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There isn’t nearly a day that goes by I don’t have some type of conversation about real estate with someone. As with most people, these conversations are often with co-workers. The genesis of was to help share my journey in real estate with folks, especially those that wear the uniform, how you can invest in real estate on a civil servant income. However, regardless of what you do for a living, I feel this article can apply to you.

The jurisdiction I work for has a schedule that is referred to as a 24/48 which means I work 24 hours at the firehouse and then I am off for two days. So my typical day for work starts at 3:45 AM, quick morning routine and I’m off. I’m pulling into the firehouse just before 5 AM, usually jamming out to a podcast or audiobook. Once I get my gear squared away and do the check of my riding position, it is time for a cup of coffee and some administrative work. I’m officially on-duty for the next 24 hours now and the person I relieved is free to go home.


So what the hell does this have to do with real estate? I’m getting there, promise. We go to work and we trade time for money; we all do it to some extent.  Some of us love our jobs and get there an hour earlyJ! Some of us contemplate hitting the nearest telephone pole on the way in so we don’t have to spend another miserable day in cubicle hell.

Here’s where the real estate part comes in…finally. Ask yourself; is your only source of income your W-2 job? Maybe you have a little side hustle mowing grass or turning wrenches. Those are all great! Wouldn’t it be cool to have something that produces a little bit of income everyday whether you were there or not? Behold the power of rental homes! This month, I work at my firehouse job nine days. Nine days where I have to be away from my family, at the firehouse to earn money. All 31 days of the month, 24 hours a day, my rental homes have dripped money into our business account. This all happened whether I was at the firehouse, the gym, sleeping or out of town. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job but how cool is it to have something feed your bank account without trading time for money?!

Recently, I just got my quarterly statement for my retirement accounts that are, as you would expect, in the stock market. Every single one of them has gone down this year! They go through this up and down crap that drives me crazy. Our real estate has stayed relatively unchanged in value. It might appreciate a couple percent a year BUT it produces a little income every day it is occupied. I love that consistency in my life, especially my financial life. We can’t really control our “retirement accounts” nearly as carefully as you can control a piece of real estate.

FA little cash cow.or example, we bought a two unit building a few days ago that is already occupied. The day we took ownership of it, we had equity in the property (we paid less than it was appraised for), it had two apartments producing income ($1,400 to be exact) and when it is time to renew leases, we can make some improvements and increase rents. How cool is that?! We can control our financial future much more than if we bought 100 shares of XYZ stock. It isn’t sexy, it is actually boring but it is consistent and I like that.

So, could you benefit from some consistency? If so, I challenge you to get started. Buy ONE rental house in 2019.

If you’ve thought about “doing real estate” but haven’t jumped in yet or don’t know where to start, shoot me an email. If you’re local, we can grab a cup of coffee or lunch and chat. One of my personal goals for 2019 is to help at least one person (originally was to help one public safety professional) buy an investment property. I’d love to try and help you. In full disclosure, I’m not an expert. I’m not a blogger. I’m just a fireman 🙂



Mike (@theinvestingfireman) is a partner with, a real estate investment company in the Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania markets. Mike is a co-founder of the Berkeley County Real Estate Investor MeetUp – a networking group specializing in investment real estate. He works full-time as a career fire lieutenant with a mid-sized fire department in the Washington D.C. / Baltimore Metro area. Currently, he resides in Maryland with his wife and son. For more information or to connect, follow us on Facebook, Instagram or

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