Author Topic: Apartment Maintenance Technician a prerequisite to real estate investor?  (Read 2563 times)

Kaplin261

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My current job is a data center technician $38k salary I have 8 years left to work and expect to increase my salary by %10 every year

My wife is the breadwinner and makes a little over $100k with bonuses.

In 8 years my wife and I plan to buy a multi unit home/apartment. She will continue to work and I will manage and maintain it. We also plan to live in one of the units. Budget will be $500,000 and expect to follow the %1 rule. So after we take away our apartment we should have a rental income of $40k, plus not having a property manager and doing the repairs my self it should be more.

Recently MMM wrote a article about renting vs buying. It opened our minds to living in a apartment. What if I were to take a position as a Apartment Maintenance Technician making a salary of about $30k plus discounted rent. This would give some great experience for our future plans but on the downside it would be a pay cut giving us less money over time.

Has any one ever did this or have some insight on this?

FLBiker

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Re: Apartment Maintenance Technician a prerequisite to real estate investor?
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2015, 08:44:30 AM »
I like that idea!  If you're new to maintenance, you could also look into courses at local vocational / tech schools.  I took a class called like "home ownership" when we bought our place -- it was 3 hours once a week for 8 weeks, might have cost ~$125.  We did basics like patching drywall, installing electrical switches, rebuilding a toilet.  It was really helpful for me.

mlejw6

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Re: Apartment Maintenance Technician a prerequisite to real estate investor?
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2015, 09:25:29 AM »
Two questions:

A) If you don't have the experience to do maintenance, how would you get hired at an apartment complex?

and

B) If you do have the experience to do maintenance, why bother taking a pay cut to get experience doing what you already know how to do?

Classes sound like a better option, as long as you have the funds to pay for them. You could also take side jobs for people that need repair work, which would give you experience without having to quit your day job.

Kaplin261

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Re: Apartment Maintenance Technician a prerequisite to real estate investor?
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2015, 09:38:59 AM »
Two questions:

A) If you don't have the experience to do maintenance, how would you get hired at an apartment complex?

and

B) If you do have the experience to do maintenance, why bother taking a pay cut to get experience doing what you already know how to do?

Classes sound like a better option, as long as you have the funds to pay for them. You could also take side jobs for people that need repair work, which would give you experience without having to quit your day job.

In my situation I have the experience for a position like this.

My wife's job trumps mine, she is the one with a short commute that she can bike to. However the data center I work at is 20 mile and 20 minnutes drive. Taking a job like I mentioned in my original post the commute would be 0/0 indirectly increaseing my salary by $5k and adding 3 more hours to my personal life a week.

So does sacrificeing $100k of my potential lifetime income worth the experience?

robartsd

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Re: Apartment Maintenance Technician a prerequisite to real estate investor?
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2015, 10:02:36 AM »
The elimination of commute costs and reduction of housing costs alone could make up the pay difference. Plus you gain your commute time and get to try out part of your future lifestyle. I can't see any reason you shouldn't try it.

jda1984

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Re: Apartment Maintenance Technician a prerequisite to real estate investor?
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2015, 10:04:59 AM »
If you currently have the skills to do property management I see a few valid options:

1.  Make the jump now.  You give up some earning potential, but you also find out sooner if you actually like the work in this context.
2.  Wait a few years and then switch to PM to get a few years under your belt before you go out on your own.  You give up less earning potential, but if you find you don't like it, it will be harder to switch your plans so close to FIRE.
3.  Consider a PM company to handle the management and you do the repairs (if you want).  You can pick and choose to some extent what you do and when and have the PM company coordinate what you don't want to do.  It will likely cut into your profit some, but they might be able to get you higher rents.  This is particularly useful if you plan to travel.

mlejw6

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Re: Apartment Maintenance Technician a prerequisite to real estate investor?
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2015, 10:08:40 AM »
I think it's all up to you. If you value a no commute job, take the maintenance job. If you prefer to have more money for FIRE, stay with what you have now.

But, make sure to do all the calculations to see whether your commuting expenses and everything that goes with them might offset the gains from the higher paying job. For example - would you be able to get rid of a car if you go with the no commute job?

Kaplin261

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Re: Apartment Maintenance Technician a prerequisite to real estate investor?
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2015, 10:12:32 AM »
I think it's all up to you. If you value a no commute job, take the maintenance job. If you prefer to have more money for FIRE, stay with what you have now.

But, make sure to do all the calculations to see whether your commuting expenses and everything that goes with them might offset the gains from the higher paying job. For example - would you be able to get rid of a car if you go with the no commute job?

%10 yr | 3% yr
1 38000|1 35000
2 41800|2 36050
3 45980|3 37131
4 50578|4 38245
5 55635|5 39392
6 61199|6 40574
7 67319|7 41791
8 74051|8 43045

Total $434562|Total $311228

But the time added each week with not having a commute could be used for income boosting activity's.

Kroaler

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Re: Apartment Maintenance Technician a prerequisite to real estate investor?
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2015, 01:55:49 AM »
I want to get my feet into real estate investing, but I don't know alot about house construction, or repair cost, or rehab project time estimations. I've recently started volunteering with habitat for humanity and I feel like I have exponentially raised my knowledge and confidence for housing repairs. Also I now have the ability to estimate repair times and cost much better then before.

I read the idea somewhere. It's free also and at my location there seems to be alot of great people that show up.