Settling and investing in Canada

canada

It looks like I will need to get a job in Canada, and probably not as a bike courier. 🙁

We are gearing up to go through Canadian immigration and while there is no minimum income needed to sponsor a spouse, I’m pretty sure it will raise red flags if I’m earning $200 as a new bike courier. I need to demonstrate that we won’t both go on welfare!

GOOD bike couriers earn around $60K a year, which is liveable in Toronto for a single person or frugal couple. But I probably wouldn’t be a top earning bike messenger. Not to talk myself down, but I’ve seen how bike messengers ride and I definitely don’t or can’t ride like that!

So sad that I can’t get paid to bike, at least not during the immigration process. 🙁

Investing in Real Estate

I’m trying to figure out what to do. Part of me wants to invest in real estate and house hack and become a landlord. I’ve been scouring the MLS looking for deals (which I heard is not possible on MLS), and I also joined Bigger Pockets to learn more about real estate investing.

Ideally I want a duplex or triplex to live in one unit while renting out the other units traditionally, and/or through VRBO and Airbnb. Of course I want us to live for ‘free’, be cash flow positive, and have a strong ROI. Who doesn’t want that in RE investing! It’s tall order for a n00b in Canada, but those are my goals and I’m on the hunt.

The thing is, reading so much about managing tenants is really turning me off. Is that something I really want to do? Am I even able to do it? Shouldn’t I just buy a small rural Canadian property and retire already?!?!

Martin is also against being a landlord, which is the strongest point for me not to do it! (I’m working on listening to my husband more, because he has good points and I’m sometimes too impulsive) He would rather flip than hold and rent. I haven’t paid much attention to flipping yet, because I like the idea of building a cash flowing portfolio. But if it’s going to ruin our life(style) and cause lots of drama, maybe it’s not for us. I’ll research flipping.

Helping my parents

We’ve agreed to help renovate my parents’ home with the intent on getting it on the market in Spring 2018! At first I was thinking of buying their house so they can slowly move to a condo (which is their wish), and we could keep this house in the family. Then I could fix it up the way I want and do something with it. It’s a good house that is hard to find in Toronto. BUT, I can’t afford the house (especially on my bike courier income!) and I would rather invest in a low cost of living area with higher ROI and more potential for cash flow.

I’m really looking forward to helping my parents. We are going to install a new kitchen, update the bathrooms, update the flooring and new paint. Also create a parking pad in the back (aka Toronto GOLD!). I anticipate that the renos will cost $30K and raise the property value by $250K-$300K. No joke!

Hopefully we can get this done by Spring. It’s not a huge reno but my parents are slow moving in their decision making, and my Dad will drag his heels, which is why I need to be there to speed things up. It would be good if my Dad could go on vacation for 3-6 months to visit his Mother, then we’ll be done!

Airbnb in the countryside

It’s a longer term dream of ours to buy scenic, rural property to live in and host travellers from Airbnb! We’ve used Airbnb a lot in Europe, and have checked to see how it’s doing in Canada. Seems really big in the cities yes, but also in the rural areas that are along the coasts. I suspect those coastal hosts are making mad ROI, though I’m not entirely sure how much it costs to run such a place. But something tells me there are low running costs when it’s a simple wood cabin with no running water or flushable toilet, and costs $120 per night to stay there AND guests are VERY HAPPY about it.

That’s the magic of staying in nature, perhaps. It’s really that nice!!!

We would want to do something like that along the coast or in the mountains, but to be able to afford it without having to rely on Airbnb. The Airbnb would just be for fun.

This is our most favourite option of living in Canada, so we’ll see how it goes.

I’m writing this here so I don’t read back and see that I had this dream to be in rural setting but ended up hustling in the city instead, like I always do.

I want to visit the city, not live in it!

5 Comments


  1. // Reply

    I get a feeling that you are on moving on to the next phase in your FI journey.
    You have set some actionable goals on what you want to do in the future.
    Exciting times, may the force be with you 😉 !

    I din’t know about this “Bigger Pocket” thingy. I learned something new today, thanks.
    Looks interesting and I will check it out.

    On a related note, what did you do to your stock portfolio in Germany.
    Are you planning to let it as it is? Or are you planning take a chunk out of it and put that into RE?

    Best,
    Adi


    1. // Reply

      Hi Adi, I’m finding Bigger Pockets to be a great resource. Let’s add each other as colleagues when you join!

      Are you planning to invest in real estate too or already doing so?

      The German ETF portfolio will not be touched until we retire!

      ‘Conveniently’ we have Canadian dollars because I wasn’t allowed to invest it while I lived in Germany. So it has been losing money all these years in a savings account. :(((( I’ll either invest it in more ETFs or real estate. Still deciding which makes more sense.


  2. // Reply

    >I’m finding Bigger Pockets to be a great resource.

    I was just skimming through the content and it looks very helpful.

    >Let’s add each other as colleagues when you join!

    Sure, that would be great! I just signed up for the service. How do I add you as my colleague?
    I have signed up with my real name : Adithyan Ilangovan.

    >Are you planning to invest in real estate too or already doing so?

    For the past few months, I have been considering this very seriously. But I have never been able to find any relevant information regarding this (especially in English). So Bigger Pockets seems to be Godsend 😉 ! In the next few days, I will read the German specific contents that are available.

    >The German ETF portfolio will not be touched until we retire!‘Conveniently’ we have Canadian dollars because I wasn’t allowed to invest it while I lived in Germany. So it has been losing money all these years in a savings account. :(((( I’ll either invest it in more ETFs or real estate. Still deciding which makes more sense.

    Ah, okay now I see. Great idea. You also have some Canadian dollars that you want to put to use.
    I wish you all the luck and success. And remember to keep us posted. Because I need some successful trendsetters, that I can follow 😉 🙂 .


    1. // Reply

      Hi Adi, I will try to find you on BP.

      If you’re thinking of RE investing in Germany you should go attend some court auctions to see what the process is like. Do you know about the Justizportal? That’s where all the auctions are listed by Bundesland and area, and investors use it to find cheap properties. I wish I had dragged my butt to some auctions just to see, but we were always too busy and never that focussed on RE investing. If you find something you like, you should visit it first in person before bidding.

      I wish they had a Justizportal in Canada but there are vastly different rules and Canada is against auctions. Maybe one day I will come back and invest in Germany, but that it’s in German really does my head in!! 😛


  3. // Reply

    Hi Jessica,
    Got your invite. We are colleagues now in BP.
    Thank you for the information regarding Justizportal.I did not know about this.
    Will check it out.

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