Are you a reluctant landlord?
Are you renting out a house – or two – because the market was soft and selling would have been too costly?
Or, maybe you’ve been thinking about real estate, but shy away because the financial risks and headaches seem too steep.
Our guest on this episode of the Midday Money Show runs a website dedicated to just that issue – ReluctantLandlord.net. Elizabeth Colegrove and her husband manage 8 properties across 3 states and she’s doing so profitably.
Elizabeth peaked my interest because she is intentionally using debt to grow her net worth. That’s a very different position than many of us find ourselves in – using debt to expand our lifestyles. To date, she has over $1 million dollars in debt on the 8 properties, but this 20-something investor says that’s all a part of her master plan. That plan is to be financially independent by the time her husband retires from the military.
I would be remiss if I didn’t add my caveat that becoming debt free should still be the first priority before taking on investment property. Focusing your available cash on eliminating consumer debt will help you create the much needed traction to accomplish your debt free goals. Trust me, dealing with the ups and downs of being a landlord will be much easier without the burden of managing extra debt.
Elizabeth provides a clear example of why debt freedom is essential.
It’s harder to raise the cash necessary for investing – even the minimum 20% down payment – if your disposable income is distracted – perpetuating a lifestyle myth.
I love the idea of investing. Residential real estate is an investment category I fully understand – so I like it. It’s not for everyone, but it’s also not rocket science.
There are stresses associated with being a landlord.
- Your tenants may have fist fights that result in broken glass in the lobby. True story.
- Your tenants may not pay their rent for months at a time. Another true story.
- The leaky radiator (a very old building) might cause the ceiling below to cave in. No one’s fault. It happens.
However, owning property can be lucrative if we avoid some common missteps and learn from those who are demonstrating success. Elizabeth generously shared her system of success with us on this latest podcast episode.
Some already have rental property. For those, take notes. I picked up great tips from listening to Elizabeth explain how she approaches real estate investing and manages it like a business.
For those considering real estate for investment purposes, her advice will be great food for thought. I love that she and her hubby live frugally in other areas so they can concentrate on growing their real estate empire.
Topics Covered in This Episode
- Tenant management policies to avoid stresses that make owning real estate a headache.
- The highly detailed, 18 page lease that keeps routine management under 6 hours per week when dealing with tenants. repairs, and turnover from a distance.
- How Elizabeth selects new properties to invest in.
- One fabulous idea that cuts down on routine calls for minor repairs – every landlord will want to hear this!
“I’ve found that actually treating it like a business and holding people’s feet to the fire and having rules actually made people respect me and my house more.” ~ Elizabeth Colegrove