My Introduction to Landlording, Trial By Fire

investment property
My First 4 plex

I am a landlord in Minnesota.  I have 24 renters, located in Eagan and West St Paul.  This is my introduction to landlording and journey….

I started as a landlord in 2000, with the acquisition of two duplexes.  One unit had tenants in it; the other three units needed a complete rehab.  I mortgaged my own home to purchase both of them.

Since I was an IT consultant, getting laid off (or not having the contract renewed) was always a possibility, but not very likely as long as you were a solid performer.  After 2+ years at the client, the year 2000 bug hit them.  My contract, and most of my peers, was terminated. I was taking out a 200K+ loan, and no income in sight.  But I was confident that I would land another contract and keep making progress.  In the meantime, I looked for several other side hustles too.

So, off I went.  Not knowing what to expect.  I have learned a lot since then, and am now ready to share the experiences. I have rented to pre-murderers, felons, and other sub-par renters.  I have also rented to airline pilots, pharmacists (legal ones), school teachers, and a whole host of other occupations.

What do I do for fun?  I work full time as a data architect at a major bank.  I have 24 rentals of my own, and manage another one for a friend. I have a Real Estate license, something I recently re-picked up.  I had one in 1983 for a while, and let it lapse. I also run a small mowing and plowing business, which I subcontract out the mowing, and physically do the plowing myself.  Six driveways and three commercial lots keep me busy after every snow storm.

My main experience to graduating to a PhD in Landlording are my rentals in a large condominium complex.  I am President of the Condo association, which is comprised of 120 units, 98% rental.  I manage the property from a tenant screening and grounds maintenance perspective.

So, I screen a LOT of tenants, over 200 per year.  I know what it takes to succeed as multifamily housing landlord.  Be a solid multifamily housing landlord, and you can succeed as a landlord anywhere!

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