How To make Money as a Landlord

The Real estate investing strategy known as ‘Buy and Hold’ is what most people think of when they think about getting wealthy in real estate.
And quite honestly, they should as it is a “Sure-fire” proven winning strategy. The question, of course, is why?

The answer is somewhat complex, not complicated, but complex. However, it can be reduced to one sentence:
The rules (at least in the United States) are stacked in your favor. Seriously, the tax laws favor “buying and holding onto” real estate, the Constitution provides for the protection of the asset that are unmatched when compared to other assets such as gold or stocks, and most importantly, you can get 90% (or better) financing for real estate, which is not possible for any other asset such as mutual funds or a privately-held equity interest in an operating companies (such as your own).

Think about it. If you wanted to start a company today and needed start up capital and went to your banker, the first thing the banker wants to know is not can they see a copy of your business plan, no the first question they ask is “do you own any real estate”, and if the answer to that is “yes’, then they will be happy to look at your business plan and make a loan to your business (well below a 90% loan to value) as long as you are willing to let your real estate serve as additional collateral.

Go see the same bank and ask for a real estate loan and they will make you a 90% loan and definitely not ask you to let your company stock serve as additional collateral for the real estate loan. In short, they’ll love your real estate and avoid your company like the plague in underwriting their loans.

So, what is buy/hold? It is as the name sounds, you buy a piece of real estate and you hold onto it, allowing your tenants to pay off your mortgage, while the real estate increases in value. Sounds simple – it can be, if you know what you are doing (starting to sound like a familiar theme?).

Big mistake many investors make fall into two categories:
a) not “buying right” upfront;
b) not recognizing the opportunities in front of them.

a) Not buying right – as with all real estate decision making, you make your money when you buy the asset and recognize it when you sell it. Now in a buy/hold strategy, we have to modify this a little to say: “You make your money when you buy and you recognize your profit, when the mortgage is paid”.

Explanation: To make money in real estate you HAVE TO BUY RIGHT. Some times this means paying less than what is being asked, and sometimes it means being creative with the terms. And sometimes it simply means having the right financing for the particular deal. But bottom line, is that you have to avoid “over paying” up front if you are going to be financially rewarded on the back-end. Unlike other strategies that involve “quick cash” or a quick turn-around, when you buy/hold, you are recognizing your profits each month, without selling. How?

One way is through the pay down of the mortgage. Each month in an amortized mortgage (any mortgage that is not “interest only” will have some degree of amortization) you pay one payment that is credited to BOTH the interest and the principal. Therefore, with a 30-year mortgage, you will be paying down a little of the amount borrowed with each payment as well as the interest due.

As Ben Franklin said, “A penny saved is a penny earned” – same is true of nickels and dollars! So with each mortgage payment sent in, you actually are “earning” a small profit with the pay down of the principal. So, in theory, even if the building does not go up in value, you are still earning a profit. Albeit, a very small one. Now, if the building is actually going up in value over time, then you are earning the profit from the pay down of the mortgage, plus the profit recognized from appreciation. But that is not even the “juicy” part.

The real “pay day” from a buy/hold strategy (assuming there is an increase in value occurring) is that periodically, you can refinance the property and any additional amounts you pull out from the refinance are TAX-FREE! Don’t even ask me why – they just are. So. if you stop and think about it, anyone who has even a little business savvy should be looking for ways to profit from “Buy/Hold”, because with buy/hold you can have your cake and eat it to. That is, you can own the asset, make a regular income from the asset and every once in a while refinance (rather than selling) and have a big hit of cash come into your bank account (as if you had sold it), tax free, and when you wake up tomorrow, the asset is still there – Cool!

Sherman Ragland is known as the ‘Dean of Washington DC Real Estate Investing’. He went from broke to doing multi-million dollar real estate deals in DC and Maryland. He teaches investors how to make a quick $5k to $10k every month on ‘No money down deals’. Check out his special free report on making Quick Cash and other Killer Strategies in this economy. He reckons ANYONE can be successful with these simple money-making techniques. http://www.investorinrealestate.net


How to Wholesale Real Estate and Get Quick Cash

Out of all the ways to make money in real estate investing –  Wholesaling and quite honestly is one of my favorites, personally. It is the strategy we used to avoid financial disaster in 2001, when the events of 9/11 caused the collapse of my aviation business.

Wholesaling is when you get a property under control and assign your interests to another investor at a marked-up price.

And if it appears that I have chosen my words very carefully, you are correct!

Two things you MUST know before we go any further:

1 – It is a well established principal of contract law that EITHER party can assign a contract, unless the contract itself says otherwise. There is a lot of confusion in the marketplace about this – often times the source of the confusion are well meaning, but ill informed real estate agents and real estate brokers. Again – YOU CAN assign any contract (assuming you are a valid party to the contract) unless the contract says otherwise;

2 – Anyone can sell their own property without a real estate license. O.k., so what is property? Property is any tangible thing in which you have some from of ownership interest, including a fully ratified sales contract.

O.k., so before I get in trouble for practicing law, understand this, what I have just said, and will continue to emphasize is that this is about BUSINESS Advice, specifically in the area of real estate investing. NOT legal advice. If there is anything I have written that is confusing, or you are not quite sure about, you need to go speak with YOUR attorney and get her blessing before proceeding. And since everyone has “Pre-paid” Legal, or an attorney available to them, then this will not be an issue. Dudes, Dudettes, if you are investing in anything, or for that matter living in the US, you need an attorney. Someone to look over your shoulder. If you refuse to have a team of advisors, including an attorney, you really do need to turn off the computer right now and go back to watching re-runs of Gilligan’s Island cause you’re never going to get rich with a DIY (do It yourself) mentality.

We move on…

So wholesaling is the act of getting a property under agreement (contract, letter of intent, memorandum of understanding) and then assigning your interests to another investor. This is the theory, for the actual mechanics of how it works you are going to invest a little more time than simply reading a blog post. Something for you to now ask about when you attend the next REIA meeting or National Real Estate Investor Conference.

Wholesaling is great because it works in ANY market. When you have low interest rates, like we have seen over the past three years, and most of the “end-buyers” are rehabbers and first time home owners, you can wholesale to them. And when you get into a higher interest rate environment (like now) and the “buy/hold” investors start coming back into the market, you can wholesale your deals to this group.

However, what I like best about Wholesaling is that it GIVES YOU AN EXCUSE! That is an excuse to get to know more experienced investors. How? By agreeing to wholesale deals to them and in exchange for doing so, you get to know what they know.

Unfortunately, there is not enough space here to go into all the details of advanced wholesaling strategies, but I will come back to this in future posts. What I do want to touch on now is the need to stop confusing Wholesaling with “Flipping” – they are not the same. Or, more accurately, they do not mean the same thing in all circles.

The term “Flipping” comes from the world of Commercial real estate, where wholesale deals occur ALL THE TIME. On any given day in Washington, DC, or Baltimore, or any major city in America, smart and savvy investors are putting small pieces of property under contract (and making millions) with absolutely no interest in closing on the deals themselves. These street-savvy investors fully intend to take their contracts and assign them to investment groups with much deeper pockets who are in the process of “assembling” a city block to build a huge office building. The larger investors often times encourage the smaller investors to do this because if the property owner really knew XYZ Corp wanted their property, the price would quadruple. A few years ago, the term “flipping” slid into the language of the folks doing single family deals. “Flipping” originally meant to “flip” ones contract.

However today “Flipping” means many things, including “going to jail”. HUH???

Yes, in 2003, the Federal Government (HUD) issued a ruling that broadly labeled “Flipping” as illegal. This ruling has to do with collusion and other bad stuff that resulted in a number of mortgages (which were insured by the Government) going into default. This HUD ruling has absolutely NOTHING to do with wholesaling, but most people do not care about details. They hear the words “illegal” and “flipping” in the same sentence and go no further.

In addition to the HUD ruling, HGTV started producing a television show called “…Flipping…”. Again, this show has nothing to do with wholesaling. In the HGTV show (which is a knock-off of a British Show called Property Ladder), the participants buy, rehab and then sell houses. If you have ever watched this show, you would know it is probably something you will never want to do, unless you want to drain your savings account and end up in divorce court.

Unfortunately, whether it is a Federal Ruling, or a TV show, the term “Flipping” has come to mean different things to different people. Therefore, it is probably best to not even use the term.

Wholesaling will make you money. “Flipping” may, or may not get you into trouble – depending upon what type of “Flipping” you are doing.

Again, in a future post (after I get through the other strategies) we’ll come back and discuss the various ways to make money wholesaling. For now understand this: Wholesaling works in ALL real estate markets, regardless of interest rates, or the economy.

Sherman Ragland is known as the ‘Dean of Washington DC Real Estate Investing’. He went from broke to doing multi-million dollar real estate deals in DC and Maryland. He teaches investors how to make a quick $5k to $10k every month on ‘No money down deals’. Check out his special free report on making Quick Cash and other Killer Strategies in this economy. He reckons ANYONE can be successful with these simple money-making techniques. http://www.investorinrealestate.net


Real Estate Investing For Pennies on the Dollar…

By now most people have seen the late night infomercials talking about how you can buy houses for “Pennies on the Dollar” and shows slide after slide of houses which were purchased for a fraction of their “true” market value.

The reality is that you can buy houses for pennies on the dollar, sometimes, but the real value in the information being discussed is not the potential for a huge windfall from what happens when someone lets their house go at tax sale – NO the real game here is the high rates of interest that you earn when people do not redeem their houses.

So, what the heck are we talking about??

In every state in the Union (and territories) the local (not state, local) jurisdictions tax the ownership of property. These taxes are collected at the local level and pay for things like the salaries of teachers, firemen and police officers and, of course, the local government.

Now, what happens if a someone, or a group of someone’s decides not to pay their local property taxes. Well, the teachers, firemen and police officers would have to work for FREE that day. And since you and I don’t work for FREE, we should not expect the same of the people who keep our children from becoming wild animals and worthless dregs of society and will be the first ones to show up when our stove’s catch on fire, or some mangy animal wonders into our garage.

Therefore, the local governments have laws that allow them to take your property away in the event you either decide, or forget (repeatedly) to pay your property taxes. One particular way that the local governments take care of this is to actually allow someone else to pay your property taxes and to then file a lien on your property until you pay them back. If you do not pay them back in a reasonable period of time, then the government assigns to them their rights to foreclose and the private party forecloses and gets your house. ITS A GOOD SYSTEM. The government gets the tax money it needs to keep on operating, and you get a property for Pennies on the Dollar, BUT WAIT, there is more…

In this country, every local jurisdiction must abide by something call the US Constitution, and according to the Constitution, you can not simply take away someone’s property with out two key things: 1) Due process – meaning you have to have a chance to fix the problem, 2) Compensation – if they take your property, or even threaten to take it, you must be given an opportunity to redeem it.

So, why would any investor in their “right mind” want to invest in a process whereby the property owner(s) may have the right to unwind the transaction after the deal is done..??? One word: GREED. In most states, local jurisdictions are allowed to pay these private investors as much as 16%-24% on their investment if they pay the property taxes for someone else. So in essence it works like this: You the investor pay the property taxes of a delinquent owner directly to the municipality or county. The local jurisdiction then gives you a tax certificate and files a lien on the property and if the property owners does not pay up within a reasonable period of time, you have the right to foreclose, with the proceeds from the foreclosure being the means for how you get paid back. if the property owner pays up, then usually they have to pay not only the outstanding amount, but also interest and fees – this is how the local municipality is able to pay you a high rate of interest.

Now the reality is that most people who do not pay their property taxes when due will eventually pay – some studies say the figure is as high as 98%. So the reality is that there are very few chances to actually get your hands on a property for “pennies on the dollar”. Not that it can not happen, it can – it is just rare versus the numbers of people who are delinquent on the initial property tax bill. However, even if you do not get the property, a solid 24%, 16% or for that matter 12% rate of return secured not only by real estate, but also the local jurisdictions’ blessing to go and foreclose is NOTHING TO SNEEZE AT!

At a 24% rate of return, your money doubles in less than four years, and if you do this through a self-directed IRA, it can be 100% tax Free for life!

Sherman Ragland is known as the ‘Dean of Washington DC Real Estate Investing’. He went from broke to doing multi-million dollar real estate deals in DC and Maryland. He teaches investors how to make a quick $5k to $10k every month on ‘No money down deals’. Check out his special free report on making Quick Cash and other Killer Strategies in this economy. He reckons ANYONE can be successful with these simple money-making techniques. http://www.investorinrealestate.net


Lease Options for Dummies

As the name implies, “Lease/Option” is where you lease the property belonging to another with an option to buy.

It is the corner stone of every “Nothing Down” system out there.

The most basic lease/option play is the “Sandwich Lease/Option”. In a sandwich lease/option an investor agrees to lease the property from a property owner, again with an option to buy and then turns around and leases the property to another giving them also the opportunity to purchase in the future. When the new “buyer” elects to purchase, the investor then exercises their option and makes a profit by structuring the deal in such a way that there is one.

That’s it.

It’s just that simple, and of course, just that complicated.

Complicated..?

As they say, “The devils in the details”.

To be successful at this (or any other investing strategy) you need to focus on both the end result (a/k/a Desired Outcome) as well as the execution. To make even the most basic lease/option strategy perform correctly (as in making a profit without getting brain damaged) you need to have the right documents, the right marketplace and the right team around you.

Specifically, you need the right documents. Again, real estate is a local game (or at least regional). What works in Florida or New Jersey may or may not work in Maryland or DC, and might even get you in trouble in Texas! Having access to a good attorney who can not only draft an agreement that is enforceable, but can also share with you the wisdom of what they know works and doesn’t from a business perspective is invaluable, particularly for the new investor.

Second, you need the right market. I don’t mean an “up market” or a “down market”. Even in the subcategory of lease/options there are sub, sub categories. As an example, Wendy Patton has become famous for her lease/option strategies focusing on higher-end homes in exclusive suburban communities around Detroit (where all the high paid auto-execs live).

Her strategy is a beautiful one. She focuses in on people who do not “NEED THE MONEY”, rather it is a hassle for them to own two high-end homes when they are transferred or retire. She also works through Realtors(r) and has a very long-term perspective to her “core” lease/option strategy. Minh Pham, a local investor in DC, and most recently Southwest Florida on the other hand focuses in on “blue collar, working class” neighborhoods. Neither strategy is “Right” or “Wrong”, both WORK for the two investors who created them.

Right here in the DC area there are MASSIVE layoffs taking place in and around an area known as Dulles, Virginia due to the “Right-Sizing” of AOL by its parent company Time-Warner. For many of these people a “viable” option is to take a job in Silicon Valley and COMMUTE! Yes, they hope on a plane (some doing it every day – insane) from Dulles Airport to San Jose, CA. They do it to “save their homes”. Of course, after 2-3 months of this they will ultimately decide to move to San Jose, or get a new job. These are perfect candidates for lease/option strategies the way Wendy Patton teaches it!

Once you make the time to learn all the “ins and outs” of lease/options, you will see that there are multiple opportunities to put lease/options into play right where you live – today. So you do not have to go “Cross country” looking for the right market to do lease/options. You simply need to figure out which lease/option strategy is the correct one for each of the markets close to you, now.

Finally, you need to have the right team. Earlier I spoke about the right documents. Well the right documents come from the right attorney, so having a good real estate attorney on board early is crucial. Even if you get something out of a book, or course, you still want YOUR attorney to review it BEFORE you actually use it. In addition to the right attorney, if you are new to lease/options (and definitely if you are new to real estate) you will also want the right mentor – preferably someone with experience in your local market.

Like everything else in this business, the more you focus the faster it will go, and the bigger the profit per deal you will make. In almost every area of the country today there are good real estate investor clubs. To get the list of clubs in your area go to http://www.NationalREIA.com and look up their member clubs. After you get the list, visit the clubs and ask the club leadership “who in your club seems to really do well with lease/options”, then take them to lunch and interview them. If they wont do lunch and have a stellar reputation, offer to pay them $500.00 to sit in their car for a day and look over their shoulder.

If they are any good at what they do (which is why you want to spend time with them) $500.00 is NOTHING to them, but it does indicate that you are at least 1/2 way serious and will get their attention. Since many people I know (some very well) are making at least $50,000 per transaction, if you get the name of their attorney and learn one or two things that day, the $500.00 is an easy decision.

The truly great thing about lease/options is that they tend to work best in slowing, or changing real estate markets. This is because the best candidates are usually people who attempted to sell their house for a specific price within a specific time frame but could not for some reason (usually because they are asking too much). Once they are completely frustrated and fire their agent, they are ready to “deal”.

There is an unspoken rule in this business: “My price and your terms, or your price and my terms”. Lease/Options are great for making a deal with people who are “hung up” on their price, and are now ready to work with someone else’s terms.

Build a team, get the right documents and go out and make some money using lease/options. RIght now in most markets across the country the time is PERFECT for this strategy!

Sherman Ragland is known as the ‘Dean of Washington DC Real Estate Investing’. He went from broke to doing multi-million dollar real estate deals in DC and Maryland. He teaches investors how to make a quick $5k to $10k every month on ‘No money down deals’. Check out his special free report on making Quick Cash and other Killer Strategies in this economy. He reckons ANYONE can be successful with these simple money-making techniques. http://www.investorinrealestate.net


The Obvious Answers…

No one said real estate investing was “easy”. o.k., please let me rephrase this, no one other than a handful of midnight snake-oil salesmen on cable TV said real estate investing was “easy”.

But the longer I am at this, the more I also realize that real estate investing does not need to be complicated. In fact, one of the real beauties of real estate versus any other type of investing is that real estate is very predictable. I can honestly say this is not true of the stock market, or the commodities market, or gold, oil futures or beanie babies.

But there are some simple rules of thumb that impact real estate, and the more time you dedicate to studying this business, the more “Obvious” the answers become…

Obvious Answer #1: If interest rates are heading down, the ownership of single family houses becomes more attractive to more people. If interest rates are heading up, the less attractive ownership of single family houses. HOWEVER, everyone who has a job, must have someplace to live.

Therefore, if people are not leaving the country, then when interest rates go up, fewer people will be able to buy and therefore will be forced to rent. If you believe that interest rates going up is a trend, then you probably want to consider using one of the ten (11 if you are in Maryland) strategies discussed in earlier blog posts that emphasize “mid-term to long-term” ownership of real estate, rather than strategies that require that you sell to end user home buyers;

Obvious Answer #2: Housing Follows Jobs.
All things being equal, most people would prefer to live within a 35-45 minute commute of their job. If the wages are high and the work “meaningful”, this might go to 45-50 minutes. The shorter the commute time in most cases the better. On the coasts, if the transportation system is good, then mass transit is just as good as getting into a car in terms of the work-job time line, however, most people prefer driving and driving alone – if they can get away with it.

Therefore, find a good (solid), growing job market and you will automatically find a good real estate market. The more volatile the job market, the more volatile the real estate market, the more stable the job market, the more stable the real estate market. YES, you can have both a stable and growing job market: e.g. Washington, DC metropolitan region. Job growth is outstanding, and there is little to zero chance the underlying economic engine (the Federal Government) will either go out of business, or “Offshore” the work performed (stop laughing) here.

Further, if the predictions of half the Federal workforce retiring in the next ten years prove to be true, the Fed’s will simply outsource the work to contractors with stipulations that most of the work be performed in close proximity (or accessible by METRO) to the government HQ building. DC is both growing and “Stable”. Other cities (most work is done in cities, or just outside) have their own particular issues with regard to growth and stability.

Philadelphia has one of the highest concentrations of Universities and teaching hospitals. Its job market is very stable, with moderate growth. Detroit is shrinking due to the Offshoring and Downsizing of the automobile industry, while many cities are like Baltimore – in transition. Good Jobs = Good Real Estate.

Obvious Answer #3: Retail Follows Rooftops.
Most cities want good retail, and for good reason. A city gets identity directly from the quality of its retail establishments. This why the DC government has for years passed laws to foster the same type of retail in downtown DC as is found on Rodeo Drive – Unfortunately, you can not legislate retail.

Contrary to the wishes of some elected officials and city economic development advocates, retail developers do not build buildings to have them sit empty. In the retail arena it is the retailers who decide where they are going to go, when the time is right to open a center and who they want as their neighbors. Yes! some retailers have enough “clout” as to tell a developer who else can and can not come into a shopping center, whether the center be a mega-mall, or a simple strip-center.

The number one thing retailers look at is called a “demographic” analysis based on drive times. In other words within a 7-10 minute drive, how many people that fit the profile of my “best buyers” live near your proposed location. (Hint: if you want a decent store near where you live, next time you go across town to go shopping and they ask for your zip code, give it to them!). I

f you have a good demographic, you have the opportunity to capture good retail. As an investor, if you can find opportunities to invest in good areas JUST before the good retail comes, you have an opportunity for a windfall. Case in point, there is strong data to indicate that houses in Bowie Maryland increased by an extra 10-15% in value during the first 18 months that the Bowie Town Center opened. As with residences within short drives of Tyson’s Corner and Rodeo Drive, when the good retail comes, it puts a place on the map.

Obvious Answer #4: You Can Never Escape Supply Vs. Demand.
Right now there is a lot of wringing of hands over the news on housing. It does not matter, unless you work for a large national homebuilder. Almost every large (national) homebuilder last week announced that it was cutting back production, and of course what they did not announce, but is sure to follow is that they will also be laying off their employees.

However, just because the big-boys are laying folks off does not mean that your particular slice of Heaven on earth, has now become the other place. Most investors are working deals and markets where the big boys aren’t. Big boys work on scale, meaning they do well where they an roll out a large number of their product. It is not economical for many of the large builders to come into markets where many real estate investors make deals.

So should you be concerned by what the paper says – probably not (see also #5 below), because your strategies should be based on the supply and demand factors where you are. If you go to the local housing authority and ask the question: “If I sign up today, how long will it take for me to get into a house on a housing voucher (Section 8) ?”, and they say: “The list is closed until next year, then you will have to enter the lottery to get a voucher”, then you are probably in a market where the demand for houses in the Section 8 program is far above the supply.

The fact that you have “uncovered” an opportunity to either invest in properties to rent to people with Section 8 vouchers, or wholesale (f/k/a “Flip houses”) to investors who want to rent to people with Section 8 vouchers has absolutely nothing to do with what you read in the paper this morning about Beazer or Toll Brothers “cutting back”. Real estate is local, and you can never escape supply vs. demand. Regardless of what is happening in the national news, it is the supply and demand factors in your niche and in your back-yard that matter.

Sherman Ragland is known as the ‘Dean of Washington DC Real Estate Investing’. He went from broke to doing multi-million dollar real estate deals in DC and Maryland. He teaches investors how to make a quick $5k to $10k every month on ‘No money down deals’. Check out his special free report on making Quick Cash and other Killer strategies in this economy. He reckons ANYONE can be successful with this simple strategy http://www.investorinrealestate.net


We Become What We Think About…

Ultimately, WE ALL give into the things we think about. This is as true for things which are Beautiful and good as it is for the most dark and sinister acts in the world. And it is true of the hectic, unfocused mind that ultimately achieves nothing notable in life.

In his landmark motivational tape in 1956, Earl Nightingale described the secret to human motivation in a speech called, “The Strangest Secret”. Because Nightingale was heading out of town on a trip, he paid to have his speech recorded on an LP record so it could be played to a small audience of insurance salesmen that he was responsible for training. This record became so popular amongst business people that it went on to win a GOLD RECORD, unheard of for recordings of a speech. It is the basis for all modern day motivational programs, and yet today so few people have ever heard of either Earl Nightingale, or his speech.

A few years ago I had the wonderful opportunity to speak with Earl’s Widow. She shared with me that Earl Nightingale was born in Los Angeles, California in 1921 at the start of the Great Depression. By 1933, his father had left him, his mother and two brothers at a time when millions were unemployed and starving. Earl’s mother worked in a sewing factory to provide for her three sons, living in Tent City on the waterfront in Long Beach, California.

Diana went on to say that while being poor didn’t seem to bother most of the other kids, it bothered Earl, and he wanted to know why they were so poor, while others, he observed, appeared to be so rich. Why some people were so miserable, while others, so happy. Simply, “What made people turn out the way they do”. Knowing the answer to this question was Earl’s “Passion”, and once he found the answer, it then became his life’s work to share it for all who would listen and choose to act on the answer.

Earl’s work can be summed up in once sentence: “We Become What We Think About!”

The mind does not have the ability to separate what we are from what we focus on.

Knowing this is both liberating and fear inspiring, for if we think focus on succeeding in a certain area of life, we will become successful at it. But the mind does not care if success is in areas that benefit ourselves and our families and the greater good, or if what we focus in is based in lust and addiction. THE MIND DOES NOT CARE. It moves towards what we tell it is important, and it knows what is important from what we put into it on a regular and consistent basis.

THEREFORE, if we truly want to be successful in anything, we must feed our mind information and inspiration on the tasks we seek to accomplish.

So, now let me ask a very revealing (if not painfully so) question: What is in your car stereo?? What is in your iPOD?? What is playing on your television?? What Will you be glancing at just before you go to bed tonight??

If it has nothing to do with real estate investing, then don’t be surprised if six months from now, you are in the same place you said you “hated!” Anything, and everything in life have a price. Some you pay the price up front in a large sum, and some you pay for over time, and some (unfortunately) you do not even realize you are buying, until the bill shows up.

Such as spending your every waking moment working for someone else, and doing nothing to move past that situation on “your time”, then getting the pink slip, or worse, retiring and having to move in with your children and then wondering “where the time went” when you could still make a difference in the world and in your bank account.

Now I realize that making a difference in the world and having money in the bank are not necessarily the same thing. But then again, please show me where the honor is in having to move in with your kids because you never planned for retirement and ran out of money? Bottom line: in the country and society we live in, it takes money to survive, it takes money to provide, and once you have it, if you decide to give it all away – that’s your business!

More important than money is the time G-D gives you. You can spend it watching re-runs of “I Love Lucy”, Gilligan’s Island or Bernie Mac, or at the bar, or reading magazines that wont put a dime in your bank account. Or you can reorient your thinking and reorder your steps now knowing that what you feed your mind has a greater impact on what you achieve in life then who your mom and dad are.

If it is true, that “We Become What We Think About”, then it is time we took control by changing our thinking. The best way to do this is to make the decision to put things into our head that will help us “GET AHEAD”. We can do this by listening to information that will help us succeed rather than the “Oldies 101” stuff. As my mom use to say: “Smokey Robinson has his money, you have yours to get!”

Turn off the re-runs on TV and turn on the “Step-by-Step” DVD’s.

Turn off the radio and put on the “21 Day’s to…” CD’s

Put away the novel and pull out the “How To…” books.

The reality is that you do not need an extra 24 hours in the week to become a successful investor, you simply need to take better advantage of the 24 given every day by making the decision to feed your mind good stuff instead of mental “junk food”.

Sherman Ragland is known as the ‘Dean of Washington DC Real Estate Investing’. He went from broke to doing multi-million dollar real estate deals in DC and Maryland. He teaches investors how to make a quick $5k to $10k every month on ‘No money down deals’. Check out his special free report on making Quick Cash in this economy. He reckons ANYONE can be successful with this simple strategy http://www.investorinrealestate.net


Real Estate Investing Starts with a Single Deal

Yesterday my son  and I hung out together (must have been Monday) and we planted his seedlings into his first garden.

About 6 weeks ago we put some packets of seeds into little shallow containers of dirt and set them on a table in the window of the dining room. About 8 containers in all ranging from an old egg carton made of recycled paper (do not recommend this unless you hate the table), to some shallow plastic containers we picked up at Home Depot.

It was my hope that through caring for his garden, opportunities will open up for him to learn some basic lessons in life. I was not disappointed.

To my amazement, in just six short weeks some of the seeds had not only sprouted, but were flowering. I could see the little tiny zucchini at the ends of the flowers already, and the bean plants already had some “full grown” beans on them. It is absolutely amazing what can grow in such a short period of time when it is nurtured and cared for.

We did not use anything special, just dirt, water and a place near a source of light. Even the teenie tiniest seeds (like the hot peppers) know exactly what they are suppose to do, when given a chance…

… and such is the nature of real estate investing, or anything else in life that follows a proven system, when given the chance to grow. It is as though there is a “Law” that if a seed is planted in the ground, and watered and given air and light – it MUST GROW!

Yes, there MUST BE a “law” for everything: “Laws of Nature”, “Laws of Success”. Even “Laws of Physics”: An object at rest, tends to stay at rest… While an Object in Motion, tends to stay in motion…

Do you have one or two real estate investment courses on your shelf that you have really never pulled down and removed the shrink wrap? Like that 15 day course on wholesaling, or that 30 day course on foreclosures. Would you think I was crazy if I told you that the seeds in the garden will never start the process of growth, if you do not take them out of the package and put them into some dirt, and provide some water and light…? And those courses you have on the shelf will not be able grow within you if they too remain under wrap.

Make a decision. Grow something good this year in your garden. Open up some of those seeds, give them half a chance, and see what happens when you give them the opportunity to do what they were designed to do. It just might amaze you too, how quickly something good can happen…

Sherman Ragland is known as the ‘Dean of Washington DC Real Estate Investing’. He went from broke to doing multi-million dollar real estate deals in DC and Maryland. He teaches investors how to make a quick $5k to $10k every month on ‘No money down deals’. Check out his special free report on making Quick Cash in this economy. He reckons ANYONE can be successful with this simple strategy http://www.investorinrealestate.net


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