Author Topic: Landording, Investing, and living smart  (Read 2435 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Posts: 11
Landording, Investing, and living smart
« on: July 29, 2013, 09:48:51 AM »
Hey Mustachians! I am a longtime lurker on this site and wanted to share my story with you all as well as ask for some advice.

At the age of 20 I came into a very unique investment opportunity. A small city near my hometown in Maine was liquidating some bad debt from its books and I was able to purchase a tax-foreclosed property for next to nothing. The caveat being that I would be responsible for clearing the note. There were 4 major creditors listed and my attorney is confident we will be able to settle for pennies on the dollar or wipe out the debts entirely by the end of this year. For the past several years, I have been very careful with the rehabilitation of this property as to keep my personal debt low (I was not able to borrow against the building while trying to clear the note. So for all but two of the last 10 years I have had a full-time job, and would spend any spare time I had working and making each unit of this building profitable. Out of 12 units I currently have 10 rented. I have learned a lot of very valuable skills throughout my time as a low-income housing landlord including plumbing, light electrical work, personnel management, bookkeeping, drywall, and many many others. There were many sleepless nights and times when I just wanted to throw in the towel, but as I mentioned before, I may be able to free up ~$400,000 in equity while owing nothing on this property, and bringing in a steady gross of ~$80K which makes me very proud.

For the first time in my life I have a shot at making larger, more profitable financial decisions which is both exhilarating and frightening. I realize these may seem like blue-sky questions, but I wanted to get some advice on how to reinvest from this (possible) equity.

- I know nothing about other financial instruments but am intelligent/hard working and am more than willing to learn.
- I'm fairly computer savvy (can build websites, know light programming etc.)
- I do not have a bachelor's degree
- I would be interested in owning more real estate as that is what I'm most knowledgeable in.
- I am interested in starting new businesses
- I have a healthy aversion to debt
- Would like to know how to put my money to work for me
- Have parents who were terrible with money/saving/spending
- Have some personal liabilities around $30K (student loans, CC, car)

I'm looking for any advice some of you might have. I already live quite simply and am happy with that, but am very interested in traveling and being more financially secure/literate.

Thanks to you all who've made this site a great resource!


Johnny Aloha

  • Bristles
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  • Posts: 315
Re: Landording, Investing, and living smart
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2013, 12:54:52 PM »
First, congratulations!  You're in an excellent position.  Basically you've already 'won the game' with a free and clear $400k building throwing off $80k in income.  Well done!

You had a few questions in there (RE investing, stock investing, career).

Here's what I would do if I were in your shoes:
- pay down the debt as quick as possible
- pick up one or two more properties
- hire a property management company to manage the building, freeing up some time
- re-invest as much income as possible in the stock market 
- start a business (not taking out loans)
- build the business while living off rental income

If I was starting from scratch learning about investing, I'd read and follow the Boglehead's Three Fund Portfolio for stocks and Bigger Pockets for RE.

Good luck!


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Posts: 11
Re: Landording, Investing, and living smart
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2013, 09:56:07 AM »
Thank you, I really appreciate your input and guidance.

I am interested in more Real Estate, and have dabbled with the idea of starting my own managment/rental brokerage firm. I live in the Boston area and Rental Brokerage is an area where I see a lot of opportunity, mainly because a lot (not all) of the current ones seem to stay in business by robbing college students blind. I can do better. I am just really interested in a lot of business/start-up ideas and it really excites me. I want to use that energy while I have it!

- Agreed on paying down debt - oh how I wish I had found this site sooner, but the past is the past. I have been demolishing my current liabilities and can't wait to get those shackles off
- I will check out Bigger Pockets and start researching a few properties as the closure of these suits draws near
- Good property management companies are tough to get where I am, thats why I may start my own!
- I will seek some professional advice on stock investing once this equity is freed up (assuming I win my day in court that is!)
- If all else fails I will go back to being a professional golfer. /sarcasm