Eric  Chan

Eric Chan

Sales Representative

Century 21 Atria Realty Inc., Brokerage*

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Hamilton Investment Property Case Study

Why Long Term Cash flow > Short Term Gains

Recently I finished an investment property in Hamilton, and thought I'd share some details around it. It's not your typical flip or condo rental, and focuses on an entirely different strategy that most investors are used to. Focusing on long term returns but getting the same or close to immediate gratification of the property "flip" is what this case study will discuss. The valuation and total process is more involved and variable by project, so those details I'd be happy to share if anyone is interested. In the meantime, I'll break down the investment target, financials, and results.

Property Details

Property Location: Hamilton

Property Type: Detached

# of Units: 3

Purchase Price: $250,000

Condition: Uninhabitable

Yep, this place came straight out of a horror movie. It was not livable - no working toilets, kitchen, and windows all smashed. No bank would lend on this property, and B-lenders gave a resounding "nope". I wasn't about to use my own money to finance this property completely, and again, the devil is in the details. I will save financing for another blog post. In the end I secured the financing to move the project forward.

However before moving forward, I'm sure anyone reading would be curious what uninhabitable means to me. Take a look for yourself:


I think most people (including myself) would want to run in fear from a place like this. But as the famous Warren Buffet once said "be greedy when others are fearful". This isn't your typical buy/reno/sell. My focus for Hamilton properties is long term cash flow, long term equity build, and exiting my intial investment costs.

As my previous blog post mentioned, cash flow properties are less speculative because it requires the investor to build out the financials of the property based on today's economics - not what it "might be worth" in a year. It becomes speculative when you assume you can predict market values (ie. when the market seemed to keep going up). Investing for cash flow requires the knowledge of costs, expenses, attainable rents, appraisal values, and a lot more. However what makes it incredibly attractive is a lower risk profile, repeatable, and a great way to build wealth and equity.

So on to the details!

Costs of Project

Total Renovation Costs: $81,000

Total Monthly Carrying Costs: $8,100

Total Intial Equity (closing costs, lawyer fees, LTT, etc): $63,000

So how much money would I need to flip this property for to break even? Approximately $152,000! That would mean after my renovations, I would need to sell this place for about $400,000. Definitely doable, in fact easily attainable. I could probably get $500,000 - $550,000. That's a profit of $150,000 right away! But then you have to pay capital gains tax, and that eats away about $35,000.

Flipping Profit: $115,000

But wait.... you need to stage the property to sell: $3,000

You need to pay real estate fees: $8,000

You need to pay lawyer fees: $2,000

Leftover Profit: $100,000

So approximately $100,000 is left over after all is said and done. Great money, lots of hard work and effort. But what if I say you can get a better outcome? What if you could get $100,000 profit (after all your expenses), generate $900 NET cash per month, and still keep the property?

That's the beauty of focusing on rental investment properties, by identifying the ones that are the "home runs". Because you need to be meticulous about the financials of a rental property, it's possible to create a financial model to find the properties that can provide more than the profit from just a flip.

So using this rental property valuation approach, what were my results? First here are some "after" renovation photos. Note these aren't professional photos, just some quick snaps for appraisal purposes.


The banks came in and actually gave me a cheque for $240,000 and wanted to take on this mortgage. I had any bank to choose from at this point.

So lets recap:

Final Financial Results:

Total Costs (renovation + downpayment + carrying costs): $152,000

Banks Appraisal: $550,000

Bank Payout: $240,000

Net Gain: $88,000 --> took that to the bank!

Well...what about mortgage? Now I'm paying a higher mortgage, can my rents be sustainable?

Rental Numbers:

3 Units Total Rent: $2,800

Mortgage: $1,885 at new appraisal value of $550,000

Net Rent: $915 per month

So I got almost as much as someone who would have flipped the property for a sale ($88,000), making approximately $11,000 a year on rental income, and in 25 years this property will be paid off (+ $550,000). Additionally, there is a strong change of capital appreciation over 25 years!

How much money do I have left in this property? $0

Approximate value in 25 years of this investment? $88,000 + (25 years x $11,000) + $550,000 + Capital Appreciation = $913,000 + Any Future Capital Appreciation

Replicate this a couple more times and you can begin to build your bridge to financial freedom.

The process we've developed is repeatable, sustainable, and profitable by utilizing specific financial modelling around each project. I have joint venture opportunities available, give me a shout if this is something of interest to you!


Eric Chan | Real Estate Agent
Century 21 Atria Realty Inc.
Tel: 416.707.7128 | Office: 416.203.8838
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