Why Condos Are Bad Highest and Best Use, Triplex Conversions East of the GTA Are Good

Steve Phillips has carved a niche in real estate investing, mainly focusing on triplex conversions in the Greater Toronto Area. As an expert in his field, he advocates understanding market dynamics, implementing strategic planning, and maximizing property use to achieve a high return on investment (ROI). He emphasizes the significance of this investment strategy in multiple market conditions, showcasing its versatility. 

Why Condos Are Bad Highest And Best Use, Triplex Conversions East Of The Gta Are Good

Steve Phillips has carved a niche in real estate investing, mainly focusing on triplex conversions in the Greater Toronto Area. As an expert in his field, he advocates understanding market dynamics, implementing strategic planning, and maximizing property use to achieve a high return on investment (ROI). He emphasizes the significance of this investment strategy in multiple market conditions, showcasing its versatility. 

Phillips started his real estate journey with a focus on residential properties. However, realizing the untapped potential of multi-unit properties, particularly those east of the GTA, he shifted his focus towards triplex conversions. Over time, Phillips has completed countless conversions, providing high-quality, cost-effective housing solutions, all while securing impressive returns on his investment. 

Phillips’ strength lies in his spotting hidden opportunities in seemingly challenging situations. His expertise holds value in the face of condominiums’ popularity, presenting an alternate investment avenue for real estate enthusiasts. He points out the potential pitfalls of condos, urging investors to look beyond the established norm and consider the potential of converting underutilized properties into income-generating assets. 

For Phillips, the conversion process from a single-family home to a triplex is not incidental but rather a result of strategic planning and execution. He has mastered identifying suitable properties, ensuring compliance with zoning regulations, and managing comprehensive renovations to transform these properties into legal, functional, and attractive triplex apartments. His methodology highlights the importance of diligence, foresighted planning, and systematic execution to reap the desired profits.

Phillips is an illuminating example of financial independence achieved through real estate investing. His success in triplex conversions underpins his belief in the power and potential of this niche real estate segment. He encourages people to look beyond traditional investment methods and explore the possibility of varying real estate opportunities.

But first, if you want financing for your next investment and want to know what type of collateral may be involved, click the link below for a free strategy call with our mortgage team at LendCity to discuss your specific situation.

The Truth About Condo Investments: Exploring the Myths 

When investing in real estate, it’s imperative to distinguish between common misconceptions and the truth. Condominium investments are often hailed as a ‘sure bet,’ mainly due to their perceived affordability and reasonable maintenance efforts. However, the reality often paints a different picture. 

Common Misconceptions about Condo Investments 

  • Affordability: While the upfront costs of condos might seem low compared to single-family homes, they are frequently accompanied by recurring condo fees, unpredictable special assessments, and potentially high vacancy rates, which could negate the apparent affordability.
  • Maintenance Effort: Contrary to the common belief that condos demand less maintenance, the responsibility can often be extensive. From dealing with condo association rules and regulations to constant updates and repairs, maintenance efforts and costs can add unpredictably.
  • Value Appreciation: Condos are popularly believed to appreciate at a stable rate. However, market oversaturation and a lack of unique selling points can limit the potential for value growth.

Unveiling the Hard Truths of Condo Investing 

Steve Phillips and Erwin Szeto debunk some of these myths during their discussion. They express that a successful investment strategy requires a well-rounded understanding of the market, and simply choosing the seemingly ‘easy way out’ with condos can lead to mediocre or detrimental results. The key, they emphasize, is in leveraging assets for their ‘highest and best use.’ 

Dispelling Misconceptions: Condo Investments vs Triplex Conversions 

By comparing the ROI and potential pitfalls of condos to that of triplex conversions in the East of the GTA, it becomes clear that the latter has significant advantages. Combining housing affordability with rental yield and value appreciation potential, triplex conversions outperform condos in several respects. Steve stresses that complexity should not deter investors. Instead, one should focus on the ‘highest and best use’ of their investment.

Debunking the Myth: Why Condos Are Not the Best Investment 

In this episode of ‘The Truth About Real Estate Investing,’ host Erwin Szeto dives further into the topic with guest Steve Phillips to debunk condo investment myths. Addressing the ongoing debate, Szeto clarifies why condos may not be the most profitable choice for property investors, providing a lucid and nuanced perspective. 

The Reality of Condo Investments 

Phillips, an experienced real estate expert, offers insightful input on condos. While many enticing reasons exist for investing in condos, including low maintenance requirements and an affordably low entry point into the property market, Phillips asserts that the cons of condo investing often outweigh the apparent perks. 

  • Rising Condo Fees: Phillips notes that condo fees, a recurring expense, tend to increase over time. The unpredictability of such costs can eat into one’s return on investment.
  • Lower Price Appreciation: Compared to standalone properties, condos typically appreciate value more slowly.
  • Higher Vacancy Rates: Statistics reveal that condos generally experience a higher vacancy rate, which impacts rental income.

Toward Better Investment: Triplex Conversions 

In contrast, Phillips focuses on triplex conversions, particularly units located east of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). He discusses how these properties provide a more lucrative investment edge, particularly regarding the highest and best use. 

  • Higher Rental Income: Given the multiple units, triplex conversions typically result in higher rental income than condos.
  • Appreciation Potential: Triplex conversions have notable appreciation potential, often surpassing condos, as they are usually located in rapidly developing areas.
  • Lower Vacancy Risks: With multiple rental units, the risk of total property vacancy is significantly reduced.

In conclusion, while condos are often misunderstood as a surefire investment, Szeto and Phillips skillfully dispel this myth. They conclude by encouraging investors to explore alternative property investments, such as triplex conversions, which offer a higher return on investment. 

Understanding the Concept of Highest and Best Use 

Regarding real estate investment strategies, the concept of ‘highest and best use’ holds significant importance. Introduced by Erwin Szeto during the podcast, it refers to the probable use that results in the highest property value or net income. Evaluating an investment, according to this concept, can drastically affect the investment’s potential return on investment (ROI). 

How ‘Highest and Best Use’ Affects Investment Choices 

The highest and best use can vary significantly depending on multiple factors, including location, zoning laws, and market conditions. Essentially, the highest and best use considers what form of property will generate the most substantial profit while being legally permissible, physically possible, financially feasible, and maximally productive. 

Applying the ‘Highest and Best Use’ Concept in Real Estate Investment 

As Steve Phillips elucidates further, this principle of ‘highest and best use’ is critical when comparing condo investments with triplex conversions. “For instance,” Steve explains, “a piece of land in a prime location downtown may have a higher and best use as a commercial building rather than a single-family home.” Similarly, a property east of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) could offer more lucrative returns when converted into a triplex rather than sold as a single-unit condo, hence a better highest and best use. 

Strategizing Based on ‘Highest and Best Use’ 

Using ‘highest and best use’ analysis allows investors to strategize efficiently to yield the most substantial profits. As Steve details, examining each potential investment in light of its highest and best use can ensure one’s real estate venture won’t get tangled with underperforming assets, thus maximizing one’s investment portfolio.

Unveiling the Benefits of Triplex Conversions 

In their enlightening conversation, Erwin Szeto and Steve Phillips elucidate why triplex conversions possess excellent potential in real estate investments. The benefits of triplex conversions span various factors, each contributing to its pronounced appeal to seasoned investors. 

The Potential for High Returns 

One of the primary reasons for triplex conversions is enticing investments because of their potential for high returns. Unlike condos, whose margins are often razor-thin, Steve Phillips notes that triplex conversions can yield substantial returns. “In many cases,” says Steve, “your return on investment with a triplex conversion can far exceed what you could potentially earn with a condo.” 


Experts like Steve strongly advocate for triplex conversions due to their cost-efficiency. The cost of converting a single-family home into a triplex is significantly lower than buying several condos to achieve the same number of rental units. This cost-effectiveness allows investors to maximize their profits. 

Flexibility and Control 

‘Control’ is a word often heard in triplex conversion discussions. With a condo, you are roped into the rules and regulations of the condo association. However, with a triplex, you have far more flexibility. This flexibility allows investors to adapt their properties to market demands, translating to more significant profits.

Increased Property Value 

Triplex conversions can dramatically increase the value of a property. “When you convert a single-family home into a multi-family dwelling, it typically appreciates,” says Steve. The increased property value holds two benefits for investors: It serves as equity for future investments and brings substantial profits when planning to sell. 

Higher Cash Flow 

Triplex conversions can also result in higher cash flow compared to condos. As Steve explains, “Having multiple units in the same building means multiple income streams.” This can result in significantly higher monthly revenue. 

To summarize, it’s clear from the discussion between Erwin and Steve that triplex conversions represent a blue-chip investment opportunity in real estate investing. They offer the potential for high returns, cost-efficiency, flexibility, and increased cash flow. By understanding these advantages, investors can maximize their wealth-building potential through strategic real estate investments.

Maximizing ROI: How Triplex Conversions Beat the Condo Market 

While condos remain a popular choice among new investors due to their accessibility and perceived simplicity, veterans in the real estate sphere, like Steve Phillips, caution against taking this seemingly “easy” route. With years of expertise, Phillips proposes going off the well-trodden path and venturing into triplex conversions for financial benefits. 

Return on Investment (ROI) is a crucial metric any investor should consider before venturing into any real estate project. According to Phillips, condo investments traditionally produce a lower ROI than triplex conversions. The reason is primarily due to the costs of owning a condo, including high fees, special assessments, and restrictions on upgrades and renovations. 

Elevate Your Portfolio with Triplex Conversions 

Conversely, triplex conversions offer a distinctly different reality. Phillips stresses that these properties allow for greater control over expenses, resulting in increased profits. With the potential to set your rental rates, avoid monthly condo fees, and capitalize on the potential for increased property value, triplex conversions can often provide a higher ROI. 

Greater Long-Term Appreciation 

Another advantage of triplex conversions over condos, as pointed out by Phillips, is the potential for greater long-term appreciation. As you add value through renovations and optimize the use of the property, your property’s value will likely increase over time faster than condos in the same market. 

Favorable Lending Conditions 

While financial institutions tend to favour condos due to their “perceived” safety, Phillips points out that they increasingly recognize the value of triplex conversions. This shift results in more favourable lending conditions for investors, making triplex conversions an increasingly viable investment choice. 

Conclusively, each investor’s circumstances and preferences will shape their decision between investing in condos or attempting a triplex conversion. However, as Erwin Szeto and Steve Phillips discuss, being bold and taking a less conventional route can often lead to greater financial rewards.

Steve Phillips’ Top Strategies for Real Estate Wealth Building 

In this segment of Erwin Szeto’s ‘The Truth About Real Estate Investing,’ Steve Phillips shares his ultimate strategies for generating wealth via real estate. As an established expert in the field, Phillips’ guidance is indispensable. 

Embrace a Proactive Approach 

Steve Phillips says successful real estate investing is not a passive endeavour. Instead, Phillips stresses active engagement, thorough research, and a comprehensive understanding of market dynamics. The intention should be to anticipate opportunities and challenges rather than merely reacting to changes. 

Identify the Potential of Underutilized Properties 

Phillips emphasizes recognizing the potential of underutilized properties, such as those ripe for triplex conversions. In his experience, these properties often offer opportunities for significant profit margins with appropriate planning and execution. 

Prioritize Locations 

Location remains a critical factor in real estate investment. Phillips suggests focusing mainly on regions experiencing economic and infrastructural development East of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), like Oshawa and Hamilton. Rapid growth in these areas translates into increasing property values. 

Maintain a Long-Term Perspective 

Despite the appeal of short-term gains, Phillips encourages investors to operate with a long-term vision. He identifies real estate as a growth-oriented investment and underscores the power of compounding over time. 

Ensure Sound Financial Planning 

From his perspective, every successful investment hinges on sound financial planning. Phillips recommends neatly organized and routinely updated budgets that accommodate the requirements of ongoing property management, maintenance, and potential market fluctuations. 

Triplex Conversions Made Simple: Step-by-Step Guide to Success 

Building on his strategies, Steve Phillips shares a practical guide for moving beyond condo investments to recast underutilized properties as flourishing triplexes. It’s a course of action he’s found to be both sound and successful in his journey through real estate investment.

Triplex Conversions Made Simple: Step-by-Step Guide to Success 

In an enlightening conversation, Erwin Szeto, the host of ‘The Truth About Real Estate Investing,’ and Steve Phillips, a highly experienced and successful real estate investor, delve into the finer aspects of transforming duplex properties into triplexes. They reveal valuable insights about how this particular strategy can contribute significantly to wealth building in real estate investments, painting a comprehensive portrait for those who aim to achieve financial stability and growth. 

Understanding Triplex Conversions 

Triplex conversions are a process by which a duplex property – a building that comprises two separate dwelling units – is effortlessly converted into a triplex. This residence houses three different units. Offering a higher tenant capacity, triplexes thus naturally have the potential to generate more significant income for investors and property owners. 

Identifying the Ideal Duplex for Conversion

Not all duplexes are created equal, and Steve Phillips emphasizes this, stating that identifying the ideal duplex for conversion can make a significant difference. When considering properties, factors such as the home’s layout, the existing infrastructure to support an additional unit, and the potential for rent appreciation are vital elements to weigh thoughtfully. 

Sizing Up Costs and Predicted Returns 

Determining the conversion costs and weighing them against the predicted returns is a crucial step in the process. The overall expense will depend upon the size, condition, and layout of the house, the costs involved in establishing separate entrances and facilities for the new unit, and the cost of obtaining necessary permits and meeting prevailing building codes. Returns, meanwhile, rest heavily on rental rates in the area, vacancy rates, and demand for housing. 

Navigating Legalities and Building Codes 

Steering through legal requirements and building codes is often one of the most daunting aspects of a triplex conversion. With Steve’s guidance, investors can comprehend the importance of familiarizing themselves with their chosen area’s zoning rules and current building codes – knowledge vital for a smooth, legally compliant conversion process. 

Managing Post-Conversion Challenges 

Once a triplex conversion is complete, investors must be prepared for potential post-conversion challenges. These may include managing multiple tenants, promptly addressing maintenance needs to retain tenant satisfaction and occupancy rates, and staying on top of local regulations and legal obligations. 

Erwin Szeto and Steve Phillips conclude their discussion by encouraging individuals to take a strategic approach when investing in triplex conversions as a powerful financial vehicle, underscoring the importance of thorough market understanding, careful planning, and a robust due diligence process.

If you are ready to start investing today and want more information about how your mortgage may be secured – or are looking to apply for a mortgage today – click the link below for a free strategy call with our mortgage team at LendCity today.

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