A 33-year-old Indian-origin businessman who has four properties in Canada with 28 rooms earns more than Rs 9 lakh a month only by collecting rent. According to CNBC, Karun Vij, who now lives with his wife and daughter in Chicago, turned his dream of owning property into a reality. In 2016, while studying engineering in Canada, he noticed that rental units near his institution were charged by the room, rather than the whole house. This is when he realised that renting rooms to students could be more profitable than giving the entire property on rent to one tenant, and decided he wanted to try his hand at it.
Mr Vij started off in 2016 after having spent a few years saving enough money to buy his first property in Canada’s Ontario. At 26, he made a 20% down payment of around $64,781 (Rs 54 lakh) for a home worth $323,904 (Rs 2.7 crore) and rented it out to seven college students.
However, Mr Vij did not plan to be a landlord full-time. According to CNBC, after graduating, he worked as an application engineer, and later an account manager at a company in the United States. As his rental earnings and salary increased, he was able to buy more rental properties in southern Ontario.
Now, at the age of 33, Mr Vij lives with his wife and daughter in Chicago, where he earns just over $183,000 and owns four Canadian rental properties worth a total of about $2.3 million. “When I bought my first property, it was the most exciting and nerve-wracking time of my life,” he said, adding, “I had no idea what it would take to be a landlord, but I knew in my mind this was my business.”
Speaking to the outlet, Mr Vij said that he has no intention of ever selling any of his property. “I don’t care what the price is because I’m never going to sell, that’s my mentality,” he said. “I want to own as many assets as possible that generate cash flow and use any extra cash to buy more assets,” he added.
However, being a landlord comes with its own set of challenges. At first, Mr Vij was surprised by the number of calls he received from tenants about everything from fixing door locks to changing light bulbs. “I was picking up calls at three in the morning. I had to quickly learn to put things into perspective and prioritize the major concerns,” he said.
For non-urgent requests, Mr Vij said that he learned that good communication and follow-through actually mattered more to tenants than him being available “100% of the day”. “If you say you’re going to fix something in five days, get it done in five days,” he said.
Now, this year, Mr Vij broke even on his rental properties. He said that he doesn’t mind not turning a profit yet because he believes the recently purchased properties will have higer upfront costs for renovations in the first couple of years of ownership.
“I absolutely love debt,” Mr Vij told the publication. “But I’ll say I only like good debt,” such as mortgages and lines of credit, he added. “Good debt is debt that you have a strategy for. My long-term strategy is to buy up as much real estate as possible,” he said.
Read More: Indian-Origin Landlord In Canada Reveals He Earns 9 Lakh A Month By Renting Out 4 Properties