Making connections in East Texas

65 Replies

New to investing buy & hold and in the East Texas area. Looking to connect with others about everything I don’t know (which is basically everything). Anyone in the East Texas area out there?
Originally posted by @Brett Wagner :
New to investing buy & hold and in the East Texas area. Looking to connect with others about everything I don’t know (which is basically everything). Anyone in the East Texas area out there?

Welcome Brett. I am near you. Been in construction all my life so if you have any questions in that regard just let know.

Hi Karen and Louis. I’m in the Jacksonville area and also looking to do more long-term investing. Do you have any goals set and figured out a certain strategy?

I'm looking to buy my first rental within 2 years (max!) and interested in the BRRRR Strategy BP talks about. What about you?

Originally posted by @Brett Wagner :

Hi Karen and Louis. I’m in the Jacksonville area and also looking to do more long-term investing. Do you have any goals set and figured out a certain strategy?

I'm looking to buy my first rental within 2 years (max!) and interested in the BRRRR Strategy BP talks about. What about you?

Yes I have many similar goals. I feel that long term rentals using the BRRRR Strategy should be my primary method. I work full time at a Steel mill on shift so i plan on doing alot of my shopping on my week days off. My price range is 0 to 55,000 which i will most likely use traditional bank financing. Im specifically looking for house that need some work but not so much that i cant handle with a couple of buddy's on a few weekends.(atleast for the first couple of houses) Then im hoping i will be ready to do some larger more extensive remodels.

I am looking to create enough cash flow to quit my job and eventually go full time flipping and BRRRRing. I want to acheive this in about five years, which i feel is agressive but achievable. Im figuring i will need 30 to 50 units conservatively. (Im figuring i will need 4000 a month to live very comfortably)

I already have one rental which i kinda fell into and bought from my father. Other than that i have been learning aggressively and have been looking for another deal that is within 30 mins of my home. Which happens to be (oakwood).

@James Call - Sure, I would be interested in chatting with you to get some details. However, it won't be for a month or two. I have several things (non-real estate) going on and will focus on this part later in Sept. Thanks.

@Brett Wagner - I'm only 45 min from Jacksonville. As far as BRRRR strategy, my strengths would be in the areas besides rehab - I would not be physically doing rehab, apart from some minor things. However, I certainly don't mind doing physical labor, just not a lot of construction stuff.

@Karen Shirk Hi Karen. Our group is based off of Meetup.com like most others. There is no fee to open account and you can look up by interests. Real Estate. We are the Longview Real Estate Investing Group. Join the group and you will be kept up with all the action.

I am in Tyler, so just up the road from Jacksonville and not all that far from you guys in Nacogdoches/Lufkin areas.
I got started a couple of years ago and purchased a 5% down property to live in while doing some upgrades and then purchased a 20% down investment property that I am about to resign my current tenants for another year on. 

The first steps are difficult as things get figured out, but it appears that after that it's just refining what you learn and scaling it up to multiple properties.  

My day job puts me all over East Texas. I was just in Jacksonville last week or the week before. 

I have a good friend who is also an investor who is the mortgage person (and branch manager) at the bank branch where she works. So if you are interested in making a move, she can help with portfolio lending as well as conventional mortgage lending of all sorts.  She can also help with getting your credit ready which is something to look into well in advance of looking for financing. 

Originally posted by @Elijah Glenn :

I'm not in East Texas. But I have a house 4B 3B I want to sell in Cushing, TX. It sits on 25 acres. 

Address and price?  Not looking at the Cushing area much but I'd be willing to listen. Pm me please. 

@Todd Aaron Hey Todd. Thanks for the post. My day job takes me all over ETX as well. Tyler today, Eustace tomorrow. Would you mind telling a little bit more about your experience buying your first? Who did you end up meeting through the process? How many lenders, contractors, title companies, partners, etc., etc. did you talk with? What was the most difficult part? What did you not expect? Anything else that could help us rookies?
@James Call Hi James, your profile says you are an insurance agent. As a rookie, I’m not afraid to ask stupid questions... so here’s one for you: what kind of insurance does a REI need for a rental (say a SFR)? Is it different than homeowners’? Is there any other type of insurance that REI should have? Also, there are insurance agents that only sell from one company and others that “shop around”. What are the benefits of using an agent who doesn’t shop around (assuming all things equal, obviously). Thanks for reaching out to us in East Texas.
Originally posted by @Brett Wagner :
@Todd Aaron Hey Todd. Thanks for the post. My day job takes me all over ETX as well. Tyler today, Eustace tomorrow. Would you mind telling a little bit more about your experience buying your first? Who did you end up meeting through the process? How many lenders, contractors, title companies, partners, etc., etc. did you talk with? What was the most difficult part? What did you not expect? Anything else that could help us rookies?

 Hey Brett,
My first was pretty easy... I did a lot of research first... lots of it! And I read Brandon's books on buying and on leasing rentals before jumping in and that was super super helpful!
I already knew the mortgage person because we were already friends before... She already had real estate that she owned and leased and I asked her all sorts of questions to ease my mind going in.  When I found the property I did a quick analysis and also I called her immediately and after I told her the location her response was "Buy it! Make an offer now! Don't wait or it will be gone!"  Well, it was... I had found it offered for $40k and needing a lot of rehab.  But a few months later it was offered for sale again... it was a flip.  So I called my friend again and got the exact same response... so I make an offer on it and we negotiated briefly and I bought it.  Probably for a little more than I was as comfortable with, however it was extremely well done and has options that were above average for the location.  I had a rental appraisal done for it for additional cost during the process and the results were good enough so that 70% of that number covered my Principal, interest and insurance and property tax payments with a little left over. 
I have rented it for nearly $200 more a month than the appraisal said was the max it would get the entire time I've had it.
So all I really met were the title company that we used to close with and that was the seller's choice....  I met the seller who does the occasional flip.... good to keep her number handy in case I am looking for something in the future... and apparently her dad has a small construction company, so thats handy if I need to possibly get a price on some repairs or remodelling that I don't want to tackle myself. 
I met an inspector inthe process because while I was looking for something, I made an offer on a duplex and I had an inspector check it out and I was there at the time and I was able to ask all sorts of questions and he pointed out many things to look for that I could look at before paying a pro to come check next time.
I had just the month before closed on the house I am living in, using the same mortgage company, so I got really familiar with the process and all the documents needed, so this time I was told that I was so efficient with all that that the loan processor would not need to do anything if all the customers were like me.  So learning what the mortgage companies want to see is a big thing on your first one... like that they want to see a savings to offset 3 or 6 months of payments in case the place doesn't rent immediately...  
I met no contractors because I am a little familiar with construction as I was a residential electrician for years a while back, and I have also done a little framing in the past, and I deal with commercial construction some with my current day job, so being a general contractor isn't a scary thing to me at this point if necessary. 
I learned that if you have a ROTH IRA, you can remove all the money you contributed without penalty and without being taxed on it as income as long as you don't remove any of the interest that has been earned on it... That makes it very liquid for doing down payments and closing costs.

I learned that lenders do not like any money showing up in your accounts that do not have a paper trail... and making all this easy on the lender will help you get the loan done faster and easier, so no gifts from family or anyone within several month before you start looking to get a mortgage loan. If you do get gifts be prepared to get a letter from the giver formatted to make the lender happy that explains that it was a gift and is not something that has to be paid back. They do not like to see anything that may turn into a loan situation that they are not including in their decision making. 

The most difficult part for this one was that the seller was wanting to close in 30 days and 45 is considered fast these days and 60 is normal if everything goes right... but my lender agreed to it and I had to act very fast each time the lender needed something in order to help make that happen.  The seller had a legitimate reason for wanting to close that fast.... she was adopting a child and needed the money quickly to facilitate that. So the lender knew about it and everyone worked together to help her make that happen... and it did and they are a happy little family now.  

The second most difficult thing was that I had to trust what I had read and trust the numbers on the spreadsheet I had put together as a calculator to show that this would be a cash flowing deal in the end... And trust all that with no previous experience.  That was really hard for me. But once I did it and everything did work out... actually better than my numbers showed because the lender was able to lock in a lower interest rate when there was a dip because it was closing faster, so my payment was lower meaning a larger spread available for profits... once I saw that this all does actually work... and pretty much exactly textbook from those books from Brandon on here... It really gives you a ton of confidence moving forward, that you can actually do this and that there really is no massive secret to it.  After reading the books I was thinking that it seemed too easy.. that there had to be so much more to it... but like my friend was telling me, you just have to jump in and things tend to work themselves out in the process.
Be as prepared as you can but then go for it.  And you have to have a certain amount of trust but then you have to switch from research and calculating to doing it.  

I hope that was helpful   

Thanks for the questions @Brett Wagner .

I am an insurance agent and we specialize in landlord insurance.  

There are no stupid questions. 


1. When you buy a property for a rental, you will want "Dwelling coverage".  It is different than a homeowners policy, but it is very similar for most consumers.   One big difference is that you are not covering the personal property or "stuff" that your tenants have on the property. 

2. If folks are "flipping" houses, then they need a different coverage that is more of a "builders" insurance.  It makes sure that if someone gets hurt, or something burns down, you are covered, but it takes into account the fact that someone is working on the property.  

With these "flipping" coverages, it is good to have a phone call and get a good idea of what kind of work you are doing. 

If you are painting, switching the kitchen cabinets, and putting down new floors, you would want one type of coverage. 

On the other hand, if you are tearing out load-bearing walls, redoing the plumbing and electrical and adding a new porch, you would need a different coverage. 

3. I am an independent insurance agent, the kind you referred to who "Shop around".  

We think there are some advantages of using an independent agent.  

If you use a "captive agent" or one who only sells for one company, the advantage that I can think of, is that that they may REALLY understand the offerings for that one company. 


For example, we may contact 5-10 companies to see who gives the best coverage for our client.  Nationwide may be one of the companies that we get a good quote back from.  When we fill out the information for Nationwide, we think we know what we are doing, but the truth is, if you were to use a Nationwide agent, they should know more about the in's-and-out's of Nationwide's offerings since that is the only company they work with. 

We think that the advantage an independent agent may have is that we may get a quote from Nationwide (in this example) and we may have 3-4 other companies who will provide the same coverage at a 30% or more discount.  If we can save our client $500 - $1000 on one property, we thing that adds to their bottom line each year.  If they have 10 rentals with us, that adds up to a lot of money each year. 

The other thing we find is that some companies won't cover some RE activities.  For example, flipping.  Most of the companies we work with don't do flips.  So we have 2-3 companies that will.  If an agent only works with XYZ insurance, the agents will often refer these clients to an independent agent who can get the coverage that their company doesn't offer.

@Todd Aaron  Hey Brett, My first was pretty easy... I did a lot of research first... lots of it! And I read Brandon's books on buying and on leasing rentals before jumping in and that was super super helpful! I already knew the mortgage person because we were already friends before... She already had real estate that she owned and leased and I asked her all sorts of questions to ease my mind going in. When I found the property I did a quick analysis and also I called her immediately and after I told her the location her response was "Buy it! Make an offer now! Don't wait or it will be gone!" Well, it was... I had found it offered for $40k and needing a lot of rehab. But a few months later it was offered for sale again... it was a flip. So I called my friend again and got the exact same response... so I make an offer on it and we negotiated briefly and I bought it. Probably for a little more than I was as comfortable with, however it was extremely well done and has options that were above average for the location. I had a rental appraisal done for it for additional cost during the process and the results were good enough so that 70% of that number covered my Principal, interest and insurance and property tax payments with a little left over.  I have rented it for nearly $200 more a month than the appraisal said was the max it would get the entire time I've had it. So all I really met were the title company that we used to close with and that was the seller's choice.... I met the seller who does the occasional flip.... good to keep her number handy in case I am looking for something in the future... and apparently her dad has a small construction company, so thats handy if I need to possibly get a price on some repairs or remodelling that I don't want to tackle myself.  I met an inspector inthe process because while I was looking for something, I made an offer on a duplex and I had an inspector check it out and I was there at the time and I was able to ask all sorts of questions and he pointed out many things to look for that I could look at before paying a pro to come check next time. I had just the month before closed on the house I am living in, using the same mortgage company, so I got really familiar with the process and all the documents needed, so this time I was told that I was so efficient with all that that the loan processor would not need to do anything if all the customers were like me. So learning what the mortgage companies want to see is a big thing on your first one... like that they want to see a savings to offset 3 or 6 months of payments in case the place doesn't rent immediately...  I met no contractors because I am a little familiar with construction as I was a residential electrician for years a while back, and I have also done a little framing in the past, and I deal with commercial construction some with my current day job, so being a general contractor isn't a scary thing to me at this point if necessary.  I learned that if you have a ROTH IRA, you can remove all the money you contributed without penalty and without being taxed on it as income as long as you don't remove any of the interest that has been earned on it... That makes it very liquid for doing down payments and closing costs. I learned that lenders do not like any money showing up in your accounts that do not have a paper trail... and making all this easy on the lender will help you get the loan done faster and easier, so no gifts from family or anyone within several month before you start looking to get a mortgage loan. If you do get gifts be prepared to get a letter from the giver formatted to make the lender happy that explains that it was a gift and is not something that has to be paid back. They do not like to see anything that may turn into a loan situation that they are not including in their decision making.  The most difficult part for this one was that the seller was wanting to close in 30 days and 45 is considered fast these days and 60 is normal if everything goes right... but my lender agreed to it and I had to act very fast each time the lender needed something in order to help make that happen. The seller had a legitimate reason for wanting to close that fast.... she was adopting a child and needed the money quickly to facilitate that. So the lender knew about it and everyone worked together to help her make that happen... and it did and they are a happy little family now.  The second most difficult thing was that I had to trust what I had read and trust the numbers on the spreadsheet I had put together as a calculator to show that this would be a cash flowing deal in the end... And trust all that with no previous experience. That was really hard for me. But once I did it and everything did work out... actually better than my numbers showed because the lender was able to lock in a lower interest rate when there was a dip because it was closing faster, so my payment was lower meaning a larger spread available for profits... once I saw that this all does actually work... and pretty much exactly textbook from those books from Brandon on here... It really gives you a ton of confidence moving forward, that you can actually do this and that there really is no massive secret to it. After reading the books I was thinking that it seemed too easy.. that there had to be so much more to it... but like my friend was telling me, you just have to jump in and things tend to work themselves out in the process. Be as prepared as you can but then go for it. And you have to have a certain amount of trust but then you have to switch from research and calculating to doing it.  I hope that was helpful  Hey Todd, thanks for taking the time to share. Much appreciated. So what were the things you were looking for when you went to your friend about a property? For example, you saw a house for sale and then what? How did you analyze the property I guess is what I’m asking. I’ve tried doing some analyzing and haven’t come very close to finding one that works. Not sure if my numbers are right. Honestly I’m kind of just guessing at things like expected rent, interest rates and closing costs, not to mention rehab costs. I’m not even sure where to begin when it comes to getting accurate numbers. I’ll have to pick up BP’s book on buying rentals. Everyone says it’s great.