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Real Estate Deal Analysis & Advice

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Philip Williams
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Rockford, IL
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7 buildings 20 units 18 months thanks to BiggerPockets

Philip Williams
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Rockford, IL
Posted Jul 5 2014, 14:12

So I decided to give a shout out to bigger pockets. I decided to start investing in real estate 18 months ago at the time I owned 1 condo that had been in the family for years. It was in a nice neighborhood was payed off and cash flowed about 100 a month. I decided moving into multi family was something that I was interested in, over the next year I sold the condo and bought 3 duplexes with a partner who also had very little experience in real estate.

We were moving along but very slowly, I had no idea how to finance any more deals. I had never heard of creative financing and couldn't get a bank to give us anything due to the lack of company history and our debt to income ratios being high. We had no debt besides mortgages but banks wouldn't budge. 

Everything changed about a month ago when I found bigger pockets. I decided to educate myself and started searching for info. I had never read a real estate book or listened to a podcast as of a month ago. Then I found the bigger pockets podcast which led me to the website. I couldn't get enough I listened to the podcast constantly four sometimes five episodes a day. I read every article I could find made a page and started searching alternative methods of funding. 

I currently have four closings set up in the next 2 months. A six unit building owner financed closing 7/15, a four unit closing 8/1 and two duplexes one on 8/7 and the other 8/15. None of this would have been possible without the knowledge I gained on the podcast and on the forums. It took me 16 months to amass 6 units without bigger pockets and 2 months to amass 14 more with it. Just wanted to say thanks to the everyone, those I met at the Chicago REA and those I interact with online. I will continue to update this thread if anyone is interested and post the exact numbers from the individual buildings.

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Azeez K.
  • Investor
  • Atlanta, GA
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Azeez K.
  • Investor
  • Atlanta, GA
Replied Jul 8 2014, 09:05

@Philip Williams Great Job. Nice Post

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Joe Demonte
  • Costa Mesa, CA
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Joe Demonte
  • Costa Mesa, CA
Replied Jul 8 2014, 20:42
Originally posted by @Jerry W.:

Great job @Philip Williams , and thanks for posting your story.  Good luck on your investing.  Be careful about getting too big too quick.  You might try flipping one of your new purchases to get more seed money other purchases.  I am out of money while waiting for a flip to sell.  It has been on the market for 2 months, then its time to go look for another one as soon as its sold.  I hate waiting hehe.  I try to keep a little put back for those killer deals when they come up, but found one of those, then sold it to a friend who has been looking for a house for a year.  It will take 60 to 90 days for it to close.  Not being able to get your money back in play can really slow you down.

 Oh boy! What do you do in the meantime while your wait for your money to free up and your flip to sell?! I am sure it tests out your patients. 

Good for you on on selling that killer deal to a friend. A true friend indeed! :D
That will pay dividends in life

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Amy A.
  • Portland, ME
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Amy A.
  • Portland, ME
Replied Jul 15 2014, 06:26

This may not apply to you because you are really on top of things, but my story may reflect the point Ben was making.

I started out quickly in 2007-8 by purchasing 10 units in 2 buildings in a low income area. I was ready to conquer the world and even considered some run-down 20+ unit buildings. 

I knew landlording would be difficult, but never imagined the emotional strain that dealing with certain tenants would have on me.   By 2009 I was ready to quit, but values were down and the buildings were cash flowing so I held on.  Over time I matured, realizing that everybody does not have to like me.  Somebody must be in charge, and it might as well be me!  I also realized that I didn't have to squeeze every last penny out of these buildings - it's ok to leave an apartment vacant until I find the right tenant.  It's ok to hire out some tasks that I know how to do myself.  

Fast forward to 2013 - I still had some problems with tenants but I could handle it and laugh at it.  It didn't get under my skin like it used to.  I could see that landlording is the best way to plan for our family's future and was ready to handle more, so I purchased 9 more units and a house.  Surprisingly, doubling my portfolio did not double the work

Today, I'm under contract for a 12 unit in a really nice area.  Our real estate investments allowed my husband to leave his job and start his own engineering business. Our kids are older and can stay home alone, so I don't have to find a sitter every time there's a tenant crisis. 

I think this is the benefit of slowing down.  It allows time to learn and mature in business and as a person so you can grow your business more effectively later.

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Kathia L.
  • Rental Property Investor
  • South FL
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Kathia L.
  • Rental Property Investor
  • South FL
Replied Jul 15 2014, 12:07

Philip Williams
Congratz your story is truly inspiring
I'm a newbie still listening to podcasts and learning
Could you list the numbers on 1 of your deals did you use 50% rule?
Especially how you are doing your creative financing as you stated your a full time investor now. Thanks

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Philip Williams
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Rockford, IL
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Philip Williams
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Rockford, IL
Replied Jul 15 2014, 18:28

Sure @Kathia L. @Ben Leybovich  I can list some numbers here and I actually invest in a very economically depressed area so I don't own a building that doesn't meet the 2% rule in fact a few hit the 3% rule. One of the properties I mentioned in this thread is a four unit building. It consists of four one bedroom units. The building is fully rented out and the rents are 425 425 425 and 440. All the tenants have been there over 2.5 years the longest having been there 5 years. None of the tenants have pets and there is only one smoker, who only smokes on the patio and his unit smells great! The building is in great shape as the former owner did all the work himself as he was a licensed contractor and had owned the building for 15 years and lived next door to this property and across the street from another be are purchasing. The purchase price is 67500 which falls about into the 2.5% range and other questions you have please let me know as we aren't all that far away. 

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Ian Vollers
  • Houston, TX
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Ian Vollers
  • Houston, TX
Replied Jul 17 2014, 07:00

Growing too quickly is a great problem to have!

Some great insights in this thread.

Congratulations on your success man, hope all the best for you.

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Shaun Reilly
  • Landlord and Rehabber
  • Newton, MA
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Shaun Reilly
  • Landlord and Rehabber
  • Newton, MA
Replied Jul 20 2014, 14:40
Originally posted by @Mehran K.:

Way to hustle @Philip Williams!

Like many others have said earlier in this thread, slow down and let things stabilize! Can't wait to hear how things progress later down the road.

How many properties have you bought in the last year or so??? 

 j/k :)

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Philip Williams
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Rockford, IL
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Philip Williams
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Rockford, IL
Replied Jul 23 2014, 08:28

Well I have been investing for just under a year and a half. So I guess the answer your looking for is all of them lol?

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Stan Hill
  • Investor
  • McKinney, TX
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Stan Hill
  • Investor
  • McKinney, TX
Replied Jul 23 2014, 14:13

@Phillip Williams

Thanks for sharing your story- especially the multifamily stuff. I have a house and two condos rented out now, and want multifamily to be my next move. Thanks again and great job!

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Bhekizwe M.
  • Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
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Bhekizwe M.
  • Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
Replied Jun 5 2015, 11:17

Inspiring testimony of taking action.Thanks for sharing, slow and steady wins the race

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Adrian Watkins
  • Tucson, AZ
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Adrian Watkins
  • Tucson, AZ
Replied Jun 7 2015, 11:54

@Philip Williams

 congrats!  hope to be on your level soon!

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Henri Meli
  • Investor
  • Morrisville, NC
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Henri Meli
  • Investor
  • Morrisville, NC
Replied Jun 7 2015, 13:35

Fantastic work there @Philip Williams. Definitely inspiring. 

I'm also looking to graduate to multi family/Apartment buildings. I have done SFR for a while now. The few deals I have found, which I could qualify for are not in the "best neighborhoods".

What words of wisdom could you pass along to help those who might invest in economically challenged areas?

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Bhekizwe M.
  • Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
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Bhekizwe M.
  • Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
Replied May 22 2016, 17:49

Great stuff @Philip Williams. way to go