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Author: Goofyhoofy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 76237  
Subject: Re: Probably just a stupid question... Date: 12/18/2011 7:24 AM
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Besides the already mentioned risks of tenant damage and vacancies, there is also the risk that rents will decline because of a general housing decline, or that supply will outstrip demand and make it a 'renter's market".

A friend of mine owned property in Denver, which oil-busted in the mid 80's, and she was stuck with a property which lost half its value. Worse, because she was transferred by her company, she could only rent it for about half of her mortgage payment. When she finally did sell it she lost her shirt.

We've owned a condo in Boston which has been in rental since 1984, and rents have gone up and down in that time. Some years we made money, some years we lost money - although given what has happened there (vibrant city: education & high tech) we are now making out well in terms of cash flow, and even better in capital appreciation. (Of course you can't spend that, but we hope it's money in the bank, as long as the market doesn't collapse.)

So you could get a dividend cut, or you could see your rental position disappear. I like real estate, I especially like having a bit of diversification there, but nothing is for sure.
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