I sat down and had a long conversation tonight with a good friend who owns and lives in his own duplex. After a smart purchase several years ago, he’s used the equity he’s gained in his property to drastically improve the quality of the residence, and attract stable long term tenants at high rents.
The property itself has appreciated over $100,000 since he purchased (true figures even in today’s market), about 1/2 of that equity has been pumped right back into the property, adding a new roof, vinyl siding, efficient vinyl windows, cadet electric heaters, tile flooring & modern fixtures. The units are now more efficient and visually appealing than before. The rent in the one unit (he lives in the other) has nearly doubled and pays the entire mortgage with the exception of about $100 bucks for water.
Think about living without a mortgage. He literally resides on $100 water bill, food, internet, phone etc. The property is literally self sufficient. He keeps more of the money he makes every month for other investments.
When you buy your next home, think about ways your Real Estate can work for you. You don’t have to buy a duplex and live in half, but finding an energy efficent home, or a home with low maintenance requirements can save you loads of money during the time you own the home. In uncertain times – it’s important to have a watchful eye on value.