Q: I hear a lot about advertising on craigslist. Would this be a valid venue to advertise my property?
A: You will always get your best price from maximum exposure, and while that comes through the MLS service and advertisements in the local real estate papers, the new free services like craigslist.com and kijiji.ca have also a place. Now, they may be free, but they are different.
Like twitter.com posts, they scroll down continuously . . . the more that are posted the quicker they move to the bottom and out of sight. You will have to repost ads at least daily and you may have to learn some tricks to keep you in front of viewers.
Q: My wife and I want to start investing in real estate and want to do it right. Should we form a company first and place investment proper ties there, or hold properties inside our current business or hold them in our own names?
A: The million-dollar question. A lawyer will tell you to always place your investment property inside a company for liability reasons.
An accountant may tell you that the extra fees of setting up a company, annual reports, etc., for most smaller investors are not necessary.
Well, both may be right. However, if someone wants to sue you in relation to an investment you hold, they will sue you whether or not it is inside a company or in your own name.
As a rule of thumb, if you have more than three employees I would hold my properties inside a company. But I would never hold a property inside my operating business. It complicates a possible sale of that business and clouds your holdings.
Ozzie Jurock is a senior real estate adviser at www.jurock. com. He can be reached at email@example.com