Undeniably, the path to financial independence can be a bit overwhelming. If you are coming from having tons of debt. It probably feels like a far away reality to the point that you start doubting if it is even worth it or possible for you.
I’ve been in debt for as long as I can remember. I’ve been busting my ass for years trying to get out of debt and get myself in the right track. It was only until this year that I started to see the light, but trust me, it’s been a ride.
Currently Ryan and I have $1M in debt among all of our properties and personal debt, including our primary residence. It looks like a ridiculously high amount of debt now and definitely doesn’t sound like we are on track to retire any time soon. However, we must trust the journey. As rentals payments come in, this debt amount will lower. Every year, the gap between what we own and what we owe will increase taking us a step closer to financial independence.
I won’t lie, there are days where I doubt our whole approach. As I have mentioned on my previous posts, we started our real estate investing journey with zero money of our own. We are in so much debt and the cash flow from the properties seems like pennies compared to the debt. We’ve taken the high risk route and we have a lot of moving pieces to our strategy. Even though we have some diversification, most of our wealth building strategy is in real estate. We have $1.2M worth of real estate investment which sounds better than it really is. Subtract the $1.1M in debt and it isn’t as much. All that work we put in and the numbers are not as impressive. However, considering that we started with nothing, 100k increase is progress. This increase in net worth is just based on the increase of the value of the properties as a result of our renovations. It is not liquid meaning that we can’t just go online and withdraw. We would have to sell in order to access this “wealth”. So, why don’t we just invest in the stock market and let it grow rather than risk not being able to quickly get access to this money when needed? The thing is that we are in the real estate business for the long run. We are buying properties without having money of our own, increasing the value of those properties and building wealth in the process. One day, we’ll have all mortgages paid off, live off the rental income and/or sell and live off the sale proceeds.
If we had waited until we had all the money or any money for that matter, we probably would have 1 house and that’s it. It doesn’t really make sense to invest in the stock market using debt, so there is that. Our tenants are helping us pay off the mortgages and eventually, the work will pay off. We started with nothing and now we have built some wealth from the appreciation of the properties. It just takes time, some work and faith.
Having a long-term goal of what we want to accomplish is what keeps us going. We just need to trust the process. The routes we take, and the plans we make may change with time, but the end goal is still the same, be financially independent by any (legal) means possible. Even if it takes longer, it will happen because it is what we truly desire.
We just have to trust ourselves and not get desperate.
If you are struggling financially and don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, keep going. Trust that you will find the way. YOUR way. Sometimes you’d have to take 2 steps back in order to take 5 steps forward. It may not feel like progress, but no matter how insignificant it may seem, progress is still progress! Don’t give up!
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