This is the 32nd edition of our periodic guest post series called 10 Questions and a Pizza Place. (The 1500′s are pizza fanatics.) We have a list of 17 questions we pose to fellow financial bloggers, and they are free to pick and choose 10 or answer all 17. Let us know if you would like to be featured in a future edition of 10 Questions.
Mr. 1500 and I are in the process of diversifying our portfolio in anticipation of retirement. I recently got my real estate license, to facilitate our real estate purchases so we can enter the rental market. Our timing wasn’t perfect, as our part of the world is experiencing record prices. So we are preparing ourselves for the time when we do become landlords, by reading up on the subject as much as possible.
Today, we feature Eric from No Nonsense Landlord. His blog name is spot-on – he is a landlord who does not tolerate nonsense. If you are thinking about diving into the rental market, or if you are already there, you need to hop on over to his site and read everything he has ever posted. He treats being a landlord like a job, and he runs his business well. He has some really great advice, and uses his personal experiences – both good and bad – to give you lessons without having to learn the hard way. He says “I went to the school of hard knocks where I majored in repeating everyone else’s mistakes.”
Mr. 1500 note: This guy is the real deal. I like reading his blog because this guy is in the trenches. His stories from the front-lines are terrifying and highly amusing at the same time.
Tell me about your blog and why it’s great.
My blog www.nononsenselandlord.
What is the worst financial mistake you made?
Trying to ‘beat’ the market. In hind sight, buying the S&P is a no-brainer. I have been to many trading schools, and many ‘get rich quick’ seminars. Only RE has been a solid path. I could have been retired 10 years sooner I think.
What would you do if you inherited $1,000,000 (after taxes) today?
If I said get a bus, load up my friends, and go on a tour of every strip joint in North America would that be rude? Actually, $1M would not be enough. I would have to save it until it at least doubled, and then I would retire. Of course, added to what I have now would be plenty.
What kind of car do you drive?
A 2003 Ford, F350 diesel. Blue.
Who inspires you?
Lots of people. I have been to many motivational seminars and there are many. Geno Paulucci, George Forman, Michael Coles and Donald Trump come to mind. Sort of a no nonsense guy, like me. I heard a story about him and Marla Maples walking by a homeless beggar on the street in the 80’s after the RE crash. Donald said, “You know Marla, that guy is worth a billion more than I am.” She said, “Is he a Billionaire?” Donald replied “No, I assume he is worth nothing.”
What is the best financial move you have made?
Buying multifamily real estate, especially after the 2007 crash. And not buying prior, even though I was looking hard. I was studying it for a couple of years prior, so when the pricing was right, I was ready.
What is your favorite place to vacation?
I like Hawaii, I used to live there. The weather cannot be beat in HI. Florida is great in the winter too.
What’s your favorite tip for saving money?
Max out your 401K. Put the maximum deduction in the employer allows, mine allows 75%. Then max out the HSA too. Live on that for a few months, until you max the 401K out. Then you can splurge a bit. But you won’t want to.
What is your favorite pizza place (I am a pizza nut)?
Here in MN, it’s Italian Pie Shoppe, Cossetta’s or even Uno’s Pizzeria. A good Italian sausage makes the pizza. In MA, there is a bunch too, such as Minerva’s Pizza, which is even better than MN.
What is your fondest memory?
When I came home from the service on leave, and my mother had a Christmas tree up, all decorated. We seldom had a tree while growing up. She did it for me. Another was when my father gave me a college ring, after getting my master’s degree. I wasn’t expecting anything.
What are your biggest goals in life?
I want to be able to retire, on my terms. It appears to be possible already, but I am still building up a few insurance dollars. Once I leave the workforce, I am not coming back.
If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be (don’t say ‘buy Microsoft,’ everyone says that)?
Study harder in high school, it will make college cheaper. You won’t have to take high school math classes in college. And don’t forget, money will be there, if you work hard. And the girls like the money.
What is your favorite movie?
“Ransom”, with Mel Gibson and “Taken”, with Liam Neeson.
What advice would you give to a 24 year old, just out of college?
Start putting money in a 401K. Buy a house or duplex, and get some friends to live with you. Plan on it being a rental in a few years.
Mac or PC?
PC. Who uses a Mac that does any sort of business anyway?
What are your favorite personal finance websites?
There are lots. https://www.1500days.com/ is a great one.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Follow your dream. Jeno Paulucci said in a seminar I was at once. “Do you think people thought I was crazy when a son of Italian immigrants, in Northern Minnesota, was opening up a Chinese restaurant?” He did it, and made millions.
Dogs or cats?
Dogs. Cats are good if you are looking for another way to skin one (“there’s more than one way to skin a cat”)
Prosper or Lending Club? Please explain.
I do not do either, although the concept is intriguing. I know a lot about credit scores, and personal payments because of my renters. I may have to try that in the future.
If you have children, how do you raise them to be financially responsible and frugal?
No kids for me, I am on the early retirement program. I would give them an allowance and pay them for each task performed. Make them pay for a few things too. Maybe the allowance would be artificially high, so they could spend more. Maybe make a tax deduction and a mandatory savings.
What is the worst personal finance mistake you see people making?
Not saving. Some of my renters make a lot of money and they can’t seem to put money in a 401K. One renter thought I was crazy when I said “put at least 10% in a 401K”. She thought that was too much.
What product or service epitomizes consumerism?
Coffee shops. Oxygen bars. And the “design a Barbie doll” or “Make a bear” shops are pretty bad…
What is your favorite recipe (looking at you Herb on Herbs!)?
Nothing the matter with a good omelet of a plate of roast beef or steak.
What was your favorite job (or worst job)?
I hated the USAF when I was in, just after the Vietnam War. Now I am out, and the public perception is better, I am glad I was in. And I get a small disability payment for the rest of my life, that doesn’t hurt either.
Thank you for your submission! I’m in complete agreement that Italian sausage can make or break a pizza. Sauce is a close second.
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