Let me guess... "We can do this!"
The average person should not speculate in real estate. To use it as a means to riches and early retirement is risky and foolish. Lela, you and your family did more than your fair share to inflate the Housing Bubble. I wonder if she is a graduate of Nouveau Riche University.
The two-story house on a large lot in Casa de Oro -- on the less expensive side of the La Mesa border -- has been listed for sale for three months. The Mazzeos haven't lived in it since 2003, when they bought and moved into a home in Imperial Beach. They kept the Casa de Oro house, renting it at first to friends and then to long-term tenants. The last tenants moved out in December 2006, leaving the Mazzeos to 11 months and at least $75,000 of cleanup and renovating before they deemed it sellable.
But even when they had tenants, the rent the house garnered -- $2,000 to $2,100 -- fell far short of the nearly $4,000 the Mazzeos paid each month on its mortgage and upkeep. And since listing it for sale in November for $575,000, they've dropped the bottom of the asking price range to $499,000, less than they owe. They bought this house in 2001 and have accumulated four more properties, including the house in La Mesa where they live now. This home in Casa de Oro isn't appreciating the way it once did, the way they counted on it doing when they refinanced to buy other properties. And they can't get enough rent to sustain their payments in a down market.