How Does Home Buyers YEG Work?

I get calls every day asking me to learn a little more about Home Buyers YEG & how we work as a company? Our slogan ‘We Buy Houses YEG’ doesn’t provide much of an explanation but this blog post will!Selling Your Home, HomeBuyers

At HomeBuyersYEG we Renovate houses, Re-develop the property or Hold homes as cash flowing investment properties.

It’s that easy! HomeBuyersYEG searches for mutually beneficial deals in Edmonton where a real estate seller would benefit from a quick worry free sale & we can benefit from adding value to the homes current condition.

Our services are definitely not for everyone but we strive to find the perfect fit & when we do, the seller walks away with what they wanted out of the house & we’re able to get our hands dirty on another project!

Is my house right for this sort of a sale? 

HomeBuyersYEG could be the perfect solution for getting rid of your home in many instances. Are you:

Unmotivated to fix up your home before putting it on the market?

Worried about keeping your house neat for never ending ‘walk throughs’?

Is there not enough equity in your home to interest realtors?

Worried your home’s structural conditions would stop future buyers from getting a mortgage on the place?

HomeBuyersYEG works for many different situations & if you’re not happy with our price at least you gave it a shot! Next time you’re thinking of selling call 780-306-1661 & find out what we’d be willing to pay on the spot! Or contact us online!






Real Estate Investors Keys To Success

Real Estate investing can make you hate or love owning property and much of that outcome can be entirely decided by luck. Luck is definitely a factor in Real Estate (like many business ventures) but luck only lasts for so long.. Here’s a few tips I’ve learned from some of the true Edmonton Pro’s who make money over & over on every deal the pursue.

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#1 Patience

When I first began investing in Real Estate I was convinced the only thing worse than a bad Real Estate deal was letting your capital rot in a bank account or low risk mutual fund. After some time spent working with a few guys who are truly the best in the business, here in Edmonton, I learned there’s always a better deal.

The key is to find the right balance between a ‘rare’ deal and a ‘unnatural’ deal a rare deal happens every day in Edmonton, someone will find a piece of property for 10-$30,000 under the current market price, which is to be expected with real estate as the market is not entirely efficient. An unnatural deal is the type of deal you hear about from a friend of a friend – someone who found a giant lot in Westmount with an old lady who wouldn’t let him pay more even though he insisted (a true story I actually heard once). Unfortunately, waiting for this deal is like trying to win the lotto and the man power to finally find this perfect lot often goes unrewarded. What I’ve learned – be patient but not hopeful and put the time and energy you would waste on countless walk through’s and negotiations towards making that one ‘rare’ deal into a really fantastic flip or cash flowing asset!

#2 It’s Okay To Spend Money on a House Before You Buy It

If you find a really great opportunity but the house is a little rough around the edges, do not skip the 300-1,000 dollars it takes to get the place fully inspected. The main reason is to prepare yourself for what is to come. It may be hard to spend that sort of money up upfront before the house is yours but knowing what’s behind those basement walls or lurking in your sellers attic is definitely worth it.

An example how this could work towards your benefit: I recently purchased a home in Elmwood, it had been on the market for 106 days (usually this is a bad sign) – I spent about $600 on inspections before buying to find #1 the seemingly poorly build upgrades were to code #2 the electrical & plumbing where fine #3 the house was in good shape structurally. After 106 days on market the sellers were pretty much convinced the house was worth land value. I got the house for 285K & the initial listing price was 370K! That’s not too bad!

So, in the future: Don’t fall into the trap of expecting too much from a real estate deal and Don’t get careless about ensuring the asset you’re about to buy is truly as good as you think it is!


What to Renovate In Your House, and When?

Renovations can by fun but the costs add up fast! How can you add value through your renovations and not waste time and money on useless reno’s?

#1 Fix What Your Property Inspection Suggested

Did you have a property inspection when you bought your house? If you bought a house older than 30 years odds are you did! My biggest suggestion would be to go back and find that report then follow many of the small renovations they suggest. In order to do this properly I would hire a handyman, as it will cost you more time than it’s worth to do it on your own, as this task includes a lot of researching technical terms! When should you do this? Preferably before you get renters, many of these suggestions are minor liabilities & odds are, if you’re renting your place, the next buyer will be holding it as a rental property as well. So protect yourself now and create a really good first impression on future buyers when they get your property inspected!

#2 Decide Why You’re Renovating Before You Decide What To Renovate!

Would your kitchen look great with a new back splash? Are the light fixtures no longer in fashion? Those are two really great investments for a home! But are they right for you? Are you planning on holding your home as a rental for the next 5 years? If so, maybe your renters would rather have new locks on their bedroom doors, or maybe even a furnace cleaning! I’ve walked through many houses where I see owners who have gotten a little too excited and renovated before they began renting. The key is to make your house nice enough to get and maintain renters but save all aesthetic improvements for AFTER your renters are moved out and you’re hoping for a quick sale!

#3 Quotes & Questions 

Get several quotes from many different professionals before you choose to do any work on your house, and more than just that, ask these 2 main questions:

  • What would be your price to do this if I paid for the material and you worked hourly?

Ask this question to get a better idea of exactly what people are pricing their personal time at.

  • How many other jobs are you currently doing? And what is the normal scope of your jobs?

Many times people will take on more work than they can handle. This is a natural aspect of the trades, nobody knows what tomorrow will bring so don’t turn down present opportunities! This can cause a lot of trouble, you need to find someone with less commitments, the more attention they have on your project the better service and quality of work you will get. The second part of this question ‘normal scope’ is because you want the right person for the job. If you’re trying to get a boutique fence for your front yard & you’ve hired a landscaping company that normally builds fences for neighborhoods lining the Henday, you’re paying the same amount for a fence builder who may not understand the intricacies of a small aesthetic fence and will also be much less focused on your project compared to their other projects. I cannot stress these two questions enough, this will save you both time and money!




3 Steps to Ensure You’re Getting the Best Deal When Buying a Home

If you’re anything like me, the price you’re paying for your new house seems like a blessing one day & an absolute rip off the next. I think this is a fairly natural aspect of being human yet it’s also completely insane. This post will explain a few things you can do to help rest easy at night after going unconditional!


MLS is an amazing tool, what’s even better than it’s ability to make real estate shopping quick & simple, is it’s database of comparable sales. Do not just let your realtor tell you if the house is a good price based off comparables, ask for the comparables yourself! Then, ask for the neighborhood sales overall; then, ask for the neighborhood sales over the last 10 years. Once you have this data it’s time to seriously review it. From this you should be able to see the neighborhood specific rate of appreciation, as well as any anomalies in the sales data, such as a short term bump in average selling prices (this would be a sign of gentrification).

Know The Neighborhood

Okay, congratulations! You know everything about every house that has sold in the neighborhood in the last 10 years! But do you know anything about the neighborhoods future? What’s the crime rate? Has it been increasing or decreasing? Is there public transit coming through? What are the chances the road your house is on becomes more or less busy? These are all questions for your realtor & push him to back his answers with facts! You’re paying him around $10,000 do not be afraid to utilize him or her to their fullest!

Patience is Key

Realtors are great for a lot of really positive things, but they’re also good at creating a sense of urgency which may not properly reflect your own situation as a buyer. Understanding the real estate market takes time & if you’re going to get a good deal you may have to shop around for a while. The longer you look for a home the more likely #1 your initial offers will get reconsidered by once complacent – now nervous – sellers. #2 The longer you have time for the perfect house to come on the market. Don’t let yourself settle until you’ve really given it a good run, I would suggest 5 months in the winter & 3 months in the summer! Warning: Just because you should take your time it does not mean you shouldn’t have all your bank, insurance & law information prepared & waiting for when you do find that perfect house. Many times it’s the buyer prepared to go unconditional immediately who gets the best deal!

So basically, to find the best house you need research & patience! Sounds pretty easy until you actually have to apply it!

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Can We Protect ourselves from Deal Killing Lawyers?

The most dreaded words a residential real estate buyer hears are: ‘let me have my lawyer take a look at this, then I’ll get back to you’. The reason? Lawyers look at real estate deals through a black & white lens. To a lawyer they expect a downloadmoderate conditional period, a deposit, then a moderate closing period and honestly it’s what I dream about as well, but real life often gets in the way, making deals more and more complicated.

A few ways my deals become interesting are through Cash Back terms, Assignment Scenarios and long holding periods. This post will discuss the most common creative deal strategies & how to ease conservative lawyers into these abnormal terms.

A Cash back scenario can be used on each side of the agreement. For instance, if you’re buying a house for $300,000 & would like some cash for renovations, you can change the price to $305,000 with a ‘term’ that the seller owes you $5,000 cash after the mortgage has been paid off. On the other hand, cash back is a great way to motivate sellers to sell for your price. What if the only reason a seller won’t accept your price is because they’re cash poor at the moment & need some money to move out? Getting them some ‘cash back’ in their pocket can be a good way to move a deal forward especially if your price is not completely covering their existing mortgage. The best way to get a Cash back clause into your Purchase Contract is to get your lawyer to write one, then insert it with a space for signatures underneath.

Assignment Scenario’s are simply times when you get ‘under contract’ with an owner & then sell your purchase contract to another buyer. This part is not very complicated and completely legal under Alberta’s current contract laws, we use it all the time at HomeBuyersYEG. This type of situation can happen for many different reason but often times it’s a great strategy when you’ve just got too much on your plate & want to earn a small commission fee by selling the rights to a deal. To protect yourself from potential legal problem with assignments most lawyers will not have a problem with you simply signing your name at the beginning of the purchase contract with ‘Name / Nominee’.

Lastly, the dreaded long holding period. The longer a contract is tied up the more closely a Real Estate lawyer will look at it because a longer period means a longer time they’re liable to their clients. For instance, if they miss a strange clause and the contract closes in 1 week there’s only 1 week for that clause to effect anything, but if it’s 6 months that’s a long time, for a lawyer, to be held liable for their interpretation of the contract. A good way to ensure the owners lawyer reads the contract & approves is to prepare a statement of intentions document with the sellers before they send the Purchase Contract to their lawyer. This document should outline why both parties believe a longer holding period is mutual beneficial & why any ‘non boiler plate’ clauses are added into the contract. Then both you & the property owners should sign this statement. This opens the door to constructive criticism rather than just criticism from the lawyer.

So there’s a few small tips that may or may not get your ‘creative’ contract’s stamp of approval from a conservative lawyer. My last piece of advice: Have your own lawyer call their lawyer to help explain. Not all lawyers are created equal and this piece of advice is provided with the hope that maybe your lawyer could even teach their lawyer a thing or two about real estate law in general. There are many times a lawyer will find themselves representing a contract in a real estate deal even though it is not their area of expertise!

If you have any questions, or are having any trouble with Real Estate contracts please reach out! 780 306 1661

How Do I Get A Partner For Real Estate Deals?

Having the ability to partner on deals is one of the most valuable intangible assets out there & would be considered one of the greatest benefits of a strong personal brand. What makes a good list of potential partners so valuable is that partnering on deals diversifies your risk. For instance, if you’re planning to do 2 deals this year by yourself, to make a decent income you’d have to do two fairly risky deals & like anything overly profitable there’s a chance for disaster, so those deals may pay off greatly or they may cost you greatly. On the other hand, if you work with a partner you can now do 4 deals & you can still do those 2 risky deals with the potential for great return, but you could also buy 2 cash flowing investment properties at the same time. This way, if those investments don’t go the way you want them to you’re left with less downside & you now have cash flow to help cover the costs of the riskier developments.real-estate-partnership

This post will review some easier than expected ways to find partners and make you yourself a valuable partner in someone else’s eyes.

What do I need to do to make myself a desirable partner?

Sounds like you’re about to learn some dating advice right? To be honest it basically is dating advice, a partner needs to be trustful, have a good track record & bring something unique to the table. Trustfulness & a good track record is simply just related to how you treat people you work with currently. The best rule of thumb to keep yourself in the good book is simply DWYSYWD – Do What You Say You Will Do. If you let someone know you’ll get back to them by tomorrow, actually get back to them! Don’t make promises you can’t follow through on and people will see you as a stand-up, trustful partner. It also adds a level of professionalism to your personal brand.

What do I mean by ‘bring something unique to the table’? In Real Estate this means one of a few things: Professional Contractor, inspector or Handy man specialist, Money – Guy; can you write conditional offers or make all cash purchases happen?, Accounting Guru; do you know strategic accounting methods to save money on investment properties?, Real Estate Associate with access to MLS, Deal generator; are you able to find properties before they’re on MLS & get them under contract? Or Lawyer / contract specialist. There are tons of ways you can stand out to a potential partner but you need to market your skills or nobody will see the value in you as a partner. Many people would love a chance to go in on the deals we find but very few get the chance on truly good deals unless they’re bringing something extra to the table!

Where Can I Find Partners?

If you’ve got a valuable skill set & a good track record in the industry the best 2 places I’ve found to find partners are at networking events & through Kijiji. Networking events are great for finding capital just simply start chatting with people & eventually you’ll find someone whose skill set compliments your skill set and it’ll make that good deal all the more profitable! Do not just take someone on for the money they’ll provide, if you’re the one with a investment opportunity & the only people who will take you seriously are rookies with some capital and no experience, you might want to reconsider how good your deal truly is. Kijiji is basically the same as networking, post an ad saying you’re ‘looking for an investment partner’ and see what happens. You may find someone really great, but don’t take the first schmuck who replies to your ad! Do your homework!

So remember, partners are important to reduce your risk & help you complete more deals, they’re also important because their knowledge about different sections of the real estate game is even more profitable than their investment capital!



Will a change in Interest Rates Change The Value of My House?

Follow Canada’s Mortgage Rates

The current interest rates for home buyers in Alberta is around 2.23 – 2.4% for a 25 year mortgage. The variance in basis points is mainly determined by whether or not you have a variable rate or a fixed rate & the length of the term. A variable rate mortgage is the lowest interest rate percentage at 2.23% but it fluctuates with the market. A 25 year mortgage locked in at 10 years would be the highest at around 2.4% it’s higher because you’re paying a premium for the security 10 years of  the same payments has to offer.

There are many strategies when buying a home to decide which one of these structures is best for you, but what does the borrowing rate mean for you once you’ve already got a house? 

The ‘cost’ of capital will affect your sale price. Like I’ve said in blog posts before, when selling, the price you’re negotiating on is cash in your pocket. To the buyer, the sale price is broken down into a mortgage payment which they not only have to afford but also must qualify for. So, to you, it does not matter what the mortgage rate is when selling but let’s see what it means for the buyer:

If your house is 550K & their mortgage rate is 2.33 APR the monthly mortgage is $1,900

What about a 3.5 APR Mortgage rate? The payment is now $2,200

That may not seem like a huge bump but it has lowered your pool of potential buyers. Higher mortgage rates will slow the real estate market and eventually lower the price of your property.

Following with our example above, to have the same amount of buyers at 3.5% who could afford your house at 2.33% you would have to re-price it at $480,000.

The moral of this story: you’ll get more for your house if you sell when mortgage rates are lower than when they are higher!