Stance: Wait and see
Jaz Wray just refuses to change his peripatetic ways. He rarely has lived in any one place more than a year and his travels have taken him to dozens of way stations from Oregon to Brazil.
Along the way, he bought some properties and has held onto them. When we talked to him in September 2005, he owned four properties in Dallas, Southern California and the Phoenix area.
Since then, his real estate gains have come strictly from appreciation. Busy with finishing up business school at Thunderbird in Phoenix and pursuing his career - he's taking an assignment with American Express in Sydney, Australia - he hasn't pursued any purchases lately.
But his investments have paid off. He figures that the value of his holdings has increased to about $600,000 today, up from $474,000 in the past year and a half. His cash flow has been positive all that time.
Best of all, tenant issues have been manageable.
"My life as a landlord has been relatively pain-free," he says. "Although in the Buena Park property, an ex-boyfriend showed up and threatened the tenant with a shotgun. There was a police helicopter overhead and the gunman took out a front window but no one got hurt. Otherwise it's been uneventful."
With the move to Australia, he doesn't expect to buy anything new for perhaps a year or more. After that, he'll probably keep an eye out for a bargain - wherever he's living at the time.