Real Estate Finance 101 with Aaron Cameron and Adam Powadiuk of First National Financial

Houses for sale in Ottawa

Aaron and Adam are hosting this episode by themselves today as they give us insight on the world of lending. They will be focusing on five main topics: debt as an investment product, security, underwriting, why commercial loans are not a commodity, and CMHC versus conventional loans.

As the guys go through their five topics, we hear about different levels of risk tolerance that clients have and what First National thinks about when choosing where to deploy capital. We also hear Adam’s reasoning on why looking at just the interest rate a lender offers won’t provide the best experience for anyone.

Topics covered include:

  • Deploying capital on behalf of third-party institutions.
  • Why First National is strategically on the lower end of returns.
  • Three questions Aaron gets his staff to consider when making an investment.
  • Reasons why lenders spend a lot of time talking about cap rates.
  • Different types of security that lenders utilize.
  • Guarantees and their involvement in satisfying all parties.
  • Cash flow disruptions.
  • Underwriting based on if you have to take the property back.
  • The minimal room for error when using low interest rates.
  • How COVID presented great real estate buying opportunities.
  • Visibility needed into an investor’s portfolio before putting out a term sheet.
  • Why not all net worths are created equal.
  • How Adam explains to clients that they shouldn’t compare interest rate to interest rate.
  • Different structures that First National can offer.
  • Amortization extensions that can be acquired from CMHC.
  • Pari passu mortgages.

More about our hosts…..

Aaron Cameron

In 2008, Aaron began in the Canadian commercial real estate industry at First National Financial. In his journey to becoming Assistant Vice President Commercial Operations, he worked in every department in First National’s commercial division. As a lender, Aaron believes that his exposure to all asset classes, deal types, products and precedents gives him a unique perspective. For Aaron, commercial real estate is an evolving interdependence between economics and relationships. As the co-creator and host of The Commercial Real Estate Podcast, he is excited to offer a platform where real estate leaders can share their stories about how those two fundamentals intersect for them.

Adam Powadiuk

Adam started working in commercial real estate in 2010, and joined First National Financial in 2012. But his interest and passion were piqued early on in life. Growing up in a real estate family, Adam has childhood memories of walking land and touring buildings. He always knew that real estate was a viable career opportunity and a way to contribute to something tangible that affects people’s lives positively.

Prior to co-creating the podcast, Adam spent a lot of time immersed in real estate and talking about it, even outside of work. He wanted to share his love of that banter and analysis, while allowing listeners into the brightest minds in the industry.

The CRE Podcast is powered by First National.

In partnership with Canadian Real Estate Forums.

Join the REF Club and get access to all of the amazing events the CRE Podcast is hosting on the platform in 2021.


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