Hello & Appreciations - From Fort Collins, Colorado

10 Replies

Hello & Thank YOU!

My name is Colton Davis and I'm a Fort Collins native and aspiring real estate investor (and just an average joe trying to build wealth). I'm an avid listener of BP for about 6 months everyday. I'm also HUGE fan of the some of books that have come to light through BP as well - Miracle Morning, Rich Dad Poor Dad's, & Think and Grow Rich & all the other books we've heard through the podcast that I'm still in the works on.

I've come to BP after being in the stock market through various means over the past 6 years. I've decided to refocus my efforts into something that is more physical, hands on, and a potential future career for myself & family. I have no plans to leave my career anytime soon.

If there's anything I've learned it's to set goals (unreachable ones at that), be prepared & educated, and get started (which is by far the hardest part of this journey for me). So, with that being said, by 32 I'm looking to create enough cash flow through buy and hold (SFH & Multi) and potentially house hacking to be financially free (not retired). Being who I am i would not stop at that time in my life, but it's the goal I've set and stuck to. In the meantime, my short term goal is to own 2 properties (multi family, that meet the ~2% rule - more specifics to come) by the end of 2019.

I have a career (of 5 years) that allows me to move freely through out the US in typically larger cities and pays well.

In the recent times I've found that the CO market near me is insane. I'm definitely having some troubling times finding a property that meets the fundamental "rules" that help ween out some weaker properties. I did however finally take the first step and contact a great connection & agent who's in the midst of helping me find the first property.

A big part of this post is to express my gratitude to all the consistent posters, hosts (Josh and Brandon), and all the amazing guests that have devoted their time to create such a supportive community and have been so unbelievably inspiring and knowledgeable. It's made a big impact on my life and I look forward to being able to provide the same inspiration and knowledge for the future generations / community.

I'm excited to finally hop in (both in the forums and into the market) and even more excited to meet you all in the near future.

Gratefully,

Colton Davis

Welcome Colton!  I'm a Colorado native too but am living out in Utah right now.  I also got into BP about 6 months ago too!  I have found similar challenges in Utah with the housing market being very expensive so that many of the traditional rules of thumb don't work really well.  To be able to keep moving forward I relaxed some of those rules of thumb such as the 1% rule.  I have a townhome under contract right now that I will be househacking.  (I'm single so I will be renting out the additional rooms).  I liked what Brandon Turner has said about how your first deal should be more about gaining experience than making money.  Obviously you don't want to lose too much money but I felt it was worth the plunge if I could find a househack where my monthly living expenses were about the same as what they are now and if I could gain experience from that househack to help me in the future.  

For example, with the townhome I currently have under contract, I found that my monthly expenses would increase by about $220 a month from what they are right now. That doesn't sound super great, but the townhome has a basement with a large greatroom that has the potential to be converted into another bedroom and bathroom for one more tenant. If I were to finish off this bedroom/bathroom in the basement and rent it out for $425 a month then I would go from losing $220 a month to saving $195 on monthly living expenses. I'm not quite living for free yet but at least I've reduced my monthly expenses and also by remodeling my basement I'm gaining experience of working with contractors which will help me with my goal of wanting to learn how to BRRR down the road. I'm also gaining experience of having tenant too. Your situation may be different from mine where you may or may not be able to househack like what I'm doing, but I found that I was able to find a lot more properties to work with once I shifted my focus from trying to make money on my first deal to gaining experience.

Thanks Michael!

Brandon - You couldn't have put it better. In my current industry, it's very much encouraged to make mistakes and learn from them (which is by far my favorite way, but it's challenging with the large cost.) They have the added benefit of not hurting the pocketbook too.

I've learned more and more that it's possible to get burned following strictly these rules, it's good to hear that we have to maybe pull back on these in an effort to at least secure a first house.

I'm in complete agreeance that i need to get my feet wet and mostly look to learn (i just wish it didn't come at such a high price, but too bad eh?) I very much look forward to learning more about a few things initially - please provide feedback if you care to.

-Seeking funding (brokers or creative) most likely FHA

-Appraising and estimating repair costs alongside professionals to get an idea of the process

-Building relationships with contractors, getting estimates on potential projects (also, reading to get a general sense of ARP)

-Learning and executing rehabs, by self and delegating to contractors.

-Research local market and decide on potential rent capabilities.

-Developing (or buying) comprehensive lease template, building relationship with Real Estate Attorney.

-Interviewing/screening tenants (interviews, background checks) and managing property.

I really appreciate your time Brandon. Best of luck with your current property, and thanks for your encouragement.

Hey Colton,

I’m in Fort Collins as well and would love to connect. I’m on the front end, essentially where you are; devouring every episode of the BiggerPockets podcast and any other book I can get ahold of.

Send over a PM and we’ll see if we can grab a cup of coffee sometime soon.

Cheers!

Logan

Hey Colton, 

 I'm also in Fort collins. I am involved in real estate with some family rentals and I'm working towards investing myself. I would love to meet up some time and talk about what your thinking with regards to getting started and what you think can be done to start investing in our area. The market is hot here in Northern Colorado for sure and it would take some creativity. 

Send me a pm sometime, I'd be interested in your thoughts. 

Thanks!

Andrew

Colton,

Sorry it took me awhile to get back to you, last week I was swamped with stuff!  Yes the high prices are a bit intimidating...this is the biggest purchase of my life so far haha so its given me some anxiety too!

Below are my thoughts to your questions

-Seeking funding (brokers or creative) most likely FHA

I'm sure there are many creative ways to get funding, but if you have a full time W2 job, FHA or conventional loan is probably the easiest way to go.  FHA only requires 3.5% down and right now conventional only requires 3%.  Also if you are former military you can get a VA loan for 0% down or if you want to go rural you can get a USDA loan for 0% down too.  Sometime the USDA loan covers areas that they consider rural but are actually up and coming areas you'd have to look at their maps of what areas they accept.  Just google USDA loan maps and you can learn more.  FHA and the USDA loan have permanent mortgage insurance which is an added cost that does nothing for you, whereas conventional removes the mortgage insurance once you have 20% equity in the property so if you can do conventional that is generally preferred but if you can make the numbers work FHA can be a good option too.  FHA will accepts a wider range of credit scores which is nice.  I did new construction which is generally considered a no no by investors but I chose this path so that I could have 6 months to save up for the down payment while still getting in on today's prices.

-Appraising and estimating repair costs alongside professionals to get an idea of the process

I currently don't know how to do this.  This is why I decided to go newer with something that I could add a room too.  I'm finishing a 4th bedroom and bath not just to get extra rent but to also be able to learn how to appraise and estimate costs in a controlled manner.  I'm kind of baby stepping my way into real estate investing haha.  I do know there is a book on amazon called the "Construction Cost Estimator" so that might help but I haven't read it.  Also, I joined a RIA and I use that as a place to ask lots of questions.

-Building relationships with contractors, getting estimates on potential projects (also, reading to get a general sense of ARP)

I used my RIA and realtor to get referrals for contractors to work with.  Contractors struggle to return phone calls so I was persistent ins asking my realtor for multiple contractors.  I definitely value the contractor who returns my calls and emails, because that shows they are accountable.  Have a sketch ready to go of a basic floor plan for your renovation, and a list of what's important to you.  Contractors appreciate you giving them as much info as possible before they give you bids.  Also, my dad does contractor sales at Lowes so I'm running everything by him on materials side to see if what I'm being quoted sounds reasonable.  Go hang out at a hardware store at like 6 in the morning that is when the contractors come into by their stuff.  The earlier the contractor comes into the hardware store, the better chance he gets work done in a timely manner because he is getting a good early start to his day.

-Learning and executing rehabs, by self and delegating to contractors.

I thought about adding my 4th bedroom solo, but I'm probably going to go with a general contractor for this one and watch him closely and ask lots of questions so I can learn from him as much as possible.

-Research local market and decide on potential rent capabilities.

I used realtor.com and Zillow along with craigslist to see what houses similar to the houses I were looking at were renting at.  I also asked my realtor's opinion too.  Find a realtor who is doing investment properties in the area!!!  That is probably one of the most important things you can do!!!  Find a realtor who is doing exactly what you want to be doing and model off of them.  A lot of people say find a realtor who closes lots of deals and while that is good advice I think it is more valuable to find a realtor who has already done what you want to do.  Let me give you an example.  The first realtor I started with was very experienced, had closed a lot of deals, but she didn't live in the area I was looking in.  While she was nice and informative we clashed and I felt some of the advice she gave me accidentally led me down the wrong path.  It wasn't her fault she was leading me from her best judgement and if I wanted to do what she had done it would have been great advice, but I wanted to househack for as cheaply as possible in a good location and she didn't get that.  I worked with another realtor who he also had a lot of experience but again we were in two different stages of life and I felt his advice was not relevant to what I was trying to do.  I found another realtor accidentally who was younger and had much less experience than these two other realtors, but she was house hacking herself in the town that I wanted to buy in.  She not just found me a great deal but she has given me great advice on where to set rents because she is doing exactly what I want to do in the location that I want to do it.  Also, she saved me a lot of money by convincing me to go more inexpensive where as the other realtors were trying to get me to spend more money than what I felt comfortable doing.  While she is still developing experience she gives me a bunch of attention and is very prompt.  I then bounce her advice that she gives me off of other real estate investors I know to verify it.  This system while unconventional has worked really well for me. 

-Developing (or buying) comprehensive lease template, building relationship with Real Estate Attorney.

Haha I actually posted this same question on BP and was given a couple real estate attorney referrals out her in UT.  BP pro members get access to lease templates for several states, but my realtor actually gave me her lease that she uses with her tenants, and since were both house hacking it appears relevant to what I'm doing.  I will run this lease by another real estate investor though to make sure I'm not missing anything.

-Interviewing/screening tenants (interviews, background checks) and managing property.

From my RIA I learned there is software you can have your tenants submit their info to and it will run a background check.  I don't remember the name of it but I can ask at my next monthly meeting.  I'm thinking about doing Air BNB though because I am a bit hesitant about having someone on a year lease.  I am still trying to figure this one out too.  Brandon Turner put a book out on this topic I think it was called the Complete guide to rentals or something like that and I think it describes his screening process.  That is still on my to do list.  Also, he talks about managing property too.  I am currently reading "Househacking" by Ben Leybovich which is about how to do a househack by using an Air BNB model.  Once I finish that book I will read Brandon Turner's book on long term rentals and compare both books to my current market and my own personal preferences and make a decision on that one so the jury is still out on that one.

Hope this helps!  I'm excited to hear about your progress and what hidden deals you can find in Colorado!  If you have anymore follow up questions please don't hesitate to ask!

Sincerely,

Brandon Hunsaker

Hello! @Colton Davis

Welcome to BP, and congratulations on making the decision to invest in your future via real estate.

I have written a few blog posts that may help you get started here on BP, and with your investing. Please click on the links, give them a read, and share your thoughts in the comments.

First is a post that I feel will help not get overwhelmed with the amount of info that is here on BP:

https://www.biggerpockets.com/blogs/5868/52761-the-simple-guide-to-getting-started-on-bp

The second is a post that will help get you focused with your real estate investing goals:

https://www.biggerpockets.com/blogs/5868/52743-im-new-to-bp-any-advice-would-be-appriciated

The last one is a post that will help you choose an “investor friendly” real estate agent.

There are many agents out there, but it’s important to choose the right one.

https://www.biggerpockets.com/blogs/5868/52724-im-new-to-investing-how-do-i-find-an-investor-friendly-agent

I love answering questions if you have any! Good Luck :)

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