How to Evaluate Real Estate Investments for Canadian Beginners (2023)

Investing in real estate can be an excellent way to build wealth and secure your financial future. However, for Canadian beginners, it can be challenging to determine whether a real estate investment is good or bad based solely on the property's positive monthly cash flow. While positive cash flow is an important consideration, there are several other factors that Canadian real estate investing beginners need to take into account to make informed investment decisions.

Consider the Down Payment

One crucial factor to consider is the amount of money you are putting down on the property. In the past, Canadian investors were required to put down a higher percentage as a down payment. However, since around 2006, it has become possible to buy an investment property with as little as 10% or even 5% down using standard mortgage programs offered by Canadian banks .

By putting down a lower down payment, your mortgage amount increases, resulting in higher carrying costs. This can make it more challenging to find properties that produce positive monthly cash flow. It's essential to be aware of the down payment requirements and how they impact your investment's cash flow potential.

Financial Goals and Leverage

Another factor to consider is your financial goals. Are you leveraging yourself for maximum advantage? Are you utilizing tax deductions effectively? It's crucial to have a clear understanding of your financial objectives and how the investment aligns with them.

Experienced investors look beyond short-term cash flow and consider the long-term wealth-building potential of a property. They take into account tax deductions, depreciation, and appreciation before making investment decisions. By utilizing tax deductions and taking advantage of the property's depreciation, you can potentially offset the negative cash flow and still benefit from the investment in the long run .

Building Equity and Appreciation

One aspect that Canadian real estate investing beginners often overlook is the equity that is being built up in the property each month. As you make mortgage payments, you are earning equity in the property. While you may not see immediate cash flow, the equity can contribute to long-term wealth creation.

Appreciation is another factor to consider, although it's important not to rely solely on it. While you can't predict future appreciation rates, over long periods of time, appreciation can significantly contribute to your wealth creation. By considering both equity and appreciation, you can have a more comprehensive view of the investment's potential returns.

Taking a Long-Term Perspective

It's crucial for Canadian real estate investing beginners to avoid focusing solely on short-term cash flow. Instead, take a long-term perspective and consider the overall picture. Look at the investment's potential over a 10-year period or more, rather than getting caught up in monthly fluctuations.

By considering the big picture, including tax deductions, equity building, and appreciation, you can make more informed investment decisions. Remember that real estate investing is a long-term strategy, and while positive cash flow is important, it's not the only factor to consider when evaluating an investment.


In conclusion, while positive cash flow is an important consideration for Canadian real estate investing beginners, it's essential to look beyond it and consider other factors. Evaluate the down payment requirements, your financial goals, and the long-term wealth-building potential of the investment. By taking a comprehensive approach and considering factors such as equity building and appreciation, you can make more informed investment decisions and maximize your returns in the Canadian real estate market.

Note: The above article is a comprehensive guide for Canadian real estate investing beginners and covers various aspects of evaluating real estate investments. It provides insights into the importance of considering factors beyond positive cash flow and emphasizes the long-term perspective required for successful real estate investing.


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