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I Can Live the Life I Have Always Wanted!

by Melony Seaton, Brevard County, FL   

I began investing in rental properties in the summer of 1996. I was very involved in CRE Online and chat room at that time. I attended the CRE Online Convention back then in Las Vegas. It was wonderful.

Since then, I have been through severe financial and health related times. But look what I have accomplished through it all. My husband and I had invested in two full duplexes, 1/2 duplex, a rental house, and an eight-plex here in Brevard County, Florida, all with owner financing and balloon mortgages.

I also bought my own home AND two acres connecting with owner financing. I invested a TOTAL of approximately $15,000 and even got money back at one of my closings.

When I started the refinance of these properties, I refinanced to 70% value, and took money out of every property except one. In addition, the insurance and taxes became included in my mortgage payments, and the payment itself INCLUDING these items were less than the payment I was giving to the previous owner each month.

I am making more on my rentals than on my government engineering salary! I even had one private mortgage holder beg me not to refinance and keep making her payments! This year, my husband has started having problems with his health, so we decided to look towards retirement for both of us. (He has always taken care of the upkeep of our properties.)

In these eight years, we have developed a rental income of $7,600 per month with expenses around $3,600 per month. Our total net worth on properties alone is over $700,000. (A 466% increase! Can you do that in the stock market?)

The government will buy off one of our properties for road widening in a major part of our county. Although we do not know the amount as of yet, we are represented by an attorney and feel confident we will do well in that venture.

We placed our two duplexes up for sale and had full price offers on each within three days. Each of these properties has doubled in value since we purchased them. They should close within the next two months. We plan to sell the 1/2 duplex as soon as hurricane repairs are completed.

With this money, we plan to pay off our house (we owe $45,000 on a $275,000 home), do about $20,000 in repairs to our home, and buy a lot in a resort area where we will retire--in BEAUTIFUL Melbourne Beach. Our total monthly association fees will be less than $200 per month!

PLUS we will retain equity in our new property that has a waiting list for people who want to purchase. We plan to live there until the riverfront lot we REALLY desire becomes available.

We will still have the two vacant acres to sell, which will net us over $140,000 (bought for $34,000). We plan to keep the two homes as rental property that we will manage. The equity between the two of them will be about $300,000 and rising!

Rents are rising, too! We plan on turning the six-plex over to a property manager (the eight-plex will become a six-plex when the county buys two units for road widening), as the income will more than double my retirement check.

I cannot call my self a millionaire--yet, but my eight-plex has risen in value such that it could reach that point in the next few years. It sits in a "location, location, location" area. Right now, I can live the life I have always wanted! (at age 45) Isn't that what we all really want?

One more thing . . . I know how scary it can be to start investing, especially when it seems you don't have the money to start. I honestly believe you can't afford not to invest in real estate. I have a retirement IRA account that I have been contributed to for eleven years at 15% of my salary every paycheck plus matching employer funds of 5%. I do not even have $200,000 in that account.

I have accomplished this while being disabled and working full time. I could have left work years ago, except I needed health insurance from my "job." Even in retirement, I plan to take on small real estate projects, maybe even some rehab work. It is truly as easy for me to buy a house as it is a shirt. If you run the numbers, there is no guess work to it!

If you take the ideas of those who have done it, there is NO reason you can't do it also. My very first 5% down payment ($3,000) on an owner-financed property was taken from a credit card. I then paid that card off over several months BEFORE I spent anything else. You MUST start! Start small and change you life to exactly what you dream for yourself!

 
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