My husband has been really busy working on bathroom plumbing this week. It might not surprise you now that you know we own and maintain 16 toilets and showers! Luckily, he’s retired and enjoys doing things like replacing bathtub spigots and shower heads (OK – he enjoys it most days…)
For those of you who might be new here, we don’t live in a $704,000 house and we don’t use 16 bathrooms. But we do own 16 toilets & showers. And 12 refrigerators & stoves, along with 9 AC units. Just typing all of that (and thinking about maintaining it all) is a little stressful! And yes, we do maintain our properties rather than using a management company. Since many of our big decisions are related to all of our properties, I thought I’d share a little bit more about them this week.
I was tweeting with Steve@Steveonomics this week about real estate prices too. Steve rents in California because of the crazy high prices. I’ve also had clients make the decision to leave California because of the high real estate costs. Steve shared the chart below in one of his “why I rent” tweets. Since we live near 3 cities on the “most affordable” side of the chart, I thought I’d post more about our real estate portfolio.
Our portfolio is just one example of how multiple (decent) properties can be purchased for less than the price of many single family homes in California!
Property #1 – Primary Residence (Upstate/Western NY)
- Purchased in 2005 for $132,500
- 3 bed/2 bath
- 1500 square feet (sf)
- 1 car garage
- In-ground pool
- Backs up to 20+ acre public park
Property #2 – Our “Snowbird” Condo (Sarasota, FL)
- Purchased in 2013 for $45,000
- 2 bed/2 bath
- 950 sf
- Shared community pool, 1.3 miles to Gulf of Mexico
- Not a rental
Property #3 – Lakeview Rental (Upstate/Western NY)
- Purchased in 1995 for $44,500
- 2 bed/1 bath
- 1000 sf
- Unobstructed lake view
- Same renter for 22 years…
Property #4 – Single Family College Town Rental (Southern Tier, NY)
- Purchased in 2012 for $82,000
- 4 bed/3 bath
- 1800 sf
- Was built as a two-family – could be returned to that
- Same renter for 4+ years
Property #5 – Multi-Family Apartment Complex (Upstate/Western NY)
- Purchased in 2012 for $400,000
- 8 matching units all 2 bed/1 bath
- 6600 sf on ½ acre of land
- Fully rented – often with waitlist
That’s a total of 27 bedrooms, 16 bathrooms, 14 living rooms, 12 kitchens, 11,850 sf of “house” and land and more, and more – for $704,000.
And in 2016, our tenants paid us over $73,000 to use 22 of those bedrooms and 12 of the bathrooms & kitchens. You get the idea. Tenants also helped us build over $12,000 in equity as we paid down mortgages last year using their money!
It’s hard for us to “wrap our heads” around the real estate prices in different areas of the country. The fact that we own all of this and someone living in San Jose or San Francisco can’t even buy the median level home for that cost is hard to believe. Our high taxes in New York definitely stink, but many areas of upstate New York have some pretty affordable housing.
And for you Millennials, a $5 million pilot program was just announced by Governor Cuomo to help incentivize homeownership in the “most affordable” cities in upstate NY. Maybe it’s a way to get you to stop taking over the suburbs? The program will help subsidize “low interest loans, down payment assistance and homebuyer education courses to encourage young people to stay and continue revitalizing Upstate New York’s downtown areas.” Sounds great – but sounds like even higher taxes for us too!
More $$$ = 🙁
Cuomo also just proposed free-tuition for middle-class families at NY state colleges starting next fall. Even more tax $$$… And our daughter (who is at a state college) is finishing this year! 🙁 No free tuition for us! Our son has found an out-of-state college for next fall that is less expensive than NY state colleges – even with free tuition! OK – Cuomo rant over….does it sound like he’s campaigning for the Democratic ticket for 2020 already or what?
There is a ton of financial (and other) information I could share about the properties. Rents, taxes, mortgages, appreciation, expenses, property management – you name it. My goal today was to just introduce you to the properties we have bought through the years. Because as I explained in my Ditching the Status Quo and Embracing Change post last week, we will probably be making some moves with at least one property this year.
Do the property costs in our area surprise you? Do you have other questions about our real estate portfolio that I can address in future posts? Are you glad you aren’t responsible for all those (potential) plumbing issues? (I’m just glad I don’t have to clean all those toilets we own each week!)