It had always been a dream of mine to invest in real estate. At the height of the residential market, friends of mine were investing in houses and renting them out; I have to admit I was envious when I heard the amount of money they could possibly make with just one house let alone three to four properties. In hindsight, I am glad I wasn’t able to invest in real estate back then. Recently I have been blessed with the opportunity to do so, and as they say opportunity doesn’t knock twice, I took my chances and went ahead with buying a few residential properties.
I have to admit, the grass always looks greener on the other side, and even though I read many books on real estate and prepared myself mentally for what may come, I have had experiences in the middle of last year which brought me down financially and mentally. At one point it affected me to the point where I lost the gusto for writing. I felt like I had writer’s block and no matter what I tried to do, I couldn’t think of anything that I wanted to write about at that time. So I took a step back and took a hiatus from everything.
Towards the end of 2010, I felt better and things started improving. Out of five residential properties I was able to sell three, from which I was able to buy a piece of commercial land for a dream project of mine (Stick around if you want to find out!). The two properties which I did keep I was able to find a tenant for one, a lovely couple who signed a one year lease around Christmas time. I have to say that was the best Christmas gift ever! The other property I had to start fixing it up again as the people who rented it out had to be evicted for the nuisance and property damage they caused. They were the main reason for my hiatus from writing, from having second thoughts about investing in real estate, and for all the anguish they caused me mentally and financially.
But I believe it is my destiny to be investing in real estate and more opportunities have opened for me again in 2011. At the end of it all I have realized that experience is a brutal teacher, I will not make the same mistakes I have made previously, and that I am sure of! As Paulo Coelho’s quote goes, “Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience”.