First rental (condo) from mother in-law 200 miles away good idea?

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My mother in-law is selling her condo about 200 miles away from where I live. She agreed to help out with taking care of it. I am quitting my job here soon, once I complete my Real Estate License Course (to become a Real Estate Agent) which will hinder my ability to buy property, since I will no longer be able to show steady income. My wife and I bought the house were living in 2.5 years ago with her credit alone, we may be able to do that again. I am wondering if I should go for this deal before I quit my job, or wait something else. This will be my first rental property, and the condo would be in my price range. Let’s say the numbers made sense, would this be a good idea being so far away? I am guessing we would save money not using an agent.

If you have any thoughts I would love to hear them.


Real estate is easy to get into and difficult to stay. Something like 87% of all agents quit within their first five years because it's not as easy as they thought and they can't manage the sporadic income. It can take two years for you to earn a decent living. I've seen agents do pretty well for 4-5 years and then quit when the market slows down because they've failed to budget for the slow seasons.

If I were you, I would maintain a reserve of at least six months of living expenses. Ensure you have the financial security to focus on learning the job and developing a business. If you spend your money buying an investment that provides $200 a month cash flow and then can't make enough in sales to feed your family, the entire thing could collapse and you'll be scrambling for a W-2 job with your tail tucked between your legs.