Often times I actually feel for home when I drive by. I know that is kind of weird, but I have push to do something and its not about the money and how much I can make off of flipping it or renting it. It’s a genuine sympathy for that house. Either it’s old and needs just some love here in there or it just needs some attention, like a family that cares. I also think about the neighborhood, often times these homes are eye sores and they have a way of bringing the whole area down.
I found when I bought houses in distress and fixed them up it made me feel like I was bringing more to the cause than just my own gain. It really felt rewarding when the neighbors would come over and thank me for what I had done. I have to admit at the time I purchased the house I wasn’t looking to save the world, but in the end there was this bonus that I never even thought about at the time.
So remember when you are looking to invest in one of these homes either for yourself to live in or as a rental property. There is more of a reward than just your own pocket book, you really bring more than you might think. Chalk up another reason to get involved in rentals or property investing.
It was September 11, 2001 and a lady was sitting behind me on the bus and she kept mumbling with no expression things like, ” ….a plane flew into the world trade center…” every one on the bus kept looking at her thinking she was another crazy loon on the bus in Portland. As I walked to the World Trade Center Portland, Or, heading to my work , a co-worker of mine was running out with an urgent expression on his face.
“Turn around Mike, turn around, they bombed the World Trade Center”, at first I thought he was referring to our building, I worked at the World Trade Center (Portland, Or). I quickly turned back to the bus and went home mumbling, ” I don’t understand, what is happening”.
The events and impact of that day started to impact my life right a way. My employer at the time, Enron, imploded under the stock market crash and scandal and I felt like my job and the world were falling apart.
I had to make a change and a big one, so I didn’t wait around for Enron to let me go. I received a tip from a co-worker about a job in Santa Clara, CA so I interviewed and talked to my wife and decided to take the plunge. The prices in CA were through the roof so we had no plans on buying a home in CA, we would have to rent an apartment. At the same time we had to decide what to do with the house we were living in, do we sell it? We just bought it and the market wasn’t that great. Yes folks this was the moment when it was official, I am now a landlord……. yikes what I do now?
Did I mention my wife was pregnant when all this was going on? We had plenty of worries and fears going into this huge step for us. It was one of those life moments that we all encounter and sometimes you just have to bight the bullet and do what you feel is best. Even though it was harder at the time to rent out our house we decided to do what was best for our long term financial future. I was not an expert back then on real estate, but I knew that long term, a portfolio is much better off holding hard assets with cash flow, something my employer Enron never really understood, but that is a whole different story.
I would be interested in hearing similar stories. If you have a story about how you went form happy home owner to real estate investor/landlord it would be great to hear it. Please leave a comment.