I Quit My Job to be a Landlord

CountDownChartThat’s right, I quit my job to be a landlord.  Are you prepared to give up your job and be financially independent?

It takes more than just a vision of what it is like to be financially independent.  For me, I was planning on this for several years.  And when you have a goal in mind, you shoot for the goal.  The problem comes when the goal is near at hand, sort of like when a dog is chasing a car.  Pretty soon, you catch the car.

So here is what went through my mind in deciding the day, how the time went by, and what I gave up.

Continue reading

How to Replace a Garage Door Spring

20160629_175636A garage door needs a garage door spring, either a torsion or an extension spring, to help you lift the weight of the garage door.  Even the most heavy-duty garage door opener cannot match the lightest garage door and power the door up to the top to allow you to get out of the garage.

When a garage door spring breaks, you are stuck either in, or out of, your garage.  You can pull the manual door release, but you are still obligated to lift a garage door that could be as much as 300+ pounds.  It is no small task, and a renter doesn’t want to do it.  Nor should they have to.  And they may need to get their car out of the garage to go to work, to get you your rent.

I recently had to replace a garage door spring in two different units recently, here is what I was able to do.

Continue reading

Why Real Estate Investors Fail

Why Real Estate Investors FailI get asked all the time by potential real estate investors how much they should invest in a rental.  They do not want to be a line item on the “Why Real Estate Investors Fail” sheet.  Some want to take a 401K loan out.  Some want to bypass their 401K contributions to save money for real estate investment.  For some reason, saving money seems to be difficult for many potential investors.

I say, do not do anything that may run you short of capital for your own life.  Make sure your own life is secure, before you risk it all.

Here are some thoughts that I have written down.

Continue reading

How to Paint a Rental Property

Paint a Rental PropertyOne of the ways I am able to turn an apartment so fast, is the way I have my painting method set up.  I know how to paint a rental property, and paint it efficiently and fast.   When I first started with my rental properties, I hated painting.  I hired a guy to paint for $20 an hour, and it would take him a week to paint.  I now paint an entire apartment, in about 16 hours, including the trim.  Often even less.

If you are afraid of painting, or just do not like it, fear not.  It is not that hard.  Here are some tips for landlords, and even home owners, to help make the job easier.

Here is how I am able to do it quickly and efficiently.

Continue reading

How to get out of poverty – My Formative Years

ShackI did not start off as a rich kid, far from it.  You could say I started in poverty.  As a kid growing up, my mother and father were divorced when I was seven.  That was in 1967 or so, and women in the US were just starting to begin working careers.  Few women at that time worked outside the home.  Divorcees could be discriminated against, and credit could be denied to divorcees.  It was not an easy life for a single mom.

So how did I wind up being financially independent?

Continue reading

Remodel On A Rental Property

DSC03956I am in the middle of a somewhat major remodel on a rental property.  It will require a few thousand dollars to get it back in shape.  The renter was not too bad, and they lived there for over six years.  They had good income, always paid on time, and left with proper notice.  Unfortunately, they were big-time slobs.

Although I was not able to show the unit while they were in there, as it was a bit messy, I was able to rent it for June 1st.  I rented it at a price $100 more to tenants without a pet, than the previous tenants rent that included a $25 pet fee.

Here is what I am doing to the property to turn it and prepare for future rentals.

Continue reading

How to Purchase Rental Property at a Discount

DealA few months ago, I wrote a piece about another investment property purchase I was considering.  If you want to make money as a landlord in real estate, you must be able to purchase rental property at a discount.  As it turned out, that property never materialized, probably for the best.  I was going to be a partner on a $1.4M property, put up $100K+, and be a partner on a $1M loan.  I did not want to get stuck on a large loan, with limited mechanisms to get out.

As it turns out, all good things come to those who wait.  Here is a recap of my recent investment property purchase.  Remember, if you buy via the MLS, you are probably paying too much.

Continue reading

Rental Cash Flow February 2016 – March 2016

Rental Cash FlowMy rental cash flow and rent collections for March 2016 went very well.  All but one was collected by 3/5, although I did have more difficulty than in previous months.  One renter still needs to pay an additional $150, which will be paid on 3/18.

When a renter need to make the rent payments in multiple days, make sure you get a sizable chunk at the first of the month.  Do not let a renter pay on the 15th, and more on the 25th.  At some point, you will be evicting, and you will be a month behind.

I had another renter that may be an issue, and some vacancies coming up.  The month  was not as smooth as previous months, here is how the rental cash flow went…

Continue reading

Financial Independence Interview for EvenStevenMoney

interviewI had the pleasure of being interviewed for a financial independence interview for blog called Even Steven Money.  As I have done a few of them in the past, for other blogs, I find that they are always a great inflection of my own goals.

The questions make you think and put down some thoughts on paper.  The interviews become part of your permanent “internet record” that you (and others..) can look back on and reflect.

In this interview, I go through some of my background, financial independence goals, motivations, and some random thoughts.  As I wrote the answers to the interview, it did remind me of some of my past.  I have some a long way from my start, just a kid that always thought I would wind up in jail at some point.  (For the record, I have never been in a jail cell except for on a jail tour.  Getting bailed out before you get put into a cell doesn’t count.)

You can read my full interview here

Let me know what you think of the interview?  I may post more about my background in a future post, stay tuned.


How to Fix a Range Heating Element

Range ElementThis article is about how to fix a range heating element, but it is really about more than that.  It is about maximizing your existing revenue stream.  Making the most of what you have available to you.

When you own rental property out of state, you are at the mercy of everyone.  You need someone to respond to calls, you need someone to fix minor things, you need someone to drive by the property periodically, etc.  Every one of these events takes time and money.  Your money.  Your retirement and financial independence money.

This is a recent situation that happened to me.

Continue reading