Josh Strickland's Journal (My Path to Success)

Josh Strickland's Journal (My Path to Success)

This First post is going to have a lot of things not having to do with real estate, the beginning is more how I got into real estate. Go to December 18, 2009 for the actual real estate stuff.

May 8, 2009

I was up really late watching tv and saw Dean's show. After watching about 5 minutes of it, I picked up the phone and ordered both of his books. Please understand that I have NEVER in my life ordered something off the television so his show was pretty convincing for me to order something.

May 9, 2009 - September 26, 2009

After recieving the books, I started working for PennDot full-time and between that and friends, I had no time to read his books and they laid beside my bed untouched.

September 27, 2009

It was really early that Sunday morning and I was thinking about my future, what I wanted to do with my life, and what I wanted out of life. Since I was little, I wanted to be a Civil Engineer, so I was going to Penn College in which my major was Civil Engineering. At this time I was working full-time for PennDot and part-time for Reading Crane and Engineering, both companies already want me to work for them after college so basically, I don't need to worry about finding a job after college. Though you would think I was happy, I really wasn't I wanted to become Civil Engineering because I wanted the freedom to design my own structures, and watch them come to life. After working a about 6 months at PennDot, I found out that Civil Engineers usually don't have the freedom to do that. They basically just look at charts and tables and the building plans are basically already made up. There isn't really any thinking involved in the job at all.

So after 19 years, I find out my dream job wasn't near as exciting as I thought it would be. I wanted something more, I just didn't know what. I wanted a job that I would enjoy, I wanted a job that made me think, and I wanted a job that would let me be creative (let me be me), which is one of my best attributes.

I was on my bed thinking about this for awhile and then Dean's tv show miraculously started. I watched the whole show and opened up My Be a Real Estate Millionaire, I read how Dean went from having literally nothing to having anything he wants because he had the determination and desire for a better life. After reading that, and seeing all the similarities between Dean and I (both our situation and desire for a better life), I knew real estate was my calling.

September 28, 2009

I made the decision that real estate was my number 2 priority. Number 1 was my grades in school. Since I worked two jobs and was a full-time student, I really didn't have much time to learn about real estate. I sat down and looked at what I spent time doing everyday. Like most people my age, I realized I spent all my spare time watching tv, on Facebook, on Myspace, on Aim, and texting. So to make time for my real estate, I eliminated all of these. I took the tv out of my room so it would no longer be a distraction to me, I changed the passwords on all my computer accounts so I could no longer log into them. I basically blocked myself away from as many people as possible, because I realized that most the people I talked to were just holding me back from my dreams and goals I want to accomplish.

September 29, 2009 - December 18, 2009

I read and re-read Deans books and did research on google. I also made my homepage and was on there a lot looking at contracts and such. I ordered Empowering Conversations as soon as they were availible to order. During October and the beginning of Novermber, I tried to learn as much information as possible but there was so much that I began to become discouraged. As November wore on, I began to lose my motivation to learn about real estate. I once again started hanging out with friends and went to parties on the weekends. By December 18, I was only learning about real estate a couple hours a week at max.

December 19, 2009

After staying up till 2am with two of best friends at my campsite, I once again began thinking about how much of a waste partying is. Think about it. What exactly do you get out of partying?? Absolutely nothing, at least thats how it is with me. Partying just gets me into trouble. So on the fourwheeler ride back to my house I said to myself that i'm not making anymore excuses, if I want a future of financial freedom and success then it is up to me and me alone to accomplish it. So that Saturday morning I began reading forum after forum on I knew the first thing I needed to do was create a buyers list. So I got on my college website and looked at the off-campus housing page and wrote down all the names, numbers and email addresses of the owners (around 38). I then composed a professional email to them stating that I am a new investor and I have techinques to find properties up to 60% off FMV. I asked them if they would like me to contact them when I great investing properties, and if so, what kind of properties they were interested in and in what area. I also posted two craigslist ads up asking for investors to contact me if they are currently looking to ad to their current assets. Thats all I did today


December 20, 2009

I spent most of my day learning more about assignments, and watching the Empowering Conversations videos. Later in the night, I began to think about which path I actually wanted to start with. I decided that I would keep building my buyers list and then lock on properties on my own and assign them to start out.
---3 of the investors I emailed the day before emailed me back with the properties they were interested in, so i'm up to 3 on my buyer's list already.

December 21, 2009

I literally spent the entire day on the computer reading on the DG forums. I also started looking into exactly what types of contracts I would need to complete assignments and I found the only two you need are:

"You will use two contracts - the "real estate purchase contract" (REPC)and the assignment contract. You will put the property under contract with the seller using the REPC and then you will use the assignment contract with you end buyer." -Drew (Official Coach)

I started looking up what important items should be addressed in the Purchase Agreement. Here is what I found:

"If you don't find a buyer you might as well THROW IN THE just kidding,here's what you will do:when you lock up the deal on the property you need to put certain clauses in or attached to the contract.for instance in this case you could have gotten out of this deal if there were a CANCELLATION CLAUSE,
here are some other clauses that you should think about adding to your contracts:ABILITY TO AQUIRE FINANCING- allows the buyer to cancel the purchase contract of a piece of real estate without penalty if they are unable to secure financing necessary in completing the purchase.
PROPERTY MUST PASS INSPECTION- this contingency states that the property defined in the purchase contract must PASS ALL INSPECTIONS and if the property does not PASS INSPECTION or if the seller is unable or unwilling to honor all requests of the buyer in replacing or repairing any or all items requsted by the buyer, the contract is NULL AND VOID without penalty to the buyer.
CANCELLATION CLAUSE- allows the buyer to cancel the purchase contract with the seller, within a specified amount of time, without facing a penalty or losing any earnest money." -Sully

My next question was should I get a real estate attorney to write my contracts for me so I know I'm legally covered in the event that I don't find a buyer and I back out of the contract. From reading the various forums, I have concluded that I'm going to find a real estate attorney to help me make the contracts customized to my needs.

--Today 2 more people were interested in the email I sent out to them on the 19th.
--Two people emailed me about my posting on craigslist and they are both interested in more properties.
--I now have 7 BIG investors on my buyers list.


Congratulations for getting Dean's, book's starting your real estate journal and your action plan for real estate investing. I hope you enjoyed the Empowering Conversations videos. Your journal is a great way to stay focused and accountable with real estate investing. You can also share what you learn along the way that will help so many new members just starting out. Keep focused and do a little each day that moves you closer to your goals. Each day you will learn a little more and gain the confidence and knowledge as you complete that next deal! Overtime you will find your niche in real estate investing. Good luck with real estate investing and all your future real estate deals. Believe and Achieve! Smiling - Joe


YOU TUBE CHANNEL - Follow me on my You Tube Channel at Joe Jurek Real Estate Investing Adventures

TWITTER - Follow me on Twitter at Joe Jurek CPA
Joe Jurek CPA

Josh, you are on a roll here

Congrats for sharing your journal with us. The entire post is amazing, it shows you are learning everyday. Please continue to share your success story/journey with us as a learning experience. All the best with real estate investing. God Bless.



"You can never get to the top, if you are not willing to climb. Do not look at the difficulty of the climb, only anticipate the view from the top."
"Can't even walk without you holding my hand." (Song)
"Is anything too hard for the Lord ..." Genesis 19:14
"In all things, wait on the Lord."
"Think not of your own deliverance, but trust in God who will give in abundance."
"When you are down to nothing, God is up to something." Unknown
"Our lives begin to end, the day we become silent about those things that really matters." Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

December 22, 2009

I kept reading the forums on about purchase agreements and I woke up at 5 am and wrote up a purchase agree. I know that once I get a REA that they will give me all the papers that I will need to complete assignments; however, I believe that writing a purchase agreement myself will really help me understand everything that is in one. After 3 hours of typing, I got my own purchase agreement written.

After that, I went through the papers that week and cut out all the real estate "for rent" ads and "for sale" ads. Sometime this week I will call all the for rent ads and see if the owners are looking to acquire other properties --I will then add them to my buyers list-- or if they are looking to sell there property --possibly lock it up on contract and assign it--.

Later that day, I started reading up on LLC's and learned all the pros and cons of them. I concluded that most REI's create their own LLC's so that they can separate their personal assets from their investing assests. Since I plan on starting off with assignments an LLC wouldn't really provide any benefits to me because I would not be putting the properties in my name. However, since I am only 19, I think that people will take me more seriously if I did create my own LLC. That way I can give the impression "This kid is legit! lol"

I have my buyers list on Microsoft Exce 2007. This is a list of all the information I put onto my list.

--First Name
--Last Name
--Work Number
--Cell Number
--Fax Number
--Company Name
--Company Address
--Ideal Way to Contact
--Area of Interest
--Type of Homes
--Price Range
--Monthly Cashflow
--Time to Settle
--General Information (How I found the buyer and any other info)

I talked to some of the investors on my list today and found out some more information on what type of properties they are interested in.

December 23, 2009

Today I talked to my mom and told her what I wanted for Christmas. I asked if she would pay for my LLC license, and it was a yes because I didn't ask for anything else. So that day I looked on google until I found a pretty good company that can do basically everything for me. I found to be one the cheapest with the best services. My first name I wanted was JRS Investments, LLC but that was taken so I went with what everybody else said I should call it. My company name is (I know it's long) Strickland Investment Properties, LLC. I like this name because it will get my name out to people and it says exactly what I'm investing in. The cost was $390 for EVERYTHING! That includes ALL the paper work, and they are giving me all the correct tax forms and everything else needed.

I watched the empowering conversations with Chad Merrihew, and I learned how he found a cash partner and thats how he got started so quickly. So I thought that should start looking for a cash partner while doing assignments. That way I have two possible ways to get startup cash, potentially enabling me to buy my own properties faster. I didn't do much today because I had to work 1030pm to 8:30am Christmas Eve, so I slept most the day.

Decmeber 25, 2009

Christmas Day gave me the best Christmas gift ever!!! While at my grams house eating, I was talking to my uncle about how I started learning about real estate and all my future goals and he asked "Well are you looking for a cash partner?" -Exact words- and I said well hellz yeah!! He then said that he would give me "all the money I need to get started" and he doesn't even want to make anything off of it. He just wants to help me get started!! I thought I was gonna have a heart attack!!!

Seriously, anybody reading this, if you truly dedicate yourself to this site and Dean's books, you're hard work WILL pay off!!

December 26, 2009

Today I spent some time learning about subdivision and how the whole process works. The reason I did this was because there has been 50+ acres of farm field away from my house right outside of town for over 5 years. So after learning a lot, I sent an email to the REA about what I would like to do with it and how it could be a win-win-win-win situation for everybody.

I also went and looked up every real estate agency in my area and added all the brokers, REA's, and appraisers to my contacts list on my email. I did this just to save time in the long run so I won't have to look anyone up in the phone book or internet because I literally have EVERY single one in my contacts haha.

December 28, 2009

Another investor contacted me today, he too wants me to find him properties in my area. CRAIGSLIST ROCKS!!

December 29, 2009

Today is the day!

I started looking for properties today, some of the places i'm looking is:
--All the Real Estate Agency websites that are located in my area. I'm just looking at their list of properties they are currently selling.
--Every Local Newspaper
--Driving around to find FSBO's
--I became a member of Realtytrac today. It's $49.99 a month, but with all the information it provides, it's definitely worth it. (I was subscribed to foreclosurealert but, I decided Realtytrac would be better for me because it lists FSBO's, Foreclosures, and preforclosure.) I'm not trying to turn people away from foreclosurealert, I'm just saying Realtytrac fits my personal needs better.

I plan on going to the county courthouse sometime this week so I can learn about how to look property records and other valuable information.

Rock on Brother!

I to am getting out there and motivated have had several people in my family tell me they would be a private lender for me should I find any deals! I'll be following you and your progress, and rootin for ya the whole way too! Stay motivated and let me know when you close on your first deal!


Proudly serving God, You, and Country,
Edwin Epperson

"The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one."
-Elbert Hubbard

WoW Dude...

Out of all the journals on here, yours is the most inspiring to me for the simple fact that your as young as me and you took initiative right away when you realized that real estate is one of the best ways to build wealth. You had your battles with yourself at times, but when you saw that you gained nothing out of that, it gave you even more reason to learn as much as possible about REI and put it into action. In no time you had people that you probably wouldn't have imagine helping you, HELPING YOU! The story about your uncle on Christmas is nothing but pure motivation!

So I just wanted to say thanx, keep up the good work, & now I have no reason to slack off even for a second when I know exactly what I need to do and where I can get the help from,!

You will shine this year!

Jerome Laughing out loud

December 30th - February 13th

I'm gonna fill you in for the past 46 days After December was over, I realized I wasn't going to see my best friends for another 4 months so I spent the most of my time hanging out with them playing video games and chilling (waste of time I know!!) On January 11th, my classes began and the out of class work for them is astranomical! I have class 5 days a week and work Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. This took up a majority of my time.

I also hate to admit that after classes began I was slowly but surely suckered in with the majority of society again. I hooked my TV back up (huge mistake) and I started using Facebook again. I am taking this as another learning experience and I cannot stress to you enough how easy it is to be pulled back down into the never-ending ditch with everyone else.

Though I was doing things that were a waste of time, I was still learning about real estate, I have gone to the courthouse a couple of times now and I know how to pull up property records and find information on anything and everything. I can take a homes address off craigslist and find its accessed value, how much it was bought for and when, who owns it, the square footage, and anything that would need to be known about the property.

As for that 50+ acre land by my house for sale that I would like to subdivid, I talked to the REA and she said that it is zoned to be subdivided. The land has been for sale at least 4 years now and the owners are asking a whopping $1,575,000 for it (which is why no one wants it). I only want to do this if I am going to make a good amount of money because a lot of work goes into a subdivision. I went to the courthouse and found other developments in the area and looked up how much lots sold for, how big they were, and when they were sold. After doing research, I found that the accessed LFMV in today's market is $50,000 for a half acre. In order to pay for the land itself, I would have to have at least 53 lots at 30k, 40 lots at 40k, or 32 lots for 50k (half acre lots). I would like to put around 70-90 lots in. The first couple of lots I would presell way below FMV so that I can pay for the Civil Engineer, the utilites and the access road. After getting that in, I would sell the remaining lots between $35,000 and $50,000. I average I would plan on making would be
Average Lots (80) x Average Price ($42,000) = $3,360,000
Price of Land = $1,575,000
Guestimate of access road, utilies, +Civil Engineer = $120,000
My Average Profit = $1,665,000 remeber this is average...
Maximum Profit = $2,725,000

Thats what I would like to do with the land, but I first have to get my offer accepted by the owner.
Based on what I have learned from Dean. I know the owners aren't desperate. So make offer to the owners are going to be this,
--I pay full price for the land, but don't have to begin paying it until lots start to be sold.
--I get the land in my name at signing of the contract.
--I get 1 to 2 years to get the property ready for major subdivision. If I fail to do this, the land goes back to them.
--If I succeed, I get another certain about of time to sell the remaining lots. (Around 5 Years).
--Money from selling lots all first goes towards the costs of a subdivision. Money left after this all goes towards the purchase price of the land.
--Once the property is paid in full, the contract is completed and I sell the remaining lots for my own profit.

I'm going to owners personally to present my offer within the next week or two. Since they only live a quarter mile away and they know me, I honestly think they are going to accept this offer. They are going to get their asking price that they aren't budging on and they aren't motivated to sell so I don't see why they wouldn't accept it.

To sum everything up. I'm once again on track and dedicated to accomplishing my real estate goals. I am begging all you who read this to keep me motivated and inspired, I will do the same for you! Private message me if you wanna know more!! I appreciate any advice you give!



This is interesting, i cant even get started because i dont know where to start, and what is a buyer list?


Please dont post my hold name out there.

Buyer List

Could some one out there tell me how to get a buyers list started? No one never answer to me when i ask for help.


Please dont post my hold name out there.

Hi Arlene

To create a buyers list, you need use some of the different ways of finding buyers. Here are some links where you can read more about it.

Just go onto the forums on and then go to marketing to buyers and sellers.

Hope this helped.


Josh i want to thank you for responsing, and i wish you all and God Bless you with you future. I'm going to do the same thing i just got to stay focus.


Please dont post my hold name out there.

Hows the Land purchase coming along?

Hows the land purchase coming along? I too have found about 49.41 acres of land in NC and the owners are wanting to sell for 790,000. The thing is they don't have sewer and I am no where near them. I do have another investor friend in the area and we are working together. He is going to list the property (hes a realtor) and I will be signing the land up on an option contract to ensure my interest are safe. Hope all goes well with yours and I'll keep you posted on the progress of mine.


Proudly serving God, You, and Country,
Edwin Epperson

"The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one."
-Elbert Hubbard

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