In this episode of Get Real Wealthy Season 4, Quentin talks about the challenges faced by those deciding to become full-time real estate investors.
Quentin starts by sharing his personal experience of transitioning from being a full-time teacher to a full-time real estate investor. He became a full-time investor because he wanted to do more than just teaching. Quentin was a full-time teacher and consultant until 2014 and banked his income and used the income from his portfolio to pay for his expenses. He demonstrated the ability to do this for an entire year before leaving his job. Once he left his job, he could invest more in real estate, including flipping projects, rent-to-own properties, etc. He also began investing in apartment buildings and multi-unit properties in 2015, allowing him to grow his asset base while spending less time on these investments.
He adds that often those who find their time totally consumed by their job struggle to earn additional income. Quentin discovered that real estate provided a means to continue earning income without dedicating hours to the task and at a pace that worked well for him and his family. He adds that while this option may not be for everyone and there is nothing wrong with having a job, real estate investing can help you create more time, location, financial, and thought freedom, adding, “those freedoms are all things that are important to me.”
Quentin says that one of the big challenges for individuals who invest full-time is the possibility of being equity-rich but cashflow-poor. They may have assets with significant equity but cannot access them due to borrowing regulations and practices. The cash flow from rental properties can also be unpredictable, with some months being low in cash flow and others being higher. As a result, for those who rely on a small number of rental properties for income, your income can get very distorted. He adds that, therefore, you need to prepare yourself. First, you need to figure out your true spending habits, as they may differ significantly from when you were employed. You should also consider the tax implications of your expenses and how it affects your income.
Secondly, he says that it is essential to have a cash flow buffer in place. Income can be unpredictable and may fluctuate over a three to four-month period. He further adds that you should also take three to five months of income and place it in a separate account that is not easily accessible. This way, the funds will be available to cover monthly expenses during periods of instability. Additionally, it is important to periodically refresh this buffer. Thirdly, before leaving a job, you should get any financing or refinancing done as early as possible. Financing often depends on income history, and if you don’t have a history of two years in your workplace, it may be difficult to get financing.
Fourthly, he recommends establishing multiple income streams, either prior to leaving the job or after. He adds that having multiple income streams can add up over time and help smooth out the ups and downs. Lastly, he suggests seeking support and advice from other full-time investors can be beneficial. Joining a local real estate investment group or seeking education from groups like https://DurhamREI.ca and https://EducationREI.ca can provide opportunities to learn from and connect with other full-time investors who can offer tips and insights.
In conclusion, he says that while becoming a full-time real estate investor can offer more time, location, financial and thought freedom, it also poses challenges. To overcome these challenges, it is important to prepare yourself by understanding your true expenses, creating multiple income streams, and seeking support from other full-time investors.
Important Links and Resources
Quentin D’Souza is the Chief Education Officer of the Durham Real Estate Investor Club. Author of The Action Taker's Real Estate Investing Planner, The Property Management Toolbox: A How-To Guide for Ontario Real Estate Investors and Landlords, The Filling Vacancies Toolbox: A Step-By-Step Guide for Ontario Real Estate Investors and Landlords for Renting Out Residential Real Estate, and The Ultimate Wealth Strategy: Your Complete Guide to Buying, Fixing, Refinancing, and Renting Real Estate.