Thanks for dropping by Safe Investing South Africa. I am on a journey to build wealth my way. For any questions or comments, feel free to contact me.

31 Aug 2011

August 2011 Report and September Cash Flow Goals

What a month this ended up to be. Its been a happy month with a family holiday and visiting an Island for a weekend on one hand and a real estate business challenge on the other hand. Not to mention the shopping that went out of hand. The latter taught me a lesson about myself and I promised myself, it was the last.

August Cash Flow Tracking

I finally started tracking my spending. Its become urgent and necessary. I don't know where I lost my PF sanity.
My income was the usual rent, allowance and my small WAHM income. Because I was in the crisis months, I had to get some assistance. Just for you to see the severity of my negative cash flow, I ended the month with just below -$3000. I did buy a stove for one unit, had a one week family holiday and a trip to the island. It was a hectic month. Financially taxing.

I also bought lots of clothes and gave more than $1000 in gifts because of my niece's travel abroad. All worth it but now is haunting me as the hubby had to double my allowance and my one tenant didn't pay rent on time. I am usually ready for something like that, but this month was something else. I work from home and usually never get to travel or even put gas on my car. I only owe on my mortgage and that makes me a little bit relaxed. And unlike other personal finance bloggers, I have no full time job income. My rental income is almost all I've got. I would be working if I were single, for sure. 

I have simple goals for September:
-Increasing my small WAHM income from $278 to $350. I am growing a little. 
-Start my Emergency Fund with $300. That should take 10 months to build into my $3000. Lets hope nothing goes wrong in the process (some crisis in the units).
-Get a new tenant for the unit with notice tenant for October. That's the toughest one.
-Prepare to renovate 2 tiny bathrooms.

I am so glad I started this blog. I feel so challenged to stick with my goals. I know most people have goals to get out of debt. Whilst that might be tougher, staying focused to build wealth is also tough when you are not fighting debt. Setting goals will always be an important factor.

Money and Relationships

I heard a few (not so wise) people mention that money and relationships have nothing to do with each other. More like, money is a non issue in a love relationship. Or, people should stop placing money in the way of love. Yada, yada... but really, how do people seperate the social commitment from finances. Beats me.

I did stick around with losers, hoping they will see the light, but really, it never happens. People with no respect for their money, wont have any of it for yours. It really doesn't matter what marriage contract you will have, just be ready to engage in a never ending financial war. It happens and most often than not, leads to divorce. It doesn't mean that we should start a serious relationship with the rich, but the financially responsible and well... the promising.

Money and Dating
When I met the hubs, he was such a trendy dude, extravagant dresser - I meant. I saw the Kurt Geiger jeans for the first time from him, and I didn't even know they are/ were a big deal. They actually cost more than my entire outfit. I was still a good girl those days, very responsible. Anyways, he knew from the onset that I am a cheap girl and wont break a bank to dress.Needless to say, the last expensive jeans he wore were those he had before we dated. I never asked him to drop the look, he just had to adjust it a bit, I guess. I knew what I wanted, where I was heading and what matters to me. He loved me, and so even before we made a commitment, he had to set his priorities very straight.

We discussed everything, including our finances whilst we were dating. Its never too late to get to know your partner's financial affairs. Unless you've just met. When we moved in together, we again had to adjust and re-adjust. By the time we got married, we were pretty much on the same page. I had no debts, none, nada, other than my mortgage, and I didn't want to be entwined in someone else's. The exception would be a mortgage, student loans, and a car. Any other debt was something I just wouldn't understand. So the hubs was not that bad.

Pre-Marital Financial Discussions
Here is the deal: you either clear the air at this point or go your separate ways before you make this a permanent union. If you discuss how many children you want, how difficult can it be to add a "how are we going to afford a child?" The financial discussion is almost as important as a spiritual discussion. In my opinion, both spirituality and finances can make or break the deal. Having said that, I'm glad we decided to go ahead and give our relationship a try with the hubby. We were worlds apart. We got closer and closer until we closed the gap.
Anyone with a poor relationship with money will fail to be a provider. Its as simple as that.

Money in a Marriage
I know most people believe in having combined accounts, we didn't. I still have my own checking accounts, and so does he. My independence is very important to me. The hubby has a full time job, whilst I stay at home playing investor and mom at the moment. When I get problems with tenants and vacancies, he is there to patch. Luckily, I haven't needed much of that. The sad thing is that, it seems that I have a late rent payment for September and a vacancy for October. Just when I thought I am coming OK. Remember my goal to start my emergency fund this month. The hubby has transferred some $500 into my account for me to get through the hump. Having a partner with a formal job is great.

Be sure to work through your finances with your partner, from dating period, through to marriage, if it happens.Its up to you to create harmony between money and relationships in your own life.

29 Aug 2011

Emergency Fund

The story of my personal emergency fund is that---its non-existent. I know, pretty unbelievable. My point is that, I have access to funds in one of the properties.  We have paid up that one property as we were kind of saving our extra income in it. Anyway, I decided to have a separate emergency fund, yipee. Now, I can speak like a PF blogger.

On a serious note, the urgency of the EF is not brought by me wanting to follow PF blogger guidelines, if they even exist. I need it for two reasons,
  1. with my properties needing this and that at awkward times;
  2. the shock I had when I looked at how much I've spent during our last week long holiday made me realise I'm not as PF savvy as I wish. I'm far from frugal, not even close. And I don't make as much money as I made with a full time job.
So now, the only way is setting my emergency fund. I am starting with R1000 per month with R30000 target. That means I need 30 months if the contribution stays stable and I have no emergencies along the way. I don't know if I will be that patient. I will need to double this amount to reach my target in just over a year. Now that sounds more exciting.

I am not even sure if R30,000 is all I need for emergencies between 5 properties and a car that hardly leaves the garage. Its great motivation though, so I reach the target in this lifetime. Three years sounds like another lifetime. Now, where do I get R2000 to stash aside in the EF? I obviously have to cut my shopping, draw a budget when traveling and especially stick to it. I now know I'm not to be trusted with money, at least not to be trusted with my money. I do very well with other people's, like tenants' deposits.

My rental income grew by about R1500 in August. Another R500 is what I've been wasting in unnecessary shopping. Magazines come to mind, I will have to do with books for now. There comes the R2000. Easy, isn't it. Emergency F, here I come.

When a Tenant Pays Rent Late

What to do when a tenant pays rent late??? Call, write letters, issue notices, follow the procedure stated in the contract? It sounds easier than it really is.

I have to thank God for being in this business from 2002 and never having a vacancy for more than 2 weeks. Its been a pretty down slide for almost 10 years. I credit the time I take to find the right tenant, and my broker, who did the same before I took most property rentals over. Last year, 2010, I decided to give one duplex to the girl I know. I was thrilled to find that she needs a place and I needed the right tenant. Apart from her being someone I know, financially stable, she is/ was a single parent. From experience, single women, parents require more stability and wont change homes as often as single people and couples without kids. The place is close to the child's school, just what should keep my tenant happy, or so I thought.
I'm sure she is happy with her child in the duplex but the fact that we know each other a bit could be the problem. The first time, in the beginning of 2011, she was 2 weeks late. There is a 7 day grace period, but she explained after I emailed a reminder. And indeed she paid 2 weeks after the rent due date. We have been great tenant and landlord since. I didn't charge any extra for the late payment. Me being a bad landlord and really knowing the tenant has to be the explanation. so that hump was over, or so I thought.

This month I get a text message from the tenant "I will be late with 9 days, please bear with me...blah, blah, blah..." It is a bad time for everyone, and I thought, its better to have a tenant that gets late with a week or so than have a tenant you need to evict. I immediately responded with a positive response, even wishing her well in whatever she is struggling with. So the promise date passes with some three days and I think, "please be a little patient". Until today, when I think, I have to let her know that I am aware that she hasn't made the payment. And off course she tells me she is still working on it. I say a little prayer "Lord please, can this pass without any ugliness in it".

If I were a good landlord, I would stick to the contract, and demand the late rental fee that the tenant signed to pay in cases such as these. I always thought I am ready to deal with tenant challenges, cases when a tenant pays rent late and worse evictions. But again, an eviction would mean, she leaves the place and I have to go back to square one, look for a suitable tenant, screen and get a good tenant. I know that she will eventually pay and we'll be back on track but I think mixing business with personal relations can get things out of hand. What is clear is that, we nay get back to this same situation with this tenant. Should I really try and be tolerant or rather get a complete stranger. I think not. I will keep my tenant for another year at least to see how things go. I know, from people close to her that she'd been in a number of costly and exciting situations lately. She may even be vacating the place soon.

So. I'm being a bad landlord, biting my lip until the end of the month. No one says its going to be easy. I am looking for one more property though. I seem to be happy with tenant stress. Its not as bad as having a 9 - 5 job with a difficult boss though. But the difficult boss is more certain to pay the bills. Meaning, if you choose this, you have to love it. I do!

27 Aug 2011

Cutting the Budget

Nothing raises you from your financial sleep like a loss of a job or salary. I would love to think that I am generally reasonable with my finances. I can do with a bit of budget cutting as I am bordering the shopaholic and the financially responsible. I wish I were more to the frugal side but I gave up on that frugal lifestyle dream long ago. I just love jewelry and bags and shoes too much to let go of. To rub salt to my open wound, I looked back to my working day balance sheet to see what has changed in my personal finances, since.

Its a bit scary to see how much I shopped and shopped. Mainly for food and for my closet. The more my real estate passive income increased, the more food I seemed to buy. That is apart from my growing taste for everything costly. I still cant stand a cheap rug and cant do without my rare find antiques. The sad part is that, I cant do without all my style pieces, even after I left my stable income. The past week was about me looking back and hopefully learning from my spending patterns. I shop for food more than an average person. I hardly ever eat out because my family is quite particular with what they eat and how its prepared. Its a blessing that everyone in this family loves cooking..

Here is the list of things that I will never give up, unless absolutely necessary:
A good laptop
High quality coffee
A spacious home
Jewellery and handbags (an investment from my grand-kids)
(edited to cut out rubbish)
Antique furniture
Travel (apart from annual visits to our two sets of parents, travel is our only form of indulgence. We do that with cash, never on a credit card.)

Things I have cut on
Stilettos (being at home, I have limited places to wear these)
Formal wear (I buy too much tracksuits though)
Car Gas
Hair Salon (believe me, when staying at home, your salon visits get to be further apart than when you have a formal 9-5. I find my beauty salon visits have also become far apart.)

Opportunities for Cutting the Budget to Save and Invest:
1. Magazines: I bought one this month because my friend's business was featured. I have canceled all subscriptions but I spend more on magazines that I never get to read now compared to when I was subscribed. Why do I keep doing that? I have no Idea. I decided to have a magazine fasting for 3 months. That's about $30-$50 extra per month.
2.  Home decor supplies. I think my house is OK for another year. Except for a really good antique or vintage piece here and there.
Savings of about $30 per month.
I didn't think this will be this difficult, I seem not to be able to see where a full $200 will come from. That's what I need for a "budget cut" investment. I know I have a $200 that is wasted somewhere in my budget. I just have to dig deeper. When I looked at the past years spending, I was a bit ashamed of myself. My beauty product spending alone was a little crazy. The fact that I don't eat out didn't equate to any savings. My food budget is always out of hand because I love guests and entertaining. The deal is, I pay with a debit card for everything, no credit cards. I make money and I spend it.

As for the rest of the budget, I am happy to know that I give enough gifts every month. It makes me feel less extravagant. Charity work is also something I love doing now and then. 

If, like me you love shopping, get more automated savings and investments. Apart from my real estate investments, I have a couple of other investments to lock some of my money out of sight. I have all my retirement and life insurance policies too. Its wiser to pay yourself first, and I see no better way than saving and investing. Let me know if you have any plans of cutting the budget to save and invest too. I would love to learn from your plan.

26 Aug 2011

Why I Chose to Buy my Home

The heated debate on whether to rent or buy your home continues. For the record, I don't support or crush any of the two. I just choose to buy my own home so that I feel good about making it comfortable, customizing it, boring holes on the walls, painting it red as I please, taking carpets out when my kids sneeze, etc. But for some people it just isn't in their bigger plan to invest in property and to take care of the daunting management tasks that comes with it. Ironically, those tasks me feel very much in control of my investment. And I choose to see my home that way, as an investment.

But, what brought us into this debate to start with?
From the research that I made in the past, it shows clearly that this debate was politically motivated. A lot of politically backed negativity was given to the choice of renting. The National Association of Real Estate Boards (NAREB), in its “Own Your Home” campaigns re-launched in the mid 1900s, gave negative labels to renters and rental housing (taken from Lands, 2006). Some of the statements associated with renting were:
“Apartment living is detrimental to family life,
Apartment living is detrimental to child development,
Renters are prone to crime,
Renters cause social disorder,
Rental housing brings social disorder to neighborhoods.”

It is only recently that the choice to rent has been looked at objectively and in a positive way. It has now become a choice that families and individuals continue to explore when they take home ownership decisions. The fact is: this is a personal choice led by an individual’s personal goals and objectives. There are financial and non-financial advantages and disadvantages of any real estate investment. Be it your own home use or as another type of investment.

My personal Choice remains firm from 2001
I still choose to buy my own home, even in the current deflation situation. In the long run, buying your own home has higher financial benefits in comparison with renting. But if one is thinking of a home for a short term, renting may be best. Prices may go further down, but who cares when they hold into their investment for long. Prices should go up eventually, right? The current low prices are motivation enough to buy, I think.

Having said that, managing the property and all the costs and responsibilities that come with, is no child’s play. One has to really love it to do it well. Things go wrong and most often they do so at the same time. Broken pipes, tenants’ mess, missed payments, vacancies, etc, should be budgeted for. Just think about your own goals. And if you don’t own your own home, I take it you are investing and saving elsewhere. You should.

Your choice to buy or rent your home is none of anyone's business.

24 Aug 2011

Investing Inheritance and Gifts

I do a lot of blog hopping, especially in circles that deal with personal finance. I have seen different backgrounds of bloggers. Those from a "tough start" background and those with a little or a lot of help from their parents. I must say I am happy for those who are taking "difficult" decisions on investing inheritance and gifts from their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, god parents, etc. Some of us on the other hand had to start from a negative slate. Student loans, start up everything, and the quest to succeed. If you inherited a small fortune, you don't need to feel guilty or offended, just be grateful to your parents or grandparents for depriving themselves and working hard for you to receive a token of their love.

If I were to inherit some money from my parents, I think I would be very scared to lose it. I would probably feel I owe it to the giver to not lose it. I know I am making too much of this because I have no clue how it feels to have your portfolio pumped with a few hundreds or millions of dollars in a second. Its a blessing and an enviable one in that. I work hard to make sure my kids do get something when I get "matured". Another reason my son knows more about money than an average eight year old, poor boy.

I think parents should not only leave their children with huge amounts of money, but equip them with tools to make that money work for them too. Its very sad when one gets to inherit a fortune, only to lose it all in a few years from too much extravagance. My take is that, if you cant take care of your $80,000 annual salary, you wont be able to take care of your $800,000 inheritance. Easy as that. Your state of finances has very little to do with the amount of money you make every month, but your attitude towards money.

Spending money is the easy part, for most of us. Trust me, I know. Despite my being responsible and always trying to get better at managing my portfolio and making a little more money, I tend to spend more of it than I should. I was traveling last week with my family on a one week holiday. I spotted opportunities to spend everywhere, from bookstores, chain stores, kids' clothes, home supplies, my own clothes, etc. When I got back, I finally pulled me together to check my bank statement and... I don't want to talk about it just yet.

What to do when you mess up like that... work harder. That's what I do. I have no inheritance to fall back on remember. If I did have some, I would have been very grateful though. An extra burden of investing inheritance and gifts from loved ones is SO SO SO welcome. I hope my aunts and uncles are listening.

23 Aug 2011

Family Relations and Money

Trying to keep great management of family relations and money matters in harmony is no easy juggle. Especially when the family doesn't speak in the same financial and investment language.

Charity begins at Home:
I have gone past my mid thirties, and I am yet to hear my dad giving me a financial advice. Any kind of financial advice. Even a really bad advice. Nah, it will never happen. My parents did the best in preaching the "go to school, do well, get a job, live well" gospel. As to the "how to" of the live well part,... that was left out. But I still have to give it to them for ensuring the former three parts. We all had to go to school and do well.
I do wish my parents did have financial conversations with us though. Better yet, I wish they themselves knew better about financial management.

This gave me an interest in teaching my son  about money matters and the value of money. That has helped me escape those nasty screams in the store isles about what toy I should buy. At a tender age of eight, he can give better financial advice than most adults. Very embarrassing to state that, but it is a fact. Its never too late to talk to your kids about money. Like with all aspects of life, the sooner you start your money talk, the better. Its easier to get them a piggy bank, which me and my son passionately refer to as "Cashy". He keeps all of my son's savings until his tummy is too heavy to carry on.

Sibling Rivalry Around Money:
I am so fortunate that I never had quarrels over money with my siblings. Its really not because of our good manners, but the fact that we never see ourselves as trading partners. Whenever a niece, nephew or sibling in both families is in need, we rather opt to give, rather than lend. It happens often, but hey, giving is the whole idea of making money to start with. My idea by the way.
A classic case is when my sister and her new husband were renting my garden cottage, straight from honeymoon. The thought of renting the cottage out had never crossed my mind before they approached me. I never kept any records of their payments, and they did come late, etc. I really didnt mind at all. When they bought their own house and left the cottage, my sister explained how they will pay the debt. I was like "No, you actually don't owe anything". She insisted, until I couldn't say no anymore. Touching gratitude on her part I must say. I'm not sure if the money was ultimately paid or not, which shown my loose approach when it comes to siblings and money. I am happy with it.

Extended Family Relations and Money:
Money does exchange hands in our extended family. But we really give and never have loans with each other. That's my experience at least. I will buy what my cousins sell for instance, even when I have no use for it. It feels great supporting their businesses like that. I end up with a lot of stuff, which feeds my hoarding habit. I probably should stop.
Supporting a family member with a business is just one of the things I feel obliged to do. I do it with love.

I know families that have broken relationships over money. Its a shame when people use others for the love of money and materialism. I take care of my finances but I love my family more. I will not hesitate to give for a good cause. Be it family, charity or church. Ultimately, the whole idea of making more, is to give more.

"And to whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required..." 
Luke 12:48(ASV)

Is Education in Real Estate Investment Necessary?

Is education in real estate investment necessary to make it as an investor?
In my books, educations is never over-rated. There is following your instincts, which plays a huge role in any investment decision making. But nothing takes the place of knowledge. Ignorance can only cost you a great deal. Knowledge of real estate policies, regulations, laws, etc is absolutely essential.

By education, I don't mean a formal "lecture, four walls, desk" situation. I am referring to self education, research, reading, following trends, etc. I did choose the formal education, which I don't regret. That just complemented my on-going informal education. I read stuff that successful people write, even though their strategies are usually not my match. Its always good to know what others think. Its also inspiring to read the stories with humble beginnings.

Did I mention that, most of what I read is no way suitable for me. And definitely not matching your style. Whatever you get to read, add a grain of salt. No one can accurately predict the market, 100% of the time. There are also too many variables that determine success, of which "LUCK" is one and timing another biggy. It doesnt really matter how great and successful an investor or financial adviser is, he may just take you way off track if followed blindly.

When Suze Orman said, "pay your house up as fast as you can", I never listened. Whilst I liked her material at the time, I am very glad I ignored that one piece of advise. Yet that's a great advice for a homeowner. But not when your home ownership is based on an investment plan.

When a friend and fellow real estate investor said "you will never go wrong with real estate" I was shocked to say the least. We have witnessed people going so wrong, especially recently. Its VERY easy to go wrong with any investment. That may actually be worse with real estate as you cant change your mind and get out of the investment as quick as you can. If you want an easy "in" and "out", try the stock exchange.

How about investing in the current economic climate? Its very difficult to predict what the future holds. Most are playing watch and pray. Others are taking risks. Most are just overwhelmed as the economic issues proved to have the mind of their own.
Our quotable man of the moment Warren Buffett says 
“Be Fearful When Others Are Greedy and Greedy When Others Are Fearful”
In all, Education in Real Estate Investment will remain an important factor to determine your success. If not, try LUCK.

22 Aug 2011

Buy or Rent a Home

I still have to think hard before I respond to the question of whether one should buy or rent a home. There is definitely no “one size fits all”. Even with countless debates around the value of home ownership in economic forums, we still have no one answer for all.

In the 19th and early 20th century home was seen as a shelter and provision for comfort. In a way, home buying was never a debated issue. Today, we see our homes mainly as an investment, ironically. We live in money in other words. The decision on where to stay is based on the growth in the value of the home, rather than the homeliness of the suburb/ or area. It sounds so awkward but that’s just what it is. 

For now, I will live in a mortgaged home. And I say this not because I have anything against anyone who rents by choice, but because I see my home as an investment. The thought of owning and renting it out some day gives me unbelievable satisfaction. It’s more a psychological satisfaction. Most of my rental units were once my homes at some point. I really belong in the “own your home” era. I am not that liberal like the current generation, which believes in renting by choice. I feel totally in control when I pay mortgage rather than rent. 

I have to admit though; the financial objectivity of the current young professionals and families is quite impressive. The analysis of the pros and cons makes one think and re-think their decision. Renting can make so much sense when one is a stock investor. Renters seem to be non-traditional, liberal and happy care-free people. This is the time I just want to be conservative and hold on to the past beliefs. I choose to buy and not rent my home. That’s the only way I built my portfolio. For me, it’s not really just a home, but a business.

Have you been in a “Buy or Rent a Home” debate in your circles too?

Retirement Plans for Self Employed

The Best Retirement Plans for Self Employed Parents and Partners
When a parent or partner leaves a comfort zone of a monthly salary for a risky business, or any kind of venture, it makes perfect sense (read cents) to have her family financially covered. I actually don’t even see any comfort or lowered risk in a job anymore. So many people lost their jobs and fell back on “nothing”. There are no guarantees in the corporate world anymore. One has to keep open eyes and ears to see when things are not looking OK in their jobs, and act accordingly.

Obviously, there are steps that one has to take when they leave their well-paying jobs for half or even quarter of their monthly salary. To ensure that I leave no step unmentioned, this is what I personally had in place when I decided to leave a good salary behind:
  1. I started by thinking backwards with a keywords “Retirement” and “Death”. The reality is that, we are heading there, and it’s a fact. I upped my life insurance policy to clear all my debts and leave my kids with enough money to take them through college education in the case of me not being there. 
  2. I took an equally good amount in disability income policy to reduce the risk of the loss of income. Some of that risk is in the employer’s shoulders, when one has a formal job, but in my case it’s all on my shoulders. 
  3. I actually took a funeral/ burial cover just because I won’t leave anything to chance.  
  4. I took an investment earlier on in my life, which matures on the college years of my kids. I just had to do that. 
  5. My husband still kept a formal job to cater for our other needs, and especially our medical insurance needs, which we cannot be without. 
Of all the 5 steps I took, I can say taking a great life insurance policy was the most important for me. I am planning to take a few insurance policies to reduce the risks of real estate vacancies, missed payments and to access money in case of emergencies. I notice that there are a lot more steps to take on retirement plans for self employed individuals that the formally employed with the employer's contribution to the 401k (pension fund).

Working hard and cutting on your luxuries is actually the top of the list. I am quite embarrassed to state that, that has proved not to be my strength. But I buy less and less of stilettos and suits as I tend to work more on my pajamas and leggings. I especially love the soft cotton tracksuits and yoga outfits.

I can say this with a smile, “being at home with my special needs daughter” is worth the risk. It will be different with each investor or business person. I love working from home. Its riskier, scary and requires a lot more prayer. But I see healthier emotional and parenting returns. And the contentment of working on my passion is immeasurable. The bottom line is – You have to be ready and pray as much. Life is a war.

Setting Real Estate Goals for Wealth

Welcome to my very first post here. Come set Real Estate Goals with me, will you?
I have been a real estate investor for more than 10 years now. Since I bought my very first apartment, I was sold into property investment. My husband, then friend helped me decide on that first apartment I ultimately called home.

A decade later, a lot has happened. Well I got married, moved apartments, then houses. Together with my partner a.k.a. hubby, we have gone at a slow pace to invest part time whilst keeping our jobs and making 2 babies in the process. See how busy we've been! We have flipped a house once, which really gave sweet returns. But the rest of our fixed property is rented out to tenants for passive income.

Two years ago I decided to leave my job to stay at home, errr make that work from home. A month before that happened, hubby was transferred to work in a foreign country and we all tagged along. That's how I eventually left the job I loved to work on my true passion, real estate investment. In the two years, I have renovated a few apartments and got tenants. I have also dished out quite a bit of advise to friends and family on how I managed to make passive income almost equivalent to my salary at my last formal employment.

I am not in the league of Donald Trump but I am in a position to live my life the way I want. And that is one of my intermediate real estate goals. Its not as easy as it looks on those fancy TV programs. You must be asking:
Am I happy: 100% YES
Is it wise to invest in real estate in the current economic climate?: Its definitely scary but investment is all about taking calculated risks. And currently, its difficult to do the sums but a bit of risk is clearly involved. We all need shelter, don't we?
What my job/ business entails: spreadsheets, lots of reading and contractor, tenant & broker emailing. A lot of dust and dirt too.

Thanks for stopping by. You may get great tips here, or not. Your thoughts would be so welcome.