After graduating college in 2009, Brian Maida moved back home to live with his parents while he worked and saved money. By 2011, with $14,000 saved up, Maida was able to purchase his first home which he immediately rented out. By 2013, he was able to afford a second house through his investment and budgeting strategies.

“I was able to refinance that loan within a year and show them that I had 20% equity based on their appraisal, and that lowered my payment by almost 20% … You can get pretty good deals on real estate if you look hard and negotiate.” 

In an interview with Business Insider, Maida outlined on his website that his personal monthly budget served as an easy-to-use template that could help the average person.

Monthly Budget of 27 year old real estate investor

When I followed up with him, he did admit to wanting to accommodate some numbers within his chart such as a food, stressing that when creating your own budget, it will initially be trial and error, but it’s ideal to make initial goals.

During our interview, however, he seemed eager to provide some financial advice to prospective investors.

“When I followed the stock market, it was a bit of a gamble to me,” Maida commented in regards to his uneasy experience with the stock market. “I didn’t understand it, and I lost $2,500.”

With his personality and personal understanding of currency, he decided to place his money in something a bit more tangible, following the advice of a mentor who earns a high income through real estate investment. For his lifestyle, he finds that placing money into hard assets prevailed over liquid cash.

When explaining the overall increase in the long-run, Maida simplifies:

“By the time I’m thirty-five, if I can earn 2,000,000 from real estate at 3% with 25% down when compared to the typical 500,000 at 10% from the stock market, I would still have earned more from real estate. As time goes on, the 10% from the stock market will surpass what you would earn from home investment, assuming you didn’t withdraw any cash and road through the ressecessions. Within real estate, however, money is more predicable. From an investment standpoint in hard assets, having $250,000 invested now at a conversative 3% return, I continuously see the cash coming, and without further investment, I could easily have a comfortable retirement.”

Maida remarks how recessions are a prime time to invest in real estate. He invested in his first home during the post-housing recession in 2010, paying $107,000 over the long-term with a 3 – 4% return. After a few years, he purchased his second home, which he currently lives in, for a deal at $114,000. Overall, he stated that he put in $14,000 down total for both homes and now has $250,000. He currently rents out the first and plans on purchasing a third.

Where You Should Put Your Money

As he learned from his mentor, when putting money into homes, it is best to invest in one certain area and understand its market. Both of his homes lie in an area in New Jersey where prospective New York commuters search for cheaper homes.

Research is vital in regards to any investment. Before closing any deal, it is essential to search up on the area, and be wary that there are more variables dealing with a condo such as poor management and lying about their debt. It is difficult to rent out a home where the association is dealing with financial issues.

Even look up your company’s 401k policy to ensure that they are matching your statement. “There are a lot of rules and regulations [regarding company retirement policies, and many people are unaware how it works and throw away their money without being matched,” Maida said, stressing how essential it is to have your own backup retirement plan when your company falters. With investing, Maida is able to live on his salary and save his commision for a future of comfortable living.

His final advice while we were wrapping up our conversation concludes with:

“I would say for young people with a similar sales mind as myself, investing in real estate is a great choice, and can help you buy a nest egg for yourself. Investing in stocks is more passive, and with rental real estate, you’ve got to put some sweat into it, which only makes it more rewarding.”

Maida currently works in business development and sales, and as a vegan and animal enthusiast, he is the founder of Vegaprocity, an organization dedicated to healthy, vegan living.

Original article published by Melinda Sherrill on Next Shark.