Getting In On The Market

Helping aspiring homeowners get their foot in the door

It’s been said that “money makes the world go ‘round” — and while we all know that there are so many more meaningful things in life to aspire to, if you don’t have the capital to invest in a home that you long for, it can be a problem.

Enter Shaminder and Jasneet Gogna. The stylish young couple who dreamed up a real estate concept that would not only help troubled land- owners capitalize on their properties,, but also help aspiring homeowners get their foot in the door of a housing market that’s’s becoming tougher all the time. Condoville is the name of their real estate brainchild — a company responsible for designing condos for everyone from students to empty nesters. With pricing as low as $289,,000 per unit in a variety of locations outside the Greater Toronto Area (GTA),, the couple say they’’re trying to make money for people while affording them the pleasure of owning real estate.

Living Luxe: How did the idea for Condoville begin to germinate?

Shaminder Gogna: When I did my MBA in Kitchener-Waterloo,, I found there were markets other than the GTA that were excellent investment opportunities. After I graduated and got home to Toronto, I kept thinking that real estate investment shouldn’t only be for multimillionaires — and that maybe we should engage with the average income household who has 2.2 kids and live in the suburbs. The only way that we would be able to offer products that would fit into the average family’s’s budget would be to go outside of the GTA. So, we started working with builders and developers in Kitchener-Waterloo, London,, Hamilton and Niagara Falls. At the time, those markets were affordable for the average household to put their money into the market. Ten years ago, we were buying condos for as low as $179,900.

LL: How great that you gave people the opportunity to get into the market and benefit from it in the long run.
SG: ThThat was our objective: To get as many people as possible into real estate,, because real estate is a fantastic investment. And if you can diversify your portfolio, maybe your kids will capitalize on you having a condo in a secondary market one day.

LL: So the concept is that you invest in land, then contract the builders and then start selling the condos?
SG: We really started doing that in 2020,, but between 2013 and 2019,, we were going into the market and trying to figure out how to get the average household into investing in the real estate market. And without that experience,, we wouldn’’t have been able to go to a landowner and say,, “Hey,, I don’’t think that you should be building 1,200-square-foot, one-bedroom units because of the high maintenance fees alone. A young professional can’t afford maintenance fees of $80,000 a month. “Its absolutely building smarter – smarter buildings and smarter layouts.

LL: Is there a specific age demographic you feel like you’re especially catering to?
SG: Our friends are in their mid-20s to late-30s. And while a condo might not be in the exact location of their dreams,, investing in one gets them into the market and with a little patience, they can build their equity and eventually get into the location they ultimately want.

LL:What does someone have to keep in mind if they are going to invest in a condo in a university town?
SG: For families who have kids, one of the things that we’ve been saying to people is, “Look — your daughter is 13 or 14 years old and she wants to be an engineer. Let’s buy you a condo in Waterloo. We’ll rent it out to you because condos near universities rent well,, and then hopefully when your daughter wants to go to Waterloo for its engineering program,, she has a place to stay! Not only are you building equity from the market appreciation, but someone is also paying off your mortgage while the suite is rented,, and you won’t be paying rent for four years when your daughter gets accepted to her program of choice. As your daughter graduates, you gift the condo, and now all of a sudden, your daughter is in the real estate market and you’re happy because you’ve created wealth.

LL: What gives you joy about this business?
SG: Well,, we know that the purchaser is going to generate wealth,, so there’s plenty of joy in that. We’ve helped a lot of people enter the market and that initial purchase has propelled them to purchase their dream home.