My Journey to Six Figure Passive Income
Updated: Jan 3
When I graduated from college in 2015, I did what everyone expected and got a job.
I landed a great gig with a tech company in Chandler, AZ making a solid $57,200 a year working in finance. Not a bad starting salary by any means when you look at recent college grads as a whole.
I moved in with roommates I found on FaceBook paying $325 a month plus split utilities. It was a great location about 10-25 minutes to work depending on traffic.
Like most people in their first "big boy" job I tried my best to develop my skills and move towards that first promotion. However, I quickly realized that the 8AM to 5PM grind was NOT for me. Not really knowing how to escape, I stayed in the rat race determined that higher income through promotions was the answer.
I quickly realized that the 8AM to 5PM grind was NOT for me
Buying my 1st House
About 6 months after joining the work force in early 2016 I decided to go house shopping. I got the inspiration from my roommate, who was renting out two of his bedrooms and essentially "house hacking" or having other people pay most or all of his mortgage.
The greater Phoenix area is a hotbed for new construction builds. I chose a new build community close to work with the plan to house hack on my own. After upgrades and options my 4 Bed, 3 Bath home was $293,000. Construction completion was an estimated 1 year out.
Due to construction delays my house was completed 1.5 years later in May 2017. I moved and brought my original roommate with me along with 2 others. Because this was my first house purchase I took the advice of everyone around me to put 20% or $60,000 down to avoid PMI with savings from college as well as my job from the prior 2 years.
My mortgage was $1328 a month. I rented the three spare bedrooms for $450 each + utilities bringing me $1350 in income a month and essentially allowing me to live for free except for my 1/4 share of utilities which was ~$50-100/mo.
Wasting some Money
At this point in time I had gotten that first promotion at work and my total income with bonuses increased to $78,000 or ~$5,000/mo after taxes. I still wasn't really pursuing financial freedom and actually made some pretty dumb choices.
One of those choices was buying a BMW i8. Yes, I bought it at a discount for $84,000...but my $1252 a month payment for 6 years was pretty much just as expensive as my house payment. I rationalized that since my roommates were paying for my house that I could afford this luxury since my income had increased. What a dumb decision. But you live and learn. I'm still paying for it...literally. (But also, what an awesome car!)
My "AH-HA" Moment
Fast forward a year and change later to September 2018. After I purchased that first home I met my dream girl, somehow she said yes, and we got married. In order to prep for married life I considered kicking my roommates out. Since they were already paying for the mortgage this was a tough pill to swallow since it would have cost me $1328/mo PLUS utilities to pay for the house. So more like $1500-$1600/mo. $1500-$1600 a month I had never experienced spending(except on my car).
I thought if I could get someone to take my master bedroom for $550...that me and my wife would be able to buy a much smaller house with little money down since it was a primary residence and essentially have $550 of that mortgage paid for every month.
THAT WAS MY "AH-HA" moment!
We did just that and found a little bit of a fixer upper for $230,000 15 minutes away putting 7% down or $15,000. With a monthly mortgage of $1250 and the income from my 1st property I was essentially spending $700/mo for 2 houses. And that is where the craziness of 2018-2019 happened and my plan to achieve Six Figure Passive Income was born.
2019 - Craziest Year Ever
After those first two home purchases I had my mind set that I wanted real estate investing to take me to six figures annually of passive income. I'll go into more details as I develop this blog but today we own 5 SFH's, 1 Duplex(50/50 ownership), 1 Condo(50/50 ownership), and 1 Tiny Home for a total of 8 properties.
Our projected Yearly Cash Flow is ~$50,000 after taxes. The pretax equivalent at a corporate job would be ~$62,500!!!
In all honesty I could probably retire from my day job today but making six figures passively has always been my goal. My real goal is more like $200,000 in passive income as I have some other personal goals I want to achieve like having kids and playing professional golf again(That's a story for another day). So I won't quit my day job just yet...
My story is one of many in the real estate world that can be copied and implemented. All it takes is savings, knowledge, action, and dedication. You too can escape the grind of the 9-5 job and experience the blessings of passive income. Don't forget to subscribe and follow me as we journey to six figure passive income together!