No Money Down Investing IS Possible: A Message to Naysayers & Skeptics

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BiggerPockets is the ultimate anti-guru platform: we hate gurus, and we don’t miss an opportunity to bash them. Even I get it sometimes, and I am only a mini-guru, according to Josh.

What is a guru? Who is a guru? There are lots of opinions, but no one quite knows – perhaps Josh does, but this is a closely guarded trade secret that we’ll never fully know the answer to. The basic premise, however, is simple: deliver more value than you take, and you are not a guru; take more than you give, or promise more than you can or will deliver, and you are a guru – not hard, and who could argue?

I guess the reason I am only a “mini-guru” and most people here accept me (besides the fact that I am so damn good-looking) is because I am out there practicing what I preach, and I take contribution to this community seriously to the point of willingness to stick my neck out, saying things that others might think, but do not say.

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Do I Overdo it?

I spent a few days last week in Arizona with a good friend of mine, Serge Shukhat, of BiggerPockets Podcast 60 fame. I was there because Brian Burke, of Podcast 3 and 76, Serge, and I were looking at an apartment community for syndication. Serge is a rather smart guy, and he happens to live in Arizona, and Brian — well, as you know from those podcasts, Burke is not much good for anything when it comes to business and real estate — enough said. 🙂

I’ll write about this in more detail at some other time, as it is off topic for now. What’s on-point for this article, however, is for me to tell you that Serge is a straight shooter, which is why I listen carefully when he talks, and he said that I might think about cooling it on the blog; that I can be too edgy and too outwardly opinionated, in a judgmental kind of way, and I may be alienating folks.

Well, what do you think? My article from last week, they tell me, is the most popular on the BiggerPockets Blog this month in terms of reads and comments. I didn’t hold back; I stated my perspective, and I started a conversation. Some agreed in a big way, while others disagreed equally passionately. People talked, and I may be wrong, but is that not the point?!

Related: How to Invest in Real Estate with No Money Down (4 Rules You NEED to Follow!)

So, should I cool it, y’all?

A Note About Opinions

Opinions are like you-know-what: everyone’s got one, and BiggerPockets is no different.

However, if you’re a newbie who arrived at BiggerPockets four days ago and have stayed glued to the screen ever since, I bet by now you’ve begun to wonder how to pick out the best and most viable advice that you can trust out of everything that’s here, am I right? Well, there is a difference between that which is an opinion and that which is an educated opinion. An educated opinion, relative to all things real estate, comes out of experience — it is a function of putting the key into the ignition and turning it.

Unless you’ve thrown the thing into drive and hit the gas, unless you have perspective that only comes with failure leading to success, unless you’ve taken big punches and managed to get up, unless you’ve been told by idiots that what you want is impossible and how dare you even think of it, but you did it anyway — unless you’ve done that, you do not have the necessary perspective, and you don’t deserve to have your opinion heard.

Real estate, as any other market, operates in cycles. There are cycles relative to the market itself, the tenant base, the physical structure, and the lending environment. If you own no property, or even if you’ve bought 1, 2, or 3 SFRs in the past two years, you’re not qualified as someone who should talk cause you ain’t seen nothin’ — sit down and listen!

Case in Point

OK, I am about to help someone find a seat. But I’ve got to preface what’s coming by saying that I actually quite like this dude, and think that he is good for BP. However, he barked up the wrong tree… ready?

Here we go:

With his article entitled “Investing With NO Money Down: Are You Ready for the Terrible Truth?Scott moved in on my dear friend Brandon Turner. Understand, if I needed to name a person, aside for my parents, whom I would trust to raise my kids should my wife and I be taken out, it would be Brandon Turner. This is how I feel about my friend Brandon, and nobody should expect to move in on him without full expectation of getting punched hard where it hurts!

Well, as you know, Brandon just came out with a book on creative financing, which in my opinion is a rather good overview of how you might go about purchasing investment real estate with no or little money down. You and I can have a discussion around whether purchasing this way is a good idea in and of itself and even have a discussion relative to whether every method discussed in Brandon’s book is viable. A discussion like that would be fine, and I am sure you would have some valid points that I would agree with.

However, this isn’t what Scott did — no buddy. Scott came out with a blanket statement that $0 down is not possible and is a terrible thing that you should never consider, and his article cannot be received as anything other than a sort of repudiation of the core underpinning of Brandon’s message. Big mistake! As I mentioned earlier, I think that Scott is doing great things for BiggerPockets, and I told him so when he reached out last week following my comment on his article.

I also told him that I’m gunning for him and advised that there’s no shame in taking cover…

Scott — take cover now!

No Money Down Works, Scott!

How do I know? Well, if you must know, everything I’ve ever done was using no (or very low) money down. BAM!!! And I am still very much in the game doing much the same, only bigger and better. Is it easy? Well, it gets easier as you get wiser. Is it safe? It gets safer as you get wiser.

Is this the best way to invest? Irrelevant, since Brandon’s message and mine is for people who don’t have any other options. Best or not best, if you don’t have any other options, just know this: NO MONEY DOWN WORKS, but you’ve got to be educated as all hell and more careful than anyone else in the game!

But, But — It’s Not Investing, Scott Says…

What is investing – it’s creating wealth, is it not? I am in the business of applying my imagination and financial IQ toward the end result of putting cash flow on my income statement and net worth on my balance sheet. Scott, on the other hand, likes to pay money for both!

Scott: investing is creating value, not buying it. 🙂

Question to All Newbies

Given the choice, would you rather know what Brandon knows or what Scott knows? Would you rather know how to create value out of thin air, or how to buy it? That’s what I thought…

Listen Up!

When folks tell you something can’t be done, it can mean different things, depending on who’s talking.

For instance, when my friend Brian Burke tells me that something can’t be done, I know that this is unequivocally the case and give up on the idea immediately. When my friend Serge Shukhat tells me that something can’t be done, I take notice, realizing that there is a very high probability of failure, but I don’t necessarily immediately give up; I ask Brian first, and then give up… 🙂 And when Brandon Turner tells me that something can’t be done – I simply show him how to do it! (This paragraph was funny, wasn’t it?)

I Don’t Mean This Maliciously

Scott doesn’t know what he doesn’t know, which happens to be the mother of all foul-ups and is the reason why I enjoy being the dumbest guy in the room full of really smart people, such as Brian and Serge.

Let me put it this way: I am a violinist and a teacher. I cannot imagine how someone can teach the instrument without achieving a substantively high level of proficiency on it first. So much of playing the instrument happens on the subconscious level – it’s innate, like a 6th sense. Understanding all of the moving parts and being able to synthesize them into a cohesive perspective, which facilitates teaching the skill to someone else, requires first internalizing, and then reverse-engineering the process so that it can be presented to the student in an understandable way.

Related: “I Want to be a Real Estate Investor but I Have No Money Saved”

Does Scott have this type of knowledge? No, and therefore, when I hear him or anyone say that investing with nothing down can’t be done, or that it’s not investing, all I hear is that they don’t know how to do it. Therefore, Scott’s statement of falsehood is not malicious, but it is ignorant. Malicious is a problem; ignorant we can fix!

Nothing down investing is simply overcoming the unfortunate circumstance of not having money today. This circumstance is not necessarily an identifier of success, failure, IQ, work ethic, or anything else. Not having money is just that, not having money; yet, it’s a temporary condition, and if you want to change it, you can. And real estate is the most ingenious tool in this respect!

Scott: you want me to teach you? Brandon can hold you, and I can teach you, and if you’re half as smart as I think, you’ll be investing with nothing down in no time.

You don’t have to pick sides in this epic debate, but let us know your reactions and thoughts: Is no money down possible?

Leave your comments, opinions, perspectives and rants below!

About Author

Ben Leybovich

Ben has been investing in multifamily residential real estate for over a decade. An expert in creative financing, he has been a guest on numerous real estate-related podcasts, including the BiggerPockets Podcast. He was also featured on the cover of REI Wealth Monthly and is a public speaker at events across the country. Most recently, he invested $20 million along with a partner into 215 units spread over two apartment communities in Phoenix. Ben is the creator of Cash Flow Freedom University and the author of House Hacking. Learn more about him at


  1. Scott Trench

    Haha! I’m “taking cover” under my desk Ben! Also, not too sure what to make of “the tree is gonna spank him” comment… something you want to tell us?

    I’m thrilled to be the topic of discussion in your article, having just moved into the blogging scene! Glad to have got the “guru’s” attention. You can be sure that I’ll keep coming back for more.

    Here are a couple of counter ”punches”:

    First, I think you may have missed that the entire point of my article was to make a clear distinction between “investing” and “working”. One is (mostly) passive and the other is (mostly) active. I’m certainly a believer in the idea that you can build an awesome real estate business with no money – BUT, to do that requires an enormous amount of work, education, and networking.

    That’s not “no money” (or in the way I think of it, even an “investment”). If you value your time, then that’s a serious financial commitment, just like working another job – AND it’s a job where you will start at the bottom of the totem pole. Unless you want to argue that time is free, I stand by the claim that “investing with no money” is impossible.

    Second, you are absolutely right that I have an inexperienced opinion and have not “taken big punches” in Real Estate! As a new investor, I take the following stance: How can I possibly justify investing with someone else’s money on my FIRST property? That’s preposterous to me not just from a personal financial risk perspective (where I risk ending up owing large amounts of money in many cases), but also from a moral one – I’m going to put your money at risk in an investment that I will be a total novice in? You are right – I don’t know how! But I will learn! AND I’ll develop that skill set with my own money and time, not someone else’s. THEN, I might invest with Other People’s Money.

    Finally, I thought I’d discuss a not-so-insignificant point regarding the validity of YOUR opinion on this topic (while you start the article with this, you don’t specifically address just how heavily your opinion is weighted). It seems to me like you might have a personal stake in encouraging folks to strongly consider “investing” with no money down…

    I recall visiting a webpage not too long ago – this page was promoting a for-profit Real Estate Investing educational resource (though it definitely looks excellent!) – called “Cash Flow Freedom University”. Would you believe that this webpage had your picture on it? Here’s the URL of that page:

    It seems to me like the owner of that site is a huge proponent of encouraging others to “Invest with no money… after spending several hundred dollars on this course learning how!”

    It also seems to me like a person that financially benefits from a product like that would have a very strong incentive to encourage BiggerPockets readers to invest with no money, to trash his opponent’s point of view, and to tell that opponent to “sit down and shut up”. That seems very anti-BiggerPockets! But maybe I’m just inexperienced 😉 .

    As a newbie, I have a different perspective that I think at least some readers want to hear. Whether my thoughts are worthwhile is your opinion – and you know, everybody’s got one…

    • Ben Leybovich

      Haha – you are good, Scott. Tou-che; I knew I liked you for a good reason. You even managed to bring the “guru” thing in; I mean – it’s not like I didn’t half-way open the door for you, but I am pleased that you chassed right in. Nice!

      I couldn’t pay for this kind of publicity. Has Josh blown a gasket or two yet, or has he not seen this yet…lol?

      I am a huge proponent of action in lieu of inaction. However, defining action in terms of available capital leaves the majority of people out of this game. Therefore, I help people to use their brain and energy in lieu of money.

      Not unimportant to mention is the relaity that 2 units are a lot safer than 1, and 20 units are a lot safer than 4. This is a diversification and focus games coming together, Scott. If all you lien on is what you’ve earned, it’ll take too long to achieve the critical mass necessary for safety. With one property you are walking on a knife’s edge, and 2 are not much better…something to ponder!

      I am a huge proponent of developing a perspective which transcends the obvious. Those two elements are the driving principles behind CFFU. Creative finance is just a tool bag that few people have…I share it in the CFFU. Aside for that, people are paying for the benefit of my experience, and the cost is minimal considering what’s involved. I spent 2 years creating the CFFU, and feel no shame for delivering $10 worth of value for every buck people spend. Enough of that – you should buy it. I’ll shorten your learning curve by 10 years!

      And now, I am going to go re-read the love letter you sent me as a private text. Keep ’em coming. As I’ve said before – you’ve got the stuff!

      • Brandon Turner

        Well, you know I have to chime in here as well now 🙂

        As many folks may not be able to tell – Ben writes his “abrasive” posts with a humorous tinge that may or may not come across plainly. Hopefully, Scott, you can see that the only person Ben gives this hard of a time to is … ME. And he’s one of my best friends. I don’t think I’ve seen Ben grow attached to someone as quickly as he has to you since Brian Burke walked into the scene.

        That said, I think Scott has a very valuable point about “time = money.” I know that Ben and I have spent a LOT of time building our businesses. Perhaps me more than Ben, but that’s cause I enjoy getting my hands dirty. I can recall hundreds of late nights, stuck at a rental property, trying to get a project finished and I spent hundreds of hours stressing about how to put together a deal. I did it this way because I had no cash so I invested my time instead. And it worked.

        But was this investing? I guess that depends on how you define it.

        So the crux of the argument is in “definitions.” I don’t think either Ben or Scott is wrong, at all. Though perhaps Ben is just a little bit meaner 😉

        So, in summary:

        Scott- keep writing your stuff. I think you add an incredible perspective and both Ben and I marvel at your intelligence and know that you’ll pass us up someday soon.

        Ben – don’t be such a … well, you know… 😉

        • Sandeep S.

          Wow! This is when Ben is “attached” to Scott. I wonder what would Ben write if he didn’t like someone!

          I agree Brandon, Ben shouldn’t be such a ….

        • Ben Leybovich

          Listen, Brandoon – cruisin’ for a bruisin’, dude… I am not “one of your best friends” – I am your one and only best friend – deal with it!

          Sandeep – I don’t write about people I don’t like. I don’t talk to those people. I ignore those people – they don’t exist – those people are not worth a minute of my time.

          I pride myself on being loyal as all hell to the people I “attach” myself to. There aren’t many, and that’s just fine by me. Scott, however, is quickly gaining in this department. Everything Scott writes evidences intellect – I like that. Everything he writes evidences passion – I like that even more. He is young but that’ll change…hahah

          I love BP. I’ve met people here that have flat out changed my life and writing is how I give back. Sandeep – can’t you see the other side?

  2. Sandeep S.

    Ben – may be you should heed (at least) your friend Serge’s advice to cool it down a bit!

    Scott’s article had 2 (simple) messages:
    1. Buying Real Estate with No Money is closer to doing a Business than doing an Investment. And it is an important distinction, because generally if you don’t bring money, you are likely to bring more time and effort instead to make up. This is really just semantics at the end of the day.
    2. Doing No Money deals takes either a lot of time or a lot of experience (or both) – so it is not best suited for newbies. Of course, unless, the newbie has no money (or hope to earn that money elsewhere).

    I don’t know why you take it so “personally”. As you rightly say that if one has no money – they could and should still absolutely buy real estate. And Scott’s article gives an alternate view that may be one can quickly save money (in the regular profession) and then buying real estate may come out ahead. This view will work for a lot of folks (including me) and I am sure buying with no-money will also works for many. There doesn’t have to be a “winner”. Folks who have money should invest money (what else will they do with that anyway!)

    So Ben, take it easy and enjoy reading alternate views. Doing deals with No-Money is just “one” of the so many ways. And given your success, I am sure, it works. And given that it works, you don’t need to be so defensive and engage in mud-slinging. Grow up..

  3. Kevin Sapp

    I agree, with Serge. You tend to heve abrupt and abrasive written communication that at least for me, goes overboard, alienates and runs the risk of losing possible business partners or customers before they have the opportunity to meet you. Your video was a much better style and one that I would be more likely to do business with.

    Let’s be quantitative. In an much earlier article where you were discussion nothing down deals, you insulted the people that do place money down on a project. I find the comment shallow and lacking in vision. Consider your next syndication, you are looking for investors and partners, you know, someone with money for the project, yet you insulted this perspective customer. Without the investors with the money, you would have a much more difficult time closing your deals.

    Your comments have provided insight into your lack of respect and poor opinion for anyone that uses their own money to invest. As an investor providing capital for others to invest and for my own investments, you have both insulted and lost a perspective client and investor who could help fund your deals.

    I am not questioning if no money down deals can be done, but your method of communication your opinion. If BiggerPockets is looking for shock value, they have found their author.

    Do I deserve to have an opinion? You will have to determine that for yourself, after all, I have never done a no money down deal, I’ve “only” made it possible for people who need money.

    Looking back at another comment that is reflective of your position and lack of vision, you mentioned, paraphrasing, who has $100,000 sitting around to invest? The people that you need to fund your deals have 100 grand sitting around, but not for people that think that putting money in a del is foolish.

    Ben, your information is good, presentation is not. Consider how you felt reading this and reflect.
    From Amadeus, “Heir Mosart, you are passionate, but you do not persuade”

    • Ben Leybovich

      Very thoughtful, and honest comment, Kevin!

      Believe it or not, my message is never to offend. But, you have to agree – anyone who’s read my stuff knows exactly where I stand, and that’s something. Those articles that you mentioned as a turn-off for you, have driven other investors and partners toward me – people like knowing where I stand. Having been a practitioner of nothing down, I have been a steward of people’s money, and the fact that I am here to write about it somewhat reflects on what type of steward I’ve been…

      I get the sense that you respect me, but do not like me – is that a fair assessment? This saddens me, but I tend to think that having gotten to know me, you would like me. You would know exactly where I stand, though you may not like the delivery all of the time…

      Kevin – it’s not that I don’t have respect for people who use their own money to invest; it’s just that 99 out of 100 do not have that money. Is the answer for those 99 to stay on the side-lines. The system thinks so. The system caters to the 1% – I don’t comply, and I try to illuminate to folks that even if money is lacking, with the right set of skills and perspective the opportunity is not lacking. I refused to define my capacity to succeed in terms of how much money I had, and this is the message I want to get across.

      Do net let lack of money define your capacity to play the game. Lack of knowledge is a problem – lack of money is simply a challenge…

      As to Mozart, Salieri wanted him dead…Mozart had much too much talent for comfort. Mozart was considered a schmuck in his time, and a genius ever since…:)

      Feel free to reach out, Kevin. I think we might have more in common than you think.

      I appreciate you taking the time to write a thoughtful post. I recognize that you didn’t have to

  4. Daniel Ryu

    Ben – Always stirring the pot!

    I enjoy your articles. I think after I heard you on the podcast, I read your articles differently – it’s always in your voice and somehow that makes the articles ‘sound’ different ^^ The humor and the inflections come across in a way that’s more entertaining than abrasive.

    Scott – that was a well-written response. I’m impressed with your writing!

  5. Brian Gibbons

    I think you are either trained or untrained in negotiation and creative real estate techniques.

    Ben you are trained in both, Scott you are not.

    And Ben you like to “shake the tree” or agitate a bit.

    Scott get trained will you please? Understanding and obtaining OPM&C (Other people’s Money and Credit) is key. Partnerships, Syndications, Private Lending, structuring a win win deal.

    BP Nation loves a good debate and controversy.

    It is like the Matrix: once you “get it”, arrive at the “aha moment”, you can be successful on another higher level.

    Would you like the Blue Pill or the Red Pill?

  6. Deion Alaei

    Ben, I’ve admired your work and writing since the beginning, and let me just say – your writing continues to put a smile on my face :). I have personal experience with having to fight through in the face of people telling me that no money down is not possible. When I read that article by scott, it made me furious because he was just another ignorant naysayer like the countless ones ive had to put up with. and I swear to god that as soon as I got to the part where you finally called out scott for his BS, it put the BIGGEST smile on my face :))). the more I kept on reading, the more I was cheering you on saying “GET HIM BEN!!!”. I very much enjoyed this beautiful piece you’ve written. Another victory for the creative and courageous investors 🙂

      • Deion Alaei

        While I resent being compared to a cheerleader (I”m a guy), I’m not gonna fly off the hinges as a result. That’d actually be pretty cool if this was a boxing match, and needless to say I’d put big money on Big Ben (that’s right, dope and clever ring name lol).

        I’m just sick of the naysayers polluting society and the internet with their discouragement and limited mindedness. When I see someone presenting the opposite, and more accurate as well as encouraging, point of view, then I greatly “cheer” for it. Because the unfortunate truth is people like Ben or Michael are few and far between. It’s a shame that theres not more of them being publicly heard.

        We got all these people on bigger pockets talking about flipping houses or how “great” SFR and duplex investing is, but not enough members having bigger goals and ambition. Too many small mindedness among the bigger pockets community, and we should be grateful for people like Ben.

        • Ben Leybovich

          Wow – thank you, and I agree! I never, ever said it was easy to do what I do. Serge texted me last night and wrote – you know you are wrong with that article; 99 people out of 100 can’t do what you do…

          I responded that 999 people out of 1,000 can’t do what he’s done – build a company, prepare to take it public, get it bought out, and parlay the money into a RE empire. I, for instance, don’t have the brains nor education to do that, and if who can’t do it becomes the measuring stick, the we all sit with our hands in our laps and do nothing!

          I am not looking for the 99. I am encouraging the 1 that believes and won’t accept NO for an answer.

          It’s not easy – it’s not quick – it’s not glamorous – it’s not without pain, and you could fail – but, it’s 1 chance in 100, and that should give people hope. It worked for me, and it can work for you, if you are willing to educate yourself…

      • Ben Leybovich

        Sandepp – do you doubt that I like Scott? Understand – there is a relationship on the blog, and there is a relationship off of the blog. Scott is a really smart guy who has opinions and balls to defend those opinions. What’s not to like?!

        It’s not his fault that he is wrong any more than it’s his fault that he is young 🙂 I definitely like Scott…

  7. Deion Alaei

    By the way Ben, to all the people in these comments telling you to stop being harsh or abrasive or whatever the hell adjectives they use, Don’t pay them no mind sir. I personally am a huge fan of your style and a huge fan of your blunt abrasiveness – in fact I’d argue that theres not enough people like you, and that theres a disproportionate amount of people with the naysayer point of view. So I say ignore these sensitive haters and continue to spank the naysayers like a stepchild :). Good times

  8. Dan Shaker

    I think it is possible, someone just needs to be wise and knowledgeable of everything about the business they are planning to build in order for them to know how to make money out of no money investment. Once you know the strategy that you will be using it will be easier for you to get in and out of the market your business is in without having to worry about investing money on it.

    • Ben Leybovich

      Joshua – naturally it’s valuable to have capital. My message is not at all that having money and investing it is bad, only that people without this capital still have options, and that in some ways those options are even better…

      Thanks indeed for commenting!

  9. serge s.

    Both Ben and Scott are correct. While no money down investing is certainly achievable I would argue it is hardly an “investment.” There are very little examples where a no money down investment with 100% debt is actually cash flowing anything material. As such, to even come close to critical mass and have sustainable income with this strategy you would need no less than 20 – 50 units($10-$50 per unit in sustainable cash flow) and each purchase would have to be a home run. just to get that. If you have been able to achieve this then congratulations – you are now the lowest paid property manager in your city. Sure you can make $25 a month on a unit with no cash in the unit and brag about infinite returns. But even if your only spending an hour a month on that unit which is unlikely, you still bought yourself a job. A shitty one at that. As an added bonus, you have just tied yourself down to the city where you manage that property. There is no room for professional property management. Don’t believe me, just ask Ben why …

    I only believe this to be a viable strategy if you are buying at or near the bottom of a market cycle in a heavily appreciating market. In that case you are harvesting equity and have a good chance to build significant wealth very quickly. In that scenario you just buy as much as you can as quick as you can irrelevant of financing type of source. Your making a bet. The problem is that people are employing the no money down strategy in depreciating markets. Thus not only are they not able to attain equity but the debt that they are paying off is not really going to their balance sheet. Its depreciating with the 1925 3/1 obsolete home (pig as Ben calls it). Hence the danger with employing this strategy at the wrong time and in the wrong market.

    If your looking for sustainable cash flow and have no money, why not cut to the chase and just become a property manager? Your $100 per door profit will be much easier and sustainable to attain than the no money down homes your buying. Your already a property manager by default just having to manage all of your own properties. You could build process and scale much faster than the painful no money approach and there is infinitely less risk attached.

    Lets face it, at the end of the day most people in the RE game want to end up as buy and hold investors. There are ways to get there and the most common path is to utilize income in other fields to then buy the right long term hold. I.E flip a few houses to use the profits on a downpayment for a buy and hold or active job income saved for downpayment. These methods are tried and true and although effective still carry their own set of market and timing risks. I see “creative finance” as a shortcut to try to get to the same end game. Can it be achieved? No question in can and Ben is an example of that.

    • Ben Leybovich

      Serge – you and I see eye to eye on just about everything in the sport of REI. I want to bring something to your attention, however:

      Doing what I do, which is work with OPM, is not only a necessary evil, as you may see it, but also a lucky break. Having built my business around OPM has forced me to be better educated than the average Joe, and more conservative. It also gives me a track-record as a steward of OPM. I have the opportunity to lean on that track record to push the binderies of my business model.

      Visa versa, relying on access to earned capital boxes people in. The ceiling of this model is difficult to move beyond a certain point.

      I am fully comfortable with the notion that it’s not going to be my money that builds my business, and I act accordingly. This is a benefit, as I see it. Thoughts?

  10. Brian Gibbons

    What an interesting thread!

    Price or Creative Terms, pick one!

    When dealing with JV Partners for Cash and Credit assistance, you have to be creative.

    Here are some alternative financing sources.

    -Accounts Receivable/Invoices
    -Purchase Orders
    -Sales Commissions
    -Letters of Credit
    -Equipment Leases
    -Commercial Deficiency
    -Credit Card Receivables
    -Commercial Leases
    -Partnership Agreements
    -Royalty Payments
    -Medical Receivables

    -Credit Card Debt/Chargeoffs
    -Consumer Receivables Inheritances
    -Trust Advances and Probates
    -Retail Installment Contracts
    -Consumer Deficiency Portfolios
    -Timeshares and Vacation Club
    -License Impounds Corporate
    -Retirement Plans
    -Nonperforming or Delinquent Debt

    -Real Estate Notes
    -Business Notes
    -Equipment Notes
    -Automobile Notes
    -Marine Notes
    -Mobile Home
    -Notes Aerospace Notes
    -Secured Nonperforming Delinquent
    -Debt Vendor Carryback Paper
    -Warehouse Inventory Lines
    -Recreational, Motor Home and Business Vehicle Notes

    -Lottery Winnings
    -Structured Settlements
    -Viatical/Life Settlements

    -Military and Disability Pensions
    -Tax Refunds
    -Voluntary Separation Incentives

    • Ben Leybovich

      Brian – leave it to me to start an “interesting thread”…lol

      Here’s my point: 16 trillion economy, or whatever it is now. With all this money looking for work, it is difficult to justify not having money as an obstacle to the entry…

      Thanks, Brian!

  11. James (Michael) Ezzell

    I am the newest newbie here and some may think I have room to say anything about this yet and from one perspective you may be right; however, I must say I am one of the 99 who have no money to start with so I have no choice but to learn to do no money down deals to start off with or rely on someone believing in my determination and taking a chance on me and funding the deal for me. which ever method fate has it that I do make my start in this business once I get it off the ground I do have my own money to invest I plan on using that as well. So no matter if I am using my own money, someone else money, or no money down, if it gets the deal done then so be it. as long as it get me to where I want to be and that to have enough money so that I can turn around and help someone else who is in the position I am in now. GOD willing of course.

    • Ben Leybovich

      James – it’s amazing. From reading a lot of these comments, you’d think that the majority of people here have more money than they know what to do with; nothing could be further from the truth…

      Your attitude is correct – if the deal is good enough, then find a way to get it done. More than that, if the deal i good enough, the money will come!

  12. Pete T.

    Ben your articles always get a lot of reads bc of the titles, insight, and the way you write. Although I have never been offended by what you have wrote, I have seen a few times that I thought you could have responded in a way not so harsh and still deliver the same message. We have to remember to idea of the site is to help each other and MOST IMPORTANTLY, be sure not attack each other, even when we may disagree.

    • Ben Leybovich

      I hear what you are saying, Pete. however, rounding off the sharp edges is what everyone else does on this blog. I just say what I think, and if and when people decide that my method of delivery is not acceptable, I’m outa here…

      That’s my attitude for better or worse. Life is to short to please every newbie who’s bought 3 houses for $30,000 and pronounced themselves relevant. I won’t please them, and I am fine and dandy with that 🙂

      I do rely on people being able to read between the lines, as you do. If not, oh well…

      Thanks so much for reading my thoughts, Pete!

  13. Frankie Woods

    Ben, outstanding article as usual. I think OPM is the key to making it big in this business. It’s all about scale, and OPM is the only true way to achieve that in a reasonable amount of time. The advantages are incredible and the compounding effect, when done right, is immense. However, I must admit that Scott hit it on the head about needing to be educated/experienced enough to take that step without being morally irresponsible. I’m not there yet, but I hope to be within the year. Maybe that guru course is in my future… Accelerating the process is tempting :).

  14. Rosalynn Rice

    Ben, I absolutely LOVE your articles and your ‘flare’ keeps me coming back….in addition to so many others. Every time I read your articles I am reminded of a grade school teacher of mine. She would always remind her students to NOT memorize the concepts BUT understand them, that way on an exam if any variable is changed you are still able to identify the basic premise and think your way to a solution.
    Ben, I think your articles teach perspective and force the reader to embrace a certain mindset. You do this with simple easy to understand stories in a hilarious way! Keep your style just the way it is, I love it and learn so much…

    • Ben Leybovich

      Rosalynn – yours is the comment that puts an exclamation point on this article for me! Thank you indeed. The thing is – my wife, I’ll change for; BP blog – not so much. I am ecstatic to know that my writing helps and entertains, and that sarcasm and wittiness are alive and well on the BiggerPockets blog 🙂

      Thanks again, Rosalynn.

  15. Barima Opong-Owusu

    I will ask this question to Ben and Brandon. Coming from a similar standpoint to where I don’t have a lot of money to buy my first rental property I’m looking into using a HELOC to finance the down payment and closing cost and any minor repairs. In my mind this is the bank fully financing the property since they are lending money for the mortgage and the HELOC.

    I haven’t heard a lot of talk about using repair credits or discounts to reduce the amount of out of pocket costs. Ex: If I’m purchasing a property for 100,000 and seller wants to net approx. 100,000. How ethical and legal is it to write the agreement with the consent of the seller for $120K with repair credits and concessions up to about 20,000. This way the seller still nets 100,000. I can bring my 20,000 to close on the property knowing that I’m going to be getting it right back so that I can make improvements to the property. Rather than having a lot of my funds tied into the property as equity, it is cash on hand. That can be used for another deal if needed.
    I’ve searched through the HUD handbook to make sure this is legal and from what I found 6% is the limit for seller closing concessions. There doesn’t look to be a limit on the amount of repair credits as long as it can be justified by the appraiser and the property can appraise for the right amount after adjusting for the true purchase value. I haven’t heard this mentioned much but was hoping experienced investors could shed some light on this. Am I off track or is this a viable option? I don’t want to cross the line of creativity and end up on the wrong side of the law.

    Thanks in advance for your advice and clarification on this

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