The “adultoid” years

As the last post showed my beginnings in the financial world, let me give you a brief snapshot of what has happened since and where my wife and I are now.

As many of you surely know, life under the parents roof is significantly different than life on your own! No free meals, no free rent, no free maid service (mom, I apologize if you are reading this – I should have learned to keep my room cleaner as a kid!). BUT, what you do get is a huge, wide world with little direct guidance; unless you seek it out. With this opportunity also comes a huge smack in the face called living expenses… who knew it was so expensive to be alive???

I was blessed with my parents: For college, if I kept my grades, they agreed to pay half of my tuition. I thought, “no problem, I got this,” and immediately went to an out of state school with out of state tuition… big eye-opener. I decided shortly after my bank account dwindled that I may need a more viable option.

Short aside: I grew up playing quite a bit of tennis and wanted to play at a high college level

After a year, I started looking for schools to transfer to – I wanted to play tennis and I needed to save money. I went one more semester of bouncing options and offers between several schools, I was able to secure a full-ride to play tennis and another school. I had no idea at the time, but this was one of my most fortunate financial moves to start my adult-life on the right foot.

Fast-forward through the next 3.5 years and I got my first “big-boy” full-time job. I lived in a small studio in the attic of an old house in a very small town. I had worked hard in my life to date, but this was a whole different level. 10-14 hour days, with just enough time to get a little exercise, shower, eat, sleep, and do it all again. Still no debt, still no extraneous expenses… the saving rate stayed high (more the circumstance than my own choices).

After a grueling 4-5 months, I moved into a desk job at a logistics company. Good work environment, good people, but sadly, I soon found out I was not wired for the “desk job life.” I stayed at the company for around 8 months, but during this time, several other things were happening.

I missed tennis, and met a guy that managed a tennis club and the tennis of a country club. I started working evenings and weekends with him starting only a month after I started my full-time logistics job. This was also back in 2012, when it was difficult to find a bad real estate deal. I purchased a 3-bed, 1.5-bath house via short sale directly in between my two places of employment.  There is a lot of detail that I could go into with this, but I will save that for a later post. For now, know that I did some work to the house, rented out two other bed rooms, and was able to cover my mortgage of $814.35 by pulling in combined rent of $825. Free place to live plus and extra ten bucks in my pocket per month!

This was the start of my truly understanding the power of real estate, and as Brandon Turner from Biggerpockets has coined it, how “house-hacking” is such a great way to break into real estate.

Has anyone here ever “house-hacked?”

(Definition of house-hacking: buying a property and renting out other rooms or units while living in the property yourself, thereby helping cover your expenses or even turning a profit)

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