My foray into real estate was a hazy day dream. At the time, I was 24. I was working at a local school as a substitute/ T.A. and completing my teaching credential classes after school. When I wasn’t working or taking classes, I took up tutoring to pay for my credential. For the most part, I was constantly on the go. Buying a rental property was definitely not on my radar.
My dad, noticing that I had saved about $20,000 in my account, suggested that I go in with him on a house out in Riverside County. From L.A., that was at least over an hour drive and possibly more if there was traffic. My parents already owned a few handful of rental properties in various parts of L.A. and have done well with them. I took my dad’s advice, and placed a down payment on a 2 story house with 5 bedrooms, and 3 bathrooms. My parents’ push for me to get the house was their way of setting me up for passive income in the future. They helped me with half of the down payment and a few of the renovation costs. However, it was understood that I would have to pay them back and I slowly did. They figured that if I had the property in my 20s, it will be paid off in my 40s. By then, I’ll have steady rental income.
When I signed my name on the loan papers, I didn’t realize the gravity of what I just acquired. I knew nothing of real estate. I am definitely not handy and I don’t like long drives. This first property, my first tenant, and my first awful eviction has been a crazy, stressful crash course in real estate.