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How to invest without renovation headaches

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Choosing the right property in which to invest is only half the battle—the other half is ensuring that it’s renovated to full potential.

But what if there were somebody to do both for you?

In 2013, Magellan Wealth Advisors was founded by Carlos Rodrigues, an erstwhile advisor for Freedom 55 Financial who realized that his personal real estate investments produced vastly superior yields to what he was contractually obligated to sell his clients. While still a fine wealth advisor, Rodrigues considers himself an even more astute real estate investor.

Magellan buys single-family houses and converts them into multi-family homes, and in doing so pumps their values through the roof. Operating on either joint ventures, or accepting up to five investors at a time, Magellan finds properties, renovates and then manages them from start to finish.

“The investor puts up capital and, typically, we’ll be on title of the mortgage to qualify for it,” said Rodrigues. “We take care of all the work but we take half the risk off of the investor’s shoulders. We find that people want to get into real estate but don’t have the time because when something is being renovated, you need to be present.

“Right from the beginning, we have our own real estate agent who’s in-house and who can qualify the investor for financing. We endeavour to make the whole process of real estate investing no work at all for the investor. It’s as hands-off as possible for them, but—on the joint venture side, for example—they’re getting the full potential of being the owner of a rental property without all the headaches.”

Magellan sometimes flips the properties, but that’s only if an eye-popping offer is made. What it usually does is hold onto the properties and eventually buys out its investor partners after around half a decade. The opportunity exists for the investor(s) to buy out Magellan, too, says Rodrigues.

“We never try to sell,” he said. “We get asked all the time, ‘Do you flip these properties once they’re renovated?’ If it’s appropriate, then sure, but the real money is made by holding it. We haven’t flipped any because they’re all cash cows.”

The company currently operates in Hamilton, where it’s based, St. Catharines, Welland, Cambridge, Kitchener-Waterloo, and Brantford, but it has designs on the areas east of Toronto where cash flowing properties are aplenty, like Oshawa and Ajax.

An example of a Magellan property is in Hamilton Mountain, where the company turned a house purchased through estate sale into a duplex.

“We gutted it completely,” said Rodrigues. “It went from three bedrooms with one kitchen and one bathroom to five bedrooms with two brand new kitchens and bathrooms. It has proper insulation now with spray foam, which is nice for temperature maintenance; we painted everything and went the extra step of making it a legal apartment, which we do with all of our properties. Hamilton Mountain has proper fire and sound separation, and we increased the size of windows.”

Even ensuring both units have separate outlets is part of the renovation plan.

“If, for example, you have a house with two apartments and one outside outlet, it has to be connected to one of the panels, so who pays for the guy downstairs vacuuming his car? We go as far as splitting everything up and going the extra step of mitigating any issues that may come down the pipe.”

With years of experience as an investor, Rodrigues knows opportunity when he sees it.

“With the need for rental accommodations such as they are in the region, it’s easy to buy a house and bump the value of the property up with a second stream of income,” he said. “That’s why we hold onto our properties—we’re still cash flowing just short of $800 a month with the Hamilton Mountain property, so why sell the cow providing all the milk?”

Find out more about Magellan Wealth Management at the Investor Forum on March 2.

Are you looking to invest in property? If you like, we can get one of our mortgage experts to tell you exactly how much you can afford to borrow, which is the best mortgage for you or how much they could save you right now if you have an existing mortgage. Click here to get help choosing the best mortgage rate

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Minor renovations that make a major difference

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(NC) Renovations can be a daunting task. If your goal is to increase your property value, smaller upgrades can provide a higher return on your investment.

Here are some budget-friendly projects for key areas of your home that can boost your property value:

Kitchen. You don’t need a complete remodel to increase the value of this space – it can be as simple as focusing on one thing, such as cabinets or countertops. Refacing old cabinets by adding a fresh coat of paint, a new finish or updated knobs can bring new life to your kitchen. Adding new granite countertops is an easy way to modernize an older kitchen. Make sure to choose a countertop that fits with the price point and aesthetic of your home.

Bathroom. The bathroom is where most of us begin and end our day; modernizing it is a great way to increase your property value. New floors or shower tiles will give the illusion of a complete makeover. Updating the vanity, sink or mirror are also inexpensive options. Smaller bathroom projects like these can have high appeal to future buyers.

Windows. These are often overlooked in renovations. However, upgrading windows is a great idea for both aesthetic and energy-saving purposes. In cooler climates you can purchase windows with insulating properties, and in warmer climates you can purchase those that reflect sunlight.

Deciding on the right budget to suit your needs can be hard, but worrying about the financing shouldn’t hold you back. For an easy way to finance these renos, check out The Home Depot Project Loan, available across Canada.

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The hottest bathroom looks this year

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(NC) Thinking about renovating your bathroom this year? Whether it’s a simple update like a fresh coat of paint or new hardware, to a complete overhaul of your layout, there is a lot to consider when renovating. Read on for some of the latest trends.

Bold colour choices. Similar to what’s happening in the kitchen, bold colours are making their way into bathrooms, from deep blues to forest greens and even black. If you don’t love painting, consider bold wallpaper. It works particularly well in powder rooms, as the smaller space is a great area to experiment in without overwhelming the rest of the house.

Compact design. New designs are embracing less square footage by combining features, with fewer double sinks and more shower/bath combos. Installing glass doors instead of using shower curtains creates a more open look. Wet bathrooms are also growing in popularity and create a show-stopping look while maximizing small spaces.

Terrazzo time. Terrazzo is making a comeback with a modern twist. Today’s terrazzo comes in a wide variety of colours and uses an assortment of other materials to get its signature bits-and-pieces look. It’s a great alternative to stone and marble as it isn’t as expensive. Plus, it’s as durable as it is eye-catching, while requiring minimal maintenance.

Statement mirrors and art. Many people see the bathroom as a functional room and not a place for statement pieces, but this space is an extension of your home. An easy way to change the appearance is to update the mirror. Round mirrors in particular are very popular this year. Don’t be afraid to move pieces from other rooms in your home here to achieve a more interesting look.

Industrial chic. Exposed plumbing and hardware are being incorporated into new designs this year, a look that allows a number of unique metal finishes to be shown off. From matte black to copper and gold, try mixing and matching in your bathroom.

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Most popular handyman jobs for spring

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(NC) As the weather warms, it’s an ideal time to tackle home renovation projects. Here are the top jobs worth hiring a handyman for this spring:

Deck and patio repairs. If you have one of these outdoor spaces, it’s a safe bet that you’re planning on spending a lot of time out there over the summer. Since decks see so much action, they require proper maintenance and upkeep. Fixes can include warped or rotten wood, popped up nails or loose handrails.

Power washing. A small task that is often overlooked is maintaining the overall cleanliness of the outside of your home. Have the exterior, back deck and driveway power washed to easily freshen it up.

Window washing. From snow and rainstorms to heat waves, there’s a lot of muck that can build up on your windows. A professional will get those hard-to-reach places clean and make your windows and your sills sparkle.

Caulking and weather-stripping. Weather-stripping and caulking can have a significant impact on keeping cool air in and hot air out—and vice versa come winter. If there’s a significant leak it will also help save money on your energy bills.

Updating doorbells and locks. Keeping your home secure is always a priority. With so many new smart locks and doorbells available, consider an update that allows you to keep an eye on your home from afar. From video doorbells to smart security cameras[KM1] , it’s one less thing to think about when away from home.

Updating the backsplash. This small job makes a big impact. It’s a great way to inject some personality and make it look like you’ve done a lot more to the space than you have. If you want to go all out, have your handyman also paint your kitchen cabinets for a quick and easy kitchen makeover.

Find the perfect handyman for your spring jobs at homestars.com.

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