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Jennifer Murtland – Expect Trouble When Buying an Old House
12th May 2021 • My Worst Investment Ever Podcast • Andrew Stotz
00:00:00 00:21:15

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BIO: Jennifer Murtland is a licensed Real estate agent and investor in Ohio and Northern KY. She is the co-host of the Real Estate Fight Club podcast that focuses on battling through residential real estate topics.

STORY: Jennifer bought a 200-year-old patchwork house on a whim, and it ended up sucking up all her money and time in renovations and repairs.

LEARNING: Be careful when buying a patchwork house because it will cost you a lot more in the long run. Choose your tenants wisely to lower your risk and protect your return on investment.


“Have different budgets for renovations based on the age of the house. The older the house, the more money you’ll need.”

Jennifer Murtland


Guest profile

Jennifer Murtland is a licensed Real estate agent and investor in Ohio and Northern KY. She started her real estate career wholesaling pre-foreclosures and investing in rentals. She is the co-host of the Real Estate Fight Club podcast that focuses on battling through residential real estate topics. She is a no bull shit, passionate professional who is committed to her client’s success and is currently looking for real estate agents to join her company.

Worst investment ever

Jennifer started wholesaling pre-foreclosures. In 2008 there were a lot of pre-foreclosures coming with good deals as houses were cheap then.

The 200-year-old patchwork house

In 2010 Jennifer came across a six-unit building that was almost 200 years old. The house was a patchwork house. Originally, it was a two-story house that probably started as a single house and then had two add ons built on, making it a six-unit apartment building. It literally looked like a patchwork quilt.

Ignoring the facts right in front of her

Jennifer knew that buying a patchwork house was a considerable risk. She, however, believed that she is savvy and good with math, and this purchase seemed to make sense where numbers were concerned. So she bought this property.

The domino effect

As expected of a 200-year-old home patched together when one tiny thing goes wrong, 100 other things go wrong. The repairs were not cheap either. Everything would cost like $3,000 to $10,000. But the average rents were about $500. As if that was not enough, the only tenants Jennifer could get were a pimp, a drug dealer, and a wife-beater; it was such a disaster.

Getting rid of the patchwork

Finally, the market turned, and about three years ago, Jennifer talked to her partner about the house, and they decided to sell the property. She found somebody and held the financing, and luckily the buyer paid Jennifer every month. Then the buyer sold it to somebody else, and Jennifer got her money back.

Lessons learned

Be careful when buying a patchwork house

The thing with old properties is when one thing goes wrong, 10 other things will go wrong, and it’s never cheap. So when doing your budget, keep age in mind. If it’s a newer home, you won’t need a lot of money for renovation, but the renovation budget could triple if it’s an older home.

Andrew’s takeaways

Do your due diligence to preempt any trouble with your purchase

When you’re buying anything, keep in mind that the seller is probably hiding everything they possibly can on what’s wrong. So expect that the seller will hide stuff and do your due diligence to uncover what they are hiding.

Investing in stocks is more straightforward than real estate

Investing in stocks is so easy compared to real estate. You just buy, if you don’t like it, you sell it the next day.

Actionable advice

If you’re going to invest in real estate, there’s a lot of ways that you can make money; being a landlord is just one of them. If you decide to be a landlord, be strategic about the tenants you target. This will dictate where you buy, which will dictate your return.

No. 1 goal for the next 12 months

Jennifer’s number one goal for the next 12 months is to have 35 agents join her international real estate company.

Parting words


“Don’t be emotional. Check your numbers or have somebody else check your numbers.”

Jennifer Murtland




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