I am a newbie and I have been interested in real estate investing for a while and decided that I need to get more serious about it! I do not want to be hindered by analysis paralysis.
I live west of Grand Rapids, Michigan and my husband and I are interested in buy-and-hold properties. We're currently saving for a down-payment or cash buy and are open to single or multi-family homes. We are feeling a bit cautious going into debt (we followed Dave Ramsey to get out of debt); however, we believe real estate will be a great investment.
I'm excited to read and learn from this community!
Welcome Monique H. Great to hear you're making a commitment to REI. What helped me get out of the books were meetup groups. I went to as many as I could find. It was the networking from those groups that got my foot in the door. Let us know if you have any questions.
I have contemplated joining the RPOA and actually taking some of the classes they offer, but have not thought to attend any meetup groups. Thank you for your comment!
Welcome to BP Monique! If you're afraid of going into debt by buying real estate investments the traditional way then study and get knowledgeable on lease options. There is a huge market for lease options in the West Michigan area. Let me know if you need assistance with anything.
I am trying to think beyond the Dave Ramsey mindset for real estate investing, as he is adamantly against lease options. However, after listening to some RPOA podcasts with people who have either purchased or sold that way, it intrigued me and I do need to learn more about it. Thank you!
@Monique H. welcome! I started with the same Dave Ramsey philosophy...which has developed into a hybrid since ;) Obviously it's all about the numbers so be careful and evaluate the property with professionals who know the rental market! There is tremendous opportunity in Grand Rapids, and a great resource here at Nigger Pockets. If you need any help please let me know.
Updated over 3 years ago
Hi Monique. I'm quite new to the game as well, and from Michigan, so I thought it fitting to speak with another Michigan newbie on my opinions. Many people seem to combine Dave Ramsey's technique with Robert Kiyosaki's- the author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad. They live frugally and well below their means, like Ramsey preaches, while using debt to advance their position in life and earn passive income. My mom and stepdad took the Dave Ramsey course after filing for bankruptcy, and their situation has really improved. I can't specifically point to the course as the reason for this, because they both got good paying jobs in the meantime, but it definitely helped them. On the flip side, when you get into things like commercial and multifamily, debt is almost a necessity, but look how much money those guys are raking in! You can only grow so much and go so far on cash. Its all about the balance of risk when it comes to indebting yourself. In the interest of not making this post into a book though, I'll end by recommending you to read Rich Dad, Poor Dad if you haven't already. Welcome to BP!
Welcome to BP @Monique H. Exciting times for you and your husband. I agree with Tim regarding the "hybrid" approach.
I'm sure you'll be running plenty of analysis on the initial properties; however, one MI related aspect I always advise the investors I work with to be aware of is the calculations for Non-homestead tax rates when estimating P&L, as well as cash flow. Several resources available, but happy to help in this arena if you'd like. Can point you towards a few sites I use, etc. Also how I run my initial numbers for rough "Go / No Go" out of the gate analysis. What areas of GR are you looking at for your first round (of many... :) )?
Have a great weekend / holiday. Feel free to reach out with any questions.
Thank you @Tim Vandentoorn!
@Jarred Ross, thank you! We are blessed to have found Dave Ramsey and to work his steps to get out of debt! But, you are right, it's about balance. I have read Rich Dad, Poor Dad and did gain some good ideas from that and it definitely was the beginning of broadening my investing views.
@Jacques Cyr, thank you for that info. Right now the only websites I'm using are Zillow, the MLS and now and again I go onto the GIS map to view owners. Oh, and Facebook housing groups to see what kind of rentals people are looking for and what houses show the most interest. I have not actually done a full analysis on a property besides " if I bought it for X and rented it for X and paid X for expenses, I'd have X amount a month in cash flow". I'm actually eyeing the Muskegon area since it's a bit closer to home for me and I like what I'm hearing about it (for the most part) and I believe our money can go further there. I'm kind of kicking myself for not buying our personal residence in Muskegon, as we live in Spring Lake, but my kids don't utilize the school district right now. I could have gotten a lot more house for less and had more cash flow to save. But, I digress... I love the Lakeshore and hope to invest in it!
@Tyler Hall, so glad to see so many from the Grand Rapids area! And a Dave fan!
I went through the Dave Ramsey program two times, once when I was a teenage and once later on with my wife. There are definitely great things in there but overall he is extremely conservative. I believe following his teaching to the letter should be for people coming back from bad financial habits/ bad debt/ bankruptcy. I recommend (as others did) searching out other resources as well. Obviously there are Biggerpockets podcasts but I also suggest Robert Kiyosaki (as I read others have), Grant Cardone (polar opposite of Dave Ramsey I feel), and Zig Zigglar. Grant Cardone is much more aggressive than Dave Ramsey - I tend to find myself somewhere in the middle of them both. Zig is more of a motivational speaker/ salesman but he is one of the greats that both Grant Cardone and Dave Ramsey have drawn inspiration from.
All that to say don't worry about straying away from Ramsey. He has some sound principles but could hinder your growth with how conservative he is. At the end of the day too his business is telling people to buy his business (sells insurance and real estate).
Sounds like you're on the right path though and remember at some point you need to got for it and buy! Best of luck to you!
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