How to Use Real Estate Investing As A Tool To Build Wealth

In this episode, Maggie talks with Jackie Gillispie about how she got into real estate investing, the lessons she’s learned, and how you can become a real estate investor yourself.

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I’m a 35-year-old, stay-at-home mom of 2 who manages our household’s financials, which includes 12 rental properties. We got started investing in real estate 5 years ago by moving out of the DC area, using the equity from our first home sale to purchase a new personal residence and our first 3 rentals. By the end of the next summer, we had 6 more cash flowing properties. Our aggressive investment in real estate helped set us up financially to get through a long and expensive infertility journey, and then allowed me to ‘retire’ from my financial management career of over 11 years with the Federal government. I currently manage our properties and share our investment experiences and money philosophies through

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The theme music is called Escaping Light by Aaron Sprinkle. The podcast artwork design is by Maggie’s dear husband, Dan Rader.


Maggie Germano 0:05
Hi, and thanks for listening to the money circle podcast. I’m your host, Maggie Germano, and I’m a feminist and a financial writer, speaker, educator and coach for women. I’m passionate about making personal finance less scary and more approachable so that women can improve their relationship with money and take control of their finances. Every other week, I will interview an amazing, inspiring woman to talk about the issues that impact our money, our health, our independence, and more. We will touch on the societal and structural issues that we need to work together to change and the actions that we each have the power to take in our own lives. If you’d like to learn more about me and the work that I do, visit my website at or follow me on Instagram @MaggieGermano. Thanks again for listening and I hope you enjoy. Hey there, and thanks for listening. I’m your host Maggie Germano. And this week, I’m chatting with Jackie Gillispie, who is a real estate investor and the founder of In this episode, we talk about how Jackie got into real estate investing the lessons she’s learned and how you can become a real estate investor yourself. If you hope to one day diversify your income through real estate. This episode is for you. Enjoy.

Welcome, thanks so much for being here today. Thank you for having me. Great. So why don’t you tell our listeners a little bit about who you are and what you do.

Jackie Gillispie 1:36
All right. My name is Jackie Gillispie, I’m 35 years old have retired from my career and now manage 12 rental properties while raising my two year old son and one year old daughter. out of college, I worked as a financial manager for the government for over 11 years. And that is the position that I left two years ago to be a stay at home mom. We purchased our first rental property in 2016 and then work to purchase nine more over the next two years. We continue to purchase and even sell one but our last purchase was in 2019. Back in 2018. I was living in Richmond, Virginia. When I had my son, I took my three months on maternity leave. And then my husband and I tag team childcare until he was eight months old when I quit my job. Without my working a structured job, my son and I were able to travel for my husband’s job and then eventually moved to Central Kentucky to be near his family. Now besides raising those two little ones, I manage our household finances and our investment property finances, which involves paying the bills, responding to tenant calls, scheduling maintenance activities and managing our leases. Our personal finances and investment finances are two things that we keep track of closely as a family. We live below our means and make methodical decisions on all our money spending to set ourselves up for success.

Maggie Germano 2:58
That’s great. And it sounds like you’ve been through kind of a whirlwind change of life over the last like five years or so. Yeah, we like to keep things interesting. It sounds like we do that in my house too. So understand. Um, so you mentioned like, you know, buying your first investment property and then buying nine Morse but can you tell me a little bit about how you actually got started with buying your first investment property and what that kind of like how you made the decision to do that. And then also how you actually got started.

Jackie Gillispie 3:31
Sure, so back in 2012, but my husband and I were preparing to get married and buy our first house. And so it was a really expensive year. And I’m on top of trying to pay for half of a wedding in New York, which is crazy expensive. We were also trying to buy our first house in the DC suburbs. And we just were not really prepared in our savings account for the cost of houses in that area. So even though my husband was a good saver through high school and college, we just we needed more and we had set our purchase price at $350,000. But we literally couldn’t find houses the head floors and walls at that price. So we sort of found a diamond in the rough we got creative scratched up enough for a downpayment on a flipped $380,000 foreclosure house. And that involved asking family for help and eating a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. So since we had put that effort in, early on, we had built up a lot of equity in that house. So in 2015, I was met with a career opportunity that moved us to Richmond, Virginia, and the realtor that we met with to sell our house in Fairfax. He just started talking to us about all of his real estate investments and that really lit a fire in us that we didn’t even know was out there. So with all the equity that we had in our house in Fairfax, we were able to buy our house in Richmond, and then we had some money left over. And instead of putting it towards our mortgage, we decided to make our money and work harder for us and look into investment properties. So the first rental property purchase for us was easy. My husband’s sister was selling her townhome in Lexington, Kentucky, my husband had grown up there. So he knew the area well, and it was an off market deal that we were doing with family, which made it easy for us to manage from a different state. And then when it came to our next two purchases that were in Richmond, where we were living, I needed a nudge. I was really fearful of the unknown, I was on board with the concept. But not necessarily the details, I liked the idea of rental properties near colleges where I know students need to live all the time. And plus, that’s what I had done. My husband wanted to rent to families in neighborhoods. And so we met with a realtor that was familiar with the market in that area. And she answered a whole bunch of my questions, I read up on several blogs, I just felt more confidence behind the decision. Basically, it came down to the houses in Richmond near the colleges are more expensive. And those houses would cost us more in the long run through wear and tear and the higher likelihood of turnover each year. So we purchased two single family houses in Richmond after that, both were purchased with tenants already living there. And that really helped with the transition into rental property ownership.

Maggie Germano 6:39
That’s really interesting. And I’m also I’m just learning so much from you too, because I also live in the suburbs of DC right now we bought, we had the same kind of sticker shock experience when we were buying our house where it was like, oh, our budgets this but we would have to put in 150,000 just to make it livable. So yeah, but luckily, we did end up finding something within our budget and you know, fixed it up a lot. So I think we’ll have a similar experience of making a bunch of money in profit once we sell it. And we’re having the same kind of conversation, where we’re going to be relocating to be near family soon, hopefully soon, and hope to buy an investment property where we end up to and so I’m with you on the like, this is kind of scary, because I don’t like I know, in theory, it’s a good investment, you could be making some money, but also like, What’s it like being a landlord? And, you know, what kind of expenses Do you have to think about? And so I guess that is a question I’ll kick over to you. Once you began being a rental landlord, what was that kind of like as getting used to that? And what are the types of things you find yourself kind of spending money on as a landlord that you maybe didn’t expect in the beginning?

Jackie Gillispie 7:55
Yeah, when I went into it, I love the ever present response from people that say, I don’t want to own a home, I don’t want to deal with a phone call at 2am. Because the toilets clogged does your toilet clog at 2am? It doesn’t. So it’s not any different than owning your own house. And your renters can’t expect you to get to an issue any faster than you can get to it in your own home. So if the air conditioner goes out, and the bad guy can’t get there for three days, you plug it in, because that’s what you would have to do at your own house. So there was a lot of anxiety around it at the beginning that made it feel like I needed to solve all the problems within five minutes of being told about them. And that’s not the reality. So that’s really stuck with me through all of these houses, is that I’m going to do the best I can to get it resolved, I’m going to take care of my tenants. But sometimes it may take a little longer than having somebody there that same day. So and if you take the time to properly qualify your tenants before renting to them, you’re gonna have good people that aren’t going to trash your house. So it’s definitely worth putting the effort in upfront so that you are setting yourself up for success. Now, don’t lose sight that maintenance and saving for major repairs is a thing. There are many months where all I do is collect rent and make mortgage payments. But then there are also the months where I have to evict a tenant hire a junk loggers dumpster and replace all the flooring. But those two situations are few and far between. And those negative possibilities should keep you from all those months of positive cash flow. But know that it is a possibility. But there are resources out there to help you every step of the way. And one of the things that we did was we put some of our properties under a property manager. And that really helped us learn how to find all the legal activities that need To be done when somebody is not paying their rent, because she had that experience, she was able to navigate the court system for us when we needed to go down that road. So it’s not all sunshine and roses, but it’s not difficult. And you can put the effort in to utilize your resources and your network to get through any issue that may come up.

Maggie Germano 10:24
Yeah, no, that makes a lot of sense. And it sounds like it’s been a learning experience for you too. I mean, with having had so many properties, I’m sure you’ve had more of the resources kind of accumulate over time, either both the financial resources of being able to, you know, build up savings, or whatever you need to do. But also, like you said, some of those other resources of knowing who to turn to or who to work with, to kind of get what you need out of those properties in those possible problems.

Jackie Gillispie 10:55
Right, and I would definitely recommend leaning on anybody you can, and all of our network really started with our realtor. So if you vet your realtor, and that person knows what the investment market is like in your area, you’re going to have better success, because that’s how I found my h fat guy. And now if I have an issue with plumbing, heating, or air conditioning, I just give him a call, and I know it’s gonna be handled.

Maggie Germano 11:22
That’s great. No, I love that. And so you mentioned that you also you were able to quit your job and you know, raise your kids full time and manage these properties. was having these properties the way that you were able to actually quit that job.

Jackie Gillispie 11:39
Yes, so we had gone into it with a goal to let let me back up, we went into having investment properties as a means to make more money and create a new income stream and have that diversified income. Over time, maybe even just two or three years, I decided that I wanted to stay at home with my kids. So it was something that was not a fire inside me, I wanted to be the CFO, in my agency, I didn’t want to stay at home. But because that opportunity was there, and we built that nest egg. Prior to the opportunity presenting itself, I was able to take advantage of it at that time. And we replaced my income, I could have left a while before but without kids to entertain me at home, I kept working and kept building our savings so that we could build our real estate investment portfolio. And then I was able to step back from my day job and taking take care of these properties. And all of our household finances.

Maggie Germano 12:51
That’s great. Yeah, no, I, I’ve been thinking about that a lot, too. I mean, I’m, I don’t work a day job anymore. I have my business but thinking about like, being the one who’s potentially managing a property and having that as just like an additional kind of job or maybe like, eventually, like a main source of income, so I can really focus on the things that I enjoy most with my business that maybe aren’t the most financially invigorating. So yeah, I’ve been thinking about that a lot. Um, so when you think about real estate investing and your experience with it, is it the kind of thing that you would recommend to other women as a way to kind of grow their wealth and diversify their income?

Jackie Gillispie 13:35
Absolutely. Even if your goal isn’t to stay at home like I’m doing, it just gives you those options. Like I said, build your nest egg before you need it. I didn’t have this dream to be a stay at home mom, but it certainly gave me the chance. But also know that I was managing 11 rental properties, I worked full time. So it’s fairly easy and not that time consuming. And if you don’t want to manage them yourself, you can hire a property manager that will typically cost you 10% of the rental income each month. So if you’re charging 800 for rent, they’ll get $80. But you’re going to factor that into your purchase decision upfront to determine if it’s still a good investment. And by purchasing houses to rent out, you’re creating a diversified cash flow. So instead of investing in just one, if you’re able to invest in multiple properties that creates a cushion for any costs that may come up. If one house is late on their rent, you have the profit from two three or more houses that cover that mortgage payment. Or if a house needs a new roof, you have several properties worth of income to cover that $5,000 expense. But again, you’re building those into your decision to purchase a house up front. So don’t let those big numbers be a determinant. I think that we see women lean into MLM type businesses to create a second income stream or replace their income. And real estate investing is a relatively simplistic simple path to entrepreneurship that creates an income stream for you without any sales or marketing requirements. It just takes a decent work ethic for you to succeed. And I went down the MLM path. But I was uncomfortable with selling something. So this was a way where I can stay organized and stay on top of everything. And I can still be successful and feel like I’ve succeeded at something while managing these properties.

Maggie Germano 15:28
Right? Yeah, no, that makes a lot of sense. And it’s, it’s your business. It’s not someone else’s business, like with an MLM where you’re selling something in order to kind of enrich the people above you. In this scenario, you’re the owner, obviously, you probably have a mortgage, right? So you’re paying the bank to, but no one else was kind of informing what you’re able to do and what you’re able to charge there, too. Right? So when you think about real estate investing just as a way to kind of grow wealth, how, whether it’s in your own scenario, or when you’re talking to other people or thinking about other people? How do you kind of explain to people of how you can use this real estate investing as a way to grow wealth, whether it’s taking that money and saving it or taking that money or investing it? How do you kind of think about it and talk about it?

Jackie Gillispie 16:18
Well, I’ll share what I’ve done, there’s definitely different avenues that are going to depend on an individual’s financial situation and goals to get you there. But I would suggest keeping your goal, I would suggest keeping it simple and looking for middle of the road single family homes, I’m not looking to buy a $400,000 home to use as a rental, our house purchases have ranged from $60,000 to $135,000. So we have these basic homes and basic neighborhoods, we’re not looking for top of the line. But we’re also not looking for anything that’s going to require a lot of work, your top of the line houses aren’t going to yield high rental rates against what your mortgage is going to be, and your houses that are going to require a lot of work or delaying your ability to start that cash flow that you’re looking for by buying this house. So we’ve purchased houses that need a few touch ups here and there, the longest time that it’s taken me to get a house ready to rent is two weeks, because I’m looking to get it on the market as fast as possible. And so I’m gonna buy a house that was previously flipped or work was done on it so that I’m not starting from scratch or looking for something that is going to require too much of our money upfront to get into. Plus, if you’re taking the time to make the house look nice, your tenant is going to take care of it better. And that’s going to cost you less in the long run. For our properties. Our average year of tenancy is 1.75, which says that most of our tenants renew their lease, because they’re happy with us. And in nearly all of the cases where we had tenant turnover, the tenant moved because of a change in their lifestyle, they were either buying a home or moving to a new state for a job not because they’re looking for another place to rent. And we have multiple houses that the tenant has been there since we bought the house, and they’re really happy with us. But as you’re building your wealth, you determine which path you can take. So you can start with these single single family homes. And then you can just multiply the simplicity of that and purchase more single family homes, which is what we’ve done. Or you can go a much more complex Avenue and try to purchase an apartment complex. And then you only have one building to maintain. But you’re dealing with different types of other issues that aren’t necessarily the same as dealing with a single family home. So it’s completely up to you how much you want to take on.

Maggie Germano 19:02
Yeah, that’s that’s a really good point. And the point you made about buying a house that doesn’t need to be like completely renovated. That’s a really important point too, because like you said, not only does it take a ton of money up front to make a house nice and livable, and hopefully if you want to be a landlord, you want your tenants to have a nice place to live. But like you said, also being able to get it on the market quickly so that you can start bringing in that income. I think that’s a really important piece for people to keep in mind there.

Jackie Gillispie 19:30
Right. And when you’re building your wealth, you’re looking at the positives with owning these houses. You’re trying to build your wealth in real estate through cash flow. So you have your monthly rent payment coming in. Then you have the fact that your tenant is paying your mortgage for you. The market value of the property is appreciating over time and then you have the tax advantages that come with owning the property and treating it like a business. So you have a lot positives that are coming out of owning real estate without a lot of the learning curve that might be in starting other new businesses.

Maggie Germano 20:12
Yeah, absolutely. And related to keeping or considering viewing your your properties as a business? Did you have to? Like, did you start an LLC? Or did you have to start any kind of legal entity or are you just viewing it as like, it’s your household, and this is your extra income.

Jackie Gillispie 20:31
It is part of our extra income, it’s actually very simple to file your taxes. With owning these properties, they’re each treated as an individual business. So you don’t have to lump them together, you don’t need to find a way to get creative on how you’re filing your information. We did get two properties into an LLC. But that’s because we go really deep into the weeds, we have a partner on two of our properties, because Fannie Mae only require only allows you to have 10 mortgages at a time. And so for us to be able to have more properties, we had already hit that 10 mortgage cap at one point. And so we went into business with a partner, and he took on the mortgage. And so to ensure that we were part of that transaction, and that we could claim the tax benefits for having those homes, we entered into an LLC on those, but otherwise, we only have, under our regular insurance, we have a commercial liability umbrella policy. And that’s what we have to cover ourselves in case there is any issue because at the time, right now, we don’t see a reason to put all of our properties into an LLC. And there’s really no benefit. If you lump them all together anyway, you would have to do each property in a separate LLC. And instead of managing all of that our way to manage that risk has been to have this extra umbrella policy over all of those properties that protects us in case some catastrophic event may happen.

Maggie Germano 22:17
That makes a lot of sense. Yeah, I think keeping it simple is definitely the better approach there. Um, so what are some of the barriers that you see to real estate investing, whether it was for you, when you first wanted to get started struggles you were having, or just generally, some of the barriers to getting into real estate investing?

Jackie Gillispie 22:36
Okay, I have a few of them that come to mind, the most obvious is going to be financial, your credit worthiness and your access to capital for down payment and closing costs are going to be a fairly large barrier there. But I suggest you start with that $60,000 home, you’ll need about $15,000 to cover the down payment and closing costs. And with that, you’re creating cash flow immediately. So it gets your foot in the door, you take the profit that you have on that house, and you save it for property maintenance needs, and then you start saving towards another downpayment. And as you purchase more houses, your cash flow is snowballing, which will allow you to purchase more properties and reach whatever goal you may have. Personally, there’s the barrier of fear, like I experienced, I mentioned earlier, I was just afraid of the unknown, I was afraid of the legal side of being a landlord. But it turns out, it’s pretty straightforward. Most people are good people that aren’t looking to take advantage of a landlord. And even if you get a bad tenant, the laws are easy to find. They’re logical, and the court system will help you navigate any process related to holding your tenant accountable. I was also concerned with how to manage a property that I don’t live in. But over time you establish the relationships with contractors that help you take care of the property. Sure, it doesn’t happen overnight. But there are resources out there that you can lean on like your realtor. And then the last barrier I’ll mention is don’t wait for the perfect deal. There are a lot of thought processes on how to decide what house to purchase and what you’re looking for. We personally follow what’s known as the 1% rule that says that we’re looking for our monthly rental income to be 1% of the home purchase. So if you buy $100,000 home, we want to pull in $1,000 per month in rent. But right now, house prices are soaring. So that ratio is not easy to find in today’s market. But don’t let your search for perfect numbers stop you from getting that first deal.

Maggie Germano 24:44
Yeah, that’s really good advice. related to the capital piece. Say someone does not already own a house right? Like they don’t have their own property already. They they’re not in a scenario where they can sell like for me selling a house making a profit using that money. I’d like for you to invest in other properties, if someone’s currently renting, but maybe they’ve been able to build up some savings that they could use her downpayment, would you recommend to people that they use that to buy their first investment property, if that’s something they want to get into?

Jackie Gillispie 25:17
I would, um, I may, depending on your goals, I may say that, I suggest you purchase that house and you live in it for a year or two years, and then continue saving. And then you can turn that into a rental and springboard that into your rental property portfolio. While you go buy another house, one of the things that I really advocate behind is don’t buy more house than what you need. So all of our houses have built upon each other that we’ve had to buy our personal needs. So we didn’t go into our first house looking for it to be a mansion and five bedrooms and all the top of the line granite countertops. I mean, I mentioned it was a foreclosure, it was just to get our foot in the door and start building equity. So that’s your goal, you’re building equity in all of these properties. And in almost all cases, you’re also taking advantage of the housing market appreciation that happens. So rarely Are you going to lose money. Granted, there was the real estate bubble years ago. But you’re, you’re typically looking at a slight increase in your property value every year, barring any type of crazy bubbles. And you want to have your foot in the door at that point. So get involved in real estate, and take advantage of everything it has to offer. As soon as you are able, even if that means own the house, and then turn it into a rental after the fact. But you’ll still have the equity there. And I know a lot of people who instead of selling their first home, they turned it into a rental because they know the house, they know what the property maintenance needs are going to be they know what the market and that area is calling for for rent without having to do a lot of research just by living there for a little bit. And then they can go build it and they can go put their money into a house that they want for their family at that point in time while turning what they already have into a rental and not needing an extra downpayment for that.

Maggie Germano 27:34
Yeah, no, that makes sense. I have a friend who did that as well. She bought her first house in Denver did like lived in it for a couple years made it really really really nice and then bought another house and is renting that out because like the the real estate there even the rental real estate there is just booming. It Denver’s a crazy real estate market. Yeah, for sure. So if someone listening to this is like, Oh my god, Okay, that sounds great. I really want to get started. But I don’t know where to start, what is the first step you would recommend people take to move towards this goal.

Jackie Gillispie 28:08
I would say you want to read and research you want to do whatever you can to get your questions answered. You can find blogs online, there’s a lot of pretty big ones out there, you can find books at the library. So that won’t even cost you anything or on Amazon. And if you can reach out to somebody to be a mentor, because people who got into real estate investing and they’ve started to build their portfolio are probably like me, where I get really excited to talk about it. And I will happily delve into your finances to help you meet your goal. So if you can find somebody like that, that’s willing to say, Here’s where you’re at, and what you can probably start with, or here’s where you’re at. And I suggest you do these next few steps so that you are in a position where you can pay for the downpayment, because for an investment property, your qualifications are going to be a little more strict than your personal residence. So when you go through the loan process, and so you want to be in a set up for success at the beginning of that and not find out after the fact that it might be a difficult decision. So find somebody who can answer your questions, find somebody who’s willing to help you look through your finances, and just take that first step. Do all your research. But don’t paralyze yourself researching so much that you never move forward. So you can search online, you know Zillow, you can search for whatever type of house you’re looking for. You can set up automated searches to come to your email and just view the houses and start to get an idea of what you want. And don’t be afraid to make an offer.

Maggie Germano 29:51
Yeah, no, I like that. And something that that you said about how buying an investment property the loan can sometimes be a little bit more So can you just touch a little bit on what some of those requirements are for a rental property versus your own personal property?

Jackie Gillispie 30:07
Yeah, your own personal property may have some options available to you where you don’t have to show up with a 20% down payment. But when it comes to a second home, or a rental property of a house that you’re going to use as an investment, there, the lenders are probably looking for a 20% down payment, we actually had a couple that even required a 25% down payment. So you need to be aware of that going into it. As for your creditworthiness, and your debt to income ratio that they’re looking at, whenever they give a loan, they that’s going to be the same as your personal residence, they’re looking to make sure that you can handle taking on that mortgage payment, they’re looking to make sure that you can even rented, they do a whole rental appraisal during the closing process. And so they want to make sure that they are lending money out that they’re likely to get back, they don’t want to lose out on their investment in you with that loan. And also expect that, if, you know you hear right now that the rates for mortgages are around two, five and 3%. That’s not what the investment property is going for, expect to add about maybe a half a percent or a percent to, to that even if you’re a well qualified individual, just because of that second home. But you need to be prepared that there aren’t incentives for the bank to give you money for this investment property. And so that 20% down is going to be necessary, which is why I suggest look for those $60,000 homes. I mean, we have a $60,000 house, that’s a two bedroom, one bath, but it gets $800 in rent. That’s a huge buffer that we have coming in every month for that one house. And so you can see where you can quickly grow your portfolio because you’re saving so much. Don’t be afraid. And don’t be deterred by hearing that 20% number.

Maggie Germano 32:24
I know that’s really good to know. Because Yeah, I think when a lot of people think about real buying, even just buying their first house, like having flexibility on the downpayment, like even some places you can do like 3% or 5%. But yeah, I’ve heard that if it’s a it’s an investment property, there is not that flexibility. If you’re buying it to make income for yourself, they’re going to be more strict there. And I think it’s also really good to know that the interest rates are going to be different, because I think that could be a rude awakening, if you’re not expecting that. Right? You do need to prepare for that one. So is there anything else that you know, we just talked about, like things that you might, you know, not necessarily expect when it comes to the loan, but is there anything that you hear that that is what people kind of misunderstand about real estate investing and what it entails?

Jackie Gillispie 33:17
I would say it’s definitely that to a an exploding toilet that everybody thinks is happening as soon as you have a rental property. As soon as people hear that we have 12 properties, they automatically label us as a slumlord. And it’s just not that way because we see the benefit in doing your routine maintenance to a property. So our toilets are all in working condition. Our bathtubs drain, if there’s an issue, our tenants know that they can call us and we’re going to take care of it because we want our tenants to be happy. So just know that there are maintenance requests that come in. And sometimes you may be upset, like we were because we had to pay $125 to fix a toilet that we probably could have done ourselves. But is it really worth our time to go down there. So know that maintenance costs exist? The house is not going to be perfect, your tenants are not going to be perfect, but it’s not going to end in a catastrophic middle of the night event once a month for you to have to worry about all the time.

Maggie Germano 34:27
That’s a really good point. Yeah, cuz i think that that is that is the fear of that. Like they’re just gonna be calling you and needing you at all times. But I know that for myself when I was renting, I rented a row house in DC for a couple years and then I lived in an apartment building for several years and I very rarely was reaching out to my landlord and even then it was like, Oh, no, the, my shower did it flooded the living room. It was kind of a big deal, but it was like I just won’t use that shower until they can like get it fixed. Obviously I wanted it fixed quickly, but it wasn’t like I was calling I’m in the middle of a night owl. So wasn’t showering in the middle of the night. So it happened during normal hours of the day.

Jackie Gillispie 35:08
And we’ve definitely had issues like don’t don’t get me wrong, we’ve had two evictions. So I mean, we’ve, we’ve dealt with that side of things. But we also just, you’re not getting these calls. And if somebody says, My air conditioner is not working, we’re calling a maintenance person to show up there. And so you want to establish that mutual respect. Because if you respect your tenant, and that’ll create your tenants respect for you, as the landlord, and for the house. And so sometimes there are bad eggs that, I mean, like I said, we had junk loggers come out, because somebody just hoarded and created such a mess. And one of our houses that there were, there was a mouse infestation, and we had so many of those just dirty things to deal with that it was just easier to rip out all the flooring and replace it. But that was once and that didn’t deter us from wanting to stay in rental properties. So don’t just because you have an issue, I also hear people, they come out and say, I have to replace the roof, I’m just going to get rid of the house. Well, no, now you’ve already invested that money into that house. So you might as well take advantage of the fact that you just replaced the roof. So you won’t have any leaks for the next 10 years. And that’s already taken care of. So don’t be quick to give up on it just because there might be a scary situation. And we’ve been doing it since 2016. We have we had 13 properties, we did sell one. And we’ve probably had a handful of major issues, and you deal with them for a week or two weeks. And then you forget about it by the next month when you’re collecting everybody’s rent and only making mortgage payments.

Maggie Germano 36:55
Yeah, no, that’s a really good point. No, I like that. That’s good to keep in mind. Um, so is there anything else that we haven’t touched on yet today that you want to make sure listeners either understand about real estate investing, or just really keep in mind,

Jackie Gillispie 37:12
I do want to go into a little bit more detail where I said, don’t be afraid to make the offer. You can make offers contingent. And one of the big ones that we have definitely utilized is making it contingent on our home inspection. Even if your property is listed as is it doesn’t preclude you from getting a home inspection and saying no, there’s too much I don’t want to take this property on. We had we easily walked away from one of our houses, because the Home Inspection revealed that there was a fire and the structure of the house in the basement wasn’t fixed properly afterwards. Well, that’s certainly not something that we’re looking to take on as a brand new owner of a house, that’s a big cost. So we backed out of that contract. And that’s perfectly legal and acceptable. There was another time where my husband was really anxious to just have another rental property in our portfolio. And we had the Home Inspection showed us quite a few issues. One of them was that there wasn’t enough head clearance on the stairwell. So that’s a pretty big deal. And if we don’t fix it, we could be liable if something happened to our tenant. So it’s not something I wanted to take on. But in my husband’s eyes, we had paid for a home inspection. And we were nearing the end of a good rental season because you want to look in the springtime to ranch when everybody’s looking for a house versus over the winter. And so he just wanted to power through and I talked him off the ledge to say this is not going to be a good financial decision for us. We don’t want to have to fix all of these things. Let’s just keep looking for something else. So don’t be afraid to make your offer. And don’t be too anxious to get a property that you overlook red flags that are staring you right in your face there. So just know real estate isn’t easy, but it’s simple. Take your leap, start creating the cash flow. It’ll help you reach your goals faster. My family we are very good about living a purposeful lifestyle along with our real estate investing so we can compound our growth to meet those goals that we want. And we spend wisely we avoid lifestyle creep, and we work towards paying down mortgages that we have or saving for our next rental purchase so that we can continue this lifestyle that we have where we have more flexibilities and freedom than if we’re both working our day job here on out.

Maggie Germano 39:49
That’s great. Thank you for sharing all of that. Those are really really great takeaways. So are people able to reach out to you if they have any follow up questions want to learn more about real estate investing Maybe you pick your brain a little bit.

Jackie Gillispie 40:02
Absolutely. I love talking about it. You can find me through my website, which is and you spell out one. Or you can email me at $1 [email protected]. And I’m most active on social media through Twitter, at Oh, allowance.

Maggie Germano 40:23
Great. And I will link to all of those in the show notes as well. So people have easy access. Well, thank you so much for taking the time to chat today. I personally learned a lot about this. I’m going to take a lot of this away when I eventually decide to have a real estate or an investment property. And I know that listeners will get a lot out of this as well. So I really appreciate you taking the time sharing your knowledge.

Jackie Gillispie 40:45
Thank you so much for having me. And this was a lot of fun.

Maggie Germano 40:48
Great, of course.

Thank you so much for listening to the money circle podcast this week. If you like the conversations we’re having here and you’d like to go even deeper. Join the new money circle community. In this safe intersectional feminist space. We will break down money shame and build community and safety for everyone so that you can find the support you need to gain control over your finances. Visit to learn more and to join. If you’d like to get more connected with me subscribe to my weekly newsletter at to learn more about my financial coaching services, my speaking and workshop offerings or just to read my blog visit You can also follow me on instagram and twitter @MaggieGermano. I look forward to hearing from you. Bye!