Rages to riches, or at least fairly wealthy

65 Replies

I'm wondering if anyone would like to share a short cap of their story. Have any of you started Real Estate with no money or very little? Where are you now? What niche did you start in? I don't buy into all the hype videos and programs for success. I want to hear REAL stories from REAL people!

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I would say that most of us fall into that category of course success is measured individually.  However unless you inherited a big chunk .. most of us started somewhere .

Myself I lived at home got my RE license and started selling RE at 18 and never looked back..  but I have also lived and worked through 4 major business cycles and took my lumps like many others..

So been very good times and been some pretty low times in this industry.. with 08 to 2011 the worse of the worse and basically in every decade i worked I had great years as well.

we all measure success differently..  myself my main goal was to put my kids through collage on my dime. I did that and gave them a great foundation to go forward with and that is/was more important to me than anything.

Stay healthy  give back  try to keep a good reputation in these days of social media  etc. 

One other thing I notice your asking a lot of these questions in different threads  thats a good way to get a barometer reading.

If you ask this question you will see how drastic difference in investor mind set on what success is.

Just ask the question:

How much would you need in monthly income to be set  and quit that job you hate ???

U will have the following answers  4k a month to 100k a month.. with the overwhelming majority settling on
10k a month that seems to be the magic number for many many investors If I can just get to 10k a month.

Myself back in the late 70s I thought if I could just make 5k a month I would have more money than I knew what to do with.

But then reality hits  kids  self employment tax  having to buy your own health insurance..  

Most dont really know how expensive it is to live when U get older so 5k a month or 10k a month today probably not going to cut it in 20 years.



Originally posted by @Jasmine Russell :

I'm wondering if anyone would like to share a short cap of their story. Have any of you started Real Estate with no money or very little? Where are you now? What niche did you start in? I don't buy into all the hype videos and programs for success. I want to hear REAL stories from REAL people!

We didn't start from rags.  My wife and I came from middle class families.  I became a lawyer and she works in market research after completing a master's degree in industrial organization psychology.  We both bring in six figure incomes and used that to save for real estate investments.  We are both in our late 30s.  We purchased our primary residence in 2011 and it is almost paid off and we began investing out of state (we live in New York) in 2017 and are closing on our sixth investment property in a few days.  We really just look at investing in real estate as just a way of diversifying our investments.  We have 401ks, money invested in index funds outside of retirement accounts, and our real estate investments.  On paper we are now millionaires, but we don't live extravagant lifestyles.  We had the same cars for almost twenty years until we drove them into the ground and replaced them with used cars. We bought a house that we knew we could pay down in approximately ten years.  We take a nice vacation once or twice a year.  We don't buy fancy clothes or jewelry.   We live within our means and look at the investment properties as essentially another retirement account.

@Jay Hinrichs thank you! Yes I'm trying to engage with people and learn. I understand this is all about your mindset. I'm curious how everyone in real estate thinks, what their goals are, how they are going about it. The more I learn the better!

@Jason G. That's why I asked about rags to riches stories. I have a human services degree and I do not work I that field. Due to the circumstances I didn't go back to college. So I do not have the income to save. I need to be creative here.

Originally posted by @Jasmine Russell :

@Jason G. That's why I asked about rags to riches stories. I have a human services degree and I do not work I that field. Due to the circumstances I didn't go back to college. So I do not have the income to save. I need to be creative here.

The no money part (rags) can be defined many different ways though.  For instance, my wife took out loans for her undergraduate and masters degrees and worked all throughout her time going to school and paid down all those loans on her own.  We didn't start off with six figure incomes, but we entered careers that allowed us to grow our income.  We lived below or means and saved our money.  We didn't do any creative financing or seek out partners.  Our past choices gave us our current opportunities and options moving forward and that will be so a decade from now as well, so even though you may not have income to save right at this moment, the choices you make now will set you up for future opportunities.  

Very few people started with rags even if they were poor. :-) There are number of quiet millionaires on this form that do not exactly tell all the details due to privacy reasons. Hint … Noticed many people do not put their last name only there first? Notice many people do not put a verifiable picture. 

I'm hoping someone will comment that really came from very little income. I've heard some stories but I'd love to personally talk with such a person! I have the smarts and the moxy to do something big here. Saving money over time is good but in my case it's not a realistic option for success. I'm no longer in a 2 income home. It's my 5 children and myself. I'm sure it's a different situation than many of you. I'm also sure that there are others that were in somewhat similar places financially with the determination like I have that built wealth from nothing. I would be honored to hear a story like that!

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@Jason G. Everything you're saying is correct. I am doing all the same stuff as well. I've gotten completely out of debt and managed to do much more than I expected. But that simply is not enough to generate the savings I need to accomplish my goals. This is why I'm going to try wholesaling for now. Any advice is appreciated. I created this just so people could share their stories and be heard and congratulated. Also everyone could use some more inspiration! Including myself.

Originally posted by @Jasmine Russell :

I'm hoping someone will comment that really came from very little income. I've heard some stories but I'd love to personally talk with such a person! I have the smarts and the moxy to do something big here. Saving money over time is good but in my case it's not a realistic option for success. I'm no longer in a 2 income home. It's my 5 children and myself. I'm sure it's a different situation than many of you. I'm also sure that there are others that were in somewhat similar places financially with the determination like I have that built wealth from nothing. I would be honored to hear a story like that!

 I have commented. I grew up so poor we were once relegated to living in a tent - 5 people - for 4 months. Stretches with no electricity or hot water. Usually no telephone. Salvation Army clothes. I went into the Navy because I had few other viable options. Got out and still fumbled around for a while, married, young kids, no money. It was a hard road 

My father was a mechanical engineer who developed a reputation of being prideful and difficult to work with and lost his "good" corporate job in the mid-80s. We drifted out of the middle class and below the poverty line. My mom went back to work in retail, my father started a VCR repair business. It got worse and worse all through high school as the bottom fell out of VCR sales.

It stung my brother hard -- he got a degree on computer science and announced to the family that he would chase the brass ring from then on. For me, it wasn't that bad. I was OK not being affluent. But I was determined to become something really respectable and socially worthwhile, a college professor in what I was naturally best in school at, English literature. Understanding that grades were incredibly important, I threw myself into my studies, did very well, and came out of college as one of the hottest postgraduate fellowship candidates in my field on the East Coast. Broke, but damn, did I have all kinds of pride.

Three years later, I realized I hated grad school and the life I was headed toward, and left my fellowship in the Ivy League to chase a girlfriend I had met on exchange from La Sorbonne back to Paris. What, have you never done anything stupid for a pretty girl? I quickly found work as an English language teacher, preparing students for high-stakes language examinations.

That rather predictably did not work out well, and so I ended up moving to Athens, Greece, and living there for three years with my folks, who left the USA as soon as I finished college. My father died and I lived in Greece for another four years, continuing to work as a language teacher and personal exam coach.

I left Greece in 2007. In the last eighteen months of my time there, I was forced to get into basic home renovation. My girlfriend at the time (you can probably see what's coming already) had her tenants leave the illegal rental basement apartment she owned in shambles, and my girlfriend couldn't find someone to renovate it to sell. I gallantly volunteered, and learned a great deal about how to fix a crappy basement apartment that at it's lowest point, an agent lowballed for €10K. My girlfriend ended up selling it for almost €30K. I saw none of this money, of course, but it definitely woke me up to the possibilities of real estate. At that time, Greece was going to an incredible financial boom that extended to real estate. I was determined to leave though, and my girlfriend asked me to renovate her own apartment. I did so, and by the time I was done, I realized there was no way she was ever leaving Greece, that she was just using me for my skills at that point. I proceeded to renovate my own place, my mother and I sold, and we moved back to the USA and put the money in a condo.

I struggled in my first few years back in the States. Language exam-coaching and second-language teaching is a very big business in Europe. Here in the States, it's little more than a charity. I was good at it, but I realized it wasn't ever going to really be able to support me. I knew I would have to change, but I didn't really know what I would do.

And then my mom died, and I kind of drifted, until I met a very nice woman (the theme repeats) and got married. A year later, my wife brought us our first rental deal. What did I know about running rental properties? Well, due to all the years of classroom and individual teaching I was pretty good at working with people and seeing things from their side, I was pretty good at fixing stuff naturally, and due to my extensive education, I was great at figuring out what I didn't fully understand from books and online sources. I greatly expanded my Greek skill set and became a self-taught handyman working in the kind of elderly properties that are so common here in the 'Burgh. We acquired more rentals, but slowly and with minimal debt. There was no hurry, we both had good W-2 jobs, my wife in health care and me in working for a company that produces language tests.

And then 2015 came along. In 2015, the Greeks refused to take a third bailout. And the rest of the EU and the banks brought the country to its knees and forced that bailout and the social havoc that has since followed down the Greeks' throats. I saw this process from the perspective of my family members in Greece and finally, finally understood -- I may not care too much about becoming wealthy and having a luxurious lifestyle, but money is power and anything other than affluence is weakness. I began reading extensively in personal finance and real estate investing. We greatly expanded the scale of our efforts to develop our rental portfolio and haven't looked back since. I hope to explain more about what a turning point 2015 was for me someday on the Money Podcast here at BP.

@Jasmine Russell i moved to to the USA from El Salvador in 2016. With our luggages and $3000.

My first job was assistant of Brick layer, $6 an hour. It was extremely hard for me and my wife and 2 kids.

In 2020 i started to learn about house flipping. Next week I'm buying my 14th house of 2021.

I'm not "rich" yet but I'm on a great path.

@JD Martin thank your yes I'm sry! I haven't listened to your story yet. I honestly can't figure out how to find your link🤦‍♀️😄. I'm still trying to learn how to use this app. Thanks for sharing that. Now I NEED to hear it! Asap

@Jim K. What an amazing story!! I see the theme that every bad thing that happened led to something greater. That is really inspiring. And I've definitely chased a guy or 2 into the abyss 😅😅🤦‍♀️ but I've learned my lesson. Your story and perspective are inspiring! I can't wait to get to a place of success and tell my story. You've inspired me. Thank you so much for sharing!!

Jasmine,

if you can get @?@Engelo Rumora    to respond.. Not sure if it was rags to richs totally.. but I know he started at the bottom and came from another country.. and by sheer strength of personality and hard work has done very well for himself..  

@Engelo Rumoraundefined

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