Where to get started without all the fluff

Hello everyone,

A short intro. I am a Canadian living in Japan for 16 years running a successful business during this time here in Japan and I am now at a turning point in my life where I am interested in investing in real estate outside of Japan. 99% of the real estate books I have read keeps going on about how to change your thinking or how to make a million, but I am not at that point. I have save several millions and generate close to a million a year and looking to invest wisely. I am interested in different real estate markets around the world. What areas look good longterm 5-10 years from now that have a high probability for appreciation. Also Tax implications advantages of investing from a tax savings point of view. My situation is such that I don’t mind investing anywhere as long is the numbers look good and the political stability of the country and legal system is in a sound state. I hope to have the properties managed by someone and not have to be dealing with day to day issues, so multi family looks good to me and something I can relatively have a grasp of. I would like to analyze where we are in the real estate cycle, population growth, unemployment, and as many other variables I can to determine the investment.
Also as a new first time investor I would like to know what would be a realistic loan to Value ratio and rates I would expect to get in todays market. I am under the understanding banks look at commercial property based on CAP rates and more on if it generates income that credit history, which I have none outside of Japan.

I know this is a huge list of things to discuss but if anyone has any advice in any of these areas it would be greatly appreciated.

I think there are many people like myself who are Expats wanting to invest but I have not found any information catered to us, especially when it comes to company structures, tax implications and which markets are hot.

Thanks in Advance!

Tell you what, are you interested in starting small?

Since you are a Canadian…
I am looking for private lenders in Ontario, or joint venture on fix ups. Why don’t you move back here and I can show you some great fix up projects? Quick turn for your money, and less learning curve compared to getting into commercial real estate in an area that you have no idea about.

The projects are usually around $500k.

What kind of returns can you get on a fixer upper? I’m originally from Vancouver and have a few friends that did that and did fairly well. Still it’s a lot of messing around, usually takes 4-6 months then maybe make $50,000. if you’re doing most of the work yourself. I’m more interested in the investment aspect of real estate than the business part of renovating. I was in construction for 10 years in Vancouver and had my share of dealing with trades. I would only go this route if a contractor was involved and there was enough profit at the end of the project.


           You know wanting to invest money you've already made is perfect as you have great income and ability to live while your money makes money for you.

It sounds to me like you need something with better returns and no baby sitting! Although rental real estate offers cap rates of 6, 7, 8 or 10 it does not offer much more without getting into older buildings and a lot of deferred maintenance and updating issues, however your in a unique spot with a few million to invest and it’s hard to make decent returns $10k or $25k at a time.

I am going to shoot you a PM message, I have a thought that just might be interesting, provide great returns and a little adventure to your life.


Thank you both for taking the time to add some thoughts. Looking forward to reading your PM. I’m starting to think researching where in this world will have top appreciation over the next 10 years will be key. I have a friend from Burma who said Real Estate prices have jumped from $10,000 to $300,000 for a single family home in the last few years. Not a politically stable environment or good legal system, but would seem wise to have allocated some portion of money there. Thailand and Indonesia also having solid appreciation. The question is where are these markets heading from now??

If you are looking for an above average return in a stable investing environment both economically and legally, you may want to look into purchasing property in the USA. We have suffered from a huge real estate downturn since 2008, but all the evidence is showing that prices are appreciating again with the national average being between 10 - 13% over last year.

Areas that have the greatest potential for high returns in the single family market are Arizona, Nevada and the top on the list is Florida.

Beginning your investment with some SFR that are put in the rental market for 3 to 5 years and then sold should get your feet wet without too much risk. From there I would look at diversifying until you find a market that suits your investment needs and lifestyle.

You might be interested in investing in the Philippines. There are several areas that are on the rise with growing economic activities. Forget Metro Manila if you are looking for long term investments, that area is already saturated and with very high commercial value. Instead, invest in cities within the provinces like Bacolod, Ilo-ilo City, and Angeles City. Those areas have low property value but very promising economic growth.