Sunday, August 2, 2009

Someone Has Questions - Part II

FC said - I just read your entire blog backwards ... in sequence from newest to oldest. I would love to hear more about your background as far as being able to attain such a high net worth ... it seems like you both earn a relatively high income from your jobs/careers but also what else goes into it. I'm hoping that you can provide advice on landlording ... including how long you've owned the properties, how far apart you bought them, how did financing investment properties differ from financing primary home, what were some positive things that you've done versus some things that you would have done differently now that you are wiser, is it ever overwhelming having so much mortgage debt as a liability, how is the actual cash flow now versus a year or two ago versus what you initially planned/expected?

Rental properties:
Rental #1 was purchased in 2002 as Mr. Sam's primary home. This was Mr. Sam's first home and he purchased it with 20% down, 30 year conventional mortgage. Mr. Sam lived there from 2002-2004 when we purchased our current home together. We have been renting out this home ever since and its been our best rental property, as it has always been rented and we have always made a profit.

Rental #2 was purchased in 2004. Again we put down 20%, 30 year conventional mortgage. Rental #2 is our second best rental property. Rental #2 rents very easily but it is a tiny property so our profit is small as it is really a one person rental.

Rental #3 was purchased in 2005. Again we put down 20%, the mortgage is in my name only as Mr. Sam did not qualify to take on a third mortgage (this was before we got married and before we paid off all our non-mortgage debt in 2007). Rental #3 is our worst investment property as we bought at the height of the South Florida real estate bubble in what was an up and coming neighborhood and is now a stagnated neighborhood in disrepair (we have a foreclosure to the south and we had a foreclosure to the north which recently sold for almost nothing). Right now we are losing money on rental #3 by about $100 a month.

If I had it to do over again, I would not have bought Rental #3. We totally got sucked into the So.Fla. real estate bubble and we were greedy when we should have been scared ("Be greedy when people are scared, be scared when people are greedy").

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