Meet the Investors: Husband & Wife Flip Team Aims to Win Big With Nate Cross

Meet the Investors: Husband & Wife Flip Team Aims to Win Big With Nate Cross

6 min read
Alexander Felice

Alexander Felice is a U.S. Army veteran who works as a financial analyst and underwriter for an SBA lender.

Experience

Alex has spent his career in sales and the finance industry and now invests in rental real estate along with working in the underwriting department at a bank in Las Vegas.

He is an expert in long-distance, single family rental real estate, debt and leverage strategy, and financial analysis. He spends most of his free time teaching investors through writing and coaching to ensure their best possibility of success.

Alex has been buying real estate for nearly three years and currently owns eight single family houses. He also helped fellow investors directly purchase over 20 properties in 2018.

Alex’s writing can be found at BrokeIsAChoice.com, and more of his story can be heard on the BiggerPockets Podcast episode 301.

Education

Alex received a bachelor’s in Finance from the University of North Carolina.

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I have been investing in real estate and in the BiggerPockets community for over seven years. I want you to meet another BiggerPockets member and real estate investor: Nate Cross, a veteran (like me) and another local investor in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

In the video and post below, check out his latest flip. I’ve watched the process from start to finish, and you can follow along to find out everything that happened.

If you hadn’t heard, the BiggerPockets Forums and community provide unlimited ROI. We all like to talk about the houses and the numbers and the nitty-gritty—but man, it really is a people game.

And here, my friend Nate Cross will show you the value of investing in the BiggerPockets community more than anything else—more than houses.

Just like him, I’m a huge fan of investing in the community. Investing in people has netted me infinite returns on investment. Like I said, people game first; real estate second.

Related: Meet the Investors: Escape the 9-5 Via Tax Strategies With Natalie Kolodij

Meet the Investor

Hey! I’m Nate Cross from Fayetteville, North Carolina. I’m a flipper. I’m also a wholesaler part-time.

How I Got Started

In the video is a property we just got done with. I’m a 20-year Army veteran, getting ready to retire this year. I looked at real estate as a vehicle to build generational wealth.

I started flipping. Then, I got onto the website, and that’s where I was introduced to the community. I met guys like Alex Felice, who were able to give me some insight on the Fayetteville market. He also taught me BRRRR and put me in contact with contractors and helped me build my network of other individuals.

While I’m out flipping, I’m also wholesaling, because finding deals and deal acquisition is something I enjoy.

How BiggerPockets Helped Me as a New Investor

So… BiggerPockets?! It’s a great community, right? There’s so much free stuff out there—all the education, all the forums, tons of books.

You know, I’ve read both of J Scott‘s books, Brandon Turner‘s books. These are guys that are in the business and doing it day in, day out.

Throughout the last recession, and looking forward at the possible next recession, they’re teaching everyone—for free—how to be able to build a stable, reliable income through real estate.

Related: Meet the Investors: Switching to Rentals After 15 Years of Flips With Cindy Veit

My Latest Real Estate Deal

So, I found the deal in the video above off-market. What’s crazy is that I flipped another house down the street. I was going to check on the contractors. Lo and behold, there’s a “For Sale by Owner” sign outside.

I literally called the lady up, scheduled a time to look at the property the very next day, got it under contract, and closed on it in about two weeks.

How I Financed It

To be able to get this property, I leveraged other people’s money in this deal. And I didn’t have to do all the work myself. But I did manage the whole project from hiring to firing contractors. And at the end of the day, everyone’s going to make a nice, big profit at closing.

Check out the video to take a tour of the property before and after the rehab.

Related: Meet the Investors: Military Spouse & Live-In Flipper Jenny Villalobos

Numbers Behind the Deal

Going off-market was the route for me because of the simple fact that I was able to be out there trying to find the deals. Found this one off-market, so I was able to secure it after everything was done for $35K.

What we put in the rehab, of course, it went over budget. But us adding the fourth master en suite and the plumbing work brought the value back up to where we needed to be.

So, as mentioned, how I found it off-market was for sale by owner. The lady put a sign on the front lawn. I gave her a call, built rapport, and was able to close on the deal within 17 days.

About going over budget…

Everyone tells you to go ahead and always pad your budget—which I 100% do and 100% agree. There are always going to be things when you start opening up walls and ripping up flooring, right? To get it done right to code so that when the property is done and you pass it to another family, I don’t want to have any concern.

On the property in the video, once we started doing things and opening up walls, I knew it was wrong, and I wanted to spend the extra money to get it done right.

investment-thinking

The Importance of Teamwork

When I told Alex this house was filmable—all day, all night—it wasn’t my doing to get it that way. It was my wife. She is the one who makes all our flips look incredibly great.

And if it wasn’t for her, I’m sure my houses would sit on the market a lot longer than it would need to be.

So, again, that’s another key thing: having a network and having my wife on board, doing a lot of this stuff right. She looks at everything. If she doesn’t think it’s going to shake out, 98% of the time, I’m going to walk on the deal.

She’s part of the team! She does all the designing. It’s her. It’s her idea, her vision. And sometimes she saves us a pretty good amount of money in these deals.

As an investor, I have to give and take. I might shave it off somewhere else for her personal design—like the custom handrails in the house in the video. That was her idea all day long. I just had to figure out how to get it done for her the way she wanted it.

And it turned out great! For every comment we got on 10 showings on day one, every comment had something to say about the custom handrails. Kudos to her!

Advice for Other Investors

About over-improvement…

Yes, I probably (actually, I know I) did over-improve this property. Alex told me that every time he came to visit.

When Over-Improvement Is Worth It

But it was kind of a choice to over-improve this one. I wanted to put out the best product possible. Because if my wife and I could do something like that in the Fayetteville area, when we move to our next market, which is going to be bigger, we can show proof of concept. Then, we’re able to execute high-level flips compared to just cookie-cutter flips or turnkey stuff. That was our main goal.

Related: Meet the Investors: BRRRR-ing 3 Deals in 6 Months With Dan Weidman

So, we sacrifice profit in order to show a brand and a proof of concept that we’re building on. At the end of the day, it’s just like relationships—the work you put in is the long game. If me and my wife are able to execute some of these horrible, very tragic properties that we find and make look this high-end, well, I don’t think really there’s much to stop the both of us.

After everything is said and done, we were in $100,000 on the property discussed in this post. It’s going under contract for $157,000 (with customary closing costs, 6% for your Realtors, and 2% buffer for all the paperwork for closing and stuff like that).

We actually did not even go with the highest offer. We went with a lower offer, but the closing cost was cheaper. That’s what we went to in case (for whatever reason) it doesn’t appraise at their offer price. We’re still going to make money, because at the end of the day, closing cost is not going to change.

rehab-exit-strategy

Again, Hire a Great Team & Partner With the Right People

Contractors, contractors, contractors. And subcontractors. They are so important. If you don’t find the right contractor that’s aligned with what you’re going to do, you’re going to fail. It’s just the bottom line.

Unless you want to go in, roll up your sleeves, and do all the work yourself—if you’re that handy—you’re going to need a good contractor. And he’s going to have to have a good crew. Everything has to be aligned with everyone that you’re working with.

Like I said, this is a full-contact sport. You cannot do it alone.

Also, Realtors—Realtors are great. You know, you shouldn’t try to nickel and dime your Realtors.

You have to keep Realtors as part of the team. They have the marketing, the advertisement, they’re always spreading the word out there with social media. And all that stuff, you need it done right and you can’t do everything yourself.

We got my most recent deal done right by partnering with somebody. We both had cash. I did not put as much money in the deal because I ran all the day-to-day, hiring and firing contractors.

My wife did the design, picked out the color scheme, cut the grass, took care of the pool. I did all the grunt work to get stuff done.

So, that’s how I worked out the deal. Instead of funding it all on my own (which I did the first couple of laps), I ended up partnering with someone here to leverage some of my cash to be able to do more than one flip at a time.

Lessons Learned

To newbies:

  • With real estate, you’ve got to get the reps in.
  • You can’t get analysis paralysis.
  • You’ve got to network your butt off.
  • You’ve got to bring value to people, every day—whether it’s return a phone call, return a text, throw an idea out.

Those are the things you’re going to learn on BiggerPockets. The community is so big. It’s the biggest real estate platform in all the world. So, use it!

It doesn’t cost anything to get on there. Go learn.

My name is Nate Cross. I say real estate is a full-contact sport, and I’m playing to win.

How is the BiggerPockets community benefiting your journey?

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