My goal in writing this forum is to motivate other young people to work hard, take action, and take risk. To show them that you don't have to be exceptionally smart, or have tons of money.
For a long time I didn't like talking about my accomplishments because I would always hear "wow that is amazing for your age". I didn't want to be compared to other people my age because the average person my age is no where near where I want to be. That's fine for them but not for me. I didn't want to be successful for my age, I wanted to be successful period.
Today at 24 years old, I would like to share how I got to where I am today. Bare with me on my writing I am dyslexic so it has never been my strength.
Let's start at the beginning. I was a poor student. I had bad grades in anything involving reading or writing. But man was I good in woodshop. Working with my hands just always made sense I could see the project from start to finish even if it was 1000 steps. I won awards for my projects when I was a freshman in high school. I thought I would be a furniture maker when I grow up. Well as high school went by I decided wood working was a hobby not a carrier. My skill working with my hands needed to be implemented else where. So my senior year I signed up to do the work release program to work half the day and go to school half the day. I jumped as a cleaner/ basic handyman for a small REI. Company. Any time he asked me "do you know how to do XYZ" I said yes ( I had no idea what I was doing). I learned through trial and error, but again this kind of work always came natural to me.
The day I graduated high school my brother and I bought a 4 bed house together ( mom and dad consigned). We planned to live there rent two rooms to friends and renovate it slowly. Well by month three we had added 2 more bedrooms in the basement. So we had 6 guys all in one house. It stayed this way for the next 5 years. My brother and I not only lived for free but also cash flowed on top of it. During those 5 years my brother and I ran a small construction company renovating kitchens and bathrooms. We did all the work ourselves. We learned through YouTube. Trial and error, and failing many inspections. By the end of college we had lived so frugal and had the house hack for 5 years that we were able to save up a chunk of money to get started in REI. Man did we hit the ground running.
In march 2012 we bought our first two properties we bought highly distressed and did massive renovations. All while continuing to take on construction jobs to pay for the next investment. By the end of 2014 we had bought 8 SFRs cash and did the massive renovations to get them rented.
Fast forward to today and we own a total of 18 units 9 SFRS, 2 duplexes, and a 5 unit apartment building.
How did we afford it? We took only what we needed and everything else went back into the company. In 2014 we gave up the construction company to focus strictly on REI. It isn't easy to see all that money coming every month and only take 2-3 hundred dollars to live off for the month. When I say we were frugal I mean it! But we had a goal and building the foundation quickly was required.
We plan to purchase a 10-50 unit building In 2015.
I hope some of you made it through my unorganized ramble and take away that you don't need to have anything exceptional just an unrelenting drive to achieve what you want. I am no where near my ultimate goal but I just now am feeling that we have built a solid foundation to build massive wealth on. To all other young investors. My advice can be summed into one quote " live like most won't so that you can live like most can't"
Amazing accomplishment @Jered Sturm
Although there's no way I could live for a month on only $200-$300 :)
Live a little like no one will, a lot like no one can! Congrats!
Good Job! Have you ever sold any of your buy and holds? Or did any flips or wholesales in the process of building your portfolio? Or even thought about it?
@Jerry Stone Great story! I am older than you by ten years but have similar goals! Your story is very inspirational! Thank you for sharing!
@Shane Willcox thank you for the kind words. The 2-3 hundred was when I was house hacking so I was not paying rent, mortgage, utilities, cable, or internet. I am able to be on my dads insurance. My truck was company truck. So my only expense was cell phone and food.
We have since boosted that personal income but still remain to live frugal.
Very good story @Jerry Stone. I am 22 and I am extremely close to closing my first deal and plan on doing the same things you did. Thanks for showing a lot of us young REI people that it is actually possible to make it.
@Jimmy Davis thank you. Wholesaling never interested me if it's a good enough deal I'll just keep it for myself. I may explore it later in my career when I have more deals than I can handle.
Flipping has been considered and we made one attempt at it. Unfortunately we failed at selling with in our 2 months allotted sale time so we took our second exit strategy and rented it out. As the market continues to change we will have to explore other strategies. Until the numbers stop working we are focused on buy and hold for cash flow.
So I have never sold a property yet. We have had several appraised to do cash out Refis.
@Christian Belleque Congrats ! You will learn more on that first deal than any other.
I wouldn't say I have made it but I am putting the starting steps in place to do so.
I was fortunate to enter the market when I did ( wish I would have several years sooner) to all beginners I issue caution of a changing market ( at least in my market) Make sure you understand all the numbers now more than ever) in 2012 pretty much anything worked.
Awesome story, I am 22 years old and have similar dreams as you do. I am looking to buy my first rental property in early 2015. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Again thanks for posting your story @Jerry Stone.
That is a great story for anybody at any age. Your never too old to get started in real estate investing also.
This is a great story! Thanks for sharing!
Jerry, my compliments.
This should go to all those young guys complaining about finding a good job and passing the day drinking and playing playstation.
The world is for the smart and determined. I always relied on persistence and you show you have it.
See you around.
Are you and your brother 50-50 partners on everything? If so, are you saying that you have 2 million equity in your 18 units? (Or enough equity that when split and added with other assets this has resulted in 1 mil. net worth for each of you?)
Great story, BTW. I voted for your post and love the humility. So many young people struggle so much with even buying the first property.
@Jered Sturm that's an incredible story which shows the theory hard work pays off. Thanks for sharing.
@Jered Sturm Thanks for sharing. Although you are younger than me, you are a great inspiration to REIs across the country. I'm on my way to getting started and you have created a great pathway for people both young and older to just get out there and do it.
Thank you to everyone who posted. The Post makes the whole thing sound glamorous, but believe me there were, still are, and will continue to be many many struggles along the way.
Since we are talking success stories ill share My biggest one yet. So my post was only my LLC's properties. I Recently noticed a large amount of commercial development happening in an area that had been on the decline for years. I saw a house that was listed for 85k right in the path of future commercial development. It was a homesteps owner occupy only house. I talked to my wife about it and we agreed it would be a nice place to live for a couple years and then hopefully get bought out by a developer or rent it out until that happened. we bought it for 75k. on the first weekend of owning it an agent of a developer knocks on my door. long story short I was able to legally be released from the home steps owner occ requirements and now have under contract to sell for 190k!
@Account Closed I can honestly say that if I didn't find the pod casts & BP I would most likely be bankrupt or sued. My reading comprehension is horrible so the podcast have given me a channel to take in information that I otherwise would never have known. I now also have accounts on audible, and have listened to pretty much ever audio book on REI that I can.
Good job man. "Live like most won't so that you can live like most can't". Great quote. IIRC, a similar quote was written in the Multi-Family Millions by David Lindahl. Keep it up.
Congratulations on your early start on your journey! I am 26 & on an aggressive path just like you!
Not to get personal but regardless of the 50/50 split, net worth means if your 18 units are liquidated, you cash out at $1,000,000. You basically have paid cash for all your investments, have no loans??
Great story and great work!
Very inspirational. Im 21 years old my self and wanted to get into real estate business but not exactly being a real estate agent. I thought maybe wholesaling houses was the way to start? Can you direct me in a way?
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Few entry level investors are willing to make the sacrifices that you and your family (your brother AND YOUR WIFE) have made in order to lay a solid foundation for a secure future.
It really is a case of "pay me now or pay me later." Contract the work out and expand faster at the cost of carrying greater debt OR Do the work yourselves, expand more slowly but preserve your capital so that when you do expand, you carry less (or no) debt into the next deal.
I have told you before and I'll tell you again, I believe that the main ingredient of your success has been that you and your partner (your brother) share identical or nearly identical principles/values/work ethic.
You should thank your folks. ; )
Take Care, Buddy.
@Nik S. Great to hear you have similar goals. You are correct my brother and I are 50/50 partners. My net worth is not personally at 1,000,000 yet, BUT notice the title of the post "$1,000,000 net worth at 25 years old" I am currently 24. Give me a year I will get there. The exact # is not important but I'm not too far off. next year is do able.
We have done a cash out refis on 3 of my properties but only at a 60%LTV. The 5 family we assumed an existing privately held mortgage at year 14 of 25 put 5k down and took it over, after rehab we have about 60% equity in that property.
"net worth means if your 18 units are liquidated, you cash out at $1,000,000." this assumes I own no other assets which is not the case.
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