Let's discuss Success stories, Salaries and Real Estate...

Do you know about a particular success story that you found impressive? How about your own story?
What type of salaries do people in your real estate circle earn? How long have they been at it?
Any beginners in here with stories to share?
The more specific, the better!

I know this one lady that used to be a nurse, she quit and got into rehabbing and just 3 years later she was driving a Benz SL.
I know someone else who got into wholesaling deals out of college and 1.5yrs later is making $100k.

I’m interested (and would be surprised) to see if anyone responds to the financial aspects of the inquiry. I’ve been in RE, however have yet to pursue it as investments. I’m waiting for my divorce to finalize in May and it’s off to the races.

However, during the insane amount of research, reading, networking etc… I’ve done preparing myself, a theme that I’ve discovered, which holds true for myself as well, is that many if not most RE investors are doing it to build wealth, as in their net worth, not make money, per se. There is no “salary” as an incentive, although cash flow is a nice bonus of RE. It’s not a get rich quick scheme, although money can be made quickly, that doesn’t seem to be the MO of most. It’s a path to true wealth, not a Mercedes. One thing I’ve learned in the last 7 years (I’m 37), living in Atlanta through the internet boom and bust, and being of the age to watch my peers start make a little money and have to make big financial decisions for the first time is that what they (and I) drive and have mean nothing. Net worth is everything if you really want to keep score. I just sold my Porsche in Dec. and I promise you, people thought I had a LOT more in my bank account than I do. (Mid-life crisis-got it out of my system) I’m now happy driving a 2003 Ford Explorer and living below my means and the only yardstick I use to measure my success is against myself. What anyone else does or earns is their business.

I’d also be curious to here some stories - I’m a newbie myslef still looking for my first deal.

It’d also be great if some of the more experienced investors could tell a little bit about their background before real estate as well. Was REI a natural progression from what you were doing before, or was it something completely new to you when you started?

Was REI a natural progression from what you were doing before, or was it something completely new to you when you started?

10 years ago I started building backyard storage sheds full time and got plenty of construction experience. 4 years later I decided to work for my step dad full time. He owned 5 apartment complexes and a handful of single familly rentals. I started out painting, and then I learned basic maintenance, then became maintenance supervisor, then my step dad would buy a house, I would do MOST of the work, then we would split the profits. That went well for a few deals until I started thinking about how much more I could make if I bought them myself! I did that for the next few houses, made a little money, then decided that it makes sense to hire a contractor to do MOST of the work. Then my wife wanted a career and life change so she quit her job and now we are partnered up working together. We buy mid range single family houses, hire contractors to do alot of the work while we paint and do smaller things to the house (stuff that we can handle). We are looking to get to the point where we hand over the whole job to our contractor and can turn more houses, but realistically are a year away from doing that at least. There, there’s my progression. :beer

many if not most RE investors are doing it to build wealth, as in their net worth, not make money, per se. There is no "salary" as an incentive, although cash flow is a nice bonus of RE.


For me, the opposite is true. I operate my rental business for the cash flow and consider building wealth as a nice bonus. However, the key point is that you can’t eat equity, but you can eat with cash flow. All the equity in the world, unless turned into cash, is meaningless. Of course, you could sell the properties but then you’d lose about half in taxes and costs. I prefer to hold and live on the cash flow.


driving a mercedes does not necessarily indicate wealth. i know a lot of people driving $60k+ cars, that are essentially living paycheck to paycheck. some of the wealthiest people i know would seem to be middle class if you just looked at the possesions-- modest home, modest car and not a lot of “bling”. look at Warren Buffett, for example-- one of the wealthiest men in the world, but he lives in a very modest house in omaha (last i heard was approx $600k) and drives an american made, nothin’ special sedan.

We have a guy here at work that drives one, too (he works here and owns a pretzel shop at the mall…sorry, I’m not impressed. Did you ever try to get a 4X8 piece of sheetrock in the backseat?

Most of these folks wind up not making it because they spend their wealth before they make it…


I’ve always saw it to be pointless to have a net worth (in equity) of a few million dollars but actual cash flow of like $5-10k. It would make sense to me to liquidate that equity, and reinvest that couple million in a value-adding approach. Otherwise your returns by sitting on the equity consist of: appreciation, debt service paydown, and cash flow for a grand total of MAYBE 20%. There are better places to put a few million dollars if you ask me. I’m too impatient to park money and let it slowly do it’s thing, I prefer to give a little extra push. That’s just me though.

Focusing all your attention on Mercedes and flaunting your money is a bit superficial. There’s nothing wrong with never eating ramen noodles or driving a rusted 1983 Ford Focus again but there are bigger and better things going on in the world. I could buy all kinds of crap I don’t need but I’d have trouble burning money when a BILLION people aren’t going to drink clean water today. I have more respect for a mega lottery winner who shows up to their minimum wage job the next day than someone who moves to Malibu and buys a Bentley to match each one of their outfits.

…and let’s not forget, “Ginger” from Trademark Proeprties drives a Benz…Impressed?


She’s worth a 30 cent bullet and nothing more… Oh yeah, and the 10 cent tax/ bullet Cook County, IL is implementing. She must learn her job advancement skills from Monica Lewinsky…

I know too many people who have used this technique, and many quite successfully, I might add.

One day I pulled into a gas station, right next to a beautiful new silver Ferrari. A younger middle-aged guy, well dressed…40-45 or so…came out of the gas station and was getting ready to get into his car, as I was walking around the front of my trucked. I stopped and said “hey, if you don’t mind me asking, what line of work are you in”…and he responded “real estate”. That said enough for me right there.

Lucky for her boss she doesn’t look like Monica Lewinsky…

I’m more in the slow and steady approach. I got into REI thru a partnership with a couple of buddies 9 years ago and then went out on my own 7 yrs ago buying rough-around the edges duplexes, houses, fix-them up onthe weekends (I’ve a full-time job that pays very well) and renting out. Due to the big run up in values, I have done a number of 1031 exchanges and in some cases now have 2nd generation 1031 properties. While I have properties that cash flow, I only use that money to fianance other REI projects, etc or pay down debt service (I have a large HELOC I use for some REI projects). On flips, I usually take some of my profits and put in my son’s 529 acct and make some nice donations to charity.

For me, it all about building future income and equity. I’m a big fan of 1031s becuase I’m already in a high tax bracket so short term gains are not as interesting to me. Even on long-term gains, it makes a big difference. On a 1031 I did last year, I ended up being able to buy an “extra” 4 unit apartment building with a 20% downpayment that I would have otherwise had to send that money to powerful money consuming force in the universe (the US gov’t)

Apparently, you never saw Monica in person and in her prime!


I looked up some pics before she got nasty, not too bad…I guess you’re right.


I’m using my google-fu and her best pictures get about a 5.00 on my rating scale (patent pending). I suppose Mr. Clinton couldn’t see her when she’s under his desk though.

Rich and Keith,

PM Inbound! I found a picture of her immediately after the events in question…

Hell no:


Not too bad:


If I was Clinton, this would be part of her uniform… :anon

The second picture isn’t too bad but it looks a little airbrushed and doesn’t show her disgusting body. Either way, she knows how to get the “job” done and that’s all that matters at the end of the day.

Edit: I apologize for propagating the brief hijack.

While on your job at the White House did you snap any pics of her?