“I was born in the oil-rich city of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. While we had a wonderful life, my hardworking parents always knew that they wanted my older brother and I to study and live far away from the Middle East. After the first Gulf War in 1991, they were even more certain of this decision. It took many years of applying for immigration to several different countries before we received the good news that Canada would be our new home. My parents had no family here, but they were willing to do whatever it took to allow my brother and me to have a better life.
“Fast forward to 2008, I was starting out my corporate career after graduating from York University. I had studied economics and finance, so I took a great interest in analyzing the financial crisis happening around the world. I remember researching property values in the US, especially in states like Nevada and Florida where the drop in prices was steep. I was amazed to see how our real estate market faired during the financial crisis in comparison to the US. At that point, I saw the opportunity in front of me. If our Canadian real estate market could withstand the worst financial crisis in modern history, then I knew it would be a strategic long-term investment for me.
“After a few years working in the corporate world, I met my first joint venture partner, who was a good friend and co-worker of mine. We were both happy with our jobs but knew we wanted financial freedom outside of our salaried roles. We began some serious research into passive income opportunities. Eventually, a friend introduced us to Rock Star. I attended one of the Rock Star introduction classes where Tom was discussing investing concepts. To be honest, I did not fully understand what he was talking about, but I was extremely impressed with his stage presence. I’m also a numbers guy, and the cash flow numbers added up. It was exactly what we had been looking for - a passive income opportunity with potential for long-term appreciation, not to mention the bonus of a supportive team.”
This duo quickly set out insights of their first property and within weeks they purchased their first single-family home.
“I immediately knew that real estate was going to play a large role in my future net worth and it was now my goal to buy as many rental properties as I could get my hands on. In order to do this, I knew that I had to take a risk, so I cashed in my corporate RRSP. To say there was judgment and concern from coworkers, and friends would be an understatement, but that always comes with doing something different.”
Within a few months, he was back out with his and joint venture partner to purchase their next property. They quickly scooped up another great home on the same street as their first.
Their third home was a renovated duplex close to the local GO station. The home came with a tenant already in the basement unit, and not wasting any time, they filled the top unit in one showing.
“I have recently purchased my fourth investment property with my parents. Being able to share what I have learned with the people that gave me the opportunity to grow up in this country is a huge gift. My journey with real estate will continue to grow and the next exciting chapter for me will be to purchase a multi-family unit with my girlfriend so that we can live life on our terms.”