Revitalization

Real Estate Investment Advisor Recommends Hamilton

By Ryan McGreal
Published March 24, 2009

In an interview with the CBC's George Strombolopoulos, real estate investment advisor Don Campbell recommends making real estate investments in places "where your money will work the hardest for you".

Campbell adds:

Here's one other thing to consider when you're going to buy, if you're going to buy: the government right now is spending billions of yours and my dollars ... they're spending all this money on infrastructure - new LRTs, new subways, new highways - so follow those tracks.

People are going more green. I don't know about you, but every time I get on the [Hwy] 401 or the Hwy 1 in Vancouver, it drives me crazy. You can't get anywhere most of the time of the day. So people are buying within 800 metres of the new LRT, GO Stations, new LRT Skytrain station in Vancouver.

Asked to name the top five hot spots in the country, Campbell responds:

Long term, and I'm talking five to seven years, you want to be buying in Edmonton, you want to be buying in Calgary, you want to be buying in Barrie and Orillia, you want to be buying in Kitchener-Waterloo/Cambridge, and you want to be seriously looking at Hamilton. ...

Hamilton's got the GO Train servicing it, and it's getting much more expensive to buy in Toronto, so people are coming down to Hamilton. You've got the transitions that's going down there, the city leadership is fantastic in the region. And it's close to KWC, it's close to Toronto (in relative terms).

I bet you it's going to be one of the top three in all of Ontario.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

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By Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted March 25, 2009 at 12:41:24

I'm sure that Mr. Campbell would change his mind on Hamilton if he were to look at the average property tax bill.

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By somechick (anonymous) | Posted August 08, 2012 at 10:16:44 in reply to Comment 29714

Sure, property tax may be 1000 more in Hamilton, but when you can buy a house for under 150000 it really doesn't seem all that bad.

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By SIGG (anonymous) | Posted March 25, 2009 at 16:54:29

Note that Campbell didn't recommend that investors actually buy in Hamilton (like he did for Edmonton, Calgary, etc.) he only recommended that they seriously look at the city. Everyone in the RE business still perceives Hamilton as a place with undeveloped potential but not a sure thing like Alberta's cities or KW. The city's a way off yet, but at least it's back on the radar after a good 20 year hiatus.

I agree with the comment about the property taxes.

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By synxer (registered) | Posted March 25, 2009 at 22:54:46

if(hamilton.publicity == comment.positive) { hamiltonian.writeMessage(negative.comments[random()*negative.comments.length]); }

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By JonC (registered) | Posted March 25, 2009 at 23:24:44

taxes are paid in dollars not percentages

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By hunter (anonymous) | Posted March 26, 2009 at 09:17:50

that's a well deserved endorsement for hamilton. people are finally waking up to the area.

changing an image as strong as hamilton's is a decade-long process, or more. but it is happening. the sooner people move or invest here, the more they will prosper.

the tax rates, it seems to me, are more than offset by the incredible value of real estate prices.

higher density of people and businesses in the city will allow municipal taxes to come down in the long term. that's where the lrt can really help.

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By whatif (anonymous) | Posted March 27, 2009 at 20:10:00

Yep, but there are still a lot of ifs. Still, it points to the fact that the city should be focusing on residential development, especially in the downtown. Administrators SAY they're doing that, but then then want to build a stadium in the middle of a developing residential area.

Service businesses will follow population growth. They're not all Mcjobs. Greater density will disperse tax rates.

Oh, patience, patience.

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By Mary from Hamilton (anonymous) | Posted March 31, 2009 at 21:42:56

Guys, you've got to realize you're living in a great city! I have 10 rental properties in Hamilton. All are cash flowing positively, all have gone up in value and all are rented to excellent tenants!

Invest in Hamilton NOW!

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By Joel (anonymous) | Posted October 01, 2014 at 13:13:07 in reply to Comment 29868

Hi Mary

I was wondering if you could divulge how to get started in this market. I don't own any and would love to get in the market. I am just not sure where to start and what type of property to be looking at. Obviously I want a safe bet, not too much to invest and good tenants. am I asking for too much?
Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

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By Bramton (registered) | Posted September 15, 2012 at 03:01:36 in reply to Comment 29868

Mary ,i want to invest in rental propert. in Hamilton and i love your comment,so whic part of Hamilton would you recommend to invest in rentals

tahnks Al

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By Mary from Hamilton (anonymous) | Posted March 31, 2009 at 21:44:38

Now, if I could just find a decent restaurant in Hess Village to take a couple of potential investors??? Any suggestions

Cheers

m

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted April 01, 2009 at 09:39:02

Hi Mary from Hamilton, thank you for sharing your encouraging perspective!

As for restaurants, if you like Japanese I very highly recommend Kampai at 236 King St W. between Hess and Caroline.

http://www.kampai.ca/

The service is uniformly excellent and the sushi is amazing.

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By urban_planner01 (anonymous) | Posted April 04, 2009 at 00:08:35

While I agree this is positive news. I think one of the biggest problems with Hamilton. Its the negative view everyone here has on the city. Except for a handful of people most people here this hamilton "Sucks" I think its great. I would live here before any other city in the World ( and I have been to a few) The only other city I would consider living in in Brisbane Australia. Anyway I think the first challenge is to get people living here looking at the positives and taking some pride in the city. Having them get over that fact that we are not Torotton AKA toronto and maybe even being excited that we aren't. I almost feel like I need to find a way to expose the problems of Toronto. Aside from driving there. Anyway man I think collectively we need to do that. It will take more than some facebook Group or anything. I think that the city or someone needs to go on an aggressive marketing campaign within the city limits. Billboards Spec ads mountian news Adds. Seriously I am not claiming the city to be perfect but the reality is that its still a great place to live with a lot going for it. Anyway Go Hamilton Go.

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By robbie_dolittle (anonymous) | Posted October 09, 2010 at 19:21:06

With an impending job offer in Hamilton, I took it upon myself to check out the houses for sale on the internet. I could not believe the price of real estate, compared to Toronto. My neighborhood here boasts 2.5 story Victorian brick beauties for the reasonable price of 2-3 million dollars. (No I don't own one, I rent an apartment) Comparable houses in Hamilton? I found one I fell in love with, a 3-plex. With 5 percent down I could rent the 1 bed/1 bath attic for $400/month --- my mortgage payment, and I could keep the remaining 2 kitchens, 2 living rooms, 1 den, 2 bathrooms and 4 bedrooms on 2 floors for myself for the cost of utilities.
I had to drive down to Hamilton just to check this out. Armed with printouts of 6 or 7 properties, I found three that I would buy in an instant. The only draw-back was the neighborhood. But thinking forward, if I was to buy all three, which was certainly an option, I could restore the houses to their original charm. This might encourage others to do the same, and eventually turn the area into what it must have been 30 or 40 years ago. I know this won't sit well with the affordable housing promoters, but it's a vision to the future, and turning a visibly "down" neighborhood into something to be proud of.
I've seeen this in Toronto on a grand scale, and it's happening in St John New Brunswick on a smaller scale.
Can/will this happen in Hamilton?

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By ma (anonymous) | Posted January 09, 2011 at 15:14:51

WWELL hAMILTON IS BEING IGNORED CAUSE OF Its CRime Ratio and the Steel mill pollution which is the major factor. Steel mill has gases effect.

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By hamilton is for real (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2012 at 16:04:39

Hamilton is an amazing city. Having just relocated here 4 months ago I am shocked that more people don't see the value We moved from the GTA and for a similar price range we now own a beautiful 3,600 square foot, 100 year old house close to escarpment and trails, close to locke st. Most of the west end of hamilton is beautiful. The people are highly educated (many work at hospitals and university)schools are amazing and the ability to walk to destinations is similar to Toronto's great neighbourhoods. Most of the people who own or have moved here have a connection to Hamilton (one of spouse is from here) so they know what it has to offer and how much has better it has become the past 10 years. The catch to Hamilton is that it is a like an american city, meaning once you get east of james the property values drop off significantly even though there is great housing stock. These areas will improve in time, but the west end is already there. The house prices in hamilton's beautiful old areas are easily less than half the amount of Toronto and people have steadily been moving west the past few years.

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