any investors wanna toot their own horn?

hi…i’m just curious as to how some of you guys got started in this business. i would be interested to hear about what you did before you got into investing, what motivated you to make the move, and how you like it now that you are in. Do you do this part-time along w/ another job or full-time? are you doing well as far a money goes? (not asking for specific numbers)

as far as my situation goes i’m a 24 year old delivery driver. i hate my job and i’ve been working jobs i hate since high school. i think rei is the perfect solution for me. my ultimate goal is to acquire enough rental properties so that i won’t be forced to work these dead end jobs anymore.

i hope to hear from some of you guys.

I love tooting my own horn ::). I started working for my step dad 6 years ago. I started out as a maintenance man at a few of his apartment complexes, worked up to maintenance supervisor over 5-6 guys, and then got into management. I helped manage 2 complexes (306) units, a few single family homes, and basically did all kinds of things I never thought I would be doing.

On the side though my step dad would buy a house, I would go in and do all of the rehab, and we would split the profit. I made $3-8K a house, plus a full time salary.

About a year ago I decided that the real money was in starting my own business. The first two houses I did all the work myself (taking WAAAAAAAY TOO LONG). Now I have a GC to do most of the general stuff, and specialists to do the roof, flooring, etc. It will cost me a bit more per deal but I can have two or three going on at the same time.

I probably stand to make $50,000 - $60,000 this year, flip about 5-6 deals. I look to grow each year to who knows what…

My advice to the NEWBIES… this is not a sprint but a marathon. Every third person that asks me what I do says, “Wow! I am a real estate investor too!!!”. Yeah right. This game is not easy. It is not get rich quick. It requires education, patience, and the willingness to do whatever it takes!!! I have found myself getting caught up in what I think I should be doing, which gets into my image, ego, and expectations of what I SHOULD be. At this point, I still mow my own yards because that is where I am. In a few years I will hire someone to do it. Until then…

That’s my two cents… :beer:

thanks for the post…that’s exactly the kind of things i want to hear…thanks again

Good post and good topic!! Lets keep it going, there has to be some more stories out there???

I have a full time job, non-related to RE. My desire comes from wanting to get out of the rat race and work for myself. I own a multi-family rental property and am actively looking for a rehab to finance more rehabs and to invest in more rentals. I have been a landlord for over a year now and wow has it been a learning experience.

I was very close to becoming a part owner in a $1M hotel operation that fell through due to bad bookkeeping on there part. Hence the only reason I havent gotten into a rehab yet. I hope to have my first done this summer. Hopefully I will have a better story to tell then.

DREAM: become financially independent - more passive income than living expenses.


Well lets see.

I’ve been doing Real Estate for about 2 years Full Time(Never tried part time, just went straight for it) and so far it’s been wonderful.

My first house we moved into for $95,000 spent about $3k on repairs, mostly the AC and some sheetrock, and 6 months later(Since we lived there) Sold it for $165,000 with $12k going to a hard money lender I pocketed $53,000 and because that year I lost my job and thats why I sold that house I didn’t have to pay any taxes, hurray!

My second house we purchased with the same hard money lender, and unfortunately I didn’t have anyone else to work with so she gouged me $25,000 on the sell. I purchased for $95,000 spent $10k in repair and sold for $165,000…minus expenses and the hard money lender, along with helping the seller get into the house I pocketed around $15,000.

My third and current house we purchased for $57,000(Paid Cash) we’ll have right around $4k into it and it should easily sell for $100k with a profit of $39k.

We have had many other houses come up with good profit but I’ve limited myself to 1-2 at a time just so that I don’t get in over my head.

Biggest Mistake, Not watching hired hands and trusting their word.

Biggest Accomplishment, Moving into our new house with no money down and no mortgage, and still having no debt because of REI.


I am 31 and a farmer/rancher. I work a lot. 60 hour week in slow season, up to 80-100 hour week during peak seasons. I love what I do, or I wouldn’t do it. I have degrees in computer science and agriculture. I started investing because I went to a wheat marketing seminar and was told by a speaker that I really liked that the Rich Dad, Poor Dad book had been worth millions to him. So I read it and now instead of looking to expand more in my field of agriculture ( I already have plenty of work to love to do ) I am looking to expand into areas that don’t require more work. The returns are also better in most of what I have done so far.

I don’t consider myself a real estate investor yet. I am a rancher. But I live well below my means and therefore have leftover that needs to have something done with it. I live in the country but have contacts to people in real estate and recently I put some money in a development. Projections are 3-4X my money in 3-5 yrs. We’ll see, looking alright so far, but interest rates are rising… I also invested money in a 200 unit apartment that was built and is just now getting filled to runnng capacity. Projections are 10% cash on cash and 4% appreciation at 80 % leveraged, so about 10% cash and 20% return leveraged appreciation. Again time will tell, but looking good right now.

Am I doing well? Zig Ziglar would say “better than good”. I don’t live any big lifestyle, and will never care to. I get to do something every day that I love, and I am learning new things about REI every day and the projections for the future look pretty good. I have huge goals and can see a way to get there, and that gets me out of bed every morning ready to go again.

One piece of advice. Learn to love your work and be great at it. It doesn’t matter what it is. Do well enough and live tight enough to have extra and build from there into your investing. It looks like a long road, but you get there faster than you think and it is much more secure and likely to make it. Look at your work as the source of your future investment empire.

Best of Luck,



What part of the country are you in?

What type of areas do you buy in?

What works for you in finding a rehab?

I bought my current house for 85k and the house next door just sold for 135k. I probably have to put 10k into mine but I think I can get 120k or so out of my place. I want to use this as a spring board to dive into rehabbing. I would love to quit my job and go full time. Congrats on that to you! How much do you pay yourself for a rehab versus how much you re-invest?



I live in east texas, and usually buy in almost any area. I try to stick above $50,000 on houses, as lower end ones are usually in pretty bad areas.

I am subscribed to a Foreclosure Site, and remarkably it actually works pretty dang good. I watch what pops up, look up the property in the County Appraisal Website, then do a drive by.

Luckily in the town I live in there are almost no investors so I usually have my free time with property’s without having to worry about them too much. The first house I had which I made $50k+ on was on the market for 6 months, and I got the bank to Pay all closing costs and re-hose all the gas lines in the house for free.

As to how much I pay myself? Very Little. Right now I’m just trying to build up my cash position and so I take about $15k for bills a year and probably only spend less then $10k on others including fun. At this rate I’m hoping I can get $300k cash within 4 years and from that point I plan on buying 6 Rentals in cash and start buying more property’s buy just living on the rents. ($50,000 here is actually pretty decent)

Good luck on your investing, and just remember a couple thing. Never Rush Anything as something will always come up later, and EVERYTHING is Negotiable, even with banks.

Oh, and if you can try to find a mentor. I help a few people over the telephone for free every week or so, and I can tell they need it. This helps alot.



I am a budding REI. Don’t call myself one yet either, but soon I hope. What foreclosure site do you subsctibe to? I have tries a couple and their numbers are not true. I live in central Florida and looking to move into doing pre-forclosure deals and buying/renting SFH. Other issue I have is finding sourcing for rehab funds. My FICO is good enough for the purchase but trying to figure out rehab money. I have a few properties I am looking into but holding off until this isse resolved. You said you do some mentoring a little? What would it take to get your guidance sometime? I can call you since I use VOIP and LD is free.

Thanks so much for your inout. All ideas and suggestions are greatly appreciated and accepted.


We started becoming REI by investing in property walking distance to the University of Florida. It’s a great rental market here although the housing is very expensive. Some of the houses we bought 3 years ago have already doubled in value. Renting has been pretty easy as Gainesville is steadily growing. What concerns me is the amount of Condo Conversions taking place. Many of the gainesville apartments have already converted to condos. I almost want to sell mine just because I feel the saturation point has got to be coming…but I must admit I’m glad I bought a few years ago. Hopefully if you start investing now you will say the same thing a 3 years from now


You’re doing the right thing by gathering some info. As you start speaking to investors, the ones who consider themselves succesful (and everybody has their own measure) you find that most if not all of them wish they would have started sooner! At 22 you are probably getting in ahead of most of us.

My own story is that I am investing full-time, mostly rehabs with the infrequent wholesale deal/foreclosure flip. All SFR though I might step up to Multi in the next year ( and probably wish I had done it sooner).

I did what everybody else wanted me to do for years, went to school (Law and Business) and worked in the Business world for 15 years. Was it good education, sure! Did I “need” it for what I’m doing now, nope! You’ll get more education doing your first deal than i had before I did mine.

As stated in another post, it ain’t get rich quick or easy so don’t believe anyone who has their picture taken in front of a Ferrari or on a Yacht that you’re gonna do the same thing overnight. Heck, I’d rather take the Ferrari money and spend it on another two deals because I really enjoy doing this.

Good Luck

hey dkaras1…thanks for the reply

Here is my thing… I know that this is something that I want to do and that I would love it. My problem is getting started. I’m honestly afraid just because I have no previous experience. My goal is to buy rental properties, probably starting out w/ mh’s solely because it will be cheaper to get started. I’ve found a few houses on that seem to be really cheap. The three I speak of range from $10,000 to $25,900. The best I would be able to offer is 10-15% down and low monthly payments. All three will need a bit of work so the seller’s could be motivated to get rid of them. I’m afraid to even make the offer that I just told you because I don’t know if that’s even acceptable or not…I don’t want to look stupid. The work to be done wouldn’t be a problem…I could do the painting, I know a floor guy, a sheetrock guy, a molding guy, a cabinet guy, and a pest guy. I am sure I could get pretty good deals on any of that work. Did you have any fears before you got started in this business? If so, how did you overcome them? I think if I could just get one deal done it wouldn’t be a problem anymore.


Good for you if you know you will love it! That’s a major goal in life isn’t it?

I don’t know much about Mobile Homes (other than that they are usually cheap, easy to rent and hard to sell). I do know something about making offers though and here’s the most important thing I know; I’ve never had anyone accept an offer I never made. Sometimes I have had people accept offers I thought would be rejected outright. One example, I made an offer on a property for $80k below market value citing the terrible condition and upgrades that would be needed. The owner knew it and accepted, subject to inspection. I did the inspection and asked for another $60K off the purchase. Accepted. Invested $55K upgrading everything that needed rehabbing (lino to wood on the floors, laminate to granite in the Kitchen; stuff I had to repair anyway) Sold for $100 K above the previous market value in three months. Winnah, Winnah chicken dinner! They are not all that way, but if you don’t ask you don’t get.

Most people’s biggest fear in life (right after death and public speaking) is looking stupid so you’re in good company. That’s why people buy the newest, coolest, hippest gizmo, never talk to the woman of their dreams and generally don’t take a risk on anything that might put them in a foolish position. No Risk, No Reward, or as my Mother used to say, “If you don’t eat your vegetables you don;t get dessert.”

When you make your offer, make it weird! $14233.24; that’ll make you look like you know something the seller doesn’t. Don’tever split the difference and don’t come up in even hundreds or thousands as the case may be. Come up $723 rather than $1000 fer instance. Makes you look smarter still.

You are going to make mistakes. Everybody does. Most admit it. Some laugh about it. Shrug it off, learn from it and move on. Don’t let the fear of making a mistake keep you from acting. Inaction is the biggest mistake of all. (That’s not to say you shouldn’t walk away from a BAD deal, just do your homework and make a decision).

Was I scared at first? Not really, because I actually started with my own homes, ones I lived in when I was single and could afford to move every two years. i’d move in, fix up, sell, repeat. I got scared by my first deal that wasn’t my own home for sure. What were my fears (aside form looking stupid?) Taking too long, going over budget, nobody wants to work for me. running out of tile half way through the Master Bath and then finding out the tile you are using is discontinued, choosing a paint color nobody will like, nobody will want my house when I am done, the list goes on and on and on if you let it. How did I overcome my fears? Working quickly, watching the budget like a hawk, picking popular colors for a particular neighborhood , you get the idea.

You are right though that once you get one under your belt (even before you are through with it) your confidence will soar.


Thanks alot…you are a lot of help