Before And After Condo Flip - Modern Renovation
Written by Jeff Leighton
This was a fun project that only took about 3 months from start to finish. If it was closer to where I was currently living, I would have moved into the property.  

How I Found The Deal

I found this deal through a direct mail campaign to an area where prices have been going up but where there’s still good deals. I got a call from the owner who was looking to sell asap because they were moving out of state. Within the same day I put the property under contract and we closed about a month later. Direct mail and cold calling remain two of the best ways to find off market deals.

How I Financed The Deal

I used a local hard money lender to finance the deal. The terms were 2 points and 10 percent which was significantly better than my previous lender. It pays to shop around hard money and private money lenders. One of the best places you can find private money lenders is by asking local mortgage brokers if anyone in their company does hard money lending. Most of the time, there will be a couple of people who do hard money loans on the side since they understand the lending business and have a lot of money sitting around.

How I Fixed Up The Deal

This property was located in an area close by that I have a lot of experience with. Fortunately, I had a contractor that specializes around this area and he was able to give me a good price and finish the job quickly. We did have one unexpected expense when we realized that the entire piping in the unit would need to be replaced. However, we fixed that before closing with a local plumber who only charged about 4K to replace all the pipes in the unit.

How I Sold The Deal

I listed the property myself since I am a real estate agent (and saved about 10K) and made sure to get good staging and professional photography. Anytime you sell a property, I would recommend paying the extra 3K-5K to get a good stager and to get amazing photos. Within the first week I had multiple offers. However, the first offer’s financing fell through so I had to relist the property. Fortunately, the market had gone up during those two weeks so I was able to get about 10K more the second time I listed the unit. You have to be prepared that every now and then a property will fall out of contract for various reasons.


This was a good deal and most of properties do not have this type of quick turnaround. I purposely do not take on deals that are above my knowledge of construction. If you come from a construction background though you can take on these larger projects since they offer more potential and also more risk. If you are new to real estate investing then be sure to start on a smaller project and work your way up.

How I Bought My First Multifamily Small Apartment Building
Written by Jeff Leighton
How to Buy Your First Small Apartment Building

In this article and video I go over exactly how I was able to buy my first apartment building. The first building is the most important because as Michael Blank says there is something called “the law of the first deal.” He’s found that once you buy your first apartment building, then the 2nd and 3rd building come in rapid succession, usually within a year or two. It’s interesting because about 4 months after buying the first one I got a call and bought a second apartment building and am now looking for a third. I’ll keep you updated, but anyways, here is how to buy your first building.

1. Start small and start local. The great thing about apartment building investing is that you can scale it up to do it nationwide. It’s much more difficult to do that with other types of real estate business models such as flipping or brokerages. This one that I purchased was about 30 minutes away from me and is only 4 units. However, there is a basement with potential for a 5th unit. The good thing about starting small and starting local is that you can get a feel for the business and you’ll become much savvier and comfortable for your next purchase. I now feel like I can buy a 10 or even 20 unit. Keep in mind, almost all of the top multifamily real estate investors also started with a 2, 3, 4, or 5 unit building before scaling up.

2. How to find the deal. I found this deal through direct mail although many apartment investors get their deals through networking with commercial real estate agents. Most apartment buildings are sold off market and the ones that do get listed on the MLS are oftentimes overpriced. You can make a list of multifamily owners using a website such as listsource as well as reaching out to local commercial real estate agents to let them know you are interested. Also, since the goal is just to get your first deal, you can look on the MLS as well since the idea is not to make 1M dollars on your first deal.  

3. Get your financing ready. It’s best to talk to a local mortgage broker before you start looking at deals so that you can get a general idea of what you can afford. If you purchase up to a 4 unit building then it’s still considered residential so you would be able to use FHA financing at 3.5% down so long as you haven’t bought a principal residence in the last 10 years. If you are looking at properties over 5 units then you’ll likely need to be put at least 25% down.

4. Comparable sales are going to be harder to come by since there are not as many apartment buildings that sell as single family homes. It’s a good idea to look in the tax records for off market sales as well as the redfin value if you can’t find any comps on the MLS. You can also compare the price per unit on other deals in the area and just make sure you are comparing 1 bedroom or 2 bedroom units.

5. Build a reserves fund. When you buy any type of rental property, you should factor in a budget for repairs or unexpected expenses. With multifamily properties, you should factor in more than you typically would since you are dealing with multiple units. There’s also a chance that one of your tenants might be late or not pay their rent. That’s another reason why I prefer section 8 since its an automatic deposit from the government and you don’t have to chase down tenants for rent.

Final thoughts

Multifamily investing offers a ton of potential for a savvy investor. While it may seem complicated, it’s actually a simple business that anoyone can do. The most important thing is to buy that first deal so that you gain the experience to take on bigger deals.

Winning Through Intimidation - Robert Ringer's 10 Best Ideas
Written by Jeff Leighton
Winning Through Intimidation is an amazing book by Robert Ringer. If you are an entrepreneur or in real estate it is a must read. Below are the 10 best real estate tips from the book.

1. Makeable deal theory - Robert Ringer says you should concentrate on a few makable deals rather than one miraculous deal. Focus on serious sellers and serious deals.

2. Mortality theory - With this real estate tip you should aim high and move fast don’t waste time. You have a limited time on earth take the largest piece possible rather than crawling our way through the ranks.

3. Ice ball theory - This states that you should not completely stress out over shooting high as a real estate agent or investor because in 50 billion years nothing is going to matter.

4. Fiddle Theory - This means that time kills all deals, the longer you fiddle around with a deal the odds it will never close. Circumstances change with lenders, other people might get involved, things can change. As a real estate investor and real estate agent I have direct experience with this theory.

5. Leapfrog theory - This states that no one has to work his way through the ranks, you can just leapfrog the crowd (story of the doctor who left his town went to LA became a celebrity doctor). You can proclaim yourself at whatever level you want so long as you can back it up, you don’t need to wait for anyone to anoint you the expert or negotiate your way through to the top.

6. Organic chemistry theory - This means that bigger the braggart the less successful they are. What someone else knows does not affect your knowledge. It reminds me of the agent who will tell you everything about real estate investing but he’s never actually done a successful deal. You don't even need to negotiate with these people just ignore them.

7. Uncle George theory - Working long and hard hours is relative, hard work does not assure anyone of success. He had an uncle that was an entrepreneur and would work 14 hour days every day in the corner store but just got old and not rich. In many cases it makes sense to sharpen your saw think about leverage or recharge rest and come back stronger and outsource different things.

8. Theory of intimidation - the results a person achieves are inversely proportionate to the degree which he is intimidated . The deals in which he had been intimidated the most he had taken the biggest financial beatings and the one which he was intimidated the least he walked away with the most chips.

9. Posture theory - It is not what you say or do that counts but what your posture is when you say or do it. Robert Ringer was a private jet flying, huge deal negotiating. mysterious and powerful broker from a different city. He would show up like no one else.

10. Preparation and positive mental attitude - a positive mental attitude is the result of being prepared . Prepare for the best but assume the worst because many deals do not close that are beyond your control, learn and move on.

Powered By