Rental Properties – What I’ve Learned So Far

As you know I’ve recently bought a single family rental unit that required a TON of work. Well I’m currently in the process of jazzing it up and everything is going according to both the plan and budget. I thought it might be valuable to share what I’ve learned so far about the income property buying process.

Basically, other than the buyer and seller there are 4 parties involved in the transaction. The real estate agents, banks, lawyers and insurance. The first 3 were a breeze and I’d go as far as say they were a pleasure to deal with. However, INSURANCE and insurance brokers/underwriters/sales people have to be the biggest pain in the ass.  I found the whole insurance procurement process excruciating painful. I’m generally a reasonable guy but multiple times when dealing with insurance industry “professionals” I’ve had to put the phone down, take a few deep breaths and call on my inner zen to prevent the top of my head from exploding off it’s foundation.

Long story short I eventuall…

Learn how to Cook

Like most things in life cooking isn’t hard. In my mind there really isn’t any excuse for not being able to cook anything from scratch. Now don't get me wrong I'm not talking cooking full 5 course gourmet dinners or fancy pastries etc...However, it is easy to master the basics and cook above average meals by just following these 6 easy steps:

1. Pick your “favorite food”
2. Google  “favorite food” recipes
3. Pick a well reviewed recipe
4. Buy the ingredients.
5. Follow the recipe instructions
6. Enjoy.

I'm currently enjoying an awesome jerk chicken that we made from scratch at home. It's as good at 99% of the jerk chickens I've had in restaurants (and costs a fraction of the price.)

My Favorite Warren Buffet Quotes

-“We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful.”
-“Our favorite holding period is forever.”
-“Only buy something that you'd be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for 10 years”
-“Look at market fluctuations as your friend rather than your enemy; profit from folly rather than participate in it.”
-“Unless you can watch your stock holding decline by 50% without becoming panic-stricken, you should not be in the stock market”
-“A public-opinion poll is no substitute for thought.”
-“Lethargy, bordering on sloth should remain the cornerstone of an investment style."
Have any favorites of your own?

Retirement Portfolio Net Worth – As of June 1- 2017

The goal is an investment portfolio of $1,000,000 and an annual passive income of $40,000. We are currently mortgage free but won’t be including the value of our principal residence or cottage as we have no plans to sell either. We have also omitted the value of our workplace defined benefit pension plans and educational saving plans.
May Contributions: $0
Retirement Portfolio: $468,184 (down $8,294 - stock market losses)
Rental Property: $80,000 (purchase price)

Total Retirement Assets: $548,184

Investment Loan: $39,474 (down $1,628)
Rental Property Loan: $79,774
Total Liabilities: $119,248
Retirement Portfolio Net Worth: $428,936 (down $6,441)
*Dividends Received (year to date): $5030.6 (up $755.60)
We didn’t make any new contributions this month and although the portfolio value is down $8,294 this represents only a 1.7% drop in value. I’m 100% invested in equities so five figure swings in value are the norm for me. 
As you can see above I purchased a rental property…

Things Everyone Should Know how to Do

When referring to life’s basic skills I often hear the excuse “oh I’m not very good at that kind of thing”. Really? What that says to me is either:

1. You are extremely lazy and/or
2. You have peaked mentally and have no ability to learn anything new.

Here’s my list of must knows:
1.Change a Tire
2.Build a Retirement Portfolio
3.Cook at least 2 meals that are better than average
4.Run 3 Miles
5.Use a screwdriver
6.Backup your computer
7.Do your own taxes
8.Typing (insane if you use a computer everyday and don’t know how)
9.Setup and Connect home electronics
10.Basic Time Management
11.Basic Carpentry
12.Critical Thinking
13.Jump Start a Car
14.Put together Ikea furniture
15.Basic Plumbing
16.Understand the basics of how the internet works
17.Change your Oil
18.Convert a fraction to a percent
19.Fix Basic Computer Issues

Did I miss any?

Division of Labor

As a macro concept I agree with the specialization and the division of labor. Economically, it makes a lot of sense. Businesses that specialize can usually offer higher quality products at lower prices. I think this is especially true in food production and manufacturing industries. A factory dedicated to one task whether it’s assembling cars, canning corn or producing pencils is going to be able to do it immeasurably faster and cheaper than an individual or small business could.

So at the macro level I’m on board. Where I have a problem with specialization is on the micro or individual level. I think the trend toward specialization has gone too far. We now live in a society where even seemingly basic tasks are being specialized and outsourced. I know many people with relatively successful careers who seem to lack any ability to think or function outside of their chosen field of specialization. I don’t see any reason why individuals can’t be good at more than one thing. Just because y…

Do You Like Your Job?

Has anyone ever asked you do you like your job? If you answered “no I hate my job” this is an easy question. The question becomes more complicated if you answered yes.

For those of you that answered “yes I like my job” that’s great. Now let me ask you another question. If you didn’t need the money would you do it for free? If you answered yes to this than boy am I envious. Well what about this one - would you do it full time for the next 30 years?

You see I like my job but I don’t love it and I definitely wouldn’t do it for free. Even if I did love my job I know I definitely wouldn’t want to do it for the next 30 years. Actually, I don’t think there’s anything in the world that I’d want to do for 40hrs a week for the next 30 years. I like doing lots of things fishing, reading, investing, hiking, hunting, watching movies, oiling up super models but I wouldn’t want to “have” to do any of them for 40 hours a week for the next three decades. Even if I got the elusive swimsuit model oiling…