“Was that a roach?” My buddy said to me as we were walking through the property. This had to be one of the nastiest homes I have personally ever walked in and he said the same.
As I walked through the apartment of this three bedroom and one and a half bath bottom unit of this duplex, it was hard to see the carpet because of all the boxes and trash bags piled on top of more garbage. It’s as hard to tell what color the walls were because of the layer of film on all of the walls from years of smoking. The smell that permeated throughout the twelve-hundred square foot of living space was a combination of old boxes, body odor, and food that had been sitting in the garbage can for days.
As we walked through each of the bedrooms, I couldn’t believe that children actually were allowed to occupy the space. I also never understood how every single light fixture or wall socket, was missing the little plate that hides the electrical wires in the wall.
As we walked into one the bedrooms, a 1980’s television set was on, and had the old bunny ears were attempting to put a picture on the screen that was even watchable. Keep in mind it is now 2006 when I was in walking through.
We walked out of that apartment to the upstairs apartment. This apartment was exactly the opposite of what we were just walking through. It was the same size and dimensions. However, this apartment was clean, uncluttered, and the white paint on the walls were white. We didn’t spend as much time in that apartment. My decision was made.
As we exited both apartments:
My buddy said “What do you think?”
I said “Lets put an offer in on it.”
He said “What?”
I said, “Yes, I want to buy it.”
And about a month or so later, I now owned my first official business. I bought that duplex and it was my first of many rental properties. I didn’t know it at the time, because I was twenty-seven years old and didn’t know really what I was doing. Nobody in my family that I was close with, at least not my immediate family, had ever owned rental real estate before.
As I was in the process of buying this property, I had many people in my family and my friends asking me the questions, of which you have either asked yourself most likely. Or if you own rental real estate someone has asked you.
Questions like. “What are you going to do if you don’t have a renter?” “Renters will mess your place up?” “Who is going to do all of your repairs?” “How will you find renters?” “What do you know about owning real estate?” “You know that this will impact your taxes?” “You will get calls in the middle of the night.”
All of these statements, that are posed in a way of a question were asked of me. Many of the people who made these statements had never owned rental real estate in their life. Many of the people didn’t have a clue of what it was like to find a renter. Paying taxes on rental properties. Doing repairs on rental properties.
This first rental property investment I made was such a learning experience for me.
First, I had to see through all of the muck and junk and realize that there was an opportunity to make some money. The bad smells, the dirty walls, the ripped carpet that was so filthy that I was scared to even walk on it with shoes. But I saw through it all.
And in life, most of the good opportunities and possibilities are usually covered up with a little muck and junk. It is up to us to not listen to the conventional wisdom and to go against the grain and decide to pursue the opportunity anyway. Also, you have to work to clear out the muck and junk to expose the opportunity.
The second thing I learned was. That most of the people telling you not to do something. Or questioning why you would want to do something. These same people are usually the ones that have no experience with whatever it is they are questioning you about.
I am a big believer in learning from other people. However, many times I have listened to people who don’t have the experience with that of which I am trying to learn about or attempt to do. Most of the naysayers in my life, and your life, are trying to tell you something they don’t have any experiences with.
I didn’t know it at the time, but I know now. That for any of us to accomplish something that we have never been able to accomplish, we will have to do something that most people we know haven’t done or haven’t done well. Because we are all a product of our own environments at some level.
Quit listening to the people who don’t have the ability to help you to begin with.
To your success and your future.