Goals: My Journey in Rental Property and Real Estate Part 4


As I am writing this, it is almost three weeks after my purchase of property number 2. It is a good time to inform you of my goals, previous and future. A year and a half ago, my goal was to own four four-family buildings within two years. Today, that goal was ambitious, but I may get three quarters of the way there within that time frame.

Plus Four Zeros is my overall goal. To increase my net worth via the addition of four zeros. This is not a goal to be rich. It is a goal to be comfortable. A goal to be free from the worries of money. Being affluent will hopefully be the part of the result, but it is not the goal.

Some, if not all of you may enunciate that “money doesn’t buy happiness” and you would be right. But might it make the bad times easier? That is a tough one to answer. The sooner that I am in a hammock with a warm breeze on a weekday, the better. If I had a choice, I would much rather be rich than poor. And it is my choice.

Goals of Days Past

Goals in the past now seem much less vital and almost border on trivial in comparison to current goals. This is a life goal. It is a journey that cannot be completed in a day, unless you win a multi-state lottery. That would be much less fulfilling or life defining. Becoming a self-made individual is a trait that none can take away, except maybe the IRS.

In the past, some of my goals were items such as: running a marathon, graduating college, learning several languages, etc. Now, my family is worried that a single goal will make me unable to enjoy the finer things in life because I am so driven in saving and investing money.

Debt Freedom

I live like a poor college kid.  It sucks sometimes, but I never worry about whether I can pay a bill or not, and that is freedom.  Being debt free is a great goal to have, but it is not my goal.

Debt freedom means that you are not leveraging your money to the best of your ability.  Yes, it is the safest path, but the path that is safest is often the least amount of fun also.  The only debt I want, is the type of debt that makes me money.  Student loans and credit card debt do not make you money.  There is an exception to that.  If you have a student loan with a rate lower than the rate you can make through investments, then you should probably pay the minimum on the loan and invest as much as possible.  This is a high-level example, but it is the way that I try to think.

One of the weirder images to come into my head is Mel Gibson from Bravehart with the painted blue face screaming, “Debt Freedom!!!” Yeah, I am a dork, I know. My goal is not to be entirely debt free, but to use the debt in the most constructive way that produces income.

Current and Future

Real estate gurus always say, use other peoples’ money. Listen to them, but do not take it too far. If you get in over your head, it is an expensive proposition.  Being inside of your or my comfort zone does little good. If you are like me, I dislike treading out of it, but I push myself every day to increase my real estate knowledge. Reading a book or blog, even for just one article, is progress.

Have a goal that drives you, that makes it difficult to sleep you get so excited thinking about it.  It does not have to be real estate or rental properties, but that is mine.  At night, I can’t sleep sometimes, because I am thinking of new or different ways to do something.

This Blog

This blog is a goal of mine. Not only can I learn from it myself, but I can educate others and hopefully change their lives.  Money can be a taboo subject to some. That is an insane thought to me. Money underlines just about everything in this world, why would it be taboo? There have even been studies done that concluded that people are more attractive if they have money, which is also ridiculous.

My goal is to find someone who I can talk about money with who is much more successful than I, a mentor. In my networking circles, there aren’t many unfortunately. Therefore, I try to attend Real Estate Investor Association (REIA) meetings. Learning is a passion. The real estate investor who is the most knowledgeable, is usually the most profitable.

Goal: Know More Than The Other Guy

Know more than the other guy, that is my thought. There is a far less likelihood of you being taken advantage of, and people WILL try to take advantage. The more you know, the better deals you can create, and the better your return on investment.

The way that I calculate, I need to purchase a total of 8 four-family rental properties before I can quit my job and only focus on real estate. This does not mean that I neglect my professional improvement for my current job. The goal is that my regular job becomes a backup plan in the long run, but it needs to be fully formed in case I need it. Real estate and rental properties could blow up in my face. As much as I plan for that, life isn’t fair and having a backup isn’t a bad idea.

Becoming a Realtor

Secondly, since I plan to purchase more properties, it would make sense to become a realtor to save money when buying or selling.  Not only that, but I could transition into it if it really took off.  This could also be filed under the know more than the other guy goal.

Future thoughts give me several other ideas. When there is enough cash flow, I will start to buy distressed residential single or multifamily properties, fix, and either flip or refinance and add to my rental property portfolio. This may even happen with commercial rental real estate. The best returns are always in fixing the distressed properties, but it comes with added risks and required knowledge. This does not mean that you or I should not end up there, merely that a layer of caution must be added.

If, Elseif, Else...

Switching gears slightly to self-storage units. There is little overhead with these, but is a slightly different facet of real estate. Loopnet.com is where you can find all kinds of commercial opportunities, not only rental property. Look at what is available and give yourself some ideas about future goals.

Overall, I absolutely do not want to work for the same company for 40 years like my grandparents, unless it is my company. My aspirations, my sweat, my life. Why would you want to submit to another company’s rules? Financial safety? That is a farce if you only have one stream of income. You can be let go tomorrow. Your money should make you money when you are sleeping. Only then can you have the freedom that people dream of. The freedom to go anywhere, at any time.

By Trey Stevens


Learn what I did wrong or right from My Journey in real estate and rental properties OR check out other articles on my Blog.

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