How one Calgary investor bought foreclosures for a new Airbnb Business

Our client recently bought 6 condos in one building to operate as his new Airbnb Business. This recently retired accountant crunched the numbers into a solid business plan and took action. His idea became his reality. We all have great ideas, and I’m sure you’ll have some outstanding ones today. Maybe even while you are reading this article. But few of us take action. Many of us tell others about our great ideas in the hope that they will take action and then share the success with us because it was our idea. Good luck with that!

The two main points of this article are that you have to take action yourself, and there are opportunities in Real Estate to create a business for yourself.

Our client bought 6 condos in the same building, and only a few were actual foreclosures. The other condo deals came about from our due diligence on his behalf, leading us to other motivated sellers. He now owns several similar units at the same address. And only has One Condo Board and One Condo Management Company to deal with. And a single set of Condo Documents. One set of Bylaws, One Reserve Fund Study, One Reserve Fund Budget, One Monthly Board Meeting, One Annual Board Meeting, and other unforeseen issues that may pop up from time to time.

He also gets to streamline all other costs to improve and manage his portfolio of condos at a single address. All by taking that first step after the idea popped into his head.

What’s the worst thing that could happen, and could he deal with it? That question should be at the top of everybody’s list when evaluating a great idea. The worst thing that could happen in the case of any business is to have no income for whatever reason. No income is only a problem if you have debt. No Income, No Debt, No Problem. It’s not likely you would lose 100% of the revenue potential. A solid written business plan will tell you your Break-Even point based on debt service, operating expenses and income. Once you have a Break-Even calculation, you will know when your business starts to lose money. So, the worst that could happen is you start losing money. How much could you lose, for how long and could you deal with it? Making sure you have an excellent downside cushion helps you sleep at night. On the other hand, if you have no down-side cushion, your motivation to get it right becomes very focused.

We have many clients that go into business for themselves with Real Estate in Calgary. And they all started with the first one, and the first one could be any type of property that generates income.

They took action on their idea. They focused on their goals and ignored the jealous and envious dream stealers. Taking action is taking a leap of faith in yourself. Don’t let yourself or anybody else hold you back. Get your Great Ideas down on paper, crunch the numbers, find your break-even point and decide if you can deal with the worst that can happen.

Opportunity is knocking; answer the door! We can help you!


Three important things to know when buying a foreclosure in “As Is” condition from the banks or the courts are:

  1. Buyers take all the risk
  2. Lenders typically won’t finance “As Is” properties
  3. “As Is” Includes Nothing.

Buyers take all the risk in exchange for a discount on the price.

That would be the basic premise of buying a foreclosure. The seller is, in most cases, the bank or the courts. The foreclosure sellers have not lived in the property. They have limited knowledge about the property, so they use “As Is” to offset the lack of information a traditional seller would have an offer to the buyer. It’s up to the buyer to use all their own resources to mitigate the risk. The most valuable resource for buyers of Alberta Foreclosures is an experienced real estate agent like Jerry Charlton.

Lenders Do Not Like to Mortgage “As Is” Purchases.

Mortgage lenders have two risks they lend against. One is you, the buyer, and the other is the property they get as security. Banks like to take almost zero risk in exchange for low mortgage interest rates. It’s not impossible to finance foreclosures, but it is for most people. Courts will not consider any Offers To Purchase a Foreclosure with conditions like financing or home inspection. Banks are a bit more flexible about conditions. The rule of thumb with foreclosed properties is Cash Is King. Whoever makes the best Cash Offer usually gets the property. This is where a great mortgage agent with access to many different lenders, including the traditional banks, can help you. Renting money is easy!

“As Is” Includes Nothing.

When you buy a home, you usually add into the contract the Stove, Fridge, Dishwasher, Washer, Dryer, Window Coverings, etc.  Not so with foreclosures. Again, the sellers have minimal knowledge about the property, let alone the appliances. Therefore, the sellers of foreclosed properties do not include anything in the sale. What this means to a buyer is if there is a stove, fridge, etc., in the property on the day of the “As Is” possession, then the buyer gets to keep them. If the property is vacant, the appliances usually remain. If the property is occupied, the story could have a different ending.

A real estate agent like Jerry Charlton is the most essential resource a foreclosure buyer can have. He has helped buyers and investors purchase foreclosures for almost 20 years.


In the coming months, a lot of people will be searching for Alberta Foreclosures for sale. Banks are raising interest rates on mortgages. Inflation is out of control. The stupid Russian invasion of a free country is wreaking havoc around the world. Oil prices are going through the roof. A recession is on the way and will be sending a lot of people back to the home rental market. 

So where does the smart money go in good times and bad? Real Estate that's where, just ask Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, or Jeff Bezos. Billionaires love Real Estate. You can even become a Nut Case President of The USA with the help of Real Estate!

Anyways back to Where Do You Find Alberta Foreclosures For Sale? Right here on my website, we feature all the foreclosures for sale today. New listings get added daily. We can also send you the new listings as they happen which moves you to the front of the line. Quickly evaluate the new foreclosure listings from the comfort of your email box.

But if you insist on finding foreclosures the hard way and after the smarty money has had a look, then click some of the links below to get started.

Calgary Foreclosures

Bank Owned Foreclosures

Court Ordered Foreclosures

Airdrie Foreclosures

Okotoks Foreclosures

Searching and Finding Foreclosures For Sale is just the first step in the process of buying and owning foreclosures. We are here to help you whenever you are ready. Just call, email, or even text us. 


A Few Things About Calgary Alberta Foreclosures - FAQs

What is a Judicial or Court of Queens Bench Listing in Calgary?

What a Judicial Listings is not, is a motivated seller. A Judicial Listing is a Court Ordered MLS® Listing of a property. The bank has obtained a Court Order to list the property for sale. At this point, the sellers could still catch up with the payments and end the Court Order. The Judges who evaluate all offers to purchase are more sympathetic to the people and not the banks. What that means to potential buyers is the Judges rarely if ever accept an offer below market value. They care more about the people than the banks' profit and loss statement. If no offers get accepted after a determined time limit, the court will terminate the listing and transfer the legal title to the property to the bank.

Do the banks accept low-ball offers after they get possession of the property?

No, because the banks dominate the mortgage business it would be against their best interests to accept low-ball offers. Accepting low-ball offers would knock down the price of nearby properties they also hold mortgages on. Banks would be shooting themselves in the foot if they dumped all the foreclosures on the market at once and took below-market offers. If you do see a foreclosure that was sold at what appears to be a low price - It probably needed a lot of work. So the price was fair market value. Banks control the real estate market.

If Banks and the Courts are not Motivated Sellers, Who Is?

A motivated seller is anyone that Has to Sell vs those that Want to Sell. Divorce causes a lot of forced home sales. Loss of Jobs, transfer of jobs, transfer of kids schools, bad money management, estate listings, disgruntled landlords, people tired of all the home upkeep, forced downsizing, etc. There are lots of truly Motivated Sellers willing to sell below market value for every foreclosure out there. And there are lots of people watching the new listings daily that snap up the great deals before you've had your morning coffee.

How can you tell if someone is Motivated to Sell a Calgary below market value?

Number one is you have to know general market values for the area you are looking at and the style of homes in that area. In other words, you need to do some work. There's always someone working just as hard or harder than you are to find the great deals that pop up. After a while of studying the market and viewing lots of properties, it gets easy to spot something out of the ordinary that might be an opportunity. Then you write an offer with your Realtor with the price, terms and conditions that you want!

What kind of Terms and Conditions do Motivated Calgary House Sellers want?

They want all-cash offers with no conditions or terms and quick closing dates. If you want a lower price, you shouldn't weaken your offer by adding any crazy-sounding conditions and terms. If you do need a financing condition and home inspection condition the length of time you ask for can also weaken your offer. If it's a great deal, count on the seller getting a few offers to compare against each other. Put yourself in their position.

What other signs are there that a Calgary Home Seller might be motivated?

Two people on the legal title and only one adult living in the home. Moving boxes already packed up. Deferred or ignored home maintenance. Vacant properties. Tenant Occupied Properties. The owner is on the title is a company. Neighbours look sketchy. The neighbourhood looks run down. Size no longer works. After looking at lots of properties the signs generally jump out at you.

What you really need if you want to buy a bargain property in Calgary is a seasoned Realtor® that knows what to look for and where to look on your behalf.


Get The Truth about Buying Calgary Foreclosures

Calgary Foreclosures For SaleThe flow chart below answers many questions about buying foreclosures in Alberta.

  • What is the difference between a bank-owned foreclosure and a judicial sale?
  • Can the owner stop the sale of a foreclosure?
  • What is the average sale price to list price for foreclosures in Calgary?
  • Do foreclosure sellers supply Real Property Reports and Condo Documents?
  • Are all foreclosures listed on the MLS System?
  • Are banks and courts really motivated to sell off the foreclosures cheap?
  • Are appliances included with foreclosed property sales in Calgary?
  • Can you add buyer conditions to an offer to purchase a foreclosed home?
  • Will the banks and courts give you a counteroffer if they don't like your offer?

Buying Foreclosures in Calgary is a bit different than buying a non-foreclosure. Once you understand the process you can decide for yourself if buying Calgary foreclosures is for you. 

Have a look at this foreclosure flow chart and call us to talk about any parts you want more information on.

A Guide To Buying Calgary Foreclosures


I have been in the Calgary Real Estate Industry as a licensed Realtor since 2002. Even in this brief time, we have been through a couple of big swings in the market. Every downturn in the economy brings foreclosures to the market.


Right now, we are watching the number of foreclosures start to increase slightly. We never see the real numbers because the banks and the courts slow down the process. It takes months and sometimes years before these properties become listings on the Realtors MLS® System.


In the meantime, interest, and penalty charges along with lawyer fees chip away at the homeowner’s equity until there is no equity left for the homeowner. The homeowner loses the house and has their credit ruined for years to come.


So, what can a person that is facing foreclosure do? #1 is, do not ignore the situation. Call your banker or lender and explain your situation. No News to a banker is Bad News.


But here's a couple of things we know about bankers - They DO NOT want your house; They DO NOT want the money back. If they wanted the money back, they would not have PRE-PAYMENT PENALTIES.


What they DO WANT is the RENT ON THE MONEY. They want the interest (rent on money) and no headaches.


I do not know for sure if this will work, but on a $400,000 mortgage the interest-only payment at 2.4 interest is about $800. Less than half of a standard mortgage payment that includes Interest and Principal (Equity Payments).


If I were in this situation, I would offer the bank INTEREST ONLY PAYMENTS until my situation improves and I can resume interest and principal payments.


Call your bankers ASAP if you know you might be in trouble with your mortgage and remember they do not want your house and they do not want the principal - they only want the RENT on the Money.


3 Steps in the Calgary Home Foreclosure Process

The foreclosure process starts slowly and can take a long time, sometimes years to wind its way through the legal process.

  1. The homeowner stops making mortgage payments.
  2. The Mortgage Lender demands all money owed plus extra costs and the house through the Courts.
  3. The Courts sell the house to a new owner or back to the Mortgage Lender

That is the short version of the foreclosure process in the City of Calgary. Of course, the route from #1 to #3 will take time and lots of twists and turns.

Before the first mortgage payments were missed, it has been just the homeowner and the lender involved. Now after a few mortgage payments have been missed the cast of characters starts to grow. The lenders have their lawyers ready and waiting to pounce. Appraisers and Realtors jump into the fray at some point. Couriers and secretaries, all play supporting roles. And guess whose dime they are all working on? That’s right the homeowner in default of the mortgage payments is footing the entire bill. Any equity the homeowner had in the house is being drained faster than a leaking bucket of water. As soon as the equity bucket is empty, the court sells the property back to the mortgage lender.

Then the mortgage lender sells the property to a new owner and the difference between what they sell the property for and what was owed by the previous owner could still come back to haunt the previous owner.

There’s a lot of official names for documents, process, etc. that will start to become a bit familiar. Foreclosure, Statement Of Claim, Plaintiff, Defendant, Rice Order, Order Nisi, Order For Sale, Judicial Listing, Order Confirming Sale, Title, Certificate of Lis Pendens, Conventional Mortgage, High Ratio Mortgage, Redemption Period, Equity, Law of Property Act, Default, Demand Letter, Liability, Pending Litigation, Law Suit, Legal Costs, Demand of Notice, Service Of Documents, Appraisal Value, Relief, Forced Sale, Notice of Motion, Deficiency Judgment, Vacate, Affidavit, Court Discretion, Court of Queen’s Bench, Right to Redeem, Extinguish the Foreclosure Action, Vesting Title, Encumbrances, Possession, Preservation Order, Summary Judgment, and probably quite a few more new words to add to your vocabulary.

As you can probably tell, if you’re the unlucky homeowner faced with foreclosure it can get overwhelming and messy. Seems only the lawyers processing the process are the happy ones. The Mortgage Lenders do not want your house; they just want payment for the money you rented from them to buy it. And all you want is the house.

If you find yourself in this situation, the first call you need to make is to the Mortgage Lender. They are motivated to keep you in the house and to keep the lawyers looking for other work.

The mortgage lenders will only abandon you if you abandon them. Never be afraid to pick up the phone and go meet them to discuss possible solutions that will work for everyone.

If You Are Interested In Buying Calgary Foreclosures, Call Us At 403 831 0842 – Jerry Charlton Real Estate

Data is supplied by Pillar 9™ MLS® System. Pillar 9™ is the owner of the copyright in its MLS®System. Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by Pillar 9™.
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.