Advice: Consider the Source
If you’ve ever been pregnant, no doubt you remember everyone telling you how painful your labor was going to be, the best way to get your baby to bed, how to handle nursing, and all that other wonderful advice they provided. They meant well but, quite frankly, did you follow all that advice? Come on, I didn’t even follow everything Dr. Spock said and my kids turned out fine (If I do say so myself). Believe it or not, real estate is kind of like that labor advice.
Once word gets out that you’re interested in real estate, all of a sudden EVERYONE is going to tell you what they think you should do. And those opinions will vary from one end of the spectrum to the other. “Don’t do it!” to “Buy everything you see!”
People who have never even owned investment property before will give you advice.People who have never owned their own home will give you advice. Heck, people who still live at home with their parents will give you their advice! So how do you know what (and who) to believe?
When it boils down to that deciding moment, when you’re faced with whether or not to buy a rental property, there’s only one person in control – YOU.
Okay, okay, I know at this point you are reading this and thinking, “Yeah, why should I listen to you?” I’ll tell you why – Because I’ve lived it and am successful doing it! I don’t just own properties for my ego, mine make money and yours should too. This isn’t rocket science and anyone can do it, but heed what advice you choose to take.
The advice that I listened to in the beginning of my rental property ventures came from a gentleman who worked for my dad, Emidio (we called him Mid for short). Now, all Mid does is collect rent and enjoy life. Constantly traveling and spending time with friends. He was always willing to share information. Real estate was not his only passion, it was also his retirement. That was his reason to invest in rental properties. (See My Reasons to Invest).
So what was Mid’s advice? “Go for it. What do you have to lose?” Now we’ve all heard the slogan, “Just Do It” from Nike that inspires us to be daring, but we aren’t running a few miles we are buying a house! So, this advice made me really examine what did I really have to actually lose?
At the time I was considering my first rental property, I sought out Mid’s advice and what did I have to lose? I had a career that was costing me money, nothing in savings, credit card debt, and young children to worry about. I couldn’t think of a better time to start investing. Sure, you can lose some money. You can lose your good credit, maybe even put a dent in your ego. But when you compare that to what you have to gain. There is so much to gain!
You gain financial freedom! You gain a “fall back on” investment for a rainy day. You gain the ability to pay for your kid’s college. You gain a better retirement. You gain a tax deduction. There are so many benefits of buying rental property. And even if you really don’t need it for any of the above, you could always have it to boost your ego.
So what’s the lesson here? Consider your source for advice. Just as you would with any other aspect of your life, if you’re going to take advice from anyone, let it be someone who knows what they are talking about – and not just talking about it but actually doing it! If you don’t know anyone who’s doing what you want to do, read books and lots of them – starting with this one The High Heels Landlord.
Take the advice that makes the most sense to you and mold it to work for you. There is no one formula for how it’s going to work for you.