Invest in Real Estate,  Long Term Rental

Thoughts From an Unexpected Landlord

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A little over this time 2 years ago, we bought our second property ever, leading to a whirlwind of investing, becoming landlords, and even home renovators. We bought our second property with the intention of moving and selling the loft where we were living in at the time (only we dragged our feet and moved out about 3 months later, and sold the loft a year later-but that’s beside the point). When we made this move, I don’t think I could have imagined how much our lives would have changed in two years, definitely for the better.
We have accumulated 6 properties, 10 units total. Four of those properties have been within the past 12 months. We have busted our asses at saving our hard-earned money, working and researching for these properties (well Mr. RRR does most of the researching and brings up half of those crazy ideas to me).
Since Mr. RRR does most of the posts about real estate, I wanted to get on here and give my two cents about it. For the most part, I let him handle most everything where real estate is concerned, from looking at the MLS to market research to screening potential tenants. Now I’m not saying I don’t know what I’m doing when it comes to real estate, I’m just saying he is the most knowledgeable, making him the expert at it. Whenever he studies something and does a bunch of research on that subject, he becomes a pro (kinda like the time when he was looking at diamonds and rings to buy before we got engaged, he could’ve been a top salesman at Tiffany’s with how much he knew).
I will try to look at Zillow or our local MLS and send him what I think are good deals, but more times than not, he’s already looked at it and decided one way or another. So because of this, I sit back, observe and soak in everything and try to be the voice of reason. We never make decisions like this without consulting with each other and having a pretty in-depth conversation. Sure, one of us can find a deal too good to pass up, but we’re not going to make a decision without talking it over because it’s a joint decision and it will impact our finances, credit and lives. 
I’m not going to lie, most of the time it’s scary to think about the risks and potential outcomes. But without risk, there’s no reward, right? When we started this journey 2 and a half years ago, I don’t think either one of us could have predicted just how much and how fast we would have this many properties on our hands. It’s not always easy. When we were renovating part of one of our duplexes, there were so many weekends where I just wanted to relax, because let’s be honest, it’s hard to have a full-time job and do these kinds of renovations on the side. But we persevered, finished the renovations and currently have it rented out.
It’s not always easy to penny pinch as much as we have, but the “sacrifices” we made weren’t making our lives any better, they were just making it more complicated and more expensive. But without cutting unnecessary things out, we wouldn’t have had as much money for down payments, doing renovations, or taking care of maintenance issues that come up in the expedited time span that we have. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. 
I wanted to give a little insight into my thoughts and viewpoints of investing and real estate. It’s definitely nerve-racking, and you can put yourself at risk if you make the wrong investment, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a leap of faith and jump onboard the real estate express. It may seem like we beat the idea of real estate to death, but it’s what we’re passionate about and it is what is helping us achieve our goals of living the life we want. If you are looking at ways to diversity your portfolio or different ways to invest your money, I suggest looking into investing in real estate. If you have no idea where to begin, take a look at our article on how to start investing in real estate.


    • Emily Lowery

      Thank you Deanna! It’s definitely been a learning process, but it does help to have someone to be able to talk to about it. Hit us up if you have any questions.

  • Caroline at Costa Rica FIRE

    Agree with you that real estate is worth looking at. We came to real estate as a way of diversifying from traditional investments but also from traditional work. Our consulting business was a time-for-money trade, and funneling some of our earnings into real estate was a way to create a separate income stream that complemented what we did day-to-day. It’s been a game-changer for us, and I’m glad it’s working out for you too!

    • Emily Lowery

      That’s great to hear that you diversified! I think it’s always safe to have multiple streams of income. Time is valuable and it sounds like real estate has helped in your journey.

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