Rental House or the Stock Market – Who Won So Far in 2016?

rental house or the stock market

Liz and I bought a rental house on November 30th, 2015. We fixed it up, had an open house, and landed some awesome renters that moved in on April 15th, 2016. We are now officially landlords (which still seems weird to say).

Related: How to Attract the Best Tenants for a Rental Property

So what’s the point? Why did Liz and I decide to dump $90,000 into a rental property instead of the stock market?

It’s pretty simple actually. We don’t trust the stock market at all.

The market goes up, tumbles down, it comes back again and thrives, and then all the sudden it’s down in the dirt again. Quite frankly, the market seems about as safe as jumping out of a plane with a 50 year old parachute; we might be completely safe and have the time of our lives…or we might die with nothing.

Yes, we still . . . → Read More: Rental House or the Stock Market – Who Won So Far in 2016?

Rent or Buy? What Should You Do?

rent or buy - traits of the rich house hopping

Should you rent or buy your next place? This is the age old question that many people answer incorrectly.

If you live in West Michigan (like I do), here’s the advice you’ll likely get in life:

Go to college Get good grades Snatch up your future spouse Get a solid job Stop throwing your money away in rent and buy a house

By the way, this should all be done before you’re 25 years old….

So is this advice that we should all be listening to? I’m going to go with, “Heck no” on this one Bob.

This advice might work for a few of you and you’ll be happy as clams for life. For most of us though, this just won’t work out. Some will grow unhappy with the massive debt load and others might even end up destitute!

What worked 50 years ago just doesn’t work the same . . . → Read More: Rent or Buy? What Should You Do?

Pay Off Your Mortgage Early and Become Financially Independent

pay off your mortgage early

This is a guest post from Pauline from InvestmentZen.com

You become financially independent the moment your investments yield enough money every month to cover your expenses. You can then decide to stop working and enjoy life, although most people simply decide to slow down a bit, while remaining active. If you are financially independent in your early 40s or even 50s, the perspective of laying in a hammock sipping cocktails all day long for the next 50 years is actually a bit depressing. But in order for your investments to cover your expenses that early, you need to focus on two things:

Spending less Saving more

The less money you need in order to support your lifestyle every month, the quicker you can quit your day job and focus on what is really important to you. Getting rid of your mortgage seems like a great idea in order to get . . . → Read More: Pay Off Your Mortgage Early and Become Financially Independent

How to Buy a Home on a Low Income

buy a home on a low income

In today’s economy, it’s still a buyer’s market. But many people still feel like they can’t afford to live in their own home. While it may be a good idea to rent until you are sure you can afford a home, there are so many benefits to owning your own home now. You don’t have to have a lot of money to live in your own place, and you can buy a home on a low income.

This post has been written by our regular writer, Kimberly Studdard. Enjoy!

How to Buy a Home on a Low Income

So many people just assume that they’ll rent an apartment for the rest of their lives, that there’s no other option for them. This simply isn’t true. With a little bit of savings and a bit of a cut-back in your monthly expenses, it is most certainly possible! You absolutely can buy . . . → Read More: How to Buy a Home on a Low Income

Rental Income: A Headache or a Dream Come True?

next stock market crash

“Going to be a slumlord, huh? Have fun with that!” “My brother tried that for 10 years and lost money every year.” “My uncle owned a multiplex once. All the units got trashed and he constantly had to evict people for not paying.”

For whatever reason, when I started getting excited about buying a rental property (for that oh-so-nice rental income), the above reactions are what I got from my family, friends, and co-workers. Maybe they were just trying to be helpful – trying to protect me from a future disaster – but I think there was more to it than that.

I wanted to do something great – earn a passive income, create options for my future life, and grow my net worth to huge sums! Many people have these dreams. Few people take the first step to achieving them. The “advise” I received was basically their excuse . . . → Read More: Rental Income: A Headache or a Dream Come True?

First-Time Landlording – My First Two Weeks

next stock market crash

I’ve wanted to be a landlord since I was 16 years old. I always loved the idea of owning property that would appreciate in value, and I adored the notion of someone else paying off the loans.

“Why wouldn’t everyone want to be a landlord?” – I often thought to myself.

As I grew up, I began to understand both the positives and negatives of becoming a landlord. And now that I am a landlord, I’m beginning to see the pros and cons first hand.

First-Time Landlording – My First Two Weeks

“Going to be a slum-lord huh? Have fun with that when the toilet backs up!” — Clueless Broke-Guy

I thought that I would be the envy of all of my friends. I finally had the ability to buy a rental property and I could conceivably earn money passively from anywhere! I could be taking an all-day . . . → Read More: First-Time Landlording – My First Two Weeks

The Rental House is Complete! Before and After…

Liz and I (and my Mom and Dad) have busted our butts over the last few months to transform a foreclosed house into an attractive, livable rental house. Take a look at the results below!

Dining Room

On day one, we pulled up the carpet expecting to see beautiful hardwood floors. What we actually found was an outline of hardwood, with “softwood” in the middle, and a couple of plywood boards that were covering holes in the floor…. Not great.

We hired a floor guy to patch in the holes and then we just sanded and poly’d everything else, hoping it would turn out okay. I think it looks fantastic!

Kitchen

The kitchen was an absolute disaster. It was painted multiple colors, was missing almost all the cupboard doors, and the floor was stacked with different types of laminate flooring and plywood. Not to . . . → Read More: The Rental House is Complete! Before and After…

Rental House Renovation #6: We’re Getting There!

Sanding floors, applying polyurethane, buying appliances, and installing trim….this has been my life for the past couple weeks! In my last update, I was proudly showing off my nicely sanded floors (that took me two solid weekends to complete!). Thank goodness I can finally move beyond that step. Sanding really sucked, but I have to say that it was still worth it to save $4,000.

Applying the Polyurethane

The next step (since we weren’t staining the floors) was to apply the polyurethane. This really wasn’t overly complicated, but it did take a while since we had 1,200 square feet to go over, and the dry wood made it tough to slide just right.

I took a picture of my poly job in action. As you can tell, we went with an amber tone so that the floor wouldn’t look completely raw after we were done. I really like the . . . → Read More: Rental House Renovation #6: We’re Getting There!

Saving $4,000 by Refinishing the Rental Floors Myself

The hardwood floors in this rental house are everywhere: the living room, dining room, hallway, main bedroom, the stairwell, the two upstairs bedrooms, and even the kitchen! Most of these beautiful old floors were hidden under ugly carpet and were just begging to be refinished.

The big question then became….Who was going to refinish them?

Saving $4,000 by Refinishing the Floors Myself

Well based on the title, it’s pretty obvious that I decided to throw away the $4,000 quote that I got from my floor guy and opted to tackle these hardwood floors myself.

Weekend #1

The sanding began last weekend. I rented a heavy duty drum sander from my local equipment rental shop and started in the upstairs bedroom (in case I seriously messed them up – at least it wouldn’t be plainly visible to everyone this way). That bedroom had been stained and varnished so many times, . . . → Read More: Saving $4,000 by Refinishing the Rental Floors Myself

Watching Paint Dry….Rental House Update #4

Holy paint, Batman! Who would have thought a house could suck up so many cans of this colored liquid? I’ve never done so much painting in my life, and we’re still not done!

(See all of our Rental House projects here)

Rental House Update #4

I initially wanted this project done by Christmas – well that has obviously come and gone. The new, more realistic time-frame is to have everything done by the end of February and to have a renter in the house by the end of March. Before I get too far ahead of myself again though, let’s take a look at everything we’ve done in the last few weeks (since the last update).

1) New Glass in the Windows

I’m not sure I ever mentioned it, but Fannie Mae had a very strange way of “replacing” cracked windows (I wish I took a picture of it…you can . . . → Read More: Watching Paint Dry….Rental House Update #4