My father-in-law is nearing retirement and looking to get into some real estate plays to diversify his investments. I’ve already referred him to The Millionaire Maker: Act, Think, and Make Money the Way the Wealthy Do and Start Late, Finish Rich: A No-Fail Plan for Achieving Financial Freedom at Any Age (Finish Rich Book Series), both great books on general wealth-building.

I was hoping someone out there might point us towards some good online resources though, especially ones dealing with real estate investing in particular. Thanks for the help. If we get some good info, I’ll do a round up later.

My two cents: Land… No house, just pure land. As they say they are not producing any land these days.

Right now there is a glut of real estate and the Fed is creating a Japan like crisis. My point is that you don’t know where things are going to go. You don’t know which neighborhoods will be good, and bad. Though you know that land will become more expensive. Right now there is quite a bit of land available, but you need to price it correctly.

In fact my wife and I did exactly that in February and bought 40 acres in the Laurentianens with a 1.5 acre private lake an hour from downtown Montreal. We did not regret it. I did the numbers and realized that the valuation of the land and the increase of CDN my wife and I are quite a bit ahead. I priced the land with house, lake and etc and realized my wife and I could never afford such a property.

Why did we luck out? I bought in the winter in the slowest month (February), the lake requires work, and at the time I bought the light rail JUST opened and most people were still unaware. I guessed the property was distressed and I think I guessed right.

Actually these days with available properties and pre-built homes (eg homes built in a factory and then assembled on the site) it is possible to compete with the big builders.

Do the numbers and you will see that the approach of the big builders is quite outdated.

Another suggestion: farming and farm land.

I am not talking about growing potatoes, or tomatoes. I am talking about organic and unique crop farming. You don’t need as much land, and the price per acre is higher. People are more concerned and restaurants want to offer the “unique.” Thus if you know your local wild crops it could be very interesting.

For example Sushi. About eight years a couple in BC started their own Wasbi crop. It was hard, but it worked. Or caviar from pond raised sturgeon. Caviar is becoming a commodity that is harder and harder to get. Pond raised caviar is starting to make impact.

My point is that your father-in-law needs to think a bit out of the box.

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