The Downpayment

Down payments are a real dividing line when getting into real estate. It is almost like a four year degree. Everyone goes to high school, but not everyone has the endurance to make it through college. Similarly, everyone has a place to live, but not everyone buys a place to live. For most, this is due to having to save up for a downpayment.

I can’t tell you how many times people tell me they want to make passive income on real estate. They tell me that, but then they save no money for a downpayment. It’s too hard. They don’t want to make any kind of sacrifice. Instead, I hear excuses as to why they can’t save up enough to buy their first property. I want you to understand, making passive income on real estate isn’t hard, but you can’t be lazy. You have to save up for that down payment. Now I hear some of you saying. “Ken, I make just enough money to take care of myself and my family. There is just no way I can save money.” You know what I say to that? You’re not being creative enough.

Here are two stories I have for you of people making minimum wage that invested in real estate. The first was a young couple each working minimum wage jobs. They decided to rent a 2 bedroom condo and lease one room out for $500 a month. That helped them have a lower rent payment and they were able to save money each month. They also each cut back on their spending for two years. After two years time they bought a two bedroom condo in Austin. They kept that roommate which was cash flowing them $500 a month and now have purchased their second rental. All because they made the sacrifice of living with someone else. Is that something you could do? Could you rent a room in the place you are living to make extra money each month?

My second story was a 24 year old girl. She was barely making it between student loans and her low paying job. She posted dog sitting services on Rover and used the money to start saving for a rental. She became so busy that she didn’t even need an apartment. She was overnight dog sitting about 26 days a month. She then just paid her friend $100 a month to store her things and she would stay there on a night she was off. Within 2 years she had enough for a down payment on her first home. She now uses it as a dog daycare as well. Which covers her mortgage each month. She is now saving for a second rental.

In these two stories of people I personally know they didn’t have a lot. They had to work really hard to save the money for their first home and rental, but they weren’t lazy. They didn’t expect it to fall in their lap. But what it did is is allotted them the opportunity to get into real estate. Now, they have cashflow whether from a home based business or a roommate to then take that money and continue to invest. To begin is the hardest part, but remember don’t be lazy….but do be creative.

Talk to you soon,

Ken

The 4 Keys to CORRECTLY Invest in Real Estate..

The average person doesn’t know how to get started investing in real estate, and therefore, gets their cash flow from a nine to five job. That scenario is the exact opposite of being financially free, because cash flow doesn’t come from depending on a job you have to go to everyday in order to get paid. Financial independence happens through investing in things that make money for you.

Now, real estate investing may look like risky business to some, and that’s true, because it definitely can be. But just about anyone who works smart enough, and hard enough, can use real estate investing as a way to increase their wealth. Many people ask why they should invest their money in real estate. I say because future retirement based on cash flow from a rental property isn’t a dream, it’s a real-life possibility.

So here are a few of the keys, from a much larger list, to investing in real estate:

• Pick Moderately Priced Properties. Keep in mind that expensive homes in sought after areas like the oceanfront usually have low cash flow returns. You’d be better off investing in a more moderately priced property with a higher cash return.

To learn what the other three are click here!

 

Facebook Forum – Question of the Week

If you are a premium member of KenMcElroy.com you are invited to join my new Facebook group! I’ll be jumping in to answer questions from you about real estate, leadership, entrepreneurship and life. I’ll hope you’ll join me in this new forum. If you’re not a premium member sign-up here, and then send a request to join us on the inside.

Each week I’ll pull a question from the forum and present it here. Below is this week’s question.

Do you think we’re close to another market crash like in 2011?

Ken McElroy:

“I don’t. That crash was excessive lending that led to poor buying decisions which was all unmanaged. Lenders are much more stringent right now which is good. Right now we might see crashes in Retail RE and possibly Malls and Office (mostly due to direct to consumer) purchasing. Multifamily and Industrial is VERY strong and shows no sign of weakness into 2020.”

Are you going to be a successful investor?

People always tell me they want to be a successful real estate investor. My answer is always the same. Success is never luck. Success only happens when preparation meets opportunity. So if you are “lucky” enough to find a property you can invest in and have raised investor capital, how do you ensure you are successful? How do you prepare?

The first thing I recommend (and basically require) you to do is market research. I think it is really important that you use data and don’t rely on what people are saying. What happens is people are at a cocktail party and Joe says “Vegas is booming and my properties are killing it.” So then people jump on that and want to invest in Vegas. They haven’t researched the market. They don’t know the job growth, they don’t know the best place in the area to invest, and they don’t know that Joe may be losing his shorts on his investments and is just trying to raise money/save face. So market research is where you should aways begin. To watch the YouTube video and hear all 5 of the qualities I think are necessary to be a successful investor then click here!

Until Next Time,

Ken

Facebook Forum – Question of the Week

Each week I’ll pull a question from the forum on Facebook and present it here. Below is this week’s question.

Kathi asks:

When negotiating with commercial lenders, do you have a specific format you use to compile and present your financials and a history of property management? If so, do we have access to examples on your website?

Ken’s Answer:

Great question. Lenders typically have their own format for underwriting, however they do want you to have all your financials and projections together to hand out during the meeting. They want you to understand and support your income projections via actuals and market information, if applicable. The expenses will need to be verified too. They typically look at a DCR or debt coverage ratio against your NOI or net operating income. Each lender is different. Basically they look to your cash flow after expenses to pay the monthly interest payment…so be prepared to know this figure. It’s one of the most important things to know. That figure determines the loan.

3 Ways to Get Started in Real Estate and 1 Way I Would Never Recommend!

Invest In A Bigger Real Estate Deal with a group of people or a company

The first is what I do with my investors at MC Companies. Which is joining with others to invest in a bigger deal. This can be either commercial or residential.

There are two great things about investing in a larger real estate deal.

  1.  Low minimums – Sometimes you can invest as little as $500 and be an owner in a property. (but always remember you will have little to no say in how the property is managed)
  2. You don’t have to be an accredited investor – in the past, to participate in these types of investments, you had to be an accredited investor, but that rule has gone away for certain investment types. At MC Companies you do have to be accredited.

Buy A Rental Property

Purchasing homes and renting them out is a great way to produce extra monthly cash flow.

To do this, you have to purchase a house that has a combined monthly mortgage payment, home insurance payment, and property tax payment lower than the rent the property commands. There are several ways to do this – from buying in an area with high rents to putting a lot of money down so that your mortgage payment is low. If you buy correctly, rental properties can be very lucrative. And, if you do the upfront work of finding those hidden gems, you can let a property management service do the rest and rental properties can be a form of semi-passive income.

Rent A Portion Of Your Existing Home

If you aren’t don’t have the cash to buy a rental property, you could first test the waters by renting a portion of your house. You have a couple of options to do this. First, you could rent a spare room in your home or you could rent the basement. If you’re yet to purchase your first home and like this idea, you could even buy a duplex and live in one apartment and rent the next.

The advantages of renting a portion of your house are that you get to watch your tenant closely. It’s less likely that a tenant will try to stiff you for the rent payment when you’re in the same household. Renting a portion of your house also gives you the ability to get a feel for what it’s like to be a landlord without making such a huge monetary investment.

What I would never recommend…

House Flipping:

I feel like house flipping is similar to gambling. You may win once or twice, but it’s never a long term success strategy. Below is why….

How Do You Make Money Flipping?

As a flipper, it’s simple Math. Add up how much you paid for the property, plus all the expenses to rehab it (it will always be more than you think), monthly cost to hold it, and any other expenses. Then you subtract that (likely very large) number from the income you get from selling the home, and that is your profit or loss.

It’s not like you see on TV. At all. As with most reality shows, they make it seem so easy: buy a home, work with your contractor, fix a few things up and boom you just made 100k. It’s not like that at all…..below is the reality of house flipping.

It’s Risky

Most flippers usually use leverage to purchase the property, and usually those are hard money loans to secure the property and pay for construction. They then try to fix it up quickly to maximize profits. Unfortunately, with each passing day/week/month, holding costs continue to add up. Some holding cost examples are maintenance, insurance, and interest. Delays will
kill your profit and delays are inevitable when dealing with contractors and the unknowns of reconstructing a house.

Taxes

The main reason I hate house flipping is the tax. The rate at which your profits are taxed can depend on how long you’ve held on to the property. If the property is held for a less than a year, then the profits are taxed at ordinary income tax rates, which can be 30-40% (it can be more if you’re in a higher tax bracket) Real estate is a very tax efficient vehicle, but flipping most definitely isn’t. If you hold onto the property for more than a year, you’ll be taxed at the long-term capital gains rate that typically ranges from 15-20%.

Conclusion

You may get Lucky once or twice flipping a home (or you may lose your ass) but at the end of the day there is no long term tax strategy and you will pay high taxes.It isn’t a strategy I recommend because I like long term cash flowing deals.

The 3 Things you can teach your kids about Money

Difference Between an Asset and a Liability

Assets put money in your pocket. Think of a rental property, a business, a skill. A Liability is something that takes money out of your pocket (that is why your primary house is a liability) Credit Cards, your home, your car are all liabilities. Explain this in children’s terms using their allowance. Most kids will just buy liabilities. Candy, games, etc. But open their minds a bit. Have them save to buy a rake and then use that rake to rake yards in the neighborhood for a profit. Or buy business cards to pass out where they can pet sit. The rake and the business cards are assets for children because they are vehicles for them to make more money.

With my kids when they were little we would go pick up golf balls from the course and sell it the next day to the golfers for $1 a ball and $5 for the nice golf balls. My kids were easily making $100 a day. Those golf balls were producing a profit for them far greater than their allowance for picking up their room.

Explain why it is so important to have so many assets under your ownership

When they start seeing profitability from one of their assets explain to them they can have another one. Show them the more assets they have the more opportunity they have to make money. This is diversifying your assets. For example, if they buy a rake to rake leaves their profits will be highest in the fall and non-existent in the winter, so they need multiple assets, so they can withstand the highs and lows.

Cash Flow vs Capital Gains

This is a tough one to teach kids, for adults we understand this. We know if you try and flip a house or sell an asset that is it very risky. For one, you have to try and time the market perfectly and second you pay the highest tax rate even if you do so successfully. I believe it is like gambling, you may win one hand, but will eventually lose it all on red. This is a bit over a child’s head. Capital gains, tax, etc. What I don’t think is over their head is cash flow. So for this lesson, have them take their business and create a recurring revenue around it. For example, if they pet-sit for $15 an hour, tell their clients there is a $10 monthly fee to be able to book services at that price. If not, it is $25 an hour. Explain to their customers what you are trying to teach them. If you can show your kids a monthly cash flow that comes in without them having to go and find more business I think that is a great groundwork for the cashflow vs capital gains conversation later on when they are older.

How to be successful at mobile home park investing…

Join Ken as he talks with Mike Ayala about his experience as a manager and investor in the mobile home park space.

Mike is a Managing Member of Four Peaks Capital Partners. He oversees the operations, management teams, construction, and human resources. He also co-directs the overall investment strategy along with Andrew Lanoie. He has over 20 years of experience in building teams and streamlining operations.

Rich Vs Poor Mindset

The variables that come to the table between those sitting down on the wealthy side and those sitting down on the opposite side have less to do with opportunity and more to do with their mindset. This is an important thing to acknowledge. Our background, our educational status and so many other variables are less impactful than the mindset that we have during our day to day lives. The mindset we choose to have will change absolutely everything. The mindset of the poor is commonly directed towards what they cannot afford and the mindset of the wealthy is more directed to how they can work to afford the things that they want. 

Spending Habits

There are many differences between the spending habits of the wealthy and the spending habits of the poor. Those who are poor spend the money they make and then choose whether or not to invest what is left. Those who are on the wealthy side of the spectrum invest first and then spend when needed. The wealthy know that investing their money will result in long term cash flow while those on the poor end of the spectrum only care what the money they have can do for them in the here and now. 

LLC Benefits

The wealthy know that having an LLC will protect their assets. If they are in a position where they are being sued, the person is actually suing a corporation or a company. There are layers that they will have to pierce to actually sue them directly and this is a very difficult task. The LLC also gives them the ability to write off more taxes from their business investments as well. People on the other end of the wealth spectrum are more often than not working a w-2 job and not able to get any tax breaks. Moreover, this thought process usually does not occur to them at all. 

Investing

The wealthy and the poor handle their investments very differently. The wealthy are very active in their investments. They are aware of what is happening to their money on a regular basis. They find them personally, do extensive research, and understand the numbers and the fees involved in the investment. On the other hand, those on who are considered, “poor,” usually hand off their money to someone without any research involved. They hope for the best but are not truly aware of what is happening with their money at all. They do not fully take the time to understand the investment that they are making or have the knowledge to make the financial decision to invest at all. 

Conclusion

Mindset is an invaluable asset when it comes to wealth. Those who are wealthy have an abundant mindset. They are purposeful about their spending habits and knowledgeable about where their money is going. They are direct about their objectives and they are fruitful in their investments. Those who are poor do not keep track of where their money is coming from or where it is going to. They may invest on a whim and hope for the best but they do not plan and follow their investments through to the end. This all comes down to the mindset that someone has. There is a clear line that draws the differences between the mindset of the wealthy and the mindset of the poor. If you can take the time to change your mindset, you can change your life.