[Will Chen, A Bit Blind Right Now]

Good Will Report

Will Chen's Monthly Newsletter
Issue 4 | December 2006
1.425.301.9652 | will@willchen.ca
Print Version | Archive | Bookclub

Happy New Year!

Christmas has come and gone, I trust this newsletter finds you in good holiday spirits. What kind of presents did Santa bring you?

We had a typical white (as in fog and rain) Christmas here in Vancouver, but don't let that bring you down! It was still great to get together with my family and friends and do some Karaoke! People were impressed with my singing, and, of course, I referred them to go and see Aladdin!

Have you seen Aladdin yet? It is a wonderful, magical panto of which I am a part. We have a wonderful cast with whom I not only enjoy putting the show together, and also enjoy their company and friendship. The show is running at Kay Meek Centre in West Vancouver until January 6, 2007, and I would love to see you there!

Celebrate 2006, Goals 2007

The break between Christmas and New Year is a great time to sit down and review and celebrate the many accomplishments of the year. During 2006, I signed up for Peak Potential's Quantum training program to better myself, joined a wonderful real estate MasterMind group, joined Real Estate Network Group (RENG), and, best of all, bought a total of 7 doors of properties -- doubling my goal of 3 doors! Real estate has become my part time business and I am having a great time!

In 2007 my goals are to increase my portfolio to 15 doors, and have a $1000 passive investment income. I am going to go skydiving for the first time in the summer, be more active in the outdoors and carry on with theatre. I am really looking forward to another great year!

Be sure your yearly goals match up with your long-term vision! A friend and I are getting together to share our goals and visions to keep each other accountable -- and I encourage you to do the same. I am quite happy to hear about your goals and visions if you wish to share them!

Goals and Visions

Speaking of long term vision, I am a strong believer of having one formulated. After all, how would you know if you've gotten there if you don't know where you're going?

Each one of us, as a person, has his/her own idea of what success is. With that come wants and desires -- and there's nothing wrong with having those! Picture yourself 10 years from now. What do you have in life? What do you see around you? This can go as personal as a loving partner, water-front property, and as generous a school for the poor in Africa and a mission to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The key is, you have to feel so passionate about these visions that they make all your hair stand up whenever you think of them. They make you all excited and queasy inside that even during hard times they anchor you to keep your grounds to keep going. It is okay if you don't know how you can possibly get there -- in fact, it's even better because it will definitely take you out of your comfort zone!

Personally I have created a vision board with many pictures of beautiful views, symbolizing the view out of the windows of the house I will own and live in. There are photos of people I care about, inspiring poems, and snowboarding photos -- I just need some photos of cabins on the mountains! I took the idea from Don Campbell's book, Real Estate Investing in Canada, which also is a great step-by-step guide to get started in real estate investing. If real estate is your chosen vehicle to financial freedom, then I would totally recommend this book!

Real Estate as a Business -- Planning

Many people ask me what I think about buying real estate in Vancouver. The first question I ask them is, "Are you buying a place to live in or a place for investment?"

There is a great difference between your home and an investment property. Unlike what many financial advisors will tell you (and as Rich Dad would), your home is most certainly not your greatest asset. There are many expenses associated with owning a home -- maintenance, repairs, property tax, insurance, condo fees, and generally this home does not make you any cash at the end of the month! If you're planning on living in it, buy a property that you like. You are allowed to be emotional about a place you live in!

Meanwhile, if bought properly, an investment property brings some cashflow at the end of each month, and you can capitalize on the market gains when you sell. It's all about the numbers and it's important not to get emotional about it.

Investing in real estate is a business, and, like every other business, it requires a plan of action. Are you buying the property for cashflow or for capital gains? How long are you going to hold for and under what conditions will you sell? Does it fit into your long term plans? These are just some of the things to consider before buying a property. In a joint venture, it is especially important to be clear about the plans for the property.

My triplex in Prince George I am planning on a long-term hold (5 to 10 years) for cashflow. The properties in Edmonton will be for capital gains, holding between 3 to 5 years. Do you have a plan for your investment properties?

Preview: Market Research

Perhaps it is not a bad idea to have a plan for your home as well, but I have to admit that I am no expert in that -- a financial planner will be able to work that out with you. I think the question they really mean to ask is, "Is it a good time to buy a house in Vancouver now, or should I keep renting?" The answer to that is highly speculative; essentially I am asked to predict the market and none of us has a crystal ball to say anything for sure.

However, we can get to know the market better and get an idea of what can possibly happen. In the next issue of Good Will Report, I will talk about the key to real estate success: market research!

For now, I wish you all the best and prosperity in 2007! Let your plan be an action plan and allow 2007 be a year of action! Here's a quote to start off 2007 for you: "Vision is not enough; it must be combined with venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps; we must step up the stairs." - Vaclav Havel


490 readers since 2 April 2007.