11 Investors You Should Know

11 Investors You Should Know

5 min read
Katie Miller

Katie Miller is the Director of Publishing at BiggerPockets and has been investing in real estate since 2017, alongside her husband, Evan. They primarily focus on buy-and-hold rental properties in Denver and Omaha but hope to do some flips in the near future.

Experience
As a writer and editor for more than eight years, Katie has spent her career working on magazines, books, and blogs in New York City, Minneapolis, and now, Denver. You can read Katie’s work in Reader’s Digest, BiggerPockets Wealth, Southwest Art, and many other publications. Now, as she leads the publishing business at BiggerPockets, Katie’s goal is to connect readers directly with book authors and their expertise in order to help ordinary people achieve financial freedom.

Awards
The BiggerPockets authors and Katie’s publishing team have won numerous prestigious awards, including the Robert Bruss’s NAREE award, the Foreword INDIES award, the Independent Press award, and many others.

Education
Katie received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from The School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and earned a certificate in publishing from the School of Professional Studies at New York University’s Summer Publishing Institute.

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It’s no secret that BiggerPockets is home to a host of amazing investors. The second issue of BiggerPockets Wealth magazine details 11 investors you should know—all of which are motivated, inspired, and ready to make the investment of a lifetime (if they haven’t already)!

See below for a sneak peek of these 11 investors’ stories, and make sure to follow them on BiggerPockets or social media to keep tabs on their surefire success. If you want their in-depth interviews delivered right to your door, subscribe to BiggerPockets Wealth before June 18 to receive the June/July issue. (P.S. It’s only $5 per magazine!)

Sunitha Rao

Indianapolis, IN

  • Website: Griffixpropertygroup.com
  • Instagram: @griffixpropertygroup

After spending two years researching property niches, financing options and strategies, and the best cities to invest in, she bought her first single-family home with a detached carriage house in Indianapolis in 2018. Now, in 2020, Sunitha has seven doors to her name: six long-term rentals and one short-term rental that she acquired and held through a mix of conventional loans, notes, house hacking, and debt partnerships.

“My goal is to be able to have options. I don’t know what my life will look like in five years. If that means finding a job I love, great. If it means staying where I am, that’s awesome, too. I would eventually like to have more time to spend with the people I care about and devote to social causes I’m passionate about. That’s my end goal.”

Kyle and Lauren Clugston

Hamilton Township, NJ

  • Website: Rentalstowealth.com
  • Instagram: @rentalstowealth

The Clugstons say their first house hack was a great way to learn the ropes of real estate investing. In the nearly three years since, Lauren and Kyle have acquired two single-family homes, a duplex, and a triplex—which they also plan to house hack—using a variety of financing methods like conventional 30-year fixed loans and private money.

“We’re like everyone else—we want financial freedom, we want to be able to live our life on our terms, and we don’t want money to have to be a limitation. They say finances cause a lot of stress in people’s lives and relationships, and if that’s something we can make sure is rock-solid moving forward, it’s a no-brainer to take care of it.”

Related: Ashley’s Story: How to Retire by 30 While Traveling the World

Chris Lawrence

Fairport, NY

  • Website: HelpinghomesREI.com
  • Instagram: @Chrisflipsroc

Since 2018, Chris has completed 12 real estate deals, including four wholesales, four flips, and four rentals, which—along with his savings—allowed him to leave his full-time sales job at the beginning of the year. Using private money as his financing vehicle, Lawrence targets first-time homebuyers looking for desirable school districts to purchase his flips—he hopes to complete 12 this year alone—and eventually, he’d like to scale up to a multifamily property.

“The end goal for myself is to have enough passive cash flow coming in to offset my monthly expenses. I really enjoy working, but I want to be able to have that ability to work as much or as little as I want.”

Dmitriy Fomichenko

Anaheim Hills, CA

  • Website: Sensefinancial.com

When Dmitriy started his own business in 2010—Sense Financial, a checkbook IRA and solo 401(k) facilitator that helps its clients use retirement funds for alternative investments—he decided he was ready for a change in his own investment strategy, as well: Fomichenko liquidated his assets, using the money to become a passive investor in notes, syndications, and real estate funds.

“I made some mistakes, but I continued to persevere, and I continued to learn and invest. That was one of the most important decisions I made, and because of all that work and experience, I was able to achieve financial independence at age 45.”

Related: My Journey to Financial Independence: The Story of Property #1 (of 8!)

Jordan Thibodeau

San Jose, CA

  • Website: Svinvestorsclub.com

Jordan acquired his first duplex in Sacramento with a 25% down payment and conventional 30-year mortgage in 2013. He’s since branched out into other investment strategies, including renting out rooms in his own home, partnering with a friend to construct a mother-in-law unit to rent out, and co-founding a syndicate with fellow BiggerPockets contributors that are looking to invest in large-scale multifamily properties in Texas and North Carolina.

“I want to continue the family tradition of donating to charities, such as Well Constructed. So far our investment club has partnered with Well Constructed to build 80 water wells in Africa that have provided clean drinking water to nearly 100,000 people. The cash flow is great and all, but in the end, I’m not interested in buying material things. Real estate investing provides me with security and the ability to help others.”

Lee Ripma

Los Angeles, CA

  • Website: Redhairholdings.com

In addition to holding stabilized BRRRR and value-add multifamilies in Missouri, Lee also works as an agent and the acquisitions manager for a development group in Los Angeles, and recently bought her first vacation rental in Mammoth Lakes, California. Eventually, she hopes to explore the cash-on-cash returns available in the mobile home park space.

“Anytime you do something really hard, it challenges you to grow as a person. Hardship leads to resiliency and self-reliance.”

Megan Greathouse

St. Louis, MO

  • Instagram: @parttimeempire

Using hard money and conventional 30-year fixed loans, Megan has wholesaled and flipped properties in the past, but her “bread and butter” are small multifamily, buy-and-hold buildings—which she eventually hopes to grow to 50 to 100 units across three to five markets.

“This is a mental game. You’re going to make mistakes, you’re going to doubt yourself, but you just need to do it anyway. It can be a rollercoaster, but if you can keep a positive mindset through that, you’ll stay in this long enough for it to be life-changing.”

Russell Brazil

Rockville, MD

  • Website: Russellbrazil.com
  • Instagram: @russelltbrazil

After rapidly acquiring properties in the beginning, Brazil—who’s also a real estate agent—is now on a steady pace of purchasing one to two a year, selling off old assets with equity as he goes, to the tune of 13 single-units currently in his portfolio: three condos and 10 single-family homes.

“The challenges are where we learn the most about how to succeed. Learn how to think four-dimensionally instead of two-dimensionally. I define two-dimensionally as focusing on the here and now, and when we begin to think four-dimensionally about how the asset performs over time, that’s really where the most important lesson is.”

Steve Vaughan

East Wenatchee, WA

  • Website: Suddenseller.com

Steve specializes in buy-and-hold single- and multifamily properties with seven to 10 units, often acquired with creative financing, such as seller financing, lease options, wholesales, and cash buy-and-holds. Working alone with just the help of his wife and two sons, Vaughan has managed to meet his goal of saving $90,000 per year, but more importantly, he’s learned to be content with what he has—a lesson he encourages other investors to embrace.

“No amount of money or deals will satisfy without a ‘why.’ Ask yourself ‘why’ seven times to find it—I want to earn $X per month passively. Why? So I can quit my job. Why? So I have the freedom to … Why? You get the idea.”

Anthony Wick

Ankeny, IA

Anthony Wick refers to himself as an “accidental landlord.” Throughout his 24-year career with the federal government, he was required to relocate a handful of times, and rather than selling the home he was living in, he would rent it out. Today—with the help of two friends-turned-money partners—Anthony and his girlfriend own and manage three duplexes and the single-family home they now reside in, with plans to scale up to four- and eightplexes in the Ankeny area.

“It can be intimidating when you hear about people making $3 million deals, but you can start small. You can start in your 20s; you can start in your 50s. You can buy a duplex house hack when you retire at age 65. There’s no reason to let age or size of the buy limit you.”

For more inspiration, real-life experiences, and data-driven advice, subscribe to BiggerPockets Wealth magazine to get six issues per year, delivered right to your door.

Headshot illustrations by Austin Golownia

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