Recently, I read “The Millionaire Booklet” by Grant Cardone, which went over eight key principles to becoming a millionaire and doing it quickly.
There were two main ideas that really stuck with me, and I want to share them with you today.
First of all, he talked about adding different sources of income that complement what you are already doing. For example, as a real estate agent, you could invest in real estate, flip properties, or take on property management to add different sources of income and expand the amount of money you make.
The second concept that stuck out to me might surprise you. You should stay broke. Instead of saving just for the sake of saving, save money to invest.
Take 20% to 30% of your income, put it in a special savings account, and look for investments for that money. Don’t just let that money stay stagnant in the bank.
I’m always investing my money into real estate. I own three rentals right now. Once I find the right rental property to purchase, I have to spend all of the money that I’ve saved up, leaving me broke again. That just gives me another reason to go back to work and find additional income!
If you have any other questions about this topic, just give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you. In the meantime, stay broke!
As soon as the thought enters your mind about buying an investment property or a primary residence in Ventura County, you should meet with a mortgage professional—up to a year in advance.
A mortgage professional will take a look at your situation and your income and provide you with options for either an investment property or a primary residence. They will let you know how much you qualify for, and if you don’t qualify they’ll let you know what you need to do to do so. If you’re looking for an investment property, they’ll let you know how much you would qualify for regarding duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes.
Why meet a year in advance? Sometimes we may want to purchase something, but we don’t know exactly what we have to do to purchase it. I always meet with a mortgage professional up to a year in advance and ask them questions about what I have to do to qualify for a property, how much my payment would be, and what my interest rate would be like.
This way, if I don’t qualify over the next year, they’ll tell me what I need to do and I can correct that. In addition, by meeting with a mortgage professional up to a year in advance, you’re prepared. If you meet with one today, for example, and they tell you you’re qualified, that’s a huge benefit because good investment properties are rare and go fast once they enter the market—usually a matter of days.
So, be ready or know what you have to do to be ready so once that great opportunity comes along, you can pull the trigger.
It’s also important to know what your options are. Every time I close on an investment property, the next thing I do is have a conversation with my lender about what I need to do to purchase my next investment property. Every single time, no matter what it is, I know what my options are.
For example, my mortgage professional told me that because I own four residential properties, I have to make a minimum 25% down payment and have a certain amount of reserves for my next property. Now, if I come across an opportunity I think would be good for my investment portfolio.
My dad always told me that the ability to be able to borrow money at a lower interest rate for assets is one of the biggest benefits of living in this country. By being able to do that, you can grow your wealth. Who wouldn’t want to borrow money at 4% for 30 years? The only way you can accomplish this, though, is by meeting with a mortgage professional. They’re the key to getting loans from a bank and being able to qualify.
To end this week’s segment, I want to answer a question I received from a man named Jeff. Jeff asks, “What do I need to have to find a rental with 18% return on investment?”
You have to be ready, Jeff. Your area is pretty high in price, so you may have to search in other areas—maybe not where you live, but somewhere with a really high rental market that features lower prices.
If you have any questions about this topic or you’re thinking of buying or selling a home, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I’d be glad to help you.
When I speak with buyers, people tend to believe that prices have gone too high for our current market. These same people are the ones who then go on to say that instead of making their move now, they’re going to wait things out in the hope that prices will drop.
As someone who consistently purchases properties and is always in the market to buy, I can tell you that timing the market is more difficult than it sounds. Not only is it difficult to know when the market is at its peak, but it’s also hard to be sure it’s at its lowest. It’s true that corrections are easier to spot—but you can never really know when one is going to happen. A correction can happen at any moment, whether that’s today or 10 years from now.
Instead of trying to time the market, my real estate strategy is to act. There’s a good deal in every market. Instead of trying to wait, I think it’s smarter to find out how best to take advantage of any given situation. Homes that sell quickly tend to be the best deals. Being in a place where you are always looking will better position you for success than waiting around for the right timing.
I spoke once with a client who believed prices were too high for him to put his home on the market. However, when the market drops, your value drops too. Waiting around because you think the market is too high for you to sell will ultimately cause you to make less on the sale of your home.
What I proposed to this client is that instead of waiting, he should remain ready to make the best of any opportunity that could come along. The market drop of 10% to 15% would ultimately be cancelled out by the resulting value drop, which would be approximately the same percent.
To help illustrate my point, I gave this client the example of a property I’m in escrow on in Oxnard right now that was listed at $260,000. When I ended up closing, I did so at $275,000. My final closing price actually closely mirrors what properties were selling years ago. This proves my theory that there is a good deal in every market. None of us have a crystal ball that will tell us when the market is going to crash.
So what can you do to make sure you’re ready when the right opportunity comes along? First of all, you must know that you are qualified for a loan. You need to understand how much you’ll need, what your terms would be, and whether you can realistically achieve your goals.
A couple of weeks ago I got a call from a woman who I was trying to work out a deal with a year ago. At the time, she wasn’t ready to sell. When she called me recently, she told me she was ready to sell. In case an opportunity like this ever arose, I had already met with a commercial loan officer. I ended up closing on this property for just $110,000. Good deals truly do exist on the market, but they don’t last. You absolutely can’t hesitate.
If you don’t make a move on a good deal, someone else will. You can’t focus on the little costs. $1,000 or $2,000 isn’t worth worrying about. In the end, a good opportunity and a good investment will be worth it.
In 2012, people were predicting that a lot of shadow inventory would be coming on the market and causing it to drop. Interestingly enough, the opposite happened. The market took off with limited inventory. Just last year before the election, a similar thing happened. People were predicting corrections that simply didn’t come.
Personally, I never make any decisions based on what the market is doing. The market is cyclical and always will be. Investment decisions should be based on the numbers. Last year I bought a rental property that I felt I paid a little too much for. A couple years later, though, I ended up buying another property at a similar point. After analyzing the numbers, I realized it still made sense. The numbers on a month-to-month basis made sense and were ultimately what I based my decision on.
If you’re still renting because you’re waiting for the market to correct, you could actually be losing money from what you’re paying in rent. Instead, you should always be on the market looking for a better deal.
If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Recently, I got a call from a friend who is interested in moving forward with investing in real estate but has been repeatedly discouraged by the people who care most in her life such as friends and family.
She has money saved, is ready to invest, and wants a better future for herself. So, why is it that the people around her have been so adamant against her moving forward? She’s even begun to wonder if her friends and family don’t want her to succeed.
However, what I told her is that the opposite is true. The people that care will want to keep you safe. They will want to protect you from anything that might not go well in your life. Sometimes, advice is given from an overprotective perspective.
However, real estate is not as big a risk as many might believe. If you understand your situation as well as the circumstances of the current market, investing in real estate can be a very good thing.
It’s my genuine opinion that these people truly care. If you never invest or take risks you will be safe, but you will miss out on great opportunities. My best advice is to always invest based on cash flow. There are a lot of cost associated with selling an investment property, so my investment philosophy has to do with running the numbers.
Find the positive difference between the cost of your mortgage and how much you can rent out a property for. This number should give you some solid ground on which to base your decision.
Ask yourself if this is a slim or a wide margin, and whether it will be an asset for you in our Ventura County real estate market. If you have a gap of about $1,000 or more, you’ve got plenty of cushion in case something goes wrong.
Also, worry more about what an asset is producing for you month to month than about appreciation. In terms of percentage for cash flow, I usually look in the range of 15% and above. Most of my properties are producing at least 19% to 20%.
Decisions should be based more on numbers than on feelings. To be truly “economy-proof,” you should base your investment on cash flow instead of equity.
If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Recently I’ve had a couple of conversations with clients who are considering either renting or selling their primary residence. However, renting out or listing your Ventura County home for sale is not a simple process.
There are many things that you must consider in either of these situations. For instance, one of the first things I’ve been asking clients is to think about their long-term plan.
If that plan is to rent out a property indefinitely and keep it in your investment portfolio for a number of years, you should consider capital gains taxes.
A primary residence that is rented out for three or more years becomes an investment property. This means there are different tax implications that come into play.
If you would ever happen to want to sell that residence after it’s become an investment property, you would have to pay capital gains.
However, doing a 1031 exchange you could help you avoid some of these taxes. This is a little more complicated, though.
Something I recommend to clients is to look at whether the market is in a place where it is likely to appreciate over the next few years. In this case renting out a primary residence for less than three years makes sense.
For example, let’s say you were faced with this decision in 2014. Assuming you rented out the property for less than three years and sold right before that mark, then it would have been a good decision.
However, if you had made this same decision in 2007 you most likely would have been forced to hold onto the property for more than three years.
Another thing to consider outside of the length of time you plan on renting out a property is the opportunity cost of your capital.
Let’s say your primary residence is well-maintained and in a good, safe neighborhood. You have to determine whether it makes sense to rent it out or to take the money out of the primary residence and invest it in a duplex, triplex, fourplex, or something that has better rental potential and could earn a higher return.
In short, the question to ask yourself is, “What is the opportunity cost for my capital?”
I had a couple of sellers last year who owned properties in River Park and Oxnard. After running the numbers of what they were going to rent the property at as well as what they were going to collect in rent, I found that after all expenses they were going to have about $200 of positive rental income on their properties.
With this in mind, I asked them if they could perhaps take the $100,000 to $200,000 they had in equity and buy additional property to earn a better return by investing in another asset.
In fact, I have personal experience with this situation. On one of my properties I was earning $200,000 a month and had $100,000 worth of equity tied up in it. So instead of letting it sit, I took that $100,000 and invested it into a fourplex that now earns me a better return.
Making the best financial decision ultimately relies on asking yourself these two questions.
If you want more information or have any other questions feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you, soon.
I just saw the Big Short this week, and it got me thinking about some things.
A lot of the time when we’re making a decision, there’s a lot of people who will tell us not to do something. They do that because they want to protect us from doing something that will hurt ourselves.
There have been times in my career where I’ve had clients who were excited about buying a property and when they go to open up escrow, they get cold feet. This could be for a number of reasons - their payment ends up being higher than their current rent, for example.
One instance that comes to mind is a client who opened up escrow on a property and then got cold feet because he received advice from people close to him that the market was going to continue to go down, and that maybe it wasn’t a good time to buy. As it turns out, that same property that he didn’t end up closing on appreciated more than $100,000 in the years since.
There are a few key things that I took away from this movie. The first is be careful who you’re getting advice from. If you’re seeking advice, look for the people with experience in what you’re wanting advice for. If you want to get into rental properties, talk to someone with experience in that.
The second key here is to make your decisions based on the facts. Look at everything logically and make sure that you’ve got all the information you need to make a great decision for yourself.
If you’ve got any questions related to this topic or you’re looking to buy or sell a home in Ventura County, please give me a call. I’d be happy to help!
I recently had an agent ask me what it would take for them to become a top agent in Oxnard or a top agent in Camarillo. I remember asking my mentors this same question many years ago, and it brought me back. So I told the agent what my mentor told me.
I said, “Who’s car do you see when you get here in the morning and who’s car do you see when you leave at the end of the day?” The answer, of course, is my car.
I told the agent that the answer to becoming a top producer isn’t rocket science; it’s a balance between showing up and putting in the work day after day. If you work hard, the results will come. As one of my mentors once told me, “It takes twice as much gas to get a boat going than it does to run it once it’s cruising.” Once you put in the hard work to get your business rolling, everything will seem to be in cruise control.
When I first started working in Ventura County real estate, I put in the extra hours because I was willing to. That’s the key. This isn’t a nine to five job. If you treat it that way, you’ll never reach the level of success you desire. It took me a whole year to get my boat going. I only took four days off during this time, but it got my career going.
Although things are easier now than they used to be, it doesn’t mean I’m still not putting in extra work. To be the best real estate agent in Oxnard or the best real estate agent in Camarillo, you have to make sacrifices. What are you willing to sacrifice? It’s not the sexiest thing, but it works.
I’ll tell you what I told the agent who asked me this question. There is no secret formula to succeeding in this business. It’s all about hard work and dedication to becoming the best Ventura County real estate agent you can be.
If you have any questions for me in the meantime about the Ventura County real estate market or your career path, give me a call or send me an email today. I would love to hear from you.
I have a cool little story I’d like to share with you today regarding something that happened to me with one of my clients.
I initially met with this person about six months ago. They gave me a call and told me they were ready to sell their property. When I met with them, though, I learned that they didn’t need my services at the time, and I let them know that. Instead of selling their property and making a profit, they actually just wanted to transfer it to a family member.
They thought they needed the services of a real estate agent because another agent had told them that the only way to transfer their property to this other family member was by using a real estate professional. If they were selling the property to this person, it would make sense to use a Realtor, but they weren’t.
After hearing all this, I told them they were better off speaking with a mortgage professional and getting that family member qualified for the property so they could transfer it and that family member could have their own loan on it. I then recommended them to a loan officer, and they talked to them.
That very same client called me today and said their other family member decided not to buy the property and now they were looking to sell it. They called me instead of the agent that told them they needed a real estate professional.
I believe they called me because that other agent was putting their personal interests above their client’s. They didn’t need a real estate professional, but the only way that agent was going to make a commission was by giving them that advice. I didn’t give them that advice because I didn’t feel that it was the right thing to do. I gave them the advice I felt was correct. In return, I was the one they contacted now that they need to sell.
This all comes down to doing the right thing for the client. While it’s true that we’re 100% commission-based, when you have business going on all the time, you’re not just looking for the commission check—you’re looking out for the client’s best interest and making recommendations based on that.
When you do that so often, you have people calling you all the time, referring you, and wanting to do business with you. They know you’re not focusing on the paycheck; you’re focused on the relationship between you and them, growing that relationship, and the future business that comes along with it.
I’m a firm believer that if you do the right thing for the client, you’ll get rewarded for it eventually. Today proved this belief. We’ll have the listing on the market for this client by next week, and we’ll get it sold for them.
If you or anybody you know is looking to buy or sell a property and you want an agent who will look out for you best interests, give me a call. Until then, make it a great day!
I was recently on a top producer panel for the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals and they asked us about tips for new agents. I thought about it and I realized there are actually three great tips for anyone, not just agents, who is trying to grow their business.
The first is invest in yourself. I can’t stress enough how important it is to invest back in yourself and your personal growth. No matter what you do, you’ll have that growth to fall back on. Read books or subscribe to Audible. The greatest minds have left behind books that will help you succeed, so take advantage of that.
Get involved with coaching. Make sure whichever coach you choose has done exactly what you want to accomplish. For example, if you want to sell 100 homes a year, don’t get a coach who has never sold a property or only sells 20 a year. Get a coach who is already accomplished. There are far too many people on the Internet trying to tell you how to do something they have never done, so make sure who you choose is reputable.
Attend different seminars. Some of my best connections were made at seminars. In fact, my best friend and soon-to-be best man at my wedding, Andrew Garcia, and I met at a seminar. They present valuable content, but the real value is going to come from the people you meet and connect with there.
The second tip is to focus on attracting new business. Real estate, whether you like it or not, is a sales business. You need to go out and meet people. The more people that know you, begin to like you, and see you as a resource, the better. For example, if you owned a restaurant that had the absolute best food, it wouldn’t matter if no one knew about your business. You have to attract your own customers. Before anything else, focus on your lead generation.
Finally, stay consistent. I personally spend six days a week consistently working on my business to be the top Realtor in Oxnard. There are a lot of people that do what I do, but what sets me apart is the fact that I go into the office day in and day out to push and grow my business. That’s what it takes. Without consistency, it’s incredibly hard to get into a pattern that is conducive to growing your business.
If you have any questions about this topic or Ventura County real estate, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I’m always happy to help!