Knowing there had to be something better than just saving and relying on 401ks for retirement, my husband started looking for alternate forms of investing, and we stumbled across real estate investing in 2013. Through a real estate podcast (not BiggerPockets...if only we had known about them back then!), we heard about long-distance turnkey rentals and decided that would be a good place to start since we were both working W2 jobs and had limited time on our hands.
Lesson #1 (learned the hard way): Thoroughly vet your turnkey provider.
Lesson #2 (learned the hard way): Google maps is not the best way to vet a neighborhood you don't have personal experience with. There really is no substitute for putting eyes you trust on it to make sure the turnkey property you are buying is in the type of area you think it is.
Lesson #3 (learned the hard way): A bad property manager can really tank your cashflow...fast!
By that time, we had come across BiggerPockets and were much better educated on buy and hold investing. We decided it was time to start focusing in our "own backyard" where we could have more control over the process. Since then, we have acquired one single-family rental locally, which we self-manage, and are actively looking for more.
I've been interested in note investing for the past couple of years, but it wasn't until the beginning of 2017 that I started researching it more seriously. As it has become harder to find rental inventory locally (and realizing that we don't want to deal with tenants and toilets forever), I have shifted my focus to note investing, specifically performing and non-performing firsts.