Saturday, June 6, 2009

Here we go

So with the enormous amounts of information out there about real estate investing, landlording and all of the hype that goes with it, I thought that I'd create a live blog that documents my experiences.  This is it.  My whole purpose of the blog is to provide a true to life account of the pain in the ass and the wonderful that is real estate.  I promise that I'll share the good and the bad,  so don't be surprised to see failure in here as often as success.  In fact, the whole exercise may be nothing more than a dialog of how to lose your shirt (but I'm betting against that outcome:).  I do hope you share your own experiences and advice, as if there is anything I'd like to get out of the blog, it is a community of folks out there sharing info.

So here's my history...  I've had 1 to 2 rental properties for most of my adult life.  The first was a single wide mobile home in the small town of Cottonwood, Arizona.  We inherited this property, so it was mortgage free to start with and the cash flowed from it on a semi-regular basis.  Unfortunately it was about a 2 hour drive away, and thus we had a management company watching over it, further eroding the cash flow.  We sold it about 5 years ago, it was just becoming too much of a headache with the distance/reliability issues we were having.

The second and third properties I've owned are both houses I used to live in.  When my wife and I decided to buy a new house and move into a newer neighborhood, we simply kept the old one and began renting it out.  We've done this twice now.  Both times seem to have been a good move.  In the first case, we sold the rental within 3 years of moving out.  Those familiar with tax issues know that by having lived in the house for 2 of the last 5 years mean that we were able to sell the house and keep the money from the sale without paying capital gains tax on the money we gained from the sale.  Capital gains is generally 15%, so that's no small savings in avoiding that tax.  The more recent rental house that we moved out of just over 3 years ago is still being rented out.  We have an awesome family in there right now and a 2 year lease, so it's meeting all of our goals quite well at the moment.  I promise to cover the specifics of that home in a future post.

Now for the latest Adventure N Real Estate.  A couple of things have prompted us to make another purchase of real estate for investment (rental) purposes.  The first is that our current rental is doing quite well and having that success makes us want to continue and grow the success.  The second is the incredible deals we currently see in the market.  Real Estate prices are just very low right now.  The third is that I'm just not as busy with work right now.  My primary job is providing team building and corporate training events, and with the business climate as poor as it is right now, I'm just not selling that many events.  So my extra time turns to the real estate auctions, MLS listings and other things quite a bit.

So our current Adventure focuses on a contract that we just signed two days ago.  It is for a 1700 sq ft townhome less than 3 miles from our home.  I've probably been actively looking at properties for about 4 months now.  Both scouring the MLS and going to the occasional auctions.  This property is the best deal we've seen so far and we believe it can make a nicely profitable property.

Next time...  Why this property?