There is so much information out there these days on how to invest your money. Stocks, bonds, cryptocurrency, mutual funds, etc and there is always a trade off between risk and reward. I am no financial advisor so I can’t council you on how to leverage your money and maximize your returns however I do know how to help you get started with real estate investing that will provide passive income and allow you more guaranteed freedom in your day to day life. St. Pete has many homes that are zoned multi-family which provides you the opportunity to significantly offset your mortgage payment with a legal rental unit(s) on your property.
What is passive income and why is it important?
Passive income is a source of money that comes into your bank account without direct effort from you. When you hear people say it’s important for your money to make you money, this is what they’re talking about.
When you have a source of passive income that covers your monthly living expenses, you no longer worry about what you need to do to survive. If you have enough passive income to cover your living expenses than you can have a comfortable life and focus on more important things that matter to you. There are 3 ways to live your life – Surviving, Living and Thriving.
The more passive income you have the easier it is to move up this ladder. If you’re trading your time for money your entire life, you will be stuck in that survival stage. Did you know the average millionaire has at least 7 different streams of income? Here’s the good news – With the right income property you can significantly offset your living expenses and start your journey to financial freedom even if you don’t aspire to be a millionaire.
So how do you do it? What is the best way to free up my money so I can have more freedom in my day to day life? Is any type of real estate purchase going to help me attain financial freedom? No, not all real estate is a good investment however income property most definitely is when done correctly.
What is an income property?
Income properties come in many forms. Here are some types of income properties you may consider to get your feet wet with real estate investing.
- You could buy a home with a legal rental apartment. If you’re single you could even live in the apartment and rent out the home to maximize your rental income. Rental income will significantly offset your mortgage, taxes and insurance payment.
- You could buy a duplex. Some people get roommates to help offset their mortgage however as an adult you will probably need some personal space. Buy a duplex and have most of your mortgage payment covered by your renter on the other side.
- You could buy a triplex – This may be more expensive than buying a duplex however the return on the investment will also be higher with two streams of income instead of just one.
- You could buy a home that is suitable for short term rentals. You can live there and host guests through services like AirBnB. Properties near local attractions such as the beach or downtown will be desirable for tourists to stay at.
What is the end goal?
OK so I bought myself an income property and I live for free with my renters covering my mortgage payment. What can I do now? You build equity and pay down your mortgage to invest again. Let’s say you started with a duplex, paid half of it off and managed to save some money along the way. A bank will allow you to take out another loan if you have some money saved up and use the equity in your home as collateral for another loan. Also when you buy your first income property, your lender may be able to loan you more when they factor in the potential income of your legal rental unit.
There are a ton of people moving to the St. Pete area so there will always be a strong demand for rentals. We are also lucky enough to live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world so the tourism will fuel short term housing demands as well.
What is equity?
Equity is the combination of two things. The money you have paid towards the principle on your mortgage and also the appreciation of your home. Let’s say hypothetically you buy a 300k home and pay down 40k over a 5 year period. In that same 5 year period your home has appreciated by 40k due to some upgrades and an appreciating market. You now have a total of 80k in equity that a bank will take into consideration when applying for a second loan.
Let’s say you take that money and put it into another income property which is a quadplex this time. You now live in one unit and rent out 5 others. These 5 streams of income are paying down your mortgages and leaving you with a little bit of extra cash at the end of the month to make lump sum payments on your mortgage and budget for repairs. Further down the line you may want to invest in more properties or just keep these 6 units as a solid, safe source of passive income. Can you imagine if these each averaged $800/month rental income? 6 units with $800/month rental income is $4,800 a month. Once you pay your taxes, insurance and budget for repairs, you are making an annual salary without having to directly trade your time for money. You also have two investments that you can sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars to move onto your next venture if need be.
I hope this article gave you some insight into the potential of income properties as a safe, reliable investment that will ultimately improve your quality of life. Everyone needs a place to live, so why not be the one to provide it? In all of life you are either the consumer or the provider of the product. The more you set yourself up to be the provider, the easier your life will be.
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(all data current as of 11/24/2020)
Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.