A winning (maybe narcissistic) investment thesis

Phewf, a quick google search to confirm the spelling of narcissistic, and we’re off!

I’m a big fan of myself, and other folks just like me. How about you? Do you find you gravitate and trust people that are similar to you? Chances are… you do.

I also like rules… sometimes. They can help focus your energy, and ensure consistent action. Discipline is freedom I suppose. With Real Estate investing, I decided early on to implement a guiding rule / philosophy to inform my purchases and renovations.

A) If I wouldn’t want to live here, neither will anyone else
B) Invest where I would (/do) live, and create awesome homes for awesome people

The rule is simple if not elegant, and it’s worked great so far – albeit I’m only 3 years in.

Before purchasing my first property, I had several adult role-models describe horrific first-hand tenant experiences. What I could never comprehend, was why they were renting to drug dealers and gang members in the first place?! I want to limit my exposure to insane landlord debacles as much as possible, so I stick to who I know best – myself!

After living in nearly a dozen homes, I know what I value in a living space – proximity to “downtown” amenities (ie. coffee shops, bars, restaurants), natural light, laundry, a dishwasher, storage, outdoor space, air conditioning, who else lives around me, and unique features (exposed brick, century homes, NOT an apartment building or condo, etc.). I also know that I pay my rent on time, have a good job, maintain my unit, and respect my neighbours – I’m a great tenant. So, how can I rent to myself?

I pick my properties based on locations I would live, and renovate accordingly to provide aesthetically pleasing, unique units that have all (or at least most) of the features that I value. By sticking to this guideline, I’ve been able to attract awesome tenants, enjoy 0% vacancy and actually create some lasting friendships (since the majority of them have similar value systems to me). I genuinely like everyone who has made one of my houses their home.

While I don’t yet have the money to purchase my absolute dream urban home and tenant it, this philosophy has allowed me to find homes in hip, up-and-coming neighbourhoods and establish a profitable real estate business. I know many people who have made buckets of cash with very different investment methods, but I like this one. I’m proud to visit my properties, there are very few headaches, I contribute to the fabric of my neighbourhood, and I can command rental rates that provide a strong return on my investment.

What’s worked for you? As always, let me know thoughts/feedback in the comments or reach out directly. Thanks for reading!

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