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Budding investor Nieves Soto started her house hacking journey towards financial freedom recently. With a deal behind her, what’s next down the road? Craig Curelop and Zeona McIntyre take a look at Nieves and her investment so far. We hear, in her own words, how she found a property and how she secured a deal. Nieves also shares how she got her start in investing and how she went debt free. Get in on the action and learn from Nieves and her path towards freedom.

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Getting Off Corporate America’s Rat Race: House Hacking And Financial Freedom With Nieves Soto

Z, how are you doing?

I’m doing great. It is nice to have you back in action at 95%-plus.

It feels so good to be at 95%-plus. I feel like I’m going to be always probable on the injury report. I always am going to be there, but there is that one little chance that something weird happens. That is a football reference.

I want to hear about your house. Will you tell us a little bit about it? Are you guys closing now? It is not a house hack, right?

It is a house hack. We moved outside of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. We have a nice house. I have been house hacking for a while. I have got a handful of rental properties and this is meant to be our forever home. It is a nice place, got a nice view, some acreage, and there is a gate downstairs with a separate entrance. We cannot get away from that house hacking yet.

We are going to rent out the downstairs to somebody that we end up knowing, liking, and trusting. They are going to help us offset the mortgage. We are not going to cover it with that. It was not purely a financial purchase. It was a lifestyle purchase. I’m throwing the house hacking towel at this point. I can no longer do house hacks anymore with my lending criteria and all that. We are transitioning and leveling up. It is exciting.

I did not realize it but that makes sense that you get to a place where you can’t do any more house hacks. You have graduated.

It was a great journey. House hacking changed my life. I still think it is for everybody. Until you get your 3, 4, or 5 of them, keep pushing on, which is exactly what Nieves is doing. She is a great guest. What do you think about her?

I love her. I know her from FinCon. We talked about it a little bit in the show. If you guys do not know about FinCon, it is financial independence, personal finance conference that we were both at in 2021. She became a friend of mine because she lives in St. Louis where I own some properties and we hung stuff. We build furniture and it is bonding.

That is a great way to get to know somebody and put furniture with them. Let’s get to know Nieves a little more and bring her on to the show.

Invest2FI has now partnered with RentRedi. It is the software system that both me and Zeona use to do property management for our rental properties. It makes things super easy. We can send applications, get background checks and credit checks. When tenants come in, they can pay rent automatically through there and submit maintenance requests to everything you need to do for property management all in one place. That is why RentRedi is the thing that we have done. I have been using them for years now.

We reached out to them for a relationship on the show. Again, I’m super excited to have them on board. If you go to RentRedi.com and use the code INVEST2FI, you will get 50% off your first six months. Sign up and use the coupon code. I can’t wait to see you there. Let us know and hit us up on Instagram or wherever and let us know what you think of RentRedi. It is amazing software. I use it all the time and you can access it from your phone. Thanks so much. Let’s get back to the episode.

Nieves, welcome to the show. How are you doing?

I’m doing great. How are you?

In corporate America, the higher you go up, it's almost like you're living to work instead of working to live. Click To Tweet

It is good to have you on and be back in action and my voice is 100%. Let’s hear a little bit about your story. Where did you first hear about financial independence? When did this whole thing enter your brain?

My story starts right when I graduated from college. I was a pretty good student. I went to the University of Florida, graduated with a Mechanical Engineering degree. I moved to St. Louis, Missouri right out of college to start a career in Procter & Gamble. I thought, “Next CEO, I’m going to work super hard to climb the corporate ladder.”

Within the first two years there, I realized that that was not something I wanted to do. I was working twelve plus hours a day. I was miserable and not in a great work environment. After three years of being there, I decided to switch jobs, but this happened in March of 2020. As you guys know, that is when the pandemic happened. My first job was on the first week of lockdown.

It is funny that college primes you to be an employee. I’m not mocking college. College has a lot of benefits, but I know I was the same way. I want to grow and be the CEO of some big company. What does that get you? It is so good that you can see that clarity. Two years at Procter & Gamble totally stunk. You moved over. What was this other job? What did that look like?

I now work for an engineering consulting firm, so I have a lot more balance. Some things that I enjoy and do a lot more. I also get to travel for work a lot. It is something that I enjoy because that allows me to sometimes go to cool places. I went to Hawaii in 2021 for work. That was awesome because I got to stay a week there for vacation and enjoy Hawaii. I do not think it is where I want to be for the rest of my life. That is why I’m pursuing financial independence, but it is a lot more balanced than what I used to have in my previous job.

You could hang out with Zeona in Hawaii. She lives there.

She messaged me and I left that week or something. We are two passing ships in the night.

You got this job on March 30th, 2020. You go in and tell us a little bit about starting this job, which is an awesome job, but during the height and all pandemonium of the pandemic.

I started and I was like, “Did I make a terrible mistake? Am I going to be out of a job?” It was scary because I didn’t know what was going to happen. Thankfully, it all worked out and I was employed during the whole time of 2020. That was what gave me the push to start learning about personal finance and because of not knowing what was going to happen, I googled “best personal finance podcast.”

I found a couple and I started listening and learning about how to invest in your 401(k) and real estate. That is how I found out about BiggerPockets and house hacking. I spent all of 2020 learning how to organize my personal finances and how to properly invest my money both through the different brokerage accounts, 401(k), real estate, and all of that. At the end of 2020, I took a class to learn about real estate investing. My goal for 2021 was to buy my first house hack.

I am curious what took you from doing the investing in index funds, where a lot of people stop as personal finance or financial independence on that quest. What made you go, “I want to go to this next step and do real estate too?”

What is great about real estate is that you do not have to save up. If you want to be financially independent through investing in index funds, it is doable, but you are going to have to contribute a lot of money for at least 5 to 10 years. You have to be aggressively investing to be able to reach your financial independence number, but it depends. Each person has different goals. In Lean FIRE, where I’m going to retire with $600,000 in my investment account, I saw real estate as a way to start building wealth, but it allows you to use leverage. That is what’s great about real estate and that is why I want to get started.

You will become financially independent with index funds, but that is a fifteen-year plan. You can get on the 3 to 5-year plan through real estate investing. You are not relying on the stock market, which at this time, the stock market has been tanking, so everyone in index funds is getting scared.

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House Hacking: What’s great about real estate is that you don’t have to save up.

 

When you are going on the index fund path, because every dollar counts, I feel like you get stuck into this space of, “I’m never going to order a coffee again. I’m going to pinch every single penny and get all the coins under the couch.” When you are in real estate, you loosen that up a little bit. It is also a lifestyle thing. I wanted to highlight that.

Saving money can take a big toll on your brain. The whole reason why a lot of people do this is to have stress-free and not worry about money. Once you cannot worry about money, you can worry about things that truly matter, and that is relationships, health, family, and all that good stuff. Money always seems to be the number one thing first, even though it should not be.

Tell us about your find and how the search went to get that first property.

By the end of 2020, I had saved up about $20,000. I was like, “I’m ready.” I had graduated from the class that I took. I felt confident about analyzing deals and understanding how to analyze the deal. I found a real estate agent. We started looking at properties. It took me a lot less than I thought it was going to take. I started looking for a property in January of 2021. I was able to close on my property in April of 2021. It was a crazy market in 2021 as well.

How did you go about saving up $20,000? Are you making good money at your job?

That was something that I was very fortunate about. With an Engineering degree, I started my career making more than $70,000. My income grew over the years. What helped was being more organized with my finances and understanding where my money was going because the first two years, I was not saving much even though I was making about the same money. I was able to go from not saving much to saving about $1,000 a month. That is how I was able to do that.

I was fortunate also that I got a lot of scholarships through college. I graduated only with $12,000 in debt. That also helped a lot that I did not have a lot of debt to pay off. I never got into consumer debt, even though I was not necessarily organized and educated about personal finance. The first two years out of college, I was still responsible for my money.

Did you pay down your $12,000 of debt first and then you start to save for the house hack or did you pay your minimum payments?

I finished paying it off at the end of 2021, but it also helped because after my house hack, I was living for free. I focus on saving cash for my property versus paying down my student debt.

Why did you do that? Let’s dig into that a little bit.

Especially because of the pause of interest on the student loans, it did not make any sense for me to pay off more or pay it off completely with the money that I was saving up for my house because I knew that after I bought my first house hack, my living expenses were going to go to zero. If I wanted to, I could allocate that money towards the debt.

I am with that strategy of keeping your low-interest debt hold onto it and make those minimum payments because nothing should stop you from house hacking. That is going to be your highest return on investment every single time. I did the same exact thing. I had $90,000 student loan debt and people were like, “You should pay that off first.” I would still be paying those off right now if I went that route. You did a very wise thing.

I knew the best return on my money was going to come from the house hack. I could not just pay my student loan at all in the last few years. In the back of my mind, I still want to get the checklist and say, “That is paid off.” I continued to make the same payments that I was making before. I already knew I was going to pay it off. I was like, “Let me continue to do this,” but if I wanted to, I could not have paid all the money off and then restart whenever the interest came back on because it was less than 4%. It was a balance for me. I wanted to prioritize both, more on the house hack, but I was still able to keep contributing, get to the goal of being completely debt-free, and still get another property.

Let’s talk a little bit about the house hack. You got a good job, saved some money, and got your $20,000. It is now early 2021 and you said you found a real estate agent. How did you go about finding an investor-friendly real estate agent?

You have to invest aggressively to be able to reach your financial independence number. Click To Tweet

I found it through BiggerPockets. I went and interviewed a couple and this one was the one that I felt was the best match. We met up, had coffee, made sure that they understood what my goals were, and then we started looking at properties. In the beginning, none of my offers were accepted because everybody was offering $10,000 and $20,000 that we were asking. I was checking the MLS every single day and I also had notifications set up on Zillow. Every time a property that I like changes its status, it will notify me.

It is funny how the property that I ended up buying showed up on the market and I told my agent, “I want to go see it. “They were going to have an open house. Before the open house, it went under contract. Somebody went ahead and made an offer, site unseen. I do not know what that offer was but they took it off the market. I was so sad because I was like, “This could have been a good property.”

A few weeks later, I saw that it came back on the market. Because of that happening, there was not a lot of competition. We came to the open house and I saw it. I liked the fact that even though it is a duplex, it is a single-family home in the front and then a one-bedroom apartment in the back. I was like, “This is great. It is what I’m looking for. I liked the location. The price was within my budget.” I thought it was a great property.

Where are you located?

I’m in St. Louis.

This is all in St. Louis. I’m curious about when you went building your team. You mentioned the agent. It sounds like you found a good one. You said you interviewed a couple of people. What about your agent stood out to you? Why did you pick this one versus the other ones that you interviewed? What questions did you ask in order to make that decision?

I called three real estate agents. The first one was like, “Sign the exclusivity agreement and then we will meet.” I’m like, “What if I do not think you are a good fit?” That was already off the bat and not a good experience. I do not want to work with this person. When I called the one that ended up being my real estate agent, he was able to meet with me. We went to see an off-market deal that he was interested in buying, and he walked me through the property.

Overall, through the whole process, they were helpful and always willing to answer my questions, especially since I was traveling for work at times, being able to work with me in weird hours, between my flight or when I got to my destination for work. Honestly, it is being available and being there to answer any questions. Something that has been great is that even after we closed on the deal and we had a maintenance call weeks after I bought my property. I was like, “I do not know anybody.” I asked her for a recommendation. She has been great at providing other connections.

This is true about contractors and agents literally. If you answer the phone, be responsive, and be available, you are already going to be 10% better than anybody else. Sometimes, you have to put a little bit of effort into it. This is a little tip for anybody who is trying to be an agent out there.

Provide tremendous amounts of value, especially if you do it all yourself. If you find an agent who also invests, they have leases, calculators, and all they have to do is send you a file most of the time. We are in St. Louis. You have got a duplex. It is a single-family maybe with an additional unit in the back, but you got a big house in the front and a little house in the back. It is the real deal.

Tell us the numbers. Let’s break it down.

I still had to offer above what I was listed. I bought the property for $210,000. Compared to other markets, it is not a lot. There was a long-term tenant in the front unit and she has a lease until November of 2022. It was great because I was able to move in and not have to worry about finding tenants or dealing with a vacancy. The back unit was also occupied. That was something that we had to work with the seller, but it was great that the tenant in the back was willing to move out so that I could move in within 60 days of me closing the property.

It is interesting because if there was a lease on that front house, I wonder if that kept some of the buyers away. I imagine most people that were looking at that house wanted to live in the front or in the big house, and then they would rent out the back. You were being different and saying like, “I want to live in the tiny house.” That worked towards your advantage to get that house.

They have a lease until November 2022. You have over a years’ worth of almost guaranteed income. Did you do any vetting for these tenants in your diligence, did you meet them, or anything like that, or were you just, “Let’s close eyes, close and swing it?”

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House Hacking: A lot of people go to college, get a degree, and get a job. It’s almost like you have a label and that’s what you do.

 

I did meet them when I came to the open house. They were inside. They seem okay. There was not a lot of due diligence that I did. It was like, “I hope it works out,” but the sellers were from Florida. They were out-of-town investors. They showed me all the records every time they paid rent or any issues that they had in the past. I could see that they have paid rent on time every single month. That was one of the indications, “I do not think I’m going to have any issues,” but you never know. It was a risk that I took knowing that they were going to have a lease until November of 2022.

Tell us a little bit about your mortgage and then how much they pay in the front. When you go to get new tenants, you might furnish it and rent it out, or you might try to get higher than the market rate or something like that, but these were people you inherited. You have to make sure those numbers still work for you.

I ran the numbers with the rents the previous owners were correcting. I bought the property for $210,000. The front unit rents for $1,300 and then the back unit was rented for $800. Based on my analysis, I thought, “This could work out.” Even with a 10% property management fee and all of that, it was still cashflowing about $200 a month. My mortgage is $1,403. That is what taxes and insurance are. One thing that I learned that I didn’t know when I was doing the analysis is that it is two separate dwellings. I had to get two policies. One for the front house and one for the unit that I live in. That bumped up my insurance cost, which I did not anticipate. I pay $105 to live on my property now.

You have an entire place to yourself and you are only paying $105 a month in that same place. It would rent out for $800 conservatively because that was the last year’s rent. Rents have been going up. That is a huge win. You bought this in April of 2021 and we are approaching a year. How have things gone? Have there been any problems, any issues, anything break, or any unexpected things that happened?

I had a maintenance call for the tenant that was living in the unit that I live in now a week after I bought the property. I was out of town and luckily, my agent was able to connect me with a plumber and then he was able to get in and fix the issue. I also had a small maintenance call on my front unit, but it was for a clog. I called a plumber again. Both of them were cheap.

Something that did happen is my heater completely went out within my first month of living in the unit. It was great that I had extra savings to be able to cover that. Even though it was my unit, if that had happened to my tenant, I would have been prepared to fix it. It was $1,500 to get a new water heater.

Why is it that every single time you buy a house, the furnace or water heater goes? They are supposed to last twenty years, but for some reason, every time I had to replace 2 or 3 furnaces, I’m like, “What the heck?” I feel your pain. How much did you put down on this property?

I ended up putting about $10,000 because I put 5% down, so I used an FHA loan. It was about $10,000, and I was able to get some credits from my lender during closing and also some credits from the seller as well.

How were you able to negotiate those credits with the lender and the seller?

With the lender, I was saying, “If somebody else is offering this much in interest rate, could you match that?” He was like, “We can do that.” He also gave me $2,000 in credit for closing. For the seller, during the inspection, we noticed that there were a few things that needed to be fixed until we asked for $4,000 or $5,000 in credits as well.

I want to have to ask also if you did any repairs. Did you fix up the unit that you are in at all? You said you painted but I do not know if you did that much.

They were both pretty turnkeys. They are very well-renovated. For my unit, I did paint and installed a shoe board. Little things like that, but there was not any major renovation.

I feel like you did this whole thing so right. Forget about your student loan debt and then buying a house is pretty turnkey. You can have it rented, filled, and cashflow from day one. In that way, you can keep saving for the next one. I feel like this whole thing is great. Not only that, but obviously, a big tidbit that you gave away that can save these readers thousands of dollars by reading this is to talk to a few different lenders and try to see if they can match the rates and try to negotiate those credits.

Buy that inspection report, make sure that you go and ask the seller for things because you never know what they will be willing to give in order to make the deal go through, especially if you are the only offer. If you are reading this and you are not in a cheap market, these are still things you can pick up from an episode. It is great stuff. You are dropping bombs and I love it.

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What do you think the rent is going to go for now when these people move out or what are your plans for the next renters?

Since it is a little bit away for the front unit, I’m going to wait maybe three months before they move out or their lease is up to ask if they want to renew the lease or if they are going to move out. If so, my plan is to look around what other houses are renting for. I feel like rent has gone up. I can rent the front house for $1,400 instead of the $1,300.

If they want to renew, I’m doing a 3% increase year over year to make sure that I’m keeping up with the market. They have been great tenants so far, so I hope they stay for a long time. For the back unit, my plan is to move out once the year is up. Since I have all my furniture here, I’m planning on doing traveling nurses. I put it on Furnished.com and see how much I can get for that. I could get between $1,450 and $1,500 based on your property, Zeona.

Let’s say that you met me and I changed your life. I do want to ask you about that because we met at FinCon. I’m wondering what took you to FinCon. Was it your interest in personal finance at that time or was it because you were doing your online business, which we have not mentioned?

Two things. One, my parents live in Austin. I was like, “Why wouldn’t I go? I get to see my family. I have a place to stay.” I was able to do the community pass for FinCon, so it was super cheap to attend the event. It was more for my passion and FIRE community because I listened to all the podcasts and I follow all those people on Instagram. It was great to meet a lot of the people that I follow on social media in person. It was great to make so many connections. That is why I went to FinCon.

I’m curious because it sounds like you are changing tribes. You found your financial independence tribe and you like them a lot. What are the older people in your life have to say? Have you run into any obstacles with maybe your parents do not understand what you are doing or some of your high school friends and all that? I’m curious how you handled that.

I was born in Venezuela and I moved here when I was in high school. My parents moved to the States when they were already in their 40s. My siblings and I are their retirement men. For them, they also think about the American dream. I feel like they want me to have my dream home already, especially because some of my friends are buying the $400,000 to $500,000 houses with a beautiful kitchen and driveway.

I’m over here like, “I’m going to move into a duplex so that I can live rent-free. I’m planning to do the same thing next year.” They are excited for me. I do not think they fully understand what I’m doing, but they support me and they also wish I was following more of a traditional path, climbing the ladder, getting a new car, and the big house. It is a different perspective.

It is interesting because people are scared of the unknown and different. They know if you stay at Procter & Gamble, you do your engineering job, you climb that corporate ladder, and you are going to get a $10,000 pay bump every year. Your life is so predictable. That is comforting to people who value your safety, and they want that.

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Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat: The BRRRR Rental Property Investment Strategy Made Simple

When you go to this different path, which is unknown, it makes people uneasy. It is fun because you have got a great head on your shoulders, you are going to crush it, and you already are crushing it. It is always fun dealing with that dynamic of disagreeing with your parents or maybe going against what all your friends have been saying and all that.

I want to take us back to FincCon. It is because Nieves did something that is a good example for people that want to work with a mentor. We met at a little mixer thing. It was a real estate investors meetup thing that was happening during the conference. I was at that barbecue joint. When we met, she had talked to Sarah, who is somebody that I’m writing a book with. Sarah had heard that you have lived in St. Louis. She came and talked to me, and Nieves already knew who I was.

Sarah and I were about to go to St. Louis right after that trip and we were going to work on refurnishing two of my Airbnbs and updating them. She was like, “If you guys need any help like moving furniture or something, just call.” I thought like, “There is no way we are calling. We are going to be okay.” I do not want to put her out. Day four, we are dying. I was like, “Do you have that girl’s number?” She showed up with a drill and her little tool kit. It was amazing. She saved our lives. Now, we are great friends, but that is exactly what you need to do. If you want to work with a mentor, see how you can help them without making it taxing on them. That was such a good move.

Nieves, you treated Zeona as a friend, which anyone wants to be treated, and then maybe you asked her a few questions while you were putting together Ikea furniture and got some enlightenment there.

She totally did. She was grilling Sarah. She was like, “I’m going to get every dollar worth in here.” She was getting the full consulting experience.

That is why I want to rent out my place to traveling nurses and it is great that you are doing it in St. Louis. Our properties are only five minutes away.

She is in our neighborhood. She was able to walk in, see what the quality of the furniture was, how big the spaces are, and how updated it is, and be like, “My place is better than this or equivalent to this. What are you renting for?” She got excited about it because I have that place rented for $1,900.

What do you think you are going to get for your place now when you move out and there is a traveling nurse in there?

My target is going to be $1,500 because it is a one-bedroom, but it is completely independent. It has its own basement, a garage, and it is very spacious.

Is this the main house or the one-bedroom?

That is my unit, the one bedroom. The main house is a 3-bedroom, 2-bath house.

It only gets $1,300. Would you do both on travel nurses?

It probably would not work as well. Traveling nurses generally travel with 1 or 2 people, so 1 to 2 bedrooms work well. Sometimes, it is a little family, but for three bedrooms, it could work but it might not. I do not know if she wants to go through all the effort of furnishing it.

Z knows all about this because she is writing a book on medium rentals.

Sarah Weaver, who was on the show a while back, was the one who was there in St. Louis with me that Nieves met. We are going to write a book together about medium-term rentals. That should be coming out through BiggerPockets in 2023. We will keep you guys in the loop. That will have all the tips and tricks.

We will be promoting that book a lot once it is on its way out. Nieves, your story is you had a job you hated, you got out of it to a job that you liked, and then COVID happened, and you were like, “Maybe this whole job thing is not as secure as we think it is.” Even though you were fortunate and you kept your job, you have been saving and bought your duplex in 2021, lived in the smaller unit, and rented out the larger unit to already tenants. Those tenants were good for you. Now, you are getting ready. You are preparing now to find the move into the next one. Where do you see your journey going from here? What are the next 2 to 3 years look like for you?

It is something that Zeona mentioned, “Through this whole journey.” Another thing that I have realized is that there are so many ways to make money. A lot of people think, “I’m going to go to college, get a degree, and go get a job.” It is almost like you have a label and that is what you do. I found an opportunity through a podcast about a licensing program to teach kids Spanish or a second language. Spanish is my first language.

Just take action! Things will take time, but if you just take that next step, you're going to get to where you want to be much faster. Click To Tweet

I started a business also in 2020 to teach kids Spanish. The goal is to keep growing that to be the go-to language program in all of St. Louis preschools. There are a lot of opportunities there. It is going to be a lot of hot work, but the idea is to have a group of teachers that will go into the classroom and we will provide a Spanish program or French program to students. It is a known program in New York City. I’m bringing it to St. Louis. It was great that I did not have to come up with the whole idea to allow me to start selling it and enrolling students right away.

Would you say that teaching Spanish and foreign languages to young people is a passion of yours?

Especially because I moved to St. Louis from Miami. In Miami, everybody speaks Spanish. In St. Louis, you can’t even find a lot of Hispanic food. A lot of people are interested in having their kids be fluent in not just English but also a second language. There is a lot of opportunity in St. Louis because there is not a lot of competition. This is a great program. It is not something that I came up with yesterday. It is something that has been in development for years, and it has been a proven concept. I want to keep growing that.

This is such a great thing about real estate, too, where real estate can be your side hustle that keeps your expenses low. As you accumulate properties, it allows you to cover your baseline expenses. You can put most of your energy into growing this foreign language business if this is where you want to go and if that is your true passion.

You are going to have a tremendous impact. When you have a tremendous impact, you will make a good amount of money. You will have that same exact freedom that the big real estate investor will have but in a different way. Still, real estate investing and financial independence allow you to get there. That is why I love financial independence and why I put it on the show. Do you have any more words of wisdom for us before we move into the final four?

No. I’m excited to keep growing my business, keep buying real estate, and keep learning.

Let’s get into the final four.

Question one, what are you reading right now?

I’m finishing up the Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat by David Greene. I’m looking for my next property to be a BRRRR, whether I move into it at the end or not, but one to create some equity through rehab.

I feel like that could happen in St. Louis. BRRRRs are not easy in all markets, but in the affordable ones, you have a little better chance.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

Something that somebody brought at FinCon was when I was saying, “No, I’m waiting on this to then get started on my next step.” He was like, “What is preventing you from doing it now?” Sometimes, we have mental barriers that prevent us from taking that next step. It is like the analysis paralysis, just take action and do it now. Things still take time. If you take that next step, you are going to get to where you want to be much faster.

Do not wait for anything. Try to make some progress.

I like it because I have heard this analogy before where there is this balance between learning and collecting information and then also taking action. If you get stuck and you are in this place, you can ask yourself, “Do I need to keep learning? Have I overlearned where I’m in that analysis paralysis or do I need to take a little bit of action, even if it is a baby step?” At that point, it will reveal to me, “I need to learn more about X.” It is cool to have that as a balance to check in with yourself. Question number three, what is your why?

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House Hacking: As technology advances, people are going to be nostalgic about the way things used to be.

 

My why is being able to afford the lifestyle that I want without having to be tied to a 9:00 to 5:00 job. Also, being able to support my family, my parents, and my siblings.

In 40 years, what will people be nostalgic for?

Technology, as it advances, people are going to be nostalgic about the way things used to be. Before video games, back in the day, people used to play outside or whatever. I feel like in 40 years, as technology keeps progressing, we are going to miss the ways that people used to do things before.

Remember when we had to shake hands and touch each other’s hands, and not in the metaverse. I feel like that is the next big thing. It will be interesting. In 40 years, I have to come back and revisit this and see where we are at. Nieves, thanks so much for coming on. Where can people find out more about you?

They can find me on Instagram at @NievesSotoREI

Go check her out on Instagram. Thank you so much, Nieves, for coming on. We appreciate it and we love to hear your story. We are going to keep following along. We are excited to know about your second house hack coming up here soon. Stay tuned.

Thank you.

Z, what did you think of Nieves?

I like her story. It is so great that you can have a big house and a little house in St. Louis for $200,000. In the market that I live in, Boulder, we have been looking for something with a basement apartment that is like a full apartment with a kitchen. Even at $1 million, it is the shittiest place. I’m like, “How nice it sounds to have something that is for $200,000?”

It was turnkey for $210,000. It almost makes me want to move to St. Louis and then I think about it for about ten more seconds. I’m like, “Nah.”

I love her story. She is super bright and scrappy. It is great that she has taken on wanting to learn financial independence all by herself. She did not talk about it, but she came from humble beginnings and had a lot of siblings, and they left a Latin country. Her family does not have that much. She wants to build all this, so she can go back and support her parents, her other siblings, and get them into a better financial situation. That is admirable. It is nice when you can be the one hustler to change your whole family’s future.

She does have a great story. She is out there hustling. She is a single woman out there house hacking, going to conferences, meeting people, and showing up when someone calls her name. That is what you got to do at first. I love that. Nieves is awesome. That was such a great show. To all you guys reading, it would help us tremendously if you could leave a rating and a review on iTunes. Let us know when you do. Shoot us a message on Instagram. I’m @TheFIGuy on Instagram. Zeona is @ZeonaMcIntyre on Instagram.

 

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About Nieves Soto

Nieves  Soto Nieves is an engineer and rookie real estate investor pursuing financial independence. She discovered the FIRE movement in 2020 after switching jobs right before the pandemic. The uncertainty that the pandemic brought prompted her to start learning about personal finance. She started saving more and investing in index funds. During this time she also learned about Bigger Pockets and started listening to real estate investing podcast. In April of 2021 Nieves bought her first house hack and now is able to live almost rent free. She is looking to continue to invest in real estate and is currently looking for her next deal.