Getting Started in Real Estate
When Chambers first got into real estate investing in 2007, he was excited about the prospect of using it as a means to grow his wealth and work towards retirement.
“I always wanted to do it,” he told Annuity.org. “It’s something that I had always been interested in. And then I had a coworker who lured me into it.”
But, as with many new ventures, things didn’t go as planned. Chambers and his partner brought three properties together, but quickly ran into problems.
They were new to the industry and had conflicting philosophies on how best to do the job, such as whether to work on and repair the homes themselves or to spend money on professionals to do it for them.
Eventually, they parted ways. But Chambers wasn’t ready to give up on real estate just yet, so he persevered.
He worked to find the best deals possible, targeting houses that either needed to be sold immediately and could therefore be attained at a low price or properties that were in poor shape.
He also developed a spending philosophy where he capped what he would pay for a property at 50 times what the monthly rent would be, allowing him to ensure he never overextended his budget.
The work paid off, and Chambers has blown well past his initial goal of 20 properties, currently owning 69 that have tenants.
Real Estate: Worth the Challenges but Still a Tough Industry
While Chambers’ success story is one of many examples of real estate being used to generate wealth, the industry can still be very difficult, especially for those starting out.
“It’s a lot of work,” he said. “It’s especially a lot of work in the beginning. Just managing them, taking tenant calls about a clogged-up toilet 24 hours a day and going to houses. It takes a lot of time.”
Chambers, who still works as a software developer as well, estimated that he spends about 20 hours a week managing his properties, even with his employee handling a lot of the work.
Real estate also comes with the risk of being particularly susceptible to market swings and downturns. Chambers was significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, when many tenants could not pay rent.
But despite the risks and work required, he remains motivated by the money and his goal to achieve financial freedom. It’s why, even through the adversity from the pandemic and with hands-on work required, Chambers keeps going.
“I don’t think I’ll ever stop,” he said. “If I find a good deal, I’m going to buy it.”