First time home buyer plan

dylancaharel

New Forum Member
REIN Member
May 25, 2018
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#1
Hello everyone! I’m planning on buying my first house soon. So far what I’m planing is to buy a 4-5 bedroom rental property in Lethbridge by the university where my sister attends. I would be able to have guaranteed tenants in each room for 4-5 years until she’s graduated university. My plan is to get a HELOC on the Lethbridge house and use that for a down payment on a house in Edmonton (where I currently live) and rent out either the basement or upstairs and live in the other. I’m 20 years old trying to educate myself in the real estate market and was looking for possibly some clarification or better understanding of how this will play out. Thanks!
 

Michel Lafleur

Frequent Forum Member
REIN Member
Apr 30, 2015
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#3
Buying near a university is often a low vacancy location, so that should work out well.
For your personal/Edmonton property you could qualify as a first time buyer with as low as 5% down. High ratio mortgages dont typically cashflow, but in you could offset that by self-managing the property while having cheap monthly living costs.
 

Martin1968

Frequent Forum Member
Registered
Jan 22, 2017
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#4
Always good to ask the questions. But make sure you do your calculations well. Student rentals are not as lucrative as you might think and definitely not a slam dunk.

Let’s say the house you have in mind is a 300K purchase. At 20% down your mtg will be 240K. Rough estimate is $1300 month payment. Lethbridge has higher prop taxes then other towns and cities in Ab, so let’s say $300 a month. Student rentals often come with all utilities incl so let’s say you pay another $500 a month for water/gas/electric for that size house and heavy usage. Often rooms in that market include cable and internet which will run you at $200 a month. Insurance will run higher as well due to student rental, estimate is $250 a month. Not including your regular maintenance your cost is appr $2500.
On the income side you could try $600 per room but most likely you will be $500-$550
Let’s go the middle ground at $550. Your revenue will be $2750 if you can indeed rent out 5 rooms, and hopefully consistently for a whole year.

There are also some huge downplays. Students are not the most reliable tenants (no offense) when it comes to fulfilling lease contracts, remember 2 semesters from sept to May leaves a 4 month gap with many students going home to top up their bankaccount leaving the residence to simply look for new accommodation for the new year. You could try to appease them by offering a summer rate that is lower then the regular room rate.
(For example one of my sons pays $565 a month and $400 May to Aug)

Another problem you will have is students not getting along as tenants, wanting to move in with other student friends or more simply falling in love and moving in with boy or girl friend etc.
Then there is the issue of youngsters liking to hang together so without proper supervision your house might become the to go to ‘clubhouse’. Wear and tear, neighbor complaints and so on will be a regular part of managing your rental. You really are renting out to young kids without parental supervision for the first time in their lives.

In saying all this, I definitely do not mean to be negative, just want you to know what you are getting yourself into. Having read your earlier posts I do think you are on the right track to become a real estate investor but really think about what product you want to invest in. There are way better options for you.

My advise would be to take it one step at the time. Start with buying in Edmonton, live in it yourself and rent out either rooms or basement suite. Put your down payment against it instead of already starting with over-leveraging at the beginning of your career. Give yourself a year or two, learn the tricks of the trade and expand. After all, looking at your age you have lots of time. Hope this helps.
All the best!
 
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Tina Myrvang

Client Care Lead
Staff member
REIN Member
Nov 15, 2010
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#5
Hello everyone! I’m planning on buying my first house soon. So far what I’m planing is to buy a 4-5 bedroom rental property in Lethbridge by the university where my sister attends. I would be able to have guaranteed tenants in each room for 4-5 years until she’s graduated university. My plan is to get a HELOC on the Lethbridge house and use that for a down payment on a house in Edmonton (where I currently live) and rent out either the basement or upstairs and live in the other. I’m 20 years old trying to educate myself in the real estate market and was looking for possibly some clarification or better understanding of how this will play out. Thanks!
Hello Dylan,

There are a few members that are very well educated on running student rentals. If you would like to connect, please email tina@reincanada.com.
 

Alvaro Sanchez

Ottawa-Gatineau Investor
Registered
Jun 5, 2009
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#6
Do it! but run the numbers. Worst case is that you would be renting out during this venture. I do not know your market but if you are planing to use the first home buyers route with low down-payment for the rental (as low as 5%) there will be limited equity and limited cash flow so you will not be able to do the LC for purchasing own home.