In the process of buying and selling property Aqlim learns a lot of ‘hot tips’, largely by trial and error. These valuable tips she passes on to you.

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How Aqlim bought her first condo (the Visa card and a family loan…)

– What to read in order to understand your local real estate market.

– How to evaluate the community you are thinking of investing in. How to avoid the trendy-overpriced and find upwardly mobile/growth communities.

– How to focus. Construct your own investment strategy: clarify goals and limitations, find (through interviews) a first-rate realtor; be proactive in the search, (use computer want-ads, cruising, open houses); secure the down payment and prequalify for a mortgage. Use a mortgage broker.

– Eight ways to raise money to buy property: reverse mortgages; CMHC assistance; borrow on your equity; vendor take-backs; rent with an option to buy; agreement for sale and ‘wrap-arounds’; partnerships and the vital “shotgun clause” to use if one partner wants to bail out.

– How to recognize a good deal: the seven classic scenarios.

– Blowouts: a lesson in avoiding hype.

– The sad truth about property disclosure statements.

– Making an astute offer: Evaluate the seller’s position and motivation. Create your own bargain by making a low offer. Tips on negotiating.

– Tips on mortgages: use your rental property to qualify; for leverage, arrange long amortizations; make frequent payments. Save money by remortgaging.

– How to furnish and decorate economically a rentable condo.

– Tenant-Landlord: how to recognize an undesirable tenant; how to make up your own rental agreement and “check in-check out” forms. Get a professional’s discount from tradespeople.

– Overall strategy: sell when things are booming. Use the listing-to-sold ratio. How to employ leverage! Incorporate and save on taxes.

– Checklist to use when house hunting: short and long forms.

– List of experts consulted.

– Index