How to travel if you’re a landlord
Everybody wants to travel. But it sometimes seems like life is conspiring to keep you home. People have all kinds of reasons for putting off real travel. The reasons almost always have something to do with money or family. You can’t always do anything about your family, but money situations can often be made to work for the good of your travel aspirations. One of the biggest challenges for a certain subtype of reader will be property. In this case, you are a property owner, a landlord. You make many decisions every day pertaining to the operation of a local property, and you are afraid to step away for even a day, much less a week or a month that you would take to visit another country.
So what is to be done?
I can’t tell you what to do. But I can tell you what I did. I started my property acquisition process with buying my first home. I was impressed with the wealth building power of equity, and with how much lower my mortgage payments were than the money I had formerly put towards rent payments. It wasn’t long before my wife and I started to look for a second property to use as an investment. In 2011, we put $10,000 down on our second house, a fixer upper on the same street as our first. We took out an additional $30k to repair the place and, in 6 months, we had our first tenant, paying enough money to cover BOTH mortgages.
This is when things started moving into high gear. Properties were cheap in our up-and-coming neighborhood that had suffered from blight and neglect for decades. People wanted in, but didn’t want to repair the old houses. We had already repaired and renovated two, so we knew how to do the job. We also had relationships with plenty of contractors. Within the next 3 years, we bought 5 more houses. By this time, I had to establish an independent real estate company.
I thought that being a landlord would be easy. But let me tell you, it’s not. I didn’t find myself out on the golf course nearly as much as I thought I would. What I did spend my time doing was answering dozens of phone calls every day, organizing repairs, pursuing evictions, and looking for new tenants. It was a lot harder than I anticipated. I quit my job and did this full time. The good thing was, I was making more money than I ever had before in my life. We had no house payments, since I mortgage was more than covered by the profit made in rental income. Within 4 years, our first home was fully paid off.
This is when I decided to hire the Strata Agency Sydney folks have learned to trust. As my new property managers, they did all of this work for me. My weekly phone calls went from 150+ to about 5. My profit went down slightly, but I was still making money hand over first (for me at least). My wife and I were finally free to travel the world, something we’ve always wanted to do. I have the peace of mind knowing that my properties are still humming along perfectly, and I can do as I please.