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The top 4 international property investment markets

The top 4 international property investment markets

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The top 4 international property investment markets

If you’re looking to invest in offshore real estate – that is, markets outside of North America – there are four key markets you should look at first.

Lief Simon, international real estate investor and co-founder of Live and Invest Overseas, says he’s all in on overseas markets. And he has shortlisted four countries to help build your investment portfolio and personal freedom plan.

Why? International property stands out more than ever among investment options because it is both a hard asset and one of the best opportunities for generating cash flow while building real, long-term, even legacy wealth.

What makes these countries star performers? He says they are the world’s best options for diversifying across markets, currencies and asset types for both value appreciation and cash flow of up to 17 per cent per year that can continue for decades. In some cases, you can invest with as little as US$35,000.

1. Panama

Rental apartments and agricultural opportunities are the two key target areas here. Panama City, where resale transactions have slowed, is and will continue to be a buyers’ market in the short term. This year is a chance to buy on a dip, because, long term, Simon remains very bullish on the Panama City rentals market.

Yields continue to be strong, though not as strong as they were a couple of years ago, primarily because rents have softened.

Argentine, Colombian, and Venezuelan buyers have helped to keep the Panama City market stable and growing over the last dozen years, while other markets in this region have struggled or even collapsed.

Today, North Americans and Europeans continue to invest, but it’s Panama’s new relationship with China Simon predicts will fuel this economy through its next stage of growth. Chinese are arriving in Panama in volume and bringing lots of investment capital with them, just like they did in Vancouver in the 1990s. He foresees spikes in property values to new levels.

The second big opportunity for making money from real estate in Panama in 2019 is productive land. This country’s interior is a fertile breadbasket. Individual investors can even participate in organic plantations for turnkey agro-profits.

2. Brazil

Brazil is a large country with many different property markets, some more interesting than others.

“I recommend focusing on the Fortaleza area,” Simon says. “This coastal region is a top destination among Brazilian tourists. Rentals targeting the local holiday market can earn better than eight per cent net yield reliably.”

The Brazilian real remains stable against the U.S. dollar (at around 4.09 reais to US$1) and has been historically weak relative to the rate of 1.6 reais to the dollar of a decade ago.

Good yields and a weak currency make this country a very strong buy.

3. Thailand

Thailand appeals primarily for its agriculture, but it also deserves attention for its strong economy and expanding tourism industry.

The challenge in Thailand is that restrictions are placed on how foreigners can own property. Foreigners are able to own land only on leasehold.

A foreigner can hold freehold title to the construction on the land, but, unless the house is portable, you might not take comfort from that. Foreigners are also permitted to own condos freehold as long as they don’t own more than 49 per cent of the total area of the condo building. For this reason, the condo market is where most foreign investors focus their attention. A condo is also cheaper and easier to manage as a rental than an individual property.

Bangkok was the number-one visited city in the world in 2017 and last year received more visitors than London or Paris. Again, that’s worth the attention of would-be property investors, says Simon.

4. Portugal

Property markets in Portugal have been on the move since 2015. Some neighborhoods in Lisbon, for example, are now priced beyond what Simon believes is reasonable for an investment property. Other areas of this city, however, continue to offer good value and opportunity, especially if you’re up for a renovation project.

In this, the fourth quarter of 2019, Simon recommends focusing on the lesser-visited areas along the country’s Algarve coast and the Porto region north of Lisbon. And in Portugal, it’s possible for a non-resident to obtain a mortgage for the purchase of a property.


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6 steps to becoming a successful landlord

6 steps to becoming a successful landlord

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6 steps to becoming a successful landlord

Buying a condo to rent out for investment purposes is a great idea. But, for many, especially first-timers, it’s much easier said than done. So many questions, tons of details and plenty that can go wrong.

This is exactly why many owner-investors turn to Del Condominium Rentals, one of the largest professional condo management firms in Canada, with a portfolio of more than 2,500 condos in more than 280 GTA communities.

With experience like that behind you, you’re one step closer toward your goal of becoming a successful rental condo landlord.

Here, then, are six important steps to get you started in hiring a professional condo management company.

1. The initial meeting

Find a reputable property management company – such as Del Condominium Rentals in Toronto – and schedule the first meeting with one of its associates.

In this meeting, it’s important to review the details of what the property management company can offer. Describe your property, share your plans for the property and your goals, and ask as many questions as you think of.

Your property manager should be able to help you make all the important decisions on when and how to proceed.

2. Sign an agreement

Once you have selected a professional property management company and discussed all the important details, it’s time to sign an agreement. This contract will detail everything you have agreed upon and is the last step before the firm gets to work on your behalf.

3. Market your property

In the first two steps, you’ve hammered out all of the details, and you and the property management company have been agreed on a contract. Now it’s time for them to begin marketing your property – to help it stand out from the crowd.

This is where a quality property management company shows its mettle. Using its experience in the industry, it can now list your property in places potential tenants will see it – and to now only find but also screen prospective tenants. Finding the right tenant can make or break the success of you investment condo.

4. Finding the perfect tenant

Once your condo is listed and the inquiries begin to flow in, the property manager will handle everything. They will go through all of the queries, and screen potential candidates to find the perfect tenant for you.

The firm will invite interested parties to view the condo, explain all its features and characteristics, and conduct these meetings like an interview process to get to know these potential tenants.

When a prospective tenant is serious enough, and the property manager is comfortable with them as your renter, they will perform a credit check and call their references. Are they a good fit? Will they show respect for your unit and treat it as their home? Does the property manager foresee any issues with the tenant being able to pay the rent? These are among the key questions your manager will navigate.

5. Signing the rental agreement

Once the property manager has performed all the above steps to their – and your – satisfaction, it’s time to sign the rental agreement.

Again, this is where the manager’s experience and expertise will show – having found a suitable tenant, and now creating a suitable rental agreement.

Importantly, the rental agreement is a legal document that should include everything to ensure your safety as the property owner. Remember what we said in Step 1? Ask lots of questions. If you don’t understand something, ask the manager to clarify.

And, of course, they will do the same when they review it with your tenant.

6. Tenants move in

If all five steps to this point are successful, it’s now time for your new tenants to move in. The property manager will get them settled and receive the key deposit and the first month’s rent.

After they move in, the property manager will perform routine checkups to see how things are going, as well as perform regular maintenance when needed. For any larger repairs that pop up, the property manager will handle those as well. This is again where their expertise will shine through – finding and working with credible service providers that may be needed, such as a plumber.

You won’t have to worry about a thing, but since this is your property and you are ultimately the boss, ask your property manager that you be kept in the loop, and that you receive a full report afterward.

Otherwise, sit back and watch the rent flow into your bank account, while your tenant helps pay down your mortgage and the value of the property grows.

It’s a win-win-win.

Ready to set up that initial meeting?

Del Condominium Rentals is awaiting your call, to help you complete these six important steps, so you can be well on your way to becoming successful rental condo landlord.

RELATED READING

Building or renting out a condo? Call Del Condominium Rentals

In Conversation With… Shanker Narayanan, Del Condominium Rentals


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The Davis Residences celebrates grand opening success in Newmarket

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The Davis Residences celebrates grand opening success in Newmarket

The Davis Residences at Bakerfield recently celebrated its official grand opening in Newmarket. The successful event attracted many excited potential homebuyers interested in discovering unprecedented modern urban condo living in Newmarket.

Excited crowds attend The Davis Residences’ official grand opening in Newmarket. Photo: Greg King

Rising 15 storeys, The Davis will be located on Parkside at Davis, in the heart of Uptown Newmarket’s urban centre. The Davis is the first phase of a 4.4-acre master-planned community that will consist of three towers rising above a beautifully landscaped courtyard and a new urban park. The residential community will boast approximately 500 new suites.

The Davis celebrates its official sales office grand opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Left to right: The Rose Corporation’s President Daniel Berholz; CEO Sam Reisman; Vice-President Andrew Webster; and Milborne Group’s Vice-President Brian Shew. Photo: Arthur Mola

Developed by The Rose Corporation, the modern condominium is designed by Toronto architecture firm RAW to meet LEED Silver requirements incorporating the latest in advanced energy-efficient building methods and materials. The building presents a sleek and sophisticated urban design with spacious, liveable suite layouts ranging from one- to three-bedroom configurations. The building will be surrounded by a communal 20,000 sq. ft. park with a children’s playground, which will help to enhance the public realm while at the same time provide a health-conscious and safe social space for local area residents.

Photo: Arthur Mola

The condominium will also feature outstanding indoor amenities, including a stunning designer lobby and modern lounge with a fireplace and gallery; state-of-the-art fitness centre and yoga studio; elegantly-appointed party room with kitchen; furnished guest suites; kids play room; landscaped rooftop terrace; pet spa and bike racks for those who intend to explore the many attached local bike trails.

The Davis’ future residents will be in the heart of it all placing them walking distance to a wealth of boutique shops, restaurants, galleries and local services along Main St. Centrally located along a VIVA Rapidway route, just steps to Newmarket GO station, and close to Hwys. 404 and 400, The Davis will be at the heart of this emerging region that is naturally poised for a residential density boost.

The elegant one- to three-bedroom condo residences are priced from the $400’s to more than $600,000.

For more information register at thedaviscondos.com. Those interested in ownership opportunities at The Davis should email sales@thedaviscondos.com, call 905.235.9200 or visit the sales office at 693 Davis Dr., Newmarket. Hours are Monday to Thursday, 1 to 7 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday noon to 5 p.m.

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Cloverdale Mall

Cloverdale Mall area set for major community development

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Cloverdale Mall area set for major community development

Prospective homebuyers looking for new opportunities in the west end of Toronto might want to keep an eye out for developments around Cloverdale Mall in Etobicoke.

Property owner QuadReal Property Group of Vancouver has big plans for the area that extend well beyond a major redevelopment of the shopping mall itself, which dates back to 1956 when it first opened as an open-air plaza.

Following a year of community consultation, QuadReal plans to submit a rezoning application to the City of Toronto in December, proposing a comprehensive master plan to redevelop the existing 32-acre mall property into an innovative, dynamic and sustainable mixed-use urban community. The plan is to integrate the mall within the surrounding neighbourhoods, providing greenspace, as well as mixed residential, retail and community amenities.

Multi-generational residences

QuadReal says it plans to incorporate feedback from the community, including local residents, business owners and shoppers. To ensure the development is reflective of community values, the company has built a 4,000-sq.-ft. space called the Cloverdale Common within the existing Cloverdale space, which hosts arts and culture programming, events and open houses to discuss the proposed plans. The resulting feedback will be considered in developing the property to include shopping, but also multi-generational residences, all-season parkland, arts and culture programming, fitness and wellness facilities, restaurants and more.

“The new Cloverdale community will offer a diverse mix of residential types, to create housing for all stages of life – from young professionals to seniors, students to families,” Ben Gilbank, director of development at QuadReal, told HOMES Publishing. “A variety of residential types will be provided, including rental, condo and affordable units, enabling cross-generational opportunities for housing. Units will range in size from smaller to larger, family-style units.

Once the proposal is submitted to the City in December, the next few years will be dedicated toward obtaining planning approvals, prior to commencing the first phase of construction, Gilbank adds.

Infrastructure development

Cloverdale is located in the Etobicoke Centre, an area popular for its proximity to the QEW and Hwy 427, the Islington-City Centre West central business district and established neighbourhoods, and which itself is undergoing significant redevelopment. Several new housing developments are in the works along Dundas St. W. between Islington and 427, and more planned for south side of Dundas just west of Kipling subway. New condos are also springing up along the 427 near Burnhamthorpe.

The nearby Six Points intersection, a complicated interchange where Kipling, Bloor and Dundas all intersect, is seeing tens of millions of dollars spent by the City over the next two years to modernize the roads and surrounding infrastructure, to accommodate future development in the area.

RELATED READING

Etobicoke is development central, literally


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Sidewalk Labs

Oct. 31 deadline for Sidewalk Labs transformation a scary proposition

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Oct. 31 deadline for Sidewalk Labs transformation a scary proposition

An Oct. 31 Halloween deadline to resolve major issues with Waterfront Toronto has been set for the game-changing Sidewalk Labs development proposal – a date some consider a scary proposition. If a deal can move forward, another six-month period will be allowed to finalize the biggest and most advanced redevelopment project in North America. If agreement isn’t reached, another partner may be sought.

Sidewalk is the developer and sister company of Google chosen in 2017 by Waterfront Toronto to develop a 12-acre, smart-city site at downtown Toronto’s eastern waterfront called Quayside. The new community would include a mix of housing types (including tall wood construction), financing for light-rail transit and walkable, bicycle-friendly streets.

IDEA district

Part of the proposal is the Innovative Development and Economic Acceleration district (IDEA) district, a 190-acre project on the eastern waterfront that builds on Quayside. It would include a new Canadian headquarters for Google and an $80-million pre-fabricated construction manufacturing hub to build its mass-timber neighbourhood.

According to Sidewalk, its proposal would create an estimated 93,000 jobs and $4 billion in annual tax revenue by 2040.

“But Toronto has had challenges in making big-vision projects a reality to take it to another level, as well as streamlining a clogged development and building approvals process,” says Richard Lyall, president of the Residential Construction Council of Ontario. “It’s not surprising that the two big issues in the last Toronto election were transit and housing. We are not developing enough of either to support our population growth.”

Critical innovations

As it stands, the Toronto region is second only to Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington as the fastest growing major metropolitan area in North America, Lyall adds.

Sidewalk can introduce critical innovations in building information modelling, supply chain management and the regulatory approvals process, Lyall says, and it holds the promise for environmentally friendly affordable housing.


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Gone with the Wind

Gone with the Wind mansion going, going… but not gone just yet

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Gone with the Wind mansion going, going… but not gone just yet

When Margaret Mitchell wrote her fictional novel about the Civil War-era Deep South, Gone with the Wind, in 1936, it didn’t occur to her that it would end up being a classic bestseller that would endure for generations.

And when Selznick International Pictures purchased the film rights to the book in 1939, Mitchell had no interest in being involved in the production except for doing one thing: She came across a photograph in the Atlanta Journal of a Covington, Ga. 1836 plantation-style house, cut it out and mailed it to David Selznick with notations that it was identical to the house that she envisioned for the book’s character Ashley Wilkes.

Since then, Twelve Oaks was purchased by the current owners in rundown condition and underwent a US$2-million restoration in 2017. With the owners looking to begin a new project, Twelve Oaks is now up for auction, ending July 25, with a starting bid of US$1 million.

Today’s Twelve Oaks is even more stunning than when Mitchell found it, with the restoration and addition of 21st-century amenities. At 10,000 sq. ft., it has 11-ft. ceilings and hardwood floors throughout, chandeliers and period lighting, 12 bedrooms, 13 baths and 12 fireplaces routed into five eye-catching, brick chimneys, now with fires remotely controlled. With decor kept within the period, there is the formal parlor, large dining room, new kitchen and elegant bathrooms with two tubs that cost more than $14,000 each, and one with a rare antique shower shaped in a circle with sprays from shoulders to feet.

The master suite with personal library is rich with built-in wood bookcases flanking a fireplace with room for seating and a library table. In addition, there are three laundry rooms, fire-sprinkler system and intercom. The rooftop captain’s walk affords lovely views. Outside is a swimming pool with historic pergola, covered porches, a large deck and more than three acres of gardens with a four-car carriage house that has Tesla and Copper Creek charging stations for both cars and golf carts.

The mansion is located only three blocks from the Covington town square with a wide range of restaurants and shops, 30 miles east of downtown Atlanta. As a bed and breakfast and event venue, Twelve Oaks was named Best of the South by Southern Living in 2018, with frequent appearances in movies and television. It is listed in Trip Advisor’s Hall of Fame and as a wedding venue has won Best of the Knot and WeddingWire Couples Choice Award.


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Mel Gibson

Mel Gibson’s Malibu mansion hits the market for $14.5M

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Mel Gibson’s Malibu mansion hits the market for $14.5M

Academy Award winner Mel Gibson has listed his 6,578-sq.-ft. Malibu mansion on the market for US$14.5 million.

Mel GibsonOne of the most beautiful estates in central Malibu, Gibson’s home is accessed through a long-gated drive ending at a large motor court. The house is entered via the two-story foyer that opens into an expansive Great Room with high vaulted-beamed ceilings, stone-arched doorways, large chandeliers, dark-wood floors, walls of French doors exposing canyon and ocean views, and a grand stone Inglenook-style fireplace.

With five bedrooms and five baths, there is a large French Country kitchen with bespoke cabinetry, marble countertops, island for workspace and casual dining, a den, gym and family room. Outside, terraces overlook ocean views, one with a romantic, vine-covered pergola for alfresco dining, and a three-car garage with a two-bedroom guest house above.

Preferring a lush landscape, Gibson added additional plant materials native to Southern California. There are two swimming pools and the 5.5-acre property includes membership in the La Costa Beach Club.

The property is one of many of Gibson’s real estate holdings, which include homes in Australia, Costa Rica, the U.S. and Mago Island, Fiji. He has made philanthropic donations in the countries where he invests and intends to keep the Fijian island in its natural, undeveloped state. Gibson’s real estate choices reflect his penchant for the earthy and rustic, with a strong romantic vibe cushioned among lush plantings.


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Luxury Town Manors

Luxury Town Manors by Kylemore now selling in Markham

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Luxury Town Manors by Kylemore now selling in Markham

Kylemore Communities is offering a limited collection of luxurious three-storey Town Manors at Kennedy Manors in Unionville, Markham. Located within a highly desirable residential neighbourhood off Kennedy Road, just north of 16th Avenue, Kennedy Manors features a selection of 15- and 19-ft. wide rear lane designs and 23-ft.-wide traditional townhomes.

Combinations of brick, stone and stucco with covered front porches result in streetscapes of unparalleled appeal. Townhome layouts have three levels of superior living space with bright, open main floors and three or four bedrooms on the upper level where spacious master bedroom retreats are located. Larger layouts offer an additional bedroom on the lower floor. Luxury interiors include an abundance of upgraded finishes. Sizes range from 1,725 to 2,730, priced from $1.2 million. Construction is underway, so quick closing dates are available.

Kennedy Manors is located just minutes to Main Street Unionville, is convenient to Highways 404, 407, and two GO Stations, and close to Markham’s fine amenities.

kylemorecommunities.com


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Find your new condo sanctuary at 260 High Park

Find your new condo sanctuary at 260 High Park

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Find your new condo sanctuary at 260 High Park

High Park may be popular draw in Toronto in spring with the bloom of the cherry blossoms, but just up the street on High Park Ave., 260 High Park Church Lofts & Residences is gaining due attention for a significant condo conversion.

Developer Medallion Capital Group recently released the Church Loft suites as part of this project, which involves the re-envisioning of the Alhambra Church at the southwest corner of Anette St. and High Park Ave. in Toronto’s west end. The design retains and repurposes the elements that are of historical value in the heritage building, while introducing a new addition massed sensitively around the main sanctuary.

Just 15 prized Sanctuary Church Lofts are available in the historic church structure, with another 55 units in a brand new, adjoining four-storey residence.

Retaining much of the original church facade, including large stained-glass windows and 10-ft. ceiling heights, Sanctuary Church Lofts range from 837 to 3,081 sq. ft. in one-bedroom, one-bedroom plus den, two-bedroom and two-bedroom plus den configurations, and priced from $1 million to slightly less than $4 million. Units in the new structure range from one-bedrooms to three-bedrooms plus den, and are priced from the mid $600’s.

Chris Giamou, principal at Medallion Capital Group
Chris Giamou, principal at Medallion Capital Group

“What’s important, and what really appealed to us, is proximity to transportation, Bloor West Village as well as the 400 acres of High Park, an iconic municipal park destination in Toronto,” says Chris Giamou, principal at Medallion Capital. “All of these are part and parcel of the amenities that are built into this project.”

The design team for 260 High Park comprises Boston-based, internationally renowned Finegold Alexander Architects for the heritage conversion of the church; Toronto-based Turner Fleischer for the contemporary residences; Toronto-based ERA Architects for the heritage conservation plan; MEP Design for landscaping; and U31 for interiors.

As is typical with such heritage conversion projects, especially given what the High Park area and the former church means to local residents, consultation with stakeholders leading up to the project was paramount.

“What was most important to heritage, in particular, was the protection of existing elements from street level,” Giamou told Homes Publishing. Based on such feedback, Medallion Capital altered its original design which surrounded the church with glass and window curtain walls.

“We know High Park is born and bred of brick, and the community didn’t like that concept,” Giamou says. “The compromise was that we maintained the north facade of the schoolhouse and the first bay of the west elevation. In addition to that, we replaced the glass with brick pattern that matches the existing brick.”

Though the building contains 70 units in total, it was actually zoned for as many as 77. “We purposely went larger to make these end-user units,” says Giamou, as investors will likely not be part of the buyer profile.

Site preparation is underway, and construction is set to begin this summer.

260 High Park Church Lofts & Residences


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Sandra Bullock's sweet Georgia home for sale

Sandra Bullock’s sweet Georgia home for sale for $6.5M

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Sandra Bullock’s sweet Georgia home for sale for $6.5M

Oscar winner Sandra Bullock is not only diversified when it comes to the roles she plays. Her highly successful film career has also given her the wealth to own almost any home she chooses, and she doesn’t choose like other celebrities who vie with each other to own the latest and greatest Hollywood pad.

In fact, Bullock has quietly been building a diversified real estate empire. She owns, rents out, sells and lives in homes and vacation homes from coast to coast. What many would say is one of the best is a secluded beach estate on Tybee Island, Georgia which she has owned for 18 years. A busy schedule has prevented Bullock and her two children from spending vacation time there, and she has decided to put it on the market, priced at US$6.5 million.

This property has an architecturally stunning main house and guest house on almost three acres made up of nine parcels, but also has private access to one of the prettiest white-sand beaches in the country. The estate has the capacity to sleep 12 in luxury and fun, with the large pool, games room, gym, a basketball court and private beach entrance.

Structures include the 3,360-sq.-ft. plantation-style main house with multiple screened verandas, double-height living room ceiling with beachy decor and a 2,848-sq.-ft. guest house with living room fireplace, a crow’s nest and an outdoor grill. Overall, there are seven bedrooms and six baths between the two buildings. The home is decorated with emphasis on white linen and wicker with a contemporary airy, beachy vibe and all furnishings, except for a few personal items, are included in the sale. Bullock has rented the estate as a vacation rental at US$1,400 a night with a minimum of a three-night stay.

Only 20 minutes to Savannah’s gourmet restaurants and unique shops, Bullock is selling her beach vacation compound on nearby Tybee Island, priced at $6.5 million. Co-listing agents are Ruthie Lynah Whitlow and Rachel Umreit of Celia Dunn Sotheby’s, West Charlton Street Office, Savannah.

Photos: Tybee Vacation Rentals

See the listing.


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