By Dani Hayes
A wealthy family is not what I was born into. The first decade of my life was spent growing up in the village of Greenbank, Ontario with a population of about 600 people, a neighbouring cow farm in my backyard and one school, church, general store, and gas station.
The second decade of my life in the town of Dorchester, Ontario, with a whopping population of 9000 people, is where I finished high school. My husband, Sean, and I met in 2005 at Western University and we moved to Calgary, Alberta together in the summer of 2007, where I wrote my Medical College Admission Tests (MCATs). Then it happened. I read a book about investing in real estate that changed the trajectory of my life.
Instead of applying to medical school, I enrolled in nursing and decided to become a real estate investor. In 2008, Sean started investing in student rentals in London, Ontario and we read books on the business of investing in real estate. We moved back to Calgary (for the third time) in 2012, joined REIN, and acquired eight rental properties that we renovated to produce 16 doors by early 2016.
Four experiences I will remember while acquiring 16 doors in the last four years are hilarious, heartbreaking and heartfelt.
Heartbreaking: Receiving notice that one of our residents had to flee domestic violence and move out.
Heartfelt: Discovering that the same resident had a bad experience with the landlord in her next rental property, that she kept our Christmas card, and that she wanted to move back into one of our properties because of our professionalism.
Heartfelt: Moving a young couple and their one year old and three month old into their first rental property. They were out of their parent’s house and into a gorgeously renovated and affordable main floor rental. Taking a picture of the young family with their gleaming smiles to capture that moment of freedom for them.
Hilarious: Asking our new resident what would make his move in day awesome and then seeing the look on his face when I actually promised to stock his fridge with beer. On his move in day a water line burst in the ceiling. He consumed the beer while I handled the situation, like a boss.