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Saving for a child's post secondary education has, for years, been a financial goal for many parents. The theory was that armed with marketable skills and the requisite degree or diploma, the graduate would land a good job, accumulate a substantial down payment and be well on the way to owning his or her home.
But, as house prices rise, a growing number of couples with the capital are choosing to invest in a second or even third real estate property with an ulterior motive. The detached houses, townhomes or condominium apartments they buy can eventually provide viable housing options for their grown children.
The Stacey's exemplify this type of investor. They and their two children, aged 8 and 13, live in a large, four-bedroom home. Since paying off their mortgage five years ago, the Stacey's have managed to accumulate close to $30,000. They've investigated several investment alternatives and have decided to put a down payment on a two-bedroom condominium apartment. They plan to rent the unit, using that income to help defray the mortgage payments.
Anticipating that their investment will increase in value over the years, the Stacey's are confident that they could sell at almost any point in the future and earn a good return on their investment. But at the back of their minds is the thought that one of the children might eventually call the condominium home.
The Stacey's, like most such investors, aren't concerned with the details - whether their son or daughter would rent, buy or just occupy the unit or what the financial arrangements would include. For them, it's enough that they've embarked on an investment strategy that, in addition to its other rewards, might help launch their children into home ownership.
As with any real estate purchase, particularly those acquired for long-term investment, the key word is caution. List your priorities in terms of the type, size and location of the property you desire. Consult with your real estate sales representative to determine what you can expect to purchase with your available capital.
The following are some criteria that might apply to the purchase of an investment property:
Location will be a key factor in how well the property retains its value over the long term. Homes purchased in well-maintained neighbourhoods, either established or newer developments, and/or located in downtown cores are generally safe bets. Investors with more speculative nature may prefer to choose property in "up and coming" areas, on the theory that like most neighbourhoods, they will eventually be rejuvenated, at a healthy profit to the home owners.
If renting out the property is your plan, consider the proximity of the new unit to your home. Determine the extent of time and work you are willing to devote to your role as "Landlord". Take into account the ongoing costs of maintaining a rental property.
Conversely, property located in other towns and cities may prove to be more affordable. Most of the normal functions of the Landlord (i.e. security checks, maintenance, rent collection) can be handled by professional property management services.
Check the zoning bylaws if you plan to have the property accommodate more than one family. Various restrictions apply to individual neighbourhoods.
Choose a home with a long "life expectancy". Look for maintenance free exteriors. Ensure the building is structurally sound; check for any major deficiencies in the plumbing, wiring, ventilation and heating. If necessary, hire a professional to conduct a thorough examination.
Allow for renovations, repairs and upgrades through the years. Be willing to invest the time and resources to keep the property marketable.
Choose a home that you personally like. In many cases, the property, usually smaller and/or more manageable than the purchaser's existing home, could lend itself to the perfect retirement home.
Whatever your reason is for buying a home, you can feel secure in the knowledge that real estate is considered one of the best long-term investments you can make in a lifetime. In the future, that investment may also turn out to be an attractive housing option for you and/or your children.
About the Author:
Harry Logan is a REALTOR with RE/MAX executives realty in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Harry represents Buyers & Sellers in all aspects of buying and selling residential real estate and commercial real estate in Winnipeg, Manitoba and the surrounding areas.
Harry Logan’s Winnipeg Real Estate Blog. Here you’ll find information about real estate in general and the Winnipeg and Manitoba real estate markets in particular. Harry has over 20 years experience as a REALTOR and he works with RE/MAX executives realty in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Harry works hard to maximize his client’s best interests in residential real estate, commercial real estate and investment real estate. As a real estate investor, he is also uniquely qualified to offer advice on investing in real estate in the Winnipeg market.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.