5 Minutes with... Paul Hatfield

By Mark David

Paul Hatfield
is an agent with Royal LePage Village in Pointe-Claire, Que. He specializes in Montreal’s West Island market, and its associated sub-markets.

Why should people consider investing in Montreal’s West Island?
The West Island is a great area to invest because of its geographical proximity to downtown Montreal, access to all services, public transportation, great quality of life, family-oriented neighbourhoods, plus a constant and measurable year-over-year increase in property values.

Of the many communities in the West Island, which ones are the best-primed for investing?
Pointe-Claire offers the best single family home purchase price. The price for location is reasonable and modern renovations to older homes can produce favorable ROIs. Pierrefonds is an excellent location for investing in condos.  There are a lot of services for renters, a condensed population and a large inventory of condos on the market to choose from.

What kind of property is the West Island’s best buy?
In today’s marketplace, the best buy would be buy-and-hold revenue condos.

What kind of investment strategy is the best one to use for West Island properties?
Using a buy-and-hold strategy with revenue properties would be the best strategy in today’s marketplace.

Why did you personally choose to focus on this area?
The West Island is a beautiful mix of suburban neighbourhoods that overall, offer a community geared towards maintaining a desirable quality of life, suburban planning and services, waterfront parks, commerce and a clean environment. West Island neighbourhoods are a 15 to 20 minute drive from downtown Montreal, and there is a complete public transportation system in place to get its citizens to and from work. Because of these factors, the year-over-year values of properties consistently rise, and buyers looking to upgrade are always trying to move to the West Island. Executed properly, the West Island is the safest area for real estate investment on the Island of Montreal. 

Can you identify a neighbourhood off the Island of Montreal that might be of interest to investors?
There is the Vaudreuil-Soulanges area, west of the West Island. It is much further from the downtown core with a comparable public infrastructure in place to support its citizens. Because of this, home values are historically less than the West Island, but increase in value annually because younger families start here and move back to the West Island as they become more established.

How do you think the West Island will perform in the future?
The West Island will continue to enjoy the slow and steady, consistent annual increase in value.

What tip would you give to first-time investors?
First-time investors should start small to minimize their financial responsibilities for when they make their mistakes. They should have realistic expectations of the market place and how their investment will produce long term. They should always work with a professional real estate broker who is an expert in the neighbourhood they want to invest in. Work with your broker for advice, guidance and access to his or her list of professionals to help you build your real estate team.

If $1 million were to magically appear for your investment purposes, what would you do with it?
I would be looking to own as many buy-and hold revenue properties I could get with my $1 million. My personal real estate investment strategy is long-term growth, building equity and having the revenues cover my expenses.

Cash flow or capital growth?
Capital growth should be your real estate objective. Real estate investing is a long-term investment. Quick money in real estate is rare and risky. Cash flow can be achieved through different investment vehicles.

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