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How passive income through real estate investing can lead to financial freedom

Welcome to the fourth part of this series on the 3 types of income one can get through real estate investing. This is actually part 2 the third type of income which is passive income. Before you begin reading this article, I recommend you review the first three parts:

How to get portfolio income through real estate investing

Earned income through real estate investing

Passive income through real estate investing – the path to financial freedom(Part 1)

In the first part about passive income, we defined what passive income is, showed some examples of it, listed down advantages and disadvantages, and some key points we should remember about it. Now let’s continue…

Before I talk about how passive income from real estate can lead to financial freedom, let me first try to define what financial freedom is for me.

What is financial freedom?

Financial freedomFor me, financial freedom is having the freedom to do the things that are truly most important in life for you, the things that you really want to do, not the things you have to do, the things that you would do if you had a choice, and you can do all of these without worrying about where to get money to provide for your family, because there is more than enough cashflow in the form of passive income that can sustain all of your needs, without the need for job or a life where you are stuck in the rat race.

More importantly, financial freedom also means having time freedom, and if you think about it, time is really the most precious commodity we have. Once it passes, it cannot be brought back, and it is gone forever. I’m sure most of you out there would agree that when you are stuck in the rat race, there is no such thing as time freedom.

What is the “rat race”?

Just what is the rat race? Wikipedia defines the rat race as an endless, self-defeating or pointless pursuit, often used to describe work, particularly excessive work; in general terms, if one works too much, when one is in the rat race. Most often in the rat race, one can expend a lot of time and effort, but ultimately achieve nothing meaningful.

Another way of looking at it would be to realize that living life in the rat race becomes pointless if it becomes detrimental to your family, relationships, health, and to your life in general. What’s your rat race?

How much passive income do we need to be financially free?

Okay, so how much passive income does one need to get out of the rat race. The answer is simple, it should be more than enough to cover one’s monthly expenses.

Going back to our previous assumption that we need to earn at least Php100,000 per month to cover our monthly expenses (and also have enough for our other “money jars“), how many passive income deals like our previous example do we need? The number of deals would be equal to our monthly expenses divided by the monthly positive cashflow from passive income which we computed as Php4,057.41/month

Number of passive income deals = Php100,000 per month / Php4,057.41 per month

=24.6 deals or 25

You might be saying “What the… it would take that many deals just to get out of the rat race?!“.

But don’t forget that if you focused on flipping, even if you made 25 deals already that each made Php100,000, you will still have to continue flipping properties, and it would be an endless cycle, much like that in the rat race.

If you focused on true cashflow generating properties, and even if each only made a measly Php4,057.41 of positive cashflow per month, your 25th deal can be your last because you already have accumulated more than Php100,000 of positive cashflow from passive income! You can stop and retire if you wanted to because you are already financially free!

Getting out of the rat race faster

I know I know, a lot of you out there might still be saying “I need to buy 25 rental properties just to get out of the rat race?! That could take forever!”.

But there are ways to get out of the rat race faster, let me show you a couple of examples:

1. Instead of rentals, go for a rent-to-own scheme

What if you bought a foreclosed property for Php1Million by putting down 20% downpayment or Php200,000, with a remaining  loan principal balance of 80% or Php800,000, let’s assume the balance is payable in 10 years at 12% annual interest rate(this is the current rate for most banks).

This results in a monthly amortization of Php11,477.68/month( You can verify this by using our mortgage calculator). You will notice this is even higher than our previous example.

This time however, instead of renting out the property, what if you sold it through a rent-to-own scheme at a contract price of Php2M @ with 10% down with the balance payable in 15 years at 15% annual interest rates? Your tenant-buyer would then be paying you Php25,192.57/month for the next 15 years.

Assuming monthly expenses all add up to about Php4,000/month just like ion our previous example, the resulting monthly positive cashflow would be:

Monthly Cashflow = Monthly Rent-to-own payment – Monthly Expenses – Monthly amortization

=Php25,192.57 – Php4,000 – Php11,477.68

= Php9,714.89/month

How many passive income deals like this do we need to get out of the rat race?

Number of passive income deals = Php100,000/month / Php9,714.89/month per deal

=10.29 or 11 deals

Wow, from 25 deals down to 11 deals, now this is more like it! But wait, there’s more! What if you and your tenant-buyer agree to shorten the payment period?

2. Shorten the payment period

What if instead of having a rent-to-own agreement that has a payment term of 15 years, you go for 10 years instead? Your tenant-buyer would then be paying you Php29,040.29/month for the next 10 years. The resulting monthly cashflow would be

Monthly Cashflow = Monthly rent-to-own payment – Monthly Expenses – Monthly amortization

= Php29,040.29 – Php4,000 – Php11,477.68

= Php13,562.62/month

How many passive income deals like this do we need to get out of the rat race?

Number of passive income deals = Php100,000/month / Php13,562.62/month per deal

=7.4 or 8 deals

Wow, from 25 deals down to 8 deals! Actually there are a lot more things one can do to get out of the rat race faster. One way is by increasing the net monthly cashflow by lowering maintenance/property management expenses. another way would be to refinance your loan with another bank at lower interest rates, etc.

I won’t discuss them here for now, I would not want to get anyone out there to become overly optimistic and want to get rich quick. Keep in mind that investing for passive income is not a get rich quick scheme!

Again, we also need to consider that for rental income, taxes range from a low of 3% percentage tax to a high of 12% VAT, which are mutually exclusive. You pay one or the other, depending on which is applicable. As mentioned previously, the taxable income can be reduced through allowable deductions, thereby lessening the payable taxes. Let’s discuss more about taxation of rental income in a future article.

Another thing about rent-to-own deals, keep in mind that your cashflow stops at the end of the payment term as you no longer own the property. But still, your cash comes in all throughout the duration of the rent-to-own agreement, which is 10 years in my last example above. Anyway, I believe one can “create” a lot of other passive income streams in 10 years time to replace one rent-to-own deal right?

Passive income will help you stop living life passively

One thing I failed to mention in the first part about passive income is it really helps one to stop living passively. When I say living passively, it’s like one is going through life like a zombie who just accepts what’s happening, instead of taking charge of our lives.

For example, one just goes through the motions of being an employee, yet there is more to life than just being an employee. There is a way to live where you don’t need to spend most of your time making a living and you can actually focus on the “living” part. One does not need to live life passively because we always have a choice. Bo Sanchez explains this best in his article “Don’t be a Zombie

Can it really be done?

Yes, it can really be done, you can trust me on this. The key is persistence, commitment, perseverance, bias for action, the drive to keep moving forward in spite of failure, having courage to face your fears and get out of your comfort zones, and the will to succeed! If you don’t believe it is possible, then you might be surprised when you read this!

Where do I start?

“All this talk about passive income and financial freedom sounds nice but how does one start?” you might be asking.

Most focus on “how”. Just like what most of my mentors and books I’ve read say, I believe you should first focus on “why”.

Why would you want to start this journey to financial freedom?!

That “why” should also be big enough to sustain you and see you through until you succeed!

You need a big enough reason to start, an emotional why, a higher purpose, something worth fighting for. Think about your rat race and why you would want to get out of it. What would you do once you are free? Find that purpose and use it to fan your burning desire and your passion to achieve financial freedom.

If passive income is easy, everyone would be doing it right?

Yes, if it were easy, everyone would be doing it. But I did not say getting passive income is easy, because it’s not. It may sound simple, but it is not easy, and it is probably the hardest of all real estate investing techniques to do, and with good reason. It is harder to find those positive cashflow generating properties than properties that can be flipped for a profit.

But let me tell you something that I have learned through firsthand experience. Sure it may not be easy, but it is definitely easier than most people think! This is coming from someone who is doing it.

I also believe that you can do it too!

Coming up next: Summary and wrap-up on the three types of income one can get through real estate investing

Yes, you read that right, there will be a fifth and last part of this series where I will summarize everything and add some more of my insights (yes, there’s more!), and yours as well, along with any other questions you may have.

Go ahead! Please write them down in the comments section below. Thanks!

To our success and financial freedom!

Jay Castillo

Real Estate Investor
Real Estate Broker License #: 20056
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Text by Jay Castillo and Cherry Castillo. Copyright © 2010 All rights reserved.

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People encounter problems and make mistakes when buying foreclosed properties, and Jay wants to help people avoid those problems/ mistakes. Jay encountered a lot of those, which is why he started this blog in 2008 to serve as a guide where he shares lessons learned, and how to overcome challenges you may encounter when investing foreclosed properties in the Philippines … [Read more]
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47 thoughts on “How passive income through real estate investing can lead to financial freedom”

  1. I’m just wondering why should people get rent to own from you when they are able to do it at a lower interest rate from the banks? Is it because of the higher fixed interest rate of 10 years that you are giving to them?

    • The biggest reason would be they simply can’t get approved for a loan from banks (they can’t comply to the strict requirements).

  2. Hi Jay,

    I am beginning to like your blog especially the mission and vision you have. I will continue following your posts ‘coz I believe a lot of things can be learned from you and other members’ post.


  3. hi jay,

    if we structure our deals as rent-to-own, then we won’t be taxed at earned income level even if i transact more than 6 deals a year? did i get that right? so its just CGT instead of CWT? even if we are a real estate company?


  4. Hi Jay,
    I have no experience yet with buying/selling real properties but was able to attend one seminar on this. And I am getting more interested every after I visited your website and read your blogs, but still I do not know how to start and when to start. Any advise? Thanks!

  5. Suppose I won a bidding of a foreclosed property from a bank and have it tenanted. What if it caught fire and burned down, who would be liable for it? Who would pay for it? Would the bank just write off the loan? I asked this because , I noticed that insurance is not included in the calculation and I think small ‘investors’like me can’t afford an insurance premium for a property. I think I will have a negative income if I include insurance. What are your thoughts on this? I hope you can help me on this. Your answer will be highly appreciated.

  6. i dont have a 133 door apartment, however i have a “house’ that i rent to 8 students, is this the same as having an 8 door apartment? just wanted to know your thoughts on this..great blog cheers

  7. Dear Mr. Bryan Uy,

    SIr, I am very much interested in the stock market trading. But, you know, I need a mentor on how to go on this stuff. I only have a limited cash to trade that’s why I’m extra careful. I also wanted to attain financial freedom. Pls. share with me your knowledge about stock market trading. I want you to be my mentor in this aspect. I’m looking forward to see you guys so with Sir Jay, my mentor in real estate investing, although I have not taken yet the 1st step. I’m reading all his blogs in email and appreciated so much all his efforts and that of his wife.

    Sir, my email add is I know you will be blessed more when you help others.

    Thanking you in advance.

    Helen P. Aquines

    • Hi Helen,

      I didn’t expect your reply here at Jay’s site.:) Sure, I would love to share my knowledge with you and anyone who’s interested in stock market trading. I encourage you to subscribed at my website ( so you get updates on my posts.:)

      God bless you in your quest to financial freedom!

      Bryan Uy

  8. Hi Jay,

    Thanks for starting this blog and for imparting your knowledge about Philippine foreclosure properties. I just found it after attending Trace Trajano’s online pre-sale seminar for his coaching class. Although I cannot join the coaching class at this time due to current projects, I plan to join next time it is offered. Hopefully, in time when I go back to the Philippines next year (I’m currently based in the US).

    What prompted me to comment on this article was your statement about the 3% to 12% VAT for rental income. Are the monthly rent-to-own payments made by your buyers really “rent”? Aren’t they in reality monthly mortgage payments since they bought the property with you as the mortgage holder? If they are indeed mortgage payments why would they be subject to VAT?

    Thanks and keep up the good work.


  9. Hi Jay & Bryan you might have forgotten to include me in your quest to FINANCIAL FREEDOM. Btw, Bryan i’m also interested to learn about stock market trading.

    • Hi Jun!

      Ikaw pa makakalimutan ko.:) Dami ko natutunan sayo pre.

      I can personally share with you how I trade the stock market. Or kung di mag abot schedule natin, you can subscribe to my site since I just introduced InvestingPinoy Power Trade Box where I provide information (in the Power Trade Box) like what stocks to buy, at what price to buy, the target price (for profit), the potential profit (%) as well as when you need to sell at a (minimal) loss. Hope this will help those who are interested to trade the stock market.

      (Jay, I hope you don’t mind sharing this information in your site.) You can just delete this if it’s bothering.:)


  10. Good articles to read from millionaires.
    From the deepest chamber of my heart, I would like to say thank you to Mr. Jay (and wife) and Mr. Trace Trajano for sharing your knowledge to us in investing.
    Although, as of now, I’m still in the rat race area, I’m planning to move to the other side of the quadrant, the right side.
    May your tribe increase.
    God bless you always and forever.

    • Hi Helen, you are welcome and I would also like to thank you on behalf of Trace and my wife Cherry who does not know how to leave a comment here. 🙂

      Yes, go for it, go for financial freedom, it can really be done! Thanks again and may God Bless us all!

  11. Hi Jay!

    I just enjoy reading your posts! I’m truly blessed meeting you and having you as my mentor.

    I love it when you said that real estate investing is easier than many people think it is. I have seen you work and you have shown me your properties and truly you make it look so simple…and in fact it is! Thanks for encouraging everyone to JUST DO IT!

    I also love it when you said that before embarking into any passive income activity, that one should really find the reason WHY they want to do it in the first place. I realized my reason was because I’d like to be with my wife more, not only during sleeping and eating time but rather spending time with her in vacations and many dates. I also crave to see my kids grow and not just pass by like the wind. I heard of a story of an OFW (I too am a son of an OFW father, and I know the pains!) who comes home to the Philippines after 15 years of going to the Middle East to work and find that his daughter is getting married already and will leave their home. It pains me that OFW parents sacrifice to provide for their the very families they love and end up losing them to drugs, alcohol, pregnancy and rebellion. I was once a rebel for my parents because I was literally fatherless.

    But God has been good to us. My father is finally back home and I’ve never loved my parents more than today. Even at my age, I continue to hug and kiss them and take them out on regular dates just to say THANK YOU! Thank you for giving me the REASON WHY I want to be FINANCIALLY FREE! I hope our dear OFWs will also experience Financial Freedom very soon through your help and the help of our mentors (Trace Trajano, Bo Sanchez, Larry Gamboa, Bob Proctor, T Harv Ecker, Robert Kiyosaki).

    Because of these guys and including you, I have already started my quest for financial freedom. I have earned much through stock market trading and I’d like to share my strategies to everyone who’s interested as well.

    May God bless you! The Law of the Harvest is at work in your life.

    Bryan Uy

    • Hi Bryan, wow, thank you for sharing such a great example as to “why” the journey to financial freedom is something worth fighting for, I salute you my friend! I look forward to our meet-up next week!

      • Hi Jay!:)

        Thanks for the invitation. I should be the one to treat you for lunch!:)

        Where do you want us to meet? What’s your available schedule?

        Thanks bro!


  12. I agree to you Kuya Jay, passive income through real estate investing is the right way to go to attain financial freedom. It’s good to note that you explained how we can do this – by going for a rent-to-own scheme and shortening the payment period. And, envisioning it further, we can do more than these, wherein we can make this real estate business grows and receive passive income without us working IN the business but ON the business.

    I’ve been listening the audio book, E-Myth, for the past few days. The way now I think of a business has changed. If we will be creating a real estate business on a bigger entrepreneurial perspective on the way it is explained in the book, we will not only receive passive income from the properties that will be sold but also through the business itself when it multiplies. I know you understand what I mean. 🙂

    • Hi Will, thank you for the comment and for the wonderful insights! I can see that you are really munching down learnings from the book (I am reading… or rather, listening to it for the third time right now!) and I totally agree, applying the E-myth principles adds a new dimension to real estate investing and it will become something so much bigger. Yes, I understand what you mean and I look forward to doing this with you and the rest of the team in RYP! 😉

  13. Great article Jay. It’s an honor to be one of your mentors and I am proud and grateful about your passion and the service you’re providing to our fellow Filipinos. You are a crucial component of my ONE MILLION GODLY MILLIONAIRES MISSION. In 12 months or less, you will be one of my millionaire students (under my coaching).

    One idea to accelerate becoming financially free is to combine wholesaling AND rentals (which is what I do). I buy and sell houses and I buy and keep apartment buildings. Kiyosaki calls this POWER INVESTING.

    Since you’re an engineer like me and you love math (as I do), here’s a simple example how you can accelerate becoming financially free…say in just two years!

    Year 1: focus solely on wholesaling houses
    buy-and-sell 1 house a month at P200K profit/house
    total profit: P2.4 Million

    Year 2: invest P2.4M as 20% downpayment for a 10-door townhouse
    worth P12M; cashflow per unit: P10K/month x 10 doors = P100K per month

    Here’s another comment:
    I don’t like buying and renting single family houses or condos. The reason is if it becomes vacant, it’s 100% vacant and you’re responsible for paying all the expenses specially the mortgage. If 1 of the 10-door apartment becomes vacant, it’s 90% occupied and you will still be in positive cashflow territory.

    A multi-door apartment, bought correctly, if it’s in a good location and you get good long term financing is the way to build wealth the fastest with lower risks than single family houses. Another benefit of multi-door apartment is that because of the cashflow, you can afford to pay a caretaker or professional property manager who will deal with tenants, maintenance and other issues. In contrast, the economics of owning single family houses and condos is that, generally, you cannot afford to hire a property manager. Managing 25 rental houses is a full time job and is NOT at all passive. In fact, I spend a lot less time “managing” my 133-unit apartment complex (the only time I spend is cashing my cashflow check) vs. my rent to own houses. My 133-unit apartment is completely passive while my houses are NOT.

    Makes sense?
    Your mentor,

    • Hi Trace,

      Thanks for sharing your 2-year strategy! It looks like it’s very doable. I’ll recommend this to my team. I hope the other teams will do this, too.

      To our financial freedom!

      Bryan Uy

    • Hi Trace, I was amazed when I saw your comment here, it is a very big honor for me to have my mentor actually visit and comment here, thank you so much! I was looking forward to the excellent insights I often get from visitors through the comments but I never thought I would get a comment from you. I’m speechless. 🙂

      As I have mentioned to my RYP friends and teammates when I sent the link to this post, wholesaling is still a big part in our quest for financial freedom and was supposed to reveal it in the fifth and last part of this series(part 4 has also grown too big at about 1900 words… hehe). The key is combining the two techniques and reap the benefits of their advantages. Quick cash and capital gains from wholesaling to be used to acquire passive income generating assets, and you have have illustrated this best with your example above. Yes, it truly makes sense!

      I also love your point on the economies of scale when it comes to investing in multi-door apartments and how they become even more passive than single family units. I guess all of us here look forward to doing what you are doing in the near future, which should be in less than a year from now. The funny thing is I am beginning to see more apartments that have 10, 20, and even 30+ units in some listings I have recently found. I guess the saying “When you are ready, the mentor will come” also applies to properties… “When you are ready, the multi-door properties will come”.

      Thank you so much Trace for taking time to share this with all of us here and like what I said in your latest blogpost, I am so proud to have you as our mentor and I look forward to your coaching, not just for me but also for the rest of us in RYP, which should in turn also help those around us who also want to learn.

      Thanks again Trace!

      • Hi,

        I’m not here to offend anyone, but I just think Sir Trace overlooked his example on the 10 door apartment. 80% of 12m is 9.6m and if acquired by bank loan at 12% interest will give a monthly amortization of:

        1)  115k+ for 15 years
        2) 98k+  for 30 years

        These I believe will get you stuck in the rat race unless the rent is increased or the downpayment be increased to lower down the amount to be loaned.

        Correct me if I’m wrong, just my two cents.

    • Hi Sha, thanks! As I have mentioned to Red, there is a book coming soon… the funny thing is the content of the book keeps on growing so I might consider making it into a series of books. i might even pattern it after Robert Kiyosaki’s “Conspiracy of the Rich” which he wrote online and interactively, with readers’ inputs through comments, just like this. 🙂

  14. Great article Jay! Thank you for being an inspiration to the many of us who are still in the rat race. You raise a great point in reminding us that your WHY is more important than your HOW. Without enough WHY, you won’t apply the HOW that you know. If you don’t apply what you learn and translate it into massive action, you won’t get results. Without results, there’s no financial freedom.

    The more I read your articles, the more I am convinced that achieving financial freedom can be done…and maybe…I can do it too.

    More power!

    • Hi Allan, thanks and welcome! 🙂

      Yes, knowing how is often wasted without a big enough why. With a big enough why, you still come back to give it one more try until you eventually succeed, even if you have already given up. yes, i have given up at times but bounced right back into the game after a good nights sleep… hehe.

      Yes, I’m sure that financial freedom is a certainty with the right mindset… it is just a question of when. Thanks for visiting!

  15. Hi Jay,

    You are doing a very good job of opening the minds of every individual towards financial freedom!!

    Keep it up!! Continue following Trace’s footsteps and you too will be the next yoda!

    More power to foreclosure philippines!



    • Hi Dianne, thanks! Wow, thank you also for the words of encouragement, I would love to be like our mentor Trace in the future! Good luck on the open house, I pray it gets sold fast! 🙂

      • Sir Jay, perhaps I can contribute something in your book. 🙂

        I’m a writer and lay-out/graphic artist at the same time. If you need a hand just hit me back (even if its for FREE it FINE with me). I just want to learn things the way you do it.

        I’ll be your apprentice 🙂

        I am also a fan co Bo Sanchez – a prolific financial coach too.

        Here is my website/blog:

        More power and God bless!

  16. Good post. It’s amazing how many realtors post complete junk. Some people spend zero time and effort on even the basic stuff like photography. Thanks for this amazing real estate blog.

  17. Another beautiful post you got here. Please keep it coming.

    Just like Rich Dad say “If you want to be Rich, you must be patient”. It takes time to become really rich(years of investing). Kailangan lang talaga ng tyaga. I already have two rental properties, both are being rented already. Pero kahit ganon pa man.. I am still negatively geared with those properties. Based on my computation, it will still take 3 more years for those to gain positive income. Waiting for 3 years and getting experiences in real estate in the process is much much better than being an employee all your life.

    People should rethink the notion of being rich quick. Mas maganda pa rin ang ‘slowly but surely’ ika nga.

    • Hi Gio, thanks! I remember you have one condo in SM Fairview right? And now you already have 2, wow! That’s the way to go! Thank you also for reminding me that escalation of rental rates can also lead to positive cashflow eventually. Yes, the experience you are gaining right now is priceless and the important thing is you are already doing it NOW! Congratulations!

      • Hello Jay, yes that was me. 🙂
        Congratulations din sa iyo for closing the deal on your rent-to-own. I know that is not an easy thing to do. You are an inspiration to us all.

        Keep up the it up. And good luck to us all. 🙂


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