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Archive for July, 2010

Commercial Real Estate – Points For Profit

Thursday, July 29th, 2010


Location: Land that is close to where people live, work and play is worth more than land out in the middle of nowhere.

The approval to build: The reason that land is developed is so that it can generate more income. Land that is used for farming brings in much less than land that has an office building or townhouses on it. When you change the zoning or take a piece of land through the approval process, it becomes more valuable simply because you now have the ability to build and create more income from the land.

Availability of utilities: in order for land to be improved, you need to make sure that the water; electricity, gas and sewer systems are available.

Land that is several kilometers away from these services will nee hundred of thousands of dollars spent on additional costs to develop the property. So, land that is next to existing utilities or has them in place is worth much more.

Are you in the right market?

When you are looking for the right place of land to develop, you need to pay attention to what surrounds the piece of land that you are interested in.

– Is the area growing and population coming in?
– What kinds of residences or businesses are already in place?
– What are the demographics of the area?
– If you there a demand for what you intend to do?

In other words, assess the local economy; it needs to be strong for you to make the venture profitable. What you are looking for is the right spot to put up houses, units or apartments etc. To be successful it is also important to know your exit strategy before you get in. Typically for land development, your exit strategy would be to sell to another developer or a builder.

The three Ps for successful projects

If you want to be successful in your land development, you need to follow what I call the three Ps.



What is your position in the market place? Is there a demand for the type of development that you are contemplating? You can have the best project in the world, with the prettiest architecture, but if you can’t sell it over time, you are wasting your time buying it at all.


What profit is the land likely to make? This includes making a great return on your time, energy and personal capital that you contribute to the project. In addition to money in your pocket, most good-sized land development projects end up using bank financing, private investors or a combination of the two. Both entities want back good rates of return.


What does politics have to do with land development? Well, almost everything. Why? Because before you even break the ground to build anything, you will need the approval of several governmental entities, including local council, department of housing, department of lands and main roads.

Before you jump in with any real estate development project make sure that you understand what you will eventually do with the property. You can sell it to another builder, hire a builder and manage the project or build it yourself.

A couple of good places to invest in land is either right in town or even in the direction in which the town is expanding and wait for the town to come to you! The path of progress is often determined early in the towns’ development.

So consider the path of progress points, migration and new construction when deciding whether to pursue a project. One way to reduce your risk with land development is to look for where businesses are going because every other piece of land that is developed helps to attract more people to the area. If you change a property zoning you can dramatically increase its value. The challenge is making sure you meet the community requirements enforced by the local council and/or state agencies.

When trying to decide what to build on your land, be sure to look at the surrounding neighborhoods to see how your project will fit in. The value of the land is directly related to the income that it produces.

Canadian Income Investing Opportunities

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

The United States is given the most attention due to the dominating influence it has in the world capital markets, but what about Canada, it’s neighbor to the north? Surely Canadian stocks, bonds and other instruments can offer value to investors looking for income investments.

The Canadian stock and bond markets offer many advantages over the United States at the moment. The Canadian banking system is stronger and more fiscally conservative than U.S. banks. In addition, the Canadian government has been moving in a conservative, business-oriented direction for several years, which makes Canadian capital markets a great opportunity for investors to flee the turmoil in the American capital markets.

In terms of specific instruments, aside from bonds there are some great dividend-paying stocks available for purchase. In particular, the stock of the Bank of Nova Scotia has been looking very attractive for some time. The Bank of Nova Scotia’s investment banking arm, Scotia Bank, was ranked as the number one investment bank in the world in the infrastructure sector by Global Finance magazine.

The Toronto Stock Exchange, which goes by the initials TSX, is the third largest exchange in North America and the eighth largest in the world in terms of total market capitalization. The exchange lists companies in Canada, the United States and even in some European countries. Notably, the exchange represents several Canadian energy companies, such as Canadian Oil Sands Trust. Most importantly, the exchange represents all of Canada’s Big Five banks, which makes it the central hub for banking stocks in the country.

Canadian bonds and other fixed-income securities come in many varieties for every flavor of investor. The bond market offers exposure to corporate debt in a financial system hailed as the soundest in the world for two years running by the World Economic Forum, based in Geneva, Switzerland. Next to government debt, which is sold through the Bank of Canada as well as other large banks such as the Royal Bank of Canada and the Bank of Nova Scotia, provincial and municipal debt represents the second-largest sector of the Canadian bond market. Recently, investors seeking to flee an impending sovereign debt crisis in Europe have come to Canadian bonds in droves.