Are you looking for proof, or justification? - Posted by ray@lcorn
Posted by ray@lcorn on December 03, 1999 at 16:12:50:
I think you may have good intentions, but are going about the process of getting the information you want totally in the wrong way.
First, whether or not I or anybody else make enough money for you to justify making RE investing a full time activity for yourself is totally irrelevant. If your question is whether people actually make large amounts of money in RE, then I think you can read up on a few well known real estate moguls and find that that would seem to be the case. I find it interesting that most of the folks I know that make large sums of money are some of the most closemouthed individuals I have ever met. Statistics I have seen note that well over half of the Fortune 400 derives its wealth from real estate… 'nuf said.
But if what you really want is to hear strategies that others have used to replace their unsatisfactory jobs, no matter how high paying, with RE investment, then you are in the right place. How do I know you aren’t satisfied in your job? Because you’re looking for a way out of it, and people don’t look for a way out of something they like doing. Unfortunately, asking me how much I make is not the way to endear you to my heart and pour out all of my hard won experience. That’s between me and my accountants, (I have three: one in-house for our companies, one for corporate taxes, and one for personal taxes) and none of them knows the whole picture. In fact, in recent years I have put a lot more attention on minimizing my personal taxable income… so my answer to the question, if I were to be inclined to answer it, would be fairly deceptive.
It so happens that my entire family is in RE, and have been for many years. I’ve made a lot of money, and I have also lost a lot of money. For me, it’s never been the money that kept me in it, because I stayed in it as broke as broke could be. It’s the freedom of choice and the thrill of the deal. I pretty much do as much or as little as I want to do on any given day. I just spent the last three weeks traveling all over the world. If I were in it to just make an income, then I would be content to take a paycheck and leave the worries to a boss, and also abrogate to him the decision as to whether I could take another three weeks off. No thank you.
I like running my own life, and yes, that life is a lot more pleasant with a large income than with a small one. But to tell the truth, without the years that I spent working for peanuts to get a start in this business, and then the years working for peanuts to save what we (my brothers and father) had built, then I would have never found my passion. And that, my friend, is worth more than gold. You see, ever since I found my true passion, I haven’t had to go to “work” again. I do what I do because I love to do it, and I’d do it to some extent (and have) even if there was NO money in it.
My passion is dealmaking. I love the chase. I love the catch. I love the closings. I love the players, the places and the high stakes. I live not for those moments when the impossible is done, but for all the moments that lead up to the finish line. Not all the deals I work are successful. In fact, I have counted myself lucky to close one out of ten deals that I seriously work on, and that may be optimistic. If I only lived for the successes, then my life would be pretty bleak, because those moments are fleeting. I enjoy all the moments that lead up to and away from a deal, because I learn something new from every one.
I think Mikeb’s post below in response to your question is a very good example of what I am talking about. I don’t know him, but I can tell that he is a determined person with a plan. That plan may not work out exactly the way he thinks, but I bet he will have what it takes to modify it when need be. He has found that RE can provide a freedom of living that comes only with taking responsibility for your own life. My hat is off to him, and the hundreds of others here who know in their hearts there is more to life than trading hours for dollars. RE isn’t the only way to freedom, but it is the way I know, and I will be glad to share my experience with any who care to listen. Just don’t get hung up on what I “make”.
Excuse me for getting on my soapbox, but I get testy on Friday afternoons when it is warm enough to be on the golf course and I’m not. I figured that I should at least try to open the mail after being on vacation (again?!) for the majority of the past month. Besides, there’s a couple of deals laying here to dive into, and to tell the truth that is more fun than golf, and if you knew me you would know what a heavy statement THAT is!!!
So my friend… congratulations on your deal. You have tasted but a sliver of the fruits that can come from marching to your own drummer in your own parade. Should you be looking at multi-family? Probably so if you really want to fast track to a full time equivalent income from RE. You might also look at commercial properties. A neighborhood shopping center can be much easier to manage than a 50-unit apartment building, and just as lucrative. But pick your way carefully… make sure your propensity and tolerance for risk and hard work is equal to the size property you consider. As you gain experience, you will find certain types of properties appeal to you more than others. You will find your own way in how to manage your investments. No one can make those decisions for you, but there is plenty of discussion here along those very lines to help you along the way.
Above all, find your passion, then feed it everyday. The rest will happen in its own good time.