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Erwin Szeto [00:00:11] This episode is brought to you by a Titan Investment Real Estate dot com. The total investment optimization company that specializes in real estate that helps regular everyday people’s financial performance. Whether you want some extra side hustle money for a more comfortable retirement, maybe help you pay for your child’s university tuition with an investment, property or two. Or maybe you want to retire spouse or yourself in the short to middle term with five, 10 or more properties, type investment Real Estate can help you with that, as well as they’ve been doing so for novice investors in southwestern Ontario since 2010. This team of real estate professionals have won their industry’s highest awards, having one real estate agent of the year for investors in 2015, 2016 and 2017 by the Canadian Real Estate Wealth Magazine and the Real Estate Investment Network. If you have listened to current clients of Titan on this podcast, they all credit much of their success to the coaching and mentoring of a Titan team, and the numbers don’t lie. Past clients investing with Titan since 2012 have earned over 400 percent on their investments. Learn how to join this exclusive club of all tricks and successful everyday people from the Toronto area. By going to WW W Dot Titan Investment Real Estate dot com, you can request to be contacted and ask them how they did it. Or he could describe download. Get some of the educational materials on why certain towns in southwestern Ontario are your favorites for real estate investment. If you do always visit the website, please click on Halton Real Estate Investment Group. Where these seem successful, investors go to network once a month in Oakville, Ontario, at the prestigious Sheridan College. As the saying goes, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. So if you want to be successful in real estate, this is the place you want to be. The Halton REI regularly hosts leading authorities in the industry, providing you the latest market and strategy updates on how to improve the probability of your success. These meetings and Bollywood titan investment Real Estate is all about making money while you sleep, because the more money you make, the more people you can help, including yourself. Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, investors across Canada. My name is Erwin Szeto, a.k.a. Mr Hamilton, and welcome to the truth about real estate investing show. As always, I have the pleasure of interviewing the titans of Canadian real estate to figure out what makes them successful. We will listen to their teachings, learned from their mistakes and experiences, so we too may replicate their success. If you draw the show, please leave me a review and on Apple’s iTunes and leave a comment. I read every one and I am grateful for every review. If you have some constructive feedback, please send me an email and I will endeavor to improve. Before we get started, I want to say thank you to the readers, listeners and client and my clients for making this award possible this past week. The Real Estate Investment Network app bestowed upon myself and my team the Titan Investment Real Estate Group, the winners of 2018’s Realtor of the Year. We are now a two time winner as we last won the award in 2015 to go along with our award wins as Agent of the Year by the Canadian Real Estate Magazine in 2016 and 2017. That’s four times in total. We are pretty happy with ourselves. Our efforts are proof that good people do. Doing good things in business and in the community can excel in the investment industry. Thank you to the Real Estate Investment Network for this award and to be honest, I didn’t think we would win. Considering the very, very steep competition, I didn’t know until they unveiled the names of the other finalists, but they all happened to be previous winners, including myself, and they’re all doing wonderful things in their own respective businesses and communities. I’d like to thank our clients for believing in us for following our advice in their pursuit of financial freedom and security for themselves and for their families. I’d like to thank the original gangsters of REIN Dan Campbell, Russell Westcott and Melanie Tennant Reuter, plus the current leadership of Patrick, Richard and Jennifer. Thank you again to my team Timi Megan James, Hand Cook and Maria, John Charles and Tim. Yeah, we have a fair sized team. Thank you to my broker owners and mentors in time and creative rockstar Real Estate. Thank you to my coach, Marianne Gillespie. I’d like to thank my kids and my wife for putting up with my attempts at a work life balance without their support and inspiration. This would not be possible. Finally, I’d like to thank my parents for uprooting their lives from halfway around the world, to come to Canada for a better opportunity for themselves and for their children and their grandchildren. Thank you for being part of the community, and this is only the beginning because we have bigger and better things planned for our clients in this business and the Hamilton Best Brigade in 2018. So please stay awesome everyone and just do it because I believe in you. Now on to the show. How to claim thousands of dollars in home energy rebates with Nick Crosby. I wish I knew before I did my renovations is what every investor tells Nick. The rebate guy Crosby upon meeting him. It is exactly what I said to him before, because years ago, not that many years ago. Like the last two years, I have not been able to locate a home energy auditor since many of the last set of rebates went away, and the majority were only for principal residents and not for rental properties. So during that time, a lot of home energy auditors got out of the business. I even pulled folks on Facebook asking for recommendations, and that came up dry. But no more friend of the show and our client in a buy recommended Nick to us after he hired Nick to inspect one of his rental properties that he was going to renovate anyways and coaches netting a cool $3000 again for work he was going to do anyways. All he had to do was hire Nick to do a home energy audit before and after, and the rebates paid for his fees. I personally could have netted thousands, probably close to $4000 in rebate money for replacing my AC and windows in the last two years. But unfortunately, that’s already done. I didn’t know Nick, that’s my loss, but hopefully everyone’s listeners gains because you can go ahead and hire Nick now before you get your next set of renovations done. And again, I’ll be sure to have Nick inspect my property before I have my ancient mid efficiency furnace replaced. And I think on the show you said that’ll be somewhere around $1000 in rebate money that I wasn’t expecting. So, yeah, yeah, whatever they do, I give you Nick the rebate guy Crosby. Thank you again for doing this. I mentioned in my email I was asking around over a year ago because I did a bunch of windows for my house. I did my AC. I think it’s all I did, but still I was looking for an energy audit person because that was a big thing I’ve done. I’ve done two energy yards before, but the people who did it for me are no longer in that business. I actually went to I used to live in a country property, so I took a converted an oil furnace into a geothermal system. Oh, great. And that came back is over $10000. Yeah, I think that’s the cap. I believe that’s the cap anyone’s allowed to get in terms of rebates. So I’ve been to this process. I was dying to do it again last year. I even posted it to my community Facebook group, which is and that’s a good advice for anyone who’s looking for a referral for somebody. Someone local and I got nobody. So we went ahead to the innovations and like, we left money on the table. Yeah. And so this is nothing you haven’t heard before.
Nick Crosby [00:07:27] It happens all the time. Hopefully, you talked to energy before you do the renovations. Mm hmm. And that’s really the key is we can send you in the right direction. So right now, there’s a number of programs that people are using for windows. They’re using either a program through the Green Zone program where they’re paying, they’re working through contractors and they certain contracts are contractors that are allowed to give them up to $500 per window.
Erwin Szeto [00:08:04] That’s a lot of money per window.
Nick Crosby [00:08:06] It is a lot of money per window, but there are some catches and there can only be 10 windows. They have to be zone three, which is sort of northern Ontario type windows. But for some people, it really works. And one of the other prevention energy can’t be in this other program or the other programs. One of the main programs that I work with is, AH, the gas company rebate programs, programs through union gas or programs through Enbridge. So depending on where you live in Ontario, it’ll be either one of those two companies will provide rebates for windows and it again, and the maximums do change depending on which program you’re with. But with the gas companies, you’re looking at maximums of $5000, but it’s a lot of money. That’s a lot of money. And it’s not only for Windows, basically any energy upgrade. So if you’re if you’re going into a house and there’s no insulation in the basement, there’s money available for insulation, there’s money available for insulation in the walls. There’s money available for insulation in the attics. Basically, if you think about anything concerned with heating, when you mentioned cooling, there’s rebates available for air conditioning, air source heat pumps. There’s money available. So there’s a lot you just have to know where to find it and preferably know how to manage the system, work the system, work the programs so that you’re eligible for maybe both programs, maybe because they’re there to and in the end, in the end, new windows, I’m sure you found I improve the quality of life and the efficiency of your home, and you’re going to save money in general from heating costs with those things. So that’s the idea.
Erwin Szeto [00:10:00] Well, I’m going to save on maintenance cost because mine were wind when my were wood from 1989, when my house is built. Wow. So there’s just this evening, and the maintenance was quite significant. Yeah, and they function better and all. That’s a good start to get things. Yeah. So are you an independent contractor? Like what? How is your how does your role work?
Nick Crosby [00:10:24] So I am an independent contractor. My company is called Home Energy Advice. My website, Home Energy Advice Darcy has. I work with one service company called Energy Test, and there’s a number of service organizations, service companies that allow that hire contractors like myself to work with them. And so they’ll be the go between. These programs are my program. The gas company programs are administered by the. Natural Resources Canada. So both in our test and myself, we’re licensed, we have different licenses through Natural Resources Canada that allows us to do the audit and do the paperwork that’s required. So with my program, you do need to do an audit. And what we’ll do is we’ll come into your home. Well, we’ll look at everything. Let’s say you, you had a furnace and typically I’ll step back for a second. But it basically is. We’ll do two on it. The first two hours will run through all those. Some of those areas that I talked about the attic insulation, the wall insulation, the furnaces, the heating, the air conditioners, and we’ll assess it. We’ll take a look. Top to bottom will model out your house and tell, tell the customer exactly what they need to do, and we’ll send them a report within a couple of weeks when they get that report. They can choose to have an option to say, OK, I want to do this, but before they typically before we get there, we usually pre-qualified them to make sure that they actually do qualify. So don’t have to do that, sort of. We’re on the same page here. Everything is kind of clear for now.
Erwin Szeto [00:12:18] Yeah, I’m actually wondering because we like I mentioned your coach and coach. Like many of our clients, they buy a property. I’m almost thinking like someone like, you should go to the property immediately after we get possession of it.
Nick Crosby [00:12:32] It does. You do want to be there. You do want to be there before any work starts. It’s a little bit awkward if you go there and they still have tenants, so they’re kind of wondering what’s going on. So you have to everybody has to be sort of clear of what’s going on. But for sure, if you know what you’re going to do, the buyer has looked at the property. They know that they’re going to put in some a new hot water tank, a tankless water heater, for instance, and basement insulation that that’s what they need to do to put another unit in the in the house. Then that’s what you know. There’s going to be renovation some of the windows there with windows very common. They’re coming out or a new furnace. You know, these types of things. You know that the work is going to happen. You should call. And there will be times, though, if I if I came out to every job like somebody called me today and said, Oh, I’m looking at doing some new windows, and I said, That’s great. And then the Congress, they said, What else do you have to do? Well, you know, I’ve done everything else. My own, my air conditioner, I’ve done my furnace, I’ve done my attic insulation. There’s going to be times when there’s no point in me coming out. They’re better off to work with maybe the Green Zone program, because that’ll go, that’ll that might work better for them. And it might not. But at least they know we’ll try and find two measures before we go out there. And you know, just generally, the age of the house will also give us a very good indication, especially if the house is over the over 20 years old. Okay, look. And you know, then there is really often the attic inflation is inadequate or those are older. So that gives us a good hint anyway, that you know that that there can be upgrades. Right?
Erwin Szeto [00:14:35] Our clientele rarely buys anything less than 20 years. Yes. So our clientele buys a lot of like 1950s bungalows, for example, a lot of houses from the era of 1950s and 1960s 1970s. So sounds like, yeah, that’s good that we’re having this conversation.
Nick Crosby [00:14:54] Yeah, no. That’s really our bread and butter. There’s so much work that can be done. Yeah. And a lot of them, you know, the big a big part of it is the furnaces, you know, in the technology that they had back then is old or a 20 year old furnace. They’re condensing furnaces, they’re not condensing furnaces, they’re combustion furnaces. The energy savings alone after three or four years can pay for a furnace. So. You know, it’s it depends on who’s paying the heating bills. But again, it does enhance the value of the property and, you know, as you know more when doing renovations. But if a house looks so much more fresh, fresher when you have new windows, put it. And I’ve seen I’ve seen what a coach is doing and he’s doing a wonderful job of renovating those houses and converting them into rentable units. So in most cases, our programs have been beneficial. I think in all the cases that we’ve when I’ve worked with them, we he’s on the right path, so I won’t do. He’s asked me whether or not he should do it or not, and I’ll pre model the house. I’ll make sure that actually he will qualify for the program. And the nice thing about this program this year is there’s a little bit of a change last year in order to qualify for the program. It was performance based, so you had to have a certain amount of energy savings. So when we looked at a house, we said, OK, you’re going to be based on renovations and you’re going to do a few windows. You need insulation. OK, yeah, that’s going to get us to 15, 20 percent in energy savings. Mm-Hmm. We look at that part of our report. When we do the full report, we do it. We’ll tell you what your GIGAJOULE is asking. GIGAJOULE is basically a unit of energy, like a jewel or a gigajoule, how much you spend, and it’s sort of the equivalent of a tank of gas or a couple of propane tanks. So we want to see if you had the house I did this morning went from 20 two gigajoule and there the upgrades with the furnace would have brought them to insulation. Furnaces would have brought them down to about 130 gigajoule, so that’s pretty significant energy savings. So it was all performance based, so you had to save 15 percent now this year, you. It’s prescriptive, so you will as long as you have two things you don’t really need to say 15 percent, we will still do the report for you. Tell you these are the things that you need to do, but to qualify, you don’t have to get over that hurdle a 15 percent to save energy. And that’s a big thing. So it’s a matter of looking at what they have and sort of picking off the list of what, what you know, what will work and what could work. All right. But the idea is as well as I think it’s very critically that the investor, the real estate investor or the homeowner has an idea of what they want to do and what they really need to do in the beginning, just so they, you know, we do qualify them that they do have enough to do. Mm-Hmm. We don’t want, you know, I don’t want to do a job where it’s they’re going to put out money and not get a return on their investment. So just put the you want to put the customer in the right direction, you know, whether it’s green on the green on program. So that’s probably something that we could talk about some of the differences between the two programs. So people get an idea
Erwin Szeto [00:18:58] before we get into that, how much is your fee?
Nick Crosby [00:19:02] Sure, that’s what that’s the good news is that the fees we have, our fees roundtrip, there’s two audits. And with that, you get the reports. The fee would be $400 for the first audit, plus $50 in taxes for the second audit. It’s two hundred dollars and twenty six dollars in taxes. But when you complete both audits, you will get the fees back. That $600 is return to the homeowner, along with an additional check for the upgrades that they would do. So if you were doing a furnace and window, for instance, you would get the $600 back that you paid for the fees. You would still be out the $78, but you would get a thousand dollars for the furnace. Just with the gas company, you would get $80 for one window being done. And in that example, and likely if the furnace had a variable speed ECM motor, which is an efficient motor you that you would get $250 back. So it’s a pretty good return on investment $78 and returning over $3400 in that case is a fairly decent return on investment. So I guess the time the time is the other factor that and. That usually it’s about three hours, it’s two hours where the initial meeting. And it’s another hour for the subsequent generally it’s another hour. There’s houses, some of these houses, maybe not some of the houses that you’re working with, but sometimes we’ll see houses that are three thousand square feet. There might be two and a half hours or even three hours to do the audit. But then there will be other houses that are smaller eight hundred thousand square feet. They’ll be our
Erwin Szeto [00:20:53] stuff.
Nick Crosby [00:20:54] And that may be an hour and a half. So it really doesn’t take that long.
Erwin Szeto [00:20:58] Does the homeowner have to be present?
Nick Crosby [00:21:01] The homeowner does have to be present at the time and. The. But they do have they don’t because what we like to have them present for the whole. Undertaking, because we can show them some of the areas where they need to improve as we’re doing it, we’ll do part of this process is we’ll look at the, you know, start by showing them what I’m going to be looking at from the top to the bottom of the furnaces, the attic insulation. But then I’ll do a blower door test and I want the homeowner there. As for the broader test, where’s the where’s the house leaking? And actually, that does count as a it could be a measure if people can you a lot of heat through the leaks in the house and probably your old wooden windows from your old place are really leaking that can really help with the air sealing. So we’ll put in this big blower door. It’s a giant red screen. We’ll do blower door test and we’ll see what the improvement is with the air changes per hour are and see if there’s some improvement. But in order for the customer can actually see where the improvement is. They really should know we’ll do a walk around. So I’ll show them, you know, on every level, there is different things that could happen, but typically on a on the on a second floor, you might have attic hatches that are leaking. You might have some spotlights that aren’t very well sealed you. You will have outlets on the first and second levels where the wind may come through the outlets on the walls. So we’ll take a look at that. Some houses are a lot better. It’s really not an issue because they’ve been somebody has gone through put insulators in or the electrician has taped up the vapor barrier really well, but a house was built in 1950. There is no vapor barrier, so there’s going to be issues and that house does need to be you can do little things to kind of seal it up, to make it, to make it a warmer house in a more comfortable space and try and reduce the air changes per hour. And that is measured by the equipment that we have. So I have a giant fan and a big red skin that goes into the front door and we depressurize the house, we blow out air and we simulate winds of 33 kilometers an hour that that shows us. It brings us to a pressure of minus 50 Pascals, and we can see what the flow rate is and we can see what the what the turnover is in terms of the air changes per hour. Mm-Hmm. So. Yes, the homeowner has to be there, there are signatures that that that do need to be done, that does need to be looked at and that’s. But, you know, they don’t have to be there for the whole thing, so sometimes. I met a customer and they say, Well, I have to get going. Can you take a look? OK, we can change the order in the process. We can do a border test and we can get them out so they can allow me to do my job and do the measurements. A lot of this data collection at that point. So I have to measure up the whole building. And that’s why it does take a while. It does get model. The software is very, very good. Canada has done a good job of providing this energy efficient software. That software is being used around the world in Australia, for instance, for modeling their houses. So Hot 2000 is that is the software that we use, and we have a version that only energy advisors that can you that will actually put a label. And actually, this is kind of interesting from a Real Estate perspective to a little benefit that they’ve talked about, but they’ve talked about having mandatory labeling on buildings. And if they do that in order to sell a house in order to sell your property, you may need a major label on your property. And so you’d have to go through this process to get it on it and maybe a shorter audit just to see where it is as opposed to renovation upgrade we might audit. But going in there to say, OK, this is what your energy your house is burning. But part of this process is you’ll get a label just like you see those interguard and then you get a label that you can put on your box and tell you where you stand. Right?
Erwin Szeto [00:25:33] I used to see a lot more of those around the same time I did my renovation, which was, I forget what year now?
Nick Crosby [00:25:39] Twenty seven or even?
Erwin Szeto [00:25:43] Yeah, somewhere around there. Yeah, right before the financial crisis. Hmm. Interesting.
Nick Crosby [00:25:47] Yeah, that’s actually how I got hooked up with another test as well. So I did build a secondary property and I used the program like you did. And it was again, I think I walked away with incentives or rebates of seven or eight thousand dollars for the windows and insulation program. And it’s still there. So the nice sometimes these programs, they disappear, they won’t be around and they do end every once in a while. So the green on program or this program may expire and enter test went through that. I wasn’t. I’ve been with another test for just over a year. But I understand they are one of the few companies. A lot of companies went out of business during that, I think 2012 the programs that we discontinued for the time being. But our company does do new homes as well, so people that are building new homes are still needed on it for, let’s say, our 2000 building at the time to qualify for our 2000 or energy star homes. And our test was around at that time, and they were able to do those types of audits and stay in business. Mm-Hmm. So now’s a good time in the business because there are a lot of programs. And as I said before, they’re prescriptive, meaning that as opposed to performance orientated, you just tick the box off. This is what I’m going to do. You know, what I should do is I have a checklist here from Union Gas for the rebates and I can walk through some of those if that’s of interest.
Erwin Szeto [00:27:36] How long is it asking you to send it to me and I can include it with your picture in the show notes for the blog for the podcast? Yeah. Nick, I want I wanted to share when I had my energy audit done for my country property. I think we were like in the low tens. And my auditor said that this is the lowest I’ve ever seen. I think of like 14, maybe 16 and now and then the second time we got into the 70s. Wow. Yeah. Well, it was a it was an estate sale. They didn’t take the greatest care of the property again. It was it was oil. It was oil. Actually, we still run into that occasionally. In Hamilton St. Catharines, you run into oil furnaces and oil tanks. Yeah. What’s the rebate on replacing that with natural gas?
Nick Crosby [00:28:22] Again, it’s a furnace. So if you had an oil furnace, it’s a thousand dollars. No, no. So if you went to a for share, for the price, it is, it is. And actually, if it’s electric, there’s some air source heat pumps that the rebates are even higher. A thousand two thousand dollars, depending on how many hands you would have if you stated electric if you went electric and it was all electric if there was no oil furnace. So you’ll see some properties. Maybe it’s properties that are electric or just had a gas fireplace, and they’re mostly electrocuted. Air source heat pumps are very efficient. And why is that? Well, you put in at 100 hundred lots like a typical baseboard heater is 100 watts. You put in 100 watching 100 watts out with air source heat pumps to using the late energy like you had for your ground source heat pump. Yeah, you’re using that latent energy, so you’re getting two or three times the amount of output for the input that’s going in. So we’re big fans of air source heat pumps, but I see it all the time and I have another story for you that’s kind of interesting, and that’s one of the first audit. There was an oil property out in the country. Mm-Hmm. And they had tapped into one of the programs for the solar energy at the time, and they got paid to put in solar energy on their roofing, which is great. But I never I doubt I really highly doubt that they had an energy audit because what we what I had done is when we did the energy audit and we could we could look at what the photovoltaics the input was for the photovoltaics. And we looked at what they were actually generating. They actually could have saved just as much generation by insulating their basement for years and years. They have this insulated which look like a nice solar home that was very efficient, but they had an oil furnace and they had an inflated basement. Crazy. It was crazy. So the energy ought to really help. They would have been so much better off. They just started. Darn, I wish they knew me. They were one of those types of people that they would have done it earlier. They would have saved so much in energy over the long run, but it was a new property. So the new owners that we did the audit because the new owner did come in and you can do an audit for a home once, so you can only do it once. But if you buy another property, you can do it for another property. Okay, but if you’ve done it once you’ve been in this program last year for windows and insulation, then you say, I want to get a furnace, maybe I’ll call you back. Well, you can only do it. You can only do it once. Mm-Hmm. And surprisingly, you can do it. You can do it for duplexes. You can do it for trailer motor homes. From what I understand, I never done it, but apparently you can. Detached units one story, two story, two and a half story is fine. We can’t go into anything stock multiple stacked residential units we wouldn’t be able to do as an energy audit. Okay. So yeah, that’s the. That’s the that’s the basics of the program. I mean, it is very interesting. A career in some ways, too, because you’re always meeting different people, you know, different walks of life. And in some of these properties, they’re pretty rundown.
Erwin Szeto [00:31:47] So well, that’s where the most REI is for us and for the thinking in this program.
Nick Crosby [00:31:53] Yeah. Well, they’re great. They’re great for us, too, because we, you know, I get very excited when I see measures that we can do because really what it means is more money for people. When I see that they can do their basement and get paid, 12 full basement insulation is 12 15th and went to our 23 and they’re doing it right. One of the advantages of our program, even if you went to, you know, I’m not sure if you know what the R value is, but if you were putting if a basement had no insulation and you put in studs three and a half inch studs and you put in pink insulation in there, that’s our twelfth. And if you were to put in studs that were six inches and they’re off the hook six inches and you spray Fong, you might get to 22 inches or are 23 22 inches, but you get dark twenty three. So some building inspectors do require that in terms of their renovations, and our program can address going to our 12. The green on program can pay for renovations going, you know, they I think they have to go to our toe. I’m not sure. I’ll just double check, but I believe their basement insulation requirement is R20 to get a rebate. It is. So absolutely. Sorry, go ahead. Yeah, that’s why you really kind of want to. It’s really good to talk to an energy adviser so you know the options that are out there. So you’re not buying a property and then inflating to, you know, our toe, you don’t necessarily need to. You can save money by not, you know, insulating to our toe. Hmm. And you know, you can you can take a look at the energy savings by my modeling. I can actually tell you, is it really worth it to go to our toe? And I had to buy one of the older houses I’ve ever done earlier in Toronto this week. It was an 18 73 house and very probably pretty old, pretty old. It was actually like a duplex. And now there’s good firewalls in between it. But when I looked up in the attic, you could see right through to the other person’s attic. You shouldn’t be able to do that now. There’s no very least a couple layers of gypsum in the barrier in concrete. But anyway. The I lost my train of thought, so the. So we’re talking about renovating the basement and getting some basement insulation. And we’re saying, well, should we do our 14 of our 12? And so I was able to just put in a couple variables in the computer. So basically you can get by with in terms of the energy savings that you need. And actually, he was using the CMHC program, which I talked about in my email. He needs to he needs to do a couple of things with his property. But what he needed to do was at least, say, 15 year schedules. And by doing that, he’s olabode eligible to save on the high racial interest portion of his mortgage. The CMHC high ratio portion he’s he was able to save 15 percent on his. You’ll get a premium refund, about 15 percent, you know. So we were looking for actually specific gigajoule, so he his house would be rated that, which is an interesting program. If your house comes in rated under 200, you get joules and that’s what you spent the is a little bit different from when you did it. So we’ll look at we’ll give you a rating based on what you spend. So if your house is very inefficient, it might be a 250. You’re spending 250 gigajoule save energy. But if you’re in in that case with the CMHC program, it’s a very good program. Not a lot of people use it. Not a lot of realtors are using it. But if you are buying a property, you’re using that that provision you don’t have enough to put down. And I’m out in the business. So you know better than I do what the requirements are for high ratio mortgages. But I guess sometimes people are doing it. Mm-Hmm. But these programs, they actually can help people save on their on that CMHC premium that they have to pay by doing an audit. So in the first part that I come in there, and if the audit is if, if, if the house is rated under 200 gigajoule, they’re not waste, they’re not wasting too much and they save 20 gigajoule per year, then they get a 15 percent premium refund. If their house is over 200 gigajoule and they say 45 gigajoule, then they can save 25 percent on the refund on that CMHC program. So it’s not something that everybody does or knows about. It’s not really the driving force between why I get calls, because truthfully, we’re just pretty busy in general from contractors that are call us and say, Oh, I have a customer that needs a new furnace. I have a customer. I have another colleague that’s more with insulation contractors and I have a. So those types of calls come in and we deal with them. So in terms of our sort of marketing and talking to people, usually these are the people that look for the CMHC financing are usually finding those programs themselves and then they’re contacting Enter, Test or myself and saying, Okay, can you do the audit for us? So it’s interesting.
Erwin Szeto [00:37:38] Is there a time limit on the CMHC or any of these? Yes. Time was like there even before. As long as you get them before your say, I say I got a CMHC mortgage. I think I have one in this house; say I bought the house four years ago and I still have. I’m still paying CMHC premiums. That’s you can come to the pre inspection now, even though that
Nick Crosby [00:38:00] that’s a very good question. And I don’t I’d have to get back to you. I’ve never had that. Never had anybody think of it from that perspective. Typically, they’re going into the house. They’ve actually paid the premium. So I imagine that, yes, these renovations help them reduce it. So that’s why it is interesting. I think pretty
Erwin Szeto [00:38:17] ruinous.
Nick Crosby [00:38:19] And the furnace furnaces are big, especially if you’re furnaces. This is very important, I think anyway, if you can recognize if you’re furnaces out of a chimney, if you know it’s generally a combustion furnace, which means that it’s probably has a rating, it’s probably about 80 percent efficient. Oh yeah, mine. Probably due for an upgrade.
Erwin Szeto [00:38:40] Oh yeah, I mean, mine’s got the steel ducting and you know, yeah, the steel. But that’s not high efficiency or mid efficiency. It’s a bit older than that. It’s near the its last legs. It’s over 20 years, I believe.
Nick Crosby [00:38:51] So you see that type of furnace, you know that you’re kind of due for a new furnace. And now you know that generally you can get a thousand dollars off. And what we’ll find is a lot of you’ll see that there’s the furnace. People will market this program and say, Oh, you’re going to get a thousand dollars off in your furnace. We can might be able to get their ceiling, but we can definitely change a window for you as well. And that might cost you $500 dollars, but you’re still going to get $750 back net for. The program, and that’s sort of the way they’ll do it, you’ll also see signs along highways or you’ll get your attic installation done, attic insulation with our programs. We don’t always like today. I went up in an attic and they had too much. The house was built in the 1990s. They had R32. We won’t be able to provide an incentive or a rebate for that because they had too much insulation. They could still go to green on. I told I told the woman that she could still get a more insulation. Take a look at my report. Decide whether or not you want to get. You want to spend the money if you do go to green on because we’re not going to be dealing with insulation. But, but you know, you do. She was getting a new furnace and there was, you know, she could. She was eligible to get a change of window, for instance, to get into the program. So it’s still appealing to her. Very cool. But, you know, looking at those old furnaces, those are great and especially with the CMHC, because the furnace again going back to. The other post on it that I did today, she didn’t change her phone, in fairness. That was the second audit as opposed to audit. But the house was rated around two hundred. The insulation would have brought the doing some spray foam insulation on the main floor and on the upper floor with some roof spray foam insulation. Going to R31 would bring her down around 10 percent. Some windows got her the extra percentage that she needed to get the amount for the audit. This was a performance based 2017 audit. She was able to have had she done the furnace, it would have saved her 20 percent on her energy bill, so she would have brought her rating down from another 40 points. So going back to that CMHC, she would be if she had a high ratio mortgage and she went into this with that intention. There is an application for the CMHC program. You have to go online and apply to get into the program and then you have to do an audit and then we have to do a post on it. That’s that is. But she would have been eligible for that had that 25 percent reduction in the premium that’s paid. Mm hmm. So. But I’m just I’m not a mortgage broker, so I don’t know exactly how that part of the business, how that refund works. And they’re few and far between, to be honest with you, the CMHC. But I do think it’s an area where you know people should be looking at. Yeah. Right.
Erwin Szeto [00:42:00] You can try. We’re all taxpayers. This is not taxpayer money, right? This isn’t money coming out of thin air or from or from union or from any of these. Yeah. No, this
Nick Crosby [00:42:09] is this is money from Warren. It’s from the Green Ontario Fund. So this is money that’s being funneled through a number of funnel. I shouldn’t say funnel, but it’s
Erwin Szeto [00:42:22] it’s why we pay the high, the high hydro costs. Yeah, they were paying for it might as well get them back.
Nick Crosby [00:42:28] That’s exactly that’s exactly right. So it’s being worked back into the system for its getting taken away, but it’s getting redistributed to programs that are reducing the footprint. And that’s sort of the that’s the reason why the programs are there.
Erwin Szeto [00:42:50] Anything on, I’m sure people ask you this and you think about like Tesla, Powerwall or solar. You mentioned solar earlier.
Nick Crosby [00:42:59] Yeah. I wanted to go back to that make sense. Yes, it does. It does make sense. They’re called renewables and how we look at it. I did want to mention timeline. So before we go back to these program, my program, you need 120 days. You have four months basically to get the renovations done, the new programs twenty seventeen. It was a little bit different at the end of 2017. They were giving you till basically till the end of the year 2018. But for these programs these days since, let’s say, February, right now, if you were to get in, you have 120 days. So we would deal with renewables if we had or actually consumables. Sometimes the pool will waste a little bit of energy and sometimes we’ll see renewables. We won’t pay money out for renewables at this point. There’s no right now. We’re not part of a micro fit program, which was around. But what we will do is we’ll make a note on the reading that these that there are renewables being produced or there is a pool that or there’s deicing cables on the roof where there’s a hot tub. These things would normally take away from your rating, but we’re not going to take that away from your rating. Let’s see the rating of the two hundred and they have a pool and a hot tub. We’re just going to note that they actually have a pool that’s expected to use, you know, it is expected to hurt their rating, not if you were to do it or if they had renewables that you’re mentioning Tesla or they have, you know, they have a Tesla. Well, I’d probably write my report. I really like your car, but I. And you’re, you know, charging system. I do have some discretion. That’s what I can put in there, but I don’t. We don’t we don’t actually give them a credit on their standardized report. The report has two types of very useful columns when you look at the report and what the measurement is. One column will tell the homeowner what they’re standardized, what their what their actual house is rated at. And then the often will be different from the actual usage of the house. So often you’ll find some of these upgrades that will recommend, let’s say, a tankless water heater if they have eight people living in the house. Most houses are sticking with our program in the way that we do. It will standardize the house, which will be for two people and two adults and one child, and that will be standard consumption. So we’ll make an assumption based on the size of the furnace based on the volume of the house. And we’re going to assume, no matter what, that there’s two people living there. But I’ve had houses where there’s eight people and sometimes people get these ratings and they they’re like, My house is the most energy inefficient house on the block. It’s telling me that I’m wasting all this energy and then I’ll do the audit and everything seems to be just like, it’s like every other house on the block. And then but I find out, oh, they have a tenant in the basement. They’re using twice as much electricity, twice as much water, twice as much volume. Because they have a kitchen fan in the basement, they’re turning over the air twice. So this is what you should do, and the report will say, you’re going to get a lot of benefit. You’re going to get a lot of leverage out of using a hot water tank. You have a conventional hot water tank right now that’s 56 percent efficient. Why don’t you go with the tankless water heater you’re going to get? You’re going to get not only from your rating perspective, you’re going to save seven gig joules, but your actual money savings. You’re going to say 15 giga joules on that water tank because your household is just not going to be, it’s just going to be that much more efficient for the usage. You see what I’m getting at? Mm-Hmm. So the report the report deals with, you know, the standardized what we’ll look at for your natural. So it’s standardized. So when I do a standardized report and I have to give the report to union guys, we have to give the report to cmhc or I have to give the report to any test that standardized doesn’t change based on the occupancy, but your usage actually in their energy use can be a lot different. Right. So the other part of the report deals with the actual usage, and that’s what that can be very useful. So, you know, there are some things that can. And a lot of times we’ll go through the house and people just tell me a lot of people have done the upgrades already, but using LED LEDs, you know, changing them out. I don’t know if your investors are paying the utility bills, but it is something that homeowners tell me all the time I’ve got. I just went to all the LEDs and my I’m saving hundreds of dollars just on my electricity every year right now.
Erwin Szeto [00:47:54] So if tenants save money, that’s it’s a good thing. And it’s all of us. Saving electricity is a good thing for the world. But I want to ask you about hot water tank with hot water tanks. The reason most of us don’t go that way is it’s an issue. The initial cost is significantly higher for a tank loss versus a hot water tank.
Nick Crosby [00:48:16] Yes. And I think it’s not something that all that I push per se that, but I will put an end to a report because I think I think the customers that do it, some of them want to do it because they’re they like the fact that they’re saving energy and that they like the fact that they’re helping the environment. They do have to pay a little bit more, but they but some of them will do it because they like having hot water all the time and not running out of hot water. Mm-Hmm. Some of them, yeah, those
Erwin Szeto [00:48:48] are important things.
Nick Crosby [00:48:50] Those are important things. Some of them will look at the bill in the long run, not just look at the upfront cost and say, OK, I’m going to use this hot water tank for a long period of time, 10 years. Yeah. There are other issues as well that I run into, and some of the cons are like if you have a two story house in the bathrooms very far away, there’s you know, the water does take a while to heat up and get to the REIN is a very long run. And they do require more maintenance. Generally, you have to go in every year and have them serviced and pay somebody to flush them out and get including the coils off inside. So they’re not for everybody, but the people that have done them love them and it is there, but they usually know what they’re getting into because it’s like anything else you have to. You have to realize that, yes, there’s going to be costs associated with the brand. Are you prepared to pay for the cost? Right? But are you are you prepared to do the service to get almost a hundred percent more efficiency out of it like it is? Almost it is almost 90 percent more efficient in terms of the ratings it goes some of them go from. You can go from a 40 can typical standard conventional water tank, which is rated at a 56 efficiency to a 95 efficiency or 96 efficiency on a tankless water heater. So the hot water is not sitting there, you’re not boiling it all the time. It’s not sitting there. You just use it when you need it. And that actually is why you save energy and you also save energy because you don’t have a chimney and you’re not losing all this hot air through the metal piping as you called it, through the flus that are going through the through the house
Erwin Szeto [00:50:37] to get you into the chimney, that’s your off hand. I don’t think it is, but I checked. But nick, your friend, the energy question is there a rebate on tankless hot water heaters?
Nick Crosby [00:50:49] The rebate is $500. Oh, it’s not bad, though. It’s not bad. So that actually is. And there’s one tanked. There is. It’s more expensive, but there are some tanked water heaters out there that if they have an efficiency rating of, 80 percent are over. Then there’s also $500. One thing that we can’t do is energy auditors, as we can’t recommend contractors. We can’t say, you know, we don’t want to mention any products. We want to be objective. We want to say this is what the homeowner should do. We’re really looking at the efficiency and what you can do and then help the consumer make a good choice. Right?
Erwin Szeto [00:51:26] Good to know you do have referrals, though, because we’re always looking for referrals.
Nick Crosby [00:51:30] OK, well, I know, you know, in terms of Real Estate, no
Erwin Szeto [00:51:35] interns, no in terms of contractors, in terms of people to do the work. If I need the windows, I you know,
Nick Crosby [00:51:42] no, that’s the sad part. Unfortunately, we can’t. It’s written in their contract.
Erwin Szeto [00:51:47] It’s very we can talk it off lines. Tell me who does a good job, who doesn’t do a good job like I have. That, conversely, is my home inspector. That’s actually a really good thing. If you’re home pick, for example, like yourself in your business, you’ve seen other people’s work and like, Oh, that’s a really good job. And you see, that’s not a very good job. Who did that? OK, I’ll keep a mental note of that. So, yeah, that’s something we can bounce off of you. Have you heard of this company? Stay away. Okay, good to know.
Nick Crosby [00:52:14] Yeah, yeah. I do try and lead people in the right direction, that’s for sure that.
Erwin Szeto [00:52:21] And I think you mentioned it earlier. Do these have to be like registered contractors? They have to be part of the program in order in order for their work to qualify.
Nick Crosby [00:52:31] That’s it. That’s kind of an interesting question. They do not have to be registered contractors. It allows more flexibility. That’s why some of the heating and gas contractors that I use are very good. They won’t be they won’t be from big names, but they’ll be smaller people. They’ll be smaller guys. And they charge, you know, very, you know, the prices that I see, I see the invoices, they’ll do a good job, but they some of them won’t necessarily be able to apply for some of the rebates that are out there. So they’ll they want they want to do it through an energy auditor so they can get the rebates for their customers. They want to be able to get the furnace rebates. So. And the windows, for example. And there’s another good example. So you don’t have to use a specific contractor for windows or installation. With the green on program. You do have to use a specific contractor. And typically with windows, it’s always more expensive. It’s always more expensive because the windows are higher quality. They’re going to be sold in three windows. And it’s just you, the program, I think, you know, they are more expensive and some people want to do it on the cheap. They just want to. Some people want to put in their own insulation and they say, I’ve got this old one and a half storey. I’m going up there. I can put in the insulation. Yeah, you can. You can just go up the hatch. No problem. You can do it yourself and we’ll pay you for attic insulation for getting up to R150 $500. There’s no way out of cancelation. How many? I don’t know about you, but I see a lot of 1950s houses that have almost no insulation up there. They just heating it with this old furnace and it’s crazy. But. And you can just walk up there. They have the drop downstairs; you walk up the stairs and you can or you take a ladder you put up. You can put the bats up yourself and you can save money. Whereas if you went through a green on and I and I don’t didn’t have, I use a green on program myself. I use this program on in through Enbridge, the home energy renovation program. I use the Eco Energy Program way back in 2007 with my other built but and I’ve used both of them. So sometimes I don’t. I didn’t have enough time to do my own attic insulation. I didn’t have any interest in going up there with scratchy pink insulation. I’ve really wanting to get a in the summer, especially in the summer, and I was hoping I was hoping I would have more time, but I just didn’t have time. But green on program came around and they were paying a dollar, a square foot for internal insulation and I had rent. And with the home energy conservation program, I said, That’s great. I’m going to use them and I’m going to get it done. I don’t have to worry about it. And it worked, and I felt like I said, today there’s a lot of programs. You just have to know what works right and make sure you get into it because make sure you get the right programs, right?
Erwin Szeto [00:55:31] And that’s my job. That’s your job to figure it out.
Nick Crosby [00:55:36] That’s right. So it to that sort of the other area that we touch on, it’s not really too big, but it’s sort of like little fringe benefits. But it’s something that can help your client. I’m sure as well. But when they’re buying new appliances right now, the ISO has some incentives for a new energy star. A refrigerator would be $75 or a new washer that’s going in maybe their stack washers that are going in a tight space. If their energy star than the washer is $75, if they’re replacing it, they get rid of the old washer new one comes in. So. Those are threatening the nothing. It’s a nice little park. Yeah, it’s a nice little park. So that’s and generally it doesn’t take an hour to explain the program. When I have that program, as our discussions have been about 45 minutes, which has been nice. Generally, it takes, you know, 20 minutes or so to go through the program with somebody maybe 10 minutes on the phone when they call in and they’re excited about the program. I qualify them there. They want to do the program. Then I’ll come in and I’ll show them the fine print. Here’s the contract. This is what I’ll be doing. The fine, the fine print is there. You basically need to do two measures. That’s the key thing with my program. And usually people can do that. They’re going to be doing that it. And but I really take a perspective as well. I really want to see their energy bill go down. I want to see them save money in the long run. We do a full report and with that report, they can make a decision. What is the best thing to do? Sometimes they think they should do attic cancelation. And no, you need to do basement insulation. This is really going to help. This is going to drive your cost down. All right.
Erwin Szeto [00:57:26] So that’s it. That’s good, Nick. That’s awesome. You thought we wouldn’t have time to talk or no? So I think you would have enough to talk about.
Nick Crosby [00:57:34] No, that’s great. That’s great.
Erwin Szeto [00:57:37] Nick, how do people follow up with you if they want to reach out?
Nick Crosby [00:57:42] I guess I can leave my phone number or in my email or is it then I won’t leave my cell phone number? So probably the best way is to take a look at the website. It’s basically just a bookmark, kind of. Business card type website, yeah, it’s home energy advice Dot S.A..
Erwin Szeto [00:58:10] Yeah, I see your numbers there. Nancy, you’ve even tried to avoid the robots getting your phone number.
Nick Crosby [00:58:19] Yeah.
Erwin Szeto [00:58:21] So whom? Energy advice dossier?
Nick Crosby [00:58:24] Yeah, that’s my son coming in.
Erwin Szeto [00:58:27] No worries and surprised my kids and bargain
Nick Crosby [00:58:31] for me
Erwin Szeto [00:58:32] as far as my kids didn’t bargain. Yeah.
Nick Crosby [00:58:35] Oh, I was going to shoppers. You want to go, That’s OK. I’m getting my password for. OK, sounds good. I’m not like that stuff. OK. So he will be going to stock in tonight.
Erwin Szeto [00:58:47] You cover. You’ve covered pretty much every reason, every area. I’m looking for Chernow in terms of the whole GTA. You, Nick, you cover the whole GTA.
Nick Crosby [00:58:57] Yeah. Oh boy, I do. I try and I try and like, let’s say I’m out in St. Catharines and I’m based out of Mississauga. I try and do two or three in a day if I’m going out in my region and generally we schedule meetings that way. So let’s say I’m in, you know, Hamilton not too far. I try and stay away from the East End as much as possible, but I’ll go within an hour driving distance. Generally, sometimes. Yeah, generally I try and stay within an hour of where I live, and I try and do most of the audits you on a year during the work. Try and keep my weekends free, but often all people need it done. So sometimes I have to work on a Sunday because people need a time because they’re getting a furnace done on Monday, and they need me so. So we’re on call just like your uncle. You know, property is going to sell on a Sunday. You might need to be there. That’s just the way that’s the nature
Erwin Szeto [01:00:02] of the self-employed. The people, people who aren’t self-employed think it’s all rainbows and lollipops. Yeah, exactly. That’s actually that’s Leslie. One final point, not a final point. But uh, you know, people who do well is often because they do well because they’re willing to do what other people aren’t willing to do. Right? For example, a real estate agent? Yeah, a lot of evenings and weekends, a lot of people do not want to work evenings and weekends.
Nick Crosby [01:00:31] Right, exactly. Exactly.
Erwin Szeto [01:00:33] So, Nick, we’re running out of time. I promised you an hour. Anything you want to leave off with?
Nick Crosby [01:00:38] No, I just thank you very much for having me on. I hope people take advantage of the program and in the future, I think it’s very helpful. And thanks for having me on your show. I really appreciate it.
Erwin Szeto [01:00:48] Thank. Actually, I’m probably gonna give you a call because again, I’m doing a furnace within 12 months, so I’ll play and I’m feeling a lot of people going to contact you. And that’s why I asked you not to give it your phone number. Your cell phone number, especially phone numbers, is fine, not your cell phone number.
Nick Crosby [01:01:04] Oh yeah. So that’s super.
Erwin Szeto [01:01:07] All right. Yeah, it’s great. Thanks again, Nick.
Nick Crosby [01:01:10] OK, we’ll talk later. Thanks a lot. Participate this.
Erwin Szeto [01:01:23] Are you going to go to the Greater Toronto Hamilton area? Are you interested in earning extra income in your sleep without getting calls from tenants or unplugging toilets? And please join us live and in person at the Halton Real Estate Investors Group meetings at the prestigious Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario. Our meetings are catered to postseason and novice investors to share and educate the fundamentals and truths about real estate investing, so you too can earn seven figure net worth. Like our guests and clients on this show, how great would it be to be financially free to take more time off a family, retire earlier and more comfortably, or even support your favorite charity? If that’s of interest to you, think it yourself on the invite list at WW W Dot Halton REI dossier slash sign up. The host of the meeting is yours truly Erwin Szeto, a four time winner of the real estate agent of the Year to investors for 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. Results are not guaranteed, but our investor clients with us since 2012 are earning over 400 percent returns on cash flowing properties, so contract sold as soon as you can due to Ontario Fire Code regulations. We can only have so many attendees and we have waitlisted in the past, so do not wait to register at www.youtube.com Halton REI Okay slash signup and I hope to see you there soon. TV.