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Your First Million: How to Invest with a Full-Time Job with Joseph Chantry

Getting your first million… what does it take? And can you really invest in real estate with a full time job? Join Ken McElroy, Danille, and Joseph Chantry (@your_first_million) on his journey to a high net worthwhile keeping himself grounded with a 9-5. 

Ken McElroy:
Hey everybody. It’s Ken and Danille, what’s going on? And I’m really excited to have Joe Chantry on the line here, Joe. Hello,

Joseph Chantry:
Hey, Ken. How are you?

Ken McElroy:
Good, good, good, good. So one of the cool things about, I think being in this business and teaching is to, you know, get acquainted to, and follow other people on social media. And, um, Joe is definitely someone that we follow. He has a great Instagram account, your first million. So for those of you don’t know, go check out first million. So, but Joe, first of all, I want to find out, you know, how you grew that to the, to the point that you did. And, and obviously I got your book. Thank you for sending me that we’re going to talk a little bit about that, but really what, when Danielle and I were talking about, you know, you as a guest, uh, what, what really I thought was the best was that you and you and your wife are both working full time, know you’re a Sheriff’s deputy and she’s a nurse.

Ken McElroy:
And somehow on those salaries working full time, you’re able to become financially free. And that’s actually what I really want to kind of focus on. Bless you. Um, I want to talk about everything here, but can you kind of walk us through, you know, your journey, you know, on, uh, um, obviously financial freedom you’re focused on, but also on the real estate education piece, trying to get out of the rat race and when you started. Um, cause I think the whole story is fascinating and I think a lot of people sometimes sit back and they look at, you know, someday it’s going to happen to you. It might even be happening where it’s like, you know, he has the golden patch, you know, he started with money, you know, whatever and you, and I both know that’s not exactly what happened to either of us. So can you maybe start, like where were you when you had this aha moment and uh, and, and let’s start there. Sure,

Joseph Chantry:
Absolutely. Well, I, uh, I grew up, um, pretty middle class for the most part. Uh, as I got a little bit older into my teenage years, my started doing a little bit better. So I found, picked up a few books off his bookshelf, you know, uh, Robert Kiyosaki’s, rich dad, poor dad. Um, he had a couple of books by Robert G. Allen, you know, nothing down and multiple streams of income. So I got very into reading those kinds of books, uh, probably at about 15 or 16 years old. Um, so I, uh, just started studying people that were, you know, stock investors, uh, entrepreneurs and real estate investors. And so I kind of started to sum it up and I decided, uh, by the time I think I was maybe 17, I’m going to be a real estate investor, whether I decide to start a business or whether I decide to go into a different career path either way, I’m going to invest in real estate. Um, so the hard part was it, uh, it takes a little bit, you know, to get to a point where you can get loans, right. Um, so at 17, So I didn’t get to start quite that young. Uh, but I started the education process that early and I continued to learn and learn and learn and I discovered BiggerPockets and all of those things.

Danille:
So what made you start so young? Like what made you, what was, what were you thinking sitting there? Sitting there with no money. You’re just like, I want to own real estate one day.

Joseph Chantry:
You know, I, I had a cousin that was a couple years younger than me at the time. And I remember I had overheard that, uh, his mom owed him several thousand dollars. Right. I think it was five or $6,000. And to me, I was like, how is that possible? He’s like 14. Right? Like I think the most money I had had at that point, might’ve been $1,500. Right. And because you earn it and then you spend it and you know, you think I just got to make more, to be wealthy, but you know, you start to learn how money works and you realize that that’s not necessarily the case. Um, and so that was kind of a wake up call for me. Like if I got, I have a cousin who’s several years younger than I am, who has all this money somehow, you know, and what am I doing differently. Right. And so that kind of was the mental shift for me.

Danille:
Okay. Nice. Nice. And then as you started to make money, then you decided, okay, now I’m going to start saving some money for a rental or a house, or where did you start?

Joseph Chantry:
Um, so I let’s see, we, I went to the Sheriff’s academy in 2011 and started my career in 2012. Um, and that was right about the same time that my wife, uh, started as a nurse. She’d finished her nursing program. And so we decided, okay, now we have our careers and we’re making a career level income. We’re going to live off of one of those incomes and the other income we’re just going to put away for investing. And, um, you know, we’re going to do what we can to avoid that lifestyle creep, right? Because as you know, both of us would get raises and most people get, get a raise and then now they can go get a new car payment or a new, uh, you know, a new or, or whatever it is. Right. So for us, we thought, Hey, we’re going to set this budget and we’re going to stick to it.

Joseph Chantry:
Um, and of course we budget things for entertainment and we still go on vacations and we go out to dinner, but we, uh, do a lot less than we could. Right. And so we, we probably save about 40% of our income and that’s where we started. And even to this day, uh, almost 10 years later, we’re still doing that. Um, so we bought our first house in 2013. Um, it was just a small three bed, two bath in the Sacramento area. Um, we bought it with an FHA loan and it’s funny at the time it was actually, it was really hard for us to get a house we had made multiple offers, uh, uh, lots of houses in our neighborhood. But, um, at that time prices were low, but because they were so low, they were getting bought up quick. You know, we had, there were a lot of cash buyers and we’d call a realtor and say, Hey, what’s the status?

Joseph Chantry:
We haven’t heard anything on such and such house. And he said, well, they have 45 offers and half of them are cash and ours is an FHA. So we might not hear anything back. Right. Um, we actually convinced our landlord at the time to sell us the house that we were living in. And so it was an off-market deal. And so we kind of got lucky to get in and, uh, we got it at a good time. That was our first house. But because we were able to do an FHA loan, we had some savings and we were continuing to save. Um, so about a year later, we ended up buying our first rental property. And I kind of, um, was a little bit aggressive for, for most starting real estate investors. I looked at a lot of the bigger companies and big time investors.

Joseph Chantry:
And I thought, you know, these guys look all over the country for these markets that are poised for growth. You know, most people, I think just buy a house in their backyard somewhere and manage it themselves. But I thought I’m gonna, I’m going to do what they do and figure out how I can do this a little bit more remotely and find a place that I have really good odds and that I can make more money. And so I’d studied lots of different markets and I narrowed it down to a few and I decided on Ogden Utah at the time. And this is 2014, um, in California. Um, and I I’d never been to Ogden, but I learned everything I could about it. Uh, I talked to some other, I met some other investors on bigger pockets that were investing in that market and got to know them and talk to them about it.

Joseph Chantry:
Um, and we just decided that’s what we’re going to do. And it’s going to be a kind of make or break thing. I didn’t really know what to expect because I hadn’t had a rental property before. Um, but we thought we got to do it at some point or, or, or nothing’s going to happen. Right. So, uh, my brother and I flew out there and we looked at a couple of properties for sale. Um, and I actually met a, uh, uh, a realtor who was also had a small property management company. And I got to know him really well. And so I kind of started to set up a team, right. And, uh, we eventually found a triplex that was for sale that we purchased. Um, and I think we put 25% down. It was $143,000 at the time. So for us, that was a big deal right there, our first large down payment on a property.

Joseph Chantry:
Um, but after about six months, you know, of being nervous and cautious, I thought this isn’t really that bad. You know, I mean, the rent comes in and the property manager takes care of when there’s small maintenance issues. And we, I think we can do this. Right. Um, and so every year we continue to save money and year after year, we bought, uh, another one every year after that. So, um, we got to about 2017 and the market had really taken off there. Um, rents had also risen, but not quite as quickly as, as values hadn’t. So it was starting to become harder, harder to find properties that had as much cashflow or they would break even. Um, and so I started to think, well, I did this once I can do it again. Right. And so I started looking at other markets and, and trying to, you know, at that time, my Instagram account had grown too.

Joseph Chantry:
And so I had met, uh, you know, lots of people in different markets, um, who were also doing real estate and we decided on Kansas city was next. Uh, and so we started buying there. And so, um, you know, up to today, we have, I think 11 properties consisting of about 28 units between, um, our one rental house here in Sacramento. Uh, we have two triplexes in Utah, we sold one in 2020. Um, and then we have, let’s see, I started to lose track. We have three fourplexes in Kansas city. And then, uh, this last may, we bought a package of four duplexes just outside of Kansas city. So that’s where we’re kind of at today.

Ken McElroy:
So Joe, first of all, congratulations, what a great story that is literally the American dream, um, you know, on, um, there’s a lot of things to talk about there. I, I wrote down a bunch of stuff I want to get into, but today, you know, call it 10 years since, uh, that, you know, I guess 2012, when you, you, you, you, you got out of the academy and your, you and your wife, uh, became a nurse that’s been, uh, almost 10 years. Right. So what do you think those 28 units are worth like today? If you were to sell off everything? Not that you’re going to.

Joseph Chantry:
Yeah, of course. Um, there were somewhere between maybe 3.2 million and 3.5 million.

Ken McElroy:
So, so your, your, you know, what you were able to do in a very short period of time is grow your net worth to somewhere between three and $4 million.

Joseph Chantry:
Well, the, the total value of the property is about $3 million. I think our net worth just this year has reached about 2 million.

Ken McElroy:
Pretty, pretty darn good.

Danille:
Sheriff’s deputy and as a nurse, you know, I mean, that’s very Impressive. I think that’s a lot of our audience that’s sitting out there wondering how they can do that.

Ken McElroy:
Yup. Yeah. Not to mention the fact that, um, you know, the, the reoccurring cashflow is kind of nice too, right? Yeah,

Joseph Chantry:
Absolutely.

Ken McElroy:
Absolutely. Well, that way you could be a sheriff because you want to be a sheriff. Right, right, right, right. So let’s, let’s, let’s go back real quick and talk. I think there’s some key points that, um, um, that you brought up that I wrote down the first one is the lifestyle creep is I think what you said, which I think is a really important piece that doesn’t get brought a lot of tension. I love that title. Well, you got to give the credit to Joe.

Joseph Chantry:
I’ve heard it somewhere. It’s not mine. I don’t remember who said it, but I’ve heard it. Yeah.

Ken McElroy:
So everyone falls into this. Even I fell into this, you’ve fallen into this, you know, like when you make a little bit more, you naturally want to, you know, a bigger apartment, you don’t want to take on more debt. You want a nicer car, you know, and then your first job, I don’t know how you got that kind of discipline at 2012. Um, how did you guys fight those forces? And, um, you know, let’s talk a little bit about, you know, the relationship that, you know, you guys have to be partners, you know, uh, this w you know, what’s happens a lot of times guys is, you know, like Danielle and I, we do a lot of stuff together. Most of the stuff together, if we go to a conference, we’re reading a book, we’re doing it together. We’re talking about things together. It, and when I, where I see potential problems, a lot of times is where people go, let’s say personal development, or they have, you know, whatever it is that they have. And, you know, one of the spouses isn’t there. Sometimes it’s the woman that’s there sometimes it’s, um, the, the, the, uh, the husband that’s there, let’s say. And so, you know, getting on the same page, um, you know, what was that like?

Joseph Chantry:
I, um, it took a little bit in the beginning. Um, I think fortunately, Heather, uh, always kind of had the same mentality to a degree as well. It just kind of worked. I mean, like you were saying, the lifestyle creep does happen and it’s something I think, you know, every year, or maybe every couple of months, you have to go back and say, Hey, you just have to keep it in check. And so, but I think, um, yeah, just, uh, I, Heather is, uh, actively involved in all of the real estate with me. I mean, I do a lot of the, a lot of the brunt end of it, but I see all of our decisions are made together. Uh, we studied the markets together. I think when it really started to work really well was when she started to see the results, too. Right. And so when our networks started to grow and then the cashflow started coming in and she was like, Hey, he’s, he knows what he’s talking about. Let’s, let’s do this together.

Danille:
Well, well, and it’s a fine balance, you know, on the lifestyle creep. I mean, if you’re working harder and making more money, you do want to do nicer things for yourself, you know, to an extent, right. But the goal is to balance, okay. You know, I work some extra hours or I got a promotion, so I’m gonna allow myself this versus I’m making an extra, you know, 20 grand a year and we, I just want to spend it, you know what I mean? There’s a fine balance and a lot of conversations that happen, you know, within that.

Ken McElroy:
Yeah. Yeah. That’s very, very, very true. So now, so now you’re obviously in a fantastic position, you’ve got this passive income, you know, you’re now facing tax issues if you sell. And so, uh, we’ll get into that in a second, but, but I want to, um, you know, I wanna just of, uh, talk about that lifestyle creep and the discipline, you know, like, um, a lot of people know, like Warren buffet, there’s, you know, they always talk about the kind of truck he still drives and all these years. And, and so, uh, you know, did you, uh, what were you switching out your cars and what were you doing? What was your kind of lifestyle like during that period of time? And did anybody know what you were doing like that you were working with?

Joseph Chantry:
Uh, so I w I did buy a car, uh, when I started my career, it was a 2013, uh, Toyota Prius, you know, I didn’t go crazy, but I, I needed a car. Um, and then, uh, my wife had a car already that we, that she owned free and clear. And so, um, I still drive that car today.

Ken McElroy:
That’s my point.

Joseph Chantry:
Nothing nice, but, but, you know, it’s maybe got half of its life left. And so, um, yeah, people, I think know, cause you know, even at work, right. And I was a training officer for several years and I kind of tell some of the new guys like, Hey, don’t go out and buy the brand new rafter, you know, and get an $800 car payment. You don’t need to do that. You, you know, we all make the same amount of money. I hear you don’t have to act like you’re like, just get something you need. And then, uh, you know, it could be nice, but keep it, keep it reasonable, you know? And so, yeah, so I still drive the same car. Uh, both our cars are paid off and we’re not going to be getting any new cars anytime soon.

Ken McElroy:
Good for you that, that lifestyle creep guys that can get away from it and it can kill your dreams.

Danille:
I think that lifestyle creep, you know, when people say, you know, I can’t afford to invest in real estate. I can’t save any money. I mean, there are some people that really, really, really are tight and, and are having a hard time. But I think a lot of times, you know, people say, well, I have to have this new car or I have to get a new outfit for this dinner, or I have to do all these things. And, you know, to Joe’s point, you know, they think when they start to make more money, then there’ll be able to afford to save and invest in real estate. But you know, when they make more money, they want the even nicer car and the even nicer watch and the even nicer stuff and it just gets chipped away. And then they never get to that point where when two people living on modest incomes, a nurse and a Sheriff’s deputy are able to put aside basically almost one whole income, you know, that’s true dedication and that’s truly, you know, living, you know, in order to invest, you know, that is your goal, you know?

Ken McElroy:
Yeah. Yeah. So, so, um, let’s talk about that discipline before we kind of move to the next one. So, so you obviously had two salaries coming in and, um, you know, where you guys did you own a home where you’re renting during the, uh, during that period of time? Or w w what sacrifices did you make? Let’s say in the first, you know, three to four years, because that’s really probably the hardest time financial.

Joseph Chantry:
Yeah, sure. Um, yeah. So our first year, uh, as working professionals, we were renting, um, that was, uh, 2012. Um, and then we bought our house in 2013. And, um, you know, we look at, at, you know, for example, we were the mortgage broker we were talking to right when we were getting ready to buy a house. Um, I think at the time we qualified for, you know, $700,000, you know? Um, but to me, I’m like what we don’t need. We don’t need a McMansion right now. Right? Like we need something that is going to be affordable that, uh, might be similar to what we’re paying right now in rent. My outlook was I want to buy something. That’s going to be a rental property someday. Um, and so that’s why we settled on our, the house that we were renting. Um, you know, because it was, it’s a nice rental for us today. Um, but yeah, um, you know, when, when the mortgage broker tells you, yeah, you can get, you’ve been pre-qualified for $700,000, you know, uh, that doesn’t mean you need to buy a $700,000.

Ken McElroy:
That’s exactly what I was going to say. So what you in your head, because you had read these books and prepared yourself for this moment, you’re thinking, how do I get a house and a rental, uh, and qualify for that? Not how do I maximize my lifestyle, buy a bigger house, right.

Danille:
When a lot of people do that, a lot of people, you know, they want that big house and the best neighborhood with all the five bedrooms, even though they only need three of them and you know, all of the things, right. And that’s a big piece of it, because really for that house, you could get a more modest house and a rental almost for the same cost. Right. And then I think that’s a rabbit hole. A lot of people fall down is they want the nice house to prove that they’re, you know, doing well or something.

Ken McElroy:
Yep. That’s part of that lifestyle creep, you know? So yeah. Most people max out, you know, if, if they, if somebody says, Hey, you could afford this, you know, they’d go for it. Right. And then they try to figure it out and make it work. And what you did was you took the foot off the gas and said, okay, how do I do both? How do I get a home, get a rental house that, that provides passive income. So, um, well, let’s talk about that 2013 property that you, that you got off market. Okay. Because a lot of people right now, people are complaining about this exact same thing. And I think a lot of times, you know, people forget like, you know, they’re in the moment today, like it’s hard deals are hard to find, and we find out what the cash flows is it going to blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, same style.

Ken McElroy:
I’ve seen it over and over and over and over and over in 2013, you experienced it. 45 offers, half of them cash. What you did somehow was you found a place off market and you got to get creative. Right. So could you walk through that process a little bit right now? Cause you kept getting nos and you just kept punching through and said, I’m going to do this. Why don’t you, uh, talk to the people listening right now? Cause I think this is happening right now. People are getting discouraged because they’re getting priced out. There’s all cash offers, et cetera, et cetera. Now they’re blaming wall street or, you know, institutions buying up houses or whatever. But the point is the issue, is that exact same? A lot of offers, a lot of cash.

Joseph Chantry:
Yeah. So, uh, basically what we did is we were making all of these offers on these houses and getting a bunch of nos or, or get nothing back. Um, and we, uh, my wife actually had the idea and she said, you know, let’s, uh, let’s reach out to our landlord and see if he wants to sell the house. You know, uh, we’ve been renting here for a couple of years and um, we’ve been great tenants and uh, you know, maybe he’d be willing to help us out a little bit. And at first he didn’t want to, um, you know, the house was, he bought the house at a lot higher price than what it was worth in 2013. And so that made it a little bit more difficult because he was starting to see it come back up a little bit. And uh, so we actually, uh, started talking to them and, and we were like, well, what if we paid a little bit more than what it’s, what it’s worth right now to try and get you a closer to what you bought it for, you know?

Joseph Chantry:
Um, and so that’s when he kind of decided, yeah, I think, I think we can work something out. And so, uh, I think the price that we agreed on was 195,000 and the houses on our street were selling for about 180,000 at that time. Um, but what was crazy is by the time that we got the property under contract and we actually closed, or before we closed, when it appraised it appraised at 1 95, so prices had already caught up to what, uh, we were buying it for. So it kind of worked out a win-win for both of us. But to your point, I think, I think, uh, what really worked for us was just, just talking to them right. And like opening that dialogue. Um, and then later in our career, you know, the four pack of, uh, duplexes we bought earlier this year, that was an off-market deal. And it really comes down to building relationships with people and, and talking to people, you know, and you’re able to not have to compete with just whatever’s on the MLS.

Ken McElroy:
Right. Right. And so what is that house worth today?

Joseph Chantry:
Uh, that house is worth about somewhere between 460 and 480. So it’s, it’s more than doubled since we bought it.

Ken McElroy:
So there you go, folks. Yeah. And, uh, and what’s interesting is that it was a $15,000 issue at the time. So, you know, so now, you know, you’re, you’ve got, uh, well close to 200 grand of additional equity and something that you took initiative on only seven years ago. And, uh, you could have lost it for 15 grand.

Joseph Chantry:
Well, and since then we’d use some of the, some of that equity to buy more cash flowing assets. Right. And so, you know, not only are we continuing to save money to make down payments, but if things are starting to snowball, right. Because we have equity in some of our other properties and stuff like that. So

Danille:
When I, I always tell people that, you know, the first one’s the hardest, right? Because you have nothing, you’re starting at nothing and you have to save for the whole down payment, but then after you start getting your first rental and there’s tenants in there, you then have, you know, their cashflow coming in and it kind of snowballs faster, each one that you get, you know, but that first, one’s always hard because,

Joseph Chantry:
Well, and there’s a mental barrier too, because you haven’t done it before. Right. And you know, you read books and you talk to people and it’s like, it doesn’t seem that hard, but because you haven’t stepped foot across that line yet, there’s that mental barrier, you know? And then once, and it happened to me when we were buying our first rental out of state too. It was a mental thing. Now I have a rental here in Sacramento and lots of them out of state, and it’s not much different, you know, but it was a mental thing. Yeah,

Ken McElroy:
Yeah. It is. It’s so really Heather’s the star!

Ken McElroy:
Yeah. So it’s the power of the partnership folks. It was her idea. So, um, okay. So let’s talk a little bit before we talk about market. Uh, cause I do want to talk about that because I think a lot of, you know, we always say start local, start small. If you can, you obviously did do that, but then you branched out, but I want to talk about social media a little bit and the power of social media, because, um, you know, it’s honestly, I think it’s still kind of finding its way. Obviously you can go on there and spend a ton of time on there and have nothing to show for your efforts or you can use it. And, and so let’s talk about a little bit about how you used it. Cause you’ve got quite a following now and, you know, that’s evolved to a book it’s evolved to new markets, you know, you found property managers or properties you’re in Kansas city. So let’s talk about that piece and how it’s really helped you achieve some of your goals. You’re still only 32 years old, right?

Joseph Chantry:
Yeah. Yeah. Uh, well, it kind of started, um, my, I have a younger brother that’s a couple of years younger when Instagram was first kind of new. Uh, he got on there and kinda started posting stuff about cars. He’s a car fanatic and um, his page just kind of took off over time. He continued to post, uh, you know, he would meet people on social media and they’d say, Hey, you know, you should feature my car. And he, you know, kind of built a little network like that. And, uh, you know, before we knew it, I think been doing it for about a year and had like 50,000 followers. And so that’s when it kind of started to get my attention. Like he was actually meeting people and building a, uh, a following, you know? Um, and so a couple of years after he started, I decided, you know, I I’m going to start a, uh, financial page and just kind of do it for motivation and, and maybe I’ll meet some cool people.

Joseph Chantry:
Um, and so that’s what I started doing. And, uh, I, Instagram has changed a lot since, since it started and it’s always changing the algorithms and he got to over a million followers by the way. Uh, you know, just a few years after that, I mean, he just, I don’t know if it was the timing or the content, but, um, my, I got a little bit of the tail end of that, that big growth. Um, but it has done, uh, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today in the same respect without social media. Um, I have met all kinds of people, um, that have, that have brought deals to me that have, um, you know, given me insights on different markets. Um, and I’ve been able to help other people in the same way, you know? And so it’s, it’s, it’s very interesting how things are evolving and, and it’s just changing how we communicate with people.

Ken McElroy:
Yeah. Yeah. Well, I, I, I’m glad you went into that because I think I too was resistant oddly enough, you know, I had my way of doing stuff and, you know, and, and you, you know, you got pit, you get pigeon-holed a lot of times into, you know, and especially when you have success and, uh, you know, I had already had a fair amount and, and, and, uh, you know, financially and buying real estate and all that kind of stuff, but all of a sudden, you know, what happens is you get connected to this entire world of people that, that like, to your point, you can help and help you. And it can be reciprocal if you use it that way. And, and I, I think that, uh, you know, it’s going to be one of those continually changing things, but, um, you know, what are some, what are some things that, that big nuggets that you got from being out there with, um, you know, your first million, I love that title, by the way, you guys need to go to that, your first million, uh, that must’ve been your goal, I guess when you started it, is that what it was?

Joseph Chantry:
I mean, my, my first goal was, Hey, I want to, I want to get to a million dollars net worth. Right. And, um, that’s actually the title of my book is the 24 things to help me achieve a $1 million net worth by, by age 30. And, uh, of course a million, isn’t what it used to be. Um, you know, but I think it’s still an important milestone, you know, for people. And I think it, you know, you hit that. Um, yeah, I mean, some of the things, uh, you know, I, I think it’s just been some of the people that I’ve been able to meet that I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to meet, you know, um, and relationships with people all across the country and even the world, but mostly across the country, um, in different states that I’ve met that have just really, um, made things a lot more possible to, to continue to build our, our, our business. Right. Um, that’s, that’s been the main thing for me is just the networking.

Ken McElroy:
Yeah, for sure. But I want people to go back to before we jumped to the next step, um, imagine you’re 23 years old and your, your goal is to say, you, you know, you want a million dollars in net worth, it seems like a million miles away. Right. It really, I mean, I know you, you know, and everybody needs to go there and remember that. And, um, so now, now that you’ve hit it, obviously you’ve got some incredible momentum I’m sure. Just like a lot of people do and when they start planting the seeds, uh, but, but, um, you know, um, a sheriff and a nurse and, uh, you know, we’re gonna, we’re going to do a million dollars in net worth by the time we’re 30. That was one big lofty goal, right?

Joseph Chantry:
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I think getting started early was a, was a big reason we were able to achieve that, like you said. Um, but it was still at the time. I didn’t know if it was possible, you know, for us, I’d seen other people do it, but, you know, it was like, Hey, let’s, uh, give it our best crack at it. So, yeah.

Ken McElroy:
Well, congratulations for one for having the foresight of putting something big and lofty out there. And then, you know, it’s, I always tell people, you know, if, if you don’t know what direction you’re going, uh, the world will take you where they want, you know? And, um, and so, um, at least you had it out there and you guys, you and your, your wife can sit down every year and evaluate where you are and you can make adjustments. And I mean, I have those goals personally. I have those goals in my, in my business. And I think that’s part of the importance of actually setting something out there that, that, that felt uncomfortable a little bit. Right?

Joseph Chantry:
Yeah, absolutely.

Danille:
And one of the things that I find fascinating, you know, as we always tell people to invest in your own backyard, right. Because that’s just a better, you know, it’s an easier strategy because you understand the area and, you know, the area, however, in Joe’s case, you know, he’s in California and it’s, it’s tough. Um, you know, Joe, can you touch on the fact of why you decided not to invest in California and why you decided to look elsewhere?

Joseph Chantry:
Yeah, I mean, uh, there’s two main reasons. The first one was, um, even at that time in 2013, uh, if we were to have bought a house or a duplex, um, you know, the rents were high enough to, to cashflow well, right. Unless we put a significant amount of money down, but, um, and so that was kind of a challenge was finding, you know, solid cashflow. It was, it, it was there at that time, but, but it was, it was few and far between, um, and then part of the other part to that was, um, you know, I knew that California was a very tenant friendly state. Right. And I guess there’s, there’s not much wrong with that, except unless you’re a landlord. Right. You know, as we’ve seen over, especially the last couple of years, um, you know, it can, it can cost you financially as a landlord if you’re, if you’re not in the right market, you know, because of the laws. And so, um, that was one of the main reasons that we decided, Hey, we got to look elsewhere because, um, if we’re going to build our portfolio here, um, you know, we might run into some issues. So

Ken McElroy:
Yeah. Well, and people should take note because, um, you know, it really, Joe and Heather should have invested in the state they live in. Right. But they didn’t because of some of the policies that are there and by the way, that’s why we don’t invest in California. And so, you know, sometimes that’s not really discussed, it’s overlooked a bit, you know, so your money went to Ogden. Um, and so I’m, by the way, if you guys don’t know, Ogden’s, you know, where you mail your IRS checks to, uh, yeah. That’s why I know Ogden. Right. And then oddly enough, I have friends that have companies in Ogden and Logan and salt lake city. But, um, but yeah, let’s talk about Ogden and, and what you saw was it, um, you obviously went there and now you’re heavily there, but, and then w did you expect it to jump like it’s jumped cause it’s really jumped.

Joseph Chantry:
Yeah, not this much. Um, you know, I looked at Ogden and I, I saw the population was growing. I saw there were some companies moving there, you know, so there was going to be some job growth. Um, the re the vacancy rates were relatively low and shrinking. Um, and then Utah’s a, generally a pretty landlord friendly state. So it kind of checked all of those boxes for me. Um, and so that’s when we decided to go out there and really kind of get boots on the ground and look at properties and try to meet some people.

Danille:
It it’s important that you just said that though. I think it’s important that you went out there and put your boots on the ground and checked out the area, because so many times, you know, first time, uh, uh, investors, they hear somewhere as good. They see the listing, they buy it and they have no idea, you know, what the community is about, where they’re buying in, you know, all of that,

Joseph Chantry:
Um, well in real estate is so local, right. We know that, you know, depending on the neighborhood, you can have a great pocket, just a block away from a really bad pocket. Right. And so I wanted to know, Hey, where are the areas I want to stay away from where the areas I want to be, where are the areas that are kind of changing, right. Um, from, uh, maybe not as good area into a better area. Um, and so, yeah, I, I, we’ve never bought an, a property. Well, I have bought a property sight unseen, but I’ve never bought in a neighborhood that I haven’t been to and walked. Right. So, um, you know, once we’re established, I’m a little bit more comfortable relying on some of my team for that, but if I know exactly where it’s located and I’ve been on that street, you know what I mean? Um, and so, yeah, I, I like to go there and, and actually get a feel for the, the market.

Ken McElroy:
Well, one of the other things I loved, uh, Joe, that you talked about was, you know, really it boiled down to math, right? Like you, you knew that you could cash flow in Sacramento, but you really, uh, had a significantly better cashflow in Ogden. And I think this is important guys like it, because it’s, it’s, you know, whether you invest that amount of money in Sacramento, or you invested in Ogden, the returns can be very different and it’s the same amount of money, but the return on the money can be significantly higher somewhere else, but you do have to have, and you touched briefly on the team piece, you obviously found a great property manager there at the time. So, um, what are some of the potential risks that you’ve found or have found, and we’re trying to mitigate before you started to invest outside of, of your comfort area?

Joseph Chantry:
Sure. Uh, well, uh, I guess kinda going back to kind of that mental barrier, the first time, you know, I had this fear, like, you know, what if, uh, you know, I, I don’t get to see or meet the tenants. I don’t know what they’re like, you know, um, I’m just kind of relying on someone else to, to vet them and, and to fill those vacancies when they arise. Um, you know, I, when maintenance issues come up, you know, I, one of my fears was, Hey, I don’t know how bad it is. Right. You know, um, if, if an HVAC system goes out or something, you know, and, uh, the management company says it’s going to be $5,000 to replace, how do I know if that’s competitive or not? Right. Unless, uh, you know, if it was in my backyard, I can kind of get multiple quotes or, you know, it’s a little bit different, but, um, but ultimately it really isn’t that much different than investing in your backyard. Um, especially when you’ve built a good team, you know, that, that, um, and once you’ve, uh, you know, done one deal with them and then several, and they’re managing your properties for you, you know, it’s, it’s in their best interest to, uh, you know, be upfront with you and be honest with you. And, and because they know you’re growing a portfolio. Right. And so when you win, they win. Um, and so that’s really been how we’ve overcome that, you know?

Ken McElroy:
Yeah. Well, it’s an awesome, okay. So then you obviously, you know, you saw Ogden kind of, you know, peak and, uh, you’re like, okay. Time for a new market. And did that come through social media, or you had you, do you have a network at that point? And I, you know, what made you decide to go there next, because this is a fascinating piece, you know, when people are trying to figure out where to put your money.

Joseph Chantry:
I think social media had a big influence on that. Um, I had met several other investors, uh, you know, a really good realtor, um, and some property managers all in Kansas city. Um, and so that definitely weighed heavily on my decision. Um, but having that, uh, network a little bit established beforehand definitely made the decision a lot easier to choose Kansas city.

Danille:
Yeah, definitely. And, you know, you always just came back to the numbers. So, you know, that you saw that the numbers worked better and Kansas city, you saw the numbers worked in Ogden. You know, I think a lot of people, they get really emotional or they get attached to the price. You know, I see that a lot on our social media comments. Um, Hey, you know, I can get a house in the Midwest for $80,000, uh, you know, but there’s no, um, nobody’s attaching a number to that, you know what I mean? So sure. You can get it for 80,000. Is it going to sit vacant and what’s the area, like, what are the rents like? What’s the payment like?

Joseph Chantry:
Correct.

Danille:
Yep. So, so I think that people get so stuck on these numbers that they forego, you know, th the other numbers, you know, and so I think it’s really great that you calculated all that out, and that’s probably a big part of the reason you were, you’ve been so successful.

Ken McElroy:
Yeah. The other thing that I just want to point out to everybody is the cool part about real estate in my opinion, is that markets cycle up and down, they just do naturally based on a number of factors. So just like stocks. So the way I look at diversification, you know, even though I’m heavy in real estate, you know, Phoenix is different than Tucson and Tucson’s different than Dallas and Dallas is different than San Antonio and San Antonio is different than Austin. And so what happens is each of these towns and cities in some markets, they have a life of their own. And, you know, so if you dig down, you can really diversify and, and, and still do well. And I think what happens a lot of times shows we get this, you know, these, these questions is, you know, oh, that one’s real estate gonna crash or, um, you know, or, you know, something very specific. They want an answer. Uh, really the, the, the, the, I think the, uh, the brilliance is to go find that next emerging market, like, like an Ogden or like a Kansas city or wherever it might be. And, uh, so you and Heather, instead of staying local and Sacramento and San okay. Kind of wait until the next cycle, you know, what’s a lot of people do that. You, you actually, you know, got the courage to be able to go outside of that cause that’s another barrier to break through. Right?

Ken McElroy:
Yep. So, um, well we’re running out of time here, but there’s a couple things, uh, um, one is, um, I want to thank you. And Heather, you guys are in a, in a, um, in two very important careers. One is a nurse and one is a sheriff. And so thank you. Um, I know, um, and, and then also, you know, what, what’s next for you guys, you guys are, you’re 32, you hit your goal. Um, you know, you’re going to have to change your Instagram name from first million to,

Joseph Chantry:
Well, I’m not going to change it because I’ve kind of, it started out me trying to kind of post inspiring stuff for myself. And so that’s why I call it your first million, because I want to show people, Hey, you know, my wife and I did this, you can do this too. And the market’s changing and it’s tough. But if you’re, you know, if you can develop that discipline and, and set a goal, you know, you can do it too. So for sure, I don’t know what’s next for us. Um, of course we set goals every year and I set goals every quarter as well. Um, I’m very big in goals and habits and discipline. Um, we’re going to continue to buy rental properties. Um, we are looking for, um, kind of the next emerging market because even Kansas city has started to now kind of experience that peak a little bit too, but my next net worth goal is 10 million. And so that’s what we’re kind of pushing for.

Ken McElroy:
I want to make a prediction. I, I think you’re going to do it

Danille:
Cool. Well, we definitely want to mention, Joe’s book “The 24 things that helped me achieve 1 million by the age of 30”

Joseph Chantry:
It’s available on Amazon. You could just search my name and Amazon Joseph Chantry. Um, and we have a Kindle version and an audible version as well. For those that like audio books.

Danille:
It’s also available on your Instagram as well?

Joseph Chantry:
Uh, I have a link to it on my Instagram. Yeah.

Danille:
Okay, great. Well, I’ll go check it out. You guys. Cause I mean, I know a lot of you are trying, even if you’re over 30 trying to hit that $1 million mark, I mean, it can be done, you know, we’ve all done it. So if we can do it, you guys can.

Ken McElroy:
Yeah. Yeah. And Joe, thanks, man. Thanks for your inspiration. Thanks for everything you’ve done. Thanks for your discipline. Tell Heather, thank you. I, I think that, uh, you know, as, you know, like the more we can inspire people to take action and, uh, you guys certainly did it while working full time and, um, uh, it, it, people can do this can’t they?

Joseph Chantry:
They can do it… It is tough, but they can do it.

Ken McElroy:
Absolutely. Well, Joe, again, thank you. Let’s keep staying in touch.

Joseph Chantry:
Thank you guys for having me.

Ken McElroy:
I want to way back in, you know, and see, uh, you know, see where you’re headed next. Cause uh, I, I have a feeling that, uh, it’s going to be a very exciting run for you guys. Congratulations.

Joseph Chantry:
Thank you.

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Ken McElroy has lived and breathed real estate for his entire adult life, learning from the ground up. He shares his insights and experiences on his podcast, “Real Estate Strategies with Ken McElroy,” and on his wildly popular YouTube channel. Ken is passionate about educating others so that they too can experience financial freedom through real estate investing.
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