First house hack - that led to 4 + properties

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Alright Bigger Pockets people! I've been waiting to post my update on dipping my toe in the water to full on diving in and swimming away in less than 2 years! First of all shout out to April Vogt on pushing me to get active in Bigger Pockets. 

That being said in February of 2017 I closed on my first property. I had just relocated to Tahoe and wanted a property that I could live in but also vacation rent in case work required I be in southern california more than iI wanted. I bought the property at 3.5% down, put about 45K into the remodel and airbnb'd the first floor while living there. 2 years in a row I grossed 30K in airbnb revenue. Effectively paying off the remodel investment. 

A few days ago I sold the property for a 120K profit after a challenging close. It took my buyer 3 THREE lenders to close. The 3rd lender was the one I use on my properties and that's the only reason I extended escrow with her a 3rd time.

In the process of making a nice profit in 18 months I invested in another vacation rental in the same area returning 25% annually on our investment and bought and remodeled a single family residence that the dog I adopted 1 year ago said she wanted for the huge backyard ;) 

Once I knew my first property would sell I started expanding my search to my home state of Ohio. we currently have 3 offers out to sellers and I'm guessing we'll close on an Ohio property in late Q1 or Q2. I've always heard it takes money to make money. In real estate it took me gaining a comfort level in my first property to open my eyes to ALL of the possibilities that real estate has to offer.

Keep in mind that my day job is a commercial real estate developer consultant. I help developers build their multi-million dollar developments and 7 figure profits. So I fully understand the upside in this industry... I just never had the starter cash. 

The key things that I want to let everyone know: 

1. It's not as daunting of a process that your mind makes it to be

2. real estate ALWAYS has luck involved but also ALWAYS provides a path that allows you to take very calculated "safe" risks if you put the research and time into it

3. your comfort level will grow with experience and that is what leads to the higher return properties. Risk is mitigated by experience. 

4. Make sure you build a trustworthy and solid team around you. There is NOTHING you can do in life by yourself that exceeds what you can do with a cohesive team. The trust you have with your business partners and contractors will take you to heights you've only dreamed of. 

5. Sometimes you have to be willing to just take the risk and hope that your experience and research will bring you out the other side smelling like roses.... or with change in your pocket and experience you can parlay into the next investment. 

bottom line real estate is not for the conservative and risk averse investor. The human element is rampant and ALWAYS throws unexpected curveballs. However, if you have the stomach for it real estate can also create a path to personal freedom.... which isn't that what we all ideally want???

North lake or SLT? I lived in North Lake (incline and Stateline) for years. Any numbers or other details you are willing to share? $30k/year gross rents doesn't seem like a lot. It paid off your remodel but did it cover mortgage, taxes, property management, capex, maintenance, etc.?

And where's the new SFR?

@John D. I was living in the property and making 30K a year off rentals. If I had a busy work week I just closed out the rentals and when I was willing to share my space I opened the rentals. I was also able to meet people from all over the world and had some amazing conversations.  

My intent on renting was just to offset some living expenses in case I couldn't live there full-time and the return I received exceeded my expectations. That provided me with the confidence purchase another property with an actual business intent since I saw a path to being very profitable and worth the risk.  Hence the 25% return annually on that property. 

Hey! Wow, this is the best thing I've read about real estate investing in a while! I love hearing the successes but then your assessment of the industry in general is totally spot-on. Thanks for saying all of those things for everyone out there!

Originally posted by @Kristi Kandel :

In the process of making a nice profit in 18 months I invested in another vacation rental in the same area returning 25% annually on our investment and bought and remodeled a single family residence...

Impressive numbers! 

I've heard it can be tough to make numbers work in Tahoe area.  I'm curious to hear more about these two properties. What areas? Did you remodel both properties? 

@Andrew Maury Ground up does not pencil. Off market properties is how I'm doing it. I found a community I wanted to buy in for various reasons and sent a letter to about 200 properties. As a result I now own 2 of them for well under market value. The property owners were both ready to let the property go for various reasons and were willing to sell to me for numbers that work. It's also a plus for LL's that there is an incredible housing shortage (for the past 20-30 years) and never a shortage of people looking for places to rent. I buy properties that need work and rehab them. There's pretty much nothing that can scare me from a remodel standpoint unless the house is ready to fall over. Everything else can be fixed and then refinance, cash out and buy again.