Leading up to December 2014, I present..
Like any good adventure, mine started as a result of curiosity, discipline, preparedness, and eventually a good ol’ healthy marital disagreement : ) Before we get too far ahead, I’ll describe some groundwork that I had been, unassumingly, establishing over the years that would become the foundation for a leap into RE. We were living in Philadelphia 2001-03 and met neighbors who would become great friends. One of them was a business owner who made refrigerator magnets and advertising flyers for local pizza shops and sport teams. I’ve always been fascinated with business and good at making money. Ask my father about the painted fence story : ) This neighbor and I spent many long nights over beers talking business and financial independence and was really intrigued by his overall thought process. He gave me a book, Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, and told me to check it out. I’ve never been a big reader but I didn’t want to be rude, so I took it, said thanks, and put it on my shelf thinking about how and when I was going to give it back to him. Low and behold, one day when I was home alone, I grabbed the book and read the opening forward. I was hooked. I read the whole book that weekend. This created a charted path in life that gave me direction and something to aim for. I continued my newfound love of business and self-help reading from that point forward.
Fast forward to fall of 2014, 3 years into our settled home and 5 children later. My wife and I saved approx. $25k over several years for what we thought would be a nice barn for our property. This barn would free up storage space in order to start designing the much needed bedroom addition for our 5 children. However, we could NOT come to an agreement on size, design, location… basically anything. The classic road block with 0 compromise from either of us. Looking back, timing simply wasn’t right and neither of us felt peace over it.
At the same time these discussions were happening, close friends of ours had bought a house. Before bed one night, my wife asked me if I wanted to see what they had purchased so we jumped on Zillow. It was literally going to be a quick look at some pictures and then to bed. While looking, I noticed a house close by that was priced significantly less than all the homes in the area. We pulled it up and it was a large farm house that was For Sale by Owner in a nice area of the city. We immediately started talking investing… This is something that wasn’t even on our radar just 5 minutes prior. The next morning, I called a friend of my fathers, Rich, who I knew was a RE investor and who had said he’d help me get started if I ever wanted too. I told him about the house, the price, and what the listing said, and he agreed it was worth looking into. He called me back about 10minutes later and said he just happened to be down the road and asked if I wanted him to knock on the door, “of course!” I said. No one was home so he advised me to call the number and setup a time to see it. I called and we were on for 5pm that night. Upon meeting the seller, we realized he was a shady broker of sort who was selling the house under a contract; a back ally wholesaler if you will. I also new instantly that the house was way too big of a project for me to handle as my first. I pulled Rich aside and told him so. He asked if he could buy it and he’d give me a finders fee for the deal. We agreed and he made an offer on the spot that the seller agreed too and they shook hands in the kitchen. I thought that was the quickest $2k I had ever made, although it eventually never went to closing.
I thought to myself that if I do that, I could easily do that again and started scouring the local craigslist, Zillow, trulia, and newspapers for available investment properties. Within 2 days I found what would be my 1st investment property – #1.