BiggerPockets Podcast 186: How to Get Your First Few Properties — Even in a Competitive Market with Dave Meyer

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There are a lot of excuses people use for why they don’t invest in real estate. Maybe they work too much. Maybe they don’t have any money. Maybe the market is too hot. But some — like our guest today — don’t let those difficulties stop them. Instead, they use creativity to overcome obstacles and build a real estate empire. So today on the BiggerPockets Podcast, we are excited to introduce you to Dave Meyer, an investor from the Denver market, who shares his story of buying eight units using creativity, intelligence, and in incredible level of hustle!

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In This Episode We Cover:

  • Who exactly Dave, the VP of Growth for BiggerPockets, is
  • How his silly neighbor unintentionally encouraged him to buy a house
  • Why he chose his friend as a partner
  • The details of his first deal
  • What he looked for in his first deal
  • The numbers on that deal
  • Would it still be a great deal without the appreciation in Denver?
  • How he raised his funds for this project
  • The importance of acting on opportunities now
  • Who manages his properties?
  • How a tenant built a staircase for him
  • How you can learn the market by working hands-on
  • How Dave bought properties while waiting tables
  • His first experience with house hacking
  • Tips to keep in mind regarding zoning when finding properties
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Books Mentioned in this Show

Tweetable Topics:

  • “If you have an opportunity, you’re a fool to ignore it. Find a way to do it.” (Tweet This!)
  • “You learn a tremendous amount if you do hands on things such as screening the tenants, doing the open houses. You learn the market and what people want.” (Tweet This!)
  • “Find the deal and figure out how to get the money to make it happen.” (Tweet This!)
  • “Once you start owning, it feels weird to start paying someone else to live in their house.” (Tweet This!)

Connect with Dave

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About Author

Thanks for checking out the BiggerPockets Real Estate Investing & Wealth Building Podcast. Hosts Joshua Dorkin & Brandon Turner strive to bring top-notch educational content and interviews to our listeners -- without the non-stop pitch prevalent around the industry. With over 180,000 listeners per show, the BiggerPockets Podcast has become the biggest real estate podcast in the world. But don’t take our word for it. We’re the top-rated and reviewed real estate show on iTunes — check it out, read the reviews on iTunes, and get busy listening and learning!


  1. David Krulac

    Great name, great show.
    One other thing that I’ve done is add finished space, but not more units to increase income. At one place added 4 more bedrooms, didn’t need a building permit as I wasn’t changing the footprint, greatly increasing the rent.
    David Krulac

  2. Mike Huang

    Hi Dave, I want to say great podcast and it’s cool to hear from someone who is working for BP.

    I do have a question regarding your first deal: you said you used other people’s money to finance the down payment portion of the 4plex with a conventional loan. Don’t banks usually disallow that?

    Or did you structure your deal in a way that the down payment wasn’t seen as debt but as equity instead? You said the sales proceeds would be 25% each, which I thought meant equity at first. And then you said you were also paying them 6% interest, which sounds like debt.

    Thank you in advance!

  3. Dave Meyer

    Hey Mike, good question! So we did put down equity, it wasn’t really debt. Basically, only two of the four partners contributed equity to the down payment, so they got a preferential return. They are accruing 6% interest on the down payment. When we sell the property the two partners who contributed equity will be paid out their downpayment + accrued interest first. After that the proceeds are split 25% each. Hope that helps!

    • Mike Huang

      Thanks for the response, Dave!
      To confirm, does accruing that interest mean they are only paid back their downpayment + accrued interest when you sell the house? At first, I thought you were paying those 2 partners interest every month from your cash flow and that’s how you were paying them back. Was that ever an option to you?
      And is it safe to say that you have an agreement on a set date to sell the property? Or are your partners ok with having an indefinite sell date?

    • Myo Thein

      Hi Dave Meyer, great podcase! It is very interesting setup you got there and I have one more question. For the mortgage portion, how did you qualify with 4 people in the deal? Does all 4 of you are on the mortgage application or only couple of you? If there are more than one person on the mortgage, do you know how does it change their future buying power (like if there are 2 of you, on your next deal, does bank see as one of the people could be responsible for all of the mortgage amount)?

  4. Dave Meyer

    Hey Mike,

    We did discuss an annual payment, but opted for the deferred payment. When we first bought the property we had no idea we’d be cash flowing as well as we are. We have a relatively complex buy-sell agreement, but our initial agreement was a 5-8 year hold. The voting, tie breaker and all that was fairly complicated, but thankfully we haven’t had to resort to that. Actually, I am working with another partner right now to try to buy out the two others. It’s all amicable, but two guys want to take their money elsewhere, and I am trying to double-down on my real estate! So the structure is likely to change.

  5. Joshua Keene

    Great podcast Dave! I enjoyed listening to your story on how you “unintentionally” got into real estate and how it has changed your life over the years eventually landing you in a position here at Bigger Pockets. Your advice on getting partnership agreements notarized will definitely save on potential headaches that could arise in the future. I’m a newbie investor myself and it was great to hear what you have been through, what you have learned, and the confidence you gained from making your first deal. Thank you for sharing!

  6. Mark Spidell

    Good show! I really liked the zoning conversation. Sounds like the “granny cottages” ADU strategy can be good. I nearly purchased a place like that in the Baker neighborhood when I was shopping for my first house way back in 2000.

  7. Julie Marquez

    That was a perfect podcast for me! I don’t want to be a full time real estate investor like everyone else featured on the show, I just want to slowly acquire some properties to add to my income and creative legacy wealth. I’m also looking in a very competitive market, and just pulled up the zoning map and definitions. My plan is to get a home with the ability to add and ADU or MIL. Thanks for sharing your story, and I also hope to hustle a deal and get it before the seller puts it on the market, get success for you there!

  8. Mark Graffagnino

    That was like, a really like, good podcast. But like, something was like making it like difficult to like listen to. 🙂

    Seriously, good content, I’m just an old guy giving you some sh*t. But young folks need to be aware of how many times they use the word ‘like’.

  9. Nick Moser

    Hey Dave, great podcast! This was perfect for me to hear. I’m a newbie who just moved to Denver and looking to get into buy and hold investing. Knowing the zoning is a great tip, especially when it can lead to adding value in a crazy market like Denver. Thanks for sharing and best of luck going forward!

  10. Greg Wang

    Hi Dave,

    I’m late to the posting! But very inspirational for newbies in a tough market!

    I was wondering: I’m trying to figure out how to contact the owners of expired listings as well. On one of your deals you talked about calling up the owner of the property you really wanted before he listed it. How did you get the phone number of the owner since it was expired?

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