How We Bought Our Vacation Property

Quality Retirement Planning, Calgary

We have a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom condo in beautiful Scottsdale, AZ. It's located within walking distance of historic Old Town. It's in a lush and tropical gated community with 3 pools, 2 tennis courts, his and hers fully equipped gyms with saunas, 2 hot tubs, pottery studio, art studio, woodworking shop and underground parking. There is also a library, games and billiards room. It's like a resort, probably even better. If all that wasn't enough, it's also surrounded by a beautiful par 3, 9 hole golf course which is free for residents.

Now, how did we get it for free?

We were vacationing at a 2 bedroom condo that we found on VRBO in November 2013. We had stayed in the greater Phoenix area a few times and really like it there, but this time we decided to spend some time in Scottsdale. After just a couple of days there we fell in love and knew this was where we wanted to have a place. 

Before that trip Nancy had done some research and had already found a realtor that got outstanding reviews on Redfin. His name is Dave Fernandez and he is by far the best realtor we have ever worked with. 

We spent a day with Dave and he showed us several properties. When he showed us the one we ended up buying, we immediately knew it was the one for us. It was empty and partly renovated. For whatever reason, the owner had paused the renovation that was underway. We could smell a deal. We love benefiting from someone else's unfinished projects.

We placed an offer below the list price because we were willing to take it as is.

We settled on a price of $83,000 USD. At the time the Canadian dollar was near par. We closed on the deal and I went back to Scottsdale a few weeks later and hired a contractor. We completed the unfinished reno in 5 days and put it up for rent with the help of Dave, realtor and property manager.

We have had a tenant in the unit on a full-time basis ever since. We have not yet had the privilege of spending a single night in the place. The purchase was a part of a longer-term goal for us. (aka: delayed gratification) We intend to use it for ourselves in the near future, but in the meantime, someone else is paying all of the costs associated with the condo and funding our account at Bank of America with lovely US dollars. Oh yeah, and they're funding all our trips to the US - now you know why we go to Montana so often. ;-) The increasing US bank balance will also cover the cost of all furnishings when the time comes for us to take it over and buy everything we need to set up house. At that point, we will rent it out to snowbirds for a few months of the year to cover all of our costs and then use it for the rest of the year for ourselves - for free.

Why are we telling you all this? The point is you can fund your goals and dreams with a little planning. We would be happy to sit down with you for a coffee and help you and your spouse get clarity around your goals, put them on paper and create a plan to make them happen by your desired date. When our son was growing up there was a poster on his wall which said, "If you can dream it, it can happen!" It's time to turn your dreams and goals into a plan to make them happen. What are you waiting for? It's fun!

How we Came up with the Money

When Nancy started working at TD Waterhouse in September 2007 part of the benefits package offered employees a stock loan program. She took a staff loan from TD of $36,000 for the purpose of buying TD bank stock. We then set up a repayment plan of $300 per month for 10 years. The interest charged on the loan was the same as the dividend yield on the stock (approx. 3%), so basically, there was no interest to pay because the dividend covered it. (side note: Know the benefits that your employer offers and take advantage of them - this was a free loan to buy a top quality stock which over time was going to increase in value. What employer benefits are available to you that you're not utilizing to grow your wealth? Why not?)

As we paid down the loan the interest owing on the loan decreased so that the dividends more than covered what we paid in interest. That enabled us to use the additional money to pay down the loan faster. We paid off the loan completely in about 3 years. We then opted to use the dividends to buy more shares. Back in 2007, those shares were trading at about $70. The shares took a big hit in 2008, down to $35 but then rebounded the next year. We eventually sold those shares and had a nice gain. We then exchanged the money and put it in our US bank account when the Canadian dollar was near PAR with the US. 

When the opportunity came to buy the vacation/rental condo in Scottsdale, we had the available funds saved up and made the purchase. 

Go ahead and set a goal and a plan to achieve it. 

Advisors for Advanced Retirement Income Strategies,

Willis and Nancy Langford

Want to retire in the next few years? Find out more about Advanced Retirement Income Strategies.




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My wife and I realized a long time ago the value of a financial planner over just a bank representative. We just felt like a number to the banks as every year it seemed we saw a different adviser with a different view. But finding a trusted, knowledgeable and personable financial planner took a lot of time and effort. It just seemed, so many large corporate Financial Planners were more concerned about what they could make off of us rather than what they could make for us.
What we wanted, was not just reasonable returns now, but good personal advice in our preparation for retirement and what happens when retirement actually arrives. We wanted someone who would be walking with us, guiding us on our way to retirement.
From the first time, we found the web site for Langford Financial Inc, we could see the knowledge of Willis and Nancy and a real effort to educate and pass on their knowledge through seminars, workshops and their personal service. Once I reached out through their web site for more information, Willis was quick to respond, offering and giving whatever information I was looking for and never was there pressure to commit to anything.
The feeling of comfort and ease when talking with Willis was inviting enough for us to want to meet with Willis and Nancy, just to see firsthand if there was a connection and what working with them would look like.
And when we did meet for the first time, that feeling of comfort and ease was very evident. It was a unique experience for us to be able to sit down and get to know a financial planner (or a team of both Willis and Nancy) and not have any sales pressure on us. Just getting to know Willis and Nancy was important for us. We needed to be comfortable with them and see their competence in the business, and it was obvious that Willis and Nancy wanted to know us better so they could know how best to help us.
Once we decided to move our accounts over to Langford Financial, we found their process was comforting and refreshing as Willis and Nancy first worked at evaluating our complete situation. They dug down to get a complete picture of where we were at, where we wanted to be and how to get there. This took some reflection on our part but once we saw how they put it all together in our “Financial House In Order” binder, we were confident we made the right decision to go with Langford Financial.
Since the time we started working with Willis and Nancy I have attended many of their seminars and can say the information they have been teaching has been amazing. Always relevant, and consistent with their desire to help those coming up to retirement, and covering so many different situations as everyone has a different life situation. I know more than one of the tax-saving strategies they taught at their seminars will work for my wife and I, so we are very happy about that.
We would definitely recommend Langford Financial, not just for all your retirement planning needs, but they have great ideas on savings for your grandchildren too!
Paul and Elaine Radder

Paul & Elaine Radder
Long-term Clients

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