Success stories from 2012 AND what do you plan on doing in 2013

35 Replies

I went to a REI club meeting earlier this week, and the vast majority of the meeting was spent listening to other members' success stories from throughout the year. We were able to hear what other investors have done and/or are doing, as well as some of the actual numbers from their deals. It was very motivating and informative.

Additionally, with the changes in the market that we've seen over this past year (i.e. hedge funds buying more aggressively, increasing home prices, lower inventory, etc), there was also some discussion on if/how investors plan on altering their investment strategy in the coming year.

I think we could all benefit and get inspired from hearing what other BP'ers are doing. So...who would like to share?

@Kyle J. dont exclude yourself, Would love to hear what you have done.

2012 was rough personally on our family, and yet as a family we flourished professionally. Wife was placed locally to finish her doctoral duties and get her PHD in counseling psychology.

I started a real estate business with my Dad in July, we have sold 3 houses, have one on the market and just purchased #5. The 3 we sold were light rehabs and we either put on the MLS or sold to another investor and made an excellent profit on each one. The one on the market now is a full rehab with excellent margins we did with a private investor, and the one we just closed on we are already getting offers for in as is state for double our purchase price.

2013 we hope to sustain buying/closing 2 houses a month and i hope to quit by job by the end of Q1. I have a track record of hitting my goals about 3 times faster than what i set, i just hope i can sustain that growth and build something great for my family.

I'll start. (It's not going to be nearly as impressive as what I know others on here have done, but it is what it is.)

Here's what I did in 2012:

1) Bought one single family house for a long term rental. This house required a fair amount of repairs/rehab, but it ended up looking pretty much brand new when I was done and I was able to rent it out to a great family just two days after all the rehab was done. Nothing like immediate cash flow! :)

2) Established a new relationship with a fix and flip guy who also wholesales properties, and I'm in the process of closing on a house that he is wholesaling to me. If all goes well, I'll close on it in the next two weeks and I'll end the year with two new rentals.

Here's what I'd like to do in 2013:

1) Focus more on acquiring non-listed properties. There's just so much competition for the few houses listed on MLS right now, that it's hard to get one without overpaying. I haven't identified exactly how I'll do this yet, but I'm working on it.

2) Look into the possibility of getting into private lending. Seems like another good way to diversify and produce additional income. I'm still in the very early stages of learning how to do this and it's going to take a lot more research before I'd commit to actually doing it. There's just so much to learn and I can only read so much about Dodd-Frank, the SAFE act, and usury laws in one day without my head exploding. :)

Originally posted by @Sam Craven :
Kyle J. dont exclude yourself, Would love to hear what you have done.

2012 was rough personally on our family, and yet as a family we flourished professionally. Wife was placed locally to finish her doctoral duties and get her PHD in counseling psychology.

I started a real estate business with my Dad in July, we have sold 3 houses, have one on the market and just purchased #5. The 3 we sold were light rehabs and we either put on the MLS or sold to another investor and made an excellent profit on each one. The one on the market now is a full rehab with excellent margins we did with a private investor, and the one we just closed on we are already getting offers for in as is state for double our purchase price.

2013 we hope to sustain buying/closing 2 houses a month and i hope to quit by job by the end of Q1. I have a track record of hitting my goals about 3 times faster than what i set, i just hope i can sustain that growth and build something great for my family.

Thanks Sam Craven. Funny, I was actually typing my list as you posted this.

Sounds like you had a busy year. That's a good thing. :)

Your post actually reminded me that I have one more very important goal for 2013, which is to retire my wife.

I'm one of those (rare?) people that actually likes their day job, so I'd probably keep working (at least for the foreseeable future) no matter how much money I made through investing. However, my wife is probably going to end up losing her job due to her company downsizing, and I'd like to be able to increase our passive earnings to the point where we completely make up for her current income (thereby not being so dependent on it).

Plus, I know she'd love to retire and do something that she enjoys more. And my philosphy is "Happy wife, Happy life." :)

Hey everyone!

This year, for me, has been huge - but not in the normal real estate sense.

During 2012 - I sold a property that took almost an entire year to sell (long story!) which was a huge relief.

I also wrote a sort of "manifesto" that helped me re-define the kind of investor I wanted to be.

Essentially - my old real estate idea was to make more cashflow than my monthly expenses. Well, I did that -and then had to answer for myself: Now what?

It's then that I realized that if just lived off the cashflow I was making - I wasn't reinvesting my business. It's hard to grow even larger. So I shifted my focus to earning more elsewhere (flipping, blogging, etc) so I could reinvest all my cashflow back into my deals and grow even larger.

Then of course, in 2012 I joined BiggerPockets which is awesome and a great way to end the year.

So I'll call 2012 the year of the transformation.

That's fantastic @Brandon Turner . And very impressive that you were able to reach your goal of earning more cashflow than your monthly expenses, and then surpassing that!

The year started off a little rough with the passing of my father in February. But, on the real estate side of things, we sold 3 houses for more than double what we paid for them. We bought 3 more rentals, doubling the amount of rent we collected from the sold properties. Plus we are sitting on some cash and waiting to see what direction to go after the first of the year.

Originally posted by Sam Craven:

2013 we hope to sustain buying/closing 2 houses a month and i hope to quit by job by the end of Q1. I have a track record of hitting my goals about 3 times faster than what i set, i just hope i can sustain that growth and build something great for my family.

Hi Sam, how do you plan on financing two houses a month? Cash, conventional, hard money, something else? What's the average price point for homes you buy?

Congrats all. Great success stories! I made two great deals this year. They are by no means as big as many in the BP nation, but they are special for me personally as they allowed me to hit some "magic" numbers in my grand retirement plan:

1) Purchased a duplex that came with two long term renters (one tenant has been there for 15+ yrs, one 30 yrs--since the duplex was built!) Recognized the units were well under market value on rents because the previous owners had not kept rents current with the long term renters. Bought the duplex well under market value, raised the rents soon after closing to a reasonable market level, retained both long term renters, and cash-flow is outstanding.
2) Purchased a multi-unit town house building (8 total town houses--all 3BR, 1.5BA) well under market value with an owner financing deal...20 year term, 10 year balloon payment, fixed 5% rate, only 5% down. All eight units were already leased, and cash-flow is great. Won't need the full term as I will pay this one off much sooner, but nice to have the option with using the owner's money in case I stumble across another "just can't refuse deal" in the meantime.

Total cash-flow for my overall rental portfolio reached 100% replacement level of my corporate day job salary this year. (...queue the angelic background music!) I'm now counting down the years remaining at the corporate grind on one hand! If you're wondering why I'm staying... It's to build excess cash flow to continue growing the business. The grand plan has worked! For all the newbies reading...it is possible with a good plan, hard work, and perseverance...the get rich quick schemes do NOT work! Make sure the numbers work and build it one good deal at a time. It adds up much quicker than you may think when starting out.

Cheers to 2013! May it be as successful as 2012 for the BP nation. Good luck all!

Those sound like a couple great deals @Thom H.

And nice job replacing your day job salary. That's something that many investors strive for, so it's always good to hear when someone actually achieves it.

Love hearing these stories!

2012 was when I joined BP and also the year I started buying investment properties.

Bought my first mixed commercial/residential property in April that consisted of 7 units, and I am closing on my second January 2nd 2013 (another 7 units). I hadnt planned on buying a second building, but bought it on the cheap, so I made it work.

I am currently in the process of raising the capital for my 3rd property which I hope to buy later in 2013.

I attribute 90% of 2012 to the wonderful people and their wealth of knowledge right here on BP. I read plenty of books over the last 5 years and always found an excuse to postpone my goals until I found this site and started reading your stories...This site is better than any book out there, and I thank you all for being so transparent, and more importantly, willing to share your knowledge with the world.

Thom I would like to go off topic if I can, why did the seller of the 8 units want to sell if he only got 5 percent down and I'm assuming it was cash flowing? Over the years I've come across a few sellers that were just tired and wanted to get out. Just curious about your deal.

Although very small, I do consider a couple of things a success for me:

- I actually put in an offer on a house. And then another, and another! This is huge to me. It is 100% proof to myself that I'm prepared to get into this. I'm one of the what? 1% that looked into this and took a step into it. Sure, I never got a deal accepted this year, but I'm 10,000% ready to keep going!

- All the new skills I've developed to estimate house repairs. Maybe not the best, but I'm really conservative so I know if anything, my estimates are high. Sometimes I feel too high... But I'm learning.

- I put together my own personal game plan (which I'm revising) that I'm going to share with the BP community as soon as I land my first deal.

- All the little steps I've taken so far!

Perhaps most people here will think no big deal, but it's a huge deal to me :D

As for 2013...

I have some stuff going for me that I believe will happen. It's kind of speculation so I don't want to indulge but I'll be sharing my story as things progress.

But goals wise for 2013; I want to flip 2 houses on the west side of town, with a purchase price ranging from $60k-$90k and an ARV between $90-$140k. I want at least $28k in profit, in total.

We'll see!

Manuel

"So I'll call 2012 the year of the transformation."

Year of the transformation? More like the year of the hilariously low, rock-bottom prices in Florida. There was a house in my city selling for 9,500 that had asbestos walls...lol

These stories are all very motivating! It's good to hear that other BP'ers are getting things done out there.

@Manuel A. Sounds like you've made a lot of progress. I wouldn't consider those things small steps. Every step forward is a step in the right direction. Remember, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Originally posted by Jason Shen:
"So I'll call 2012 the year of the transformation."

Year of the transformation? More like the year of the hilariously low, rock-bottom prices in Florida. There was a house in my city selling for 9,500 that had asbestos walls...lol

if you find more of these, I am interested and will pay a finders fee.

2012 was a great year for my RE biz, in fact, a record year. I will not list all the deals I did, some I posted about, but will say I exceeded projections which is always good. A change from 2011 is that I started going after higher value homes and my first deal that sold for over $1M generated a profit of over $200k. I am now working on my third 7 figure deal and a 4th that is in escrow to purchase. I was paid off on some notes and need to reposition the funds into some new notes. I also started a new RE biz that launched this year and is starting to grow.

2013 will with out a doubt be even better than 2012 simply because I already have the deals in the rehab process and they will not be sold until 2013. One of these deals has a 7 figure spread so that deal alone will do it. I plan to pick up a lot more notes in 2013 and also expect my new venture to become profitable.

Originally posted by Will Barnard:
Originally posted by Jason Shen:

2012 was a great year for my RE biz, in fact, a record year. I will not list all the deals I did, some I posted about, but will say I exceeded projections which is always good. A change from 2011 is that I started going after higher value homes and my first deal that sold for over $1M generated a profit of over $200k. I am now working on my third 7 figure deal and a 4th that is in escrow to purchase. I was paid off on some notes and need to reposition the funds into some new notes. I also started a new RE biz that launched this year and is starting to grow.

2013 will with out a doubt be even better than 2012 simply because I already have the deals in the rehab process and they will not be sold until 2013. One of these deals has a 7 figure spread so that deal alone will do it. I plan to pick up a lot more notes in 2013 and also expect my new venture to become profitable.

Sounds amazing! I always wondered though, for your $1million+ properties, what are the DOM's? Do you still expect to sell the properties with 6 months? Ever sell to anyone with any kind of public recognition?

Either way, I hope the best for you're future endeavors!

In 2012 I acquired an additional 22 doors (total of 5 properties) on the buy and hold side. This pushed my total monthly net cash flow well in excess of my day job and that is a great feeling. I also successfully flipped my first two properties at a nice profit. I really like flipping as the analysis and and involvement is awesome. Its also nice not to deal with tenants for a change.

I think the most important thing that I did was really focus on putting solid systems in place from establishing relationships to contractors, property managers, reo realtors, etc... I also spent alot of time on bookkeeping and analysis which is what makes me tick. This has helped immmensly. I think a full time job forces you to be super efficient in your business dealings and will translate well to being a full time investor.

In 2013 I plan to continue to acquire rental units (doors are TBD as I may go after quite a few single families or less acquisitions on larger properties). I also plan to continue to flip properties to increase revenue streams and re-investment capital. I will continue to reinvest 100% of profits for at least another year then consider a career change and new business opportunites RE related.

2012 was fairly slow since my focus was elsewhere, but did pick up a couple small properties and may or may not close on an non performing note by year end.

2013 should be a bit better. Looking to pick up at least two more buy and hold properties and the goal is to flip 3-4 houses and build 1 - 2 spec homes. Like several others here i'm starting a direct marketing campaign for the first time with the first round going out on Jan 2nd.

Seems like a stretch for 2013 but i'd like to find a way to acquire a small retail strip center if funds are available.

2012 was a good year for me. Focused 100% on REO's to fix and flip. The market here is hot and REO deals were plentiful. I'm starting to see a huge shift to short sales here due to legislation passed in the state, which means longer wait times to buy and close on deals. So I have to take into account a possible three months wait once I find a deal and get it under contract. This scares me as here in Vegas, the market seems to change every three to six months in some way so I hate to be tied up to a property that long. I like to turn and burn.

For 2013 I'm really trying to take the long view. Short sales will be big, but what will be the next trend? For this first time since around 2006 I'm starting to hear people talk about how much equity they have in their house and appreciation they are seeing. I have been 100% MLS for years as nobody really had any equity, everyone was so far underwater. I think the time is coming to get back into the whole "We Buy Houses" mode where you have flyers, marketing, signs etc targeted at FSBO with equity who need to sell fast. 2013 may not be the best year for it, but I plan to start laying the foundations now and starting to get my name out there. 2014, 2015 and on could see more homeowners with equity and I want to be positioned to be the one they call when they need to sell. To give you perspective of the appreciation we are starting to see, I bought my personal home in Dec 2010 for $245,000. It is now comping comfortably at $330,000.

I began 2012 with a rehab project (my first) that had been dragging on for quite some time for different reasons. Then I attended the BP Summit and that's when things changed. I met some great people there, and learned from some of the best in the business. In particular, J Scott, Marty Boardman, @Will Barnard , Aaron Mazzrillo, and Rich Weese not only shared so much invaluable information in their presentations, but graciously made themselves available away from the conference rooms to people like me. All of these guys plus Ed O and Steven V really inspired me and motivated me to get things going.
I returned home, finished the rehab and sold it for a modest profit. Later in the year I purchased my second and third rehab projects, which should both be finished and listed for sale this weekend.

In 2013 I hope to add some more rentals to my portfolio, and continue to do more rehabs. I'm going to have to learn new techniques to fill my pipeline, which will be a challenge since I'm still working full time.

Congrats Andy, that is fantastic. I look forward to the next Summit and sharing more info with my BP friends.

So do I, Will. Vegas would be nice. I may need to get these houses sold to fund the poker and craps budget though. :-)

Originally posted by Andy Bankston:
So do I, Will. Vegas would be nice. I may need to get these houses sold to fund the poker and craps budget though. :-)
Unfortunately, per Josh, Vegas is out of the question (no idea why) so no worries on the craps budget! :)

2012 was the year I decided to quit my day job within 2 years (end of 2014). I spent all of October, November & December reading books, blogs, BP, listening to podcasts and going to networking events. I put together a comprehensive business and marketing plan that will help guide my efforts.

2013 will be the year of action. As I am typing this I'm currently printing 954 envelopes to go with my letters that I printed off yesterday - marketing to absentee owners and probates. I'll be dropping these in increments of 250 over the next week to attempt to spread out the calls. I have some planned blog posts on this subject as well as starting a BP thread on my journey.

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

We hate spam just as much as you

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here