Rental Properties – Are They a Curse or a Blessing?

are rental properties a smart investment

“You’re going to buy a rental property??” …my broke friend exclaimed. “I had a buddy that tried that… The tenants didn’t pay the rent, they trashed the home completely, and he lost tens of thousands of dollars. You won’t see me buying a rental property any time soon.”

More often than not, this was what I heard from people when I let them in on my investment plans a few years back. It wasn’t very encouraging to say the least…and it honestly took some of the air out of my sail for a while…

Are Rental Properties a Smart Investment?

Ignoring all of the “wise advice” from my friends and neighbors, I went ahead and bought a rental place anyway.

So what’s the verdict? Has land-lording been a complete nightmare? Has my rental house been burned to the ground? Or are all of my friends just complete idiots that knew . . . → Read More: Rental Properties – Are They a Curse or a Blessing?

Interest Rates Are Going Up, Should You Refinance Your Mortgage?

“If I refinance my house today, I could save an entire percentage point in interest! It’s a no-brainer, right?!”

Ummm…not necessarily….

Just because you can save 1% on something doesn’t automatically mean it’s a good idea, ESPECIALLY when there’s an up-front cost of doing it.

Should You Refinance Your Mortgage?

Just a few months ago, rates for a 15-year and 30-year mortgage were 2.7% and 3.4%, respectively. Today, since the Fed has decided to raise the interest rates, mortgage rates have followed suit and stand at 3.18% and 3.95%.

So the big question is: With mortgage rates on the rise, should you refinance your mortgage?

Well, just like almost every decision in this world….it depends….

How Much Does It Cost to Refinance Your Mortgage?

So many people go into a mortgage refinance completely blind. They know they can save on interest and that it’s probably the right thing to . . . → Read More: Interest Rates Are Going Up, Should You Refinance Your Mortgage?

Buying a House? What Type of Mortgage Loans Are Best?

types of mortgage loans

Buying your first home can be an exciting time. You’ll read up which are the best parts of town to live. You’ll check the styles of homes available. And then you’ll start comparing prices and checking mortgage rates. Sounds simple, right? Just find your dream home and sign for a mortgage…

What Type of Mortgage Loans Are Best?

But buying a home is a huge investment. Mortgages may seem like a simple concept, but there is much more to them than most realize. Will you apply for a fixed or adjustable-rate? Is an FHA loan right for you? Is there a penalty for paying off your mortgage early? These questions can be overwhelming, but picking a type of mortgage loan doesn’t have to be. To keep it simple, here are five of the top mortgage loans, complete with their pros and cons.

Fixed Rate

Fixed rate mortgages are a budget . . . → Read More: Buying a House? What Type of Mortgage Loans Are Best?

How to Pay Off Your Mortgage in 5 Years or Less!

pay off your mortgage

“How long have you been living in the area?” asked the dental assistant. “Well, I’m officially making my last mortgage payment this month,” the grinning male patient responded. “Oh! So you’ve been here for 30 years, wow!”

This interaction seriously made me throw up a little. Debt has become such a normalcy in our society that people are starting to mark their live’s events by it!

(FYI, the norm wasn’t always a 30 year mortgage. People used to take out short term loans from the bank to pay for their homes, and then they paid cash for upgrades and increase acreage as they went along.)

I don’t know about you, but when people ask me about my life, I want to tell them about my kids, my travels, my experiences. NOT my long-term debts.

How to Pay Off Your Mortgage in 5 Years or Less

I started paying off my . . . → Read More: How to Pay Off Your Mortgage in 5 Years or Less!

How to Get Completely Debt Free by 30

completely debt free

ÒI graduated from college at the age of 23 and was worth -$10,000. Over the next 7 years, I married, divorced, remarried, and still came out completely debt free (including the house) by the time I turned 30.

How the heck did I do that?

How to Get Completely Debt Free by 30

I honestly didn’t think I was doing anything that spectacular at the time. Sure, I was a little more aggressive than most, but was I super-human in my efforts to pay off my student loans, my credit cards, and my house? Nope. Absolutely anyone could have done what I did over those seven years.

Looking back, I attribute my financial success to the following reasons – all of which you can implement and use for your success as well!

1) I Got Scared

Everything was new. We just recently graduated, found an apartment, and were living on . . . → Read More: How to Get Completely Debt Free by 30

One Profound Tip to Survive in High Rent Areas

survive in high rent areas

Do you live in New York? Boston? San Francisco? Maybe Miami? If you live in a high cost-of-living area, getting by can seem tough, let alone paying down debt or getting ahead financially (like I always harp on you to do).

If you’re struggling to pay the rent and can’t possibly comprehend saving money at the end of each month, maybe it’s time to take a different approach.

How to Survive in High Rent Areas

What if, instead of living in a miniature 350 square foot, one bedroom apartment, you rented a bigger place and shared it with a few other folks?

I know, I know. At first it doesn’t sound ideal at all, but what if I told you that you could save nearly a thousand bucks a month on rent? Do you realize the impact that this could have on your debt snowball? It’s at least worth taking . . . → Read More: One Profound Tip to Survive in High Rent Areas

We Bought a Rental House With Cash – One Year in Review

On November 30th, 2015, we closed on our very first rental property – a 3 bedroom, one bath home in a nearby neighborhood. The pipes we corroded, the kitchen was a disaster, and the hardwood floors all needed refinishing (which I have of course never done in my life).

It was a big project, but we were starry eyed with the investment possibilities. After all, we had the cash for a complete purchase and figured that 100% of the rent checks would go directly in our pockets.

Were we a little naive?

Of course.

But we all get a little naive with excitement, don’t we?

Related: Our Offer Was Accepted. Let the Rental Games Begin!

We Bought a Rental House With Cash

You may be thinking, “How in the world did you buy this rental house with cash??”

Long story short:

I hate debt. It makes me nervous, angry, . . . → Read More: We Bought a Rental House With Cash – One Year in Review

The Rental Property Wealth Calculator: Your Path to Millionaire Status

Rental Property Wealth Calculator

Do you have a passion for real estate? Have you ever wondered how fast your rental empire could grow? And how quickly you’d become wealthy?

I’ve spent quite a few nights trying to figure out over the years:

When we’ll have enough money to buy the next rental How much we’ll earn from year to year And how much our net worth will grow as I acquire more and more rentals

Pretty much I always ended up with a notebook page filled with scribbles and cross-outs, and a very vague sense of how everything would play out with the rentals 10+ years from today.

Finally, I decided that I’ve had enough with my rough estimations! It was time to figure out all of the details exactly. So you probably know what that means! It was time to build another Excel-based calculator! 🙂

(Interested in all the free tools I’ve . . . → Read More: The Rental Property Wealth Calculator: Your Path to Millionaire Status

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?