BRRR Strategy in Winnipeg, Manitoba

BRRR Strategy in Winnipeg, Manitoba

Ninety percent of millionaires are invested in Real Estate. And we know why!  Today, I’m going to talk to you about what investing in Real Estate in Winnipeg looks like.  I'll give you real life experiences from my own rental portfolio, too!

Now I just want to preface this with I am not here to advise you on what to choose to invest your funds in, I’m merely here to share my experiences with you in investing in the Winnipeg Real Estate Market. Keep in mind that my husband and I are both Realtors, and super comfortable in dealing in Real Estate, but our situation is not everyone’s situation – so please do your own research, talk to your own accountant, financial planner, etc. to figure out what would be best for you.

As a Realtor, I think it is important to believe in what you sell anytime that you are in sales, and while we do sell residential homes, we often sell properties to investors too.  Part of our initial desire to explore this space was just to gain the experience.  And boy, are we glad we did!  It turns out, that Real Estate is incredibly attractive to invest within, for a few reasons:

  • Passive Income – the majority of people make their money through actively working – essentially trading hours for dollars.  With Real Estate, someone is living within your property and paying you to do so.  We have chosen a property management company to handle our rentals, even though it means less cashflow at the end of the month, because for us, the peace that comes with handing that task over, was worth it.
  • Appreciation – There are going to be ups and downs in any market, but in general, held over a long period of time, the value goes up.  We are not short term investors.  We have bought these properties to hold for many years to come.
  • Forced Appreciation – this is when the value of your property increases substantially because of an improvement you made to it.  Again, this is something we are very comfortable assessing and knowing what “value add” projects are.
  • Increasing Rent combined with principle pay down – It is linked to appreciation, but I think it is something people often forget to consider as part of the whole equation. Rent continues to climb every year, while the mortgage payment shrinks (barring rocketing interest rates). Your net income should only widen every year you carry the property.
  • Leverage – so yes, you can buy stocks on margin and use leverage in other markets. BUT, and correct me if I am wrong in the comments section below, I know of very few investments that you can purchase where you can use 80% of other people’s money for extended periods of time.  We have only needed to provide a 20% down payment for each of these mortgages, with the exception of one that needed substantial foundation repair where the bank asked us to come up with a larger down payment. You can also leverage people’s time – having property managers handle tenants, hiring contractors to make your improvements.

But here is a point of leverage where I think I need to stop.  Because I find so many people get hung up on it seeming difficult to figure this process out, but after we owned our first rental property we said “Wait, what? That’s it?  It’s that easy!?” And really, it is.  Real Estate isn’t rocket science.  This was ALL we needed to get started:

  • A 20% downpayment
  • Decent credit
  • A proposed monthly rental net-income (the bank did have an appraiser confirm was reasonable).  They will take your rental amount and subtract taxes, utility costs, management fees, vacancy fee, etc.  But if your numbers come out, that is what matters.
  • That was it!

So once we confirmed with them that we had a 20% down payment for our first rental property, and we gave them the house address, selling price, estimated rental amount, they ordered an appraisal (just to confirm the bank wouldn't be underwater on the mortgage in the event we defaulted) and with that, we were told “You are good to go!”. 

Now I know what you are thinking – Jen, this is all fine and dandy, but it takes a LOOOONNNNGGGG time to save up a 20% down payment with home prices these days.  It’s not something that can be done quickly.  And yes, the first time of saving it up could definitely be a struggle.  But getting back to the leverage portion, let me now give you an example of just how far you can stretch your dollar with a real-life example:

We bought a property for $180,000 (not quite but for the sake of easier numbers, let’s go with it because it is close enough).

Which means we needed a down payment of $36,000.  Side bar – don’t forget closing costs.

Now, the property needed work – she wasn’t pretty. We ended up putting in about $20,000 of renovations.  So now we have put $56,000 into the property of our own money.

That doesn’t sound like leverage at all, does it!?

Well here is the thing… once the renovations were done, the value of the property had increased.  So we had the bank do a second appraisal.  That appraisal amount came back at $250,000.  But the best part, the bank said now we can refinance at the new value – which means now instead of the $144,000 loan they were providing us before, they would now be willing to provide us with a loan of $200,000 (or 80% of the property value).  This means that there was an additional $56,000 that could be taken out and used for the purchase of another property.

Now as long as you numbers make sense to do this – as in the new rental amounts will cover the expense of your new mortgage payment, then this strategy can work.  But knowing your market, market rents, interest rates what tenants are looking for, the cost of materials and labour, etc. are paramount.  Having a Realtor that can help navigate that process, is also incredibly important. 

Also, as humans, I find that we can be overly optimistic sometimes so always be sure to leave yourself room for error. 

Also, I've had clients that have done renovations and came out under budget - shockingly.  In those situations, they actually walked away with more money to invest in the next property than to just pull the exact amount out, as we did above. And that’s great. We don’t tend to hire cheap labour, nor do we do any of the work ourselves anymore just because time doesn’t allow. 

But if you wanted to earn some sweat equity along the process, there are certainly going to be opportunities. Just remember that time is money – and if you doing the work slows down the process, you might want to look at hiring out.

Anyways, so we invested $36,000 with our down payment, the additional $20,000 in renovations.  The rent went up by about $800 per month, if you can believe it, as we now had a much more attractive property to rent out, and it is in a GREAT area.

But the best part, is that $56,000 we put into it, is now available to be reinvested in the next property. If you do this process, and repeat it again and again, over time you can amass quite a large portfolio.

If you enjoyed this content today, let me know as I am always happy to delve a bit deeper into the topic, but only if it’s what you guys want to hear!  Also, if you are interested in investing in real estate, I highly recommend the Bigger Pockets Podcast, as that was what first got me thinking about the BRRRR strategy (Buy, renovate, rent, refinance, repeat).  Sometimes it takes hearing the journey of others to find the confidence to take the leap.  That was what I needed, and I hope hearing this story and other stories, it can help you, too!

Again, this is not financial advice, this is just an example of what is working for us in our investment journey.  Even though we invest heavily in Real Estate we still believe too in diversifying through other investment vehicles too – stocks, RRSP’s, etc. But Real Estate is always going to be my personal favourite (for obvious reasons). 

Let me know if you want to see more content like this, on this blog.  I'm happy to share about any of my experiences, but I also don't mean to bore anyone to death either!

Best realtor in winnipeg manitoba#AgentJen

Jennifer Queen

Phone: (204) 797-7945


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