You Want to What Now? A Spouse’s Response to Real Estate

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Pinto Capital Investments

“Happiness is only real when shared.”

-Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

 

My rock, my anchor, my source of happiness. All these things describe my beautiful wife as we began our tumultuous journey together. Below Peggy talks about her initial reaction to investing and how she grew into acceptance.

I never imagined I would be writing a post for a blog. Honestly, I don’t know if anyone out there will want to ‘listen’ to what I have to say. However, after receiving some encouragement from our friends, I hope to help others in our situation, who believe diving into investing is an overwhelming experience.

Adulthood is a funny thing. When I was in high school, I had a very clear vision of how my life was going to go and who I was going to be: I was going to become a Navy nurse and do humanitarian missions. I would get married and see the world with my husband and eventually have a ton of kids. I would also be an amazing photographer on the side and submit the occasional photo to National Geographic... Once I graduated college though, I began to realize just how fluid everything is. I am married to a wonderful husband and we are slowly working on seeing the world. I am a Navy nurse, though I have not deployed yet; and photography is a casual hobby. Although I have a lot of growing to do, I have come a long way and certainly learned a lot in the process about myself, the world, and about how home is where your loved ones are.

I grew up in the Philadelphia suburb of West Chester with loving parents, Mary and Jim, two younger brothers, Tommy and Patrick, and our wonderful family dogs. My childhood home is a two-story colonial with a white fence and an American flag waving from the pole out front. My dad was an engineer for Naval Sea Systems Command- a government agency- and is now happily retired. My mom recently retired from the Navy Nurse Corps and currently works in nursing informatics. Early on, our parents taught us about saving money. We earned a small weekly allowance for completing chores, eventually opened savings accounts, and gradually learned some fiscal responsibility. Ultimately, my strategy with money was to budget, save, and spend wisely. This strategy has worked for my parents, as evidenced by my dad’s ability to retire in his fifties and by their waterfront vacation home in Brigantine, NJ. Why shouldn’t I do the same thing? This was my mindset before my husband caught on to real estate investing, and slowly, but surely, I am coming around to the idea that there may be some real potential for us in investing.

When Anthony first came to me with the idea of real estate investing, I perceived it as a form of escapism. Truly, my reaction was “you want to do what now?” At that time, he was part of a submarine crew that had a grueling hours and a toxic work environment. He first approached me with a copy of Rich Dad Poor Dad in October 2018. By Thanksgiving he was off that boat and on to a new command and things were looking up... By January we were preparing to close on a four-unit property in Portsmouth, Virginia. At that time, I was in complete denial about the whole thing, which made our move from our four bedroom, two and a half bath home in Virginia Beach to a studio apartment closer to work even more difficult. I was still holding on to the idea that if we strayed from conservative budgeting we would be not only without money, but we could end up without a place to call home. I’ll let Anthony go into the details of all the work we put into our Virginia Beach home and the journey to get there. These pro-tips below have allowed us to survive the stress of these first six tumultuous months in real estate investing:

  1.       Set goals and stick to them! We sat down towards the beginning of this and set long- and short-term goals for investing and our personal finances. We made a deal that we would not move on to the next property until we had renters in all our units and a few months’ rent in reserve. This was specifically with regards to buying and holding properties and we are thinking a bit broader now, but it was a good starting point. It gave us something to come back to and talk about when ambition was threatened by fear.
  2.       Pay off debts in a timely manner, but don’t overstretch. We had the option to pay off my car loan and Anthony’s career starter loan early, but we knew we had termites and other varmint to deal with in our current property. We waited a few months and still managed to pay off our loans early, but we were also able to deal with our pest problems in a timely manner (definitely a topic for another time).
  3.       Regularly talk about money. I hate talking about money. I always have. When we first started investing and we had so many costs up front (i.e. upgrading flooring, fixing damaged windows, and dealing with all the surprises of a new home), I especially hated talking about money. However, it helped us work together towards paying off our debts and planning out how we can make the most of our money each month. It has been a huge help in us moving forward as a team and improved our communication.
  4.       Team-work and communication are key. It took us a while to get on the same page, and we still have to balance each other out every now and then… Anthony is incredibly smart and really dedicates himself to a project, but we always have new things to learn. One thing that we are currently working on is figuring out which tasks Anthony can delegate to me and which should be delegated to others. At one point, I had to sit him down and explain that some of the things he was asking me to do that I was not comfortable doing. Recently though, he sat down and really taught me how to do certain things that would help him out immensely. I am currently working on editing our blog, designing business cards, and looking up information on brokers for Anthony in my spare time. Although it may not seem like much, the time that he took to teach me meant the world and we are able to work much better as a team now!
  5.       Hands down, the most important advice: Have a little faith, a few good friends, and a lot of wine. My friends and family have been my anchor in all of this. I cannot tell you how good it is to have best friends who will pour you a healthy glass of wine and listen to you vent about your crazy adventures. Whether it’s termites, squirrels in the walls, stolen appliances or something else, there is nothing you can’t overcome with a wonderful partner, and equally wonderful friends and family.

This has been a journey. It has involved a lot of hard work, a few arguments, some crazy hours (including staying up until 2am to paint the rest of our house!), and an insane amount of patience (from both of us). It has helped us grow as a couple and taught us a lot of lessons very early on in our marriage. It has not been an easy journey, but as we continue to move forward with our lives and business, I am truly seeing how this will help us achieve our dreams. Thank you for sticking with me through this post…now go out and discover…what’s your dream?

To continue following our journey, check out https://rookierealestateblog.com. There, you’ll find book recommendations, podcasts and additional resources to get you started as a Real Estate Rookie. Stay tuned for more blogs on networking, my first and second property, my brief stint as a new construction developer and more! Please also feel free to contact us or mention in the comments topics that interest you!

 

About the Author

Peggy Pinto is a Navy Nurse, wife to Anthony, a Submarine Lieutenant, and doggy-mom to a rescue, Rudy. Currently stationed in Norfolk, VA, she has stood by Anthony’s side as he grows, learns and acquires property as a real estate investor. Since acquiring 8 units in three months, Anthony has expanded into apartment building investments, utilizing Michael Blank’s Ultimate Guide to Building Apartment Buildings with Private Money course. Their company, Pinto Capital Investments, focuses on the Kansas City, North Carolina Triad (Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh), Hampton Roads and Philadelphia markets.

If you want to know about getting started with Real Estate investing, how to transition into apartment investing, or how to become a passive investor, he can be contacted at pinto.capital@gmail.com, at Facebook or at our site Pinto Capital Investments, https://pintocapitalinvestments.com/

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Rainmaker
752,908
Robert Rauf
HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ) - Toms River, NJ

I'm pretty sure all of the above tips are great for any partnership or relationship!

Jul 23, 2019 12:14 PM #1
Ambassador
2,860,697
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana!

Hi Anthony Pinto I found you and I bet others will as well.  You've got quite the story to share and I look forward to hearing more about your newest journey.

Welcome to ActiveRain!!

Jul 23, 2019 03:15 PM #2
Rainmaker
1,534,091
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

Not sure who's writing Peggy or Anthony. Make sure to distinguish yourselves.

Good luck here on AR.

Jul 23, 2019 03:29 PM #3
Rainmaker
592,506
Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA
Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate - Wilmington, DE
Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS

I guess most of this would work for many people but I must disagree about point 5.  I don't drink alcohol and doubt I'm missing anything. Good to hear from neighbors in or from West Chester. I'm there several times a  month.

Jul 23, 2019 09:17 PM #4
Rainmaker
1,435,850
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667 (MT), 914-419-0270 (NY), Broker in NY with Grand Lux Realty and in MT with (coming soon!) - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

What a wonderful post about your start in investing. Taking on such a project definitely requires teamwork, communication, openness and friends. It sounds as though your relationship may even be stronger as a result of this new challenge. Great job.

Jul 24, 2019 03:17 AM #5
Rainer
144,554
Robin Wells
RAW Chimney Sweep and Inspections - Penetanguishene, ON
Giving Peace Of Mind One Chimney At A Time

Thanks for tips and post.  Yes some of these are vital to long term success in a relationship.  

Jul 24, 2019 04:31 AM #6
Rainer
42,421
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
Relocation to NW AZ with elbow room & more freedom

Powerful story and having your significant other supporting you is essential regardless of industry. Thank you for sharing.

Jul 24, 2019 07:28 AM #7
Rainmaker
14,344
Mike Easton
Movement Bank - Charlotte, NC
Creative lending solutions from coast to coast

I like the good reads section on your blog! I need to create a section like that myself- thanks for the inspiration! 

Jul 24, 2019 08:38 AM #8
Rainmaker
939,008
Brigita McKelvie, Associate Broker
Cindy Stys Equestrian and Country Properties, Ltd. - Lehigh Valley, PA
The Broker with horse sense and no horsing around

Hi, Anthony!

You make some really good points on not only investing in real estate, but also in building relationships.  Sometimes we need to take the step into the unknown to get over our fears.  It will make us wiser in the long run.  Thank you for sharing!

Brigita

Jul 24, 2019 10:42 AM #9
Rainmaker
514,713
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

I have been wanting to invest in a small home as a rental for years...my husband is hesitant.  It's such a good investment for the long haul...may not make $$ in the early years but eventually...you will!

Jul 24, 2019 11:51 AM #10
Rainmaker
1,079,109
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

Wonderful story - I think you are both smart, ambitious, and in love. You will go far with your investments!

Jul 24, 2019 01:44 PM #11
Rainmaker
3,333,214
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Peggy and Anthony - a terrific story.  Here's to sharing more and to much continued/growing success.  

Jul 25, 2019 05:32 AM #12
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Anthony Pinto

Specializing in apartment building acquisition.
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