What Is Bad Credit?

Bad credit refers to a person’s history of not paying bills on time, as well as the possibility that they would do so in the future. A bad credit score is frequently the result. Companies can also have bad credit if their payment history and current financial status are not in good standing.

Because they are deemed riskier than other borrowers, a person (or company) with negative credit will find it difficult to borrow money, especially at competitive interest rates. This is true of all forms of loans, including both secured and unsecured ones, but the latter has some options.

Understanding Bad Credit

Most people who have ever borrowed money or applied for a credit card have a credit file with one of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion. The information in those files is used to calculate their credit score, which is a figure that serves as an indication to their creditworthiness and includes how much money they owe and whether they pay their payments on time. The FICO score, named after the Fair Isaac Corporation, is the most widely used credit score in the United States.

  1. 35%—payment history. This is given the most importance. It simply shows whether the person with the FICO score has paid their payments on time. Even a few days late can count, yet the longer the payment is late, the worse it is viewed.
  2. 30%—total amount an individual owes. Mortgages, credit card balances, vehicle loans, any bills in collections, court judgments, and other debts fall under this category. The person’s credit usage ratio, which compares how much money they have available to borrow (such as total credit card limits) to how much they owe at any given time, is ‌essential. A high credit usage ratio (say, greater than 20% or 30%) can be interpreted as a red flag and result in a worse credit score.
  3. 15%—length of a person’s credit history.
  4. 10%—mix of credit types. Mortgages, vehicle loans, and credit cards are all examples of this.
  5. 10%—new credit. This includes any jobs or internships that someone has recently started or applied for.
Examples of Bad Credit

FICO scores range from 300 to 850 and debtors with scores of 579 or lower are typically considered having poor credit. 

Fair is described as a score between 580 and 669. These borrowers are significantly less likely to default on loans, making them far less hazardous to lend to than individuals with poor credit scores. However, consumers in this range may incur higher interest rates or have difficulty obtaining loans than borrowers with credit scores closer to the top 850.

How to Improve Bad Credit

There are things you may take if you have low credit (or fair credit) to raise your credit score above 669 and keep it there. Here are some pointers on how to do just that.

Set Up Automatic Online Payments

Do this for all of your credit cards and loans, or at the very least, sign up for the lenders’ email or text reminder lists. This will ensure that you pay at least the monthly minimum on time.

Pay Down Credit Card Debt

Whenever workable, pay more than the minimum payment due. Set a reasonable payback target and strive toward it over time. Paying more than the minimum due will help you increase your credit score if you have a lot of total credit card debt.

Check Interest Rate Disclosures

These disclosures are provided by credit card accounts. Concentrate on paying off the debts with the highest interest rates first. This will free up the most money, which you can then use to pay down other obligations with lower interest rates.

Keep Unused Credit Card Accounts Open

Keep your unused credit card accounts open. Also, don’t create any new accounts that you don’t require. Either action has the potential to harm your credit score.

If you’re having trouble getting a conventional credit card because of your bad credit, consider applying for a secured credit card. It works in the same way as a bank debit card in that you can only spend the amount you have on the deposit. Having a secured card and making timely payments on it can help you rehabilitate your credit and eventually qualify for a regular card if you have a low credit history. It’s also a wonderful approach for young individuals to build their credit history.

Looking for a stress-free way to get started in real estate investing? Check out our current offering with Buy Properly. Buy Properly utilizes a fractional ownership concept to assist investors to build their real estate portfolios. Click here to learn more. >>

How to Invest in Real Estate with Little Money

options are still available

It’s true, you can absolutely purchase property with little or no money available. How? By using some of the following creative financing techniques.

Before we dive in, have you considered fractional real estate investing? This is a new, but very attainable way to invest in real estate.

Why alternative forms of real estate investing are becoming more popular

In recent years, alternative forms of real estate investing have become more popular with investors who are looking to buy a property with little or no money down. This is because traditional forms of financing, such as bank loans, are becoming harder to obtain.

With house prices rising across Canada and the United States, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult for people to “buy in” to the real estate market.

To purchase an investment property, most lenders require a 20-30% down payment. This could be anywhere from $20,000 up to $200,000 or more just for a single-family, residential property!

On top of land transfer taxes, surveys, inspections, and lawyer’s fees, these expenses are enough to push many investors out of the market.

Ongoing real estate expenses
Aside from your down payment and closing costs, investing in real estate also comes with monthly expenses. These include:
  • Insurance
  • Property taxes
  • Maintenance and repairs
  • Condo and management fees
  • Mortgage payments + interest
  • Rental and vacancy expenses
  • Ongoing property management

This means that investors need to set aside even more money to handle monthly expenses that come up. Is it possible to invest in real estate without having a large amount of capital available? AbsolutelyLet’s explore some of the most common ways to invest in real estate with little money.

Fractional investing

 

Fractional investing is a newer concept that’s gained popularity in recent years. It allows investors to pool their money together to purchase a share of an investment property.

This type of investment is often made through a real estate crowdfunding platform, which connects investors with developers who are looking to finance their projects.

With fractional investing, you can spread your investment amount over multiple properties, which also helps to mitigate risk and increase your diversification.

It’s also a great way to get started in real estate investing with little money as you can typically invest as little as $2500.

Seller financing

 

Another option for investors looking to buy a property with little money down is seller financing.

With this type of financing, the seller agrees to act as the bank and provide you with a mortgage. This could be in the form of an interest-only loan or a balloon payment loan.

Seller financing can be a great option for both buyers and sellers. The buyer gets to purchase the property with little money down and the seller gets their asking price for the property.

REITs

 

REITs, or real estate investment trusts, are another way to invest in real estate without having to put down a large amount of money. REITs are companies that own and manage income-producing properties, such as office buildings, shopping malls, apartments, and warehouses.

REITs are traded on stock exchanges and can be bought and sold just like any other stock. This makes them a liquid investment, which is ideal for investors who want to cash out quickly if needed.

Since REITs are traded on stock exchanges, they also offer the potential for growth through capital appreciation.

The downside of investing in REITs is that they’re subject to the ups and downs of the stock market. This means that your investment could lose value if the stock market declines. In addition, there are fees associated with owning a REIT and you often don’t have any transparency about the properties that you are investing in.

Lease-options

 

A lease option is another creative way to invest in real estate with little money down. With a lease option, you agree to lease a property from the owner for a set period.

The length of the lease will depend on the agreement between the buyer and seller, but it’s typically 1-5 years.
During the lease period, the buyer has the option to purchase the property, but they’re not obligated to do so.

Lease options are a great way to get into a property without having to put down a large amount of money. The downside is that you’re not guaranteed to purchase the property at the end of the lease period.

Wraparound mortgages

 

A wraparound mortgage is another financing option for investors looking to buy a property with little money down. With a wraparound mortgage, the buyer agrees to make payments on the existing loan and takes over responsibility for the property.

The buyer then charges their own tenant a higher rent amount and uses that money to make the monthly payments on the mortgage.

Wraparound mortgages can be a great way to get into a property with little money down, but they’re not without risk. If the tenant doesn’t pay their rent on time, the investor could be responsible for making the mortgage payments.

House hacking

 

House hacking is a strategy that allows investors to live in the property they’re purchasing while renting out the other rooms to tenants.

This is a great way to get started in real estate investing as it allows you to live in the property while someone else helps to pay the mortgage.

House hacking can be done with any type of property, but it’s most commonly done with multifamily properties, such as duplexes and triplexes.

The downside of house hacking is that it can be a lot of work. The investor is responsible for finding tenants, collecting rent, and maintaining the property.

Subject-to properties

 

A subject-to-property is a property that’s purchased with the existing mortgage in place.

With this type of purchase, the buyer takes over responsibility for making the monthly mortgage payments, but the seller remains on the hook for the loan.

Subject-to properties can be a great way to get into a property with little money down, but they’re not without risk. If the buyer stops making the mortgage payments, the property will go into foreclosure and the seller will be responsible for any deficiency.

Contract for deed

 

A contract for deed is an agreement between a buyer and seller that allows the buyer to purchase a property while making payments over time.

The buyer doesn’t take ownership of the property until the contract is paid in full.

Contracts for deeds are a great opportunity for buyers, but they’re not without risk. If the buyer stops making the payments, the seller can cancel the contract and evict the buyer from the property.

Joint ventures

 

A joint venture is an agreement between two or more people to work together on a specific project.

In the context of real estate investing, a joint venture is an agreement between two or more people to purchase a property and share in the profits.

Joint ventures are a great way to get into a property with little money down as they allow you to pool your resources with another person or group of people.

The downside of joint ventures is that they can be complex and there’s always the risk that one party will default on the agreement.

Crowdfunding

 

Crowdfunding is a way of raising money from a large group of people.

In the context of real estate investing, crowdfunding allows investors to pool their resources and invest in a property together. Although similar to a fractional model, crowdfunding focuses more on raising capital as opposed to investing in fractional shares of a property.

Crowdfunding platforms such as RealtyMogul and Fundrise make it easy for investors to get started in real estate with little money down.

The downside of crowdfunding is that it’s often a hands-off investment and you’re relying on the platform to manage the property.

Sweat equity

 

Sweat equity is the value of the work that you put into a property.

For example, if you purchase a fixer-upper and put in the time and effort to renovate it, your sweat equity would be the value of the renovations that you did.

Sweat equity can be a great way to get into a property with little money down since it opens up opportunities to get lower-priced properties with huge potential for appreciation. Keep in mind, if the property doesn’t appreciate in value or if the renovations take longer than expected, you could end up losing money on the deal.

Options

An option is a contract that gives the buyer the right, but not the obligation, to purchase a property at a set price within a certain period.

Options are a great way to get into a property with little money down as they allow you to control the property without having to put up all the cash for the purchase price.

The downside of options is that they can be complex and there’s always the risk that the property will decrease in value, leaving the buyer with an option that’s worth less than the purchase price.

There are several ways to get into real estate with little money down. 

The best option for you will depend on your individual circumstances. If you’re looking for a hands-off investment, crowdfunding may be the way to go. If you’re willing to put in the work, a subject-to-property or a fixer-upper may be the best option. Fractional investing is a great option for people who want to own a piece of real estate without the headaches that come along with maintenance and management.

Whatever route you decide to take, do your research and understand the risks involved.
Ready to get started? Take a look at our newest opportunity here and learn how you can get started for only $2,500.

What Is Collateral?

what is collateral?

Collateral is a term used to describe an asset that a lender accepts as security for a loan. Depending on the purpose of the loan, collateral can be real estate or other types of assets. For the lender, the collateral serves as a type of insurance. If the borrower defaults on their loan payments, the lender can seize and sell the collateral to recoup some or all of their losses.

how collateral works

A lender wants to ensure that you’ll be able to repay the loan before giving it to you. As a result, many of them require some level of protection. Collateral is a type of security that reduces the risk for lenders and ensures that the borrower fulfills their financial obligations. If the borrower defaults, then the lender has the option to seize the collateral and sell it, with the proceeds going toward the unpaid amount of the loan. To reclaim any leftover balance, the lender can take legal action against the borrower. 

As previously stated, collateral can take many forms. It usually refers to the type of loan; for example, a mortgage is secured by the residence, but a car loan is secured by the vehicle in issue. Other assets can be used to secure non-specific personal loans. For example, a secured credit card can require a cash deposit equal to the credit limit, such as $500 for a $500 credit limit.

Collateral-backed loans often have lower interest rates than unsecured loans. A lien is a legal right or claim on an asset to satisfy a debt that a lender has on the collateral of a borrower. The borrower has a powerful incentive to repay the loan on time because, if they don’t, they risk losing their home or other collateralized assets.

types of collateral

The type of loan frequently determines the nature of the collateral. Your home becomes the collateral when you take out a mortgage. If you take out a car loan, the car becomes the loan’s collateral. Cars, bank savings deposits, and investment accounts are all frequent forms of collateral that lenders accept. In most cases, retirement accounts are not accepted as collateral.

Future paychecks can also be used as security for very short-term loans, not just payday loans. Traditional banks provide such loans, which are typically for a few weeks. Even if you have a true emergency, you should read the fine print and compare rates before taking out one of these short-term loans.

COLLATERALIZED PERSONAL LOANS

A collateralized personal loan is a type of borrowing in which the borrower pledges an object of value as security for the loan. The collateral must be worth at least as much as the loan amount. If you’re looking for a secured personal loan, your best bet is to go with a financial institution with which you already do business, especially if your collateral is your savings account. If you already have a relationship with the bank, it will be more likely to approve the loan and provide you with a reasonable interest rate.

Examples of collateral loans

RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGES
A mortgage is a loan that uses your home as collateral. If a homeowner fails to pay their mortgage for more than 120 days, the loan company can initiate legal action, which could result in the lender taking possession of the home through foreclosure. The property might be sold to satisfy the remaining principal on the loan once it has been transferred to the lender.
HOME EQUITY LOANS
A home can also be used to secure a second mortgage or a home equity line of credit (HELOC). The loan amount will not exceed the available equity in this scenario. For example, if a home is worth $200,000 and the primary mortgage balance is $125,000, a second mortgage or HELOC will only be available for up to $75,000.
MARGIN TRADING
Margin trading also considers securitized loans. An investor uses the balance in his or her brokerage account as collateral to borrow money from a broker to gain shares. The loan increases the number of shares an investor can purchase, hence boosting the potential gains if the value of the shares rises. However, the risks are amplified as well. If the value of the shares drops, the broker will demand payment of the difference. If the borrower fails to cover the loss, the account acts as collateral.

While stock market trading may be dangerous, and real estate investing can be time-consuming, Buy Properly combines the best of both worlds. Buy Properly, a fractional real estate company, lets anyone with just $2,500 participate in real estate. This novel idea is similar to stock investment but without the hassles of real estate ownership. Interested? We knew you would be. Check out our latest opportunity – the Karma Candy Building – on Buy Properly (limited availability, don’t wait to invest!).

What is an Accredited Investor?

FIRST THINGS FIRST, WHY ACCREDITED INVESTING?

Accredited investing opens up a whole shiny new world of investing made available to you. These include private equity, venture capital, angel investing, and hedge funding.  

WHAT IS AN ACCREDITED INVESTOR?

The accredited investor is someone who has a special status so that they can have investments that are typically more high-risk. While this definition varies from country to country, it also varies from province to province. While there’s no formal process in Ontario, legislation requires that you meet specific criteria to participate in certain investments. This simply means you’ll need to be prepared to provide documentation proving you meet the criteria.

THE CRITERIA

 According to the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), an accredited investor means you have a:

  • Net income before taxes of more than $200,000 in each of the two most recent calendar years and expected net income of more than $200,000 in the current calendar year.
  • Net income before taxes combined with a spouse of more than $300,000 in each of the two most recent calendar years and expected combined net income of more than $300,000 in the current calendar year.
  • Financial assets, alone or with a spouse, of at least $1 million before taxes but net of related liabilities
  • Financial assets include cash and bank deposits but not the value of a house.
  • Net assets, alone or with a spouse of at least $5 million. Net assets generally include all of your assets after subtracting your debt.

Contact the OSC’s Inquiries & Contact Centre to learn more about these rules.

Are you an accredited investor?

Sold sign at house in Hamilton

Hamilton saw second greatest yearly increase in home prices last month: report

The average sale price for a detached home in Hamilton was $1.06 million in April.

Luxury home in Hamilton, Ontario

April listings: Hamilton’s most and least expensive homes on the market

This month price tags varied from the low end of $399,000 to $3,999,999

March listings: Hamilton’s most and least expensive homes on the market

Rents across the city are skyrocketing, while the inflation rate soars and housing prices continue to climb.

Hamilton is now the 18th most expensive city to rent an apartment in Canada.

If that’s got you considering home ownership, here’s a rundown of Hamilton’s least — and most (for the fantasy) — expensive house listings from March, according to Zoocasa.

Five lowest-priced homes

187 Lottridge St. was the city's lowest-priced home on the market for March, listed for $449,900.

187 Lottridge St.

First-time home buyers looking for a detached house in the lower city will be intrigued by this $449,900 price tag. READ MORE >>

Vrancor’s four-tower development on Strathcona’s Queen Street North met with resistance

‘It’s going to change the dynamic of the neighbourhood entirely,’ Strathcona resident says

Morning sunshine splashes across the brick homes and narrow streets of John Griffith’s neighbourhood west of downtown Hamilton.

But the five-year Strathcona resident expects his home will be cloaked in shadows if four towers rise on the parking lot behind him.

The buildings — two at 27 storeys and two at 15 storeys — will also draw more traffic and parking challenges, he predicts. READ MORE >>

Hamilton House for sale

Corktown semi listed at $449,900 needs ‘some love,’ says realtor

Corktown semi listed at $449,900 needs ‘some love,’ says realtor

The Augusta Street semi-detached home is just steps away from John Street South.

#HamOntHouseHunt is a regular feature looking at houses for sale in the Hamilton-area market. Have a tip? Email us at fhewitt@torstar.ca

Price: $449,900

Neighbourhood: Corktown

Features: Located in the downtown core and a short walk from the Hamilton GO Centre, this semi-detached home is one of just a handful of properties listed in the neighbourhood.

Read more >>

Artificial Intelligence making Real Estate Investment smarter, simpler.

Artificial Intelligence making Real Estate Investment smarter, simpler.

When Lucy Ainsworth saw that the real estate around her Toronto neighbourhood was booming, she knew that it was the right time to invest. But unlike her parent’s generation, the Senior Tax Associate did not ask a trusted local realtor, she simply went online. This generational change in approach, to seeking investment-related solutions has placed investors at the core of unmeasurable information and data. Thankfully Artificial Intelligence is here to rescue investors from the chaos of detailed analysis on innumerable investment opportunities available online by carefully connecting them to the best deals.

A booming real estate market and a thriving tech ecosystem have poised Canada to be a hub for real estate innovation where Artificial Intelligence led opportunities to guide investors as they build their portfolios. 

 

Artificial Intelligence (AI), in simple words, is the ability of a machine to learn and solve problems. AI has simplified the investor’s search process by connecting them to the right opportunities and bringing transparent access to reliable information on market trends, historic prices that were historically only available to agents.

Online real estate listings replaced newspaper advertisements long ago but the continual rise of AI is credited to its ability to process large data, predict trends, transparency, and most importantly ease of access to investors.

Process Data
Thanks to the world wide web, a few clicks can show thousands of properties,  attend or host virtual tours, review market trends and receive data but that doesn’t necessarily help in making the right decisions. Thankfully, the real estate industry has adapted to the digital era by using Artificial Intelligence to better match investors with opportunities. One might think that the old-fashioned realtors did the same, but platforms like BuyProperly have mastered machine learning and artificial intelligence tools to monitor and evaluate over two hundred thousand data points, that uncover high-value opportunities suited for each investor.

Predict Trends
It’s no surprise that real estate data represents a treasure trove of information for a keen investor. Local insights, key market trends, sale prices, demographics and other market data can all be used to browse through listings, but not predict the future of investments. AI has become a game-changer for real estate investing as its predictive real-estate analytics enables stakeholders to make better, more informed decisions when trying to assess property values and rental returns. Smarter AI models predict tenant churn, maintenance issues, building energy requirements, elevator usage in buildings as well as space utilization. This information gives a better idea of potential upcoming costs and issues.

Ms. Ainsworth’s financial planning now includes the returns from a beautiful house in Hamilton. ‘I had been interested in owning investment property for a while, but the barriers to entry felt insurmountable. Enter BuyProperly, the company that makes it possible for “the little guy” to get started. It was so easy to research the properties available on the website, create an account, and buy into the real estate market, and at an entry price point that feels safe. No need to bet the farm on a single investment!’ she said.  Read more about the Niagara Falls property here.

New tools can combine a company’s data with third-party sources to gain insights into new strategies for existing properties or portfolios or identify additional markets or locations for investment opportunities.

Transparency
Traditionally, the real estate market has been dominated by brokers, and information about high-yield investments was made available to a select few.  Latest AI-powered platforms bridge the gap by aggregating once isolated data, constantly updating information to arm investors with all the information they need. This approach allows websites to better match users to their properties and investment units that are more likely to convert into sales.

Ease of access
Investors can now access information on potential rental earnings, net cash flow, expected monthly mortgage payments and decide on whether the return makes sense given the details of the property. Websites like BuyProperly provide free tools which can indicate the potential cash flow/ positive negative from investments in a given property based on past sales, potential rental value, and interest rates. AI models work with the assumption that house prices are a function of both the features of the house and the suitability of the neighbourhood and hence focused on intrinsic value (rather than the market sentiment).

Innovative solutions to Pandemic
The impact of AI across industries has been increasing over the past few years, however, Covid-19’s disruption was a crucial flip to the digitization of real estate companies and their use of digital data analytics. With restrictions on travel and physical tours, technology simplified all phases of the process from origination, analysis & due diligence, financing & closing, post-closing rental/ongoing maintenance, and finally to exit through the sale with the investor safe in his own home.

PWC Canada’s 2021 report on the, ‘Emerging trends in Real Estates’ stated that as the business continues to emerge from pandemic restrictions, proptech will offer additional solutions for real estate needs. The report stated that ‘With digitization giving real estate companies access to more data than ever, they have a powerful new tool to help them make important business decisions…data analytics and predictive modeling can help with the determination of optimal asset allocation for mixed-use developments at a high level, as well as provide more detailed insights into the composition of unit mixes for a property.’

Buy Property, Properly
Every real estate investment needs to consider a multitude of dynamic factors, but through the power of AI, it is possible to identify emerging trends and uncover opportunities that others don’t see. ‘Thousands of data points and factors are considered over the long term before we consider a real estate valuation using AI. We then physically inspect each nook and corner of the property. Finally, less than 1 percent of the properties get qualified for our marketplace,’ said Khushboo Jha, founder of Buy Properly Canada-based real estate investment firm. BuyProperly’s proprietary AI tracks the markets, monitoring hundreds of economic and regional factors before predicting the profitability.

BuyProperly, Canada based fractional investment company uses AI as its most reliable tool for initial screening and then audits each property. ‘I am often asked how am I confident about the growth of investments, truth is that no human can assess over 150 variables and 200,000 data points for each proposal, but AI can. We merge the predictive power of AI and the experience of our on-site team so that before any product is added to the marketplace, we are certain of its future,’ Jha added.

BuyProperly’s online marketplace shows qualified properties with clear details of fees, charges, risk, and projected returns. Simply choose properties from the marketplace and start investing with as little as $2,500.

Are you an accredited investor?