Real Estate Investing Basics

How Being a Real Estate Investor Has Changed My Life (Aside From Retiring at 40)

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Young businessman leaves a meeting while other business people stay in office

It was the year 2000. We had made it through Y2K! The world would continue as it had for many centuries before.

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One thing would change though. I was now in my freshman year of high school, and I started getting asked something more and more consistently. No, I am not talking about your mom or dad embarrassingly asking you if there were any new love interests in your life.

The question was, “So, Ryan, what do you want to do for a job when you’re done with school?”

I had already given this thought. I wanted to work for ING. Yes, the large banking and financial services company.

Why? Well, if you drove through my state capital (Hartford, Conn., at the time), they had a really tall and cool looking office building with their giant orange ING tiger logo affixed on top.

Additionally, I, in fact, wanted to work at a desk, in a cube, or in an office. I would have a nice, little sporty car that I drove to this office, and I would wear a well-fitted suit, too. I also imagined having a well organized leather briefcase.

This was my dream. I wanted it bad.

Fast forward to 2008, and I got a job in banking making $12.10 per hour. Fast forward to 2011, and I got a job in insurance and some financial services-related work. In 2011, I also got a cubicle! It was great for about six months, until I got tired of hearing my fellow cubemates talk about their weekends on the town or their fights with significant others.

Sad businessman leaning on glass

How I Got Into Real Estate

Skip to 2012. I was making $28,000 a year and the newness of the “cube life” was wearing off. Luckily, I had been a saver for most of my life, so when the opportunity came to buy a house, I jumped.

My friends and I were leaving our rental of three years and some of us were parting ways. Others were looking for something else in the same area.

I decided, heck, if my last landlord could manage us all in one house, so could I. I bought a duplex for $140,000 via FHA loan and rented bedrooms out to my friends.

Related: 5 Business Books That Changed My Real Estate Investing Life

There were six bedrooms total between two units, and I lived in one of the bedrooms on the first floor. I charged $475 per month per bedroom, not including utilities. Since I took up one bedroom, I was bringing in $475 x 5 which is $2,375 per month.

The house was rent ready and to this day, I have done very little maintenance on it. It has been an incredible property.

My mortgage payment was $1,261 (PITI), if I remember correctly. I was clearing over $1,100, not counting reserves or maintenance—none of which I considered saving for until many years later.

When I Recognized the Power of Real Estate Investing

Needless to say, I was RICH and living for free.

Needless to say, I was hooked on real estate.

Something else happened, too, though. That now-somewhat-distant aspiration for suits and cubes and office buildings was starting to fade. I longed for it much less—and eventually not at all.

This real estate thing had given me a whole new outlook on life. Did I need a desk job, like I had always wanted, to feel “successful,” or could I do it through new means?

I quickly realized that real estate investing was one of the most tried and true wealth-building strategies in the history of this planet—if not THE best strategy of all time. I decided, if it was good enough for all of those before me, it was good enough for me, too.

Real estate had effectively shifted my focus from working until you’re 65 years old and retiring to possibly retiring much earlier—and really being able to enjoy the ride while you’re at it. The old adage of just grinding away at a 9 to 5 whether you enjoyed it or not was fading away. Contributing to my company’s 401(k) in hopes to escape the rat race was an eventuality no longer.

dark curly haired pretty woman in glasses smiling outdoors

What My Life Has Been Like Ever Since

Now, it’s 2019 and I work a 9 to 5 job from home. I own several rental properties all rented out by the room and am doing quite well from a cash flow perspective on those. The light at the end of the tunnel has continued to glow more brightly, year after year.

I will retire from my 9 to 5 before I am 40 and am 33 now. I actually think I can do it earlier, too.

Either way, real estate opened up my eyes to this great, new world of possibly securing the chance to live the majority of your life on your own terms and not someone else’s. I think most everyone reading this understands it’s the definition of financially free.

Another Way Real Estate Has Changed My Life

I just watched a few documentaries on Warren Buffett. Wow, what an incredible person—truly someone who will go down in the history books.

He is giving away 99 percent of his wealth. I believe the majority will be going to the foundation run by his good friend Bill Gates.

Unfortunately, I am not there yet; I am not .01 percent as philanthropic as he is. However, I have really likened to giving back as much as I can.

When I was getting started in real estate, I leaned on several local investors and was just floored that they gave me even 30 minutes of their time. It was quintessential to my success, this knowledge they shared.

Related: Becoming a Real Estate Mentor Changed My Business (& Personal) Life: Here’s How

I now try to do the same as much as I possibly can. I write these blogs every week. I reach out on the forums and offer help every chance I get. I consistently have around five people or so who I message back and forth with on BiggerPockets who are looking for advice. I love it. If real estate was not already incredible, this new part of it has made it even better for me!

That being said, I want to help. If there are any questions that you may want to ask me, just let me know. If I am not well qualified to answer it, I probably know someone that is.

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Questions?

Ask me in the comment section below!

Ryan Deasy, of Deasy Property Group and RentReddy, is a long-distance landlord currently residing in Houston, Texas. Originally from Connecticut, Ryan has employed various strategies and studied unique niches in order to grow and manage his portfolio. In 2012, Ryan purchased his first duplex. Little did he know, he had stumbled into house hacking and, from there, never looked back. In 2016, he moved to Houston and left all of his rentals behind with no property manager. Through many trials and tribulations, he discovered the best way to manage his portfolio was, simply, by himself at a distance. After employing rock solid systems and an all-encompassing team, he has been able to scale his portfolio without missing a beat. Not only is his entire portfolio managed from out-of-state but it is also comprised entirely of rent-by-the-room arrangements. With the appropriate systems and teams in place, Ryan has taken a group of small multifamily rental properties and made them into an exceedingly profitable income source.

    Olga Marquez Real Estate Agent from Lees Summit, MO
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Hi! Great article. Question...since you rent by the room, how do you deal with the cleanliness of common areas like the kitchen, living room and bathrooms?
    Jorge Duarte
    Replied 27 days ago
    You grinded to get to where you are right now, congratulations for that! I've been sharpening my ax by learning more about real estate investing. Books, BP Podcasts, articles, etc., have been very helpful, but my family has always forbidden the topic of money making. My question is, after realizing how much you hated listening your cubemates babble about the weekend partying, how were you able to take action and house hacked the heck out that duplex?
    Ryan Deasy Rental Property Investor from Houston, TX
    Replied 29 days ago
    Hi! thanks for reading. i pay for a biweekly or monthly cleaning service. other than that, the cleaning is worked out among the tenants. the cleaning service is really helpful. i would not want to forgo this. it is a very important piece of my business.
    Wenda Kennedy JD from Nikiski, Alaska
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Good for you. You're making good choices. I too retired early based on my investments. The difference was, my career was in real estate. It was such a relief to get to work full time on my own properties and investments. Now my quest is to get totally debt-free. I don't have the time to start over again, so I'm a lot more conservative as I grow older. Keep going. You're on a good track.
    Ryan Deasy Rental Property Investor from Houston, TX
    Replied 29 days ago
    Wenda! thank you so much. that is an incredible story. good for you also. i really am glad to see you succeed. that is very impressive.
    Colin Bennett
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Hi Ryan, I can relate to your struggles with the 9-5 struggle. I am living that horror as a Financial Analyst currently. I dread going to work everyday but push through it to because I know greener pastures are out there eventually. I found BiggerPockets recently and am trying to find a way out of this rat race. I am 31 years old and have mustered six figures in savings . I am a newbie and trying to get the process started of buying my first rental. I live in southern california so my options are limited. In exploring the landscape I've began looking in Texas. Plano seems to be where many businesses are going and that is where I am looking. I am a newbie and just am feeling kind of stuck in trying to understand what a good deal is in real estate. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Colin
    William Dauria
    Replied 28 days ago
    Plano Texas has had great appreciation in the past years. I lived and grew up in Plano TX most of my life. As far as rentals, be sure to check on the property taxes as Collin county can be quite expensive! Also be sure to check the local surrounding areas as well. Carrollton, Garland (north part), Mckinney, Addison and maybe North Richland Hills. Good luck!
    Anqi Lu
    Replied 29 days ago
    Hi Colin and Ryan, I am in the similar position, I discovered Biggerpockets earlier this year and have been trying to take action but felt lost as to where to start.
    Ryan Deasy Rental Property Investor from Houston, TX
    Replied 29 days ago
    Colin, thanks for sharing all of that and congrats on saving as much as you have. you are in a great position. i think texas is a great place to look seeing as your market is very expensive. i am happy to help in any way that i can. if you want to run a deal or idea by me, feel free!
    Kristen Purceski from San Diego, CA
    Replied 28 days ago
    Hi Ryan, I also live in Southern California and just joined bigger pockets (I am 31 as well, funny coincidence). I hadn’t thought to invest so far from where I live (Texas) but now I’m thinking about it. What are your thoughts on this?
    Ryan Deasy Rental Property Investor from Houston, TX
    Replied 26 days ago
    Hi Kristen! Well, i am kind of a black and white sort of person in this regard. meaning, is there somewhere in texas that you see yourself investing? if yes, get started here (texas). if no, then it is time to look elsewhere. admittedly, i have an advantage because i use to live in connecticut (where i invest) so i know the area well. either way, just start figuring out your goals and decide if investing locally will get you to where you want to be. I am happy to help in any way i can. feel free to message me anytime!
    Christopher Stacy from Fort Belvoir, Virginia
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Great article and awesome story! I applaud your efforts and hope to duplicate your success after I retire from the military. I am about 5 years from hanging up the uniform and I have 3 SFRs, 2 of which are paid for and the 3rd will be in 2021. I want to transition to multi-family, but your strategy sounds solid. Also very interesting. Thanks again and I look forward to reading more of your articles and learning from pros like yourself.
    Ryan Deasy Rental Property Investor from Houston, TX
    Replied 29 days ago
    Christoper, thanks for reading and commenting and thank you for your service. wow. 2 properties already paid off and a third on the way. that is incredible. you have set yourself up very well. i do agree that multifamily may be the next step for you. i am happy to help or answer any questions that i can. feel free to contact me anytime.
    Barry A Bialik
    Replied 30 days ago
    I really enjoyed your article. I own a few renal properties, but not enough to retire on. My question is, should I work on paying them off or using the loan payments to lower income taxes?
    Ryan Deasy Rental Property Investor from Houston, TX
    Replied 29 days ago
    Barry, thanks for reading! if you are looking to continue to scale i would continue to pay them off over time but wouldn't be too fixated on any negatives in having an outstanding loan on the property. the loan is probably at a great rate (at least historically). if you are looking to continue to expand, i would not be afraid to use leverage. the rentals are bringing money in and are hopefully appreciating over time. This is very different than buying a depreciating asset like a car or something.
    Kurinne Sohan from Long Island, NY
    Replied 30 days ago
    Thank you for sharing your experience. And thank you for extending yourself by offering a mentors ear to people on the forum. I myself have taken the conventional route by working 9 to 5 for many years and spent money on real estate "education" and I am ready to jump in the "investor" side and leave the spectator's arena. I wanted to ask how do you get started when I live in a expensive market which is not landlord friendly. I was told it's best to look elsewhere to invest I am not sure which state would be best for me to start. What do you suggest I should do?
    Ryan Deasy Rental Property Investor from Houston, TX
    Replied 29 days ago
    Hi Kurinne! thanks for reading and commenting. i agree, it is time for you to jump in. i grew up in CT so i know NY is expensive and getting more and more tenant friendly. good news is, you are surrounded by other states that, are not as tenant friendly, and are definitely less expensive. i invest now in CT. i am happy to offer any information you want about investing there. i would pick one of the surrounding states, get opinions from other investors (like me) and then take a saturday or sunday and drive to that location and really get a feel for the area. i think doing that is priceless. let me know how i can help! also, i have talked to many people from NY that are investing in CT. That might just be a great place for you too!
    Stephanie Minor Property Manager from Valhalla, New York
    Replied 29 days ago
    Hi there! I’m originally from CT and now live in NY, and of course with the way things are in NY, I’ve contemplated CT. Where in CT do you invest?
    Ryan Deasy Rental Property Investor from Houston, TX
    Replied 15 days ago
    hey stephanie, i invest in new britain, ct. let me know if you would like more details.
    Erin Washington from Chicago
    Replied 29 days ago
    Wow! This is so inspiring. I just bought my first three unit apartment building and I don't have tenants yet. Creating management systems is exactly what I need guidance with. I will rent out two and live in one for the first year because I purchased using FHA. Thank you for giving back. I hope we can connect soon!
    Ryan Deasy Rental Property Investor from Houston, TX
    Replied 29 days ago
    Erin! thanks for reading and commenting. you are on the right track. congrats on buying your first place. i house hacked like you are doing when i first started and it was amazing! its a great way to save a ton of money. you will be totally fine. i was forced to put in management systems when i moved so maybe i can help. if there is anything that i can do, just let me know! happy to answer any questions.
    Marc DeLeonibus from Delray Beach, FL
    Replied 29 days ago
    This is a great article really appreciate you sharing. The rent by the room approach is interesting. Are you focused on a particular niche of the market? College? Workforce housing?
    Ryan Deasy Rental Property Investor from Houston, TX
    Replied 29 days ago
    Hi Marc! thanks for reading and commenting. i am focused on students and normally blue collar/low-middle income people. most of tenants are about 25-35 years old with a few older people too. it is much more than just students though. i find it is mostly young adults starting out their career not making a ton of income but looking for a safe and clean place to live.
    Sai Kopacek Real Estate Agent from Martinez, CA
    Replied 29 days ago
    Love it man, keep up the good work!
    Ryan Deasy Rental Property Investor from Houston, TX
    Replied 29 days ago
    Sai! thank you! i really appreciate it.
    Maxime Tremblay Rental Property Investor from Iowa
    Replied 29 days ago
    How do you arrange showings from a distance? And people are ok renting rooms from a stranger from a distance? the key to my real estate success has been to stay on top of the properties and screen tenants well, which i feel would be hard to do long distance. Im genuinely curious. I'd like to let go of these notions if I can and really get more properties in areas that are less expensive.
    Ryan Deasy Rental Property Investor from Houston, TX
    Replied 26 days ago
    Hi Maxime, thanks for commenting. i have a designated person who does all my showings. i take the calls/texts and schedule the showing based on my showing persons availability. i do not tell anyone that i do not live close. i do not lie about it, but i only tell if i am asked. i do that to not get taken advantage of. i believe some people would take advantage of this fact if they knew the landlord was 1500 miles away. but, yes, they are comfortable. they have never questioned it. they send personal information to me (on application - paystubs, etc) without question. with todays technology, there is little reason to meet face to face. in fact i have only met a few of my tenants. i would not know 95% of them if i passed them in the street.
    Gail Greenberg Specialist from Melrose Park, PA
    Replied 29 days ago
    Would love to hear the details of how you lease and manage your units long distance; what kind of team members you have on the ground where your rentals are and how you pay them. How do you market your units? Who shows them for you? I assume tenants pay rent online. You also put the lease on docusign? You have people who keep an eye on your units in addition to a handyman?
    Ryan Deasy Rental Property Investor from Houston, TX
    Replied 26 days ago
    Hi Gail! thanks for reading. yes i manage it all myself. i have pieced together a team from nothing. i have a contractor, plumber, electrician, cleaning guy, lawn guy, snow plow guy, showing person (for open rooms), general handyman, etc. i simply text them the issue and they take care of it. i am also rolling out RentReddy (www.rentreddy.com) to help myself and other investors too that are managing their properties. i market the units on zillow, apartments.com and craigslist. i have a designated showing person that does all my showings. all tenants pay via venmo, cash app, zelle, or cozy. i put my leases on hellosign.com, which is basically the same as docusign. i have a good relationship with all my tenants. they know to tell me if something is wrong. other than that, my contractor is always floating around my properties. if all else fails, i have my units cleaned monthly or biweekly and my cleaning guy will let me know of issues then.
    Gabriel Starr from Salem OR
    Replied 29 days ago
    Great article Ryan! I am new to REI and currently live in a duplex I bought a year and half ago almost living rent free. I am very interested in how you arrange renting by the room. It seems you could certainly make more rental income and decrease turnover costs, but how do you set that up successfully? Thanks!
    Ryan Deasy Rental Property Investor from Houston, TX
    Replied 26 days ago
    Hey Gabriel! thanks for reading. yes, renting by the room is pretty awesome. it is really quite simple. everyone is on their own lease. what one person pays or doesnt pay is no bother to the anyone else living in the unit. from there, it basically operates as a regular unit. you will want to position tenants that you think are like minded. meaning, keep yourself in the confines of fair housing laws, but if you think 2 or 3 people would get along in a unit, then see if you cant set them all up to occupy that unit. happy to help answer more questions as i am sure you have some. feel free to message me!
    Anita Fulton
    Replied 29 days ago
    Great read! I’m new to investing and what frightens me is not the acquisition of the property but the aftermath, i.e., managing the property. I would love to pick your brain about how you manage your properties, especially long distance
    Ryan Deasy Rental Property Investor from Houston, TX
    Replied 26 days ago
    Hi Anita! nothing to be scared of. as long as you get decent tenants, you can work through any issues. happy to help. feel free to send me a message with any questions you have.
    Teylo Thornton
    Replied 29 days ago
    Great article and thanks! I currently rent out a house by the room but I include utilities and that is cutting into my profit. How did you get folks to agree to separate utilities and how did you manage that?
    Ryan Deasy Rental Property Investor from Houston, TX
    Replied 26 days ago
    Teylo, youre welcome and thank you for reading. so just up until this year i separated all utilities but am now transitioning to include them all. to answer your question, i sat down at the end of every month and divided the utilities evenly and then sent out a group text relaying what everyone owed for gas, electric etc. i typically did this one or two days before the end of the month so that they could include it with their rent. now i am transitioning out of that. i make enough renting by the room to justify taking the hit and i do not need to spend all that time doing the math and sending out texts. that was a real pain in the butt. heres the bottom line. i have C class tenants. if they miss a few days of work or their money gets tight and they owe rent and utilities, what are they going to work harder to pay, rent or utilities? Rent. Given that, are you going to evict them over 64.56 in utilities? probably not. that is another reason why i am going to include them.
    Charles H. from Los Angeles, California
    Replied 29 days ago
    Nice article. Can I ask what dollar amount you are targeting as your "retirement income" at 40?
    Ryan Deasy Rental Property Investor from Houston, TX
    Replied 26 days ago
    Hey Charles! Thank you and thanks for reading. i would like to have 20k net per month to feel comfortable enough to "retire".
    Mary Chen
    Replied 29 days ago
    Ryan, thank you for the post! Really inspiring! I'm really hoping to be able to jump on the investor bandwagon in a year or two. Curious - would you say getting a duplex or more is the way to go initially? Versus like a condo or single family home? And via FHA loan now given more expensive housing units? the 20% downpayment required for multiunit places trip me up since those places are now usually like $400k+ and hard for a newbie to cough up that kind of cash...
    Ryan Deasy Rental Property Investor from Houston, TX
    Replied 26 days ago
    Hi Mary! thanks for commenting and reading! like thomas said, multifamily is the way to go. i would discourage you from a single family house. i have one in my portfolio and it is laughable the income that it makes compared to the multifamily properties. FHA is a fine place to start. you can get in for a low down payment, although i believe now the PMI stays on for the life of the loan. also, most hard money lenders will get you in for 15% or so. furthermore, seller finance is always a great option. i just got in for 13% on my last one. i know many people get in for less than that too.
    Thomas Kelly IV
    Replied 28 days ago
    I believe 2+ is the best investment! And FHA for sure, then after 6 payments you are eligible for the FHA streamline refinance to reduce your interest rate at no cost. I live in owner occupied duplex and let me tell you it's the best decision I've ever made. Being handy and resourceful helps, but where there's a will there's a way!
    Christopher Salas
    Replied 29 days ago
    Wow, what an incredible story Ryan. I am currently in the same shoes you were in when you were making 28K a year. Although, I am not the greatest money saver due to college tuition/loans. I need to start saving so I can invest on a duplex like you did. How do you recommend I obtain the knowledge on knowing how much to save and what I would get myself into as a first time duplex buyer?
    Ryan Deasy Rental Property Investor from Houston, TX
    Replied 26 days ago
    Hey Christopher, thanks for reading! so i suppose you need to consider your options. cheapest way without going too wild/creative is probably FHA which is 3.5% down. i did this and house hacked my first duplex. i would highly recommend this. as you read in the article, i ended up living for free in my first duplex which allowed me to save a bunch of money so that i could buy my next property. i guess this is where i would start. let me know how else i can help!
    Tawanda Robinson from Houston, TX
    Replied 29 days ago
    Amazing story, Ryan! I’ve been looking forward to seeing someone with a story like yours and I didn’t even realize it. I make somewhat more than the 28K you were making when you started investing and don’t have much in the way of savings - (yet!) but reading about your journey is definitely inspiring. Thanks for the fabulous article!
    Ryan Deasy Rental Property Investor from Houston, TX
    Replied 26 days ago
    Thanks Tawanda! Thank you for reading and commenting. You can do it. the fact that you are even on this website and reading articles and having interest in real estate is much further than i was. i really stumbled into real estate and didnt find bigger pockets until much later. you are on the right track! let me know how else i can help.
    Peter Durant from Central Massachusetts
    Replied 29 days ago
    The “Rent by the room” concept is interesting to me. What do you find is the profile of your typical tenant? Obviously they are single but are they all college kids?
    Ryan Deasy Rental Property Investor from Houston, TX
    Replied 26 days ago
    Hey Peter! thanks for reading and commenting. The profile is basically most male (70/30 split or so) and between the ages of 25-35. they are young working people just starting careers or they have a job that is not high paying and one bedrooms/studios are just not quite within their grasp yet. i also have people that make 30$ an hour or more and are just looking to bank as much money as they can. i have only one college house. so, no, that is a common misconception. this does not need to be all college kids.
    Tanner Enderle Rental Property Investor from Phoenix, AZ
    Replied 29 days ago
    @Ryandeasy Ryan could you write another blog please detailing the systems you use as well as the apps/programs that helped you scale? Thank you!!!
    Ryan Deasy Rental Property Investor from Houston, TX
    Replied 26 days ago
    hey Tanner! thanks for commenting and reading. that is a great idea actually. as you may know, i am rolling out RentReddy (www.rentreddy.com) soon so i did want to include an article highlighting some programs that i use. however, i really am not too fancy. most everything is in excel. i wish i had started with a a fancy app like tenantcloud, appfolio, buildium, etc but i did not. i now have the painstaking task of trying to move from excel to one of those better apps. i do also use cozy for payments and tenant screening. i have found that to be helpful.
    Matthew McCombs from Ridgeville, South Carolina
    Replied 29 days ago
    Hello Ryan i currently have 3 properties 2 of the properties i rent by the room. My question to you is how to do you divide the utilities between the tenants? I currently pay the utilities under my name is there a way you pass the responsibility to the tenants like you would in a normal single family rental? Thanks for any help you can provide
    Ryan Deasy Rental Property Investor from Houston, TX
    Replied 26 days ago
    Hey Matthew! thanks for commenting. i have always billed back utilities to the tenants. i am not transitioning everyone to have utilities included in rent. take a look at what i wrote to "Teylo" (another person who commented) above. i simply took the gas, utility and internet bill, put it all in a spreadsheet, divided it evenly between the number of tenants in the unit and group texted them what they owed a few days before the first of the month.
    Louis Gray
    Replied 29 days ago
    Hey Ryan, I love this article, thank you for sharing your story! I have a question for you - I'm 23 years old, graduating this spring and still a newbie to most of these concepts - any recommendations for someone looking to start a Real Estate Investment company with his family?
    Ryan Deasy Rental Property Investor from Houston, TX
    Replied 26 days ago
    Hey Louis! thanks for reading and commenting. Yes, figure out what your goals are with your family. figure out how you will finance them (traditional bank, hard money, your own funds, seller finance). figure out how you will manage them (yourselves or a property manager). Find a place to invest, local or otherwise. then buy ATLEAST a duplex. i know alot of people invest in single families. i have one of them and its hilarious what it does in terms of income compared to the other properties.
    Dylan H. Rental Property Investor from Savannah, GA
    Replied 29 days ago
    Hey Ryan, great story! I'm wondering how you market your individual rooms for rent? I have an SFR I'm house hacking now and would like to pursue this after I move in about a year. Any input would be greatly appreciated!
    Ryan Deasy Rental Property Investor from Houston, TX
    Replied 26 days ago
    hey Dylan! thanks for taking the time to read and comment. i market the rooms on zillow, apartments.com and craigslist. i market them as "shared spaces" and that there will be roommates/housemates. give it a try! happy to help. let me know.
    Salvador Aldrett Investor from College Station, Texas
    Replied 29 days ago
    Great article, thanks for sharing your journey, i wish you all the best and i have no doubt you will be living on your own terms soon. Cheers to your success!
    Ryan Deasy Rental Property Investor from Houston, TX
    Replied 26 days ago
    Hey Salvador! thank you! appreciate you reading and commenting. thank you for the warm wishes. i hope you find success also in all your endeavors.
    William Jones
    Replied 29 days ago
    Great article, been wanting to get into real estate investing for long time but didn't know how. You can read all the articles and get the jist of things but what about behind the scenes. The paperwork and what paperwork to use. How do you set up to with private lenders? So many questions.
    Ryan Deasy Rental Property Investor from Houston, TX
    Replied 26 days ago
    hey WIlliam, thanks for reading and commenting. please ask me all your questions. happy to help. i am have used hard money lenders, but not true private lenders. i can tell you that having a property or two that you rent or that you have flipped or something like that is immensely helpful. if you go in as someone with no experience, it will be more difficult. any and all lenders are going to ask what your track record is.
    Mark Stedman Investor from Nashua, NH
    Replied 29 days ago
    Great article. It’s always nice to see ambition in young people. It isn’t as common as it used to be. I’m 58 and sold my Optometry practice a few years ago. I have 4 properties - 4 units each except 1 has 5. I have no debt on them. Also involved in a partnership (3 of us) which does some hard money lending, and The Senior Living Fund V, which is a truly passive investment. I think about going “bigger” by mortgaging a few properties to buy more. Leverage certainly can work as we all know the math...but it also can come with additional risk and stress. $12k/month is nice but $20k/month would be nicer. And right now I manage my properties myself. In a few years I will grow tired of that. Any thoughts ?
    Ryan Deasy Rental Property Investor from Houston, TX
    Replied 26 days ago
    Hey Mark! thanks for commenting and reading. you are not old, but you are also not in your twenties or thirties. if i was you, i would take a hard look at what i actually need to be happy in my 60s, 70s and 80s and ultimately what i need to survive. you seem to have done well for yourself, so congrats on that. you may not need to scale large to sustain your lifestyle or maybe you do need to add more to your rental portfolio. i suppose for me, i am always wanting more. i would expand a bit more but as soon as you start to feel some pain from the management it is either time to get a property manager or build out your own team. furthermore, many invest passively. i would recommend taking a look at this. if you can send 50k or 100k to a great operator/syndicator and earn 15% or more, that would be pretty nice!
    Andrew Mott
    Replied 29 days ago
    Hey there Ryan, aspiring out of state investor here. I appreciate you sharing your experiences with managing your rental properties out of state. I have a multitude of questions regarding your strategies and techniques. After looking through multiple strategies the one I have settled on is the SFR/Duplex and renting by the room, much like you currently do. How do you find your tenants and ensure you always have a sufficient occupancy keeping vacancies to a minimum? Especially while being an out of state Landloard. So many more questions, would be so great to connect and talk more. Thanks for all your contributions to the real estate world! So very helpful.
    Robert Almonte
    Replied 29 days ago
    Excellent Article! How may I find a mentor? I know that you are already mentoring 5 other people, but if you know anyone that can help I would appreciate any help. I have always desired to invest but for never find the courage or the right market time...
    Thomas Kelly IV
    Replied 28 days ago
    There's never a wrong time! The first step is always the hardest. All you need is a dream, a belief and stubborn determination/diligence.
    Emily Jones
    Replied 28 days ago
    What advice would you give for finding good contractors and property managers when investing long distance?
    Ryan Deasy Rental Property Investor from Houston, TX
    Replied 26 days ago
    Hey Emily! thanks for reading and commenting. i would advise to find time and patience. i vetted dozens of contractors before i found one. i had probably 100 or more people contact me off my craigslist post looking for one. you will want to take all the calls and narrow them down to just a few possibilities and make a decision from there. let me know how else i can help.
    Thomas Kelly IV
    Replied 28 days ago
    Great article Ryan! Very relatable. I am currently living In my first (owner occupied), duplex and property management is quite the ride! I spent years researching the market culturing myself, and finally I made the leap of faith! After 3 months of renovations & updating I have wonderful tenants covering my mortgage. I long to retire by 40 too, hopefully earlier! :)
    Ryan Deasy Rental Property Investor from Houston, TX
    Replied 26 days ago
    Hey Thomas! thanks for reading and commenting! congrats on your first place too. isnt having your expenses covered by someone else really nice?! best of luck to your early retirement!
    Julie Richter
    Replied 28 days ago
    Ryan, I look forward to the answers you give for the questions that have been asked! Very eye opening and informative!
    Ryan Deasy Rental Property Investor from Houston, TX
    Replied 26 days ago
    Hi Julie! thanks for reading. take a look at all my responses. i have gotten asked some really great questions here. i hope my answers help you and everyone else!
    Cooper B. Real Estate Agent from Birmingham, Alabama
    Replied 28 days ago
    Hey Ryan, thanks for the article. Can you clarify what you mean about renting by the room? Are you finding a group of friends that want to live together, then just signing separate leases for each room? Or are you really just marketing/renting out each room on its own?
    Ryan Deasy Rental Property Investor from Houston, TX
    Replied 26 days ago
    hey Cooper, thanks for commenting! yes renting by the room just means that you are leasing each bedroom separately instead of leasing the whole unit. some people put the individuals on one lease, but i have a separate lease for everyone. in all my years, i have one had one group of friends and it actually wasnt that great. so, 99% of the time i have complete strangers living together. please let me know what other questions you have.
    Andrea Easy
    Replied 28 days ago
    How can I get started doing deals with NO money saved and a average credit?
    Ryan Deasy Rental Property Investor from Houston, TX
    Replied 26 days ago
    Hi Andrea! most likely you will want to partner with someone that does have money and good credit. you can trade them your time for this. maybe you can help with the rehab, finding lenders and contractors, etc. also, most times, seller finance is pretty lax as far as credit goes. most times you do not find a seller that is going to run your credit. you can also get in for less than the regular down payment amounts, sometimes.
    JP Murphy Rental Property Investor from Copper Center, Alaska/Indiana
    Replied 28 days ago
    Hey Ryan, Thanks for an awesome article. I too am a long distance investor, however I currently have a property manager. I would eventually like to self manage long distance. Who is on your team other than a property manager and cleaning company?
    Ryan Deasy Rental Property Investor from Houston, TX
    Replied 26 days ago
    Hey JP, thanks for reading and commenting. i do not have a property manager on my team, technically. i have: contractor, plumber, electrician, cleaning person, someone to do showings, lawn person, snow person, excavator (digging/leveling/parking lots), handyman, etc. let me know how else i can help.
    Todd Campbell Investor from Austell, Georgia
    Replied 27 days ago
    Great article Ryan! Congratulations!!! Very inspiring........I hope to follow your path soon. Gotta recover from a period of unemployment first.
    Ryan Deasy Rental Property Investor from Houston, TX
    Replied 26 days ago
    Hi Todd! thanks for commenting! best of luck to you. please let me know i can help! i would love to add value if i can.
    NA NA from Hartford, CT
    Replied 27 days ago
    Are you still located in Connecticut? I live in Manchester (two towns over from Hartford) and i am considering investing out of the state of CT because I can simply get more value for my money outside of the state.
    Ryan Deasy Rental Property Investor from Houston, TX
    Replied 26 days ago
    Hey! Thanks for commenting. I live in houston now actually. where are you finding more value? i think CT is a great place to invest. i should say, certain parts are great to invest in. let me know your thoughts. feel free to message me!
    Kyle Reeves Investor from Fort Worth, Texas
    Replied 26 days ago
    As others have stated, the by the room concept is interesting. Seems like there could be numerous pitfalls though. Do you have an actual shared space lease agreement that you use or do you use a standard standard residential lease agreement and specify the exact room and other details in the special provisions section of the standard residential lease?
    Ryan Deasy Rental Property Investor from Houston, TX
    Replied 20 days ago
    Hey Kyle, thanks for reading and commenting. i do the latter. i also operate out of an expectation of respect, both ways. i respect them and they respect me. i treat them well and they treat me well. i have never had any damage or anything, ever.
    Steven Ose from Minnetonka, Minnesota
    Replied 26 days ago
    Ryan, thanks for your article. I am at eight doors currently, all single-family, in two hubs (MN/WI), five hours drive apart. I would love to live in one hub and not have hired management in the other, but manage both personally. It would save me $6k/y. Your bio states, "Through many trials and tribulations, he discovered the best way to manage his portfolio was, simply, by himself at a distance." Can you direct me to resources on managing a portfolio from a distance please? Have you written on it?
    Ryan Deasy Rental Property Investor from Houston, TX
    Replied 20 days ago
    Hey Steven, thanks for reading! the second article i ever wrote, talked a bit about my long distance management. if that is not helpful, please feel free to message me. i am happy to help in any way that i can. i manage my rentals and rehabs from a distance. it is really pretty awesome!
    Ara Abrahamian
    Replied 26 days ago
    Ryan, congrats on your success. Definitely an interesting and lucrative approach. I had a couple questions about your mgmt setup. I saw you described your team above. Is your contractor (or anyone else) on retainer? Or do you pay them by the job? If you have someone on retainer, when did you move to that structure (how many units)? Also, what’s your approach to making sure you’re not getting ripped off by contractors? For example, if you’re told there’s a leaking toilet, it could be as simple as a flapper but the plumber could decide to charge you for a whole new fill valve. Managing from a distance, how do you control for that risk? I’m at 8 units in L.A. and find it necessary to be there in person (or at least swing by to check once the job is completed) to make sure repairs are being done properly. I’m working with licensed contractors/plumbers, but even they try to cut corners at times. I suppose one approach could be to pay top dollar for high end contractors who offer white glove service, but that would add up quickly and kill any cash flow.
    Ryan Deasy Rental Property Investor from Houston, TX
    Replied 20 days ago
    Hi Ara, thanks for reading. Great questions too. when i say team i do not mean on retainer or employees of mine. they are just trusted service people for me that i have developed a real, true relationship with. What is missing in all of your questions is trust. i havent thought even one time that i needed to be present to check anything. i found a contractor a while back that i liked. obviously i didnt know him at all at that point. i dove in, took a chance on him and made it work. we have had very tense conversations and "fights" over the years. however, i trust him through and through. we have developed a relationship and i do not question him and he doesnt question me. i dont get bids from other people but instead send him all my business. he has a great incentive to do well by me. for a lifetime of business, it certainly wouldnt be worth up charging 150$ on something when it should of cost 50$. i highly recommend you interview a few contractors and develop a good relationship with the one that you feel the best about.
    NA NA
    Replied 26 days ago
    Hi Ryan thank you for your article great value in all your Q & A congrats and Cheers to your success! I just turn 43 this year and I just started to getting the feel for the business I'm more confident now and educated. So I have a question for you. how you financed your first deal it was through the bank's FHA loan or through a hard money lender?
    Brad Shepherd Syndicator from Austin, TX
    Replied 20 days ago
    FHA and hard money loans are two completely different beasts. It sounds like he bought it to live in it, then rented out the remaining rooms. Living it means it would be at as a low as 3.5% down payment. FHA loans can be done through any traditional lender (banks, credit unions, mortgage brokers). Hard money would be a short term loan for a flip or BRRR strategy, and not through a traditional lender.
    Ryan Deasy Rental Property Investor from Houston, TX
    Replied 20 days ago
    Thank you for commenting! yes, brad is correct. the first property i bought was done through FHA financing at 3.5% down. happy to go over details if you would like!
    Cam Wagner
    Replied 11 days ago
    Hi Ryan, Great article! Thank you for sharing your story. I am just wondering, which platform do you use to list your rooms for rent? Also, the strangers that are living together, do you try and keep it to the same gender per house? Lastly, do you use any kind of tools for background check or credit check for your tenants? Thanks, Cam