All Your Ducks 🦆 Will Never Be In A Row…

Crazy fun story. Where it all started.

Recently, while in Edmonton, I was en route to a networking event, address accurately locked into the GPS.

I decided to take a different path, different from the route the friendly voice on Google maps was politely recommending.

Some times going down a different path will reveal a memorable moment if you are mindful and open to the process. Or perhaps it was just my gender not wanting to ask for directions…

On this ‘road less traveled’ detour I had a…

“Déjà vu feeling all over again” (Yogi Berra).

Turned down a street and the area seemed vaguely familiar, but couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

Finally realized I was in the neighborhood where I bought my first investment property; 12719 -122nd Ave., Edmonton.

Haven’t been in this area for the better part of 17+ years.

When I say my first property, this was the VERY FIRST. I bought rental properties long before I had even bought my primary personal residence.

Back then I was renting a basement suite with a roommate in Burnaby, BC., and had never bought a property before.

Here I was buying a property in a different city, trying to figure this out by doing. As the old saying goes, “ignorance is bliss.”

I was clueless but persistent.

The best education you will ever receive is to take action, something you can’t learn by reading a book or attending a workshop.

I was scared, freaking out, filled with anxiety, and had no idea what I was doing… BUT did it anyways.

As I reflect, on this property, I made every mistake possible:

  • Overpaid.
  • Bought in a ‘less than desirable neighborhood.’ (back in 2001/2002).
  • I did not have the systems, procedures and management to deal with the tenants, at that time. Definitely not a property or area challenge… 100% owner/operator issue.
  • Did not research what type of tenants lives in the area (was not an ideal tenant profile).
  • Hired the wrong property manager.
  • Basement tenant passed away (guess this was not a mistake, but something that happened).
  • One of the units was vacant for more than six months.
  • Got scared and did not have the ‘intestinal fortitude’ to stick it out.

And I sold the property six months after buying it.

Once all the dust settled, completing the full cycle of owning a property (buying, managing, and selling), if I were to give myself a grade, I would say… at best, it was an EPIC FAIL (F).

Lost money on this first property, I can’t remember the exact amount (or maybe I have just blocked it out) but was definitely a money-losing endevour.

After this first experience, I had a decision to make



Keep moving forward

The main lesson I learned from my first property was I took action, ‘shot the puck,’ and got in the game.

I committed to making ONE LESS mistake on the next property (which was quite easy since I made every possible mistake on the first one).

Reminds me of a quote from Toronto Mortgage Broker, Calum Ross…

“I have never lost money on Real Estate. I have just paid very high tuition on some properties.”

And I had just invested in one of the best educations I could have received.  Tuition paid in full on my first property!

Upon reflection, I now consider this my BEST INVESTMENT PROPERTY!

Because I started, shot the puck, and it got me in the game.

If you are just getting started (or perhaps even starting over again), the first step is always the most difficult.

I want to encourage you if you are scared of taking the next step- you got this. I can almost guarantee your first property transaction will be better than my first one.

Or if you are starting over mode, don’t let all the hard-earned tuition you have invested go to waste.

Dust yourself off, and get back in the arena.

Take all your experiences & wisdom you have gained and share it with someone just getting started, or someone that needs support.

There are people here to help.

You don’t have to go alone.

No matter how much you may or may not love the 80’s hair metal band, Whitesnake- you really weren’t ‘born to walk alone.’

If you need some help, support or guidance, reach out and ask, I’m happy to help.

Yes, all your ducks 🦆 will never be in a row. But if you keep paddling, you eventually will find a flock to call your own, and together you can inspire & encourage each other to keep going.

Russell Westcott
#Inspire # Encourage #Love


All Your Ducks Will Never Be In A Row…

by May 8, 2019Real Estate0 comments

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