From the BiggerPockets Blog

 BiggerPockets Blog »

Jump to Forum View All

Click a category below to view different forum categories.


General Info

BiggerPockets Q&A, Site Questions, & Announcements

1522 topics, 14443 posts — Last Post 04/23/14, 05:38PM

BiggerPockets Exclusive PRO Area

118 topics, 844 posts — Last Post 04/23/14, 08:28AM

New Member Introductions

10977 topics, 86489 posts — Last Post 04/23/14, 05:43PM

Real Estate Success Stories

398 topics, 6197 posts — Last Post 04/23/14, 05:43PM

General Real Estate

General Real Estate

Buying & Selling Real Estate

5989 topics, 47194 posts — Last Post 04/23/14, 05:45PM


649 topics, 5857 posts — Last Post 04/23/14, 02:47PM

Get Foreclosure Help - Help Stop Foreclosure Forum

316 topics, 2557 posts — Last Post 04/21/14, 03:59PM

Home Owner Association (HOA) Issues & Problems Forum

238 topics, 1611 posts — Last Post 04/23/14, 04:02AM

Do it Yourself

658 topics, 6316 posts — Last Post 04/23/14, 09:50AM

Reviews & Feedback

Real Estate Deal Analysis and Advice

3706 topics, 29719 posts — Last Post 04/23/14, 05:23PM

Real Estate Guru, Book & Course Reviews and Discussions

1139 topics, 11598 posts — Last Post 04/23/14, 02:31PM

Ask About A Real Estate Company

743 topics, 7344 posts — Last Post 04/22/14, 11:25PM

Real Estate Investing

Real Estate Strategies


5633 topics, 43934 posts — Last Post 04/23/14, 05:34PM

Rehabbing and House Flipping

3351 topics, 31097 posts — Last Post 04/23/14, 02:09PM

Real Estate Development & New Home Construction

554 topics, 4694 posts — Last Post 04/22/14, 09:17PM

Innovative Strategies

705 topics, 6044 posts — Last Post 04/22/14, 04:06PM

Tax Liens, Notes, Paper, & Cash Flows Discussion

867 topics, 6692 posts — Last Post 04/22/14, 08:22PM

Rent to Own a.k.a. Lease Purchase, Lease Options

698 topics, 4926 posts — Last Post 04/23/14, 01:33PM

1031 Exchanges

143 topics, 1062 posts — Last Post 04/22/14, 03:21PM

Foreclosure Investing

General Foreclosure & Pre-Foreclosure Forums

1691 topics, 11313 posts — Last Post 04/22/14, 09:26PM

HUD, VA, and Tax Sales

416 topics, 3103 posts — Last Post 04/23/14, 02:29PM


1217 topics, 10595 posts — Last Post 04/23/14, 09:23AM

Short Sales

1538 topics, 13139 posts — Last Post 04/22/14, 01:38PM

Landlord & Tenant Forums

Landlord & Rental Property Questions

7246 topics, 71133 posts — Last Post 04/23/14, 05:46PM

Mobile Homes & Mobile Home Park Investing

639 topics, 5144 posts — Last Post 04/23/14, 07:57AM

Investor Basics

Starting Out

7727 topics, 60654 posts — Last Post 04/23/14, 02:30PM

Investor Psychology

431 topics, 6107 posts — Last Post 04/20/14, 06:04AM

General Real Estate Investing

4727 topics, 37315 posts — Last Post 04/23/14, 02:57PM

Real Estate Investor Marketing

1738 topics, 14146 posts — Last Post 04/23/14, 03:15PM

Commercial Real Estate

Commercial Real Estate Investing Forum

1412 topics, 9004 posts — Last Post 04/23/14, 02:19PM

Multi-Family and Apartment Investing

1123 topics, 9382 posts — Last Post 04/23/14, 05:44PM

The Business of Real Estate

Real Estate Technology and the Internet

Real Estate Technology, Social Media & Blogging

644 topics, 4911 posts — Last Post 04/23/14, 04:03PM

Business Basics

Goals, Business Plans & Entities

833 topics, 7573 posts — Last Post 04/23/14, 05:37PM

Real Estate Finance & Legal

Financial, Tax, and Legal

Tax, Legal Issues, Contracts, Self-Directed IRA

2802 topics, 20135 posts — Last Post 04/23/14, 04:45PM

Property Insurance

311 topics, 2057 posts — Last Post 04/23/14, 01:20PM

Personal Finance Discussion

330 topics, 2754 posts — Last Post 04/22/14, 12:06PM

Loans, Mortgages, Credit Lines

Private & Conventional Lending Discussion

2852 topics, 19844 posts — Last Post 04/23/14, 05:05PM

Creative Real Estate Financing

1220 topics, 8855 posts — Last Post 04/23/14, 05:22PM

Crowdfunding Real Estate

35 topics, 463 posts — Last Post 04/19/14, 06:24PM

Real Estate Professionals

Real Estate Professionals

Real Estate Agents

1217 topics, 8024 posts — Last Post 04/23/14, 08:23AM

Bankers, Lenders, and Mortgage Brokers

442 topics, 1929 posts — Last Post 04/22/14, 11:03AM


269 topics, 1690 posts — Last Post 04/22/14, 07:33AM

Local Real Estate

Local Real Estate

Local Real Estate Networking & Recommendations

2015 topics, 11749 posts — Last Post 04/23/14, 05:15PM

Americans & International Real Estate

162 topics, 568 posts — Last Post 04/14/14, 11:19AM

Foreigners Buying in the USA

62 topics, 409 posts — Last Post 04/10/14, 06:27AM

Canadian Real Estate

65 topics, 439 posts — Last Post 04/22/14, 09:27AM


Real Estate Marketplace

Real Estate Marketplace

15080 topics, 54118 posts — Last Post 04/23/14, 05:37PM

Real Estate Events and Happenings

168 topics, 2598 posts — Last Post 04/23/14, 05:03PM


Off Topic


2907 topics, 32441 posts — Last Post 04/23/14, 11:24AM

Housing News & Real Estate Market

920 topics, 8391 posts — Last Post 04/23/14, 02:43PM

BiggerPockets Real Estate Investing Summit

97 topics, 1752 posts — Last Post 04/23/14, 04:51AM

BiggerPockets Resources

Forums » Starting Out » living off rental income

living off rental income

27 posts by 20 users


· Buena Park, California

I would like to know how many people here are living off rental income. The ability to quit your 9 to 5 job and manage properties sounds interesting! If you're doing this, please include how many rentals you currently own. Thanks!

Real Estate Investor · Ohio

I live off my rentals. I have several dozen.

If you do everything right, you might have a cash flow of about $100 per unit per month. If you do all the management and maintenance yourself, that might add another $100 per unit per month. So, if you want to live off your rentals, take the amount of money you need per month by either $100 or $200 (depending on whether you're doing the management or maintenance).

Good Luck,


Real Estate Investor · Charlotte, North Carolina

I live off my rentals and I have several dozen. I own many out right free and clear and that makes the ability to afford to do things that know one else does. You have to start some where Ryan and many are trying to get there, but it takes time and patience.

As stated earlier buying where others are not willing allows me to live the life that others are dreaming about.

I wish you success, but as I have said to you and others before you have to jump in and start with that first one.


Rehabber · Santa Clarita, California

I live off of real estate investing, but not just rental income. I also flip properties via wholesaling, retailing, rehabbing, etc.
I also have various other income streams in the real estate investing world.

If you want to live off of rental income, you will need to first, start, then continue the process. It is not a get rich quick program regardless of what gurus preach, it takes time, effort, patience, and determination but can be done.

Small_be_logoWill Barnard, Barnard Enterprises, Inc.
E-Mail: [email protected]

Real Estate Investor · Los Angeles, California

For the people who are living off their rental properties, how many years have you been investing seriously?

Real Estate Investor · Ohio


Real Estate Investor · Studio City, California

I don't live on my rentals cause I stared late, but I plan (And hope...) to buy 3-5 low-cost SFR every year and buy them cash. I hope in 10-15 years to accumulate enough so I can retire comfortably. In the past 15 months I sort of met my quota. Bought two SFRs with mortgage and three without.

Real Estate Investor · Rochester Hills, Michigan

I am in the same boat as Will - full time investor but my income comes from rentals / seller financing / flips / wholesales / rehabs blah blah blah.

Owning homes free and clear sure does help get the cash flow up (lots of debate here on that topic - not trying to rehash it here) but as Douglas said you have to start somewhere and that means your first $100 a month home :)

Getting started is the most important thing - Kel just posted in another thread about her and her hubby getting their second home - so just like they are - get started and build house by house.

Real Estate Investor

BTW, I know the notion of becoming a full time real estate investor is an enticing one, but I strongly suggest you meet with your real estate mentor(s) and accountant to determine if you can quit your JOB.

Far to often, an investor will go full time before he or she is really ready to do so financially.

Real Estate Investor · Garland, Texas

I don't take any cash out of my REI. I want to build critical mass and a "rock solid" balance sheet first. If the plan works (God willing), I'll be in a position to live off it in 18 months, but want to wait longer to help it grow faster.

Jon Klaus, SellPropertyFast
E-Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: 214-929-6545

I have now lived off of my income properties for 3 years. You have to reach critical mass before retiring, and for me, that was 5 properties paid off free and clear. You might think just a couple could provide that, but there are so many expenses it is crazy! I did not quit my job until I even had a partial interest in a 6th property, which allows me to have very low living expenses. Remember property taxes, insurance, city taxes as well as upkeep. I am now looking at buying distressed properties and getting them approved for section 89 housing. The number crunch looks great, but if anyone out there has experience in that area I would love to hear about it.

Real Estate Investor · Portland, Oregon

I could live off my rentals if:

1. Paid off 80k with proceeds from previous sales.
2. Could live on $1825 per mo-3650x 50%
3. Moved to Mexico and ate cold cereal for breakfast and a 6 pack for dinner.

Accountant · Garden Grove, California

I am currently living off my 30 rentals. My wife works, mainly because of the benefits and she LOVES her work as an RN. I have been applying for jobs because I am bored at home. I don't have the team for flipping and flipping in my area requires a minimum of $500,000 in cash (or HML) to play in the game. My daughter's BF works for a professional flipping company in the Inland Empire and even they are having a hard time selling their properties. They buy 15-20 a week.

So here I am, doing gardening. LOL

Wholesaler · Valley City, Ohio

That is an absolutely fantastic question, living off of rentals can be very lucrative, or it can be the fast track to bankruptcy! I make my living entirely off of real estate investments,but not off of rentals alone. My personal game plan does not involve a bunch of leveraged properties, I would much rather be debt free on my portfolio. This goes completely against what most folks will tell you, but over the past 15 years I have seen a lot of good people go down the tube's because of over leveraged rentals.
Now to more specifically answer your question, how much income are you looking to replace?If you do not have a ton of personal debt, you could live off of five or six paid for single-family homes. One of the biggest problems is, once you leave your full-time employment, it is going to be very difficult if not impossible to get mortgages on investment properties.
Personally, flip some contracts, take that money, by free and clear real estate! just my opinion, good luck!!!

Landlord · Seattle, Washington

I could live off of my rental properties right now, but choose not to. I'm still in the build up stage and plan to work and invest another 10 - 15 years.

Accountant · Garden Grove, California

RobTheHouseGuy is correct. Which is why 25 of my 30 properties are Free and Clear. And 3 of the 5 will be paid off in less than 10 years. So a fairly strong position.

Real Estate Investor · Portland, Oregon

Sounds like the F&C gang rules. This seems to go against the 30 yr mortgage group or does it take 30 yrs? Having planned on paying off everything quick-it is harder than it sounds IMO.

I'd thought the free and clear people were buying 15k hses but believe Mike M is buying a little higher end.

Maybe better stop playing on that cash flow and get back to basics.

· Norfolk, Virginia

I have 11 rentals fully paid for and bringing in nearly $100k a year free and clear, but being retired USN after 33 years I get a nice little check to retire on, so the rentals just bring in a little extra spending money... giving me time to spend my life playing with real estate lead genertion for others for free..

Real Estate Investor · Houston, Texas

I would be interested to hear from those who own their properties F & C how you went about it. Was it primarily by flipping and getting the cash up front, or putting your cash-flow from the rent back in to the note.

I have been buying rentals free and clear for the last few years. What I do is keep my expenses low (I try not to eat out or engage in general consumerism - and I have now realized that my gf that just moved in with me is more self sufficient than I realized and I am actually making money off cohabitating with her) and basically reinvest as much of my rental income and my day job income (which is still quite higher than the rental income annually - but not for long). I hope that in a few years I can have prop managers do all the work while I check my bank acct online from where I wish to be at that moment.

Sign up