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About Romeo Jeremiah

My real estate story began unconventionally.

I purchased my first real estate property at age 27. The year was 2007.

I had no idea what I was doing.

My purchase decision kind of went like this:

A friend of mine purchased a new construction property in a quaint subdivision in Kingsland, GA, a small town about 45 minutes north of Jacksonville, FL off of interstate I-95.

I was renting a 3 bedroom, 2 bath room side-by-side condominium for $1,000 per month.

Somehow, I, like many other future home buyers decided to convince myself that renting a nice place for $1,000 was a waste of money; that it was money best used to purchase a property.

My arguments for purchasing a property that I told my twenty-seven-year-old self, would be the same arguments that I would easily counter today if I were told the same things by a first time home buyer.

My idea was simple. I would purchase a property and watch its value appreciate over the two and a half years that I would be in the Kingsland, GA area. And worst case, if the property failed to appreciate (over this EXTREMELY short period) enough for me to sell, I would just rent it.

Easy enough right?

And since my friend had just purchased a property with relatively ease, I told myself that the time was no better than any other.

So, unsuspecting Romeo went forth and purchased his first property.

Unfortunately, the only numbers I ran to see whether or not the property price was a good fit were the same numbers that most other unsuspecting home owners run. I took to the internet and entered my salary into a simple “can I afford it” calculator, realized that I could “afford” the property I wanted, and about 40 days later was the brand new owner of a new construction, side-by-side condominium for a price of $191,500 at 6.5%.

The mortgage was approximately $1,550. More than $500 than the going rental rate in the same neighborhood.

Still.

No red flags went up. Not even a yellow flag.

I was convinced that the house value would appreciated enough to break even during the sell two year from that date.

It was the biggest mistake of my real estate investing career.

If you’ve not aware, 2007 was very close to the peak of one of the greatest real estate bubbles in America’s history.

I watched my home’s value drop from its peak to $171,000 in the two years that followed.

This happened to be the same year when I had to relocate out of state because of the new job assignment.

With a remaining mortgage debt of $188,000 on a home that was valued $17,000 less, my only logical choice was to rent my property to a tenant…
…long distance, without the use of a property manager.

And that’s how I began my real estate investing career.

I quickly went from happy homeowner to out of state property manager.

And what follows from November 2009 until now is a roller coaster of hating and then loving real estate as my favorite asset class for building wealth.

Now, I have a goal of applying all the knowledge I’ve learned about real estate investing since 2009 to accumulate over a million dollars in real estate gross profit by the year 2020.

Really, it’s an arbitrary goal, but it gives me something to shoot for. It’s specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and definitely trackable.

This web log is where I track this journey.