North Bay couple shares real estate secrets in new book

A near-death experience has prompted a North Bay couple to share their secrets of real estate success.

Dave and Melanie Dupuis recently published a book on real estate tips

Real estate agents Melanie and Dave Dupuis have recently published a book. (Markus Schwabe/CBC)

A near-death experience has prompted a North Bay couple to share their secrets of real estate success.

Dave and Melanie Dupuis were travelling to a real estate conference when they got into a car crash. Both had minor injuries, but managed to walk away.

It was a defining moment for both of them. Their three children came to mind and also how they could share their knowledge of the industry.

They made the decision to write a book to pass on their knowledge to their children, and ended up publishing it for anyone else to read.

"We shared all our secrets because we wrote it [for our children]," Melanie said. "We're sharing it with anyone else because we want to leave a legacy."

They ended up writing a book called Real Estate Investing Secrets: A No-B.S. Guide to Creating Wealth and Freedom.

"Basically it's finding those rental properties where there's a lot of cash flow," she explained.

"Once you start investing in cash flows that's when you can continue to grow."

Know your market

Dave says when you start looking for income properties, you'll have no problems finding options.

"But it's to basically filter through, not waste your time and find the ones that make sense," he said.

One key message for potential buyers is to know your market. Dave says that includes seeing what is sold, what the purchase price is and the listing price.

"You can list a property at whatever you want," he said. "But if it stays on the market for six months, it wasn't a cash cow."

When it comes to investment properties, he says there is a way to know if you're buying something worthwhile.

"The quick and dirty of that is one per cent of the asking price, let's say $300,000 for a triplex, one per cent of that should be your monthly rent," he explained.

"If the total rent coming in per month is not roughly $3,000, walk away. If it's only $1,200 or $1,500, you haven't found a cash cow."

See the potential

He says once you've found a building that will generate that one per cent, there's other opportunities to look to make more money.

That could include doing upgrades that would allow a rent increase.

"We've bought some buildings that are the ugliest buildings on the street," he said.

"And we've made it the nicest building. Now, it's fun: You've got a cash cow. You can bring it to the bank, you refinance it and it's worth a lot more. You take that money out and rinse and repeat."

While it may sound like a daunting task to save up enough to buy a rental unit, she says before you start, to increase how much you're making.

"When we started, I started teaching online courses," she said. "We were both working at that point to generate more money. We also cut back on expenses."