As I Look Back - Posted by phil fernandez

Posted by HR on January 23, 2001 at 13:38:18:

David picked me up from the airport on the way to the second convention. I remember riding over to the Dallas hotel and on the way David was a bundle of excitement and enthusiasm. Then he showed me a check for 14k he made off a flip deal. That really got my attention!

David’s a class act. I am constantly amazed and impressed by his constant reading and ability to keep up with the good stuff in print out there. I have just two words about David:

Good guy.

Last year we didn’t get to talk too much at the convention, David; I hope to change that this year. See you then.


As I Look Back - Posted by phil fernandez

Posted by phil fernandez on January 22, 2001 at 21:41:15:

I don’t originate a post very often. But I’m thinking about the guys that started here, learned here and are now helping others by giving their advice. And it might be time to salute them. These are guys that I remember asking questions. And they were good questions. But they went further then alot of people go. They actaully did deals and in the process carved out a great financial future for themselves.

I’d like to salute, William GA., HR,( Hal ), JimIL, Paul MA, Steve Cook, MattB and a bunch of others. Frankly guys, I’m proud of you.

And they say this stuff doesn’t work.

Re: As I Look Back - Posted by Mark-NC

Posted by Mark-NC on January 23, 2001 at 20:56:20:

The people on this site are an inspiration to many including myself. I have persoanlly learned and admired many of the posters on this board.


Did we forget… - Posted by Terry (Houston)

Posted by Terry (Houston) on January 23, 2001 at 19:41:32:

Phil who went out of his way to answer all questions about multi-unit homes?

Bud who goes out of his way to answer all questions that need tough answers?

Joe Kaiser and Bill Bronchick who have added so much to most of our lives/

Joe You coming to the convention???

As I look Forward… - Posted by HR

Posted by HR on January 23, 2001 at 18:17:27:


Geez… I already owe you a brewery; what are you shooting for? The entire city of Milwaukee? (lol). Flattery will get you everywhere, buddy…

Phil, I hope you and the other seasoned pros get as much pleasure out of giving others info and watching them succeed as we do getting the information and enjoying the success.

Let me give you one, little example that I know you were witness to.

Last year at the convention, I had a lot of fun pickin’ Piper’s brain about low income rental property. I hadn’t realized this was one of his specialties (what isn’t?) and it was an area I was willing to experiment with. Well, after talking with Jim, I came back and bought a cheap inner-city fire damaged property for 2k, fixed for 18k, and now rent section 8 for $750/month. It appraised for 68k! It’s a 5 bedroom single that’s 1800sf.

This week, we finish renovating my first owner finance deal. I gave the owners 3k at closing, and I owe them another 2k June 1, 2001. I then owe them $1750 each June 1 during 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005. Then I own it free and clear. That’s a 12k loan, no interest, one annual payment with little down. I’ll have it rented by the convention for $850/month section 8. Yummy.

This month alone, we’ve picked up another two 4 bedroom homes for about 30k, a 4 plex for 2k, and a 4&5 bedroom duplex for 6k. When we finish these deals by the summer and refi them with a small, local bank for no money down deals (Thanks Ed & Terry!), we will net 3k/ month +cf and have over 200k in equity in these properties.

Now, how much was that little conversation with Jim worth? At least a steak in Atlanta, right? (Geez, I’m gonna have to sell one of these homes I owe so many folks so many beers and steaks. And you know what? It’s worth every dime!)

I agree with David: the grass has not always been green. Remember that big, beautiful rehab I started working on for my family? Well, we are still working on it. My costs to finish were off by about 40k, which meant I had to do some other rehabs to generate the needed money. No problem. Just a delay plus some lessons learned. But it’s not without struggle (is anything worthwhile?).

I’m really looking forward to Atlanta to see all my rei buddies. If I’m lucky, I might even catch a presentation this year!

Thanks for the kind words. Truly, if it weren’t for the people and information here, and the constant support, my re career would have been far less profitable.

Till then.


Re: As I Look Back - Posted by Jim IL

Posted by Jim IL on January 23, 2001 at 16:37:56:

I honestly do not know what to say.
There are those here who quite frankly have saved my life.
I’ve had ups and downs throughout my short carreer in REI, and this board, the people on it, and experiences shared here have always helped me see things in a better light.
Thank you for the mention, it made me smile.

Take care all,
Jim IL

Gee Phil, I am blushing… - Posted by WilliamGA

Posted by WilliamGA on January 23, 2001 at 09:25:04:

…I feel so honored to be mentioned in the same sentence with these folks.

I remember a little over a year ago, finding this site and the wealth of information with it. Alot has happened since then, largely due to information shared here by people I had never met before.

I have been able to leave a 20 year career that required me to spend 80+ hours away from my family most weeks, while seeing my net worth increase 20 fold.

I have been able to take my wife on trips to some of the most beautiful places in the world. Never had the time OR money to do that before.

I have developed some of the best friendships that I have ever had. Some of them with people that I have never met, some with people that I may never meet.

Best of all, I now know that I will NEVER, EVER, have to depend on someone else for a JOB to support my family.

That is the ultimate freedom.

We are all truly blessed.

Have a great week everyone!


Jim Kennedy! - Posted by Terry (Houston)

Posted by Terry (Houston) on January 23, 2001 at 09:09:12:

Lets not forget the Quiet Giant.

Never been a time or place I could not call him for advice that Jim was not the most helpful person he could be.
To SCook’s point I am in his area but he has been great to me as he is to everyone on the board.

My thanks to all of you who make this board what it is.

There are so many more… - Posted by SCook85

Posted by SCook85 on January 23, 2001 at 08:32:40:

Thanks for the acknowldegement, again I don’t feel I could have done it without people such as yourself. There are many more people who came to this board, learned what they needed to know and are out there using it then any of us could ever count. I know because I have met many of them here in the Baltimore area. Some of whom are already full time investors, others who are close to it.
People such as Alan (MD), Jeremy (Baltimore Bird Dog), Tarun, Kevin (MD), Kevin_Baltimore, Ron (MD), and I’m probably missing some, and I’m not mentioning the dozens of others whom I’m sure that have been to the site but never asked questions. These guys are either making a good living from real estate investing or are on their way. They have done deals by taking what they have learned and using it. Some investors worry about competition. I’ve been doing this for about 2 and a half years now, and I can definitely say that I have a lot of competition. I’ve helped to create dozens of competitors in my own market and it hasn’t gotten in my way. If anything it has helped me.

Happy Investing!


And… - Posted by JPiper

Posted by JPiper on January 23, 2001 at 08:21:38:

How about Brian Renfrow Phil??? The mind has really gone!


And I Forgot… - Posted by JPiper

Posted by JPiper on January 23, 2001 at 08:19:37:

Russ Simms…cranking out subject to’s and lease/options up in Seattle.

Dirk…this guy turned mobile homes into an artform as far as I’m concerned.


You Said It… - Posted by JPiper

Posted by JPiper on January 23, 2001 at 08:04:54:

I completely agree with you Phil, I’m very proud of these guys too. In fact, when these guys post I always read their posts because the chances are high I’m going to learn something!

Then there’s David Alexander. I remember him from the first convention. As I recall he hitchhiked up to Vegas…didn’t have a room even. He was bound and determined to get in the real estate business. There was no doubt in his mind…and he did.

Or how about Scott(AK), originally Scott from Washington? This guy quietly does a bunch of lease/options while he’s in the army full time!

Or how about Stacy from Arizona? This guy was very impressive to me…he soaked up everything, and then CHECKED it all out! And then used it!

Or Bassman from Texas. Where the hell did he learn everything he knows?

How about steph from Texas? She’s such a ball of energy that she doesn’t have time to capitalize her letters! She just makes it happen.

Or TRandle? Another guy who gets started while working, involves his wife (while she’s working) and has now quit the job. You have to admire him.

And there’s JohnBoy. Bet you don’t remember JohnBoy before his name was JohnBoy do you? Hard to imagine this guy was ever new. He soaks information up like a sponge.

A guy who doesn’t post here much but who used to be in the chatroom alot…Greg(Al). Another young guy who went out and made a ton of stuff happen…very knowlegeable.

How about Jim Rayner? Does this guy own Massachusetts yet?

My bet is that you and I have still forgotten alot of people. That’s what happen eh Phil…the memory goes first. But how would you like to be in a room with this group of people we just mentioned? Alot of power there isn’t there? And frankly, it’s amazing how things come full circle…I now want to learn what these guys/gals know!


Re: As I Look Back - Posted by Matt B

Posted by Matt B on January 23, 2001 at 07:58:14:

Actually, Phil, this stuff does work “except where YOU live”!

Thanks for the mention, Phil. Finding this site really has made some dramatic changes in my life, which I can’t be thankful enough for. I remember the old days of living paycheck to paycheck, wishing and hoping for some magical solution to come along and make me money without having to go to a job every day.

When I was working my business full time, it was fantastic! I started out very slowly and made tons of mistakes, making me lose the money that I had made just as quickly. I finally got the formula down and started making money regularly though.

I do enjoy helping others get started when I can. I remember finding the world of creative real estate and being very confused, but very excited. I love helping someone else get going in this field now. It is a little frustrating sometimes that the people that I try to help often quit after a very short time, and I think that I have now heard every excuse in the book as to why someone “can’t” do these deals. The most common one seems to be that they’re just “too busy”. Well, when I started in creative real estate, I worked at a job that I drove an hour and 15 minutes to get to in the morning, worked a 10 hour day, then drove another hour and 15 minutes back home. The funny thing is that I was still able to do deals!

Any way, thanks again for the acknowledgement, Phil. I will see you at the convention.

DITTO! - Posted by Brad TX

Posted by Brad TX on January 23, 2001 at 10:23:10:

I’m new at this game. I’m closing on the purchase of my first rehab project this Friday, and another home next week.

Jim is ALWAYS available, ALWAYS encouraging, ALWAYS giving. He’s been an incredibly positive influense for me.

Thanks Jim!

More pats on the back (long) - Posted by Alan-Baltimore

Posted by Alan-Baltimore on January 23, 2001 at 14:00:54:

As long as we’re taking a moment to acknowledge the great people who make this board so great, I’d like to add my thanks to every one who contributes their time and experience so freely and especially to Steve Cook.

I found this site less than 2 years ago after I decided that real estate was what I wanted to do. I thought I was dreaming when I read all the success stories, how-to and money making articles. But I was blown away by the day-to-day posts about the various aspects of CRE. It was hard for me to believe that all these people were taking the time to answer the most minute questions about specific real estate deals, taxes, contracts, etc.

I had read a few books and made up my that I would close up my computer/pre-press company and make CRE my full time business. My wife and I separated which caused me to delay closing my company but last January I e-mailed all the people who had contributed and said they were from Maryland. I think I only received 3-4 responses and 2 of those were from investors outside the Baltimore area. However Steve Cook responded that he would be happy to meet with me to answer any questions. When I did meet with him, he was very generous with his time and shared the names of local investor-friendly banks, attorneys, etc.

When I attended the convention last year, Steve saw me and told me of deal that I might want since he knew that I was interested in multi-famlily rentals. He put me in touch with the investor who had the properties and in May I found myself the owner of 6 duplexes (12 units) with no money down (I did pay the closing costs). Steve never asked for anything out of the deal for himself since it was not the type of property that he bought. (I did send him a fee for the lead.)

Since that time I have stuck my big toe in the water of putting together my own deals with 3 HUD houses (all are being rehabbed–1 for retail sale and 2 for lease/option). I can now see how great this business is and by the end of this year, I will finally be a full-time investor.

I am still overwhelmed by all the helpful, profitable advice that I have gotten either directly or indirectly from all the people mentioned in this thread (with special thanks to JP and Terry for hosting). I can’t wait until this year’s convention when I can personally thank all those whose thoughtful posts make this such a great place.

See you in Atlanta.

Re: There are so many more… - Posted by JPiper

Posted by JPiper on January 23, 2001 at 09:06:51:


Glad you posted so that I could mention another name too. John Hyre…the tax attorney who posts some really good stuff here on taxes…who has been quietly building a mobile home business in his “spare” time.

And by the way Steve, I can remember a time when I believed there were NO deals in the MLS. After watching you for a while with your success in Baltimore, I actually opened my brain up to the possibility that there just might be a deal in the MLS if I bothered to look. Lo and behold…there was.

Then there was the “seasoning” issue that as far as I know you may have been the first to mention. I didn’t believe that one either…but again, it’s now a nationwide phenomenon.

Thanks for being a participant here…I always enjoy reading your posts.


Re: You Said It… - Posted by David Alexander

Posted by David Alexander on January 23, 2001 at 11:48:24:

Hey Jim,

I actually got there and only had a hundred bucks in my pocket… After David Smith and I went to dinner with you, Concetta and Ed Waschman, I was down another 30 bucks, I had already spent $25 at a hotel for 3 hours sleep the night before, talk about blowing my budget… Lol. My plan was worse case, I would sleep in the convention hall if need be… probably would have had to sit in the back of room… waaaay back, but I wanted to learn.

Luckily everything is cheap in Vegas and I lived on $.99 1/4 Hotdogs the rest of time there. I ended splitting the room with David Smith and paid like $13 bucks a night.

I still dont make room reservations… seems I can always find someone crazy enough to put up with me for a few days.

I havent made the strides Steve Cook, Jim Rayner(probably, because I push things till the wheels fall off)… But my life is Rock Steady Now… with plenty of Assets. I know I will make all my goals and they aren’t small by any means…

At dinner that night You told me things would change and they have dramatically, It’s awesome to think that people dont always realize the realize the things, words etc, No matter how small that they do which impact folks in a great way.

I remember being at that first convention in Vegas and the folks there (talking about the seasoned investors) were really laid back. They weren’t worried about getting back to a job Monday, and some had came early to play or were off to go play elsewhere.

All I know is I said in my mind “I wanna be like Mike” (mike being a metaphor for the seasoned investors).

I grow and learn everyday thanks to the folks here and around me.

I cant tell you I dont hit some tough spots on occasion because that would be a lie. But I do take them in stride and fully believe Stress is for the other people… and am able to do that because of the lifesyle I Have chosen…

If your reading this change your life get to the convention… You may learn the knowledge the first time… and be exposed to something miraculous that will change your life… After that you will have friends that you will know a lifetime.

Re: You Said It… - Posted by JohnBoy

Posted by JohnBoy on January 23, 2001 at 11:33:50:

I remember the first time I made a post here. It was to someone asking about where they should buy a home in Orange County, CA. They were between choosing Irvine or Huntington Beach and posted some long reply going about how I would pick Irvine. Then you responded to me where your post started out with, sheesh! LOL

I remember thinking, who does this guy think he is? LOL

Then several jumped in on your response going along with you before I responded back. Then I realized just how much I knew that I didn’t know then! Man, that sure seems like it was a long time ago!

Another person I remember that took off and started out real well was, Jim NC. Remember him? The guy that walked away from his $100k per year job to jump right into real estate. He went right out and started doing L/O’s and never even studied a course before starting. Then he landed that deal with some builder where he got all them new homes from him to L/O. I wonder if he’s still doing this and just got to busy to post here anymore or what? Anyone ever hear anything about him?

Re: As I Look Back - Posted by SCook85

Posted by SCook85 on January 23, 2001 at 08:23:37:

Funny how when I got started in Creative real estate I drove an hour and 15 minutes to work, worked my 10 hour shift (which sometimes got stretched to more time) and drove an hour and 15 minutes home. During that time is when I laid all the ground work to get my real estate investing career going. I spent that time in the car listening to tapes, taking mental notes, etc… I made it productive time because real estate was something that I wanted to pursue. I wasn’t making excuses. If the “true” desire is not there then something as little as a long drive to work will get in your way.

Happy Investing!