Hi my name is Al Ramirez and I have been involved in real estate since 2001, but became very active in 2004. I had a goal of aquiring 20 properties in 5 years. I thought if I could do that that I would be able to retire early, at that time I was 40 years old. My partner wanted use the money to send his two kids to college.
My strategies were:
1.Buy properties in the 100 - 150 K range - Reasoning - they would have the largest pool of potential buyers or renters.
2. Buy in highly sought after areas - Reasoning - That is were people will want to retire or where there are the most jobs, and if the real estate market took a dive it wouldn't TANK everywhere. My picks included South FL, NC and Chicago
At the time I had great credit, no credit card debt, savings, a well paying job with a solid 401K.
Things started great. I bought an apartment turned condo in South FL for 120K and a High Rise Studio apartment turned condo in Chicago for 179K and a deeded parking space for an additional 30K.
Things were looking good, I had two properties under my belt. I rented both units quickly and had a small positive cash flow on both.
A month later I bought another unit in South FL in the same complex for 122K. Again, I was able to rent it quickly and have a positive cash flow.
The Chicago property I bought with no money down. 80% first and a 20% Heloc. I got a 5K buyers credit which paid for the closing and a 5K credit toward assessments. Being that it was apartment turned condo there was no tax base, so taxes were minimal at $ 50/mo.
The two South FL properties I bought with no money down, but paid minimal closing costs.
Didn't do much for about a year, then I sold one of the FL condos for $ 259,000, a profit of almost 140K.
This is the point where things started change.
I took those profits and bought 2 more condos in Chicago in the same building with the same deal as the one above. But these were 1BR units with parking @ 240k & 269K respectively.
I also purchased a 3BR condo and a lot on a golf course in N.C. for $ 199,900 and $ 168,000.
Things were moving so fast, they had 6 units left in this phase of development. I said call me when you have 1 left...he literally called me in two hours.
Things were still good for about 6 mos then the bottom fell out. Both me and my partner have spent the last two years trying to support these properties.
Currently, I still have a good job I still have good credit, but it has gone down because of my debt ratio, I have no savings to speak of, over 60K in credit card debt and two loans against my 401k.
This is the honest to GOD truth, I was considering filing for BANKRUPTCY, but I just kept telling myself that I have to find a way out of this and that night I woke up at 3AM to Dean's infomercial, I got his books and had to wait 2 weeks to join the Success Academy because I had to put the payment on my Mom's C.C. Thanks mom & dad for your support and believing in your son.
This is where my real estate gambling ends and my investing like a Real Estate Pro begins....I cant't wait to write the second half of this post.
Til then Peace OUT!!!!