Real Estate Investment Reflections for the Holidays

Looking back on real estate 2022

Happy Holidays from your friends at MartelTurnkey! You’re probably getting ready to travel, visit loved ones, eat amazing food, enjoy sparkling lights and winter wonderlands, and send 2022 out with a bang in preparation for a prosperous 2023.  Real estate investment might seem a little far away from the spirit of the holidays, but our status as real estate investors colors almost everything we do. On that note, please join us in some real estate investment reflections for the holidays … 

1. The Importance of Gratitude

It’s easy to get hypnotized by the hustle and bustle. We humans are problem-solvers, so we have a natural tendency to focus on problems. And in doing so, we tend to forget the ways in which we are lucky.


There’s a reason every society and religion has holidays — they help us focus on our blessings, rather than constantly fretting over our deficiencies. The holidays are the perfect time to practice gratitude. Gratitude lets us take nourishment from the bounty in our lives … and make room in our lives and our hearts for even more bounty. 


Real estate investors have many reasons to be grateful. We listed 5 reasons real estate investors have to be thankful in our Thanksgiving blog if you want to revisit them. Here they are in brief:


  1. Passive Cash Flow
  2. Appreciation of Value
  3. Debt Leverage
  4. Principal Paydown
  5. Tax Advantages

2. Helping People

In addition to counting our blessings, the holidays are a time to step outside of ourselves and think about others — especially those less fortunate than us. It’s a time of charity, altruism, and (as the song goes) “good will towards men.” And women, and children.


Many people believe real estate investors are money-grubbing Ebenezer Scrooges. Sometimes it’s easy to get seduced by the dollar signs.


But real estate investors who are in it for the long term … we know the truth. It’s not about a quick buck. It’s about improving lives. 


We like the way Zero Gravity CEO Peter Diamandis put it — “The best way to become a billionaire is to help a billion people.” People who succeed in any business long-term do it by helping people. 


Real estate investment is no exception. We turn bare ground into useful structures so people can start businesses and live better lives. We turn decrepit, substandard housing into beautiful homes. We turn crumbling, forlorn neighborhoods into thriving communities. 


The spirit of the holidays helps us think not about how much money we have made and expect to make … but about how many people we have helped, and hope to help in the future.

3. The Importance of Family

We’re nothing without the people we love and care for; the people who love and care about us. If we had any holiday wish for anyone, it would be to strengthen bonds, mend fences, and spend quality time with our closest kin.


Real estate investment is ultimately about legacy. We dig deep into that concept in this blog. Suffice it to say, it’s about building something that will last … Something that will edify and enrich your successors for generations to come.




Again, best wishes for a happy holiday from the entire MartelTurnkey family! If you want to hit the ground running in the New Year with some brand-new assets in your portfolio, it’s not too late … in fact, we’re just getting started. Drop us a line now and let’s get you your next turnkey rental!

Is Your Personal Residence an Asset or a Liability?

Investment Property

Homeownership is part of the “American Dream.” In addition to the pride-of-place, the backyard for the kids and the dog, and the opportunity to “keep up with the Joneses,” one of the first finance lessons many of us learn is that a home is an asset. Many families regard their home as the most important asset in their portfolio. 

Is Your Personal Residence a Liability?

Rich Dad, Poor Dad author Robert Kiyosaki famously lit the financial world on fire by describing a family home as a liability instead of an asset. Heresy!


But is he right? Let’s look at the arguments on both sides:

“Yes, your home is an asset!”

A home is real estate. Real estate falls under the category of “real asset” — something that has intrinsic worth. It’s not just valuable on paper. It’s a real thing that you can use, like gold or oil. Sure sounds like an asset.

Balance Sheets 101

A balance sheet is a financial statement you use to calculate your net worth. Assets go on one side, liabilities on the other. Liabilities include any loans, accounts payable, or obligations to pay. Subtract the value of the liabilities from the value of the assets, and there’s your net worth. 


On a balance sheet, the value of your home goes in the asset column; the balance of your mortgage goes in the liability column. Unless the market tanks and you’re underwater on your loan, the equity is almost always higher than the mortgage. That means that most homes are a positive contributor to your net worth. Still sounds like an asset! 

“No, your home is a liability!”

If the goal is “retirement” — to work until your golden years — there’s nothing wrong with considering your home an asset. It certainly squares with a narrative that most Americans have bought into … and will fight to defend.


Your home starts to look less like an asset and more like a liability when the goal is financial freedom.  


Kiyosaki defines “assets” and “liabilities” in the following way:


    • Asset — something that puts money in your pocket.
    • Liability — something that takes money out of your pocket.


There’s no doubt that a home takes money out of your pocket. Mortgage, insurance, property taxes, utilities, repairs … don’t quit your day job. According to industry estimates, a home costs an average of 4-5% of its value to operate every year. In an environment where the home may only be appreciating 4-5% every year, you’re really running to stand still. 


Is there a way to avoid this? Not really. Here’s the rub — our need for shelter is a liability, same as our need for food, water, and oxygen. It’s always going to cost us money to live somewhere, whether in the form of rent or homeownership costs. Because of appreciation, owning real estate is often a good long-term financial strategy … but that doesn’t make the personal residence any less of a liability in the Kiyosaki sense.


Is there a way to take that same home and make it put money into your pocket?


There is — by moving out of that home and renting it out to a tenant! If the rent exceeds the expenses, suddenly you’re putting money into your pocket … and still enjoying exposure to appreciation!


Add enough of this rental income to your monthly cash flow, and you can actually replace your work income with rental income. We call this financial freedom — having enough cash flow to cover all your essential expenses, so you never have to work another day in your life if you don’t want to.


This is why we think there’s a real argument to be made for taking that money you would have put into a down payment on a home, and making a down payment on rental property instead. It has all the financial benefits of homeownership … plus the benefit of passive cash flow and extra tax advantages. For a deep dive on why you might want to invest in rental property instead of a home, click here.




Whether or not your home is an asset, MartelTurnkey rental properties are definitely assets. We make it easy to add them to your portfolio — without ever having to set foot in them! Click here to see the current assets in our inventory, available for purchase by people just like you. All of them are renovated or in the process of renovation, and many have tenants already in place!


How the Rich Get Richer During Economic Downturns

Growing money

We’ve all heard about how “the rich get richer.” Smarter people than any of us have marveled about how the rich seem to get richer even during times of recession. 


How is that possible? When the rest of the economy is contracting, how do wealthy people keep expanding, seemingly in defiance of gravity? 


The best way to explain it is that the rich understand, better than most of us, that money is inherently an illusion. It can either expand or contract, relatively at will, depending on what kind of illusionist you are — what magic tricks you do. This is especially true in economic hard times.


So if money is an illusion, and what matters is what tricks you do with it … what rich-person money tricks can we all copy so we can protect and grow our wealth during economic downturns?

1. Invest In Appreciating Assets

Middle-class people tend to use money to buy toys. Cars, watches, clothing, gadgets … what Robert Kiyosaki referred to as “doo-dads.” But when you’ve bought every toy … what else is there to buy?


Rich people exercise “retail therapy” by buying appreciating assets like gold or real estate. They enjoy buying it the way a shopaholic enjoys checking out at Nordstrom. 


And they aren’t looking for a 3-6 month profit. They take the long view — something they will allow to appreciate for 3-5 years minimum before they sell. They enjoy owning it. The longer they own it, the longer they have made the illusion of money into the reality of a hard asset.

2. Use Leverage

Leverage is a fancy way of saying “Let’s buy this with other peoples’ money instead of our own.” When it’s a credit card at the shopping mall, this is a dangerous way to get into a financial hole. When it’s using debt to accumulate appreciation assets, it can be extraordinarily powerful.


The best-known example of leverage is using a mortgage to buy real estate. Let’s say I have $100,000 cash, and I find a house for $100,000 in a market that appreciates 3% per year. If I use all of my cash to buy that house free-and-clear, by the end of the first year it will be worth $103,000. My net worth went up $3,000.


Now let’s say I use leverage. Instead of using all my cash for one house, I divide it into four and make down payments on four houses. At the end of that first year, my net worth had increased $12,000, not $3,000. Yes, the mortgage payment eats into that a little, but not nearly enough to erode the benefit. 


Wealthy people have access to incredible leverage due to their net worth and connections … but the home or investment mortgage is special because it’s within reach of most people with reasonable financial fitness.

3. Income-Generating Assets

The rich are always giving themselves raises — but not like Congress gives itself raises. Rich people increase their income by choosing assets to buy that generate income. Cash-flowing businesses, promissory notes, and — most relevant to us — rental real estate.


Here’s the secret — the amount of cash flow doesn’t matter as much to them. Consider the recent interest-rate hikes. In a higher-interest-rate environment, cash flows are going to be smaller. 


But for the rich, even small positive cash flow is worth having … if it’s an appreciating asset. As long as the asset pays for itself, why not? Appreciation will eventually pay off. Meanwhile, every small amount of cash flow is contributing to financial freedom — enough passive income to cover all personal expenses without having to work.  



MartelTurnkey investments are three-for-three — appreciating, income-generating, and leveraged. If you want to prosper in the next recession like the rich do, reach out to us and let’s make your next asset acquisition easy.

Check out Eric Martel’s youtube channel for more insights