Mindset Shift: Going From a 9-5 to REI

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Hi all! I'm new to BP though my husband has been urging me to join for awhile now. To make a long story hopefully not so long, last year after much discussion, book reading, podcast listening, etc, decided that we wanted to move our efforts towards FI (Financial Independence) or as we call it "FortyFI", our goal age for early retirement. We bought our first investment property last year and are eager to take on more. My husband will be transitioning out of the military next year (Army dentist) and we're gearing up to buy our first practice. A new move, a new chapter, means a new start for me. I have a background in social work (MSW), but not in one area precisely. I've jumped around a bit to try to find my "fit" and after much soul searching, realized I have picked up a set of valuable skills (experience with legal documents, customer service, time management, supervising others, hospitality, etc) but not necessarily a dream vocation. After growing up in a real estate family, I have spent my life convinced it was never the life for me...until now.

My plan for our next move is to not only help with my husband's practice but also start to pave my own way towards being a true REI. For those that have gone to working your traditional 8 hour salary job to working for yourself, what was useful for you? How to plan your day? How to separate home life/work life? I am a very hands on learner so as much as I read/listen, it's hard for me to picture exactly what life is going to look like with this transition. As a planner, I must try. Any and all tips/tricks/thoughts/sage wisdom is appreciated!

It's good to have a separate "place of business" when you work for yourself. Whether it be a small office in the basement or a whole different building. In my case it's my office/shop. 

Keeps the personal and business side of things totally separated by default. Its very easy to procrastinate while sitting in the living room trying to do paper work for your business.

Clearly defined your goals will help much here. Why do you want to achieve FI. What are your plan after you achieve FI. How much cash flow income you are expecting from each property. How many properties you need to achieve your FI goal in how many years or months.  Its Possible.. Good luck

Funny, had same situation (husband med prof and wife wants to be RE).

Advice - FIRST get your husband's practice started and rolling and put 100% in that.  You're fortunate to have a lucrative income.

If you start and depend on RE to generate income while you're money-short, you'll start taking risks as a beginner that have a high likelihood to bite back.

Anyways, figure what you want to invest in AND UNDERSTAND THE OPERATIONS 100% BEFORE YOU BUY.  I see too many people with stars in their eyes way overpay for properties, especially in Portland proper.

@Steve Morris Thank you for your response! Definitely plan on being a part of husband's practice and getting that into a rhythm. We'll be house-hacking right off and buying a multi-family with our VA loan so excited to take that on. Overall, we're not risk takers in general and love practicing running numbers on properties. Not saying that means we know it all (we definitely don't and have everything to learn) so certainly agree that doing the proper research/analysis and not going all in at first makes a lot of sense. Here's to getting our feet in the water and learning how to swim :)

@David Pere Thanks David! I will definitely delve into this list. My husband has read most of these so I'll certainly borrow. Looks like you've living the military life! We'll be transitioning out next year and will be doing our first house-hack buying a multi-family with our VA loan next year. I really appreciate the transparency of the goals on your page and will definitely follow your blog!

@Hannah Reichert I found the hardest part when looking to move from the traditional 9-5 to real estate is that it's much harder to qualify for conventional loans. That might not be the case for you, but I went to independent consulting many years ago (1099 job) and it was 10x more difficult to get loans to keep expanding the RE portfolio. I also had to account for items such as health care, no social security or 401k matching, etc. Again, hopefully that wont be as much as an issue but something to consider.

Good luck!

@Hannah Reichert   I ended up using smaller local banks (portfolio lenders) that had a little more flexibility on their lending criteria.  But ended up going back to a W2 job and still there (and I enjoy), and just plugging away and buying about one property per year.