Meet Leah Klint – Building a rural empire in Michigan

Good morning,

Welcome to the wild roller coaster known as the 30-year mortgage. One week we’re in the 6’s the next we’re in the 5’s. Just remember to fasten your seat belt and lock in that rate!

The nice thing for us investors is that so long as the math works -we’re fine with the higher interest rate. We just need to pick up those one to two deals a year that fit our parameters. Later on we can refinance and make out link bandits!

This week’s investor has done just this over the years. Picking up one or two deals per year to gradually build up a portfolio in rural Michigan.

Please meet Leah Klint!

How many doors do you have?

Right now we have 18 doors

What got you into real estate investing?

“I married someone who was obsessed with houses. I joined in (19 years ago, so I would say its a shared obsession by now)”

What market do you operate in?

“Rural Southwest Michigan”

How would you describe your portfolio?

“Single Family Houses, small multi Class B/C”

What are you currently buying?

“Nothing yet this year. Usually 1-2 houses a year.”

Tell us about your biggest mistake in real estate?

“Not buying everything in sight 2010-2013. But at the time we bought everything we could afford. Kinda regret selling anything ever, but hard to second guess those decisions now.”

Tell us about your biggest win in real estate?

“Working in a small market, we develop relationships (still professional, but also relationships) with our tenants. It gives us great joy and a ton of satisfaction to see our tenants do well and go on to purchase homes. We like to think when we are selecting tenants that we are looking for future homeowners.

One of our tenants used me as a realtor when they bought a house and I loved that. We run in to former tenants from time to time and love finding out where life has taken them. We also get a lot of referrals from former tenants for their friends that are trying to rent which to us seems like a great compliment.”

Outside of real estate what else do you invest in?

“Our kids. We have five of them and they require a lot of time and attention. 🙂

We are LPs in a few apartment deals in the Southeast because we like those markets and are investors in a self-storage. Roth IRAs (index funds) and some leftover 401k’s from when we had jobs.

For anything active, we keep it in a 7 mile radius from our house, but willing to be farther out for passive stuff. Some of our most fun deals have been when we can finance a house purchase for friends on land contract. Usually because the house is not financeable. We help do the work to get it to be financeable and then they can refi out.

Books people should read before investing

“Rich dad poor dad for investor mindset. Highly recommend mrmoneymustache’s blog from approx. 2010-2018 for FIRE mindset. Anyone who is going to self manage should use the Book on Managing Rental Properties as a handbook because it is super practical.”

What advice would you give to a new investor?

“Get started. And you can learn to do anything on youtube.”

Leah Klint (@LeahKlint) / Twitter
Leah Klint (@LeahKlint) /
mom, wife, small time landlord, cubs fan. other stuff.

Enough Business

Been doing a lot of thinking about high school for some reason lately. For those of us who didn’t peak in high school – that can be an uncomfortable proposition. At least until you get to the magical age when you can romanticize those awful four years.  


In particular I’ve been thinking about my cross country and track coach. A Stalinist man in his late 40’s who enjoyed instilling terror and growing out his beard. The kind of guy who you had to earn his respect through consistently improving your performance.


And like all Stalinist men – he had a way of motivating and frighting you at the same time. One of his favorite lines was “your only as good as your last race”. 


It’s taken me over a decade to fully appreciate this sentence. Because it’s not just about racing – it’s about everything. If you’re this incredible investor – your last deal should have been incredible. If you are an incredible sales person – your last quarter should have been incredible. Amateurs like to talk about that one time when the stars aligned and they killed it. 


The real professionals focus on that next deal, that next sale, that next race. Making the phrase deceptive. It’s not about the past (your last race) – it’s about preparing for the future. Because you need to make that next race count as those results show how good you really are.  


Here’s to your next race.

See you Tuesday

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