone and e-mail information. There is even a link to a map, therefore potential purchasers can see were the property is located. also provides a lawn sign with the price on it and a telephone-number to a voice-box-system, where interested people can receive information about the property for sale.

The lawyers involved with the website help with legal advice during every step of the selling-process. Therefore, vendors have the security of a lawyer protecting his or her rights throughout the real-estate-deal. While traditional realtors make commissions of $10,000 to $12,000 on a $200,000 house, would only take $600 to $800. This includes the internet-fee and the fee for the lawyer, although the fee for the legal advice is negotiable.

Vendors selling homes totally on their own and abandoning any professional advice often run into problems, according to Purchasers and vendors finalize deals at the kitchen table with little knowledge of drafting a contact. So, these deals often make little or no sense.

"That is where we, as lawyers, come in and draft the offers and make sure the deal is structured properly," said Ms. Lewis.

Finally consumers have two advantages using First they save money, and second, they get better legal advice by real lawyers instead of realtors.

In fact realtors would mostly help vendors in legal questions and advise the consumer that with all these complications, a professional broker is necessary.

"In reality, the client needs a lawyer for these issues," Ms. Lewis said. And the marketing can be done by the vendors themselves, using the website to promote the property.

The model has already proved successful in Scotland. The Canadian company said that in Edinburgh for example, the website did 93 per cent of all real-estate-transactions in that city.

Today there is also a successful branch in Glasgow.

To show its social interest, has just started a program with the Good Shepherd Centres (GSC) in downtown Hamilton. From each house they help to sell they will give $300 to GSC to help families in need of housing support. To date, the company has housed one family, which cost $3,000.

"As the new champions of this program, they will provide sustainable support for our organization and give deserving families what they need to stay together," said Cathy Wellwood from the GSC.

Hamilton, according to the firm's statement, is the largest location of this new concept of house-selling. The concept has already been successfully operating in Owen Sound for four years and now there are subsidiaries in Toronto, Thunder Bay Kingston, Sudbury, Kitchener, Cambridge, Waterloo, Sudbury, Sauble Beach, Chesley, Kincardine and Elmira.

From the Hamilton Mountain News

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

What Would You Do With The Lottery 649 Winnings Of 42 Million?

That is how much the August 12 drawing is supposed to fetch.

There are several real estate options available to you. In the Kamloops, B.C. are you could spend a paltry 3 million on an estate is Westsyde. The compound consists of 12.75 acres, pool (of course), over 6500 sq/ft of living space, and that is just to start. Full property details are available.

If you intended to sink your winnings into the booming energy industry of Canada, then Calgary would be a good choice. In the Pumphill district of Calgary just under 5 million will get you a castle, with all the modern conveniences. This beauty was built in 1997 and boasts 8 bathrooms, indoor pool, and is an honest to goodness castle.

On the other hand, the center of the universe might be the best choice after a windfall like 42 million. In Toronto you could blow about a third of your winnings on a glass palace that comes in under 1 million per 1000 sq/ft. At 15 million your glass house would offer 18000 sq/ft of luxury including a pool, basketball court and a Family tower. Only pictures can explain what 15 million buys.

All of these properties sound fantastic and you can dream to your hearts content, or if you are in the mood for reality then try shopping for something on

Good luck to all you lotto aficionados.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Apparently The Every Expanding And Limitless Internet Does Have Boundaries

Apparently the every expanding and limitless Internet does have boundaries. The English language has put imitations on the number of domain names that make sense. Therefore names that are simple and make sense are worth a lot of money. Dotster Inc. reports over 70 million domains names being snapped up. ( Names like and

The full article on the shortage, or perceived shortage, of domain names can be found in the Globe and Mail.

Friday, August 04, 2006

The Queen Of England Has Been Stuck With A Derelict Property In Manchester Because Of A 607 Year Old Law

Here is a bit of odd real estate news. The Queen of England has been stuck with a derelict property in Manchester because of a 607 year old law. The law states that abandoned properties revert to the Queen. Locals are hoping their legal loophole will attract tourists.

The complete article is available at Yahoo! News.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

We Are Not The USA. But We Are Continually Running About The Elephants Feet, So Will We Get Crushed?

We are not the USA. But we are continually running about the elephants feet, so will we get crushed?

The housing market in the states is about to go POP. Hopefully that does not mean that Canada has to experience the same economic crisis. For too many home owners in the US, who capitalized on the low interest rates many many moons ago, the 17 straight rate hikes by the fed will force them to put their homes up for sale, as they cannot cover the mortgage at 7%.

Does this mean that Canada's real estate bubble will burst? Only time will tell, but with Western Canada booming perhaps real estate will only let out some air, and not burst.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Real Estate Trends Help Chart Our Future

The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board recently released its buyer profile that not only helps realtors, sellers and buyers but also is useful to city planners, business owners and potential investors assisting us in charting the future.

Knowing the trends of people moving to Nanaimo will help with effective planning for our community in the future.

The buyer profile finds the two biggest trends continue to be an increasing number of retirees relocating to the Harbour City from other parts in Canada and people of all ages moving here from other Canadian cities.

The largest amount of buyers from out of province are Albertans at 11 per cent while 8.9 per cent of homes purchased in 2005 were bought by people moving from Ontario says VIREB President Darrel Paysen.

"Forty-six per cent of the buyers originate on Vancouver Island and 70 per cent originate from B.C., with the vast majority of buyers purchasing their principal residence in our city," he said.
"It's good to see what the long term trends are in terms of where people are coming from, what they're buying and why they're buying.

"It is useful information for all types of infrastructure planning."

Paysen said the buyer profile also fits perfectly with the principles of building better communities and encouraging economic vitality under the real estate industry's Quality of Life initiative.

Prices are up over the same time last year with March-to-March figures seeing a 23 per cent increase.

Forecast experts anticipate prices to continue to rise but at a softer incline than this past year. However, this may not apply to B.C.

With continued in-bound migration, demand for our natural resources, the Gateway to the Pacific initiative, supported by both the federal and provincial governments and, of course, the Olympics, B.C. may well continue strongly.

Despite increasing costs for housing, Nanaimo is still a great market for people to get into and our city has so much to offer. It is a great community for people of all ages with wonderful parks, recreation, schools, sporting facilities, senior's homes and shopping.

The cost of living in Nanaimo is considerably less than our neighbours in Victoria and Vancouver, yet offers all the amenities and comforts of a larger city.

Nanaimo is truly the most desirable liveable small city in North America.

This article can be viewed at or Nanaimo News Bulletin

The energy boom in Alberta is creating new wealth, and people are looking for places to spend. Building a dream home in B.C. to retire in is at the top of the list for many retiring boomers in Alberta. Some recent developments on places like Pender Island do restrict the placement of dream homes.