Realtor to the rescue

For most people, buying a home is a transaction undertaken once or twice in a lifetime.

Todd Wyatt of Rescue Realty assesses a home in Lacombe.

For most people, buying a home is a transaction undertaken once or twice in a lifetime.

Todd Wyatt is making a living at it.

The founder and president of Lacombe-based Rescue Realty said his business has purchased more than 50 properties in the past 4 1/2 years. Most of these are now being rented out.

As its name implies, Wyatt’s company specializes in buying property from people who are having difficulty selling.

They might be teetering on the brink of foreclosure, forced to liquidate as a result of a divorce, selling a house from an estate, under pressure to close a deal quickly, or simply lacking the equity to put a deal together via traditional means.

Rescue Realty buys vacant, occupied or rental homes in any condition, said Wyatt.

Often, it can make the numbers work by obtaining more favourable financing or performing renovations that improve the property’s rental value.

“We’re not out there stealing people’s houses,” stressed Wyatt. “That’s the one misnomer of this kind of business.

“We assess the home and give fair-market value.”

Financial backing comes from a network of investors. They provide the capital Rescue Realty needs to close each deal in exchange for a joint-venture interest in the property.

Investors’ payback comes from rental revenues and appreciation of property values.

“Central Alberta has a need for quality and affordable rental houses,” explained Wyatt.

Rescue Realty is also active in property development, buying old houses and replacing them with larger dwellings like duplexes and fourplexes.

It’s now also in the market for bigger multi-family properties, and even office and retail premises.

“I’d like to buy 50 apartment units this year with investor capital, and/or some commercial property — office space preferably,” said Wyatt.

With a small fleet of bright red vehicles emblazoned with its name, Rescue Realty’s local profile is on the rise.

The business was even featured in the February issue of Canadian Real Estate Magazine.

Rescue Realty got its start after Wyatt, who was an elementary school teacher in Red Deer, subdivided his lot in Lacombe and developed a duplex.

“From that point, I basically decided real estate was the way to go.”

Influencing his decision was Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter’s best-selling book Rich Dad Poor Dad. The investment guide, which advocates financial independence through real estate and other strategies, struck a chord with Wyatt.

His decision to focus on “distressed” vendors was motivated in part by Wyatt’s own experience of going through a divorce and finding himself with a house but too little equity to sell. There were already others in the business of buying houses, but he felt he could conduct himself in a more professional manner and create a positive brand.

Still, Wyatt found himself in “probably the toughest end of the real estate market, as far as deals went.” It took creativity to make sales happen, and early support from his mother Leanne Wyatt.

“My mom probably owns seven or eight properties with me.”

Another influence on the development of his business was Wyatt’s membership in Calgary-based property investment club Real Estate Investment Network. REIN has included Red Deer, Sylvan Lake and Lacombe on its list of the best Alberta communities in which to buy real estate, and Rescue Realty only deals in those markets.

Looking forward, Wyatt is contemplating licensing or franchising his business model for use elsewhere.

“It’s going to happen at some point,” he said, confirming that he’s had interest from prospective operators but has lacked the time to pursue this new opportunity.

Additional information about Rescue Realty can be obtained by emailing Wyatt at todd@rescuerealty.ca.

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Red Deer area businesses recognized at Business of the Year Awards night

“It’s an honour just to be nominated.” The popular words echoed throughout… Continue reading

Child sex offender should get 12 years: Crown prosecutor

Stuart Peter Hunt has pleaded guilty to 10 child sexual exploitation and pornography charges

Legalizing cannabis cost estimate for Red Deer just under $400k

Although the province of Alberta has announced $11.2 million for cannabis legalization,… Continue reading

WATCH: Every square tells a story: Edmonton expert is exploring Red Deer’s quilting history

Community members can bring in family heirloom quilts for documentation

WATCH: Two weeks away from Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer

In just two weeks, Ponoka’s Shayna Weir will compete with the best… Continue reading

Film with Fan Bingbing, Bruce Willis cancelled after tax case

BEIJING — The director of “Air Strike,” featuring Chinese actress Fan Bingbing,… Continue reading

Michael Buble shuts down rumours of retirement from music

LOS ANGELES — Michael Buble is shutting down rumours that he’s going… Continue reading

After Canada legalizes pot, industry eyes rest of the world

MONTREAL — Cam Battley is a top executive at one of Canada’s… Continue reading

Facebook’s election ‘war room’ takes aim at fake information

MENLO PARK, Calif. — In an otherwise innocuous part of Facebook’s expansive… Continue reading

Military to overhaul morale-boosting trips after review finds serious problems

OTTAWA — Canada’s top general is overhauling military morale-boosting tours after an… Continue reading

Police hand out a few hefty fines for allegedly violating Cannabis Act

The celebratory mood that marked the legalization of recreational cannabis lost a… Continue reading

PHOTO: Say goodbye to City Hall Park flowers

A sure sign that winter is on its way is when City… Continue reading

PHOTO: Chew On This! campaign draws attention to national poverty

Lunch bags were being handed out in front of The Hub downtown… Continue reading

Most Read