Category: real estate investment

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.

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 or on twitter as @monickpaulhalm.

14 Jun 2017

The 3 Aspects of a Potential Investment Property You Must Consider Before Buying

There are 3 important aspects to a property.  The first two are somewhat obvious, but the third is one that few people think about.

The first aspect of a property is its physical characteristics.  This includes things like:

  • square footage,
  • number of units/rooms/bathrooms/etc.
  • amenities (stainless steel appliances, gym, pool, etc)
  • architecture
  • class of property
  • property condition
  • location, etc.


The second aspect is the the purchase price.  If your goal is to purchase a cash-flowing, money-making property, you can’t pay too much in order to do so.  It’s important to know how to properly evaluate a property so that you don’t pay too much.

Join me on Thursday, June 15, at 12:00 pm PST/3:00 pm EST, I will be presenting: How to Find The Right Investment Property At the Right Price.  During the webinar, I will share how you can evaluate a property to determine it’s true value.

The third aspect is one that many people don’t think about, but is potentially the most important of the three aspects.  This one has to do with the seller/current owner’s situation.  This encompasses three things:

  1. the seller’s management of the property.
  2. the seller’s savviness
  3. the seller’s motivation for selling the property

Join me on Thursday, June 15, at 12:00 pm PST/3:00 pm EST,  for the How to Find The Right Investment Property At the Right Price.  We will go into detail into each of these three aspects of property.

During the webinar I will also share:
-The 4 Biggest Myths About Investment Properties that Keep Investors from Profiting
-How to Make Sure You’re Not Paying Too Much
-Ways You Can Maximize Profits from Your Investment Property
-And Much More!!

17 May 2017

What’s Most Important

Somedays you are faced with what’s really important.

Yesterday I went with my brother to get chemo.  He was diagnosed with a stage 4 colorectal cancer and has been dealing with this challenge for over 2 years.  [If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with cancer, you should check out his inspirational website – Living For Hope.]

Cancer became the new normal in our family in February 2015 when he was first diagnosed, but yesterday it hit me again what’s important and why I’m doing what I do.

When you’re faced with mortality you understand that ultimately money is not important.  Having the most green houses or red hotels is not important.  Working the hardest is not important.

What is important is love, your family (those you are born to and those you choose), your health, and living fully.  For me “living fully” means that you can laugh, play, spend quality time with the people you love, and do what you were put on this planet to do.

I invest in real estate because it provides me the time and peace of mind to be more present with my family. Most of my income from real estate is passive, so it provides me time freedom.  I love that in the middle of a Wednesday I could be with my brother as he received chemo.

I invest in real estate because I love it.  I’m passionate about it.  I love to find properties and renovate properties.  I love improving communities.  I love how it helps create wealth for my family and others.  I love reading about it, learning about it, and teaching about it.  I love other real estate investors.  I especially love women real estate investors.  I really, really love real estate.  Could you tell?

When I am doing this (investing and doing Real Estate Investor Goddesses), I feel like I’m doing what I was born to do.  When I am doing this, I feel like I am living fully.

The money and properties is just bonus.  The rest of it is my why.

So why are you here?  What’s important to you?  Are you living fully?  If not, don’t let it be a cancer diagnosis that pushes you to change.  Do it now.

Believing in Your Magic,

P.S. Make sure to get your tickets for the Step Into Your Magical Self – Transformational Creative Women’s Retreat happening on Saturday May 27, from 10 – 6 p.m. in Santa Fe Springs, CA.  This is a day that will help you to live your fullest, most magical life.

The day will feature experiential talks, transformational art projects, food, wine tasting, yoga, sisterhood, and more.  We have tons of great sponsors for this event, so we are able to offer the day including food, drinks, art materials for only $97 for 1 or $175 for two!  Space is limited so get your tickets today  Join us!

17 May 2017

It’s a Class Thing – Understanding Property Classes

We get on the phone every week with the property managers from our buildings in Albuquerque.  We are never quite sure what we are going to hear.

There was the call about a drive-by shooting that thankfully didn’t hit anybody, the call about the fire in one of our townhouses that was a result of a love spat gone very, very bad, the call about the 10 units (out of 51) that we were going to have to evict in one month because they hadn’t been paying rent,  the call about the ex-con who threatened our property manager with a gun because he wasn’t happy about said eviction, the call about our elderly tenant who can’t pay rent because he thought a Nigerian Prince was really going to send him $10,000,000 and he sent a bank check equaling more than 2 months of his rent, and so much more.

This is what it’s like dealing with a Class C building.  [If you don’t know what that is yet, keep reading] .

Lately though the calls have been different.  There was the call when in one week several tenants from each building stopped our manager to tell her how happy they were about the changes and how they now finally felt safe enough to come out of their apartments and/or let their kids play outside in the courtyard, the call where several tenants who had been planning to leave decided to renew their lease, the call where people are offering to pay extra month’s rents to get a remodeled apartment in the building now, the call when we found out our maintenance man decided to move into one building and our property manager’s girlfriend is moving into the other, etc.

The calls are starting to feel good.  Through our management changes and targeted rehabs, we are transitioning our Class C buildings into Class B.

Often when you are looking for investment property, you will hear people talk about the properties in terms of class – Class A, B, C, or D.  Do you want to know what that means?  When you’re investing it’s important to know.  Class designations are shorthand for what you can expect with a property’s condition, location, and tenant demographic.

Here is a brief description of each property class:

Class A Properties: 

These properties represent the highest quality buildings in their market and area.  They are generally newer properties built within the last 10-15 years and have modern amenities (granite countertops, hardwood floors, etc.), high-income earning tenants and low vacancy rates.  Class A buildings are located in prime market locations and are typically professionally managed.  Additionally, they usually demand the highest rent rates with little or no deferred maintenance issues. These are stable investments, but tend to provide lower cash flow.

Class B Properties:

Class B investments are generally older than Class A (15-30 years).  They tend to have relatively recent upgrades and modern appliances, amenities, etc. but may lack some of the “top-notch” amenities of a Class A property.  Rental incomes in Class B properties tends to be lower than in a Class A, and you can expect higher maintenance costs due to the age of the property.

Mostly, these buildings are well maintained and many investors see them as a “value-add” investment opportunity because through renovation and common area improvements, the property can be upgraded to Class A or a Class B+.  Buyers are generally able to acquire these properties at a higher Cap Rate than a comparable Class A property because these properties are viewed as riskier than Class A.

Class C Properties: 

Class C properties are typically more than 30 years old and located in less-than-desirable locations.  These properties are generally in need of substantial renovations, including updating the building infrastructure to bring it up to date and possibly to code as well.

Class C buildings tend to have the lowest rental rates in a market with other Class A or Class B properties. Some Class C properties need significant repositioning.

Class D Properties: 

Class D properties are old like a Class C, but with far more neglect.  It’s possible that a Class D building is uninhabitable.  Class D buildings are generally extremely cheap, but it can be very difficult and sometimes even dangerous to turn those buildings around and get good tenants in place

When you’re investing, it’s important to be know about building class.  Also, be mindful that brokers will pretty much always “grade up.”  So they’ll market a Class B as a Class A, a Class C as a Class B, etc.  Do your homework and really check it out.

Also, be mindful of the fact that each class level down requires a whole new level of management.  The lower the class, the more intensive property management will be required to up-level the building.  If you have the constitution and can weather the storms, then repositioning buildings to take them up a class can be very lucrative, gratifying and fun.

Share in the comments below what class of building you’re looking to invest in/ have invested in.

30 Mar 2017

Self-Directed Retirement Accounts – Or How You Can Use Your Retirement Funds to Invest in Real Estate

Do you ever think “I’d love to invest in real estate, but I just don’t have the money?”  Well, what if I told you that you might be sitting on tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars available for investing and you don’t even know it?!

That’s how I was, and I was pretty blown away when I found this out.

In January 2016 my husband and I went to a real estate conference – the Real Estate Guys’ Secrets of Successful Syndication seminar.  There we learned that we had way more access to cash for investment than we thought about – via our retirement accounts.

Most people have IRAs or 401k’s in plans offered through their employers or through one of the bigger financial institutions – Fidelity, Ameritrade, Charles Schwab, etc.  In these accounts there is a set of options of what you can invest in – generally a pretty limited menu of mutual funds and bonds.

I remember being very annoyed at one point because I wanted to put the bulk of my money in a low-fee S&P 500 Index fund (hey, if it’s good enough for Warren Buffett…), and that option wasn’t even available.

There’s a different way of using your retirement funds though – one that gives you a LOT more freedom.  It’s called a self-directed IRA (SD-IRA) or self-directed 401K (SD-401K), and barring a small list of prohibited transactions (basically you can’t invest in collectibles, life insurance, or things that personally benefit you and your family), you can invest in anything else – especially real estate.

Many of the investors in our New Mexico apartment deals have invested via their SD-IRAs.

My husband converted much, though not all, of his retirement funds into a self-directed 401k and has since used those funds to invest in a syndication of a 496 unit complex in Atlanta.  I’m about to convert one of my IRAs to a SD-IRA (I figure if I’m going to do it, during a record high is a great time to sell), so I have that available for investing.

Self-directed retirement accounts are a wonderful option that opens you up to a whole new world of investing.

If you want to find out more about using self-directed retirement accounts – the possibilities and the potential pitfalls, you should check out our latest podcast.

I interviewed Carole Ellis, co-founder of the Self-Directed Investor (SDI) Society and news editor for the SDI News, the top news publication in America for self-directed investors. She offered up a wealth of information about self-directed investments, and we had a really fun chat.

Check it out and let me know what you think about self-directed investing and what questions you may have.  Also, let us know what’s the next step you’re going to take towards your real estate investing. Post in the comments below.

Happy Investing!

P.S. I co-hosting a very special, transformational creative 1-day woman’s retreat called Step Into Your Magical Self Retreat on May 27, 2017.  Tickets are now available! Early bird pricing is still in effect, and tickets are limited, so grab your tickets and plan to be there.  Also, plan to bring your sister, mom, cousin, or bestie – there’s a substantial discount if you buy two tickets.  This event is all about sisterhood!


 Monick Halm is the co-founder of Real Estate Investor Goddesses.  She is a real estate investor with over 11 years of investing experience in single family, multi-family, mobile home parks, flipping, and syndication. She is also a certified interior designer, Feng Shui expert, author, speaker, certified NLP and money coach, and attorney.  Monick is passionate about real estate, design, and helping women to thrive.


15 Mar 2017

7-part Real Estate Investing Success Framework


Hi, I’m Monick Halm of Real Estate Investor Goddesses

Do you want to invest in real estate, but don’t know what steps you need to take in order to be successful?  If so, you’re in the right place.

In this video, we are going to share with you the 7-part Real Estate Investing Success Framework. 

Because as Michael Dell says “You don’t have to be a genius or a visionary or even a college graduate to be successful.  You just need a framework and a dream.”  We’re giving you this framework here.

1, you need the right plan – a blue print for successfully investing to create the right vision for your life.

2.  You need the right education.  You need to get educated about real estate.  An educated investor is a successful investor. 

3. You need the right team team.  Real estate is a team sport.  A weak team will lead to weak results.

4. You need to invest in the right market.  In a strong market, even a bad property can do well.  In a weak market, the best property will lose money. 

5. You need to invest in the right property for you.  Maybe the right property is a single family house or duplex.  Maybe the right property is an apartment building or any number of other assets.  You need to learn how to get the right property at the right price.

6. You need the right financing.  Perhaps you want to get lender financed, and will need to learn how to get money for your deals.  Perhaps you want to do seller financing, bring other investors in to partner with you, or find creative ways to pay for the property yourself.  It’s important to get the right financing for you.

7. You’re going to need to the right community of support.  For goddesses, that’s a sisterhood – a group of smart, fun, successful women who have your back and will celebrate with you.  This is the secret sauce for women investors.    

In Real Estate Investor Goddesses, we are committed to helping women be successful in all parts of the Real Estate Investing Success Framework.  Check us out at to learn more.

27 Feb 2017

The 4 Biggest Myths About Real Estate Investment Markets that Keep Investors from Profiting

The number one rule of Real Estate Investing is “Location! Location! Location!” 

Whether or not your property will make money has almost everything to do with where it is located.

Unfortunately, many investors and would-be investors have these myths in their heads around markets that keep them from being successful in real estate.  In this post, I’m going to share those myths with you, plus lay on some truth so you can get on the right track.

Myth #1- You have to invest where you live

Truth: You can invest wherever the numbers makes sense, and they may not make sense where you live.

I definitely used to think I had to invest where I live. My husband and I live in Los Angeles, one of the most expensive markets in the U.S., and we were looking to buy a multi-unit property that we could buy and hold. We started flipping homes in 2010 when housing values were way down, but soon they started becoming too expensive for us to make the numbers pencil out.

We decided we would buy and hold, and started searching for a 4-plex that would give us some regular, passive cash flow.  We searched and searched in and around Los Angeles but couldn’t find anything that (a) we could afford to buy or (b) if we could afford it would make us any money.

I got very frustrated until I met my now mentor Robert Helms, host of the Real Estate Guys Radio, and he told me: “Live where you want to live.  Invest where the numbers make sense.” 

I had never before thought of investing outside of where I lived and could easily drive. 

Hearing him say that to me was a big paradigm shift.  It literally opened up the world.  If we found the right market with the right numbers, we could literally invest anywhere.

Dear goddess, I want you to remember this maxim too:  Live where you want to live, invest where the numbers make sense.

Myth #2- You have to buy a place that you’d want to live in.

Truth – the best investment opportunities are often in areas where you wouldn’t want to live.

Again, it comes down to “live where you want to live, invest where the numbers make sense.”  I want to live in a large 6-bedroom house overlooking the ocean in Santa Monica, but I would not buy such a place as an investment property. 

Buying such a property, would not make sense for my investment goals of 10% yearly cash on cash return.  If I were to buy such a place and try to rent it, chances are I would not be able to rent it out for enough money to profit.

There are 6 factors that make for a great investment property market.  Santa Monica doesn’t meet most of those factors.  For me, I’d rather purchase in markets that have all the factors of a great market, and in a lower- to middle-income neighborhood. 


Learn all the 6 Factors in our free lunchtime Webinar on “How to Find The Right Market for Money-Making Investment Property” happening Wednesday, March 1 from 12 – 1 p.m. PST/3-4 p.m. EST.  Register here.


Because of my investment preferences, the properties I tend to buy are not in the best parts of town, and are buildings that do not have all the amenities I would want for myself.  So I probably wouldn’t choose to live there. However, they’re great for investment because they are in areas with lots of renters and where my investment dollar will likely go the farthest. 

Myth #3- Being in a good market city is enough.

Truth- you need to be in the right submarket.  Sometimes success can be the difference of a block

If you have checked all the 6 factors for finding a great market and decided that a particular city is the right market for you, this doesn’t mean that all the neighborhoods in that city are appropriate for you to buy in. 

Not all neighborhoods are created equal. You have to find the right neighborhood/submarket to meet your investment goals.  Sometimes being on the “wrong side of the street” can be the difference between success and failure.

When people are looking for where to rent they consider things like:

  • school district,
  • crime in the area,
  • proximity to major employers,
  • proximity to public transportation,
  • proximity to shops, restaurants, parks, and other area of interest, etc.

These are things you should consider too.  Look very carefully at the different neighborhoods and even different areas within neighborhoods.  Sometimes being on or off a particular street can make all the difference.

You’ll want to learn the market, plus the submarkets well in order to make the best investment decision possible.


Want to find out what specifics you should look for when assessing a market?  If so, join us for our free Lunchtime Webinar “How to Find The Right Market for Money-Making Investment Property” happening Wednesday, March 1 from 12 – 1 p.m. PST/3-4 p.m. EST.  Register here.


Myth #4- You can learn everything you need to know by researching online.

Truth- usually it will take you getting your boots on the ground or the boots of someone you really, really, really trust before you can make an educated decision. 

There is a lot of information that you can get online about a market – population rates, new employers coming to town, population demographics, views on Google Earth, etc., but there are certain things that you will only know by visiting.

When you visit a location you will get a feel for the market and the people.  You will also be able to meet with and talk to your team – drive the neighborhoods and streets.  You can see where hot spots are, where things are up-and-coming, or where there are homeless encampments, graffiti and blight.  

If you are not able to visit your market, you need to have people you really trust to make an educated assessment visit for you.  Sometimes your property management company, a trusted broker can visit a property for you, an investment partner, or deal syndicator can make those assessments. 

I would generally recommend that you visit the market yourself at some point though before purchasing. These properties will likely be the biggest financial investment you make in your life, so it behooves you to see them yourself if at all possible.

Those are the four main myths around property markets I’ve heard and/or have held myself.  Let me know what you think in the comments below.  Have you held any of these beliefs?  Are there other myths I’m missing?  Let me know.

And don’t forget to “Live where you want to live.  Invest where the numbers make sense.” 

And if you want to know how to find the right market where the numbers make sense, join us for a free lunchtime webinar on March 1, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. PST/3 p.m. EST entitled “From Owning 2 Homes to Owning 1,000 Homes in a Year: How Finding The Right Market Can Accelerate Your Real Estate Success

In this webinar we will cover:
-How changing markets allowed me to expand my portfolio from 2 to 1000+ units
-The 6 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Market
-How to Find Information You Can Trust to Assess the Market
-The 3 Steps You Must Take to Confirm You’ve Made the Right Choice
-And more!
Hope to see you on Wednesday!
 Monick Halm is the co-founder of Real Estate Investor Goddesses.  She is a real estate investor with over 11 years of investing experience in single family, multi-family, mobile home parks, flipping, and syndication. She is also a certified interior designer, Feng Shui expert, author, speaker, certified NLP and money coach, and attorney.  Monick is passionate about real estate, design, and helping women to thrive.

14 Jan 2017

3 Powerful Lessons I Learned from My Real Estate Mentor

Last weekend I spent 4 days with my real estate mentors, Robert Helms and Russell Grey, the Real Estate Guys, working on my goals. We were at their 2017 Create Your Future Goals Retreat. I came with my husband and two older kids (21 and 17).

It was intense, somewhat confronting, and wonderful beyond belief.

Three things were really honed in for me during this weekend. As I watched Robert Helms, who is one of the most successful real estate developers and educators in this country, I received these three important lessons:

1. Spending time to get clear on your goals is of utmost importance.

Too many people “hope” things will work out and have some vague idea of what that means for them. They bop around praying the Universe will deliver something, anything they want. Or, more often, they just hope the shoe won’t drop off the other foot. Instead, we can help ourselves so much more by getting crystal-clear clarity and then setting off in that direction.

Even though Robert Helms, and all the very successful people in the room, are super busy. They all know they’re too busy NOT to take time for clarity and assessment.

2. The people you’re around contributes SO MUCH TO YOUR SUCCESS.

Your peer group shapes so much of your beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. Being around successful, optimistic people is one of the quickest ways to raise your vibration and increase your results.

That’s why my husband and I have invested A LOT this year (time and money-wise) to be around the most successful people we could find and real estate. The return on investment has been exponential. We went from having 1 rental door this time last year to over 1000 doors today! Wow!!! I am still pinching myself! I owe this in large part to being around people who are actually doing the deal.

3. Learn from the masters.

Learn from those who have taken the time and energy to hone their skills, craft, and knowledge so that you can collapse time frames, and avoid costly mistakes. Robert Helms and Russell Grey interview people every week that they say are smarter than them (at least in what they do). This contributes greatly to their fortunes and success.

I went to over 10!?! live seminars last year and did dozens more hours of online trainings. I don’t think I would have been able to do 1/10th of what I’ve accomplished without this training.

If building wealth through real estate is something you’re interested in. We have created something to help you gain clarity, be around incredible, accomplished women in real estate, and learn from masters in the real estate field.

It’s the Bad Ass Mastermind (BAM) and is for a select group of women who are ready to be bad ass real estate investors (or who are already bad ass, but wanting to take it to the next level).

If that resonates with you, fill out this brief application, and get ready for your most bad ass year yet!

Monick Halm is a real estate investor with over 11 years of investing experience in single family, multi-family, mobile home parks, flipping, and syndication. She is also a certified interior designer, Feng Shui expert, author, speaker, certified NLP and money coach, attorney, and co-founder of Real Estate Investor Goddesses. Monick is passionate about real estate, design, and helping women to thrive.