Over the years, many people have asked me questions about investing in real estate. This page is devoted to information and tips on investing and I welcome any comments or questions relating to real estate investing. I bought my first property at the age of 19 and have been buying and selling property every since. Over the 30 years that I have been a property owner, I have come to understand the power of investing, leveraging money, and holding property over time. An investment can be as simple as benefiting from the appreciation and tax benefits of owning your own home or it can be as complex as purchasing and developing housing or commercial space for resale or long term income.
About 10 years ago, a friend and I purchased a 6 unit apartment building at the edge of downtown Montpelier. We purchased the building for under $150K, each contributing $15K toward the down payment and closing costs. Every year the building has been profitable and we have consistently received income from the property. After 10 years, our mortgage is down to about $35K and our original $30K investment is now worth well over $300K. That's a pretty good return on investment (about 1,000% over 10 years) and it illustrates how leveraging your money can really pay off. The chart below illustrates historical returns of real estate vs. stocks and includes the major North American stock indices as comparisons. It also compares a full (100%) investment to one leveraged with only 50% down.