Need Help from TedJr

Attended UT Austin 26 years ago, hoping my kids would attend a different school. I was wrong. My first child started her first semester yesterday. She leased an apartment for 1-year. My other two kids also want to attend the UT Austin.

My wife and I think we should purchase a duplex in Austin instead of paying rent. Since Tedjr is from Austin and he has been giving excellent advices to several new comers, perhaps he would suggest some initial or essential steps for a new comer. Any help would be appreciated. Thanx!

Thanx for reply, Swirlaze

We are planning to pitchin the current rent that we are paying for our daughter’s apartment as a part of mortgage. If we break even (i.e., to get our investment back with 0% rate of return) when we sell the duplex (Nine years from now, because two kinds want to finish law school at UT), we will be happy.

A good tenant (which is hard to find) would pay part of mortgage, perhaps this would reduce our portion of the mortgage.

Net positive would be desirable, but it is currently not required in our analysis.
Again guide us through the initial steps. Should we go through the local realtors for investment properties or look into local newspaper?

Howdy JimmyJoe:

There is a lot of activity around campus and prices are high there too. The playing fiels is expanding East of the freeway and even past airport blvd. I believe anything you buy today will appreciate in value. There are thousands of condo within walking distance of UT but not many duplexes. You may want to go further from campus for more affordability. Perhaps a large house to share with roommates would work too. There are just too many options and price ranges and variables to be specific. I would try all sources and not limit to just the MLS or paper.

Hope this helps some.

Thanx! - TedJr

Plan is to look in or around North Austin close to 290 or pfulgerville.
What all sources other than MLS or paper?

Howdy JimmieJoe:

There are several sources. I have birddogs bring me deals from time to time that never make the MLS or paper. Also there are two foreclosure listing services here in Travis County that list the mortgage company preforeclosures. There is the tax office that sales tax delinquite properties each month. You can get lists on line.

You can generate your own leads by putting up bandit sirns and ads in the paper that you buy houses. I have seen several companies including Tim’s Quick that generate leads for investors.

I am sure there are more ways but that is all my thoughts for now. Please add to the list. This is all good stuff for new and old investors alike.


I’ve been interested in REI for several months now. I have been using the time to come up to speed on the topic, but still need a long way to go. I live in Round Rock, TX, and would like to get started birddogging for a local REI such as yourself in order to become more familiar with the industry, or someone closer to where I live. Do you know what would be the best way to get hold of a local REI for this purpose?

Also, a person on another site mentioned that Robert Kiyosaki’s CASHFLOW 101 and 202 games are excellent tools to become better acquainted with RE terminology/issues. Do you have any comments on these games, and/or do you know of other tools that can help?

Many thanks!


Howdy Steve:

That sound like a good way to learn the terms. The best way to learn is to buy a house and fix it up and sell it. Sometimes we put too much into learning all the terms and get bogged down. I never learned to type and could type a lot faster if I had training years ago. It may not be too late for an old dog But I do not know how to begin.

I learned all I know by watching someone do it. I can do carpentry, plumbing, electrical, wallpaper, tape and float, ceramic tile, and loads of other trades and a little real estate.

I reccommed a mentor or partnering with another investor who knows their stuff and learn by doing. I have seen guys with a 5th grade edumacation worth millions and could not even sign their names except with an x. This was years ago but I bet he may still be around. Some education is great and but too much is absurd. Do not spend $5 grand going to a silly seminar to learn the ropes. I know Stacey has a web site that offers his opinion on books etc to read and courses to take.

Hi Steve:
Ted gave you some excellent advice! You dont want to be one of those seminar junkies! Get out there and start bird-dogging for an investor in your area. Establish some relationships with other seasoned investors. You can pick their brain, watch their rehabs and learn from them.

Just remember, when you do your first deal to consider the following five factors:

-Purchase price
-Acquisition Cost
-Rehab Cost
-Carrying Cost x 6 mos
-Sales Cost

Best Riches,
Jeff Adam

Thanks Ted and Jeff.

When it comes to REI, many people have a fear of losing money. For me, the fear is lack of RE fundamentals. I understand general REI terminology, but fear saying the wrong thing to a motivated seller, or worse, DOING the wrong thing. I realize it may take time and experience before I feel comfortable with REI, but my perseverence and eagerness to learn will help me get through the beginning. I’ve sent a private e-mail to Tim Randle (who lives only a few miles away from me, coincidentally), and others, but haven’t forged an alliance with any REI’s at the moment. Finding a REI whom I can work with seems to be my biggest obstacle at the moment. If I could find a reputable REI locally that I could help do rehabs and/or birddog for, it would definately set me on the right path. My father-in-law is a retired tile setter and knows a lot of people in the construction business, whom I may be able to get to help as well.

As far as the seminars, tapes, books, etc., I’ve only purchased one thus far (Retire Young, Retire Rich by Kiyosaki). Most of these items are to get you motivated and offer little (if any) in the way of concrete ‘step 1, step 2, how-to advice’, IMO, but I haven’t purchased enough to really know for sure.

At the moment, I am researching properties to get a ‘feeling’ for the business. I scout MLS listings, guage them with property assessments (not an honest guage, I know), and actually take a look at the property and surrounding area to see if it could be a good buy. One of these days real soon, I will probably even chat with the owner to break the ice.

Again, thank you both.

BTW, do either of you know a REI or two in Williamson County, TX (Round Rock, specifically), who may be able to mentor me for a short term?


I know exactly what you mean when you describe books usually motivate instead of educate. I have spent hours in bookstores trying to find a good instructional text on real estate investing. I have found one that is great and is really educating me on how to do the things required to successfully invest. It is called “The ABC’s of Real Estate Investing” by Ken McElroy. It is also a part of the Rich Dad series.

The strange thing is, it is also the most motivating book I have read simply because I actually KNOW what to do now. The book details goal setting and why it is important (and NOT from a motivation standpoint, but from a lead-generating standpoint). It goes into depth about what team members you need and why, and how to approach and find those teammates. It talks about how to find properties, how to analyze those properties to determine if they are worth pursuing, how to negotiate with the seller using NUMBERS and NOT list price. Finally, and I think this is the most important part of the book, it describes how to formulate a plan to improve the cash flow of the property and insists you make this plan before purchase.

You should be aware, however, that the book focuses on the benefits and acquisition of multi-unit property - it is not a rehab or birddog book. It is about the I-quadrant, not the S-quadrant. If you are familiar with Robert Kiyosaki’s water-bucket story, it is about building pipelines, not carrying buckets.


Thanks for the information. As you point out, it looks like one of those ‘how-to’ books instead of ‘why-to’. Once a person has their goal(s) determined, the next step is to execute the steps in order to provide for enough passive income. Many books fall short on the actual steps and how to execute them. I’ll definately check this book out. Thanks again for the write-up.