Asbestos: When Should I Worry?

by Jeff Gunther on March 15, 2018

Asbestos was commonly used in home building materials prior to 1990.

You are only at risk of asbestos exposure when fibres are released into the air and breathed in.

Asbestos fibres enclosed behind walls, isolated in attics, bound tightly in an intact product, or kept away from the interior environment of a home or building pose little risk. Tests show that removing asbestos from older buildings can actually increase risk of exposure and the quantity of fibres in the air if proper precautions are not followed.

If you’re renovating an older house, be alert to unexpected sources of asbestos. Get a professional opinion before starting the renovation, and hire a professional to conduct any removal.

For more information, check out this article from HealthLinkBC.


The War of Art

by Jeff Gunther on October 1, 2017

I just read a little book called The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles (Steven Pressfield). You should read it too, if you’re an artist — or an entrepreneur!

There are three parts and three themes.

Defining the Enemy. The enemy is ‘Resistance’, personified as an evil that prevents us from doing the good work we’re called to.

Combatting Resistance. The true artist (or entrepreneur) does the work – even when she doesn’t feel like, and even if it’s not very good.

The Higher Realm. The poet, William Blake wrote: “Eternity is in love with the creations of time.” Creation is about listening and responding to that still small voice of the Muse.

There are striking parallels between this helpful little book and the Christian message of: good and evil; loving the unlovely; and seeking divine assistance. May I encourage you to apply this message to your work.


The Market’s Moving Faster

by Jeff Gunther on September 15, 2017

A little good news for Alberta-based real estate investors…

The market is again moving faster.

For almost 18 months – from about September/October 2015 until about March of 2017, replies to residential rental ads slowed to a trickle. Landlords needed to offer a superior product at a competitive rate (which, by the way, is always the best path to longterm success), in order to gain any traction on ads at all. Anything less, and it was… well, crickets!

I’ve almost always found that I talk to about 15 prospects, to generate 7 showings, to receive 2-3 bonafide applications, to select one good tenant. There have been times when all that activity would occur in 3 days or less; and there have been times when it’s taken as much as 6 weeks. In any case, it’s always best to wait for the right tenant.

Since about March of this year, I’ve again found that well-informed prospective tenants are prepared to make decisions faster – and that’s encouraging.

Here’s one of the resources I follow for market insight: RBC Economics Provincial Outlook, September 2017.

What is your current experience in the residential rental market? What resources do you use to prepare for the future? Please add your comments below…


Sometimes All We Need Is A Little Appreciation

by Jeff Gunther on September 1, 2017

Don’t get me wrong! We get lots of appreciation – and we love it! Check out our Testimonials page.

However, in financial terms…

Appreciation is an increase in the value of an asset over time. The increase can occur for a number of reasons, including increased demand or weakening supply, or as a result of changes in inflation or interest rates.

For the past several years, Edmonton’s market in certain real estate asset classes has been relatively flat. Longterm-hold real estate investors love appreciation. This is where we often experience the greatest gains from our investment efforts.

Fortunately, appreciation is not the only way to benefit from wise real estate investment. While we wait, we can rest in the confidence that we have: purchased below market value; added value through improvements; ensured that rents are higher than costs generating positive cash-flow; and mortgage principal being reduced with each monthly payment.


Fallow Fields

A fallow field is land that a farmer plows but does not cultivate for one or more seasons to allow the field to become more fertile again. The practice of leaving fields fallow dates back to ancient times when farmers realized that using soil over and over again depleted its nutrients. Sometimes it is wise for […]

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Almost Anything is Possible…

I like to believe the rent I charge is on the ‘higher-end’ of competitive. If I want to attract and retain good tenants, rents need to be within a reasonable range, but I can stay at the top of that range by always offering a little more… Over the past 2 years, the supply and […]

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What Happens When Technology Fails…

Earlier this month – for about 3-days, from June 29-July 2, to be exact – Interac’s eTransfer system experienced technological difficulties affecting all major banks. E-Transfer is (normally) a quick, easy, reliable, secure way to send and receive payments. Increasingly, it has become the preferred method for residential tenants to make monthly rental payments to […]

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Happy Canada Day!

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