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The necessity of real estate in plans for FI?

Wed, 28 Jan 2015 05:39:25 -0800

I'm currently reading the Automatic Millionaire Homeowner by David Bach. I think a lot of his statements are problematic, but I can't deny that the majority of people who've become FI seem to have a heavy involvement with real estate. Maybe it's just confirmation bias though. Therefore, I'm wondering if anyone has become FI (or is on the way to becoming FI) without significantly personally investing in real estate (I don't consider REITs, just people who own property and are landlords or use a property management company).

If real estate is necessary (or at least, makes the journey much shorter), how does someone with absolutely no knowledge go about getting started? Is it just a matter of having the discipline to save up a down payment and then hiring a property management company? Or should you learn how to do home repairs and buy fixer-uppers? If the latter, how do you learn those skills, assuming you don't have any friends or relatives to show you how -- do you just sign up for classes at the local community college?

Edit: I'm in Canada -- does that change your advice in any way? I live in one of the big cities with heated markets, and some people are predicting a cool off if oil prices stay low, which is why my interest has been piqued.

Edit #2: I've seen some interesting answers. Here's another discussion point: How long will it take (or did it take) for you to reach FI? For further clarification: a) did you use real estate? b) how big was your portfolio when you reached your goal? c) what's your current "passive" monthly income?

Feel free to answer some or none of those questions if they're too intrusive!

submitted by Criama to financialindependence
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