Who started investing AFTER having kids while working full-time?

14 Replies

I'm looking for some inspiration. I'm working full time while my wife stays home with our kids until they're both school age (so about another 4 years). My wife is slowly starting to get interested in investing with me. Right now we're focusing on finding a family-friendly house hack around Baltimore with the long term goal of investing in mobile home parks, but the pickings have been slim (or maybe I'm just two picky). So my questions for you:

How did you balance family and work life with finding deals and managing your properties? What investment strategies did you use (house hack, SFH rentals, MF rentals, flipping, wholesaling, etc)? Any general advice for someone in my situation?


I was a full time lawyer with a stay at home wife and two non-school age kids when I started.  It's tough but doable.  You get up early and do what you can before works starts, you work on lunch breaks, you work in the evening, and you work on weekends.  My wife (now ex-wife, though that had nothing do with real estate) helped out on the first rental, but then she pretty much dropped out and left it all to me.  You have to learn to delegate and find good people to rely on.  You have to develop good systems for management.  Nice thing about BP is that pretty much everything has been done before so you don't have to reinvent the wheel.  For me, the greater risk was always do nothing, rather than doing something and failing or getting overwhelmed.  

@John Chapman That's helpful knowing you were able to do it in what little spare time you had! As long as my kids aren't waking up, I spend 4:30-5:30 am working on finding deals as well as any downtime I have during the work day. Thanks for the advice!

Originally posted by @Ken Swearengen :

I'm looking for some inspiration. I'm working full time while my wife stays home with our kids until they're both school age (so about another 4 years). My wife is slowly starting to get interested in investing with me. Right now we're focusing on finding a family-friendly house hack around Baltimore with the long term goal of investing in mobile home parks, but the pickings have been slim (or maybe I'm just two picky). So my questions for you:

How did you balance family and work life with finding deals and managing your properties? What investment strategies did you use (house hack, SFH rentals, MF rentals, flipping, wholesaling, etc)? Any general advice for someone in my situation?

 I started by house hacking a duplex and Airbnbing the other side. This could work for you because your wife is already at home and she could be the one to turn over the apartment when guests leave. Then when your kids grow up it'll be an easier transition for her to run that side of the operations. I have my kid help (she's 7) as the "Property Assistant" so when your kids grow up, you can involve them too. She does easy chores like wiping off surfaces, putting laundry away, and I supervise her vacuuming.  It's a great way to integrate her into the business. As for work/life balance, when you figure that out let me know, I've yet to find the secret. 

I fit this topic . I have 3 kids started at 40 and work 55 hours a week and still do plus run my portfolio mostly on weekends . It’s tough it’s hard it’s difficult .. what can I say .? You gotta budget your time much more closely and yes it will strain your marriage and yes it will take away time from your family and much of your income too , Atleast at first 

Here’s the thing you must understand though . You must must must Purpose In Your heart to keep moving despite the setbacks .Through all that adversity and struggle you are making a solid path to freedom and building generational wealth for your kids . Nothing really good in life comes easy without time and sacrifice ! 

I’d rather give up time and income now than work till I’m 70 + at a job I hate for peanuts being pressured to perform by some punk out of college on what to do ! I’m not into being a slave to the alarm clock and building another mans business. Remember You’ll get that time and money all back by the bushel basket if you do this right . You want to be the kind of person your family is proud of and thAt doesn’t happen by accident . The reality is No one is coming to save you so you must make this happen for them by going for it even if it’s scary 

@Nick Rutkowski I love the idea of having the kids help out, and it's one of the reasons I want to get into real estate while they're young -- they'll actually want to help out! The work/o=life balance really hit home this past July when my dad passed away at 61 from brain cancer. While he loved his job I know one of the hardest things for him was knowing he wouldn't get to spend time with my kids/his grandkids. It put things into perspective for me, so I'm trying to figure out where the balance is with being in the present with them now while also preparing for a future in which I can spend even more time with them and with my wife.

@Dennis M. The kids are why we do it, right? I love your remark about giving up time and income now so that you don't have to work until you're 70. I think I just need to keep that in mind as I do this.

Originally posted by @Ken Swearengen :

@Nick Rutkowski I love the idea of having the kids help out, and it's one of the reasons I want to get into real estate while they're young -- they'll actually want to help out! The work/o=life balance really hit home this past July when my dad passed away at 61 from brain cancer. While he loved his job I know one of the hardest things for him was knowing he wouldn't get to spend time with my kids/his grandkids. It put things into perspective for me, so I'm trying to figure out where the balance is with being in the present with them now while also preparing for a future in which I can spend even more time with them and with my wife.

@Dennis M. The kids are why we do it, right? I love your remark about giving up time and income now so that you don't have to work until you're 70. I think I just need to keep that in mind as I do this.

Yeah man, the best gift you can give your kids is financial education and a business to build on. It's the only thing my parents were never able to give to me. Sorry about your Dad, maybe being aware of your time here on Earth with your kids was the gift he left you. The whole point of why we invest (aside from making money) is to free up our time so we can spend it more accordingly on things that are important to us. Anyways, you're investing in your children and you're walking the right path, keep it going! Your kids will thank you when they're older.

A big part of why I finally got off my duff and pulled the trigger on investing was my fathers death . He died in his 60’s from a bad heart . He worked his entire adult life doing manual labor .as he got older and acquired more health problems he slowed down and found himself competing with men half his age that could work faster And smarter . Sadly despite his skill and experience, I don’t think he ever made more than 13 bucks an hour . 

When he died he left me nothing but a bill to help pay for his funeral /burial. that’s when I said screw this ! That won’t be me and it will be if I don’t start hustling and building my wealth . I don’t want my kids to struggle like I did and I want to be the kind of person people look up to making my own fortune instead of relying on a boss to throw me scraps of whatever he thinks I’m worth . . My dad always thought Life is just something that happens to you not something you can design and create . 

Yes I have kids a wife and a job that I work roughly 3000 hours a year at and I just make time when I can. because I don’t want to work forever.  

If your WHY is big enough, the family and time will work themselves out. Set goals, not only for real estate but the other areas of your life to make sure you are striving for what's important. As @Dennis M. mentioned, it is difficult and there are many nights where I don't want to do anything but sit and watch Netflix after a long day at the day job, but just remember your WHY and keep pushing. Get strategic and ask people for ideas on problems you have - e.g., if you can't find a deal in Baltimre, reach out and start asking others that are doing deals how they are finding them. Don't be afraid to be a newbie, stay humble.

@Joseph Firmin Thank you for the advice and helpful words. Dedicating more time to my family and volunteer firefighting are my biggest whys and have helped immensely in keeping me dedicated to real estate investing. I think sometime I just need to step back and realize these things take creativity and time.

Hi Ken,

I'm right there with you--my husband and I both work full time, we have two young kids (1 and 3) and we've recently pulled the trigger on getting serious about RE investing. It took him three years to convince me a good idea; he started talking about it when my oldest was a wee baby and we had just moved house, and I was like NOPE, I can't handle any more changes right now, and I already hated being away from my little one for work, didn't want to add more distractions. Another baby and another move later and he's still talking about it, and I still resisted. But then my job started turning extra miserable, right around the time we put our last house on the market, which I now call an accidental live in flip--it was an REO, we had some work done but I did a lot of work myself, just because that's what homeowners do...we are about to close on it and clear ~$40K. That helped things to start to click. I listen to a few podcasts, read a few books, and suddenly I'm hooked.

All that said, we've committed ourselves to timeblocking scraps and shreds of time to taking action, visiting 3 properties a week (kids in tow sometimes), assigned ourselves various lead streams to analyze, taking turns getting kids out of the house on weekends so the other can work, attending 2 networking events per month, setting up systems, having a weekly battle planning meeting. We haven't made an offer yet, but already it is HARD! Like you, I'm up at 5am to get a tiny bit done (when one of the littles doesn't sabotage my plans with an early wakeup), using an hour or so at work (I'm more efficient than most of my co-workers, so I figure I'm due), bleary-eyed time at the computer when I'm dead tired after bedtime. We hope to have our first deal under contract early in the new year, and we'll need to take every little sign of progress to heart.

I know it's going to get way harder once we actually have our first property, so we'll need to stay focused on the vision. For me, the vision isn't about working less, it's about setting my own schedule. Being able to go to school concerts and teacher meetings, etc. Building wealth, working with purpose, directing my creativity and talents to developing something that will serve our family. And eventually donating of my well-paying/secure state job to someone who wants that path:)

Feel free to share this with your wife if you're trying to get her more on board, or I'd be happy to talk with her.

Best of luck, please share how things evolve!

Chrissa

@Ken Swearengen

I started when I was working full-time running a business, raising my two boys and taking care of my mother-in-law with Alzheimers.

One of the best things you can do is to treat investing like a 2nd job. If you had a 2nd job, you would go to that place and your family would leave you alone while you're at work. So you need to schedule certain hours of the week and help your family understand that this is your 2nd job.

Also time management and smart systems will make all the difference as well.

Having a good power team and partners can help lighten the load.

A bird-dog team, ads, signs, mailers can bring the properties to you.

A quick elimination process (running quick numbers or even just starting out with the 70% rule) can narrow down the potential deals so you are only spending the more time consuming tasks like deeper due diligence at the county to find any liens, encumbrances or code violations on the property.

Having great contractors and an iron-clad contract with workmanship and timeline penalties that keeps them in line can be a huge time saver when flipping.

Always be thinking about how to streamline your systems and work smarter.

Start with one system at a time. What kind of systems you have in place to build a team or find properties?

It's doable.  Sometimes it will require moving things in your schedule around or having the grandparents watch the kids for a few hours.  But it can be done.  With most everything being online you can do almost everything from the comfort of your home.  Although I do recommend actually seeing the property in person or at the very least get an inspection done.

With your wife wanting to get involved with real estate that helps a ton.  Between the two of you there will be strengths and weaknesses that you can use to build your portfolio.  Maybe she is the negotiator that makes all the calls and does the book keeping while you do the repairs.  Those things you will find out over time.  I dislike doing call backs or dealing with tenants so I have her do that while I work around the other things like finding new properties, repairs, etc.  There will be some give and take, but I don't see any reason you can't work on this together a few hours or more a week.

@Brent Paul That's kind of what we were thinking. My wife is the more extroverted one so I usually have her reach out to the agents and owners while I run the numbers and (someday) do some of the repairs.

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