Welcome to the InvestFourMore real estate podcast. My name is Mark Ferguson, and I am your host. I am a house flipper. I flip 10 to 15 houses a year. I own 13 rental properties, with a goal to buy 100 by 2023. I’m also a real estate agent. I’ve been licensed since ’01, I run a team of nine, and we sell close to 200 houses a year.
So on this show, we’d like to interview house flippers, landlords, and the best real estate agents in the business. So stay tuned for some great shows. If you want more information on my rentals, on the numbers, how I buy properties, check out InvestFourMore.com
Hey everyone, Mark Ferguson with InvestFourMore. Welcome to another episode of the InvestFourMore real estate podcast. Today, I’m going to talk about a lot of different things, about getting started in investing, investing with no money, career paths, all types of different things. I hope you enjoy the show, I have a lot of things to go over.
First, just want to let you know, I like to thank everyone who has purchased a copy of The Book on Negotiating Real Estate
, the book Jay Scott and I wrote, been doing super well, it’s number one in just about every real estate category as a number one bestseller and best seller still, a few weeks later after it’s been released. That’s a great book, we’re getting tons of great feedback. I’ve got my other book, How to Buy a House
, which will be coming out here in the next week or two so look forward to that. That’s a really good book, I’ve spent a time on writing and making it really good. Then of course I have my other books, Build a Rental Property Empire
, Fix and Flip Your Way to Financial Freedom
, which are available on Amazon, everything’s in paper back or kindle. You can just search Mark Ferguson on Amazon, you’ll find all of those and of course I’ll have a link to it in the podcast notes.
But, I also have a new program I just created, kind of a video training program with a bunch of resources and links to other tips, techniques for kind of jump starting your real estate investing career from figuring out what type of investor you want to be, how to focus on it, how to make money on it, how much money you’ll need to taking action as soon as you possibly can.
I get so many emails from people saying, “Hey, I don’t have any money,” or, “I have bad credit,” or, “I have the money, I just don’t know where to start, I need more education, I don’t feel comfortable, I’m scared of you know, losing money,” and just taking action will make it go so much easier, will help you on your path to success.
That doesn’t mean you have to go out and buy a house right away, I just mean getting out of your house. You know, stop reading, stop watching videos, get out there and do something, talk to people, get your mind in the motion of taking action, it will help things go so much faster and so much smoother, learning to be whether it’s a wholesaler, a rental property owner, a fix and flipper or even an agent.
Just get out there and take action and that’s what that program is about to kind of show you the pros and cons of each path to go, which one might work best for you, how much money you might need for each one and then how to take action to make it work as quickly as possible. I’ll have a link to that program as well in my podcast notes and yeah, we’re going to talk a lot about what type of investor you should be, how to get started, how much money you’ll need on this show.
The first thing I want people to think about is, do you want to be an investor or do you want this to be your career? Do you have a full time job? Do you have another business, are you just looking to make passive income? Do you want to have some rental properties that provide money every month without much work for you?
Do you want to try and flip a house? Maybe do one house a year and work on it part time and have some extra money come in? Or are you looking for a brand new career where you can quit your job, do this full time or maybe eventually they’ll open up passive income or enough money from flipping where you can quit your current job and do this full time.
I mean, there’s two very distinct paths you can take with real estate. That’s something you need to decide. Do you want to do this full time, do you want to move into it eventually full time? Or is it just something that’s going to be part time, as little work from you as possible, that’s going to make a big difference on what path you take.
Think about that first. If you just want to be a passive income investor and not spend much time on it, rental properties are probably the best route to take. Even they will take work to buy the best rentals, to get really good deals, to find ones with cash flow, to find the right locations.
It will take time and effort, unless you’re going for a turnkey rental where another company is buying it, renting it, managing it for you. Turnkeys can be great for the right people but you know, you’re not going to be getting an awesome deal on it, you’re not going to be buying it below market value in most cases, it’s a cash flow play.
Where it will provide cash flow every month but if you can buy the properties yourself and really spend the time to get a good investment, yeah, huge advantage. Buying rentals you know, below market value, eventually refinancing them, taking money out, buying more rentals, you can build much faster if you have the time to dedicate to doing a lot of the work yourself.
All right, if you do want to move into it full time or maybe you have a little more time than just a few hours a week, there is the opportunity to flip houses, to become a wholesaler, maybe even become an agent but again, all of those paths will take some time. If you want to wholesale houses, you know, that’s many times advertised as the best way to invest in real estate with none of your own money, you know, make millions of dollars your first couple of years. Wholesaling is hard, it is not easy. When I got to real estate investor meetings, when I talk to people online, you know, I don’t know the exact statistics but I’d say 9 out of 10 people who want to become a real estate wholesaler never do a deal.
They’re kind of sold on a program or sold on an idea and they don’t realize how tough it is or how hard it is when they start working at it. That doesn’t mean you can’t be successful, there’s a lot of people I know, people who have been on this podcast who are selling 10 to 30 wholesale deals a month and making five to $20,000 per deal, you can make a ton of money wholesaling houses.
The properties I am buying from a wholesaler here in Colorado, they are making a ton of money on the wholesale deals, they are doing, I see the spread they’re making on the houses I’m buying and it is $20,000 or more and I’ve been buying multiple properties form them a month, just me and I’m not even in their primary market. They’re making a lot of money as a wholesaler.
But it’s not just one guy out there who started a few months ago. They have an entire business with multiple people working, they’re sending thousands and thousands of letters and postcards out a month. It took them a while to build up that business to find the best way to do it. It’s not something that happens overnight. If you want to be a wholesaler, you can get started with less money than going out and buying a rental or flipping a house but you will need money for marketing.You will need time to figure out the best list to send mail to if you’re going to do direct mailings. If you want to drive for dollars, which is when you drive around looking for vacant houses, you’re going to need time to dedicate to driving around for those houses.
Then you’ll have to figure out, are you going to door knock, are you going to send postcards to them or are you going to try and call them up, you’ll need time for that and then when you do wholesaling by targeting off market properties, it can take months before you’re driving for dollars, your mail campaigns will generate leads, it will become deals.
Send out one mail to 500 people, you’re probably not going to get any deals that first mailing. You might have to send out five of those mailings or six of them before people start to call or you get a deal from it. That can add up to thousands of dollars in mailing cost. Driving for dollars you know, you might have to knock or send letters to a hundred houses before you find a seller willing to sell.
It’s not something that happens easily or overnight and that’s why so many wholesalers don’t ever do a deal because they don’t have the, either the determination to keep going and make the business work, after they don’t find instant success or they don’t have as much money to do the mailings, to do the advertising because they’re taught, you don’t really need any money to do this business but you do.
Once you find a deal, you know, you won’t need as much money if you’re doing a double close or an assignment of contract as you would flipping or buying a rental. But, you still need some money, I have an entire other podcast on wholesaling that goes into the details of it.
You can go to the website investfourmore.com, click on the podcast tab on the top and you can search through all of my podcast by about a podcast there for wholesaling, for flipping, for buying rentals, you can check those out and get more details on each type of investment.
All right, now, if you want to get into flipping, again, it will take some money, it’s not easy to get started without much money unless you have a partner, someone you know who will lend you the money.
There are hard money lenders who will lend flippers money, there are national hard money lenders now as well who I can get you in touch with some, if you want, send me an email, email@example.com.
But, most of those companies want to see some experience for people trying to flip and even with experienced investors, they aren’t going to lend you 100% of the deal. I’ve actually done a hard money deal the last month to try it out, and the terms I got were 85% of the purchase price and then 100% of the repairs they financed, which was great. They’re charging me under 9% under three points which is more expensive than my normal financing but normally I don’t get a financier repairs into it. I am putting less money in this deal than most deals I do but I’m still having to put in you know, 15% down on the property to flip the house.
That’s with me having a lot of experience. If you want to get out there and you want to flip houses, it can be a great business to be in but you’re probably going to need a good chunk of cash to get started unless you’ve got some kind of local partner, family member, friend, business associate who is willing to front you money to get the deal started to help out with it.
Flipping can be a great choice for investment but it will take time, it takes time to find those deals, it takes time to find contractors, time to manage the process. Again, it is not a get rich quick scheme, it won’t happen overnight, it took me a long time to build up my business to where I’m doing 15 to 20 flips at a time right now and again I have a team who helps me out, there’s no way I can do it myself.
That’s what you’ll see with most real estate investing paths is that it takes time, it takes determination and it will take some money to get started. Back to rental properties, if you want o go the rental property path, one way to get started without a lot of money is to buy as an owner occupant, live in the property for a year or two and then rent it out.
The same way for flipping. If you really want to get involved with flipping but you have no money, no partner, no one to help you out, buy a house as an owner occupant, live there a year, slowly fix it up and sell, it you know? In fact, if you live there two years and sell it, the entire profit you make will most likely be tax free because of our wonderful tax codes unless they get changed here in the next year or two, that could throw a damper on things but for right now, that profit you make is tax free.
Buying as an owner occupant allows you to buy with much less money down. You can get loans in FHA loan for 3.5% down. There are down payment assistance programs that will help you cover that down payment sometimes. There are some people, we’re helping Colorado who are putting a thousand dollars down on $200,000 properties and that’s it for all their cost because of the local down payment assistant programs, because of FHA loans.
There’s also conventional loans that will have 5% down, sometimes less, depending on your income, how much you can qualify for, when you’re putting less money down, you do have more loan cost, you have mortgage insurance you have to pay every month, a lot of things to consider.
But, it’s still a way to get into real estate, if you’re getting a really good deal, you know, it’s worth it paying those extra cost when you later turn that property into a rental or if you want to flip it and take the profit out, you know, it can be a great way to get started without much money.
Michael Burdett who I interviewed on my podcast probably a month or two ago, he’s an agent investor in Maryland. He got a lot of his capital for flipping properties, from buying his first person residence.
He bought a foreclosure, fixed it up, held it two years and he sold it, he made $70,000 or something on it that was all tax free. You could use that money to help fund his flipping business because he did that. It didn’t happen overnight, it took him a couple of years, but it happened.
That’s something to think about too if you don’t have a lot of money, you don’t really know to get started, buy as an owner occupant, even if you don’t end up flipping it or turning it into a rental, if you focus on getting a really good deal, it will still be a great investment for you, even if you end up living there a few years and selling it at that point.
Some of the challenges you run into with buying as an owner occupant, buying with a little money down, the properties that people want to buy that are really great deals need work. It’s tough to qualify for loans on those properties. But, there’s loans that can help you out with that. There’s FHA 203(k) loan which finances repairs for owner occupants, it can take out little longer to close than a regular loan which makes it tough in a hot market, you know, in Colorado we have a really hot market, sellers don’t want to wait 45 or 60 days for an FHA 203(k) loan to go through so it’s tough for those buyers to buy a property with that.
However, you know, there’s certain foreclosures and HUD homes who don’t care if you’re using an FHA 203(k) loan or if you’re using cash. It doesn’t matter to them. It’s a great way to get a house that needs repairs, the FHA 203(k) loan and there’s some other loans as well that will help you with financing the repairs.
You can buy houses that don’t need major repairs, if you need a roof, a furnace, there’s broken windows, probably won’t qualify for a regular FHA loan or a conventional loan. But if you buy a house that just needs paint, carpet, you know, maybe a kitchen and bath updates. But all the systems work, the plumbing works, the electric works, the roof is okay. That will probably qualify for a loan and then you can slowly work on it while you live there and save some money, doing manual labor yourself. All types of ways to get started without much money to create your path as a real estate investor.
So, that’s kind of first part I want to talk about, you need to think about are you going to be a career investor doing full time or are you just going to be a side investor, or you just want monthly passive income and they’ll help you guide what type of investing you want to do.
If you want to be a wholesaler, if you want to be a flipper, it’s going to be really hard to do it on the side few hours a week. Unless you’ve got a lot of extra time to devote to them, it will be tough. Rental properties are a little easier, you know, the time you’re going to spend is upfront, finding the deal and then once you buy them and have them repaired and rented, a lot less time is required.
Those are some things to think about and how much money you have will play a role into what you want to do if you want to flip houses right away but have not money and no resources, that’s going to be really tough, maybe wholesaling is the way to start. But remember, we’ll still take some time and some money.
Another option, I think a lot of people don’t consider too who want to be wholesalers is becoming a real estate agent, I mean, that’s another option as well, you know, you may not need as much time to get going or as much money, it really depends on the situation, you will have cost as an agent, you’ll have to pay for your education, getting insurance, signing up for the broker, getting MLS access, that can add up to a couple of thousand dollars a year.
Or upfront cost in some cases so that takes some money. But there’s ways to start working on a real estate team or working in an office you know? You help out hourly with administrative tasks and maybe they even help you get your license or help pay for your license while you’re doing that.
Being an agent, you know, if you work really hard, you’re going at it full time, you can do your first deal in a couple of months and start making money right away, I had a couple of agents on my team who made $100,000 their first year in their business. There’s very few wholesalers who do that, they can but it is possible being an agent, and being an agent will also help your investing tremendously. I know there’s pros and cons about it, I did another podcast on that a few weeks ago, it has helped me so much with my flips and rentals being an agent.
May not help as much with wholesaling but with the rentals and flips, it is a tremendous advantage. Think about — there’s a lot of paths you can take, which one is the best for you? Something else that I find people run into when they’re starting to figure out what to invest in or maybe they’re already investing or being an agent, is they want to do too many things at once.
Hey, they see what I’m doing and so you have a blog, I have rentals, I have flips, I’m an agent, I want to do all that, right now. It did not work that way for me, it took me a lot of time to build up my business as an agent. I tried to flip houses, I tried to be an agent in the beginning of my career and I did okay both but not, I did not excel at either one. When I really started to become successful was when I just focused on being an agent. I focused on REO, foreclosures, that side of the business and that really helps me by focusing on that, I got out of my comfort zone, started cold calling banks, figuring out what I needed to do to list a foreclosures, I found out Best fargo bank and I was really happy to find such outstanding bank, If you want to switch out of your current bank Best Fargo Moving
is what you need.
We still flipped a few houses here and there but very few. I built that business up, I just focused on that, I was working you know, 10-12 hours a day, driving around all over, doing BPO’s, filling out expense reports for banks and it paid off.
I mean, I eventually hired my assistant Nikki, got my systems down, I built it into a business that would run without me doing all the work. Once I got that established, then I started focusing on the flipping business. Then I came back and said okay, that’s running pretty well by itself, I don’t have to spend all my time on it, let’s go back to the flips, figure out what we can do and that’s when I started building up the flipping business more.
Got the flipping business going pretty well and then I started buying rentals. Rentals didn’t take as much time, it’s not a full time job but it still took some time to get great deals and figure out what I wanted to do. Then flipping was going well, the agent side is going well, I started a blog. It’s not like I did all of this at once from the very beginning, it’s a multi-year process of setting up one business and then moving on to the next after one was established.
Even doing that at some points down the road, you kind of say, okay, my spending too much time on everything at once, am I doing too much, scatter brain activities and not focusing on my core activities because it’s easy to do.
If my real estate team isn’t setup right and it starts going downhill, you know, is it because I’m focusing too much on my blog? There’s just so many things going through your head on that and if you even focus on one or two things, it makes it so much easier, especially in the beginning. Do not try and do too much at once. Figure out your path, is it going to be being an agent? If you want to be an agent, focus on being an agent your first year or two, don’t try and flip houses and buy rentals while you’re building up your business.
Focus on being an agent, figure that out, build your business, then go into the rentals, or to the flipping or whatever it is you want to do. If you want to be a wholesaler, you know, focus on wholesaling 100%, don’t try and be flipping houses and buying rentals and doing all this different stuff.
Just focus on the one thing first and maybe it doesn’t work out, maybe after three or four months you realize you hate it and you can’t stand it or it just isn’t suiting your personality well, it’s not working. Then try something else and focus 100% on that.
But realize it could take you know, six months or longer to see results from any of these career paths or investing paths. It will take time, if it doesn’t work in the first month and you want to switch, that doesn’t mean you wouldn’t have been successful at wholesaling after a few more months, it just means you didn’t give it enough time.
It’s not easy. It takes time, it takes some money and it takes determination to make any of this work. Anything worthwhile is going to take time and effort. But really try to focus on one of them, don’t get too scatter brained, don’t try and do too much at once because I see that a lot with people emailing me and like, “Hey, I got my real estate license. I’m trying to flip houses, I want to buy rentals here. I am wholesaling too,” and I ask them like, “Okay, what’s your core business?” “Well I want to do it all at once. I want multiple streams of income.” Okay are you making any money in any of them? “Well no, not really but I know I need multiple streams of income.” I would much rather have one or two really good streams of income, that are making me a $100,000 a year or more than have 10 different streams of income. That make me $4,000 each maybe at once so think about that. Multiple streams of income are great but you have to establish one first. You can’t just start them all at once. You start like a ladder, you slowly step up the ladder as you gain more experience and become more successful. You don’t do it all at once. All right so moving on, the first thing that most people should do, I talked about taking action — that’s what my new program goes through. I’ll obviously give some tips on this podcast as well.
Go talk to a lender. I keep saying this over and over again because I keep getting emails from people telling me I don’t know where to start, I don’t have any money, I have bad credit or I have money, I don’t have the education, I don’t know where to buy houses, I don’t know what I can buy and I ask almost everyone, “Okay have you talk to a lender?” And 90% of the people say no either, “Well I know my credit is bad,” or, “Well I know I can’t buy a house yet.”
It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if you have a credit score of 200, you need to go talk to a lender first. That’s the first thing that you do. I don’t care if you want to be a wholesaler. That’s the first thing you do. A lender can give you a really great overview of your financial situation, tell you where you can improve things, give you a plan and a path to take to help you buy houses with your own money, your own loans, even if you want to be a wholesaler.
You should be taking advantage of buying as an owner-occupant and the tax advantages to come with that. You should be taking advantage of low money down loans as a rental property owner, as fix and flipper the same thing. The better your credit is, the better financial position you are in, the easier this business is going to be even if you know your credit is bad, talk to a lender first. That’s the action you need to take. It gets you out in the business. Start networking with people and they can tell you how to fix your problems if you have credit problems or if you have debt to income ratio problems. They can tell you how to fix them.
Lenders are an awesome resource and they’re free. They make their money like real estate agents when they complete a loan and they get a commission on the loan they complete. So any help they give you to start out with is going to be free. You don’t have to go to an expensive credit repair agency. Right off the bat talk to a lender first.
Okay, so there’s one action for you that I hope everyone takes it if you have not already. The only reason not to take it — really there is none. If you’re not willing to go talk to a lender and figure out your own situation, this probably is not a good business for you to be in. Pretty simple. Now a lot of people will also, I think, get frustrated with how fast things go or not fast, how long it takes and they see this path that will take years and years and years to build up their business.
To get to where they want to be financially free, and it does take time but think about where you’re going to be if you don’t start and take this path or start creating it now. You’re not going to be any better off. The sooner you get started, the sooner you will build success, get your experience, educate yourself and start moving towards what your ultimate goals are and along the way, the easier it will be too. You will know your market. You will have better financing options because you will meet more lenders.
You will meet better contractors, it will all get easier and the more deals you do, the more experience you have, you will start to find private money sources too, which is one way to boost your business to really jump start it, get it moving quicker. Private money has been an incredible resource for my flips. It has helped me do many more flips that I could have on my own, multiple banks now lend me money because they see my experience, one of the banks that I've came across and that has helped me a lot is CC BANK
, the financial helped has been enormous and having banks like this one that supports you is of a big help.
They see my track record. Hard money lenders will lend me money because they see my experience and my track record. Once you start doing deals, once you show you can do it and you have done it, the business becomes so much easier and you will start to see huge strides. It’s not like you’re going to be doing one deal every year for the next 10 years. Maybe you do one deal in your first year then it’s two then it’s three, then it’s five or maybe you can go much faster than that. Depending on how much time you have, how much work you put into it, you have to remember the very beginning when you first start is going to be the toughest time. It’s going to be the longest time until you see some results and it’s going to be the most difficult time to get financing because you won’t have experience, you won’t have a track record.
So the first time is going to be the hardest but once you can jump over that hurdle, buy that first property. Show you know what you are doing can make money at it, it will get easier and the more deals you do, the easier it will get and then all of a sudden you’ll have people coming to you, wanting to help them and that’s how you create an awesome business, become an awesome investor, even become an awesome agent is by getting through that first tough part. Making sure you persevere, keep working, keep going when it seems like it’s never going to work.
Once you get to that first part then it’s downhill from there and it’s more about building your business, trying new things, figuring out ways to expand it and not just to struggle. So remember, it’s going to be hard in the beginning but it gets easier as you take action, do deals and figure out this business.
I don’t know the exact numbers but 98% of people who want to be real estate investors probably never buy a house because it’s hard. It’s difficult, it’s not easy and that’s good because it means that people who are willing to put the work in, the people who will persevere to that first struggle, the people who are determined, there’s a lot more opportunity for them. Once you figure out the business, once you figure out how it all works, there’s so much opportunity out there. It doesn’t matter what market you’re in. I see guys flipping houses in San Francisco.
It’s not easy, you need a lot of money but they are doing it. I’m in one of the hottest markets in the country, Colorado had four counties out of the top five as the most unaffordable counties in the nation in a recent report and that was based on the change and affordability over the last four years because their prices have gone up so much. There are 80 houses listed for sale in our entire town of a 100,000 people but I’m still doing flips.
I have 16 flips going right now and I have four more in buying for the next two weeks. There are deals out there. There’s opportunity out there. If you know how to find it, if you know what you are doing you can be one of those people who are making money in the business and being successful not sitting on the sideline saying “This market is horrible, there’s no opportunity. There’s too much competition”.
You can flip in any market, you can buy rentals in any market. You can wholesale in any market and there’s a lot of people who aren’t willing to put the work in, they would rather make excuses so make sure you’re on the right side of the business, doing deals, making money, not complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. Okay, so that’s about all I had for this episode. A lot of information there, investing with less money, getting started with less money, what path to take, what kind of investor do you want to be, a lot of things to think about.
And something as well that you should be doing right now is writing these things down. When you are thinking about what kind of investor you want to be, what kind of investing you want to do, how much money you want to invest, how much money you need, you should be writing all these down so you’d remember it. It’s so easy to forget things so write down all your thoughts even if it’s jotting down, brainstorming ideas eventually that will turn into a plan.
You can figure out when you want to have goals to buy properties, how much money you need to save. If you want to change careers, when you’re going to quit your full-time job and go into investing full-time. What parameters would make that work, there’s so many things to consider. All of that is what I go over in this new program to jump start your real estate investing, figure out what type of investor you want to be, when it’s going to happen, how to take action to make it happen.
Creating a plan to when it’s going to happen and how are you going to make it work. Super affordable. It’s going to be under $50 so it’s not something crazy commitment. It’s something I want to make as cheap and as affordable as possible so as many people as possible can get access to it and start creating a better world for themselves and again, if you’re not into videos, if that’s not your thing I have all my books as well on rentals, on flips, on attitude, on negotiations and the new one on just buying houses in general.
So check those out, if you are interested in the program I have a link to it in the notes here. You can also go to my shop. It’s just shop.investfourmore.com, of course there’s a link to it from the website as well, investfourmore.com. You can see it on my resources page where I list my other coaching programs as well and yeah, thanks for listening. If you guys have any questions you can always email me firstname.lastname@example.org
and we’ll talk next week.