Veteran Mortgage Broker, Newbie Investor from Orange County, CA

10 Replies

Hi everyone!

I'm Chayson and have recently been bitten by the REI bug. I've been in the mortgage business since 2003 but never turned the corner into investing (aside from a failed primary residence attempt in 06 - perfect timing, I know). I'm still trying to determine the market (or markets) I want to get into, but am definitely looking at something long distance as southern CA property is a bit too expensive for my initial jump.

Here’s a little background on me:

I'm born and raised in Orange County, CA. My mom was an office manager for a small mortgage broker my entire life and as such, I basically grew up in that office. My first job as a junior in high school was telemarketing for that company and I've had at least one foot in lending ever since. I got my real estate license in 2007 and my broker's license in 2017. I'm currently licensed in 22 states and working for a small lender, although the goal is to open my own broker shop in the nearish future. The past few years have been heavily focused on VA loans so I'm really knowledgeable in that category (100% VA financed 4plex anyone?) although I'm pretty familiar with everything outside of USDA.

What I want to invest in:

Right now I'm still in the research phase of my (fledgling) investing career but once I narrow down a few locations the plan is to start with a small SFR value add buy and hold. One piece of advice I continue to hear to to get your first deal out of the way which seems to start the snowball. Ideally that snowball will turn into a couple smaller residential value add buy and hold deals to build a system and team, familiarize myself with the rehab side of things, bring to light the things I don't yet know that I don't know, and gain some credibility. I *think* I'd like my end game to shift up to multi family, but really who knows at this point. The real end goal is FI and whatever it takes to get there is what it's gonna be.

My next steps:

I went super hard on the podcasts initially to get a little bit of knowledge on a lot of different things and have now started narrowing it down a little more. Went to my first meetup a few weeks ago which was really cool, definitely looking to network a bit more irl through more local meetups (hope to meet some of you there!). Audible has been my best friend and I've gone through a few of the newbie reads like Richest Man in Babylon, Rich Dad Poor Dad, and Cashflow Quadrant. Followed those up with some motivational/self help reads that aren't focused on REI and now I'm onto more real estate specific like Long Distance REI and The Book on Rental Property Investing. I'm in the middle of Emerging Markets right now and after finishing the plan is to make decision on a few markets to put the feelers into, form a team, and start making offers. Any other book recommendations you felt really helped out when you were starting?

Anywho, looking forward to becoming part of the community and learning from everyone out there. Hopefully I’ll be able to push some value back your way so feel free to reach out with any of your mortgage questions. If I don’t know the answer off the top of my head I can definitely find it.

See ya out there!


Welcome, Chayson. 

Sounds like you've been doing a lot to educate yourself on the REI industry. Kudos to you for doing the hard work. And your career field is a huge plus, as well.

My top recommendation for new BP members is to plug into the podcast because it was wildly helpful for me, and it looks like you're already there! 

As to location for your OOS investments, I'm in southeast Tennessee and while there are fewer deals now than 3 years ago, there's still plenty of cash flowing opportunities in the market. And I know we're not the only ones. 

Good luck on your journey and keep us posted!

Welcome CHayson

We were in OC for about 12 years and just recently due to our investments moved back to my home State TN. I'm happy to share my story and offer recommendations for pathways of investing at those that have worked for us. I started by investing in familiar locations in AL. Then moved on to investing in St. George UT. Then I discovered STR and can say that the returns are well worth the efforts. Currently we own 4 LTR in AL and 4 in TN. Once you start you will become addicted fast.

@Chayson Descisciolo , welcome.  I'm a real estate attorney and broker based in Orange County, but I only invest out of state.  Did you finish the Long Distance Real Estate Investing book by David Greene?  I found that very helpful.  After that, you need to decide on your top markets and start making connections and relationships.

@Christina J.  

I feel you on the podcast. I just finished my 100th episode and each one gets me more and more pumped! Since you brought up the podcast I've got a question for you. How far back did you go with the podcasts and do you feel there is a certain point going back that it starts to lose value? If the first episode is from Jan 2013 do you think the market has changed enough that the information is stale?

Funny you mention Tennessee. A few months ago I helped one of my best friends buy his first home (primary not investment) in Fairview outside of Nashville. Nashville has been blowing up and I know that's forced appreciation into some of the suburbs and surrounding cities. There are a couple areas closer to Nashville that are on my list but haven't really looked into other parts of the state. Are you buying in Chattanooga proper or finding your deals in the smaller towns outside the city?

@Rhonda Blue

Wow I really like how you've pivoted investing locations and strategies. When I first started throwing around the idea of REI it was actually STR that caught my attention. The AirBnB market in Palm Springs caught my eye but felt a bit too saturated and high cost for me just starting out. TN and AL are two states I do a ton of business in and are on my radar for possible initial investment areas. I'd love to hear a bit more of your story and get your take on some of the markets in your area. Maybe jump on a phone call in the near future? Let me know if that would be alright and I'll start a PM.

@Bryan Zuetel

Hey Bryan it looks like we're neighbors! I live down the street from your office. One of my buddies has a small brokerage in the same building as you (well the one next door) as well. 

And yup, I really liked the David Greene book. I wanted to develop a little more of a knowledge base on choosing a potential location before I really started trying to make connections so I'm in the process of finishing emerging real estate markets by Dave Lindahl then the plan is to pick a few markets and start connecting like you said.

How long ago did you start investing? What were some of the major factors that led you to invest in the areas you're in?

@Chayson Descisciolo All of our properties are inside the city limits, but outside the downtown core. Huge population growth east of the city center and lots of opportunity. On podcasts, I still found a lot of value in the early episodes - not so much for insights on market conditions, but more for the creative mindset of the investors. If I am the sum total of the 5 people I spend the most time with...I wanted Bigger Pockets Podcast Guests to be (collectively) one of those 5 people. Is that possible?? ;)

Hi Chayson,

Good to see another guy being in the same boat as I am :)

I’m also in OC and just about to start real estate investing. Would love to connect and share ideas and/or just talk about real estate :)

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