I have a long-time friend who owns more than 100 single-family rental houses. Most people look at this guy with awe. Sadly, I’m forced to look at him with pure pity.
We talked this morning. I invited him to join me, and five of our investor friends, on a 5-day trip to California in April. The purpose of the trip is to get together and discuss creative deal structuring and financing. I’m pretty sure lots of golfing and boating will be thrown in for good measure.
He really wanted to go but was forced to weakly admit, “I can’t be away from my rentals for that long. Something is bound to go wrong, and when it does, I need to be here to fix any problems.”
He and I got into real estate investing around the same time. We had similar goals: to own enough rental properties to produce enough mailbox money so we no longer would have to labor for a living. This would allow us to travel, spend more quality time with family and friends, plus give us the means to help others.
Today, we’ve both reached our goal…sort of. The problem is, my buddy doesn’t know his number. When asked how many rental properties he wants to own, he answers, “More.” More? Why more? When is enough, enough? When does enough become too much?
I think he reached the land of “too much” a few years ago. With so many properties, he’s created a full-time J-O-B for himself. He doesn’t have time to do anything or go anywhere because he’s always working. He’s forgotten why he started buying rental properties in the first place. Let’s face it - when it comes to buying investment real estate, he’s an addict. Can an intervention be done for this sort of sickness?
At one point, Kim and I were also on our way to owning 100 rental properties. Having 100 rentals was a goal I set for us in 1995 – before I knew anything about investment real estate or financial freedom. Pete Fortunato, one of our long-time teachers, straightened me out in 2005. He explained that it was much wiser to own 15 rental properties that produced solid cash flow than it was to own 100 homes that had thin cash flow.
Let’s consider another example of too much of a good thing. Kim and I are having a big cookout at our ranch on Friday. Gary Johnston, another one of our teachers, is coming in from Idaho for some firepit time. These get-togethers are great – investors from all over the region show up, and the networking is simply incredible.
So I come home five days ago and gag as I’m driving up the driveway. What happened? Were we hit by the world’s biggest stink bomb? No – the Red Head decided to have 50,000 pounds of chicken manure spread on our pastures – ONE WEEK before the big cookout. Believe you me, that’s DEFINITELY too much of a good thing. What am I gonna tell everyone when they get here? Maybe I can sell clothespins.
Bill and Kim’s North Georgia Real Estate Investors Association meets on the second Thursday of each month, from 7 to 9 p.m., at the Hilton Garden Inn off Main Street in Cartersville, Georgia. For more info, go to REIoutpost.com.