Have you ever experienced a truly life-changing moment?
If so, what was it?
For me, that moment came in September of 1998.
In August of that year, I became a young widow. You might think that’s when my life changed.
Technically, yes. But anyone who has been through loss can tell you that the weeks afterward are a blur. You just try to survive.
In early September of 1998, after spending three weeks sitting on the floor of my in-home office, crying, unable to think or process anything, I suddenly had a brutal moment of clarity: I was on the hook for all of my husband’s business debt, to the tune of nearly $400,000.
After spending two years repaying everything that I owed, I found myself in the unenviable position of having no clear path forward to make money.
What would I do next? How would I support myself?
I could no longer rely on my previous academic career. I had left that option behind years before.
Thankfully, my instincts as a researcher kicked in.
Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, I started reading biographies of wealthy people to find out how they had achieved success.
How had they made money?
What was their system, their process, their plan?
If I was going to reinvent myself and learn to make money in a completely different way, I would follow in the footsteps of people who had figured it out.
A surprising discovery
That’s when I made a discovery: Most of the people I read about made a chunk of their fortune through investing in real estate.
They clearly knew something I didn’t.
Some started by buying a single rental property; others bought fixer-uppers to repair and flip.
Most began with little money in their pockets. Still, they made it work.
By sticking with it and learning the in’s and out’s, they built portfolios that produced a ton of cash flow every single month over and above their “regular” income!
I figured if this approach had worked for so many successful people, it’s what I would do, too.
And so my journey as a real estate investor began.
My big mistake
Over the years, I bought dozens of properties, attracted nearly $3,000,000 in investor funds, and built an investment company.
It’s been an amazing ride!
But looking back, I can pick out so many mistakes that could easily have been avoided if I’d had a knowledgeable mentor.
Let’s take the very first property I bought as an example. It was a converted triplex – which means that a large, single family home was converted into three apartments – located in an area in transition (i.e. think prostitutes and drugs on one side of the fence, and high end residences on the other).
I got it for a great price because the previous owner had painted the place in no fewer than nine different colours. Some rooms contained all of the colours!
I wish I had photos to share because the kitchen in the main floor unit was some kind of ugly.
A quick coat of paint and a few small renos later, the place looked decent. We rented it quickly.
I thought we were set.
What ensued, however, was four nightmare years.
Wrong property, wrong location, wrong tenant profile.
One of the tenants had a boyfriend who pulled a gun on the garbage man. Nope, not kidding.
Thousands of dollars in repairs later, we sold the place. We made roughly $25,000 on it in the end, but that didn’t even begin to cover the time, stress, and hassle we had endured.
Should you invest in real estate?
This gets a “hell, yes!” from me even after everything I’ve been through – and you’ve only heard about one of my many mistakes!
Here’s the other side of my experience, though:
Our buy-and-hold properties pay us thousands of dollars every month.
The now-awesome tenants are paying off the mortgages.
Our net worth is growing.
I firmly believe that real estate can be a powerful tool to grow your monthly cash flow, but ONLY IF you do it the right way.
If you do it the wrong way, it can cost you a fortune and turn you into a really grumpy person.
On Tuesday, February 25th, for the next Live Online Women’s Money Group Workshop, I will present all of the information that I wish I had had when I started building a real estate portfolio.
I have invited my friend Nick Legault, a multimillionaire real estate expert who started off being an unemployed engineer in his twenties and now works on ten million-dollar deals, to be my special guest for the workshop.
He will share the following:
– Who should consider investing in real estate
– How much money you realistically need to pull this off
– The exact steps he takes to determine if a property is a good investment candidate
– A spreadsheet for evaluating deals
– The checklist he uses to take him through the purchase process
– The biggest mistakes he’s made and what you should avoid
– How to evaluate what type of property to buy and where to buy
– How he went from buying single condos to working on large, multifamily building deals today
I can honestly say that if I had had this information fifteen years ago when I was looking for my first property, I would have made very different decisions about what to buy and where to buy!
I would have saved a ton of money and made a lot more money, too.
My biggest lesson in Real Estate
In a nutshell, it’s this: Learn from others who have gone before you.
Shorten your learning curve.
Speed up your growth and your results.
Nick’s No-Baloney approach can help you turn real estate into a cash-producing tool.
Join us on Live Online on Tuesday, February 25th, from 6:45 pm to 9:00 pm.
You do not need to be a member to participate in this workshop. Just grab a spot here.
If you can’t make it live, you can watch the replay – but only if you register for the event!!
I look forward to *seeing* you Tuesday.
One last thing: I’d love to hear your real estate stories. If you own real estate, then you definitely have a story! Share it below, so that we can learn from each other.
And remember to register for the 2-hour workshop right now. It will give you an unfair advantage and set you on the path to putting more money in your pocket.