I recall the first time I considered throwing my hat in the real estate investment ring. The four-unit building behind my auto parts store went up for sale. I’d been up to my ears in spark plugs and brake pads for the last 20 years and while the business afforded me a nice living, my financial advisor trumpeted the importance of diversifying my assets. You know, don’t put all your tomatoes in one bushel, or something like that. Besides, I had run a small business for years and the time seemed right for a new venture–a career in real estate investing. My son ran the auto parts business quite admirably, freeing up some extra time for me to focus on quickly building a property portfolio.
The hardest part, for me anyway, simply involved getting up and doing it. But, what the heck–I’d run a successful company for the past two decades and held the confidence I needed to take on a new venture. Like most new opportunities, once you start the engine, and motor down the road, you wonder what the anxiety was all about.
Build That Property Portfolio Quickly
Here’s my story, it’s funny but true. I set out on my own to buy, renovate, and sell undervalued properties, and it started out as somewhat of a whim. With my past business experience and gut instinct, however, real estate investing became a fruitful spinoff. Here’s how it went for me.
All by Myself
Phew. Buying and rehabbing a property proved more difficult than I’d initially thought. I had to meet real estate agents, acquire financing, arrange inspections, and see that the repairs were made correctly. Fortunately, being in a retail atmosphere, many of my customers doubled as friends and contractors. I’d worked with these people before and a few of them owed me some favors (and money). Bartering for services seemed like a great way to get some renovations done once I closed on that multi-unit building. I checked with my accountant to ensure this medium of exchange still passed muster with the IRS. No problem with that idea, I was told. I had one concern addressed—onto the others.
Let It Grow
The financing for the first deal went off without any issues. I had maintained good credit and saved an adequate amount for a down payment on the property with a rehab loan for investors. The seller was motivated and I bought the building for considerably less than the list price, closing in 30 days. With a little cajoling, my fix-it friends painted, patched, and addressed the issues that the property inspector uncovered. I thought about buying “as is” but couldn’t trade sparing the inspection fee for a full-fledged structural nightmare. All in all, I was in a good place. The units filled up within a month or two after the rehab completion and my cash flow from the rents was more than enough to cover taxes, insurance, maintenance, and some padding for any unexpected landlord’s surprises. I pulled it off, and like most positive outcomes, I felt that one good acquisition deserved another.
Where to Now
I made it through my first purchase, and guess what? I wanted more. Now I just needed to figure out where to go for my next buy. Some members of my local investor club went the auction route. They picked up a few good deals but I’d also heard some horror stories about buying houses sight unseen. You may be able to write off tax losses but those hits ultimately put a dent in your working capital. That strategy didn’t appeal to me. I decided to look for leads by finding motivated sellers closer to home. They didn’t come easy though.
To grow, I needed solid branding behind my new business. I was faced with the choice of spending the time and money to build it myself or go with a national brand that everybody already recognized: HomeVestors®.
You Don’t Have to Go It Alone
Buying my first investment property alone initially felt like a monumental task and getting more leads to grow my budding real estate investment business felt even harder. After going it alone for a few years, I found an independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchise opportunity. The nationally-known “We Buy Ugly Houses®” marketing gave me a leg up on the competition when it came to leads on solid opportunities for distressed properties. In addition, I was suddenly surrounded by a network of HomeVestors® franchisees and a dedicated Development Agent, all of whom share the same goals as me: build a successful real estate investment business.
You might get lucky the first time around like me, but it’s much easier to build your property portfolio quickly with strong support, contact HomeVestors to see how they can help fulfill your dream of acquiring your own little corners of the world.
Each franchise office is independently owned and operated.