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real estate no money down

I like to speed.

Traveling down the freeway, something just seems wrong about going the speed limit. I have to push the limits just a little. This is what intrigues me about the Autobahn in Germany. This federal highway has no federally mandated blanket speed limit, which makes it a dream for people like me.

However, just because the highway has no speed limits, that doesn’t mean a driver can afford to be stupid.

In fact, Autobahn drivers are mandated to control their speed during adverse weather conditions and in urban areas of the road. Additionally, an “advisory speed limit” of 81 mph applies to the entire freeway system to protect drivers.

What does this have to do with creative real estate investing?

Creativity in real estate is a kind of open road that often appears to be “rule free.” However, the same conditions that make it so exhilarating can also lead to the greatest crashes. Therefore, investing in creative real estate has its own “advisory speed limits” in the form of four important guidelines.

These are four of the primary rules and advisory limits of creative real estate investing. These have been passed down from one established investor to another with the goal of keeping aspiring investors from crashing and burning.

Let’s get to the 4 rules!

1.) When Investing with No (or Low) Money Down, You Need to Find Even Better Deals Than Those Who Invest Normally

(Click to read on BiggerPockets…)

Post image for The Ultimate Guide to Using Direct Mail Advertising to Grow Your Real Estate Business

Last week I received a car key in my mailbox.

The key looked different… it had no grooves in the side, just smooth.

Furthermore, the key was attached to a  brightly colored postcard that claimed “You’ve Won!”

Did it have my attention?

Of course!

I had to continue reading, despite the fact that I knew this was just another piece of junk mail. Looking over the card I saw that a local car dealership was giving away a free car to someone who would come down and test drive a car this weekend. (Reading the small print I see that the odds of winning the car was 1/3,000,000 but the odds of winning a free cup of coffee was 2,999,999/3,000,000. I wonder which prize I won…)

So why did the dealership send me this colorful postcard and key?

Simple: this is direct mail marketing, and it’s used by millions of marketers all across the world to sell products. From cars, to insurance, to mortgages, to electric fireplaces and more, direct mail marketing is a proven technique for growing your business.

Today we are going to dive deep into the topic of direct mail marketing and focus specifically on how youcan use direct mail to get new leads, expand your brand, and grow your business.  Welcome to the Ultimate Guide to Direct Mail Marketing!

Direct Mail… What is it and How Does it Work?

Direct mail is the practice of sending mail to a targeted list of people with the assumption that a very small percentage will respond to the campaign. Chances are you receive a lot of direct mail every single day in your mail box at home and just consider it “junk mail” and toss it in the trash (like the postcard with the key I mentioned above.)

(Click to read on BiggerPockets…)

Is Real Estate a Good Investment?

Is real estate really a good investment?

I mean, sure it’s tangible. Yes, it’s cool. Yes, it has worked for some, and it’s done wonders for me.

In fact, this entire website is dedicated to real estate investing and perfecting the art/science/luck of it. Hundreds of books have been written on the topic (including these, my top 21 favorite real estate books.) Each week on the BiggerPockets Podcast tens of thousands of listeners tune in to hear the best tips, tricks, and strategies for building wealth through real estate.

However, it’s rarely discussed – is real estate, itself, a good investment? And if so… why?

Is Real Estate a Good Investment? Nope!

Historically, real estate actually has NOT been a great investment in itself. I know, a lot of you just choked on your lunch hearing that come from me, but bear with me a moment.

As famed economist and Nobel prize winner Robert Shiller has pointed out using the S&P/Case-Shiller Index, home values have actually appreciated, on average, at nearly the same rate as inflation over the past 100 years.

In other words – if you paid $100,000 cash for a home in 1970 and sold it in 2000 for $250,000 it may seem like you made a terrific investment. However, that change is only maintaining a 3% annual appreciation, pretty similar to inflation. They home hasn’t actually built them any wealth.

In addition, the home needed new windows, carpet, paint, and other changes throughout those 30 years, so it’s very possible that the owner of that home actually LOST money on their home purchase.

So, yes – buying a home with your $100,000 is probably better than tossing it into a bank account earning no interest but in itself, it’s really not a great investment. You’d probably be better off sticking that $100,000 in the stock market and earning an average of 8%.


(click to continue reading on BiggerPockets)

Analyze rental property

Let me ask you a question: how long does it take you to pick out your clothes in the morning?

I bet it takes longer than most people will spend doing the math on their next real estate investments.  I just don’t get it. People think the best deals are done on “intuition” and just buy something because itfeels right.  

Ugh. Please people! 

I’ve said it before numerous times: If you don’t have the right math going into a deal, you’ll never get the right profit coming out of it. (Tweet This!)  That deal you thought was incredible will turn out to be a thorn in your side for years to come and you’ll join the ranks of the millions who have “tried” real estate only to fail.

This is why I harp so often on getting a firm understanding of the math when buying an investment property.

I don’t care if you are buying your first or 100th property –  you need to understand and do the math.

That is my ultimate goal with this post: to help you learn to analyze a real estate deal so you can make the best investment possible.

Below I’m going to walk you through the math I use to analyze a rental property, step by step. Please, if there is one post this year you read carefully and don’t skim: let it be this post!


(Oh yeah – hey you! To accompany this blog post, I created a free PDF poster you can download right now and print out. It’s called “The 10 Biggest Mistakes Investors Make When Analyzing Rental Properties” and will help you avoid the mistakes that so many investors make when analyzing deals. Don’t buy a bad deal! Avoid these 10 mistakes and get a great investment property! To get the PDF, just click the link below:)

The Ultimate Guide to Analyzing Rental Properties – read at BiggerPockets

Real Estate Investing

Sometimes I do stupid things.

I can’t blame it on anyone else… it’s just me. Sometimes I’m just an idiot.

  • I say the wrong thing at the wrong time and look foolish.
  • I buy something awesome and expensive… and never use it (cough… my iPad.)
  • I forget to call my family on their birthday.

Dumb, I know.

However, most of these things are fairly mild compared to the idiotic things I’ve done as a real estate investor. The following list may seem like I’m poking fun at others but, in reality, this is a reflection on the idiotic things I’ve done in my investing career.

But I want better for you.

I don’t want you to look like an idiot. I want you to succeed and live the life you’ve always dreamed, so allow me to share with you my best tips for investing in real estate without looking like an idiot.

10 Rules for Investing in Real Estate Without Looking Like an Idiot

1.) Do Your Homework

One of the best ways to look like an idiot when investing in real estate is to jump in before you know what you are doing. You saw it on TV, you read it in a blog post, and suddenly you think you are the next Donald Trump and… well, you end up looking like Rosanne Singing the National Anthem.

It’s not pretty.

(click to continue reading on BiggerPockets)

How to Calculate Cash Flow

When I was a kid, Duck Tales was one of my favorite TV shows.

Each day after school I’d watch the adventures of Huey, Dewey, and Louie as they fought off the Beagle Boys who wanted good ‘ol Scrooge McDuck’s hard earned money. They always managed the thwart the efforts of the villains and save Scrooge’s money and, as a reward to himself, Scrooge McDuck and the three nephews would take a swim in his vault of money. Yes, you remember. They would jump of the diving board head first into mountains of gold coins. As a kid, nothing seemed more exciting than that.

So how did Scrooge get so much money? To use Scrooge’s own words, by being “smarter than the smarties, and tougher than the toughies.”

In other words, scrooge was good at business. He was smarter than the rest.

Yes, this is only a cartoon, but I think there is a valuable lesson to be learned here. If you want to succeed and swim in your own river of cash, you need to be smarter than the rest. I believe the best way to do this is through a solid grasp on the numbers.

Math is not most people’s favorite subject in school, but it might be the most important for a real estate investor. Understanding how your business makes money is imperative in helping it make more. Therefore, today I want to focus on one of the most important aspects of real estate math: Cash Flow.

In layman’s terms, cash flow is the amount of income left in your business after all the bills have been paid; this amount is often expressed as a monthly dollar amount. In the real estate rental business, cash flow is the income lefts after paying out expenses such as the mortgage, taxes, insurance, vacancies, repairs, capital expenditures, utilities, and any other expenses that affect the property.

How to Calculate Cash Flow

(Click to read on BiggerPockets…)