We Just Missed a $40,000 Opportunity…and We’re NOT Letting It Happen Again

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The idea was planted in our heads over two years ago. Robert, the grandson and caretaker of the woman next door, asked us if we’d ever be interested in buying the house once his grandmother passed away.

“Of course!” I would always say. And we left it at that.

Well about three months ago, the grandmother passed on and it was my intention to speak with Robert again to affirm that I was interested in the house. But…

When he was home, I wasn’t… When he was doing yard-work outside, I was at work.

We just never seemed to connect naturally like I had hoped…

And then, he was suddenly out of the house and his mother (the actual beneficiary of the estate) was there cleaning up and moving stuff out! I decided enough was enough so I knocked on the door and introduced myself.

To make a long story . . . → Read More: We Just Missed a $40,000 Opportunity…and We’re NOT Letting It Happen Again

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?

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 . . . → 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?

Rental Income: A Headache or a Dream Come True?

Bought a Rental House with Cash

“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

Bought a Rental House with Cash

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