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BP Podcast 084: Getting Started with Creative Finance and Designing Your Ideal Lifestyle With Chad Carson

by Brandon Turner on August 21, 2014 · 37 comments

Creative Finance and Designing Your Ideal Lifestyle Through Real Estate

Today on the BiggerPockets Podcast we sit with Chad Carson, a full time real estate investor from Clemson, South Carolina. Chad brings expertise in a TON of areas including everything from fix-and-flips to creative finance, property management to buy-and-hold.

This show explores how to use real estate as a means to design the lifestyle you really want.

There are a ton of tips and tricks in this one, so dive in!

Listen to The Show on iTunes

Click here to listen on iTunes.

Listen to the Podcast Here

In This Show We Cover…


  • How to get started straight out of college
  • The benefit of having a few key buyers vs. a buyers list
  • The key is sincerity, hunger and enthusiasm  
  • Getting your real estate license as an investor
  • How to prepare yourself for future-changing markets
  • The key to networking with financial partners
  • Direct mail tips and strategies
  • Lifestyle design through real estate
  • The importance of the “why” behind your business
  • 50/50 partnerships
  • Property managing your own portfolio
  • Creative finance strategies
  • Self-Directed IRA’s
  • Using court records to look up potential tenants
  • An awesome example of an elevator pitch
  • The importance of protecting your lenders
  • And a whole lot more!

Links Mentioned in The Show:

Books Mentioned in the Show:

Tweetable Topics:

“Sometimes growing big brings a price you might not need to pay for the lifestyle you want…” (Tweet This!)

“The minute you break people’s trust is the moment you lose everything!” (Tweet This!)

Connect with Chad’s:

Email *

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Trae Borden August 21, 2014 at 10:14 am

Hey @Chad Carson,

Great podcast and Go Tigers!

I’m a Clemson graduate myself. I really enjoyed the podcast, your personal journey of how you got to where you are now, and all the great tips and tricks to investing.

Keep up the good work,



Chad Carson August 21, 2014 at 8:51 pm

Go Tigers, Trae;)

Best of luck to you. See you around BP!


Rick B August 21, 2014 at 2:48 pm

I also enjoyed the podcast. Lots of great advice …

– Getting to Yes is a must read. Glad you mentioned it. This book has made me tons of money and lots of goodwill over the years.

– Also loved your emphasis on integrity. Residential real estate can lead people into a trap of maximizing a deal vs. doing the right thing with a long-term focus. Goes for many stakeholders in the deal, right? Private lenders, contractors, etc.

Go Dawgs!


Chad Carson August 21, 2014 at 8:55 pm

Wow, we have Dawgs and a Tigers on here. It is getting rowdy;)

Glad you seconded book Getting to Yes. Short little book packed with awesome advice.

Thanks for comment, Rick.


george p. August 23, 2014 at 12:47 pm

go gators from michigan! just for good measure!

good podcast.


Dennis Kolsch August 21, 2014 at 6:46 pm

Definitely one of my favorite BP podcasts yet. Chad had a ton of insightful and fresh ideas, along with great book recommendations. Looking forward to hearing him again in the future.

Well done all around!


Chad Carson September 2, 2014 at 10:02 pm

Hope to be on again. Thanks Dennis. I am also writing some BP blog articles so be on the look out there, too. Thanks for the feedback.


Mjai August 21, 2014 at 8:24 pm


Your Pitch was Great! I am glad you mentioned relationship building happens over time & not over night. Thanks for sharing!


Chad Carson August 21, 2014 at 8:56 pm

Thanks Mjai!


Jeff Heflin August 22, 2014 at 6:45 pm

Chad, I truly enjoyed this podcast. It wasn’t just about “doing deals” and making as much money as possible, but it was obvious that you have thought deeply and strategically about your business. I’m a newbie, and your comments really made me think and helped me solidify some of my own goals. I appreciate your sharing with all of us.


chad carson September 2, 2014 at 9:30 pm

Hey Jeff, that is the biggest compliment you can give me. Thank you. I am glad our conversation made you think and helped you with your own goals. That is what it’s all about. Best of luck to you! Hope we can stay in touch on BP.


Ron Perich August 23, 2014 at 6:34 am

This was a great podcast for a couple of reasons.

First, it coincided with my first reading of The E Myth Revisited. In there, Gerber talks about the “Primary Aim” of the person thinking about their business. Chad, I liked how you revisited where the business was heading and reminded yourself about the “Primary Aim” in your own lives. It wasn’t to be driving around in that big truck… Loved it.

Second, the business model Chad created is similar to my own business plan of immediate cash through buy and sell (either wholesale or flipped) and investing a portion of the proceeds into cash flow properties. I appreciated hearing how you were doing this to build long-term wealth in addition to satisfying your current needs.


chad carson September 2, 2014 at 9:36 pm

Ron, I love the E-myth. I am glad you brought that up. It was a big influence early in my business and during the “rethink” phase where we changed directions.

Yeah, I love the commentary nature of flipping for chunks of cash and reinvesting into income properties. Awesome you are doing something similar.

A cool variation is to do short term holds instead of flips. Then when you sell you can do a 1031 into an income property or just pay long term capital gains (usually a lower rate) and invest the proceeds. I have found the profit margins to be higher, but you have to get more financing to hold a little longer.


Michele Fischer August 23, 2014 at 9:43 am

Chad, loved the podcast! Enjoyed hearing your creative financing tactics and really loved the slow down part. Voluntary simplicity is so counter cultural and takes a lot of intentional work, but has huge benefits. Thanks for sharing!


chad carson September 2, 2014 at 9:43 pm

Thanks Michele. Ah, yes. Voluntary simplicty. Talk about an uphill battle! Definitely something I am working on, yet stuff and more, more, more keeps creeping in.

Particularly with real estate deals, I have found that simpler and slower accomplishes goals just fine (or better.)

By the way, loved your podcast too, Michele!


Ronnie Boyd August 23, 2014 at 3:28 pm

Awesome show packed with great info #46 AKA Chad Carson

I’m down in Columbia SC, maybe our paths will cross on a deal at some point??

Thanks Chad!


Jessica August 23, 2014 at 8:09 pm

great show! Curious to know if as a realtor you have ever run into obstacles in doing direct mail for flips? I know realtors have things they can and can’t do when it comes to marketing to people for deals, correct? Just curious how that all works out…..


Chad Carson September 2, 2014 at 9:50 pm

Thanks Jessica. I have not been held back at all with my license. I disclose my license status on all direct mail and on contracts. Hasn’t hurt me. It also helps that I don’t actively list deals or represent buyers, so there is no conflict of interest. It is a clear role when I talk to sellers: I want to buy your house, not list it. I do happen to have my license, but I am acting on my own behalf.


Chad Carson September 2, 2014 at 10:04 pm

You found my old football number. Ha, ha. Yes, certainly hope we cross paths. Thanks. What kind of deals are you looking for?


Gloria D. Wilson August 23, 2014 at 8:51 pm

I just listened to podcast #84. I got a great deal of information about relationship building and ethics from Chad Carson’s commentary. Just wanted to thank you for expanding my understanding of my role in interacting with financial backers. This was a great podcast. Thanks guys. Well done – don’t know if my commentary added any value to you or the other listeners, but you have certainly added value to me. John Schaub’s book is one I plan to read ASAP.
@ Brandon that it was great meeting you at the NYC Bigger Pockets Meet Up on August 19th, and seeing that you are as great in person as you sounded online. Thanks again!


Brandon Turner August 23, 2014 at 11:46 pm

Thanks so much Gloria! Great meeting you also – Thanks for taking the time to come out!


Chad Carson September 2, 2014 at 9:52 pm

Hey Gloria, thank you for the compliments. I hope you can use some of what you picked up. John’s book is excellent. I think you will enjoy it.


kevin August 24, 2014 at 12:17 pm

Great Podcast, The title didn’t give it justice. Had a little bit of everything packed into this one. Very important to protect the investors, Your rep is so important in this business. I have yet to let an investor lose money on a deal and its nice to be able to still say that. Issues have come up, one investor didn’t make anything “but didn’t lose either”, he wasn’t real happy and thats understandable. It happens, but at least it didn’t go negative. I have on the other hand have an investor get upset for only making 6%. That was frustrating, not to mention it was done in 3 months so actual returns were much higher around 25 – 30 with the points. I thought I had explained everything well enough. Everything was written down and he still was upset. Problem was he wasn’t a true investor and when I told him average returns were 15-25% he figured per deal not annualized. (No seasoned investor would be upset here). Im sure he will come around as he continues to learn.


Chad Carson September 2, 2014 at 9:58 pm

Hey Kevin, good points. It is impossible to make everyone happy all the time. I have learned that too. You pointed out something important about expectations. Your guy who was not happy “expected” to make a lot more, therefore he was disappointed at 6% + points. Keeping expectations realistic and pointing out the other benefits of what you do (safety, passive nature of deal, repeat business, etc) are important. I

had an investor who used to like 10% all the time, but I couldn’t keep him consistently invested at that rate. So we switched to a lower number and got him more consistent. His expectation changed as I showed him the downside of a higher rate.


joe August 25, 2014 at 6:26 pm

Wow. Really great podcast and a straight up awesome investor/person in Chad Carson.

I was so impressed with how Chad approached the business with integrity, loyalty, and humility.

I hope to work with people like Chad in the future and more importantly BE LIKE CHAD!

Brandon/Josh you guys are doing a great job finding these FANTASTIC investors. Absolutely love the podcast.


Chad Carson September 2, 2014 at 9:59 pm

Wow, big compliment Joe. Much appreciated.


Tom & Roni Keith August 26, 2014 at 5:31 pm

Thanks for a wonderful podcast! Chad you sound like a brother and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing and learning about your journey. I came away with some new ideas, some very good truths and a desire to serve. Thank You again, I will revisit this one just to make sure we got it all. Tom and Roni.


Chad Carson September 2, 2014 at 10:05 pm

Awesome Tom and Roni! Thanks. I hope to easy in touch on BP.


Cory Binsfield August 28, 2014 at 11:09 am

Great job Chad. Your flipping spree up to 50 homes or so in one year sounded exhausting. It’s refreshing to hear about the down side of flipping and how it may get in the way of your life goals.


Chad Carson September 2, 2014 at 10:09 pm

Yes, Cory. We are still recovering from some of the bad deals of that spree. I had to deal with one today. They are kind of like that bubble gum that sticks to your shoe. You can’t even pry it off with a stick! Just follows me around for years:) but the lessons learned have made all the subsequent deals better and better.


Robert Horton September 4, 2014 at 8:16 am

Great podcast!……I just signed up for Bigger Pockets so thanks for directing me here.
I’m most impressed that you get 90% of your funding from private money. These investors and hard to find especially since the Dow was up 30% last year. I agree that you ALWAYS take care of your investor before you pay yourself. I’m still flipping but haven’t purchased a rental for myself. Hopefully, I’ll get into that soon. I always learn something from you…..keep up the good work and GO TIGERS!


Doris September 4, 2014 at 12:23 pm

Chad….thanks for your willingness to share your experiences with a newbie like me .I gained a lot of insight and information that will help me to be successful in real estates.
What custodians would you recommend to do a self funded IRA in the Carolinas???


Penny Myers September 30, 2014 at 4:58 am

Hi Doris,
I’m investing in SE North Carolina and use American IRA out of Asheville. You can use any IRA administrator in any state, but I like that American is nearby and it’s not uncommon to see them at local REIA meetings, etc. They get to know you and your investment approach and needs.


Steve September 4, 2014 at 4:57 pm

Great show! Always learn something new from you when reading articles or listening to you! Thanks for sharing your experience and knowledge!


Harvey September 4, 2014 at 6:54 pm

Hey Chad … This was an excellent and fun podcast. You provided a lot on great real estate advice and insights. I also got a lot of great value from the creative financing course you taught last year.

Wish you continued success with your real estate investing.

P.S. I also enjoyed reading Covey’s Seven Habits book.


Penny Myers September 5, 2014 at 5:00 am

Hey Chad! As always you were way modest about your successes. You know I’ve been a fan for a long time and attribute my successes as a long term hold investor to you (with some help from studying John Schaub, too!) I really enjoyed this podcast and have a new book to add to my reading list – I haven’t read Getting to Yes yet but now I will. Great to see you here on BP – the REI world needed a place for your prolific and useful writing and insights. Could we block it from reaching my investment area, though? ; )


Robbin October 19, 2014 at 11:15 pm

I enjoyed listening to Chad while I was driving on LA Freeways today. It gave me lots of ideas and new approaches to financing. Thank you Chad for being a real estate professional with integrity. That was refreshing and nice. You’re a good role model. I’ll be in Charleston in November. Planning to “walk some neighborhoods” while I’m there. Thanks again.


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