The author discovered a condo unit and decided to buy it, renovated it, and made it their own.

How I turned my first property into a rental unit - and never paid a mortgage on it

I remember the day like it was yesterday. I was single and working multiple home health nursing jobs in 2019. I worked full-time as a nurse and brought work home with me, so it seemed like an endless job. I was constantly exhausted and had little to no time for myself. I had to pay the IRS $11,000.00 in taxes the previous year. I was stunned, but fortunately, I was able to pay it off without difficulty! In my mind, I knew what I was doing couldn't last. I could never do this kind of nursing work for so long. I then decided to purchase my first home as an investment.

I discovered this two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo unit in Santee, California. It was in a great location, and I've always enjoyed living in Santee. The decision weighed heavily on my mind – was this the correct course of action? Is it something I could afford on my own? Finally, I decided to go for it. The cost was $331,000.00 with a 4.25 percent interest rate. I renovated it and made it my own. An additional $15,000 was spent on renovations such as new floors, fresh paint, and updated appliances. It was ideal! I thought I was pushing myself to keep spending money, but deep down I was afraid I wouldn't be able to afford the place. 

To save money, I decided to get a roommate. Three months later, I had the good fortune of meeting this wonderful couple, and they took the other room. Due to the lower rents at the time, I had to pay more for my mortgage and other utilities. 

I stayed at my house for about a year before meeting my future husband. Things moved quickly between us, and after three months of dating, I ended up moving in with him. That's great news for me! I then rented the room to another wonderful couple. I've never had to pay a mortgage on my home since.

I rented out the condo for two years and some people lived there for a short time, but the majority of them stayed longer. This was never my intention. I always assumed that I would stay there until I had a family, but God has other plans for me: to marry, buy a house with my husband, and start a family!

I enjoyed being a landlord and getting to know all of my tenants. Being a landlord has its ups and downs. But, overall, I adore it, as well as the fact that the property is gaining equity over time.

I can say that landlording for me was unintentional, but it has been a fantastic experience. The condo was now nothing more than a happy memory.

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