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I started applying FI principles about 4 months before acquiring my first rental, and boy was it a total POS.

principle pool
I know they say never get a rental with a pool, but look at all the free fire wood!

That being said, the numbers all worked in spite of it, and I still own it.

I was in real trouble prior to those four months–and didn’t have a clue.  I had a great job with great income, a ton of debt, a gas guzzling $65K Ford Raptor SVT, a recent divorce, and was renting a loft downtown.

I had no idea how close to the edge I was financially. I had a lake
house I couldn’t use, because the lake levels were all down due to a severe drought, and so selling wasn’t a great option either. I also had two jetskis I couldn’t use, for the same reason.

The truck (Raptor) at the time was costing me $110-130 to fill it’s 32 gallon tank, and would last me 4-5 days tops with the commuting I was doing. I was spending money on everything, and wasn’t paying myself at all. I owned four motorcycles (I still have three, but two are dirt bikes—tsk-tsk I know).

I first read Your Money or Your Life, and Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and later a blog by a guy named Mr. Money Mustache, all while sitting on the private rooftop pool deck of a two story modern villa my girlfriend and I were staying at in Cozumel, Mexico.

What a time to have an epiphany.

principle infinity pool

Long story short, came back, sold the truck (for a “profit” actually), sold the lake house and jetskis (basically tantamount to a forced savings return), and with some of the cash bought an older, more efficient vehicle.

(Ok, so it was actually an older, mint Jeep Wrangler soft top, and gets 14 vs. 10 mpg.  But I’m trying, and it’s paid for.)

I was going all in, it was scary and liberating. I had never felt better actually.

I used the rest of the money to pay down debt. I also started using my BMW Adventure (yes, I was wasteful) motorcycle to supplement commuting duties, as it was costing me only $10-12 per week to fill.

After applying the principles I picked up, my newly found 50%+ income savings rate went toward massive debt pay down.

I moved out of the loft, bought a house in a great area, at a discount, as a long term live in flip (which is actually panning out despite zero research). I started learning everything I could about rentals, land lording, real estate, and buy and hold strategies.


My decision came at a critical time, and it saved my life. In many ways, I’m sure of it.

I also invested a lot of time at the biggerpockets website, and listened to nearly every podcast (during my commutes, even on the bike—bluetooth in-helmet system).  I took in every bit of useful information and advice I could find—I am still grateful to all the good people out there who want to help. That’s what this blog is all about. Giving back, if I can, and maybe help someone else start their own FI/Real Estate adventure.

It was after this first four month period of learning and searching that I stumbled across my first deal (POS)…on Craigslist.

No kidding.

yes, believe it or not there’s a shower if you can squeeze through there, oh, and check out the mathematically inspired tenant paint job.

The seller?  A burnt out landlord. Which brings us to rule number one, burnt out landlord = deferred maintenance, and “interesting,” barely screened tenants.

He wasn’t even sure of their names.


NEXT: Acquisition of Property One.

‘PRELUDE’ Blog Post Beverage:

pbr principle

Pabst blue ribbon. (preferably from someone else).

No description necessary, barely drinkable, but times are getting lean, and everything was tagged for massive debt pay down and property acquisition.

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