My Swampland In Florida Investment

Bill Harbin Jr By Bill Harbin Jr, 26th Jun 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Business>Investment

Many times we learn from experience how to avoid bad investments. This story is about a valuable lesson learned from a real estate partnership.

My Swampland In Florida Investment

An apartment project near the University of Florida’s football stadium called “The Swamp” earned the name “Swampland in Florida” as a real estate partnership that turned out to be a terrible investment. It sounded like a good idea. Buy this bargain lot and build a 4 unit apartment that would always bring a steady stream of income from renting college students.

Good Idea but Bad Plan

My most successful investments have been done on my own. I have owned single family homes and found them to be troublesome but managed the problems well. When a friend approached me with the idea to build and rent a four unit apartment building near the University of Florida the idea sounded great.

There was a lot offered by a builder that was priced reasonably so my friend plus one other guy bought the lot and we started making payments. The interest rate was pretty high and our payments were $300 per month per person. After one year of arguing about building costs and plans I discovered having three partners that cannot agree is not a good idea.

The Escape Plan

With stock or mutual fund investments the sale of a bad investment can be disposed of with the click of a mouse. A single family home with just my name on the title can be marketed and sold within a reasonable amount of time. This arguing partnership made selling this investment a nightmare.

There are not a bunch of buyers waiting in line to buy a multifamily home lot. One partner wanted to make a ton of money on the lot. The other delayed listing the property and wanted avoid paying real estate commission. My escape plan seemed hopeless and I kept making payments as I did not want to put a blemish on my credit.

With Age Comes Experience

As a baby boomer now age 62 I learned back then to not make investments with partners. I offered to simply give my share of this investment to the other two guys or give the lot back to the builder that sold it to us. Fortunately, the builder thought it a good idea to keep our money given in payments and my partners agreed to let him take the lot off our hands to sell again. Investing that same money in an IRA helped me become retired today.


Florida, Invest, Investment, Investment Tips, Real Estate, Swampland

Meet the author

author avatar Bill Harbin Jr
Bill Harbin Jr is a freelance writer that had a book published in addition to hundreds of articles. His practical, down to earth advice can be used to find not only value, but perhaps a better life.

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author avatar snerfu
27th Jun 2014 (#)

Good for you Mr Harbin, it is never good to be in a mess.

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