Author Topic: A mustachian View on Debt? 1 million dollar debt party  (Read 6228 times)

mrdebtbeard

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A mustachian View on Debt? 1 million dollar debt party
« on: August 25, 2014, 01:22:05 PM »
Hi all other than introducing myself this is my first post here. I really should post a case study of myself but before I do I had a question for you guys about debt.

First off a little background about myself, I've been in the mortgage industry for 12 years (so obviously my views on debt are going to be a little different than most) me and my wife currently own 5 4-plexes (20 units) with about 860k of mortgages. We live in one of our units (so no mortgage payment of our own) and have no other debt, we paid off the car student loans and credit cards a few years back.

All 20 units are worth about 1.1M - 1.2M, which after the debt gives us about 250k of equity, they bring in about 11k gross rental income, have a mortgage payment of about 5500 per month and I spend/lose about 3000-4000 a month on property managers, maintenance, utilities, vacancies/evictions etc. All of the properties are in low income/high crime areas so while those expenses are WAY high I learned early on to just expect that I'm going to have 2-4 tenants every month go to collection. So on average I cash flow 1500 - 2500 every month. But I'm hoping with a new property manager and cleaning out some bad tenants to bring that figure up to about 3,500.

When we bought the 4 plexes between 2009 and 2011 (great time to buy btw) we used a lot of hard money and lines of credit and god know how many refinances. Some of those hard money loans where at 12-15% for 6-9 months, but they allowed us to buy all of that real-estate with only about 10k of our own money, which was all that we had at the time. Crazy good times for me but nearly gave my wife several heart attacks over the amount of risk we where taking on. Funny side story about that at one time in the winter of 2010 we where rehabing two of the properties at the same time and had over 150k of money flow through our checking account in less than 3 months, (and my annual income that year was only about 35k for the year) it was all borrowed money to pay for the rehabs, at one time she had to write a check for $2000 of materials and just couldn't do it. We had the money in the account we had the supplies and the work was being done. But she'd written so many checks in so short a time that she just got physically ill trying to write one more check :P

Any ways back to my question (comment? Personal philosophy?)
I've read Rich Dad Poor Dad - Personal Summary : Debt is great! use as much of other peoples money as they'll give you to maximize leverage to get ahead in life.
I've read Dave Ramsey - Personal Summary : Debt is EVIL, no one should have any of it, as its a time bomb waiting to blow up your financial peace.
I've read millionaire next door - Personal summary : What's debt? save 50% of your income and after 30 years you can retire rich.

Now I've been reading a lot of the MMM blogs and obviously the 3rd book is closest to the mustachian philosophy, and clearly ramsey is on to something that consumer/credit card debt is harmful to most peoples finances (but I think its just a symptom of over spending on life). But I've always viewed debt the same way I'd view a gun. Clearly if you don't know what your doing it can kill you, and you'd never let an untrained child play with either without supervision. But why doesn't anyone talk about the fact that a well aimed gun and debt can both put food on your table if your trained with it?

Whats the generally accepted mustachian view of debt?

Oh and the reason I called this the 1 million dollar party is that I've been saying for several years that when I reach 1 million dollars of real estate debt (not counting primary residence becuae that's a liability not an asset in my books) I'm going to throw a party for my closest friends and family.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2014, 12:50:55 AM by mrdebtbeard »

Gone Fishing

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Re: A mustachian View on Debt? 1 million dollar party
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2014, 01:46:31 PM »
My rule of debt is to never finance depreciating assets.  By that rule, you pass.  My other rule is leverage is risk and cash is king when things go bad.  Do you have the liquidity to support you through another downturn?  If not, that needs to be your primary focus now that you have some assets working for you.   A lot of folks get addicted to leverage and never stop to actually put some CASH money in the bank.  Don't be one of those folks.  It sure was sad to watch those people people lose everything in the last downturn despite showing tons of equity before hand.

That being said, if you have good long term fixed rates on your debt (20+ years at <4%), I wouldn't prepay a nickle of it, I'd just start building a good index fund portfolio.

What are your long term goals for income and retirement?   

mrdebtbeard

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Re: A mustachian View on Debt? 1 million dollar party
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2014, 02:02:07 PM »
My cash reserves where a bit low last year and that's been my focus. My bench mark has been to keep about 6 months of mortgage payments liquid so 6 x 5500 or 33k. I'm sitting on about 30k right now so I figure its time to start reloading the gun.

And yes I helped contribute to the financial disaster of 2007-9 (I was writing subprime and option arm loans at the time) so I know the dangers of interest only and ARM's. All of the loans are 30 years between 3.25 and 5% so I'm satisfied there.

As for long term goals that's still nebulous for me. I know that in another 25-28 years all of these loans will be paid in full and should be cash flowing in the 25-35k a month range (depending on monthly rent appreciation of 1.5-3.5% a year) and that's great even with inflation I can of course live comfortably off of that. But I'd really like to reach those goals in less time.

Gone Fishing

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Re: A mustachian View on Debt? 1 million dollar party
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2014, 02:29:50 PM »
Reloading the gun means saving more cash, right?  With only $30k in the bank I would advise against any more property! 

There's no magic, the only way to get there faster is to make more, spend less, and invest the difference.

Sorry I'm answering a question you didn't ask, but if you are willing to post more details on your income and expenses, I'm sure the members could come up with some suggestions to improve on both.

I'd take a good look at what you have vs what you need.  Most of the folks on the forum could live quite well off of $3,500/mo.  If you can reliably net this once you make your changes in management and craft a lifestyle around $42k a year, you might be ready to kick back sooner than you thought!       

Christof

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Re: A mustachian View on Debt? 1 million dollar party
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2014, 02:34:25 PM »
Shouldn't you rather have six months of mortage payments plus costs, so 6 x 9500?

minimustache1985

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Re: A mustachian View on Debt? 1 million dollar party
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2014, 02:55:42 PM »
Shouldn't you rather have six months of mortage payments plus costs, so 6 x 9500?
I would think it prudent to have this as well, especially with the monthly costs being so high.

If you're looking to retire faster and know these units give you enough once they are paid off, I'd consider starting to pay extra on the highest interest loan, you may find in a few years with one less mortgage your cash flow is sufficient for your needs.  If you prefer liquidity then invest anything above your 6 month mark in the stock market, which should outpace your mortgage interest rates anyways, but being leveraged that much I'd be inclined to attack the 5% debt for better cash flow.

iwasjustwondering

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Re: A mustachian View on Debt? 1 million dollar party
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2014, 03:30:36 PM »
I think what you're doing is very mustachian, but waaaay too rich for my blood. 

mrdebtbeard

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Re: A mustachian View on Debt? 1 million dollar party
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2014, 04:32:13 PM »
Thanks for the reply's all,

To Christof : your right that might be wiser to keep 55k in reserve but having another 20k sitting in a checking account earning me nothing would really chap my hide. I have a 25k line of credit at about 7.5% with a 0 balance. So between the 30k in cash and that 25k line available as an additional emergency fund I sleep ok at night and don't feel I need a larger reserve.

And as for paying off the highest interest rate mortgage and snowballing I've debated it but I have a really hard time justifying investing at 5% when I think I can do better else where.

To So Close : Yes reloading the gun means piling up so cash to buy something else or invest in something.

As to my current situation ok here goes on my case study:

Let me start with a story to justify some of the bad and then I'll take the face punches.
In 2009 I spent somewhere on the order of 50k fighting a very ugly legal battle, lost my job wrecked two cars and moved to a new city with no job about 40k of debt and 5k of cash in the bank. in 2010 I think I made somewhere around 35k-40k (my head was buried in the sand and I swear to god I was suffering financial PTSD) 2011 was a bit better at about 60k, 2012 and 2013 were better at 100k and 120k respectively. But I had absolutely no control over our household spending and in all honesty it was probably somewhere on the order of 6k-8k a month I really don't know as my wife and I still had our heads buried in the sand and I was more worried about earning money and acquiring real estate and wasn't paying attention to playing defense. Which brings me to now I've made 56k YTD (on track to hit 80k) but due to some mismanagement from the owner and some family health issues with my wife's family I got promoted to being self employed and we are currently in the process of relocating to Seattle (wish me luck job hunting!)

Iím 34 and my wife is 32 we have an 18 month old daughter and are hoping for a second child soon (more about the cost of fertility treatments later)
I work in the mortgage industry most recently managing a small team of loan officers. My income has fluctuated wildly over the last 5 years and I always have to plan for that. But I can reasonably expect 80-120k a year at any position I land in Seattle.
My wife stays at home with our 18 month old, she does hold a real estate license but brings in only 4k-8k a year on deals with friends or family (although she has saved us the 3% every time weíve bought which adds up fast)

30k Cash reserves
10k spread between Lending Club and a S&P 500 index fund (.5% expense ratio if I remember correctly)
25k line of credit to borrow against in an emergency
265k of equity split pretty evenly between the 5 4-plexes, the best one has 78k the worst one has 20k
Total real estate today's value 1.1 mil total mortgages owed 835k
0 debt anywhere else
2005 ford escape we bought for 8k cash
Here's our monthly outlay:

Mortgages - $5500
    What we should be budgeting for on the rentals is
Gross in 13,000 - $1300 (10% vacancy late pay eviction  etc.) - $950 (property management 8%) - $1600 (maintenance repairs garbage etc) - $5500 mortgage = $3500 net
    What has actually been happening on the rentals over the last 2 years
Gross in 11,500 - $1800 (15% vacancy late pay eviction  etc.) - $975 (property management 10%) - $2000 (maintenance repairs garbage etc) - $5500 mortgage = $1200 - $1800 net
My numbers are a little fuzzy there as I really wasn't paying close enough attention to my prior manager. I really got active with her about 3 months ago and tried to address some of the glaring problem (the units where under rented, not enough was being collected in initial deposits and utilities where not being passed on to the tenants appropriately) This month I decided probation was over fired her and hired a larger more organized management team. This will be an area for me to manage more closely in the coming months but my new team is reassuring me that my net figure of $3500 is very achievable with conservative estimates.

The upside to all of this is that I live rent free in one of my units, I guess itís not free as it could be rented for about $825 but on my books the roof over my head puts money in my pocket every month right now. That might change soon with the relocation, but weíre going to be moving in with family for the first 2 months and are seriously looking at living with her grandparents to save them from having to pay for long term care for themselves.

Monthly budget

net flix   $8.00   
MLS/Realtor  fees   $120.00   renewal fees and monthly subscriptions
electric   $125.00   
Water   $50.00   
Groceries   $1000.00   This includes cleaning supplies and misc.
Gas   $150.00   
Auto Exspence   $100.00   Budgeted for repairs etc
Medical   $400.00   $5000 deductible we've hit every year for the past 3 years
health insurance   $380.00   
auto insurance   $50.00   Liability only, rounded up
internet   $60.00   
laundry and cleaning   $10.00   
Books   $50.00   
Games   $50.00   
Misc / Shopping   $250.00   
E-cig   $80.00    Better than smoking
Gym Membership   $100.00   
phone   $110.00   
Kids stuff   $250.00   
Pets   $250.00   2 dogs 2 cats
eating out   $250.00   
Total   $3843   


We really only started paying attention to budgeting about 3 months ago, and I know for a fact that itís actually been closer to about $4000 a month that has flowed out of our account in the last 3 months. And as I said before was likely in excess of 6-8k prior to that, I know it was excessive, we both identified it as a problem and we donít want to go digging in our finances just to dig up dirty laundry to throw at each other. Additionally last month we spent about $10,000 on fertility treatments and will need to budget about the same for 2 years from now (still better than the 20-25k we spent on fertility in 2012.

Areas weíve already identified
My eating out habit has to go, and I donít need $100 bucks a month for books and video games, the gym membership has got to go, my wife had better have everything for the baby by now (just recently swapped over to cloth diapers, going to start paying attention to buying ďcuteĒ things on amazon etc.), the pets have all been neutered now, and weíre dropping the wasteful vet insurance we where paying for. The phone is going to a $50 plan we found from one of the MMM blogs. And over the next few months this is the budget weíve agreed on:

net flix   $8.00   
MLS/Realtor  fees   $120.00   renawal fees and monthly subscriptions
electric   $125.00   
Water   $50.00   
Groceries   $750.00   This includes cleaning suplies and misc.
Gas   $150.00   
Auto Exspence   $100.00   Budgeted for repairs etc
Medical   $400.00   $5000 deductible we've hit every year for the past 3 years
health insurance   $380.00   
auto insurance   $50.00   Liability only, rounded up
internet   $60.00   
laundry and cleaning   $10.00   
Books   $25.00   
Games   $25.00   
Misc / Shopping   $50.00   
E-cig   $80.00   
Gym Membership   $0.00   
phone   $50.00   
Kids stuff   $50.00   
Pets   $50.00   
eating out   $50.00   
Total   $2,583.00   

With a little bit of fluff Iíll be satisfied if we can on average spend less than 3k a month. I donít have the fertility treatments budgeted in there for 2016. So that would add an extra 400 a month. And I donít have the OBYN and delivery costs for next year, but since Iím allowing for us to max out our $5000 deductible this year and next I think Iím good.

Assuming I can land a job at 80k a year or more and assuming a 3% a year appreciation of the real estate values (and no annual increases in rent) then this is what my next few years should look like

Income                                Annual            Monthly           Taxes      Net
Scott's Job                                $80,000.00     $6,666.67    1667      $5,000.00
bonnie                                      $4,000.00     $333.33            250              $250.00
Net Rent                               $42,097.56     $3,508.13                  $3,508.13
Principle Reduction               $22,140.00     $1,845.00          
Expected Appreciation       $33,150.00             
                  
                  
                                      $181,387.56     $12,353.13     $1,916.67    $8,758.13
                  
               Total Income   $8,758.13
               Cash Flow   $6,175.13
               Annualized Income   $105,097.56
               Annualized Cash Flow   $74,101.56
               Net Worth Increase   $129,391.56


And that's me... I hope :)
« Last Edit: August 25, 2014, 04:35:19 PM by mrdebtbeard »

Hannah

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Re: A mustachian View on Debt? 1 million dollar debt party
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2014, 09:24:34 AM »
I think your use of debt to build a real estate empire hasn't served you well so far. Not that it can't, just in your case, it hasn't; potentially because you are thinking too much about equity and not enough about cash flow.

I personally would be really nervous about carrying $1M in debt with $1500 in positive cash flow per month.

I think, in your particular case, you are extending leverage without getting incremental returns to cash flow. If you are going to reload the gun so to speak, I recommend that your next real estate purchase that actually doubles your real cash flow (as in you should be plus at least $1500 every month after all expenses are paid on your next property).

There are at least a few people on this forum with 500K plus in real estate debt, but for the most part the cash flows are something more like 8K in 3K out and such.

mrdebtbeard

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Re: A mustachian View on Debt? 1 million dollar debt party
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2014, 10:04:05 AM »
Well I have to admit when I first bought all of these I didn't realize just how much I was going to suffer from vacancies and losses. The plan was always targeted at the cash flow, the reality has been a little different.

From someone that's got 5-10k a month of cash flow how long did that take to establish? Month 1? Year 1? 15 years later?

Kaspian

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Re: A mustachian View on Debt? 1 million dollar debt party
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2014, 10:52:33 AM »
As we've seen in the past, things in the world can happen and put you underwater on a mortgage within hours.  Suddenly (even after years of payments) you owe more on a property than it's worth.  I've never heard of someone owing more on their 401K or Vanguard account than it's worth.  A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

mrdebtbeard

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Re: A mustachian View on Debt? 1 million dollar debt party
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2014, 11:02:19 AM »
Well using options or a margin account (ie. leverage) can put you upside down on a non real estate investment. The major draw to real estate is the the ROI is so much higher because of leverage. The major down side is the risk of losing a lot of money because of that same leverage. I basically got into some crazy high risk real estate because at the time I said to myself fuck it I've got nothing to lose. Because I had absolutely nothing to lose, I had no fear of failure, bankruptcy in case of failure didn't scare me. I won't say it was a sense of optimism, but having freedom from the fear of failure certainly gave me a lot of confidence.

theonethatgotaway

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Re: A mustachian View on Debt? 1 million dollar debt party
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2014, 11:17:10 AM »
You have nothing to lose? Yeah maybe when your single but I see you have kids...

mrdebtbeard

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Re: A mustachian View on Debt? 1 million dollar debt party
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2014, 12:15:11 PM »
Had... Had nothing to lose :) Remember I had just come out of a bad legal case virtually no money and a lot of debt. Now however yeah, a baby hopefully one on the way, and some decent equity I'm a little more risk averse.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: A mustachian View on Debt? 1 million dollar debt party
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2014, 02:33:41 PM »
Please tell me each of your properties is in a different geographical market. Please.

If not, consider selling the least performing one ASAP and diversifying geographically.

A nearly 100% RE strategy can work up until FIRE, but you still have to diversify.

Curious if Another Reader or arebelspy will chime in here.

Cassie

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Re: A mustachian View on Debt? 1 million dollar debt party
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2014, 02:46:51 PM »
If your properties are not cash flowing & you are losing $ every month this is not sustainable in the long run.  How do I know this?  Unfortunately been there & done that.

arebelspy

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Re: A mustachian View on Debt? 1 million dollar debt party
« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2014, 03:58:03 PM »
One of my goals in the past was to FIRE when I hit 1MM in debt.

Now it looks like I'll have substantially less debt when I FIRE due to buying more properties in cash (no mortgages), unfortunately.

As long as your smart with your leverage, it can be a great tool.

If you've been in the mortgage industry for 12 years, you've seen the boom and bust, so I'll give you enough credit to assume you're not getting in over your head.  Hard money is scary, and glancing at your numbers, your cash flow seems low for what you have.  Do it right, and it's one of the fastest paths to FIRE.  Do it wrong, and it's one of the slowest (as you have to start over at some point).  ;)
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mrdebtbeard

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Re: A mustachian View on Debt? 1 million dollar debt party
« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2014, 04:55:20 PM »
To Thegoblinchief, no right now they are all in the same city where I live. I'm honestly not too worried about that though as in Colorado Springs there are 5 military bases here and a consistently strong rental market. Top that off with some huge fires in the last few years displacing a lot of traditional home owners and incredibly low new construction and this city has many years before there's any sort of downward pressure on the rental market. I suppose the risk I run is the government shutting down most of the bases... but I don't see the Air force academy being high on the chopping block.

To cassie, they are all cash flowing just not as much as I originally planned for, nor nearly as much as I'd like. And maybe I'm overstating how bad the monthly is. There are some months where the net is in excess of 4-5k, and then there are months where I have 3 evictions at the same time and need to fix a roof and lose a thousand bucks (or a water leak or an exterior zero scape or what ever) I'd actually be more scared to only have a few units as having the 20 allows me to kinda smooth out the highs and lows.

To arebelspy, as to the boom and bust, yeah I remember 2003 I tried to buy my first few rentals on interest only no money down ARMs, I was new and it was what everyone else around me was preaching, thank god I got out bid or otherwise lost out on about 17 offers and never was able to pull the trigger (yeah 17 offers and if I remember correctly 5 accepted contracts before I bought my first house that's a story right there:). And Then again in 2006 and 07 I was looking around and wanting to buy a house but no matter how I ran the numbers I just couldn't justify it. I of course wasn't clairvoyant enough to predict the crash, but then again who was? And again in 2010 and 11 buying rentals just seemed like a no-brainer and it turned out it was, because even though I suck as a property manager and chose some of the hardest to manage properties possible I've managed to weather a whole lot of my own stupidity.

And you have to remember that when I started this, on paper I expected the gross rent to be about $13,000 - $650 for vacancies - $1000 for maintenance and $6300 for mortgages giving me an expected profit of 5k a month, and living rent free. I then asked my self could I break even and survive a 60-75% occupancy as a worst case? Turns out the numbers said I could and that's why I decided to take the risk. Most of the people that I've seen fail really spectacularly fail because they only look at the best case, I think that 2 of the 5 I own used to all be owned by one guy that filed bankruptcy and had about 20 properties go to foreclosure within a few months of each other, all of the mortgage where on notes that ballooned or adjusted around the same time and with the financial meltdown in 08 and 09 he of course couldn't refinance out of them.

So back to arebelspy, how many do you own how'd you get started and what type of properties / cashflows do you look for?

JoJoP

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Re: A mustachian View on Debt? 1 million dollar debt party
« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2014, 06:27:45 PM »
I think you can do much better with exactly what you have.  Have you analyzed what's going wrong?  3 evictions in one month seems like an awful lot or very, very bad luck.

Are your units in poor condition, and thus only attracting the worst tenants? Tenants worth having want something nice to call home.

Who is screening the applicants- you, or your property manager?  The old adage "nobody cares more about your money than you do" is very true in property management.  Do they get paid a finders fee for renting the units?   I"m a realtor and own investment property... I can tell you that the rental companies or management companies that I've seen or used all have room for improvement.  I strongly suggest you lose the manager, screen the applicants yourself, and get to know the tenants yourself. 

You should be very, very picky about who you chose to fund your financial goals (aka, rent your properties).

An area with lots of military is great news for landlords.  The demand for housing is eternally strong, your prospective tenants have a housing allowance guaranteed by their Uncle Sam; and you can contact the CO if you have an issue. 

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Re: A mustachian View on Debt? 1 million dollar debt party
« Reply #19 on: August 26, 2014, 08:04:32 PM »
With 4-plexes in low income, marginal neighborhoods, you should be shooting for 2 percent per month, not 1 percent.  With $11k in scheduled gross income (or is that what you are collecting after vacancy and collection loss??) and you paying some utilities, I would expect to see actual expenses of close to 50 percent.  Certainly 45 percent, so if you are pulling $1,500 to $2,500 a month out of these consistently, I'm a little surprised.  You definitely have insufficient reserves, I would have at least $60k set aside.  Can't fund that?  You are taking on some big risks, too much for me.

For reference, my debt load on rentals, all single family residences, is less than twice yours.  But my rent roll is almost three times yours.  And I have middle class tenants in middle class neighborhoods. 

I agree with Jill P's comments.  You need to run this ship a lot tighter.  Moving to Seattle will only compound your problems.  If you "suck at property management," I might consider selling and moving on.  There is just not enough there to risk leaving this mess in the hands of a property manager with you over 1,000 miles away.

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Re: A mustachian View on Debt? 1 million dollar debt party
« Reply #20 on: August 26, 2014, 08:36:55 PM »
So back to arebelspy, how many do you own how'd you get started and what type of properties / cashflows do you look for?

About a dozen. Got started by buying the first one.  :P   I look for a mix of properties, among various geographic markets, tenant types, etc.  My story is in other threads.

The relevant part to this thread: I currently use a lot less leverage than you (I gross $8,800 monthly with monthly mortgage payments (P&I) of just under $1,500), and I also probably see a lot less maintenance and turnover (newer SFRs).  I'd be comfortable with more risk, but the numbers also have to make sense on it, and right now they don't necessarily on my various financing opportunities, so I'm mostly buying in cash.

Read AR's post with an open mind, even if it's not what you want to hear or you initially disagree - he knows more about real estate than most of the rest of us put together and has decades of experience in the industry. 
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
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We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

Weedy Acres

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 280
Re: A mustachian View on Debt? 1 million dollar debt party
« Reply #21 on: August 26, 2014, 08:43:04 PM »
Have you been to the forums on mrlandlord.com?  I think you would find them very helpful.

lhamo

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9838
  • Location: Seattle
Re: A mustachian View on Debt? 1 million dollar debt party
« Reply #22 on: August 26, 2014, 09:25:16 PM »
With a career in a cyclical industry, a history of layoffs/quitting/bad financial luck (not sure how much of it self-induced), a SAHM, one kid on the way and another planned (that will be costly to achieve), aging relatives who may need you to be primary caretakers, etc. you have WAAAAY too high a risk level in my humble opinion.  If I were your wife I would be having nightmares of impending financial doom every night.  Admittedly I have a serious case of bag lady syndrome.  But I also rode out the financial collapse without selling any investments, doing strategic buying/rebalancing, and managed to buy a property at the very bottom of Beijing's market dip.

Other than the low cost of the properties, is there any specific reason why you are buying in low income/high crime areas?  If it were me, I'd be willing to pay more to get properties in better neighborhoods where the risks would be lower and the potential return also greater.  Declining neighborhoods can sometimes turn around, and maybe you have a good system for identifying places that will gentrify.  But they can also spiral downward quickly, and I think that is more likely in many of these cases than the opposite. 

I also agree that you could probably do a better job on the property/risk management side.  How carefully do you screen tenants?  Just because people are low income doesn't necessarily mean they are high risk.  People who have good credit ratings, solid employment history, are clearly working on improving their situation would probably be more stable than some of your flakier prospective tenants.

usmarine1975

  • Guest
Re: A mustachian View on Debt? 1 million dollar debt party
« Reply #23 on: August 26, 2014, 09:33:30 PM »
With 20 units I would expect 2-3 turnovers on a somewhat reg basis.  But not evictions.  I have 7 units to compare and I have performed maybe 5 evictions in 14 years.  Granted year one I started with 1 unit and added the 7th last year.  Need to be pickier with tenants. We don't like to but on a turn around we will let it sit empty a month to find better tenants. Evictions are far to costly.  I tried a property manager and it lasted for six months. One of the evictions I spoke of she did not want to evict but did have to file paperwork 3 times. She was excited when he paid to stay using his 401k money.  He clearly could not afford the place and sadly he trashed it.  And it took a 3 yard dumpster to unload all his trash.  We even got to watch him stroll by on a family walk on a Saturday as we sweated (we being my family) getting his junk out.  I fired the manager and now manage my own.

No one cares about my money as much as I do I have found.