Wow.  Hard to believe its been almost 5 years since we bought our first rental house.  We still have six, but would love to get out of the business.

The rental economy has been bad.  Homes we rented for $1500/month in 2007 are going for $1195/month now.   Its rare that we have all six homes rented.  Fortunately, we can ALMOST cover the mortgages with just five full, but that leaves nothing for hot water heater replacements, air conditioning problems, or anything else that goes wrong.

Basically, for the last 4 years, we have been losing about $1000/month when averaged out over the year.  Not good.

So why are we still in it?  Most of the homes are worth less than what we paid for them.  One, in particular is worth a LOT less – like we have about $155K invested in it and street price is around $103K.

The business is also tying us to St. Louis.  Not a problem when I was employed by that multi-national company I originally mentioned.  Alas, lost that job 2 years ago.  Fortunately the banks don’t seem to care so long as they get their payments on time.

Bottom line:  The business sounded good in 2006, but it hasn’t worked out that way.