This week has been tough. Moving is stressful. I wish I could go on vacation–that’s a picture of me paragliding in Turkey. Add to the mix that my stolen Honda coupe still has not been recovered and I’m a visually-impaired Asian driver trying to get used to driving Dean’s big ass SUV.
We’ve purged at least 20% of our possessions. Dean has been selling shit on Craiglist, dropping off at Goodwill, and handling AT&T, cable, and other vendors and contractors. I am overseeing all the logistics of being a landlord: checking employment, rental history, putting together the contract, etc. We also need to buy a washer and dryer, change our address for all of our bills, install mailboxes (the place came without mailboxes!), remedy items from the inspection report… The list is never-ending.
We are tripping over boxes, at each others’ throats. Dean works from home so I have unreal expectations that he’ll have accomplished all these household tasks as if he’s an onsite handyman. I get upset. He complains about everything he has going on. I point to my stomach, “Yeah?! Try growing a human!”
Despite the madness, life is so good. Buying this property has secured our financial future. Here’s why.
1. It’s not our dream home.
When you go looking for your dream home, you introduce irrational emotion into the equation which leads to unrealistic offers. That perfect house is one that everyone else is eyeing too, and suddenly you find yourself in the middle of a bidding war, contemplating submitting an offer waiving all of your rights as a homeowner because you simply must have it! How many people do you know who bought their dream home, then several years later they were in foreclosure or declaring bankruptcy. We bought a 2-unit property, brand new construction, adjacent to a very busy street (it’s almost like a freeway). Zero character, zero charm.
2. It made financial sense.
I ran the numbers and drummed up every single worst case scenario, and financially, buying this home made sense no matter what. Let’s say Dean and I both lost our jobs. We could easily rent out each of the units due to its highly-coveted commutable location. With the combined rental income, we could pay the mortgage, the property taxes, and use the excess to cover the rent on another apartment in the city. Hell, we could move in with my mom and dad and pocket several thousand dollars a month.
3. We did our research.
What’s it like to be a landlord? What rent should we charge for an apartment in our location? Dean and I both have experience with renting, so doing the research wasn’t hard. Test the market. Place an advertisement or post on Craigslist and see what kind of interest you get. When we posted our ad, I had HR admins from Apple and Genentech begging to get their employees into our apartment.
Is it luck or business savvy? Chance or calculated risk? I’m very optimistic about our future and so glad that we’ve laid this groundwork for the arrival of our most precious investment (the baby) coming in May!
What decision-making criteria did you use in buying your home?
How have your real estate investments turned out?
What is the best life decision you made that helped anchor your financial future?