While Nathan Martine is trying to build a hockey career as a physical defenseman, he's also building another type of career. The Komets' third-year pro owns three properties in Guelph, Ontario, where he played junior and college hockey. He's not exactly a real estate mogel, but he has a good head start on a possible post-hockey career.
As part of playing in the Ontario Hockey League, players have money set aside for them for their future college education. Martine also had education funds set aside from his parents and grandparents, which he didn't need to use while he attended Guelph University.
"I used that money to buy my first house,'' he said. "It worked out pretty good because the market had just crashed. I got my first house pretty cheap.''
That was five years ago, and now Martine, 25, has added two more properties. He rents them through a management agency to help pay his mortgages. After his second year in school, using his extra education funds and some summer job proceeds, he bought another house.
"I just told my real estate agent to let me know if something else comes up,'' Martine said.
His real estate agent is the best friend of his defensive coach from the junior Guelph Storm. Martine's mother handles the paperwork while he's playing in the United States.
"It's an investment,'' he said. "I don't touch any of the money that is going into the properties right now, but I look at it as they are paying my mortgage off. One day when I need the money or I'm ready to sell, then I have those there waiting for me.''
Luckily, Martine said, Guelph is one of the top five quickest-growing areas in Canada. Right now, he's not looking for more investment opportunities unless something special presents itself.
"It has to be the right deal,'' he said. "The market in Guelph is going up, so it's kind of not the right time to keep buying into it. I don't want to put all my eggs in one basket. I want to have a little money to spend, too. If I keep putting $10,000 into this every other year, I get stuck without any spending money to go on a trip or something. I need more flexibility.''
Though it is an option, he's also not sure if real estate will be a career he wants after he's finished playing. It's part of being careful with his money.
"I really enjoy the whole real estate side of things, but it has to be the right situation,'' he said. "I don't want to go and be an agent in Toronto where it's just a dogfight every day. If it's possible I would love to work with this agent in Guelph and his partner and my buddy.''