Month: July 2017

04 Jul 2017

How to Find More Financial and Time Freedom

It’s the 4th of July – Independence Day here in the U.S.  This is a day that always makes me think about (and grateful for) our freedoms.

If you ask most people (at least if they’re not physically constrained) what would make them feel more free, they would say that having more money and/or more time would allow them to feel more free.

How free do you feel?

So many people, women especially, are working hard every day earning wages at jobs and trying to make ends meet, or maybe they make enough money, but if they stopped working for any reason it would all come crumbling down like a house of cards. 

Can you relate to the following statements? 

  • You are working hard and have relatively little to show for it. 
  • You are trading your time for money and struggling to find the free time to spend with your family. You would like to travel, to write that book you’ve been dying to write, or to just generally live the lifestyle you desire, but you cannot do those things and also fund those things. 
  • You are not sure how you’re going to be able to pay for your retirement.  Maybe you have some funds tucked away, but you’re not sure the money will outlast you – especially if we go through another economic downturn and the market crashes again.
  • You want to leave something for your kids: some financial resources they can rely on.  It would be nice to be like Warren Buffett and leave your kids “enough so that they can do whatever they want, but not so much that they won’t do anything.”
  • You work hard all the time but things seem to be getting worse instead of better. The cost of living has increased, but your wages haven’t been rising enough to keep up.  You are working harder and harder with less and less to show for it.
  • You feel like you’re on a hamster wheel, running and running and not making any progress toward your goals.

What if there’s a better way to financial health and wealth? 

There is another way of thinking about and using your money: 

Don’t work for your money. Put your money to work for you.

While you’re sleeping, traveling, spending time with your family or friends, your money can be invested in such a way that it’s making YOU more money. 

Instead of thinking of a dollar as something you work for, spend, and then have to work more for, what if you used each dollar bill as a seed that can be planted? 

When planted well, your money can turn into a “money tree” that regularly delivers you money-fruit.  You can regularly reap the harvest and plant some of those extra dollar bills until you’ve created a money orchard.  When you have a large enough money orchard you will no longer have to trade your time for money.  You can just tend to your money trees and enjoy the harvest. 

That is financial freedom!

Real Estate Investing is the best way I’ve found to create a money orchard.  It is one of the greatest ways to build wealth. 

You plant your money into the right property and by putting in tenants that are paying the bills (mortgage, taxes, utilities, etc.) you are able to reap more dollars to boot.

Real estate can give you regular cash flow. 

You can invest in real estate that cash flows from Day One (from the first day of your investment, your tree is delivering you fruit).  It can cash flow in a way that almost no other investment does.  This (and other strategies we will talk about in the book) allows you to more quickly and easily take your money seeds and plant more trees. 

AND real estate gives you amazing tax benefits.

The U.S. federal government has decided to reward real estate investment through certain great tax benefits.  Some of these are such that even though you can be making MORE money because of your real estate investment, you will owe LESS in taxes; hence adding to your financial freedom.

Real estate investing gives you lifestyle/time freedom

Once the property is bought and tenants are installed, the property is making you money while you sleep or go on vacation.  This occurs 24/7 without you having to do much work.  When you have enough of these properties working so that your passive income from real estate exceeds your job, you can “retire” from working.  You only work if you want to. 

Real estate can give you a lasting legacy. 

When you build a money orchard that is something you can leave to your children or to charity.  Land and property are gifts that can keep on giving for generations.  This is a way to pass on these freedoms to your children.

Are you ready to start planting seeds for your money orchard?  What steps have you already taken?  What’s your next step?

Let me know your thoughts about what you’ve just read in the comments.

Ultimate Blogging Challenge/100 Day Blogging Challenge Day 4

Monick Halm is the author of the Real Estate Investor Goddess Handbook: Everything You Need To Know To Start Investing in Real Estate Like a Goddess.  She is the co-founder of Real Estate Investor Goddesses, an educational platform for women real estate investors, and is herself a real estate investor, syndicator, and developer with over 12 years of investing experience in single family, multi-family, and RV/mobile home parks. She and her husband own over 1000 rental doors in 6 states.  She is also a certified interior designer, Feng Shui expert, certified NLP and Money Mastery coach, and attorney.  Monick is passionate about real estate, design, and helping women to thrive.  You can connect with her on the Real Estate Investor Goddesses Facebook Page  or on twitter as @monickpaulhalm.

03 Jul 2017

My Story of Getting Started in Real Estate Investment

Today, I wanted to share about how I got started in real estate investment.

I have a real estate investing goddess friend Nicole.  Her parents were very successful real estate investors.  She grew up knowing all about real estate.  Her parents are much older and have since retired, and now she runs their impressive real estate portfolio.

I, on the other hand, didn’t grow up knowing any of this.  I fell into real estate investment almost by accident. 

I didn’t know anything about real estate investing.  I didn’t know why someone would want to do it, or that it was even an option for me. 

I was taught that you work hard in school, go to the best college (and in my case law school) you can, and then get the best job you can. 

I was taught to trade time for money, but get the best job you can so that you’re making the most amount of money per hour.  It’s not bad advice if you’re money paradigm is that to make money, you need to get a job.  The only thing I was taught about real estate was to buy your own home.

So that’s what I did. I worked hard in school; I went to Columbia Law School, and then I got a job working in a big law firm in Los Angeles.  I was young, single, and making a good 6-figure salary.  I was miserable in my job, but that’s a different story for a different blog.

After a few years of working and saving, I decided it was time to buy a house.  It was Los Angeles in 2005, and we were getting toward the top of the bubble. Even though I had a 6-figure salary, it was hard to get a house I could afford in a neighborhood I wanted to live in.  The “starter homes” I was looking at were well over $600,000.

A good friend of mine, who also wanted to buy a house but was stymied by the high prices, suggested that we buy something together.  He suggested we buy a duplex and each live in one side of it. 

I readily agreed. We’d been roommates together in law school and in Argentina. He was and still is one of my best friends. I knew I could live beside him.

We ended up finding a beautiful home that we both fell in love with. Unlike our original vision of one property with two equal spaces that each one of us would inhabit, our dream house had one unit that was substantially larger and more attractive to live in than the other. 

My first real estate investment.

Instead of one of us living in the less desirable unit, we decided that we would each take a bedroom in the bigger unit and rent out the top unit.  There was also a converted garage in the back that we were able to rent out.  We moved in, got tenants for the converted garage and the upstairs duplex.  All of a sudden, we were landlords. 

And I realized something — being a landlord had some definite benefits!  These tenants were paying the mortgage!  I still owed a little bit at the end of every month, but I owed a whole heck of a lot less than I otherwise would have if I owned the place by myself or if I had continued renting.   

On top of that I got to take mortgage and other tax deductions that resulted in even better savings.  I was in the highest tax bracket so owning this property made a BIG DIFFERENCE in my final tax bill.  I got to keep a lot more from Uncle Sam.

I liked this real estate thing!

It was when I realized that my tenants were paying my mortgage and I was saving money on my taxes that I realized real estate was a great way to go.

[In a future post, I’ll share how I acquired over 1000 rental doors in less than 1 year!]

Most people would agree that real estate is an incredible wealth-builder. Oddly, however, most people are not investing in real estate and, of those that are, a very small percentage of them are women.

Which begs the question:

Why aren’t more women investing in real estate?

There are three main reasons I believe more women aren’t investing in real estate:

  1. Many simply have not considered the incredible advantages of real estate, or that they could ever participate as a real estate investor.
    Perhaps they haven’t considered that there is an option for creating income other than trading their time for money.  Or maybe they just think it’s something that “very rich” people do, and it’s not something they could ever afford.
  2. They understand real estate investing in the abstract, but do not know how to apply those concepts to their own work or investing.
    They understand the concepts of real estate investment, but they don’t know how to do it.  They don’t know what steps to take, or where to go in order to gain the necessary knowledge.
  3. Last but certainly not least, they understand how it works, but they’re afraid they’re going to lose money.
    They have heard of people making lots of money in real estate, but they’ve also heard of people losing lots of money in real estate.  They’re afraid they’re going to “lose their panties” and be worse off than before.    

I started Real Estate Investor Goddesses to help address all of these issues. 

This Blog and Community share:

  1. All of the incredible advantages of real estate. In my book The Real Estate Investor Goddess Handbookour membership community, and in this blog, I share what those advantages are are and how you can take advantage of them.
  2. Precisely how real estate investing works.My goal is to help you be 100-percent confident in your knowledge of the specific steps you need to take to succeed and the specific things you should avoid at all costs. You’ll be crystal clear about how to successfully invest in a way that’s uniquely feminine and takes advantages of a woman’s unique gifts to be successful.

    Get my free ebook: “The Real Estate Success Blueprint: The 7 Crucial Steps Every Woman Must Take to Be a Successful Real Estate Investor”  to get started and learn these steps.
  3. How other women have succeeded, beyond their and your wildest dreams, in this industry. Check out the Real Estate Investor Goddesses podcast to get inspirational stories of women who are killing it in real estate.  They’re women like you and me who found about how to build financial and time freedom through real estate and are crushing it.  I ask how they started and were inspired to do it, so you know you can too.  (One woman was in foster care and homeless and now she has over 4000 rental doors, retired from her  job, and spends her time traveling the world and speaking! You can listen to her interview here.  If she can do it, what’s your excuse?)

What’s your story of real estate investing?  If you haven’t yet started, what is the first step you need to take to move?  Share in the comments.

Monick Halm is the author of the Real Estate Investor Goddess Handbook: Everything You Need To Know To Start Investing in Real Estate Like a Goddess.  She is the co-founder of Real Estate Investor Goddesses, an educational platform for women real estate investors, and is herself a real estate investor, syndicator, and developer with over 12 years of investing experience in single family, multi-family, and RV/mobile home parks. She and her husband own over 1000 rental doors in 6 states.  She is also a certified interior designer, Feng Shui expert, certified NLP and Money Mastery coach, and attorney.  Monick is passionate about real estate, design, and helping women to thrive.  You can connect with her on the Real Estate Investor Goddesses Facebook Page  or on twitter as @monickpaulhalm.

02 Jul 2017

4 Common Real Estate Investing Myths Debunked

There are myths that plague the world of real estate investment. Some of these do no real harm, but others prevent investors from reaching their full potential. Worse, they can cause missed opportunities and poor decisions when real estate investors buy into misconceptions about the industry.
~Chris Clothier, Memphis Invest

Recognizing and challenging any limiting beliefs about real estate is the first step in becoming a successful real estate investor. So many women severely limit what they accomplish or worse, they don’t even get started, because they believe one of the following myths:

Myth 1: You Need to have a Lot of Money or Time to Invest in Real Estate

A lot of women I speak to say “I’d love to invest in real estate and I will as soon as I’ve got more money.”  Or “I’d love to invest, but I don’t have time to find a property or be a landlord.” 

Women think they’re limited because they have limited resources.  I thought the same thing. 

My husband and I were searching for a 4-unit property to buy in Los Angeles and were stuck and unable to find the right investment because we were only thinking that we had to use our own capital, credit, or available time. 

Tony Robbins says, “There’s no lack of resources, just a lack of resourcefulness.”  When we became educated about the possibilities out there and realized the many creative ways we could partner with others to become investors, we became much more resourceful. 

The truth is that you don’t need to have a lot of money and/or you don’t need to have a lot of time.  You don’t even have to use any of your own money!  You just need the education and creativity to become more resourceful.

Myth 2: You have to do it yourself. 

This is a big myth in real estate.  Not only do you not have to do it by yourself, if you want to truly grow your wealth it’s almost impossible to do it by yourself.

If you limit yourself to your own capital, credit, and time, you could accomplish quite a bit but eventually you will hit a wall.  If you partner with others and utilize OPM (Other People’s Money) or OPT (Other People’s Time), there’s no limit to what you can do. 

If my husband and I were just trying to invest by ourselves, we might have maybe been able to get a four-unit multifamily building, a “four-plex,” (not bad), but by partnering with others we were able to become part owners in over 1000 units.  In certain cases, we were able to get an ownership stake by using none of our own money (it was all OPM).  And in other cases, we just put in some money and someone else found the deal and is managing it for us.  All we do is enjoy the quarterly checks (it’s all OPT).    

Source: Flickr by Phillip Taylor (ptmoney.com)

Myth 3: You have to start small

Most people start out buying a duplex or a single family home to rent out.  I did.  It’s common, but that’s definitely not where you need to start or even where it’s most prudent to start.

One of my mentors, Brad Sumrok, started out with a 32-unit building.  He learned about the beauty of leverage and purchased an apartment building first.  He was able to turn around that building and buy another and another.  Within 3 years he’d earned enough to be able to “retire” from a six-figure management job. His passive income became greater than his paycheck.  Now he teaches others, like my husband and me, how to retire from the rat race through investing in apartment buildings. 

Starting bigger has some definite benefits.  One of the best things about having a bigger property is that you can hire property managers (usually for small properties, property management is cost prohibitive).  When you have a property manager, you have someone else who deals with leasing out to tenants, handling evictions, fixing toilets, receiving 3 a.m. phone calls for keys, etc.  You actually can spend less time on a bigger building and leave yourself more bandwidth for planting more trees. 

We will talk more about the beauty of leverage that you get from bigger properties in the next chapter.

Myth 4: Investing in stocks is safer/better investment than real estate.

This whopper is generally perpetrated by stock brokers or other financial professionals that get paid to put you into these types of investments. 

First, it’s important to know that any investment has risk.  It is possible to lose money in real estate just like it’s possible to lose money in the stock market. 

That being said, a well-educated real estate buyer who buys a cash-flowing property, is much more likely to make money than a stock market investor. 

This type of real estate investment pays you cash every month, it provides many tax benefits (even though you make more money, you often pay less in taxes), and it won’t go bankrupt and disappear on you like a company whose stocks you own can.  It’s the best way to significantly grow your net worth.

As President Franklin D. Roosevelt said “Real estate cannot be lost or stolen, nor can it be carried away.  Purchased with common sense, paid for in full and managed with reasonable care, it is about the safest investment in the world.”

That was true when he said it back in the 1930s and it’s still true today.

100 Day Blogging Challenge – Day 2

 

Monick Halm is the author of the Real Estate Investor Goddess Handbook: Everything You Need To Know To Start Investing in Real Estate Like a Goddess.  She is the co-founder of Real Estate Investor Goddesses, an educational platform for women real estate investors, and is herself a real estate investor, syndicator, and developer with over 12 years of investing experience in single family, multi-family, and RV/mobile home parks. She and her husband own over 1000 rental doors in 6 states.  She is also a certified interior designer, Feng Shui expert, certified NLP and Money Mastery coach, and attorney.  Monick is passionate about real estate, design, and helping women to thrive.  You can connect with her on the Real Estate Investor Goddesses Facebook Page  or on twitter as @monickpaulhalm.

01 Jul 2017

7 Reasons You Should Be Investing in Real Estate

 

Ninety percent of all millionaires become so through owning real estate. More money has been made in real estate than in all industrial investments combined. The wise young man or wage earner of today invests his money in real estate.~Andrew Carnegie

Real estate investment is one of the fastest and safest ways to build wealth and grow your net worth in this country. 

Just to be clear, when I talk about real estate investing, I’m not talking about buying a home to live in.  That sort of investment takes money out of your pocket every month.  When I talk about real estate investing, I am talking about buying cash-flowing rental property that puts more money into your pocket. 

Source: Creative Commons – Mark Moz

There are 7 main reasons why you should have real estate in your portfolio:

1. Cash Flow Opportunities

Tenants pay rent. After expenses, what you have is monthly, recurring mostly passive cash flow.  This is a benefit that most real estate investors expect and understand. 

This is also something that differentiates real estate from investments in stocks.  Cash flow does not happen for the vast majority of stock holders.  Typically, you only make money when you sell the stock after and if the stock value has gone up.   

2. Appreciation

Sometimes properties lose value, but over the long term the value of real estate will nearly always go up. This happens while the loan is being paid down, so as your property gains value or equity your net worth increases.

Sometimes appreciation is a product of growth in the market and sometimes appreciation can be “forced,” by making targeted improvements in a property.

We invest in apartment buildings.  For our apartment buildings we work toward both types of appreciation.  We buy in markets where we expect market values to rise over the next few years. 

We also buy buildings that are renting under market because the apartments are old and in bad shape and the previous owners are unable to charge market rents.  By rehabbing the apartments, we are able to start charging more rent and increase the value of the building.  This is called “forced appreciation.” 

When we sell the properties in approximately 5 years, we also recoup any appreciation in the market that may happen because neighboring properties are also selling for more. 

3. Federal tax benefits

There are many tax benefits to owning property.  Many people aren’t aware of them, but they’re one of the best benefits to owning real estate. 

The government long ago decided that it wanted to encourage property investment, so there are many benefits that help people substantially lower their taxes including depreciation, mortgage and property tax deductions, no self-employment tax on rental income and more.  Because of the many tax benefits, real estate investors often end up paying less taxes overall even as they are bringing in more income. 

4. Leverage:

The ability to leverage is one of the greatest benefits of real estate investment.  There are 4 ways to use leverage to enhance your real estate strategy and investment options

1) You can leverage with money. 

This is by getting a mortgage and/or having investors invest with you.  You leverage other people’s money (OPM) to buy a property.

An example of how we leveraged money was when we invested in a 77-unit apartment building in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

We got a loan from a bank for 80% of the value of the building.  We also partnered with other investors to pay the 20% of the down payment plus the rehab.  We invested our time and leveraged other people’s money to buy this property. 

2) You can leverage with time. 

If you passively invest in projects, you can leverage other people’s time. 

The active investor will find the deal and manage it, while the passive investor provides the funding. You can invest in real estate while using OPT.  If you’re part of a syndication, you’re also able to take advantage of OPM because you’re piggy-backing off of all the other investors to get into the deal.

You are also leveraging time when you have property managers doing the work for you, and all you need to do is collect the profits each month. All of these time-leveraging strategies give you more time while still putting your money to work in real estate.

3) You can leverage other people’s experience.

If you’re new and don’t have experience, you can leverage the experience of others. 

When we were just starting out we were able to leverage the experience of others to help us get in the door and get our properties. 

Our next-door neighbor Lydia is a bad-ass real estate investor goddess.  She is the vice president of an investment fund and has personally worked on over $1.5 billion worth of syndications. 

She had done most of her syndications under the aegis of her employer and wanted to work on her own deals.  She was incredibly busy with her job though.

We had more time available, but not her experience.  We were able to do a lot of the leg work and she was able to (much more quickly than us) evaluate and underwrite deals. 

We partnered with her and her husband to find deals.  With her vast experience on our team resume it was very easy to open doors and get brokers/lenders to take us seriously. We leveraged her experience to dramatically expand the breadth of our own knowledge while making money in real estate in the process.

4) You can leverage with the property itself.

The more units you have the more leverage you have within the property itself.

If you have a single-family rental, if you lose a tenant, your place is empty you are losing money.  You have zero income yet still have to pay the mortgage, insurance and property taxes.

If you have two units and you lose a tenant, you’re still making 50 percent of your income.  If you have 10 units, and you lose a tenant, you still have 90 percent of your income.  If you have 100 units, and you lose one tenant you’ll still have 99 percent of your income.  You get the point.

Source: Wikipedia Commons

Leverage also works in the positive.  If you leverage a bigger property, small changes make a huge difference. 

If you have a single-family home and are able to raise rent by $50 per month, you can make an extra $600 per year.  If you have a 100-unit apartment building you raise rents $50/month that’s $5k/month or $60k/year income. Furthermore, because the value of a 5+ unit is based off of net operating income, these increases will significantly increase the value of the property.

Lastly, when you have a larger place you have economies of scale that make it more cost effective to pay for professional property management.  This means that you can have more tenants, but do less work (no fixing toilets for you!).

5. Principle Pay Down

As you pay down your mortgage (which is OPM) with interest, with each payment you pay back some principle and come closer and closer to owning the property free and clear. This is allowing you to build equity and wealth. 

The doubly nice part about that is when you have a cash-flowing income property, your tenants are paying this down for you and helping your build your wealth and equity at the same time.

6. Re-finance

A re-finance is when you put in a new mortgage on a property.  If your property has equity (from appreciation plus principal paid own), you can do a cash-out refinance (pull out some of the equity gained).

The best thing about a cash-out refinance is that it is not a taxable event.  You have pulled out this income tax free. 

A savvy investing goddess will use this cash-out refinance to buy more income properties, and grow her wealth in that way.

This is what one of our Real Estate Investor Goddesses, Sarah May did.  She and her husband saved up some money and put a down payment on a duplex.  They rented it out and started cash flowing on that. 

They were able to save up some more for another duplex.  From there they did a cash-out refinance and bought another duplex.  Then she just “rinsed and repeated.” 

When I interviewed her for this book, she had just closed on her 10th income property, a fourplex, in the Denver Area where she lives.  She and her husband did this in under 10 years. 

And as of last year, they had created enough passive income from their real estate that she was able to “retire” from her 6-figure job as an engineer to be with their toddler full-time and to work on acquiring more real estate.    

7. Real Estate is a “Feel-Good” Business

Having a business that simply “feels good” is particularly important to women.  In a recent interview I did with Barbara Stanny, women and money expert, she said:

Once a woman has enough to have food on the table, a roof over her head, and a mani-pedi every once in a while, she no longer is motivated by money.  What motivates her is how to help others.  It’s a very different game.  ‘How can I help others and be richly rewarded?’

If you invest according to the mission of the Real Estate Investor Goddesses, you can help others and be richly rewarded.

Our mission at Real Estate Investor Goddesses is to invest in properties that enable us to:

-make a property and a community better than we found it

-only engage in win-win transactions

-ensure that everyone touched by our deals is uplifted and benefits from their involvement 

If you make a property and community better than you find it, than you are benefiting the tenants and neighbors.

If you are engaging in win-win transactions, it benefits all involved.  Sellers are happy and you’re happy.

Everyone touched by your deal can be uplifted and benefited. Your income property is like a ripple of prosperity that spreads throughout the community. In every transaction the sellers, brokers, agents, property managers, other investors, and other service providers (lenders, accountants, contractors) are enriched.

And personally it feels good because while you are doing all this good you are making more money passively (i.e., even while you sleep, go on vacation, etc., your properties are making you money).  This gives you financial and TIME freedom.  Don’t you feel good already?

Monick Halm is the author of The Real Estate Investor Goddess Handbook:Everything You Need To Know To Start Investing in Real Estate Like a Goddess.  She is the co-founder of Real Estate Investor Goddesses, and is herself a real estate investor, syndicator, and developer with over 12 years of investing experience in single family, multi-family, and RV/mobile home parks. She and her husband own over 1000 rental doors in 6 states.  She is also a certified interior designer, Feng Shui expert, Intuitive Abundance coach, and attorney.  Monick is passionate about real estate, design, and helping women to thrive.  You can connect with her at www.realestateinvestorgoddesses.com or on twitter as @monickpaulhalm.