Sometimes owning real estate means you need to mow the lawn. In my case, it's starting to add up to a LOT of lawns. For example, yesterday I mowed 4 sets of lawns (front & back).
In contrast to my childhood, that's a lot of mowing. You see, growing up, my Dad's idea of yard maintenance consisted of 2 steps: Roundup in the spring and Roundup in the fall. Done. No mowing required.
When we bought our first place I was excited to finally do this thing that so many people talk about: mow my own lawn. Since it was a duplex, I got a double dose.
A few properties later, I still enjoy mowing lawns. Sure, takes a lot of work and time - about an hour per lawn, once every other week on average - but I still like it.
It's for a few reasons:
1) It's an opportunity to get exercise. I take a lot of steps and push & pull a lot. It's great for my health. I'm not quite extreme enough to use a push mower (I do live in Oregon after all), but I still get a good workout.
2) I listen to audiobooks while mowing. I got a pair of ear muffs that block out the sound of the motor and I get lost in story. Right now I'm listening to book 2 of The Hunger Games. It's a fantastic use of time. I often switch off between fantasy, biographies and self-help books.
3) At one time I did the research & it's anywhere from $40-$70 per lawn to pay someone else to take care of your lawn. So I'm getting paid to exercise & read! I think about this a lot when I'm hot, sweaty and still have one more set of lawns to go. $200 more dollars to the student loan pot!
4) It's a great excuse to check out the property and check in on tenants. It's let's them know I care about the property AND them.
I know my time is finite and eventually we will own enough properties I won't be able to keep up, but for now I really enjoy it.