How We (Nearly) Replaced My Wife’s Teacher Salary With Rental Property In Less Than 4 Years

rental property

I often get emails with questions from members about my investing activities outside the stock market and options trading. And from time to time, I’ve briefly alluded to the rental property portfolio my wife and I have been building over the last four years. Today, I want to give you a little deeper understanding of how we got started, where we are now, and our plans moving forward.

Before we dive in, I think it’s important you know a little more about my wife and her background, because it’s been an incredible source of motivation for me personally and I think you’ll see why…

My wife is a teacher by profession and comes from an entire family of teachers. Everyone was a teacher – EVERYONE! Father, mother, both sisters, and their husbands. Even many of her cousins, aunts, and uncles are teachers. Yep, all teachers. Naturally, when I first came around chasing after the youngest daughter, they asked, “So, what subject do you teach?” I tried to explain that I traded options (and taught others how to do the same) but it was like I was speaking a foreign language to them. Needless to say, I’ve been the career “black sheep” of the family since that first day, which actually has been very welcomed by her family – they truly are great people.

The point I’m trying to make is that my wife literally had NO clue about investing, real estate, the stock market, nothing. Here was an incredibly well-educated women with a master’s degree in Linguistics but investing on a serious level was not something that was commonly (or ever) discussed at dinner. Then the poor girl met me, and three years into our marriage I told her that I wanted to start buying rental property to which she replied, “Why would we do that? We already own our house?” And I distinctly remember spending many long nights trying to convince her why we should be investing in rental property showing her spreadsheets, returns numbers, etc. Now I love my wife dearly, but she didn’t even know what a return on investment was when we got started.

Eventually, I convinced her to purchase our first investment property, with most of our nest egg at the time, which was about 45 mins west from where we lived in Virginia just outside of D.C. It was a HUD foreclosure and needed a little bit of work. Having a little renovation project, I believe, ultimately excited her because she had something she could decorate. For me, it was still all about the numbers – which were fantastic. We purchased the small condo for $74,700, our payment with everything included was $414, and we rented it for $1,000 per month netting just under $600 per month in completely passive income. At this point, she thought it was pretty cool but still wasn’t a born-again investor.


Nine months after we purchased the property, and after spending approx $5,000 during the mini-renovation, we refinanced the mortgage using the new, higher appraised value and took out enough cash to completely recoup our entire investment in the property. Everything we put in we got back, and then some. Our payment went up to $501 per month which meant we were still collecting nearly $500 per month with absolutely no investment in the property. And when we walked away from the closing table that day, my wife was eternally hooked on real estate investing. That night at home she and I wrote out a goal to buy enough rental properties in the next five years to completely replace her teacher’s salary.

Fast forward four years, and she completely runs our investment property portfolio that generates an annual net cash flow after expenses, interest deductions, debt reduction, etc. of $46,803 vs. her salary when we started this journey of $47,000. In fact, we just recently worked the same process as our first property above with a townhouse we purchased a couple of years ago walking away from the closing table with $33,000 from another cash-out refinance.

Let’s not sugar-coat it here; my wife’s a freakin’ real estate shark. She finds properties, negotiates incredible deals and knows how to run the numbers inside and out so that we’re always buying property with ample cash flow. Oh, and she did all of this still working full-time and helping me raise two little girls.

My wife is a shining example of what someone can achieve with enough determination and persistence. And she’s the poster-child for anyone who thinks they can’t learn how to become a great investor and business owner. I’m an extremely blessed man to have her in my life!

Now, I’m not saying that we’re the next Donald Trumps of real estate investing. We’ve looked at probably more than 300+ properties, made offers on approx 48 and ultimately ended with 9 very profitable units, hopefully with another 3 on the way since we put an offer in on another multi-family property just the other day. We haven’t bought commercial property (yet) or mega apartment complexes (yet), but we did manage to slowly and profitably build an incredible portfolio of rental property over the last four years and learned a ton in the process we feel like we could share with others.

Today I’m thrilled to announce that my wife is launching her first online course called Zero to Property which she spent nearly six months creating. The goal of her course being to help people who know absolutely nothing about real estate investing or rental property buy their first property – and make money doing it from day one.


If you’d like to learn more or have questions, please join us for a free live workshop this week. We’re doing several sessions throughout the week, and space is going to be limited. You can select the best time and register here.

About The Author

Kirk Du Plessis

Kirk founded Option Alpha in early 2007 and currently serves as the Head Trader. In 2018, Option Alpha hit the Inc. 500 list at #215 as one of the fastest growing private companies in the US. Formerly an Investment Banker in the Mergers and Acquisitions Group for Deutsche Bank in New York and REIT Analyst for BB&T Capital Markets in Washington D.C., he's a Full-time Options Trader and Real Estate Investor. He's been interviewed on dozens of investing websites/podcasts and he's been seen in Barron’s Magazine, SmartMoney, and various other financial publications. Kirk currently lives in Pennsylvania (USA) with his beautiful wife and three children.