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We're Rehabbing Investment Properties for Retirement

by Brian And Leslie Wyllie, Saint Petersburg, Florida   

My husband and I (both in our late 20's) started a woodworking business three years ago and owned our own home when we started. We were always interested in investing in real estate, but didn't have a penny to pinch the first year in business.

As we came to the end of our first year, however, we refinanced our home and ran into an opportunity to buy a run down home across the street from us. The man who owned it was a careless drunk, and the house was in pretty bad shape. But, it was a block home: 2 bedrooms, 1 bath.

EVERYTHING had to be gutted from kitchen to bath. Our home had currently valued at $120,000. Many homes in the surrounding area were valued at that or higher. We offered him $60,000 after taking into consideration the repairs. We were able to buy at that price with help from the bank (took out a mortgage).

One thing we worried about most was getting a mortgage on the house. It was in terrible shape. A grease fire in the kitchen five years ago was never repaired! The entire kitchen had to be ripped out and re-drywalled before the bank's inspector came out to inspect!

The homeowner let us inside to redo his kitchen before we'd signed the contract and all at our expense and risk. The smoke from the kitchen fire bellowed through the house and left smoke stains all over the living room and dining room ceilings! We had to pressure wash the plaster walls and ceiling just to get it off, then paint.

We couldn't just paint over it because the paint wouldn't stick. Thankfully, there is no carpet or damage as we vacuumed with a dry/wet vac. It was a rush, but a success! The house inspected with flying colors. We've done so much to the house, but have spent as little as possible. In under a year it has just appraised for $136,000!

We moved into it while rehabbing the property and put renters in our home. But after much hard work and sacrifice, we are about to loan against it for the first time and buy another house CASH! The home we are buying for cash is an old two-story home with five bedrooms and two baths in South Saint Petersburg, Florida near the water.

We are buying it for $40,000 and hope to rehab it and see it appraise for $150,000. The area where it is located is being hammered by investors and builders, which will increase the value of the house within the next few years. This is just the beginning, it seems. Hopefully we will be able to continue buying homes and walk away from the woodworking business.

We plan on renting them, not selling them. We want to use them when it comes time to retire as well. I hope people feel encouraged to continue investing in real estate. We've only just started with NO experience. I think we just may get wealthy doing this over the next five years. Thank you for letting us share our story.

 
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