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The other day I wrote a blog post outlining how home owners can save their home by renting it out, downsizing into a smaller rental and using the net savings to pay down their debt. The idea behind writing that post is that I was trying to do just that.

Since my notary business fell by 50% recently when I lost one of my clients, I could see disaster coming if I didn't do something quick.

Within a week of deciding to rent my place out, I found some friends to take it for $1600 a month. My mortgage is $2150 a month so I'm taking a $550 loss each month (instead of a $2150 loss each month). I'm going to stay for free with friends for a couple of weeks, but then rent a room out of a house for $600/month.

Here's the bonus for me: I'm saving on storage costs because I'm leaving the condo furnished. They are happy because I have nice stuff. I'm happy because I know they'll take very good care of it, I don't have to move it, and I save on storage costs. My out-of-pocket cost will be $1150/month for housing. That's a net savings of $1000/month. That makes up for a lot of the income I lost. As I gradually work back up to where I was, I'll use the extra money to build up reserves and pay down debt... both of which were casualties of lost business.

The title of this post says $1200/month savings because my utilities, cable, and Internet costs will go way down because they will be shared. That, plus a couple of other cost-cutting ideas, will save me about $200 more per month.

Crazy times call for creative measures. Hopefully this kind of thinking can help somebody else out there. I'm fortunate enough to be single with no dependents. I know this will be more difficult for others who are married or have children. However, this can help anybody willing to bite the bullet and take drastic measures.

Out of all of this, I also have a new goal. In two years' time, I want to have my debt paid down and enough money set aside to put down on a house before the market recovers. I'll keep my condo as an investment. This could be the most productive two years of my life, even though they'll be two years of sacrifice to get there.

If you've ever read Rich Dad/Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, you'll recognize this strategy. That book was a huge help to get me started thinking this way. I highly recommend it.

Mary Warren
Las Vegas, NV

Interesting theory - we are in a situation though where we cannot rent our home out.  Association rules will not allow it.  It's a bummer if someone really HAS to get out and by selling it they would take a loss!

Jul 06, 2008 04:02 PM
Courtney Cooper
Cooper Jacobs - Seattle, WA

Great ideas - and good for you for being so creative - hope biz picks up for you soon:)

Jul 06, 2008 04:17 PM
Dennis Beckner
Beckner Mobile Notary - Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

Mary - sorry to hear that. Associations are a killer. My condo is run by an association that's only interested in grabbing power every chance they get and raising our association fees the maximum allowable by law each year.

Courtney - Thanks!

Jul 06, 2008 04:28 PM
Mike Wong
Keller Williams Realty Southwest - Sugar Land, TX
Realtor: Commercial, Residential, Leasing, Invest

Its a great strategy if that is what your lifestyle allows you to do.

After graduating college and working, my first investment into real estate was a home. Not for me to move into and away from my family, it was a rental home. The tenants paid the mortgage, my salary doubled and tripled the payments, and I owned it after a few years.

From there I got another one, and another one while still living at home with my family. I got grief from friends who teased me about still living at home, but I own properties and have passive income. All the while gaining equity and leverage to get myself into commercial investments in the future.  

Jul 06, 2008 04:33 PM
Dennis Beckner
Beckner Mobile Notary - Rancho Santa Margarita, CA


Thanks for the comment. You did it the right way. I'm hoping to follow in your footsteps.


Jul 06, 2008 04:42 PM
Dr. Stacey-Ann Baugh
Century 21 New Millennium - Upper Marlboro, MD
A doctor who makes house calls.

Dennis, i'm glad you were able to do this to be able to survive this difficult financial time.  Good luck with the transition.

Jul 07, 2008 12:26 AM
Dennis Beckner
Beckner Mobile Notary - Rancho Santa Margarita, CA


Thanks! Because I was able to rent my place out so quickly, I think I'm going to do great.


Jul 07, 2008 03:38 AM