My First Rental Property
After selling my first house and having $6,000 in my pocket (more than one year's salary then-1961), I was approaching 30 years of age. I had been married for almost 4 years, and it had been 4 years since I sold my last airplane. I figured that if I could increase my income in some way so as to not to take away from my family, I could afford another airplane. If I could just earn $100 a month extra, that would do it. I spent one year looking for prospective rental properties, either to fix up or build from scratch. In my search, I came into contact with the same realtor who sold me my first house. He showed me a property in El Monte that was in a R3 zone, had a huge lot, and two houses on it. The main house itself had been custom built by a contractor for his wife, however he had passed away, and she didn't want such a large house. It was only a two bedroom house, but all of the rooms were quite large. The other house was a 1 bedroom at the far end of the triangular lot which abutted the Rio Hondo wash. I made an offer of $24,000 with my $6,000 down, and the condition that the owner carry a subordinate 2nd mortgage. After a few meetings, the widow asked me if if would be alright if she carried the full 2nd loan herself. Of course that was excellent for me. I had plans drawn up for a four-plex, and got a new building loan. I took back the painting contract myself, and with all of the funding, I had an actual expenditure of $100 out of my pocket to make the deal. Not Bad! When completed, the new four-plex 2 BR units rented for $85 a month. Each came with a closed single car garage. The one bedroom house rented for $50 a month. The original garage had already been I converted into a studio apartment complete with kitchen and bath and that rented for $50 a month furnished. Total income was $440 a month. This covered the loans and insurance, and we were living rent-free and payment free. Included in the construction was an extra deep 2 car garage on the other side of the property. Half of the extra depth was a workshop area and the other half was an enclosed laundry room where I had coin operated washers and dryers. The wash was a quarter and the dryer was a dime. The income from those units paid for my golf and bowling. I sold the property two years later and made a clear $24,000 profit (more than two years salary). I gave 1/2 to my wife for furniture for our new house in Arcadia, and I spent the rest on airplanes and helicopters.
Click on the Thumbnails for enlarged picture. Click again for super-enlargement.
Buying the property, removing the trees and carport, and getting ready for construction.
Finishing the garages and getting ready to rent.
Update 8/3/06: In 2005 I made a trip to SoCal and attempted to find each and every house I had lived in since birth, and the houses of my grandparents. In several cases the original house had been razed to make room for new construction. In the case of the 2nd house I lived in Alhambra, the entire area is now commercial. I was still able to find the exact lot even though it was covered with a manufacturing building. It brought back so many memories. The last house I tracked down was the one portrayed on this site. It is now a totally Latino area. Everything I built is still standing, albeit not it the shape shown in the pictures above. 40 years does make a difference! The one dramatic change seen was the size of the big trees in front of the house. They are now gigantic sized trees, possibly 60 years old.
You can view pictures on my other sites listed below:
(revised 1/15/04 chg. font)
(revised 9/30/05 chg counter)
(revised 1/20/06: new web host)