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Investor profile: Ankur Puri

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Among the most important traits any real estate investor should possess is resilience.

Ankur Puri is perhaps the poster boy for resilience. The strategic real estate investor, speaker and mentor who runs Ank Real Estate Investments Inc., has mastered the art of fixing and flipping homes, however, it hasn’t been without its tribulations.

“I started investing around three to four years ago because I’ve wanted to do real estate since coming to Canada from India, but I didn’t have the idea or the means of how I should start, or even what I should do. While I was working, I took courses to learn about flipping, as well as no money downs and assignments, but it was still like a puzzle because of how much information was thrown at me.”

Puri put his feet to the fire and learned heuristically. While working at a restaurant and earning a measly $29,000 a year, he decided to dive headlong and commit to being an investor. While a courageous decision, he remembers checking his bank account one day and only seeing $98.25.

Yet after much trial and error, Puri caught a break.

“There was a family in Markham—a mom and dad running a restaurant with two kids under age seven—and their property was around $400,000 with a private mortgage worth $360,000, and it needed repairs of $15-20,000. The father had to get rid of the house because he was behind on payments. He gave me a call through one of my ads, and when I did the numbers I realized there was no money to be made.”

That didn’t stop Puri from trying to conjure a solution, realizing he had to think outside of the box. The husband did not want to move his family, instead hoping to remain in the house for a year as a renter.

“He asked if it was okay if he stayed in the property and paid $1,800 a month for rent and we could buy the property so there’s no mortgage,” said Puri. “He’d pay $1,800 plus utilities for a year. But he didn’t want to tell the kids they didn’t own their house anymore and that touched me.”

Puri brought in an investor—of whom he built an impressive rolodex—and bought the home below market value, which freed his new tenant from creditors.

“I called my investor and told him he could buy the place for $370,000 with a renter in place, so he’d already have cash flow,” said Puri. “He only had to put a 20% down payment and he didn’t have to do any repairs because the guy was already living in it. He could do them when the guy moved out. That’s how I made my first $10,000.”

Since then, Puri has been riding a momentous wave, fixing and flipping homes in Ontario from as far as Sudbury to Cornwall, and everywhere in between, with no money down.

“I do my deals strategically and make a lot more on the same deal, but help my investors who put in all the money for all the deals they’re doing. I make a quick percentage or interest. I do everything apart from the money aspect, which my business partner provides.”

Puri has done about 18 properties in three years, netting $1.2m. He also recently picked up a fourplex for $8,008. Whether he flips this one or decides to hold it, he won’t reveal.

Asked the biggest lesson he has to impart on other investors, Puri said, “Don’t spend too much where you don’t need to, and don’t become emotionally attached to a property. Once it’s done, you sometimes feel like keeping it, but you have to look at it like a business.”

Puri will be speaking at the Harbour Castle in Toronto on Nov. 17 as part of a boot camp on raising capital. He’ll be hosting his own event on Nov. 25 where he’ll share all his tricks of the trade.

 

 

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Victoria real estate agent disciplined for false advertising, encouraging cash deal to avoid taxes

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A Victoria real estate agent is facing $9,000 in fines and a 60-day licence suspension after breaking several professional rules during the sale of her father’s half-million-dollar property, according to a decision by the Real Estate Council of B.C. 

Whitney Garside’s missteps — outlined this week in a disciplinary decision posted on the council’s website — included falsely advertising the property as being almost twice its actual size and advising the buyer they could avoid the property transfer tax if they paid cash directly to the seller.

The property on Burnett Road in Victoria was being sold in 2016 by the real estate agent’s father. That relationship was disclosed and isn’t among the reasons she has been disciplined.

According to the disciplinary consent order, Garside told the buyer — whose name is redacted — that by paying $42,000 cash on the side, the value of the property could be reduced to avoid paying the property transfer tax.

That cash arrangement was not shared with Garside’s brokerage, Re/Max Camosun, a failure that contravened the Real Estate Services Act.

The council also ruled that she “failed to act honestly and with reasonable care and skill” when she advised the buyer the property transfer tax could be avoided by paying cash directly to the seller. 

The council’s discipline committee also found that Garside committed professional misconduct when she failed to recommend the seller and buyer seek independent legal advice, specifically regarding the property transfer tax and the cash agreement.

Another issue the council considered professional misconduct involved the size of the property in question.

The council ruled that Garside published false and misleading advertising and failed to act with reasonable care and skill when the property was advertised as 8,712 square feet, when in fact a portion of the lot belonged to the Ministry of Transportation, and the actual size was just 4,711 square feet.

The discipline committee ordered Garside’s licence be suspended for 60 days, which will be completed Jan. 3, 2021.

She has also been ordered to complete real estate ethics and remedial classes at her own expense.

Garside was also fined $7,500 as a disciplinary penalty and $1,500 in enforcement expenses.

She agreed to waive her right to appeal the council’s discipline committee’s decision in September.

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Frisco apartment community sells to Canadian investor

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A Canada-based investor has purchased a Frisco apartment community as part of a larger Texas deal.

The 330-unit Satori Frisco apartments opened last year on Research Road in Frisco.

BSR Real Estate Investment Trust bought the four-story rental community that was built by Atlanta-based Davis Development.

Satori Frisco was more than 90% leased at the time of sale. The property includes a two-story fitness center, a car care center, a dog park and a resort-style swimming pool.

The Frisco property sold along with Houston’s Vale luxury apartments in a deal valued at $129 million.

“BSR recently exited the smaller Beaumont and Longview, Texas, markets and also sold noncore properties in other markets,” John Bailey, BSR’s chief executive officer, said in a statement. “We are now using our strong liquidity position to invest in Vale and Satori Frisco, modern communities in core growth markets with the amenities our residents desire.”

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House prices on Prince Edward Island continue steady climb

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Residential real estate prices on Prince Edward Island continue to climb at a rate higher than the national average, according to the latest report from a national organization. 

The Canadian Real Estate Association released monthly figures for November 2020 on Tuesday.

They show that the average price for a resale home on P.E.I. is about 21 per cent higher than it was a year earlier. 

Only Quebec had a bigger year-over-year increase, at about 23 per cent. Overall across Canada, prices were up 13.8 per cent year over year in the ninth month of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“For the fifth straight month, year-over-year sales activity was up in almost all Canadian housing markets compared to the same month in 2019,” the report noted.

“Meanwhile, an ongoing shortage of supply of homes available for purchase across most of Ontario, Quebec and the Maritime provinces means sellers there hold the upper hand in sales negotiations.”

That lack of houses coming onto the market compared to the demand means that in those provinces, there is “increased competition among buyers for listings and … fertile ground for price gains.”

There have been anecdotal reports for months that Prince Edward Island’s low rate of COVID-19 infection and looser rules around social activities have been encouraging people to buy homes on the Island. 

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