First Time Home Buyer

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Namu Stevenson
  • New to Real Estate
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Managing Stress and Finance

Namu Stevenson
  • New to Real Estate
Posted Jul 5 2022, 18:34

First time investor here! I've been studying real estate investing for several years now and know it's what I wanna do. My wife however is very new to it but together we bought a duplex that needs a little more than tender love and care.

We both knew going into this it wasn't going to be easy but now it seems that we keep discovering new problems to be fixed (mold, plumbing etc). With each new discovery our rehab budget seems to keep slipping away. Upon discovering more mold during rehab and with little left in our rehab budget, my wife seems like she may be pushed to her breaking point and just wants to sell the house.

Any advice about anything? Handling the stress? Rehab tips? Helping my spouse see the big picture of rehab? Financing?

It just seems very overwhelming without seeing any little reward of our sacrifices yet and any advice to help either of us would be very appreciative!

Salt Lake City, Utah

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Jay Hinrichs#3 Starting Out Contributor
  • Real Estate Broker
  • Lake Oswego OR Summerlin, NV
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Jay Hinrichs#3 Starting Out Contributor
  • Real Estate Broker
  • Lake Oswego OR Summerlin, NV
Replied Jul 5 2022, 18:50

for the mold thats easy bleach and elbow grease is all you need no major issue there. 

as for stress RE does have a lot of that especially flipping  older homes where you never know whats behind the walls.

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Kathleen Osborne
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Roanoke, VA
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Kathleen Osborne
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Roanoke, VA
Replied Jul 5 2022, 18:57

Time heals most wounds - even budget wounds. Keep going, rent it out and wait for appreciation. 

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JD Martin
  • Rock Star Extraordinaire
  • Northeast, TN
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JD Martin
  • Rock Star Extraordinaire
  • Northeast, TN
ModeratorReplied Jul 5 2022, 19:26

Congratulations - you've reached the point where most people who even get started quit. How much resilience you have to push through this part of it will determine your likelihood of being a successful real estate investor in the future. 

Handling stress: realize that in the grand scheme of the universe, much less your life, this is a the problem of a gnat on the sun. You won't even remember it in a year or two. 

Rehab tips: hire out the stuff you don't want to do. Even if you spend a little more money, go make the money doing something you want to do. Remember that holding real estate long term heals virtually all screw ups when it comes to money. 

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Mike Dymski#3 Investor Psychology Contributor
  • Investor
  • Greenville, SC
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Mike Dymski#3 Investor Psychology Contributor
  • Investor
  • Greenville, SC
Replied Jul 5 2022, 20:01

Remind yourself of the after renovated value compared to your cost (which is the reward for your sacrifices).  If that figure is at least breakeven, you're fine financially AND you gained valuable knowledge and networks.  If it's upside down by a modest amount, you still gained the valuable knowledge and can recoup the financial difference over time.

If you can try to tie your identity and happiness to learning rather than to the outcome, it's easier to enjoy the journey...but that also assumes you turn that knowledge into net worth over time.

Good luck and keep fighting!

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Eric James
  • Malakoff, TX
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Eric James
  • Malakoff, TX
Replied Jul 6 2022, 04:07

The more you do in real estate the more stress there will be. I recommend you keep your wife out of the business so she doesn't have that stress.

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Chris Seveney#2 House Hacking Contributor
  • Investor
  • Northern Virginia
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Chris Seveney#2 House Hacking Contributor
  • Investor
  • Northern Virginia
Replied Jul 6 2022, 05:09
Quote from @Namu Stevenson:

First time investor here! I've been studying real estate investing for several years now and know it's what I wanna do. My wife however is very new to it but together we bought a duplex that needs a little more than tender love and care.

We both knew going into this it wasn't going to be easy but now it seems that we keep discovering new problems to be fixed (mold, plumbing etc). With each new discovery our rehab budget seems to keep slipping away. Upon discovering more mold during rehab and with little left in our rehab budget, my wife seems like she may be pushed to her breaking point and just wants to sell the house.

Any advice about anything? Handling the stress? Rehab tips? Helping my spouse see the big picture of rehab? Financing?

It just seems very overwhelming without seeing any little reward of our sacrifices yet and any advice to help either of us would be very appreciative!


 Happy Wife = Happy Life. 

As others mentioned, I would maybe look to keep your spouse further away from the action and the day to day. Does she need to know how the proverbial sausage is made. My wife and I have an agreement where she does not know the day to day but knows the financials of the company and can look at them at anytime. She sees money going in and out and does not need to know the headaches I go through in between. 

Its no different than if you have a W2 job, think of it that way. 

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Alex Russell
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Alex Russell
  • Lender
  • Boca Raton, FL
Replied Jul 6 2022, 08:27

It is very unfortunate, but these things do happen. Look at this as a very good learning experience and don't give up! Next time around, you will be able to navigate the waters more effectively. 

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Hunter Gibson
  • Realtor
  • Salt Lake City
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Hunter Gibson
  • Realtor
  • Salt Lake City
Replied Jul 7 2022, 05:50

First think is to make sure you are in this together. If you are not on the same page, it is going to be hard to continue. You have to explain and show her your goal and end vision of why you are doing what you are doing. This involves lessening to her first then asking her questions on why she feels that way. Then when she is done talking explain your side. You really need to pain the picture. Most people are visual learners so it might be beneficial to write it out for her as well.

Some and when I say some, MOST projects go over budget it is just what happens and there is no way of avoiding that. 

Best of luck.

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Crisselda Clark
  • Investor
  • Colorado Springs
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Crisselda Clark
  • Investor
  • Colorado Springs
Replied Jul 7 2022, 08:24

We bought a fourplex and I can relate. The building is 120 years old, and there was a ton of deferred maintenance not immediately known. We adjusted our plan, instead of LTR we turned the entire 4-plex into a furnished travel nurse rental building. Much greater returns with a low risk demographic. Due to the demand in our area we have little to no vacancy between tenants, and a much better bottom line. To make the work and money make sense it might be worth looking into the market MTR where you are. Shoot me a message if you want more information. 

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J Zev Jankovic
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J Zev Jankovic
  • CPA
  • Colorado Springs, CO
Replied Jul 7 2022, 10:16

Even if you're above budget, will your after repair value give you some equity when it's done? The facts are your friends. Try rerunning the numbers to make sure it still makes financial sense to go over budget with your rehab. If you got the property for a reasonable price, there should be some safety. Maybe focusing on one side of the duplex to get it up and running and rented (maybe short-term rental to bring in more income) can help—just some ideas.

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Joshua Messinger
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  • Poconos, PA
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Joshua Messinger
  • Realtor
  • Poconos, PA
Replied Jul 7 2022, 13:05

Hey @Namu Stevenson

RE is going to apply a lot of pressure and stress into your life in general if you are involved in the operation on a day-to-day basis. But, your guys reaction to that stress/pressure is what will dictate the results you get out of the hard work you are putting in. 

Take it day by day and don't put too much pressure on each other... You guys will figure it out! You've already taken the steps that nearly 99% of people won't take so take some pride in how far you've both come! 

If you have any other questions or need help with anything please don't hesitate to reach out! 

All the best,

Josh

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Dave Skow
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Dave Skow
  • Lender
  • Seattle, WA
Replied Jul 7 2022, 14:31

@Namu Stevenson-  make sure you  have  a good  attentive lender  working with you  so that you can  take out the financing stress ...eg.  if more funds are  needed ask the lender  if you can  increase loan amt ?   or   do a  rehab type loan ?  or  maybe   leverage your  other  property .

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Namu Stevenson
  • New to Real Estate
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Namu Stevenson
  • New to Real Estate
Replied Jul 13 2022, 08:50

Thank you all for your thoughtful insights! I definitely got a lot to learn and your comments have given me that extra motivation to keep going! I look forward to chatting with you in the future!