So you want to invest in Saskatoon real estate

Saskatoon is obviously gaining a national reputation as a hot spot. There is little doubt that our city is doing well and the Saskatoon real estate market is healthy and strong showing several years of decent appreciation. At the same time, many of Canada’s major markets have been showing signs of cooling off, so of course, Saskatoon is standing out amongst them all.

Lately, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of investors who are expressing interest in adding some Saskatoon real estate to their portfolios. My strong Internet presence and high search engine visibility brings me lots of inquiries from serious, and sometimes, not so serious buyers. I’ve dealt with many email inquiries from prospective investors over the last two weeks.

I have a few tips for out of province investors which I sincerely hope will be helpful.

All successful investors which I’ve met have a preference for certain types of properties and specific goals they wish to achieve. Some of the investors I’ve encountered lately seem to be lacking that focus and express interest in everything from $50,000 condos to $50,000,000 shopping malls. It’s difficult for an agent to be effective for you when you don’t know what you want. Be open to discussing your objectives with your agent. It helps us to help you effectively. Talk to some agents on the phone. Your real estate investment is very serious business and email communications often lead to confusion. For something this important, we should be talking. If we can’t do it face to face, let’s speak on the phone. You can reach me toll-free at 1-888-978-6676.

Some of those I’ve corresponded with by email seems to have a need to impress with tales of great wealth. This kind of talk, coming from someone I’ve never met makes me want to proceed very cautiously and sometimes not at all. There are so many scams out there today that we have to be careful. Promises of big business possibilities during an initial email contact are going to be viewed with suspicion.

I’m most impressed by a few thoughtful questions. Even if you already know the answers, doing so tells me that you know what you need to know, and it gives you an opportunity to find out if I know anything. If you don’t care whether I know the market or not, it causes me to question how serious you are.

Be prepared to forward a deposit. As I said earlier, there are buyers all over the place here and most of them are ready to act when the right property comes up. If you and your chequebook are 500 miles away, we really don’t stand a chance. Having an adequate deposit in trust, in Saskatoon is the only way that you can be ready. Real estate trust funds of up to $5,000 are insured by the Real Estate Assurance Fund in Saskatchewan. If you’re dealing with a licensed broker your money is placed in trust where it’s safe and ready to work for you when the time is right.

Be prepared to conduct your transactions in accordance with local customs. Real estate is done in many ways, in many different places. Your offers will be taken most seriously if you seek advice from your agent on how things work in the Saskatoon market.

Do a little bit of research on our real estate market. Lately, I’ve been asked for things that no longer exist in this market, and people have actually been put off when I told them so. 

  • Eastside luxury homes with good rental potential priced between $150,000 and $175,000.
  • Motivated sellers who are anxious to sell at a bargain price.
  • Quality residential revenue homes that will deliver positive cash flow with a 15% down payment.

Unfortunately, none of these things exist in the current Saskatoon real estate market. If that’s what you need to meet your goals, we may as well discuss it now.

Good luck.

Norm Fisher

Royal LePage Vidorra

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