Do you prefer steak or pizza?
Don’t answer too quickly. You probably don’t always prefer steak to pizza or vice versa. If you’re having friends over on Sunday afternoon to watch football, pizza might be the choice. You probably wouldn’t choose it for an important anniversary dinner, though. Let’s extend that thinking to apartment investing.
If you want to build legacy wealth, you will choose one strategy. You should choose a different strategy if you want little management hassle and predictable cash flow for the next decade.
Every investment strategy comes complete with trade-offs. It would be nice if there was a “sit on the couch, eat ice cream, gain muscle, and lose weight” diet, but there isn’t. It would be nice if you could find the “perfect” property, too, but you won’t. Some properties are better for your goals, while others don’t take you where you want to go.
I’m a triathlete, but I’m unwilling to spend 20 hours and $200 a week for coaching and 12 intense workouts each week. The guys on the podium earn that glory because they pay more for their triathlons. They are happy about that, and I’m happy for them.
I chose to write a book. That took years and hard work. The time and effort I put into Building Legacy Wealth was time and effort I didn’t devote to other things.
Tradeoffs are about deciding what you will put up with to get something else you want. You may choose buildings in “less desirable” neighborhoods because they offer you more upside than other properties. What problems can and will you fix? What risks will you accept?
There may be tradeoffs at home, too. No matter how compatible you and your spouse are, you will have differences. Sometimes that tradeoff is between two properties that each of you thinks is a great choice. My clients, Mark and Sharon, have a way deal with that. Mark visits the properties and makes recommendations. Sharon has veto power. Deciding comes from a root word which means to cut off. Deciding means you decline most options to capture another option.
Sometimes the tradeoff is deciding whether to act or not. There are only a limited number of apartment properties on the market at any time. You don’t get to pick from all the apartments in your area—just the ones for sale. You may decide that nothing on the market right now meets your goals.
That’s OK sometimes. But if you never buy, you’re not an investor. You’re a spectator. When you’re tempted to “wait” for the perfect property, remember these words from Thomas Sowell. “There are no solutions. There are only tradeoffs.”
And remember one of the great truths of apartment investing.
Great investors close.
Adapted from Building Legacy Wealth by Terry Moore.
Terry Moore, CCIM, is the author of Building Legacy Wealth: How to Build Wealth and Live a Life Worth Imitating. Read his “Welcome to My Blog.”