Happy 1st BP-versary to me!

19 Replies

     It's late at night in Atlanta.  The kid is sleeping.  The rhythmic sound of the clothes being tossed around in the dryer reminds me I need to finish packing.  As I mentally plan out my day tomorrow, though, there is one thing I need to do tonight.

     I created an account on BiggerPockets almost a year ago.  To be honest, when I first searched the internet for help on being a landlord or buying new properties, I did not want to click on any of those silly front page links to BiggerPockets. I thought for sure the links would be peddling some product or have so many advertisements it would lock up my computer. Once I read my first post, however, I was hooked. Most of the time I lurk in the background, but today I want to share.

So far this year I've become a better real estate investors by

  • Purchasing a 3/1.5 house for $40K with a long-term tenant paying $915/month and then getting a HELOC.
  • Purchasing a 4/2 house for $45K with a 30 yr mortgage, added $12K in repairs, renting for $955/month.
  • Purchasing a 3/2 home for $23K, added a new HVAC and duct work, and which rents for $750/month.
  • Spending days mentally rehearsing my speech to ask for private money to fund the third deal only to have him say "yes" in under 30 seconds and on my terms.
  • Being invited to be a part of the Atlanta Housing Authority's Landlord advisory committee, where I get to learn (for better or worse) the inner workings of the city's Section 8 program and hang out with investors way more experienced than me.

     It's very fitting my anniversary of joining BP is close to Thanksgiving. I know before I go on vacation tomorrow I need to give a big thank you to @Joshua Dorkin  and his staff for this great community.  I also want to thank @Rick Baggenstoss  for challenging me to be more logical, helping me become a better problem solver, putting up with seemingly unlimited "grasshopper questions," and giving me the confidence to translate skills from my real job to this realm.  I'm also thankful for the great conversations with @Kevin Auyong  , @Sheree H.  .  It never ceases to amaze me how open and helpful most people here are.

   As I finish planning my goals for 2015, I'm filled with such a sense of optimism and excitement for the year to come.  

Thank you, BiggerPockets!


Heather I am glad you are doing well and enjoy BP.

All the best.


Heather congrats on the anniversary!! I can't believe how far you've come and how much you accomplished in just one year. I feel privileged to have met you here. 

There's a lot of people that come and go on this forum, but not that many take the action to do something like you did. I know from out talks that you are going to be very successful in investing!

@Heather W.  Congratulations! Many milestones later and still enthusiastic! That's great! Today is my one year anniversary for joining Bigger Pockets too! I share with you not only the anniversary date, but also gratitude. I've been busy managing our 15 rental units, was interviewed for BP podcast #83 in August, participated on the property management panel at the RE MeetUp Summit in San Francisco last weekend, continue to be involved in our local rental association, and have been enjoying learning and sharing with like minded people here on Bigger Pockets! Quite an amazing community!

@Heather W.  , congrats on your success!  I wish you much more in the future!  You seem to be killing it already!

Congratulation @Heather W.  

That's amazing you were able to buy a 3/2 for 23K & rent for $750/month.  So the rent would pay for the house purchase & rehab in 5 year?  

@Kevin Auyong   I hope to see you at the next San Jose meetup.  I might just tag along with you next time when you go to Atlanta :)

Congratulations @Heather W. ! You are exactly right that BP gives us all something to be thankful for. 2014 was my best year yet- I exceeded all I my goals. I'm also now outlining my 2015 goals with enthusiasm and optimism. To our success!

@Marcia Maynard  Congratulations on your anniversary as well!  Your caring but firm advice on handling tenants has served me well. 

So glad you are on board, Marcia!  

@Heather W.  You are killin' it! What a great roster of deals. Pretty soon, I know we will be hearing an interview of you on the BP podcast. Wishing you all the best in the year to come. Cheers!

Heather, CHEERS! to your current and future success!

It's been a pleasure knowing you and learning from our conversations. I hope we have many more. :) I'd LOVE to hear that mentally rehearsed speech of yours... I'm still rehearsing.

And I join you in a big Thank You to Bigger Pockets! I would forever be that frog at the bottom of the well if it weren't for all the people I've met here who constantly challenge me to step outside my provincial mindset. 

@Heather W.  Great year!  Very nice post.

Your deals understate your mastery of Atlanta's well-run Section 8 program.  You've earned the right to be a thought leader amongst Atlanta's property barons.  That's priceless. Little do they know, you'll be running this town in a few years.

We all owe you for elevating our efforts with your outstanding example, wit, and energy.  Most of all, thanks for your friendship.

Can't wait to see your 2015 goals!

Hi @Heather W.  , and thank you for sharing.  Can you answer these questions?

What was your most favorite real estate success of this year, and why?

If you could do this year over again in real estate, what would you have done differently, and why?

What is one new thing you plan to implement in 2015?

I appreciate you sharing, and keep us posted on how your 2015 goals turn out.  Best of luck, and looking forward to hearing your responses.

@Kyle H.  

    What was your most favorite real estate success of this year, and why?

    My 3rd house was my favorite this year for several reasons:

    • I was familiar enough with the market to know it was a good deal, was able to get the contract signed ASAP, and even negotiated a price reduction from the already low asking price.
    • I met two newer but enthusiastic wholesalers on this deal. We still talk several times a week and are growing together.
    • I asked for private money and only had to bring $1009 to closing plus it opened discussions with the guy about funding other deals.
    • I believe in the Beltline and am so excited to own a property on it.

    If you could do this year over again in real estate, what would you have done differently, and why?

    • I would done better on my second deal by negotiating a better price up front. I also (foolishly) let the inspector talk me out of turning on the water for the inspection due to one known leak. In reality, there about 12 of them and it really blew my budget. In retrospect, I was frustrated with my job and just wanted to do a deal.

    What is one new thing you plan to implement in 2015?

    This questions dovetails nicely with @Rick Baggenstoss  challenging me to post my 2015 goals here and after his great compliments I have to oblige him so....

    2015 goals:

    • Buy two more houses and rent them
    • Automate and outsource the heck out of out of tasks!  If I have to do something pretty brainless more than 3-4 times then I need to make an instruction sheet and send it overseas to do.  
      • I am actually working on a program with some other Section 8 landlords and my husband (who does IT work) to help us maximize our rents.  I'm pretty excited about it.
    • Help 3 landlords get their first house into Atlanta's Section 8 program. I sit on their Advisory Committee and I believe in the program. I also know lots of juicy details they won't tell you like...
      • How to get $100/month EXTRA over market rate for the first 5 years your house in the program.
      • Easy ways to "cheat" on the inspection but still get your desired result.
      • Cell phone numbers and best contact information for everyone at the AHA so you can get your issues escalated to the right people the first time.

      Related to this goal I'm going be hosting a free, informal class in January for landlords interested in learning more about the program. Someone from the AHA will show up (AFTER I tell all of their secrets) so you can talk to him as well. I'm not done with the materials yet, but if this is something any one is interested in then send me a message and I'll add you to the invite list in January.

    • All of my real estate related money and invoices are going to be filed/labeled correctly within 30 days.  

    • Make at least $20K (after marketing expenses) extra in 2015 wholesaling or wholetaling houses.
      • Even though every one on BP seems to be pretty down on paying for a real estate education, I bit the bullet and signed up for a year's worth of mentorship with Michael Quarles. In addition to the up front cost, I also negotiated a salary reduction, shorter work days, and 3 work from home days from my real job. This was partially because I wanted a better quality of life, but also because it will ensure I work hard to get more deals done.

      These are my major real estate goals for 2015.  We'll see how these work out for me in 13 months.

Heather, sounds like you've done very well for yourself. Congratulations and enjoy your vacation. looking forward to the sequels!

For me its been amazing and inspiring watching you attack your goals and watching you succeed! 

Looking forward to watching you continue to grow! 

Congrats @Heather W.  !   Sounds like 2015 will be a GREAT year for you!  My favorite part of your PLAN to achieve your goals was the ...

 I also negotiated a salary reduction, shorter work days, and 3 work from home days from my real job. This was partially because I wanted a better quality of life, but also because it will ensure I work hard to get more deals done.

It's AMAZING how much life improves and how much MORE money you can make when you cut back or eliminate your J-O-B!

@Heather W.  

congrads on your first year and very encouraging to hear all that you have done in 2014. It's encouraging for a new member such as myself to see what one year can bring when you apply yourself.

I wish you much success in 2015!

@Heather W.  Congratulation!  Real estate entrepreneur at work here!

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