As a result, our vacancy rate had taken us below our break even point within a matter of months. In addition, our insurance rates had soared after the attacks, and a statewide property tax increase on all our properties a year later delivered the final blow. I continued to borrow from our credit lines and I maxed out both our business and personal credit cards each month in order to make our mortgage payments, pay our employees, keep the lights on, and provide for my family.
We slashed every possible expense in our business and personal budgets and began selling off our rental houses and apartments in an effort to keep from sinking. At home, my wife began selling everything in the house that wasn't nailed down on EBay® just to make ends meet, and it was working, but we were still holding our breath every 30 days in hopes the money wouldn't run out before the month did.
And Then the inevitable Happened. Our family was in the checkout line at Wal-mart one night when our credit card was declined (again). But this time, our debit card was also declined, and my wife and I didn't have enough cash between the two of us to pay for our groceries. The day I feared had finally come; We were broke! I was a real estate millionaire without a penny to my name. I felt as if I was going to pass out right there in the store. I pulled out another credit card.....declined, and another......declined, and another, until finally, the last card in my wallet was accepted. My wife and I collected the kids, our bag of groceries, and drove home without saying a word. I felt like the biggest failure in the world. I couldn't even provide for my family.
That night, I did the only 2 things left to do. First, I prayed. I prayed that I wouldn't have to file bankruptcy and for direction in my crumbling rental empire. The second thing I did was sit down and began to take a long hard look at where I had been, where I was, and where I wanted my life to go. The first place I knew I didn't want to go was to live with my mother-in-law should I be forced to file bankruptcy and lose everything I own, which seemed to be where I was headed!
So as I continued to think and work through this process over the next several days, I realized that my passion still lied with real estate, and that the main reason I was in this mess was because I was in the business of renting space to PEOPLE. The lost rent from evictions, move-outs in the middle of the night, along with huge collection expenses and extended periods of time with high vacancies during the home sales boom, had literally drained our bank accounts. I then added in the cost to repair, re-paint, and re-carpet each of our 400 units over the years as they became vacant, and that number virtually doubled!
Also, being a victim of 100% to 200% increases in property taxes, insurance, and utility costs over the past 5 years brought me to the conclusion that I didn't want to be in a position where I was slave to these 3 business partners any longer.
After that, I estimated the cost and hassle of hiring and firing several employees and added up the cost of their theft and falsifying payroll reports which ran into several thousand dollars more in losses and lost productivity over the years, and I became even more depressed at how bad things had become.
My dream of owning my own business and enjoying the benefits of being my own boss and the promise of a better life and the creation of wealth through real estate had become my nightmare in a matter of just a few short years.
So the conclusion was that my dream job was to build a low-risk, high cash flow real estate business without all the hassles of tenants, toilets, or employees. Great! Except that what I wanted, didn't exist. It was nothing but an Impossible, pie in the sky pipe dream ...... or was it?
Well, since you logged into SelfStorageInvesting.com, you've probably already figured out the answer to my prayer, so now I'll share with you the top 10 reasons why I decided to eventually sell all my houses and apartments, and ditch all my tenants and toilets to invest in self storage, and realize my dream.