Editors' pick: Originally published Oct. 17.
Denise Supplee wears a lot of hats these days.
Supplee is the co-founder of SparkRental.com, a Philadelphia-based real estate firm, and she's also a been real estate investor and landlord in the Philly area for the past 15 years.
"As a landlord, I've seen it all," says Supplee. "We all have stories after stories about the downfalls and difficulties of being a landlord from the unpaying tenant to the large, unexpected repair."
Supplee says she's had to make many repairs, deal with bad renters, and spend money on necessities like new water heaters. But even after all that, the landlord life is the way to go, she feels.
"I have had tenants pay the mortgage including the taxes, interest and insurance costs," she says. "I have had a surplus to boot and was able to sock away cash for those unexpected costs. I now have over $100k in equity in one particular property. There is strife, but I have a pretty sizable and growing retirement account in that home - most of which has been paid for by my tenants."
Supplee's story may well resonate with U.S. adults looking at rising rental rates and wondering if they could make it as a real estate property investor.
Certainly, the market is strong. A recent study from Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University shows that, since 2005, U.S. rental households have jumped 37%, or nine million more renters
Depending on which study you use, U.S. home and apartment rental prices are rising by 3.5% to 8% in 2016, and RealtyTrac also reports "that the rise in rents is outpacing weekly wage growth in 57% of markets."