I am now, a Landord!

59 Replies

First, this post isn't intended to be a hubris, self-promoting, story. Well, maybe just a little bit of it. I'm proud of my wife and I! I'm not ashamed to say it!

Anyways, me and my wife are a relatively young couple who count ourselves fortunate that we both have stable careers. We've always had that itch you just cant scratch when it came to real estate. After meeting a little over 2 years ago, we decided to get married last year and have had a goal to own a few rental properties before we try for a family. Prior to our marriage, I had decided that purchasing a property through my VA (any Marines in the house?!) loan down here in South Florida. Not knowing much about what I was doing, I purchased a property that was not overpriced, but definitely at the top of the market at the time. Don't get me wrong, this property was freshly renovated, had a new roof, and was definitely the best property we came across while searching.

The odd thing about this property though was that it was your typical 1960's South Florida home (prior Florida room, closed floor plan, and out of date style) but it had been renovated in a way that made it a "4"/1. Now you're probably thinking to yourself... "A 4/1, seems like it's pretty big". Wrong! This property was about 1200 sqft and the "fourth" bedroom was actually a bedroom walking into a bedroom. Yes, you heard me right. You had to walk into a bedroom in order to access the next bedroom. Clearly, not an ideal situation for someone living in that room. That was OK with us though because we new this would not be our forever home and that it had potential to be changed around. 

Fast forward 12 months.... We changed the floorplan of the house back into a 3/2, converted that first half of the 2-part bedroom series into a hallway extension with the other side of the wall being a full master bath, and finished the second half of the 2-part bedroom series into a full master bedroom with his and her closets and a rear entrance. We also converted the small closet that was in the original first bedroom into a small kitchenette. A very nice efficiency to say the least! 

Long story short, as of yesterday we are now landlords renting out the unit at $1100/mo with utilities included (no separate meters)! For those readers who are new to real estate or who may own a primary residence and are waiting to figure out that next step, this is for you. We absolutely did not intend to rent this property out or convert it into an effective "duplex". After living in the property for a year and realizing we had unused bedroom, the creative juices began to flow and we finally decided to jump in with the investment. Having a partner or spouse who is on the same wavelength as you or at least understands your desires for the future is HUGE! Communication is key!! 

For our next investment, we have been putting away savings for the better part of the last year and now have a nice nest egg where we will be looking to invest out of state. Likely in the Montgomery, AL or Birmingham, AL market. We are hoping to do a "full" project on the next investment and accomplish a successful BRRR!

Time will tell if my tenant teaches me some landlording lessons! 

Thanks for reading! Please see pictures attached of the after unit. I didnt take any "before" pictures sadly. 


@Patrick Bavaro, congratulations to you and your wife! The place looks great. I just moved to South Florida and am also looking at the Montgomery, AL market for out of state investing. I would love to connect (via phone or Zoom/Skype) if you are available. Let me know. Thank you

Not a Jar Head but I have been able to use the VA loan, AD USAF. My wife and I are renting out our first house while we live overseas. Glad to hear the hard work you put in the house is paying off.

Beautiful!!!  Great job and great story!  If you need help finding properties in Montgomery, my husband and I are both investors and Realtors here (I have lived here my whole life so I'm very familiar with it) and we help a lot of out of state investors find and purchase properties here. Reach out to me if we can help.  Congratulations again!!  

@Patrick Bavaro

It looks fantastic! So do you control the temperature in your tenant’s apartment? I have a basement apartment that I rent out as well but I’m remodeling it soon and I’m not really sure what to do about heat/air in the apartment while keeping it budget friendly. As it stands now, my tenant just uses space heaters in the winter and window AC in the summer.

@Rebecca Williams that’s a great question and was definitely a concern of ours too! Right now, we have the central AC unit in the house being used for that efficiency. We’re trialing this, but invited the tenant to our ecobee. It could be a nightmare, but could also be fine. The bigger concern that me and my wife have is that the windows throughout the house are the original 1960s windows. Extremely inefficient!! So the main side of the house where we stay gets relatively warm during the summer on a hot day. Weirdly enough, the efficiency side of the house has great insulation and can be very cool compared to the rest of the house. We’ve already contracted with a contractor to install impact windows that will be more efficient. We’re hoping this helps even out the temperatures and It won’t be too much of a problem. Another week or two will be the verdict on this sharing of ecobee lol. Eventually, we have plans to remove the duct going into that room, and install a MrCool AC unit (or similar concept) in that unit as we will eventually be turning the rest of the house into a rental as well.