Newbie from Grimes, IA

5 Replies

Hi! I'm Tonya Quinn. I'm originally from Des Moines, IA. I will be attending DMACC this semester for an Accounting & Bookkeeping degree.


Get ready for a long post!

A little bit about my experience in real estate:
When I bought my first house I didn't want to get ripped off, so I went to school to be a real estate agent. I got my license (in North Carolina) and bought my first home with a very helpful mortgage broker. He was especially helpful because he thought I was going to become a practicing agent. I was going to, but got talked out of it by my fiancé at the time. I later refinanced the house because rates had dropped. I went to the same broker, and this time around he wasn't as friendly. I ended up getting a much worse loan than I think I could have gotten, but it was still better than what I was paying, so I went ahead with it. The lesson I learned from this was that I should have learned about loans instead, because that's where they can getcha!


This is what got me motivated to become an investor:
I read "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" and I agreed with his concepts. It was very inspirational and made me want to pursue investing in real estate. I figured I could buy foreclosures and sell them like Robert. I'm still trying to find the best niche for me. Bigger Pockets showed me so many new options that I didn't know about.

This is a passion of mine:
I've always enjoyed sales. I'm so enthusiastic about it that I've actually competed to be the best even when there was no reward for doing so. For example:
I worked at Walden Books (way back when that was a thing.) They had a "Preferred Reader" program. It was a card that cost $10. It's hard to give people a card for free if they have to fill out a form so selling one for $10 was next to impossible, right? I was determined to find a way to make it work. The card would give customers a 10% discount. I decided to just do the math. So, if someone spent $100, they'd get the card for free.
Before I took the initiative to sell these cards, the store would sell maybe 10 a month. I was selling 10 per day sometimes! I know that talking about a bankrupt bookstore doesn't seem to have much to do with real estate investing, but I think it's pertinent because it shows my passion for competition. Selling more cards than my co-workers even after I showed them my process was exciting to me! (and it made everyone do better just for the fun of it)

I'm enthusiastic to get started:
I have yet to buy my first investment, but I have an opportunity to rehab the house that my parents are living in because they plan to give it to me as an inheritance. It needs work. I feel that if I get it improved before it's thrown into my lap, then it'll be more likely to become an asset, rather than a possible liability. My parents know what all the problems are, and can help me fix them. It's an older house and I believe it has lead paint/asbestos siding. There is a sewer leak that needs fixed. When it floods in Des Moines, the basement gets flooded. (They have a sump pump) There's a drainage issue on one side of the house as well. It needs a LOT of work on top of those issues. I'd like to work on this house because I would only have to pay rehab costs to start (instead of having to buy a property and try to flip it) So, that's why I feel like it may be a good start, but I am open to other avenues. Which is why I came to the Bigger Pockets forums!

Networking is so important and I'd love to connect with other investors in the Des Moines area. I'm interested in buying property in Ankeny, West Des Moines, Grimes, Urbandale, Clive, and Johnston. I'm open to other areas as well. This is just a rough list.

Thanks for hangin' in there until the end! 

Welcome back! Which DMACC branch will you be attending? 

I have a question for you. Who will be paying to rehab your parents house? If it's them, then I think it's a great learning opportunity. If it's you (as it sounds like), then you are basically dumping money into somebody else's house, even though you will be inheriting the house at a later date. Not sure that's the best way to start your investing career. 

So far I'm investing just in Ankeny, as that's the area I know best. Possibly some good opportunities for you here if you want to house hack a duplex. Top notch rents in Ankeny as well. Much better than Des Moines. And I'm finding almost all the utilities are separate metered here so easy for tenant to pay and not the landlord. 

I will be attending the Ankeny DMACC. My family lived in Ankeny for 5 years and we LOVED it. We currently own our home free and clear in Grimes.

My dad already told my mom that he would pay $10,000 to remodel her kitchen, so that's on the table. My mom is pretty much willing to pay for everything. The only thing that would stop it is if there was a big expense (because that's where my dad would be more likely to put on the brakes). I would be willing to kick in about $10,000 on the rehab of their house maximum, just to keep it going. 

They're both handy and can do most of the work themselves. Growing up my dad made an additional room to our old house, and I remember helping re-roof our garage.

House hacking a duplex is something that I'd be interested in, but not my husband (he'd rather live in new construction).

I know a realtor in Ankeny at Century 21 named Thomas Payne, and he's worked with a few investors before. We haven't started working together yet, because I've been looking at my parents house as a starting point.

I'd love to talk to you more about the Ankeny market!

@Tonya Quinn Ankeny market is hot right now for multi family. I was outbid on two duplexes this month. I’m currently trying to locate an off market property. Once they hit the MLS it’s like blood in the water. The numbers didn’t work for me on the last two, but there are 243 duplexes in Ankeny, so something will pop.

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