Introduction It usually takes a significant emotional event or epiphany to enable someone to make a permanent change. The authors of this book experienced such events that launched them into the world of Real Estate Investing. Sheamus Clarke was working for a privately held company when the executive team underwent significant changes that Sheamus was not happy with and did not want to be a part of. Sheamus looked at what he could do to best secure his and his family's future. He decided to change his employment as well as invest in a rental property. His new job in software development allowed him to work from home, doing training and support for a small software company. He spent nights and weekends setting up a rental company, reading up on real estate investing and looking at available properties. He and his wife purchased a fourplex that had been vacant for some time. Over the next few years, they acquired more properties and now manage and maintain 25 properties. Scott Stellhorn's in-laws were landlords in the 1980s and introduced him to the concept of rental income. His father-in-law did 95% of the repairs on the units, from plumbing to electrical to roofing. Scott gained his training in maintenance from him, which saved him tremendous money in the future. While in college, Scott purchased his first fixer-upper to rent and sold it the first year to the tenants who occupied the home. He graduated college in 1983 with an Associate's Degree in computer science and started his computer technology career writing COBOL for a distribution company in Fort Wayne. While working full-time, he increased his holdings on fixer-upper multi-unit buildings and, in turn, increased his rental income. As you will read in the upcoming chapters, there were times of joy mixed with "What am I doing?" In the end, the benefits of being an Independent Rental Owner outweighed the issues he encountered. This book is written so that you can focus more on the 20% of your work that matters and less on the 20% of your tenants that cause all the headaches. We've learned a lot over our 45 combined years. We've found tricks and tools that work. We'll refer to one again and again—Real Tenant History (www.realtenanthistory.com). But there are plenty of others, from legal processes to hard-won knowledge. It's all here to aid you whatever might come. Being a landlord is not easy, but it is rewarding. We hope our experiences, written by landlords, for landlords, can make your work that much easier and that much more rewarding. We at Real Tenant History have been holding Library Workshops in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio since the release of Volume 1 in early 2014. You can check out our Facebook page (facebook.com/realtenanthistory) to see our schedule or you can visit the Events Calendar at realtenanthistory.com. These workshops have once again demonstrated the quality and conviction of those who own rental properties. In almost every case, the Independent Rental Owners (IROs) I speak to never looked at the rental business as a way to get rich quick. They all have the best motivations behind the purchase of their rental properties, just as I did when I bought my first property. My wife and I got into the business for every reason except to get rich quick. The first property we bought was a vacant, rundown place that at one time had five units, two upstairs with three downstairs, with no off-street parking. The previous owner had no interest in renovating and was even renting out one of the units while two others were fire damaged. The rented unit’s roof leaked, but the owner had no intention of fixing it. We saw the property sitting as an eyesore in the middle of beautiful single-family homes. We decided to go to the court house to find out who owned the property. We then called the owner and asked if we could meet him and check out the property. He agreed. Within two weeks, we were the new owners.