Investment Property and the Single Girl

I bought a duplex as a single, 27 year old woman. I had gotten the real estate bug, just like everyone else, but my options were limited. Condo prices had skyrocketed, I was kind of creeped out by the idea of living in a single family house all by myself, especially in the neighborhoods that I could afford one in. Even then, my options were crackhouses and places smaller than the apartment I was renting.

My boyfriend at the time owned a duplex. Sometimes it was a lot of work for him, but his rental income subsidized his cost of living, and allowed him to live in a great house in a great neighborhood.

Much to the chagrin of nearly everyone I know, I thought… why can’t I do that too?

Through some creative financing, including seller-financed closing costs, I was able to get myself into a good (not great, mind you, but certainly middle-of-the-road) place in a decent neighborhood that was on the up-swing. The duplex itself was pretty solid, just in need of some cosmetic updates (removing paneling, shag carpet, repainting a lot of walls, replacing light fixtures, re-landscaping, etc.)

It’s proven to be a lot of work at times, especially during turnovers, or while finding and screening tenants, but in general, it’s been very good. I’ve gotten a lot more money back on my taxes each year, and I own real estate that’s appreciating every year. I also, of course, get the other benefits of homeownership (being able to paint the walls, plant a garden, remodel the bathroom to my liking), and I don’t have to worry about the landlord raising the rent on me! (I do worry, however, about how much I can raise the rent on my tenants without making them want to move….

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2 thoughts on “Investment Property and the Single Girl

  1. Whoa, very nice. I want to buy a duplex too, but it’s hard to find where I can actually afford one (definately not california) I’m always asking people about their properties =) Where exactly do you own your duplex? How much did you put down as a down payment.. I have so many questions lol.

    Well great site, I hope it helps me find a duplex! =)
    Always, your friend in finance, 1mil from

  2. Thanks. I don’t divulge my actual location online, but I can tell you that it isn’t in California ;-). Not on either coast, for that matter.

    I was able to use some of the new “creative financing” that’s out there and buy the duplex with 0% down. Being an owner-occupant gets you a better deal on financing, and using seller concessions (increasing the amount that you pay the seller, and then using that money to pay the closing costs) lets you get a place for very little out of pocket expense. I only had to come up with $1000 in earnest money to close the deal.

    Good luck investing!
    -the landlady

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