real estate vancouver, real estate development, condos, surrey real estate, real estate investment, investing, investment

Real Estate Development 101

Real Estate Development 101

Did you know that between Downtown Vancouver and Langley there are just over 2,000 total units available for sale – and only about four dozen of those are move-in ready right now?  With so many towers going up throughout Metro Vancouver, it may seem surprising that there is so little supply. But, the truth is that almost everything that’s being built today is nearly sold out before it’s even built.

But, that isn’t stopping those presale lineups. The math is simple: we have a finite amount of land in the region and a growing population that’s leading to increased housing demand.

This is particularly apparent in the City of Surrey, where the population is expected to grow by another 300,000 people by 2030.  There are approximately 150 new towers in the cue for development in Surrey, and exciting new amenities and transportation for the city’s five neighbourhoods make this community an appealing focus for real estate investment. In particular, Surrey City Centre is set for massive growth with a new LRT, expanded amenities and emerging businesses.  

Despite the looming growth, Surrey is still very affordable market to invest in real estate. Earlier this year, condo units were selling for around $750 per square foot. In contrast, the average new concrete condo in Vancouver sells for between $1,200 – $1,500 per sq. ft.

For most investors, the prices don’t make sense unless you get in on the ground floor and partner with other investors to fund the purchase or re-development of a real estate project in a top market like the City of Surrey.  

With mortgage rates creeping up and a more strict stress test for qualifying for a mortgage, many investors are opting for the partnership model. Our team at Investment Revenue Realty has developed the RealSimple investment strategy – a proven approach that often nets our investors’ double digit annual returns from their first year.

So, how does it all work?

1. Market Research and Discovery

As an investor, you’ll want to learn as much about the market and the real estate opportunities as possible. Investors can sign up for online webinars, walking tours, discovery trips, and real estate investment events to learn more about the process, the top markets, and the specific properties we have on offer.  Our team is also on hand throughout the process to help answer any questions you might have along the way.

2. Investment

We create a Limited Partnership (LP) for each property. One of the benefits of the LP is that investors don’t need to sign for the financing or qualify for a mortgage. We take care of the paperwork and secure financing from lenders. All you have to do is make the commitment, and let our team take care of the heavy lifting.

We also structure returns so that the investor receives 85% of the profit for returns up to 18%. Once we achieve this milestone, the investor will then receive 15% of the profits going forward. This is the second layer of protection for the investor to ensure they’re receiving sound returns should there be cost overruns.

3. Refreshing The Property

When we acquire an existing apartment unit, one of the benefits is that it is already cash flow positive. This means that the units are already tenanted and their rent is generating income for investors from Day 1.

We’re often able to increase that rental income shortly after acquiring the building by improving the units with small updates, such as a fresh coat of paint, flooring or new appliances. This means profits will increase right out of the gate.

4. Rezoning

When we purchase a property, there may be potential to rezone it for redevelopment.

These days, buildings are designed to be efficient and sustainable, so we can add more units to the existing land. For example: a six-story building with 200 units has the potential to become a 26 story building with 350 units, which will ultimately increase the amount of returns we can yield throughout the process.

Junior one bedroom units are common, offering comfortable living space at reasonable prices. At today’s going rates in Surrey, a 450 sq. ft. would only cost under $350,000, which is a fraction of the cost of a Vancouver condo. New buyers will be lining up to buy in no time!

It’s important to note that the building remains tenanted while we are going through the rezoning and permitting process, ensuring that our investors are protected against unexpected delays and we aren’t sitting on vacant land.

5. Pre-sales

Developers are required to pre-sell a property by between 75-95% before breaking ground. Once we’ve received approval to rezone an acquired property, we can then create a marketing plan to promote the new vision. We partner with British Columbia’s top firms, who specialize in pre-sales to ensure we are selling out as quickly and efficiently as possible.

6. Construction

Once we’ve achieved our pre-sale threshold, we will then go through the process of notifying tenants, demolishing the building and bringing to life the new vision for the tower. Depending on the building design, construction may take between 18-24 months.

7. New Owners Move In

Once the building is completed, the new homeowners move in and the investment term has completed. It’s then time to move on to the next opportunity!
So, there you have it, our RealSimple investment strategy. Want to learn more? Get in touch with one of our experts.


Colorado Springs, Phoenix, and Tampa, will see strong rent growth in 2017 because increased demand outpaces supply, allowing landlords to raise rents at a quick pace. As these areas have emerged from the Great Recession, they have added jobs and experienced population growth but have not had as much of an increase in multifamily construction as many other areas have had. READ MORE

BC working with feds on Pacific NorthWest LNG delay

Provincial officials are in Ottawa today to work with their federal counterparts on overcoming the latest delay for Pacific NorthWest LNG (PNW), B.C.’s natural gas minister says.

In a statement, Rich Coleman said senior officials from the province are in the capital to “reach a positive final outcome that helps our economy, protects the environment, and respects First Nations.”

“I’m confident that any remaining questions can be answered completely and quickly. They have to be. Jobs for British Columbians should not be held by unnecessary delays,” Coleman said.

“After all, this just isn’t any project. At $36-billion and 18,600 jobs, PNW LNG would be the largest private sector investment ever in Canadian history.”

“The positive impacts of PNW would be felt across almost every community in BC and across [full article here] 


Jordan Cove LNG lands sales agreement for gas

Jordan Cove LNG, a natural gas export facility proposed on the Oregon coast, has signed a 20-year sales agreement with world’s largest liquefied natural gas buyer.

The deal appears to put the project, which could take gas from the B.C. Montney formation, back on track after running into a roadblock with U.S. regulators.

JERA Co. Inc, a joint venture of the Tokyo Electric Power Company and Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc., signed on to buy 25 per cent of the project’s proposed 6 million tonnes per year output in a deal announced Tuesday.

The company is owned by Veresen Inc., a major midstream natural gas player with assets in the Dawson Creek area. [read full article]


Site C Dam civil construction begins in May

Site C Dam is 8 months into the 10-year Site C Dam project. While the physical construction of the Dam doesn’t begin until May, there has been lots of progress made to date.

This is the largest infrastructure project happening across Canada, located 7 km from Fort St. John.

Over the course of the project 33,000 jobs are expected to be created.


Billion-dollar gas plant approved for Dawson Creek area

A partnership involving Veresen Inc. and Encana Corp. that has already committed $1.5 billion to two new gas processing plants in the Dawson Creek area has announced plans to spend nearly $1 billion more on a third gas processing plant.

Veresen is already building two new gas plants in the Dawson Creek area – the Sunrise and Tower plants – with a combined capital cost of $1.5 billion.

Last year, Veresen acquired natural gas gathering and compression assets from Encana and the Cutbank Ridge Partnership.

As part of that deal, Veresen committed to $5 billion worth of investments to build out additional assets for Encana and the Cutbank Ridge Partnership. Under the agreement, Veresen is funding 55% to 60% of the three new gas plants.

The investments underscore the attraction of the Montney formation in Northeastern B.C. [full article here] 


Squamish Woodfibre LNG project gets federal environmental approval

The federal government gave its stamp of approval to the $1.6-billion Woodfibre liquefied natural gas project Friday.

Exporting and processing 2.1 million tonnes of LNG each year from the former pulp mill site southwest of Squamish is unlikely to hurt the environment, according to a release from Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

Winning environmental approval from the federal government was the last major hurdle to clear for the polarizing project, which can start launching 40 double-hulled LNG-bearing tankers to Asia each year, beginning as early as 2017.

The project should create about 650 construction jobs during the building phase and more than 100 jobs once the plant is operational. [full article here]


IN THE NEWS - SITE C DAM

BC Hydro has finalized and awarded its civil works contract with Peace River Hydro Partners for the Site C dam.SiteCContract

The eight-year contract, announced Monday, now has a confirmed value of $1.75 billion.

The main civil works includes the construction of an earthfill dam, two diversion tunnels and a roller-compacted concrete foundation for the generating station and spillways.

At the peak of construction, roughly 1,500 people will be working on main civil works, Hydro says.

[read full article here] 


7 Things To Know Before Investing In Real Estate

  1. Educate Yourself

Knowledge can take you from being a “good” investor to a great investor. This has always been true. What is going to separate you from the pack is how much research you put into your investments and how often. Markets are always changing, new trends are always beginning, old trends are always reversing.

If you dedicate yourself to researching and refining your investment strategies and you remain focused on investing in regions where economic growth is booming (which leads to job creation and population growth you will reap the benefits of a stable appreciation in the real estate market.

  1. Set Investment Goals

A goal is not a wish; you plan and execute specific steps to achieve a goal. Investment goals require sufficient research, knowledge, and planning. Setting clear and specific goals (and writing them down!) becomes your road map and action plan to becoming financially independent. You are statistically far more likely to achieve your goal of financial independence by writing down specific and detailed goals than not doing anything at all.

Here is an example of setting clear, concise investment goals for investing in one (or several) real estate property:

  1. Setting the number of properties you need to acquire each year (if desired)
  2. Specifying the type and location of the property
  3. Specifying the annual cash-flow your property should generate
  4. Setting the parameters for your desired rate(s) of return
  5. Specifying the ideal tenant for occupation

It may seem extremely basic, and you may feel you can carry this info around in your head, but by putting it down on paper and using it to keep track of your how you advance toward your goals will free your mind to “see the big picture” and make better (and more financially beneficial) decisions.

  1. Invest For Cash-Flow, Mortgage pay-Down & Appreciation

Cash-flow is what your asset should be generating for you so that your investment will sustain itself without draining additional cash from your monthly income total. It should cover all operating expenses and provide a pay down on your mortgage.

Mortgage Paydown is exactly what the name tells you it is. You pay down your mortgage by leveraging you cash-flow assets. This is unique to real estate investments. There is no other asset class where you can use the bank’s money to purchase the investment, and use a tenant’s money to pay back your loan every month.

Appreciation is the largest source of return on your investment, providing you have done the proper research and due diligence.

  1. Invest In The Fundamentals

Always start by selecting the best markets that align with your investment goals (see 2. Set Invest Goals).

The best approach is to choose your property’s location. To choose your property’s location, you need to consider many factors. Take the time to research each one. There is no “quick and easy way” to do this. Everything your investment does for you leads back to this step. If you are unsure as to whether you can make this commitment consult with an expert.

Primary Factors To Consider When Choosing Your Property’s Location

  1. The current housing market
  2. Unemployment rate
  3. Projected job growth
  4. Population growth
  5. Capital spending on any major infrastructural projects (ex: hospitals, highways, hospitals, hydroelectric projects, etc.)
  6. Supply and demand trends
  7. Capacity to pay

Secondary Factors To Consider When Choosing Your Property’s Location

  1. Amenities
  2. Transit access
  3. Schools
  4. Crime
  5. Rental demand

This is the most work and takes the most time. Research, research, and just when you’ve had enough, do more research. You really need to do your homework. Investigate each factor in as much detail as possible and you will be able to assess your investment opportunities base don the facts. You will be glad you did.

  1. Diversify Across Markets

Our recommendation: focus on one market at a time.

Accumulating from 3 to 5 income properties per market is a very good start to creating a solid portfolio. Once seasoned (and after doing even more homework) you would diversify into another prudent market that is geographically different than the previous one.

One of the underlying reasons for diversification within the same asset class (real estate), is to have your assets spread across different economic centers.

The reason for this is simple: every real estate market is “local”. Each housing market moves independently from one another. Diversifying across multiple states helps reduce risk should one market decline for any reason, such as increased unemployment rate, increased taxes, or reduced capital spending on infrastructural projects (see Primary Factors above).

Hybrid Markets:

Hybrid markets are areas that have linear, slow-growth characteristics for a period time, followed by periods of moderate cyclical-style appreciation. They never boom quite like Florida or California, but they also never need to correct like the more volatile markets either.

Markets like Phoenix, Las Vegas, Chicago, Seattle, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Detroit are in this category.

Comparing Markets:

Although each market has different characteristics, one is not necessarily better than the other. Each market offers the real estate investor different levels of appreciation and cash-on-cash returns.

Some investors may not sleep well at night investing in a cyclical market and prefer the pace of a linear market. While other investors may find a linear market to slow and prefer to see greater appreciation potential.

However, over the long-term appreciation rates in both market types end up being similar. So the idea of chasing appreciation should be avoided.

It is more important to be concerned about the overall market health and its future prospects than it is to get lost in the potential cash-flow and other “numbers” on the property. They’re all important of course, but purchasing based solely on the property without considering the bigger picture of the market and neighborhood is like trying to sail a ship against strong headwinds.

If you don’t start with the right market and neighborhood, over time you will experience more tenant turnover, shorter lease terms, increased late payments/defaults, and decreased or negative appreciation (see 4. Invest In the Fundamentals)

  1. Use Professional Property Management

Our recommendation: never manage your own properties unless you run your management company. Property management is a complex job that requires a good understanding of tenant-landlord law, marketing skills and strong management skills when dealing with the constant and various needs of tenants. Your time as an investor is valuable.

Finding an experienced property management team is vital to keeping vacancy rates low and tenants happy. Additionally, they will be able to help you manage your investment properties in areas that you may not be able frequent on a regular basis, leaving you with peace of mind and freeing up time for you to pursue other interests.

  1. Leverage Your Investment Capital

Real estate is the only investment where you can borrow other people’s money to purchase and control income-producing property. This allows you to leverage your investment capital into more property than purchasing using “all cash”. Leverage magnifies your overall rate-of-return and accelerates your wealth creation.

As long as you have positive cash-flow and your tenants are paying off your mortgage for you, you are in a good position to borrow more for buying more income property.

The “Buy and Hold” methodology  methodology, as it is applicable to property, is and always has been the cause for making more millionaires than any other method. It lets you develop equity through appreciation over a period of time.

Your goal in property investing must be to develop as much equity as you can in the property while still having enough passive income to get you there. So long as you own the property, you’ll have the extra advantage of tax sheltering that you cannot obtain from any short term methods. This is the reason that explains why the Buy and Hold methodology is king.

As time goes by and you pay off your loan, you get the advantage of additional cash flow which is very useful in retirement. Traditionally, properties have doubled in value every 7 to 10 years going back 50 years in time. Imagine your equity position if you hold a property for 20 or 30 years!

Today, you are able to purchase a brand new $250,000 home with an investment of about $58.000. If you rent this home and simply break even on your cash flow, you will have an asset that grows while someone else makes your mortgage, tax, and insurance payments. At a 5% growth rate per year, that home will be worth over $697,000 in 25 years on a $58,000 investment Think of how you could use that money. This illustrates a major strength of investing in real estate: own something worth 5 to 10 times of the appreciation, cash flow and tax benefits.

True wealth in real estate is realized through equity growth and appreciation. Cash flow, although a must, is the glue that holds the deal together to permit you to wait until the value grows. Let your tenants cover your payments and make you rich!


The Value Of Proposition

As a realtor who has exclusively sold investment real estate for the past 25 years, I have realized that the residential real estate cycle is not difficult to predict – as long as you track the right numbers.

For example, northeast B.C. had record land sales in 2008. This was driven by large companies buying massive tracts of land in order to secure access to a valuable resource. In this case, the resource was natural gas. To buy before the crowd, you need to understand what to look for. To understand what to look for, you need to turn to experienced people.

Long Term Performance

The most important part of any real estate purchase is its long term performance. This appreciation builds real wealth. With an ability to identify trends, it’s not hard to pick the right area to buy in, but in this regard, not all developers are created equal.

The Senior Management at Western Canadian Properties Group have developed and sold over 12,000 properties over the last 20 years, through a well-proven and investor-friendly system that is the best in the industry today.

WCPG gives you the opportunity to buy into the best markets in Canada and the United States. These markets are identified through an analysis of economic fundamentals, which means increasing positive cashflow on the properties, and excellent potential for capital appreciation. What’s more, today’s exceptional financing terms and a truly hassle-free optional management program make this the perfect package.

Building New Homes In New Communities

In Northeast BC, WCPG builds brand new homes in growing communities. The VP of construction even lives where he builds. With a small down payment, you can secure your property for future purchase. In a rising market like Northeast BC, this means instant equity.

The materials selected for these homes are long lasting and virtually maintenance free. Everything from lighting to heating is designed for optimal energy efficiency, and with separately metered utilities, you won’t be hit with increased operating costs.

Thanks to a 2 – 5 – 10 New Home Warranty, there are no surprises, and no cash calls. What’s more, WCPG provides a dedicated internal management team, who keep you in the loop with photos and progress updates. You will always know what is happening, and when – all you need to do is ask.

On-The-Ground Leasing Team

WCPG also employs an on-the-ground leasing team, whose sole purpose is to ensure that your unit is rented from Day 1.

The leasing team starts the rental process when the construction of the property is 75% complete, and they leave nothing to chance. They maintain a strong internet presence on Kiijiji, Craigslist, and custom URLs, and run corporate campaigns. They know and speak regularly to the relocation personnel working at the largest employers in town, and field 24/7 responses to inquiries, meaning calls are always taken immediately.

WCPG’s professional management teams are always local to the market. They know the area, know the tenant profiles, and know the market rental rates.

They spend time screening upfront to avoid future problems, and perform regular physical inspections.

Leases are written with end dates, allowing rents and terms to be adjusted beyond rent control limits, maximizing investor return. Investor-friendly reports are distributed on a monthly basis, and meetings can be attended online, so you can easily join regardless of where your property is located.

Optional rental programs are available, such as sharing vacancy risk with other investors, sharing furniture costs to attract higher short-term rents, and negotiating discounts on property management.

The Turn-Key Solution To Property Investment

In short, when you invest with WCPG, you get a dedicated, award winning team of experts who deliver brand-new cash flowing properties in real estate markets which are poised for exceptional growth. You get contemporary modern properties under warranty, which are energy efficient, built with maintenance free materials, and are complete with fully managed rental options that deliver optimized results. This is a truly hassle free, turn-key solution, built for long term performance.