Back in business

It's been two weeks without a post, and while I'm horribly ashamed I've been justifiably busy. On January 14th, 2007 my wife and I moved to London, and I've been spending all my time either sight seeing or job searching. I'm proud to say that both are winding down as I've accepted an offer with an excellent firm, and we've seen a good deal of the "famous" sights of London over only two weeks.

How, you ask, is this going to affect my real estate investments? Real estate is a very local business and since I've written repeatedly about the horrors of hiring a property management company, you HAVE to be local to take care of business. However one of the benefits of investing in a partnership is not all partners need to be local. Biff (who, by the way, was the best man at my wedding) takes care of all the local issues. He finds tenants, calls repair guys, builds relationships with the people who give us money, all that sort of thing. All extremely important work that cannot be avoided, and all of it needs to be done from no more than 45 minute drive away from the homes.

Meanwhile I've been the bean counter behind the scenes. My role in the partnership consists of accounting, financing and legal work. For these tasks, location doesn't matter. I can log on to our bank accounts, call banks to get loan rates and modify leases from anywhere in the world if I have a phone and a computer. That assumption is being put to the test right now, since I'm a good 4,000 miles away from the properties but the investing carries on.

This brings up an interesting point worth mentioning. At some point in the future, it's likely that Biff will get a job offer in another town, or he'll move to be closer to family, or he'll just get the itch to be somewhere else. If that does occur, our current portfolio will almost certainly be liquidated. We may continue investing where ever he relocates to, but we'll be unable to maintain our current houses.

In any case, it's nice to stop the upheaval for a short while and settle back in. It's February, which in our partnership means it's tax time. Time to start researching all of the new tax laws, not to mention the tax ramifications of marriage. Of course next year I have to throw foreign earnings into the mix, which will be even more of a mess. At least the company should provide a hefty tax-refund, as it always does...