How this 16-year-old became a landlord in a red-hot market

Tyson George made a down payment on his first townhouse in December 2017 and months later in June he invested in another home.

Tyson George saved up money through buying and reselling items he found at auctions, garage sales

Tyson George, 16, put down payments on two homes in London, Ont. (Submitted by Tyson George )

Tyson George is currently browsing London, Ont.'s housing market for his third rental property.

The 16-year-old made a down payment on his first townhouse in December 2017 and months later in June he invested in another home.

He was able to afford his properties — each more than $110,000 — mainly through buying, refurbishing and reselling items he found at auctions and garage sales.

"I was inspired and driven by … how it was so easy to make money," he said. "Just seeing how I could buy something at a low price and sell it for more was very motivating for me."

After being introduced to real estate through his family and mother, a realtor, young George quickly jumped into a career as an investor and became a landlord.

Saving up thousands

It all started when George was nine years old. He had saved up about $500 in birthday and Christmas money.
George saved up money through buying, refurbishing and reselling items he found at auctions and garage sales. (Submitted by Tyson George )

His grandpa offered to take him to an auction in London, where George bought a Filter Queen vacuum for $100. He later sold it on Kijiji for $250.

George then created a prosperous business out of it.

"I bought anything from iPads, MacBooks, furniture, dressers, wardrobes, air conditioners, dehumidifiers, stamps, collectables, plates — just anything you could think of," he said.

When he turned 12, George was gifted a red wagon to wheel around the neighbourhood on garbage days in search for salvageable items.
George used a red wagon to collect salvageable items. (Submitted by Tyson George )

George spent a few months working as a door-to-door salesperson before he seriously considered real estate.

"I did a lot of research on my own trying to figure things out like how you make money on properties, how to figure out if it's a good deal or not just through watching videos online and listening to other real estate investors and things like that," he said.

At 15, he made a down payment on a $113,000 home at Wellesley Crescent.

Months later, he put a second down payment on a $155,000 home along Trafalgar Street.

How it works

A minor can't legally own a property in Canada until the age of 18.

In George's case, his parents signed mortgages that are legally entrusted to him and in two years they'll be under his name.

This is his property located at Wellesley Crescent. (Submitted by Tyson George )

"I'm responsible for nothing. It's just my name on it," said Angee George.

"I haven't even paid for a cent — even the key cutting he's paid for. I just hand him the receipts and he pays for them," she added, noting the pair have a joint bank account for the mortgage. George also received help through a private lender.

Young George covers all of the expenses associated with owning a home like the down payment, lawyer fees, land transfer taxes and renovations. His tenants pay him rent.

His mom joked, despite her being a realtor, George found the homes himself. He even picked out the tenants on his own.

"He's always been so responsible," she said. "He's better with money than most adults — including myself."

'I make sure I have a balanced life'

George said his tenants don't mind his age.

"At first they're a bit shocked but in a good way. They thought it was just amazing to see someone so young investing into real estate … they understand my drive and motivation and they encourage it," he said.

George says he still lives a normal and balanced life. (Submitted by Tyson George )

Even his friends think it's "awesome."

He said being a landlord in Grade 11 hasn't negatively affected his social life either.

"I make sure I have a balanced life," he said, noting he's part of school clubs like student council and the debate club.

"I still play hockey outside of school and I hang out with friends five or six days a week. I still play video games … I still live my normal life as a kid but on the side and in my free time I enjoy making money," he said.

He's had to make some sacrifices like saving up instead of buying clothes or a new PlayStation.

But he said it's worth it "for the goal that I want to accomplish" like owning 100 rental properties by the time he's 30.

For now, the teen is graduating early this year after fast tracking in high school. He has a job lined up teaching adult and youth financial literacy across Canada while working toward his goal.