Cynthia Hale,

Join us as retired asset protection and landlord tenant law attorney, third-generation real estate investor, property manager, Josh’s business partner and mother Cynthia Hale talks about:

  • why she likes multi-unit properties (hint: diversification)
  • why real estate can be the best choice for someone with a short runway to retirement
  • why she loves real estate for the tax benefits

Josh Mettle: Hello and welcome to the Physician Financial Success Podcast! My name is Josh Mettle, and this is the podcast dedicated to advising physicians how to avoid financial landmines. Today, we’ll be talking with Cynthia Hale, retired asset protection and landlord tenant law attorney. She is a third-generation real estate investor and property manager. She is the purveyor of Currently she also co-owns and self-manages about a hundred single-family, multifamily, and apartment units in the Salt Lake City area. If that were not enough, she’s also my business partner and an incredible mother.

Mom, welcome to the show! How are you doing today?

Cynthia Hale: I’m great! How are you, Bud?

Josh Mettle: I’m doing great. I’m excited to have an opportunity to talk real estate with you. We recently chatted with a good friend of mine, Dave Denniston, and he invited me on to do a podcast about real estate. And I had so much fun, I thought we should do a podcast on my podcast for our listeners all about real estate, so here we go. We’re going to kick it off.

Cynthia Hale: Yeah. That was a great podcast by the way.

Josh Mettle: Yeah, I’m going to post it up on our podcast recording so all of our listeners will be able to get a peek inside that one.

Cynthia Hale: What I really liked about that it will be different than what we talked about Dave’s. That was more left-brained. You really drilled down the numbers and really explained why real estate is so fantastic. I’m going to give you a little more of a right-brain view of real estate. How do you like that?

Josh Mettle: It sounds like twice as much brains as I have, so I like it. All right, let’s just kick off with just a little bit of background and history about you and maybe what took you from landlord to attorney and then back to landlord for our properties now today.

Cynthia Hale: Okay, well. Boy, you’re taking me way back. If you remember, I was a landlord about 8 years before I became a homeowner because I bought my first rental house in Riverside, California, when you were about 7 and you used to practice your karate. I have pictures of you doing your karate practice while you were moving the hose around to water the lawn for me, so there you go.

Then, my mom and dad had to foreclose on 90 units in West Valley City, Utah, and they had sold it and took back a note, and the people who bought it decided not to pay. When they took it back, it had more than 50 vacancies and 15 years of deferred maintenance, Dad wrote me and my brother and sister a letter saying, “Come help me put this thing back together and save the asset for the estate or I’m going to wholesale it and go to Acapulco you can all hold your teeth.”

Two of us showed up and it took us 5 years to get that property back into order and sell it again. During that time, I was finishing off an undergraduate degree and had a little pile of money in my pocket at the end of that project and decided to go to law school. Then when I got out of law school, I graduated at the age of 45, so I didn’t have a really long runway. If I had been 30 when I graduated, I probably would have been a constitutional law attorney because I took every constitutional law and real estate law class I could ever find. Those are my two loves, but at the age of 45, it was going to be real estate because I need to practice and make some money right now.

When I started practicing, gosh I was heading towards a big number, a big birthday with a zero on the end, and as I started heading towards that, I realized, “Oh, my gosh! I just bought myself a job and my body is required. What was I thinking?”

You actually decided that I should go on a 5-year plan. I think we had a little argument one day and you said, “You’re going on the 5-year plan.”

I thought that was a great idea. I knew I had 5 more good years left into me and I really wanted to do it, so that’s when we started investing and the rest is history.

Josh Mettle: That’s a great story.

Cynthia Hale: Yeah.

Josh Mettle: I think that the physicians and the other professionals that are listeners can recognize with or identify with these three words: my body is required ‑ I’m sorry. I only wrote “my body required.” That would be four words: “My body is required.” My body is required to make income is the same realization that a lot of our physician listeners have, and with the changes in the medicine system, in the medical system as a whole, there is fear and apprehension that incomes will be going down and work might potentially be going up.

Cynthia Hale: Yeah.

Josh Mettle: More body, less money is an equation that nobody likes.

Cynthia Hale: I just hit it faster than everybody else because I graduated from law school late. When you first start in to practice, it’s very heady. It’s exciting. It’s thrilling. It’s playing with the big boys and the big girls and then suddenly when you have a birthday with a zero on it coming up, it looks just a little bit different. It gets scary.

Josh Mettle: Yeah. Well, I think your story will have very similar parallels to what a lot of our listeners are listening to, so that’s a great opening, so let’s talk about our properties. How are our properties doing today? How would today’s landlord, rental markets compare to years past, and where do you think rents are headed in the future?

Cynthia Hale: Wow, those are three universes of questions. But right now, as a landlord, life is sweet. There is way more renters in the market than there is property. They’re building like crazy here in Salt Lake, so they’re trying to catch up with that, but you could get lazy, lazy in a market like this as a landlord and the last time I did that was just before the recession and I was taking vacations with my mom and summer was going on. That’s when all apartments turned over because people want to move when it’s nice weather, not bad weather, so that’s when you have the most tenants in the market looking and that’s when you really have to take advantage and fill those apartments up fast.

I was busy taking vacations, then it went into September and my apartments had not filled up and that’s when I realized there was a recession, but it’s always been going on for about 6 months and I was too full of myself to figure it out fast enough, so I am very careful not to let that happen again.

Right now, since the market is good, I use all my skills every day. I research our units every single time. I research to see where the market is at every single time before I put another apartment on the market for rent. I pump them as high as I dare, and I used my skills every single day and I’m never going to get lazy again because when times are bad, you really have to use your skills and I’m not going to get mine lazy again. I’ve learned that lesson.

Recently, you and I decided to renovate an apartment complex that we’ve held for – I don’t know how many years it’s been – 12, 15 years. But we couldn’t find anything good on the market to buy because owners want to hold on during a good market and then they want to sell during a bad market which is exactly the time that it’s hardest to buy, so kind of all messed up like that. We couldn’t find anything good.

We were going to load up this apartment complex. Let’s renovate it just like we just bought it and new at the time and be really smart investors. So we did that. When we got done, I pumped the rent as far as I dared and the last one, I just sent it up ridiculously high and it rented in 2 hours, which is a great tenant, so that’s the market right now. I just rented three houses in the last few months that turned over, and I had people just lining up the door, just piles of people going through and I went what the heck is going on. Every time that happens, I think man, I didn’t charge enough money. I’ve already researched, charged as much as I dared, so isn’t that the craziest market ever?

Josh Mettle: Yeah, it’s a fantastic market to be a landlord. Vacancy is not a concern right now, and I think you bring up an interesting comment about we did some research and we were thinking about how do we invest in real estate today, how do we add to our portfolio and the numbers just didn’t really make sense. In other words what people were charging for the condition of the properties we’re in‑

Cynthia Hale: Yeah.

Josh Mettle: You’re parking cash for a rate of return that’s not going to come back for way too many years that I’m comfortable with.

Cynthia Hale: Yeah.

Josh Mettle: We decided and this is what I love so much about real estate is there’s so many different ways you can come at it and get creative with it. What we decided to do was instead of buying a new property, let’s put a bunch of money to work in the properties we already have, modernizing them, new windows, new kitchens, pumping them where we can get the most bang for the buck in terms of raising rents and increase our yields that way. Then when you go into a slower market, you’ve got properties that don’t have deferred maintenance and you’ve got top rents going into a potential downturn in the future.

Cynthia Hale: And just fantastic tenants because the nicer your units are, the better you can attract a really great tenant. They’re the ones paying the bills‑

Josh Mettle: Agree.

Cynthia Hale: That’s where the value is.

Josh Mettle: Yeah. Just one other thing. One of those other questions is where do we think rents are headed, and I think that a lot of people ‑ and I’d like your thoughts ‑ but my thought is a lot of people, a lot of younger generations have been kind of scared going through this mortgage meltdown process. They’ve seen their parents and they’ve seen their friends lose homes, get foreclosed upon, go through divorces, kind of go through these traumatic experiences that happened during that meltdown. I think it put fear in a few people and they’ve decided that they’re just comfortable renting for the time being. At some point, I think that mentality will change, but right now that seems to be prevalent. What do you see and what do you think where rents might be headed?

Cynthia Hale: You know, I just have to think that those people are so risk-averse they’re just going to trip over themselves. You can’t predict everything. All you can do is say what are my goals in life and where am I headed, and what’s the best thing for me and my family? You just can’t be worried about what the economy is doing because you can’t predict it. We didn’t predict the recession. We were out there banging the world, and investing, and doing stuff and then we got caught with a few ‑ we’ll talk about in a minute. I mean you just can’t predict everything. You just have to do the best that you can. It’s a crazy time and you and I both study different economists and they disagree and we’re always talking about it, and I personally think there’s going to be a longer runway sort of for the landlord but I’m staying alert. But gosh, to be a landlord! I have an 80-something-year-old tenant. She’s paying a grundle of money – she’s basically have to go out and get charity, paying a grundle of money for that two-bedroom apartment where everybody in her age group hasn’t paid a mortgage payment for 30 years. You got to plan ahead. You just can’t get stuck being a renter forever.

I love renters. They’re wonderful people. I love my tenants. They’re on their way up. They’re trying to go someplace in the world but don’t get caught just being a renter forever because you can’t predict the future. Because guess what, you’re never going to predict the future. Get over it.

Josh Mettle: That’s a great point. Great point. Okay so, as you know our audience, I think we’ve got a pretty good view. They’re mostly docs, dentists, other high-income individuals. I know that our listeners are extremely busy and they may know no very little amount of investing in real estate. What I like to do is just try and lay out a few of the mistakes that we have made over the years and kind of give them a little bit of a roadmap if we can. What are the things that a busy first-time real estate investor should consider when they evaluate their first real estate investment?

Cynthia Hale: Well, doctors and professionals are probably more left brain-thinkers and you speak their language better than I do, that’s why that Denniston podcast you just recently put up is so fantastic. Because you just explain the numbers of why real estate is great so well, the tax deductions, the money you get for keeping your family. Because of that, the leverage in investing a relatively small amount of money and reaping appreciation and the whole value of the property and the numbers when you consider the tenant paying down your mortgage over years and all that good stuff. That you speak better than I do. You’ve been pushing my nose into it more and more, but let me just say I like this part about kicking the dirt and let me just say to people that are high-income earners and want to know what to do with their money and stay in control, there’s a lot to be said about bootstrapping.

Don’t wait until you have a doctorate degree in real estate investing before you jump in because I took every real estate class in the world that I could possibly get, I was top academic 1 percent and that’s about how much I knew when I started investing in real estate. You have to learn by doing; there’s just lessons you will never learn otherwise. Just start. Professionals work themselves to the bone and you can’t do that forever. You have to think what – at a certain point you have to transition from earned income to passive income.

This morning, I got up and had 2 ounces of fresh squeezed ginger with lemon juice and cayenne. That’s my age group. Luckily, I have a little money machine built that just rolls along even when I’m not feeling great or dealing with my parents’ issues. This is what will happen when you get into my age group. Plan ahead. Have a little money machine. It’s a kind of fun and especially a kind of fun when you do it with family like we do.

Josh Mettle: I think that’s great.

Cynthia Hale: You start.

Josh Mettle: Yeah, I mean you can analyze this thing and be so risk-averse to the point where there is just paralysis.

Cynthia Hale: Yeah.

Josh Mettle: Nobody ever got successful or rich in real estate by letting paralysis take over. As is with stocks, you should practice position sizing. Your first property probably shouldn’t be worth 50 percent of your net worth or be – your cash 50 percent of your net worth. You should take a smaller property, learn some lessons, make a few mistakes, do a few things correctly. That feature that only costs a few dollars really helped us rent this. Great! Now recreate that on another property, maybe a little nicer. Recreate that on a multifamily two, or three, or four units. Then it just grows and along the way, you make a bunch of little mistakes. You learn a lot of lessons and you have some little victories that then parlay and build and grow into more and more success. If you don’t get started, you can’t get to the good stuff, so it’s a great lesson. Just get started.

Cynthia Hale: It’s like anything else, eventually you’re going to get your sea legs and then you can weather the storm and move on to the next level.

Josh Mettle: I love it. It’s great. Okay, so let’s talk about our mix of properties, we got started with few single family properties and originally got started we thought we were going to flip, right? We were going to buy, and fix, and sell, and we figured out we were dismal with that‑

Cynthia Hale: We’re the worst flippers in the world.

Josh Mettle: No, we’re seriously the worst. I literally don’t know how you could be any worse. It’s pretty bad. But that led us to what we were good at. Through mistakes comes eventual success and we moved on to small apartment buildings over the years, so let’s just talk a little bit about we’ll get into maybe some mistakes we made in the future of this podcast but let’s talk about property types. Currently of our properties you’ve invested in, which do you personally prefer and why?

Cynthia Hale: Okay, I think single-family residences are a great way to start because the loans are easy to get, it’s a small economy of scale and it’s easy to start that way and cut your teeth on it. I would still think that is a great way to start. Looking back on it, I think a duplex or a four-plex which are also easy to get loans on and easy to start is another great way, so I would start in that order of magnitude. Having tried just about everything you and I, I really prefer the multiple unit property probably also because there’s also a big hurry and I just one by one by one, which is not fast enough for me. We acquired assets by getting an 8-plex and then of course our very next one was a 36-plex, so there’s a gradient for you.

Anyway, one of the things I like better about the larger complexes personally is when you have a house vacant, you have a 100 percent vacancy rate, and that is scary. You got all the money going out, none of the money coming in. but if you have a four-plex, you have a vacancy, you can have a 25 percent vacancy rate and you still have three other units paying the bills. That’s what I like about it, is that you have other people paying the bills while you’re weathering the little storm.

When you get into bigger properties, you get an economy of scale where when you and I started out, we were knocking out and did all of our own renovation and all our cleaning, everything. I won’t tell them how bad it was because I don’t want anybody to copy what we did because we were negative cash flow to start out with. That was before I read Rich Dad, Poor Dad, you made me read it, and then after that, I was just absolutely intolerable of negative cash flow. I could never tolerate it after that, but we started out doing all the work ourselves. And when we got a few more units it’s an economy of scale where you can get some really great help, great people, and you don’t have to do it all yourself, and it just rolls along, so.

Josh Mettle: Yeah, I think that’s great. There’s just a couple of things I’d like to add on to that. We started with the sell strategy, buy and sell. Especially for our high-income listeners, adding additional income to today’s tax bracket or this year’s income is probably not the best benefit.

Cynthia Hale: Yeah.

Josh Mettle: What we’ve evolved into doing and I say that time cures all stupidity in real estate, so even if you make a stupid move, which we’ve made plenty of them and you rent the property out, time cures that. In other words, if you buy at the wrong time and you rent it out and you have a positive cash flow, every month you’re banking on a couple of hundred of bucks a months. As time goes on, the appreciation catches up and it washes over your mistakes. For us, renting long term has always been the key.

One other thing you said, Mom, that was quite interesting, I just want to say it a little different way. In a traditional investment format, where you’re talking about stocks and bonds, there’s lots of talks about diversification. So, one kind of diversification that we use is we use multiunit properties. Like you said, if you have one property 100 percent vacancy rate; if you got four units and one is vacant, you have a 25 percent. Well, that’s just diversifying a little bit, not necessarily diversifying in asset classes, but you’re diversifying in your tenants. If one goes down, you got the other three to share, better carrying you.

Cynthia Hale: Different areas of town because there’s different economies in different areas in town.

Josh Mettle: Yeah, yeah. Good point. Okay, so let’s take a guess that a few of our listeners are –speaking of tax brackets – are fairly high tax rates and maybe a potential for lots of outstanding student loans. Traditional investment advice would have them max out their retirement accounts, contribute as much as they can to their 401(k), IRAs, then buy a big primary residence. Both of those things would bring down their effective tax rate and then likely allocate the rest of their investible income if there’s any left, to debt reduction and potentially funding nonqualified investment accounts. What might you do differently if you were in a high income high student loan type situation and how would you look at that, maybe a little differently than the traditional advice?

Cynthia Hale: That’s entirely theoretical to me because I was a single mom for 14 years, poor as a church mouse, and I never had to deal with the pain of being a high-income doctor. I became medium income, good income as an attorney but I never really felt that pain. I feel it through you, but I don’t feel it personally. My decision for real estate is I just never felt comfortable with my money or asset in the hands of somebody else. Maybe it’s my arrogance that I can do better than somebody else. I want to be able to go out and kick it, so I like real estate as a personal preference.

Also for me, the reason I like real estate is I had a short runway. I didn’t have years and years of savings set aside in retirement plan and whatnot to get ready for retirement, or to set aside for emergencies. I had a short runway. I had to do it fast, and the fastest way to grow an estate for me was real estate. There is just no faster way to do it.

Josh Mettle: That’s great point and let’s just park on that for a second. Philosophically the traditional investment advice out there is save as much as you can, contribute to those retirement accounts and then when you retire and income goes away, you start to draw off of those assets.

Cynthia Hale: Right.

Josh Mettle: And that model can work well if you have a long runway and decent appreciation rates. If you have a short runway or poor market performance or both, then you don’t have the time to build that nest egg that you’re then going to pull off of each month for the rest of your life. You have to build cash flow and the thing that’s so cool about real estate is that you’re never spending the principal. In other words, if I own 5 properties and they’re free and clear or they have 50 percent debt or whatever and now I reach the point of retirement, I don’t start selling off my properties. I just start living off the cash flow. That principle is not – I think mentally there’s a shift. If I got a big capital account that I’m pulling off of each year, it’s like my lifeline is running out like it’s like the sand through the hourglass and I can see myself. Okay, I got to die right about when this money is going to run out.

Cynthia Hale: Exactly.

Josh Mettle: It’s a very finite kind of thinking. Conversely, with real estate your principal continues to appreciate, your tax rate is still going to stay very low because you’ll have some depreciation benefits and real estate write-offs and you get to live off the cash flow. When you got a shorter runway like that especially for you, I like the way you related that to your own life, really the only way to get there was to invest in real estate, make sure you had cash flow, and in 10 years, you didn’t have to live off the principal. You just needed to make sure you have enough cash flow to survive.

Cynthia Hale: Yeah, you could do a whole podcast. We could have done this whole podcast just on cash flow alone because there’s nothing more important than cash flow and we’ve watched other investors – you talked about that in the Denniston interview. We’ve watched other investors just completely tank because they didn’t have cash flow. Cash flow’ll get you through anything.

Josh Mettle: That’s right.

Cynthia Hale: Not only that, but later on in your life when you’re paying yourself cash flow out of your rental units, that’s not income. That’s not earned income. That’s capital gains and you’re paying taxes. You’re spending equity, not income.

Josh Mettle: Excellent point.

Cynthia Hale: Your taxes are lower.

Josh Mettle: Excellent point. Thank you very much, really good point. Okay, I know we’re having fun when we reach the 29-minute mark of a 30-minute podcast and we’ve got three questions to go. We’re going to run a few minutes long, but we got to be succinct because this is the fun stuff. Here we go. This is the speed round. Are you ready, Mom?

Cynthia Hale: Sure.

Josh Mettle: Okay, great. All right, let’s share with our listeners just a lesson or two that you’ve learned to make you a better investor today that you were 15 years ago? Just give me your top lesson or two that you’ve learned.

Cynthia Hale: Well, I think some of the best stuff I’ve learned was I learned from you and that’s because you forced me to run the business like a business. You kept pushing my nose in the financials and that’s really your hat that you pushed my nose into it, you made me confront and we’re doing it Sunday. Then you make me do it every month to go over the T and Ls every month and some months that’s just torture, like we were renovating that complex and I’ve got money going out and I have to face you with the financials, it’s like, “Oh, my gosh! And I have Hillary was asking me, where we going to get the money for this, where we going to get the money for that?”

The last thing I wanted to do is face you because I already know how bad it is when the money is going out, but it makes me crack the whip, it makes me move along fast and get it done. I just want to be the hero after all it’s done. I don’t want to space when I’m going through it, but it makes me a better investor when you forced my face in those numbers every month. That was only one, but that’s the best lesson. How about that?

Josh Mettle: That’s great. I think it’s Tim Ferris in his book, The 4-Hour Work Week, or maybe it’s The 4-Hour Body actually, but he talks a lot about anything measured will be improved ,anything that you measure. If you want to lose weight, start measuring how many calories you put in your body versus how much exercise and start logging that every single day. You will lose weight. Hang that up in your cubicle or in your office. If you want to save money and accumulate savings, everyday write out how much money you brought into your account versus how much money you spend.

Anything that you chronicled, that you really pay attention and measure will improve because you’ll start to put attention on it, and that’s a great lesson for investors. You have to confront those numbers every month and say what did we spend, how much did we make, are we positive, and how can we do better, and those are the questions that if you’re running a business, those are the questions you would be doing at least monthly reviewing those types of figures. That’s how you have to treat real estate. It’s a business. It’s all about cash flow. How did we do? What can we do better?

Cynthia Hale: Yeah, it’s painful sometimes but it always makes you a better investor when you confront it.

Josh Mettle: Very true, good. All right, I love it. Now let’s have a little fun. Before we wrap up the interview, let’s talk about maybe the worst deal that we have ever gotten ourselves into because I think people can learn more from our failures than our successes. Then maybe let’s end with one deal that we did well. Go ahead, mom, give us our biggest failure.

Cynthia Hale: Okay, you’re not going to predict that I would say this one. I think of all of our worst deals, this one we were trying to be flippers. There’s no doubt about that. We had a great bundle of stories about how we failed as flippers, but there’s just one that I got to tell. Okay, so we bought this little house just before the recession hit. We were still hitting it as the recession was hitting and loans were disappearing, so we had to resell, the little house next to a graveyard. It was about 1,000 square feet. We renovated it and happily got it ready. We stopped just as the recession was hitting and you are right on it and then we immediately thought we’d better sell it and just move on.

We put it on the market and around this house are these giant pine trees. Every day, they would drop a bunch of junk all over the patio and the deck and the driveway and everything and spiders would come down at the tree and encase the house in web.

You cannot learn this stuff in law school or you can’t learn it in real estate school. This stuff will happen. You just have to market your little heart out, so I had to go over there every single day, sweep the spider webs off of the house so prospective tenants wouldn’t see that their house was nearly entombed by spiders everyday and sweep all the tree garbage off the whole property. You probably were looking around, wondering why you didn’t ever see me in the office. It’s like I got to get this thing sold and I got like took turns with my handyman over there. You just can’t learn that stuff other than – so that was probably my worst horrible nightmare story. There’s plenty of others.

On the good side, the last deal we did was the best one. I’m constantly looking for deals, constantly; even when you tell me not to, I’m just watching. I’ve made so many offers over the years that I’ve been through the numbers so many times that I can often spot a deal right on first blush.

I was listening to Donald Trump talking the other day. I know we’re in a hurry. I’m going to talk fast. He has been criticized by someone, who was running for president because he didn’t have a 29-point plan on all his positions. Donald said, “Two of my best investments” ‑ I think it was Mar-a-Lago and he the old post office in Washington DC he was talking about, he said that, “he had instantly recognized them as good investments, with his experience, and instantly offered because there was a lot of competition.” If he’d taken the time to sit down and do a 29-point plan, he would have lost those properties. He said there is much to be said about that, but sometimes you just have to have experience that shows you that that’s a great deal jump on it right now, don’t wait, and then put your plan together. That’s what you do when you tie a property in escrow. Now you do due diligence and you make up for everything you missed because you can then go through that property with a fine tooth comb and with professionals.

That’s what we did on the seven-plex. I instantly recognized wow that is a great deal in a great area of town. I want that property. And you always tell me don’t fall in love with a property, so I’m going, “Don’t fall in love with the property. Don’t fall in love with the property.” I just knew it. So we tied it up. We got a number and I made the offer – no, no. First we made the offer and they just laughed at me, told me I was an idiot and basically just sent me packing. I went whatever. I spent a lot of time on that. Too bad for me.

Then three months later, he came back and said, “Would you still make that same deal?” Would you make the same deal?” We tied it up in escrow and then we inspected the property, found out parking lot was crap, the roof was leaking all over the place because some landlord who didn’t know what he was doing let people drill holes in the roof and put – what do you call them?

Josh Mettle: Satellite.

Cynthia Hale: Satellite dishes all over the roof. First thing I did was admonish the satellite guy to show him where to put the satellite dishes, not on my roof or I’ll break his kneecap. Once we went through it, we got the sellers to kick in another – wasn’t it thirty grand – to make up for the stuff that we didn’t know before, so we beat him up in escrow. He got the property tied up and then we beat him up in escrow and we got that property unit and we got as much money, positive cash flow off that little seven-plex every month than we do on a 18-plex.

Josh Mettle: Yeah. That property took a lot of confront. It was dilapidated property. I think it was – was it owned from somebody in California, mom, or was it remote landlord?

Cynthia Hale: No, it was a guy retired that’s living off the income, but he didn’t want to do any work, but it had the bones, though, bud. It was brick, good bones, good area of town.

Josh Mettle: And the rents, I mean when you look at the rent formula, we were getting an okay deal. But we thought we could increase those rents by 20 percent. It turned out after we did our renovation and then with a little help from the way the market has moved in terms of renters, we were able to increase those rents more like 30 percent or 40 percent. It was an awesome deal, and that’s a win book. Let me just maybe end on this if you don’t mind, mom.

Cynthia Hale: Yeah.

Josh Mettle: What I think is coolest about that deal is that that deal will subsidize my mom’s income until the day she dies. She’ll always have that property and that’s positive cash flow from that work we put in.

Cynthia Hale: Yeah.

Josh Mettle: And then I’ll have that cash flow for the next 30 or 40 years. Then I’ll die, and then I hope that my kids have that income for another 30 or 40 years and who knows what they decide to do with it? But I can tell you for sure that it will support my mom until she passes away, and then it will support me until I pass away. It’s just hard to say that about a stock. I got Apple at $115. Awesome! You’re going to sell it at $175 or whatever. That’s a different kind of ‑

Cynthia Hale: And pay taxes.

Josh Mettle: And pay taxes, right. That’s a different type of strategy and long-term move the needle type effect than what I see in real estate. With that, mom, anything else to add?

Cynthia Hale: Many things to add, but time is short. That was kind of fun.

Josh Mettle: Well said. Hey, listen, thanks so much for sharing so generously and maybe if we had good response, we’ll do another one at least on cash flow. If our listeners want to find you and your websites and resources, how can they best connect with you?

Cynthia Hale: I have a little blog that I just keep up for landlords. It’s called, and they can do there and I give advice to landlords. I’ll probably add in the future more investment advice now that you’ve got my nose into this area. It’s just landlord advice, so I’ll build on that in the future.

Josh Mettle: Beautiful! That’s Thanks, mom! I appreciate your time and we’ll see you later for a barbecue or something fun.

Cynthia Hale: Okay, thanks, Bud. Have fun!