Namaskar. I’m Aditya Kumar Soma, one of the top 40 Real Estate Agents in Canada, the founder of WinCity Real Estate team, a real estate investor, and a Youtuber based in Windsor, Ontario. I self-learnt the real estate trade with help from books, networking clubs, and mentors.
This is the story of how I made my first $1 Million by investing in Windsor, ON in Real Estate.
Born and brought up in Telangana, India, I saw firsthand what crippling debt could do to families. My father worked as a labourer in Dubai, and I got my education at a boarding school away from my family members. In 2012, I migrated to Canada to study with the help of yet another debt. The total debt our family owed was now more than $100,000. Paying off this debt was not easy, with my father’s monthly income of just $200. It was clear that I had no choice but to finish my study, work hard, and earn enough to pay off all outstanding debts.
In college and after passing out, I did many odd jobs. Sometimes I worked two back-to-back shifts of 9 hours each. Ultimately, I landed a full-time job as a software engineer in Windsor, Ontario.
Two years into my job, I started exploring different ways to earn passive income along with my full-time job. I attended business networking events and read many books, which ultimately led me to discover Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. Apart from getting me interested in real estate investing, my biggest takeaway from the book was:
Assets give you freedom while liabilities take freedom from you.
I knew I had to do something related to real estate investing. So I started focusing my time on learning and reading books about it. Since I was in Canada, I got books specific to North American Real Estate, such as Real Estate Investing in Canada by ACRE and Bigger Pockets guides (for North America Market).
I had my Eureka moment in 2016 when I discovered the concept of House Hacking – a real estate investing strategy that involves buying a multi-family property & renting part of it to generate income. Using this simple idea, I figured I could live for free and even earn passive income by investing a few thousand dollars into buying a home.
After contemplating and consulting my friends for six months, I took a leap of faith and invested in my first property in March 2017 – a Duplex in Windsor. My intention behind taking the step was to build my first asset.
Even though I didn’t have the money to buy the property outright, I knew that I could put down the minimum amount and borrow the rest from the bank. In Canada, for example, one can put down just 5% of your first primary residence’s total price and borrow the rest. Since the bank can also fund improvements to the property, I used the loan amount to renovate the units that I intended to rent.
I rented out the rest of the home for $1,500. This allowed me to stay rent-free, earn a passive income and cover all my expenses. I was financially free for the first time. So I saved up for the next 6 months and bought my next property in September 2017.
Despite earning a good amount of passive income, I was in debt around March 2018 after paying for my wedding and helping my family with my sister’s wedding. But I did not want to stop. I continued networking and meeting people from the Real Estate world.
Soon, I found another avenue for earning through Real Estate. One that did not require me to pay any amount upfront. I realised that I could partner with someone with capital and help them find and facilitate a deal that would profit both parties. One of my friends liked the idea and agreed to invest $40,000 towards a property. The deal turned a healthy profit and allowed us to invest in a second property shortly after.
In just a few months, my partner and I purchased 5 properties and witnessed the advantages of investing in Real Estate. To my luck, even the market condition was favourable. I, therefore, decided to quit my job and get a Real Estate license in January 2019.
As an investor, I knew what to look for in a property, how to renovate and gauge whether a property was suitable for renting or for sale. I brought that expertise to the table while dealing with clients and ended up closing 170 deals within two years of working as a Realtor. My gross income from the deals stood at over $1 Million dollars.
I was earning enough to not worry about providing for my family. But, I knew the market could change. So I continued investing in properties even after getting my license. In my first year as an agent, I didn’t qualify for mortgages. So I invested in a pre-construction. Next, I bought a 17-unit building.
By 2021, I had amassed 11 properties with an asset value of $1.75 Million. Next year, my portfolio increased to a total of 44+ units, which included a mix of single, duplex, triplexes & a 17-unit apartment building.
Today, I can proudly state that I made my first million and achieved financial freedom through my Real Estate investments.