Retiring on Real Estate: It’s never too late
It’s never too late to get rich from real estate! Why not Retiring on Real Estate!
When’s the best time to start?
Now. You may have squandered your chance to become a teenage property millionaire (how do those kids do that?) but the older you get, the more collateral you can likely offer lenders, the more experience you have, and the more you focus on what to do with your life after retiring.
Rules are not rules: investment advice
There is all manner of figures that have come to be called ‘rules,’ and they are all misleading. For example, the ‘2% rule’ states that you should be looking at a monthly rental income that is at least 2% of the purchase price. But that’s not a rule; at best it’s a guideline. It depends on the state of the local market, both where and when. It’s crude; it ignores costs such as local taxes and investment in upgrading and maintaining the property. For example, on Riviera Maya, you can expect an annual return on investment of 8-14%. It’s acceptable, but it’s not 2% per month.
In the same way, the accepted ‘rule’ is that you need to purchase through a 30-year note. Well, not necessarily. You may want to pay everything off within 15 years so that you can relax in that hammock. There are no rules, simply because the mortgage industry in the US and Canada, and increasingly in Mexico, offers you options. Go for the one that meets your needs.
It’s not just the money: invest in quality
Look at it this way. If you purchase a place just because it’s cheap, it’s a false economy. What kind of tenants will it attract? People who will look after the place and pay the rent on time? Possibly not. We’re not saying buy at the luxury end of the market, although that may interest you too. We’re just saying look beyond your spreadsheet figures. Is this property likely to attract tenants who will make your life easier? Or could it, with a bit of judicious investment, appeal to those people? Rule of thumb: gloomy apartments with cigarette burns in the furnishings only attract gloomy tenants who add more cigarette burns.
Keep it hands-on: real estate management
There is no substitute for hands-on management. It’s hard work, and if you don’t know the tropics, you will be astonished at how plumbing can break down, usually in the middle of the night. You need to build your network of reliable workers. It takes years. But unless you are lucky enough to find a completely reliable property manager, you need to keep your own eye on things. Example: the US Department of Energy reckons you can expect an air conditioning unit to last 15 to 20 years. Not in tropical Mexico. Five years might be nearer the mark. So you need to cost in realistic numbers for maintenance and replacement. And you need the capital – or a line of credit – to deal with the unexpected.
It’s your adventure: go for it!
Remember, at Top Mexico Real Estate … we make it happen!