Author Topic: Reader Case Study: Which one to pay off first?  (Read 2941 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Reader Case Study: Which one to pay off first?
« on: June 07, 2014, 05:07:12 PM »
Ive been reading MMM for about a year and a half now and it has changed my life.  I am 43, live in Seattle with my wife (33), 2 year old son and a baby girl on the way in October. My goal is to spend as much time with them as possible coming up and of course I believe to best way to do that is to retire early.

I have worked in the Seattle for over 15 years.  My job makes me about 140k/year, but long hours and lots of stress have me wanting to leave it all in about 3-4 years.  That's why I would love to hear advice from any of you on the forum.  I'm not sure what would be the best move for myself and my family.

Over the last decade, as I worked, I saved my money to buy real estate and become a landlord. In 2006, I was up to 7 properties but it was too much to handle. So I sold a few before the crash and a couple after.  So, now I am at three.

In the first few months of reading MMM, I made the decision to start paying down the property loans instead of investing more in stock. The properties are located in Seattle, always rented and all have good cash flow.

1st property:
Duplex worth about $575k - owe $54k at 4% interest
(before MMM - I owed $280k! I sold some stock to make this happen and cut down on expenses -way back. Everything and anything extra I made for the last 18 months went to this property.
* the plan is to have this place free and clear by this October.
**EDIT -Rent for both sides is a combined $3800/mo.

House (primary) worth $475k - owe $253k: 2.875% /15 year
current payment is $2265 PITI

2nd House worth $460k - owe $304k: interest only (right now, I believe it's just under 3%)
current payment is $1,100 (no principal)
** EDIT - Rent is $2300 a month

So, I dont want to make this post any longer than it already is- but here is my question. My goal is to pay off all 3 properties and live off that money and quit my job.  After budgeting for taxes, repairs, insurance.  I should still be at around $75k a year in cash flow. (current family budget without house costs at $25k/year)

 So I'm curious, does anyone have any advice on what should be my next move? After October and the duplex is paid off, do I pay off my primary house next... or the 2nd rental house?  What should I be considering when making this decision? Thank you for all your advice!!!
« Last Edit: June 08, 2014, 08:42:55 AM by Jonah0021 »


  • Bristles
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Re: My next move?
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2014, 06:35:25 PM »
To be honest, I would save up the cash flow and put toward #4.  But if you want to just have the 2 rentals, I guess you move on to the 3% loan.  But if you are planning on retiring in 3 years, you may want another cash flowing property under belt.


  • Guest
Re: My next move?
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2014, 09:56:47 PM »
The interest rates on all of the the properties are good, but without cashflow information (rent) and your household budget, it's hard to give advice.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Posts: 8
Re: My next move?
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2014, 10:26:53 PM »
I added the rents to my original post if that helps.  The interest only loan on the 2nd house rental adjusts once a year. (August)

As for taking the cash flow and buying house #4 - I've been down that road and not really interested in expanding anymore.

Thank you for any and all advice!!! It means a lot.

Sea Mom

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Posts: 9
Re: Reader Case Study: Which one to pay off first?
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2014, 08:55:16 AM »
As a resident of beautiful Seattle also, I know how tough it can be to buy a house within the that's awesome that you already have more than one. Keep it up!