Expo takes progressive approach to investing

Last year’s inaugural Victoria Real Estate Investment Expo was such a hit with attendees that this year’s event intends to tackle some of the social issues plaguing British Columbia, all the while maintaining its focus on how to build wealth quickly through real estate.

The March 3 and 4 event will have a slew of speakers, including Liza Rogers, founder of the Women’s Real Estate Network, and Kenton Zerbin, a permaculturist and tiny house educator.

The Expo’s producers, who are also founders of The Reinvestors—an acquisition and investment education company—Steve Arneson and Randy Molland believe wholeheartedly that the fastest way to build wealth is through real estate.

Arneson and Molland are 30 and 26, respectively, and both believe homeownership isn’t a sound investment today like it was in years past. However, they strongly advocate purchasing rental properties—a lesson instilled in both men by their mentor, Rae Ostrander.

“I bought my home and I was paying $1,700 a month for a mortgage and then utilities on top of that, and then got introduced to Rae,” said Molland.

Ostrander encouraged Molland to move out of his condo and rent it, as well as to move into a rental himself.

“Now I rent my condo out for $2,200 a month, so I make $500 profit but I’m only paying $850 on my one-bedroom now, so I’m saving $700,” said Molland. “Plus I have the freedom to move wherever I want and I have a savings fund in place.

“In Victoria, a lot of people live paycheque to paycheque, and with capital expenditures, they have to come up with money and go through lines of credit to keep a place manageable, whereas if my fridge breaks I can call my landlord.”

Another disadvantage to ownershiop, says Arneson, is that it acts as debt against qualifying power.

“Whereas if you have an investment property, that can add income towards your qualifying power, so you can add properties, build your portfolio and get rich faster,” he said.

Liza Rogers, founder of the Women’s Real Estate Network, as well as one of the Expo’s producers, will also be on hand to discuss ways more women can become empowered to invest. While real estate investing is heavily geared towards men, women are increasingly investing in properties , and in many cases, bring forth fresh ideas that optimize investment potential.

However, women are still not embraced by investor groups the same way men are, and Rogers endeavours to change that.

“We find that when we have a room full of women talking about investing in real estate, there’s a lot of passion that’s expressed,” she said. “We’re going to talk about some things women are naturally interested in, like income property, Airbnb, finding the right team, investing in each other, women who are sitting on equity and would like to know how to invest it—and we have a lot of young women who want to become investors—and peer lending.”

In fact, women are already redefining real estate in North America, added Rogers.

“There are more single women than single men buying homes,” she said. “For women in the marketplace, this is another one of those areas where women are starting to enter the field and we’re changing the arena.”

The Victoria Real Estate Investment Expo will donate 50% of all general ticket sales to the Greater Victoria Housing Society.

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