What is Your Real Estate Lifestyle?

by | BiggerPockets.com

There are so many types of real estate investors out there. There are full time investors, part time investors, rehabbers, buy and hold guys, wholesalers, and the list goes on. With every role comes with different skill sets, demands, capital, time, and challenges. With such a diverse field I see a lot of different guys and gals there making it happen. I also see a lot of failures, headaches, and burnouts. While the decision to get into real estate can sound easy, the bigger question is how much are you willing to dedicate to real estate and how that dedication will affect your real estate lifestyle?

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The True Real Estate Hustlers

First I’d like to give credit where it is due. Real estate investors who are investing with a full time job are truly the cream of the crop. Investing in real estate sometimes can be more than a full time job. The time commitment to juggle both work and landlording, for example, can drive the investor insane. Not to mention the time needed to find deals and network with other real estate investors. Pretty soon you can find yourself overwhelmed. So I have a lot of respect for those investors.

Still, we have to ask why are we in real estate (it is definitely not for the groupies)? Are we looking for passive income, wealth creation, or the rush of getting deals done? How will real estate play a role in your work life, home life, or even your relationship with your significant other?

Why Invest in Real Estate?

Some of these questions I never really asked myself when I first got into real estate. I lived real estate 24/7. Foreclosures? I’d flip it. No inventory? I’d hold it. No bank loans? I’d borrow privately. It was a huge rush. I worked and talked real estate all day. Unsurprisingly, there are people out there who don’t want to hear you talk about real estate all day.

At a certain point, real estate consumed my life. I was always chasing deals, finding tenants, analyzing numbers, and rehabbing homes. I spent more than 12 hours a day on the field and then analyzed stuff late at night. I ate whatever I found on the road, whether it was McDonalds or Wendy’s. Pretty soon I was stressed out and irritable and I even gained a lot of weight.

A Need for Change

If it wasn’t for my girlfriend at the time to point out what a monster I had become I wouldn’t know what would have happened. Real estate became a chase for the money and not a chase for creativity, passion, and fun. In fact, I didn’t have any hobby and I wasn’t trying to have fun. I slowly came to the realization that I was starting to dislike real estate – it created a deleterious lifestyle for me.

At this point I’d like to further elaborate that I am not trying to say don’t hustle hard. Everyone should hustle hard. On the other hand, you also have to be aware that you can’t throw your whole life into it and not realizing you will be sacrificing a lot. Obviously we all have different situations and needs. But you must be aware that you are making a choice. I just got too lost in it.

Looking back, I realized if I continued my torrid pace I would have ended up hating real estate. I’d associate real estate with all the bad things in my life. As a result, I slowed down a lot. I started to take a lot of time off and focused on other areas of my life. I probably let some good deals slip. Yet I didn’t mind. I pursued my other passions like traveling and eating. I focused on living a healthier lifestyle. I started designing a lifestyle that fits what I really want in life.

I now pursue a balance.

I am sure that there are a lot of investors out there who didn’t experience what I went through. But I can imagine somewhere there are investors who are getting burned out because they are cranking it so hard. All I’m saying is that for me, I realized real estate is a long, long, long game, and I did not want be burned out too soon.

So what about you? Are you getting enough balance in your real estate lifestyle?

Photo: kdperico

About Author

Leon Yang

Leon Yang is an active real estate investor in Las Vegas. He is a buy and hold guy who also likes to flip from time to time. His main passion is to traveling to the less traveled places and inspiring others to become financially independent through real estate.


  1. Real good point. I worked hard as an investor and as a professor, decided to enjoy life at 50.
    So went into NNN, no toilet worry as mentioned in BP many times. Was happy with NNN, but also made a mistake to get in TIC”s, and got burned. It was easy to do 1031X with TIC’s, but COC was not as good as NNN Walgreens, and may lose some property in TIC, but non-recourse loan, so no liability. But overall happy, and a full time tennis player now, check www,fivecitiestennis.com. Thanks

  2. I completely agree with you — it can be easy to get burned out on anything, even something you love. It’s good to take a break and try something new every once in a while. Just like a personal relationship; if you spent 24/7 with your significant other you might get on each other’s nerves. It’s good for each person to have their own passions and hobbies.

  3. Wait, so not everyone wants to talk about real estate all the time? Hmmm.
    Yes, been there. Finally got a hobby and it’s had a good impact on my life. Still want to exit the rat race quicker, though.

  4. Leon, I just listened to your podcast on bigger pockets for the first time and the one question I wanted to be asked never came up.. I am a buy and hold investor with a full time job. Yes it gets insane like you state in this blog! You say you buy and hold in Vegas and sometimes at a break even cash flow on properties (I understand why) but what do you do to bring money in for living your everyday life if cash flow from your properties is zero? Because I believe you said you are a full time investor and this is where I would like to be one day but I need to get enough cash flow coming in to leave my current job.. just a curiosity post I guess. Thanks and look forward to your response!

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