Sep 10, 2019
Yeah listeners, this is James Kandasamy from Achiever Wealth Podcast. Achieve Wealth podcast focuses on commercial real estate investing; across all asset classes. Today I have Kathy Fettke from real wealth network. Hey Kathy, you want to introduce yourself?
Hi there, sure. I'm the founder and CEO of Real Wealth Network. We've been around since 2003 actually. And we've been helping people, mainly in high priced markets, find cash flow properties nationwide. And then over the past 10 years or so, we've helped people get into syndication; a lot of our members just wanted totally passive. So we partnered with developers and we build single family homes, one to four units, and then also some apartments and now the opportunity zones, so we're excited about that.
Oh, cool. Yeah, Kathy runs one of the top podcasts in the nation and what's the podcast name, Kathy?
Real Wealth Show and then I have a news show that's just seven minutes for busy people, but loaded with information; The Real Estate News podcasts.
Yeah, I've listened to both real estate news, which I like, because it's pretty short and it just give me the high level things; sometimes we're really just so busy. And I've listened to [01:25 inaudible] So let's go a bit more details into, how do your company or your group helps the investors? Let's start with investors, so are lot of them passive investors or do they still manage the property at all in single family?
Well, you know, most of our members are busy Silicon Valley workers or their Hollywood people in the industry, that is pretty unforgiving. Both industries, Hollywood and Silicon Valley, you're working a lot; sometimes people are working 70, 80 hour weeks. Even if you're making a lot of money, what you don't have is a lot of time. So they can't be, managing their own properties or flipping; people who try to flip when they're that busy, it’s just tough to do a good job at it when you've got all these other things. And then to add a family or just trying to be healthy and exercise; there’s only so much you can do. So, we really decided about 15 years ago, both my husband and I decided we wanted to invest where there was cash flow and we couldn't find it in California.
So I had the Real Wealth Show then and Robert Kiyosaki was on it back then and he said, I'll tell you what, I am selling everything I own in California because it's a bubble. This was in 2006 when nobody else could see that; everybody thought it was just going to be this incredible boom forever. And he said, no, no, these loans are going to melt down and he was selling everything and exchanging it for a high cash flow, low cost properties in Texas because that's where the jobs in the population and we're going; so we did that
I talked about it on my show, on the Real Wealth Show, and our listeners wanted to do it; so we said, well, you can use all the team that we set up. You can use the property manager, they're great, and you can use the agent that we use, the contractors; and then we realized, this is really a need; we can make this a business. And that's really what real wealth network became; it's just finding these different resources nationwide to help people find deals that you just couldn't find on your own; and have them managed for you.
So is it a fund, or is it like a property, buy property or how does it work?
We have both. I mean, for the first five to seven years it was basically brokering. We have a real estate brokerage, helping people sell their California properties and exchange them for really high cash flow. I had a woman come to me back in 2007, somewhere around then, and she was desperate to retire; she had bought these three properties in Stockton thinking that would be her ticket and they were just a pain; always needing repairs. They were old properties and not very good parts of Stockton. And all the cash flow was just going to repairs, so she wasn't able to retire; her dream of real estate was turning into a nightmare.
And she listened to my show and I said, well look, let's sell these; they were $420,000 each. They rented each for $1,200, not a good deal. So we helped her sell those three properties at the peak and then buy in Texas at basically the beginning of their boom; we got her nine brand new homes in Rockwall, Texas. It was an hour outside of Dallas but we knew a new freeway was coming that would make it just a 20 minute, 30 minute drive to downtown. And she ended up quintupling her cash flow.
She was able to walk in and hand that resignation letter to her boss; she was able to retire. And about 18 months later, the market crashed; the home she sold for $420,000 each, these little dumpy homes, they were worth about $75,000 after. So she saved herself from complete disaster and in fact, her properties in Texas have tripled in value since she bought them. So ever since then, that's really what we do. We help people see; look, you need an asset that's performing, whether there's going to be a market collapse or not; a $420,000 piece of junk in Stockton that rents for $1,200 a month, is not a deal. We've been helping people understand the fundamentals of investing.
It's so crazy because I think a lot of people thinks that, oh the house price is going up and they're getting richer. Actually, you're not getting richer? It's a dead equity; your equity is trapped in your house. And I see a lot of people with a lot of money, who buys properties in high class neighborhood where they want to live. Which is completely opposite from how the whole cash flow should be; because the rent doesn't really jump up by that much, compared to your price on the house. And it's just so crazy, they don't realize it and they keep on buying two or three houses in their neighborhood and they say; I have all these houses. Some people have gotten used to that appreciation play rather than a cash flow play.
Question for you is, I know every market has cycles. So I know
from California to Texas in 2008 was an awesome, brilliant move. So
what about today? Where would you invest? And where do you think
both California and Texas market is?
Excuse me. I didn't mean to cough at the question but it's a big question... So it would appear that today is very similar to 2006; prices have gone up dramatically, in some cases they've doubled in value, tripled in value since rate recession. So people have made a lot of money and they've heard other people have made a lot of money by buying a property and doing nothing with it. So, it's tempting to think that that will continue, that is just not possible. You have to understand the metrics and people can only afford a property that's about three times their income. So if your monthly income is $5,000; you can only afford a property around $1,300 a month with the mortgage and the taxes and insurance.
So, there's only so high prices can go. Prices were very depressed for the past 10 years, they’re not anymore, they're way past their last peak; salaries are not going up as quickly. So to buy a property thinking that you're just going to get a bunch of equity gain, I think you missed that. However, will there be another housing crash? That's what people want to know, right? My answer is, I don't think so, because in the last 10 years you have had people have to really qualify for a loan. They also got very low interest rates, some as low as 2% over the last 10 years; and values have gone up. So they're locked into low interest rates, they have equity, salaries are going up. Even if we had a recession and jobs were lost, I don't think people are going to rush to dump their properties, when they're locked into low payments, just so they can pay more in rent; I don't see it happening.
Plus 10 years ago there was no Airbnb, you didn't know that you could just rent out half your house, I did. Rich and I actually did that when we were having a tough time back in 2003. We rented out a bunch of rooms in our house to get by; we had to use Craig's list and that was crazy, you never know who you're getting, very different today. And, add to it that households are forming, yet we're not building enough supply. Where anything that we're building, that builders and developers are building, is higher end because permit fees have gone up, labor costs have gone up. You cannot build the same house today for the same price, certainly not for the price that most people own their property; they couldn't rebuild it. I live in Malibu where there are a bunch of fires and people are not able to rebuild their houses for what they had an insurance; so make sure you have really good insurance.
So no, I don't think there's going to be a housing crash. There's just not enough supply, there's so much demand. We've had 10 million more renters in the last decade than we have before; we have probably another 10 million over the next decade. There's again, not enough supply in the affordable rang, so even though you're probably not going to see a lot of appreciation over the next 10 years, you're going to see a lot of cash flow.
Okay. Just because of the demographic shift, I guess, that you’re seeing in terms of the renters and all of that? Do you think it will continue in Texas? Because you’re looking at it from California; at that time when you bought in Texas, Texas was early part of the whole cycle. I came during the downturn and I didn't really feel there was an economic downturn here. But now it has gone up so much, do you think that taxes will continue to grow?
Well, it is very scary when you look at a chart and you look at the home prices in Dallas, it just goes, whew, and that is scary. But you have to understand that when we were buying in Texas, it was 26% undervalued, so that the houses were so cheap compared to income. So just to bounce back, the most important metric to look at is affordability and what we know is that there's just a massive amount of jobs in the Dallas, Fort Worth region. I don't think prices are ever going to go back to where they were, it’s the new reality there. Will they go up much more? It just depends on salaries and jobs. I certainly don't see any kind of crash or decline there. But we were never buying in Texas for appreciation, we got it and that was wonderful; but that's not why we were buying.
It all comes down to cash flow and there are parts of Dallas where we still think there's opportunity for cash flow and appreciation. But it's getting harder and harder to find, like it's harder and harder to find anywhere. There are still deals, especially in the opportunities zones. These are areas that are going to be gentrified, there may be higher crime, not as good as schools, but a lot of that is going to be changing; there's going to be more jobs coming in because of all the tax incentives. So, whether or not you’re getting those tax incentives, if you invest in those opportunities zone areas, you could see some appreciation along with cash flow.
Yeah, opportunities and some new incentive, compared to the 1031 and some other gentrification that's happening. So, you talk about Dallas, what about other markets in Texas, what are the other markets that you're excited?
Well, one of the people I follow for my economic advice is John Burns. He does consulting for builders and we have developments all across the country and he's advised us on quite a few of them. He does an economic analysis annually, probably quarterly, he's constantly consulting. And one of the slides he showed recently was where the jobs are going. A lot of my California members of real wealth network say, what about Portland? What about Seattle? And based on the graphs that John Burns shows, that is the area that is having the least job growth in the country. So that should give you the answer you need. In addition to that, you've got all this rent control stuff happening in Portland and Seattle; it's like, no. If you're going to own a rental property, you don't want to be in a place where people hate landlords.
So I would skip the northwest, I'd skipped the west coast entirely, in my opinion, for that reason. Because whenever housing gets expensive, it's on the west coast where they decide it's our fault, when it's not; it's the fault of politicians who don't allow you to build anything, so it's frustrating. But where we're seeing the growth go 100% is the southeast. That's in Florida, Georgia, Texas certainly; these are no income tax or low income tax states. When you've got 10,000 people turning 65 every day, trying to figure out how they're going to retire, they're going to go to areas where they don't have to pay a lot of state tax. So that's one reason, plus the jobs are going, I believe the Orlando area, central Florida area is the fastest growing area in the country at this time. So yeah, we’re all over it, we’re building houses there and we're renovating houses and we're providing lots of done-for-you ,rental properties to our members.
So what about Phoenix and Las Vegas? I know that seems to be the last leg of boom, I guess. Because they are the ones who's recovering the last, but it seems to be a lot of people trying to look at that market as well.
You know, I always get a little sick to my stomach when I think about Phoenix and Las Vegas because....
Positive experience, right?
I had the opportunity, we were in contract on two properties before the collapse and we got out of them in time and got our money back. But oh boy, we would have been pretty upset. But no, I'm more upset that I didn't take action after the crash in Phoenix, there were so many foreclosures that just freaked me out, but obviously it would've been good to buy. So it's hard to buy today when prices have doubled, if not tripled, from when we were able to buy; but at the same time, Las Vegas and Phoenix continue to grow, they will probably continue to grow for a long time. The problem is the cash flow is not quite as good as in some of the other areas in the south east, so I haven't been active in those markets. But if we had a really good team there and they were able to find us good deals and renovate them, and get them rented, and good property management; we'd probably still go in.
The problem with the Las Vegas is you have very low paying jobs,
so the rents kind of cap there. But that could change if different
kinds of jobs come in, but you've got a lot of people in the
hospitality industry, who don't make a lot of money.
And also I would say a luxury, it's basically depends on luxury, right? If the economy tanked, nobody is going to go to Las Vegas to spend all their money and that's where the swing will come, I guess.
Lots of people are moving there for affordability. My sister just bought her first house; she's 57 and bought her first house. But it’s in the Phoenix area because she could afford it. They bought it, they rent it out and they hope to retire in it in 10 years. So you're seeing a lot of that type of thing.
Okay. Got it, so when you say cash flow, you're talking about single family turnkey cash flow, am I right?
For a lot of our members, they want to max out that 10 conventional loans that you can get through Fannie and Freddie. So even though they might invest in multifamily and other people's deals and syndication, they definitely invest in our syndication. Nothing really compares, in my opinion, to maxing out those Fannie and Freddie loans that you can get at 5%, five and a half percent. Are you kidding? Fixed for 30 years and you could get one to four units. We have a lot of our clients buying four-plexes in Florida and so you can get 40 units with those 10 year loans; and you're locked in at that rate for 30 years. You know rents are going up, I know a lot of people aren't fans of single family, but to me it just makes so much sense.
You can take all that cash flow and pay off the first loan, the second loan, the third loan; You could have all 10 loans paid off from the cash flow in 12 years, so many of our members do that. Then they have 10 properties free and clear, cash flowing. Again, multifamily is great; it's just a different animal. I think having a good mix of both because it's so easy to get in and out; a single family, it can be challenging, I've had massive challenges. We had a 92 unit building in Indiana that had a gas leak, in the middle of the night and the city required everybody to move out. We had to pay, we had an empty building, and we went from fully occupied to empty overnight literally, because of a gas leak. And then we had to pay these people off to go find a new place, we had to fix; multifamily can have the same problems that a single family can have, only times a hundred.
Don't think that there are no problems, but it's a different
animal; there’s different upside, there's different downsides. But,
for people starting out, just getting into some single family
rental homes; just single, one to four unit, it's a great way to
start to really wrap your hands around it and understand it and
lock in those low 30 year fixed rate loans.
Yeah, you make a good point. I'm a multifamily guy but I started in single family. So the cash flow in single families is unbeatable. I usually buy really good deals, so I usually make 30, 40% cash on cash, on single family. I buy by direct marketing and we rent it out. And we have that equity and you have that Fannie Mae loan, you just can't beat it. The biggest problem that we have in our single families is the 10 loan limit. That’s the limit, after that where do I go?
That's as far as you can go, unless you both, you and your spouse can qualify; you can each get 10 but yeah, then you're stuck. Then you got to get to commercial, [20:19 inaudible] or something, you’re going to run out of money. But, for people just starting out or if you've got one property in the Silicon Valley that you bought for $400,000 and now it's worth 2 million; you might want to take that and do something else with it.
Yeah, correct. I think the biggest challenge in single families is managing the property. So we were managing it, it takes up a lot of time, especially in the first few years because things are being stabilized. So once you get a renter, which doesn't leave, then everything is cash flow. So, does your company provide turnkey property management for single family?
Yes. So what we've done is basically what we did in Texas. We'll go to an area where we think there's a lot of growth, a lot of job growth, a lot of population growth and it's landlord friendly and low taxes; Texas isn't low taxes, but we still have. And there we'll find people, like you said, people who know how to wholesale, they know how to get these deals. They do direct marketing and then they'll maybe look at a hundred deals to find one; but then they'll find that one deal that has a lot of potential. They'll fix it and get a tenant in place, have property management in place and sell it ready-to-go rental, to somebody who's busy and doesn't have the time to do all of that.
But we ask that there's still be some equity in there, it's getting harder and harder to do because prices have gone up and there's so much competition. There are E-buyers everywhere [21:58 inaudible] an E-buyer now; E-buyer meaning that they've raised billions of dollars to buy a house, sight unseen; instantly, instant offer. So, that's making it a little tougher on wholesalers but with that said, we still have boots on the street in 15 different markets that have either really high cash flow and prices are still undervalued; like Detroit and Cleveland, or in areas where there's just massive growth and people want to get in the path of progress and watch the sun rise.
Got it. I want to go back to the 92 units multifamily, because I think it's a very interesting story. Everybody tells all the good stuff about multifamily, how much they make? And there are a lot of people who doesn't tell all the bad stuff or deals that are losing money or what deals are under water.
Nobody wants to talk about it, I'll talk about it.
Yeah, I want to talk about that because I think it's a very good learning. So, you talked about 92 units where there was a gas leak, the city said you have to leave and you went from a 100% to 0%. So what was the key learning from that experience?
The key learning would be to make sure you've got the right insurance in place. A lot of people get their insurance policy but maybe don't really understand it; so, get an attorney to read it through and make sure you’ve got everything you need for that kind of situation. If you have the right insurance, then you can get through a situation like that. Unfortunately, in our case, the city made us do all kinds of things that were not necessary, before we could get a certificate of occupancy and bring people back in; so, it took years to be able to occupy it again. And on top of that, when you have a vacant building and you got vandalism, so we'd have vandalism. And again, insurance can cover that, but it was hard, it was really hard.
So have plenty of reserves, really good insurance. Make sure that somebody, a professional, has looked at that insurance, to make sure that it will cover everything. And then you can get through those hard times. And if you're syndicating, if you brought in other investors into your deal, make sure that you have key man insurance or D and O insurance; because you’re responsible for your investors' dollars. I was able to go to the lender because we were sitting there vacant, no income and still having to pay that mortgage. And it was just cleaning me out, it was so difficult. It was so difficult; so we just stopped making the loan payments and I didn't know what to do. I had a million and a half of investor funds in there. So I just went to the bank, I flew out to Indiana, I met with the president of the bank and just said, here's the keys; it's empty, it's vandalized, the city won't let us do anything with it, you can have it. And we were probably $1 million in arrears. And they say, I kind of knew they were going to do this, but I didn't know for sure, and it was a really scary moment; but they are like, you can have it. They cut the loan by over a million and it was still very difficult.
And so I think it's important that people understand the risk because there are so many young investors syndicating deals. They don't have the experience, they're taking other people's money and I literally talk to these young people and they are like, what's the big deal? It's easy, it's easy. But their Performas are only accounting for rents going up, what if they don't, you know?
You just don't know. So you've got to have run that stress test on your Performa, understand that rear-ends can stabilize. That if there's a recession, a class property is the hardest to fill because people have lost their jobs; so they start discounting and then now someone's got the choice to live in a or a B class property for the same price, they're going to go with the A. So then to get tenants, you've got to lower your prices on the B property and that trickles down to the C. Whereas nobody's really accounting for that and I don't want to say nobody, a lot of new investors aren't accounting for the possibility of that scenario.
Yeah. And I can bet you that none of the gurus out there teaching about key man insurance and D and D, and E and O insurance, which you just mentioned this now. Because I know a lot of gurus and even they do not know because they just do teaching, a lot of them.
There's a lot that going on and it's kind of terrifying. On the one hand, I feel like wow, there could be a whole lot of really good deals in about five years, but I don't want to think that way. I wish everyone success, if you're really young and you're following a guru, so to speak, who's telling you how easy it is, just make sure you have someone on your team who's a little seasoned, who's got a little gray hair; you don't want to jump into an airplane with two young guys. If you're going to jump into an airplane and you know that it's blue skies, okay, fine. A couple of inexperienced pilots might be okay, but if you know you're flying into a storm, don't you want that old guy?
Just know that we are in turbulent territory right now, this is not the beginning of an expansion, and this is the middle or the end. So it's, it's, it's different. It's not as easy. So it's, different, it's not as easy; there's clouds, there's potentially a storm coming. Get that person with experience, who knows how to ride through storms, to be a part of your team, whether they're on it in an advisory position or you give them a little bit of shares so that they're invested in it. But just get that wise person with experience to help guide you.
Yeah. It's, interesting on how much deal is being done at this peak market cycle. Actually, if you look at the latest data by Dr. Glenn Mueller, we are in hyper supply state nationwide for apartments, we already passed the expansion cycle.
Really? Oh, I haven't heard that. You know, I hear so many different things, I've heard that we're over supplied in Seattle and maybe Dallas and New York.
Yeah, I mean that is national data, national data and then there's another data which shows each cities and where they are. And if you look at a lot of cities, a lot of cities are in hyper supply stage And the last batch of cities, which is at the last part of expansion, there's like 10 different cities, which is the last part of expansion; so even that cities is going to go into hyper supply. So, that's the data that is being published, I think we are [29:03 inaudible] if I remember correctly, Dr. Glenn Mueller is like 50 or 30 years, who has been doing analyses, research, on all commercial real estate asset classes. I follow him closely and since last June, we already in hyper supply, nationally.
That's terrifying but I guess there could be deals for you and
me in about 2 or 3 years
Well, I still have my properties, but I usually buy value, that way we can try to push income. So if you're buying at low prices, we are pushing income so that we have buffers, so in case it turns down, hopefully, that buffer is not eaten up. But there are a lot of people who are buying deals which doesn't have any buffer, there's no real value added component to it. They just buy because they're getting a good loan, cash flowing, there are a lot of investors who want to invest; and there are a lot of gurus out there also telling that there're still deals out there and people are just jumping, it's fear of missing out. Is it a similar sentiment that you see in 2006, 2007?
The thing that feels similar, is a whole bunch of people giving other people advice, who don't have any experience and people with no money and no experience, doing deals; that's what scary. And lenders coming in and so much money, they'll just lend on just about anything, so that feels familiar. What's different is that there are fewer people who can afford a property; you really have to qualify, to live in a home. I don't see a single family housing collapse. In multifamily, there's just going to be rental demand for years to come. So it's really only the people who make bad decisions, who buy the wrong property, who don't calculate the repairs adequately or overestimate rent increases; those are the people who get hurt. They over leverage, anyone who over leverages that's concerning. or in ballooning short...
Short term loans, Like bridge loans and all that, got it; so coming back to that insurance issue on the 92 units. So I'm trying to understand the root cause; I know we didn't get the right insurance, there's something were not covered. What was your insurance selection process in the beginning? Did someone recommend you to this insurance?
I trusted my partner. I didn't have enough experience; everything I'm teaching is really from my own experience. I certainly didn't know how to look at a multifamily insurance policy and know that it was enough; I should have run it by an expert and I do that now on everything, we have experienced experts that look at it. But at the time I didn't know and insurance companies are always going to take advantage when they can, so it's difficult to know what to look for; especially when you'd never in a million years expect something like that. If you're buying an older building, which many people are because they're doing the value adds, these are things that can happen. You have old pipes, the city ended up making us replace all the water lines, all the gas; it was, like having to build a whole new building. It was just a nightmare.
Yeah, and what kind of loan did you take? Was it an agency loan or was it a small bank loan kind of thing?
Small bank, yeah…
I recently had one of my buildings under fire. So, I did look at insurance in the beginning when we bought it, but there are so many details behind that policy coverage.
Yeah, how could you know? No you can't
I didn't know, until the fire happened when I was talking to the adjuster, he said, oh the good thing is I have really good solid insurance. But the amount of details in terms of coverage, it's just shocks me, that so many things that cannot be covered if we don't get it.
And in multifamily, just for the listeners education, the
insurance is one thing that people can play around with, you can't
play around with taxes because taxes by the county and all the
expenses is pretty small. Payroll is something it's a bit hard for
you to control; you need good staff to run the property. So you
have to budget it properly, taxes, you have to budget properly. But
the insurance is, yeah you can pick around here and there; get
slightly lower premium and that contributes to your LTV; which is
how much loan they're going to give or how much loan proceeds. So,
sometimes it's very tempting to do deals to get higher proceed by
compromising insurance. And insurance is one thing that
always comes at the end of the whole loan commitment process.
Let's say you're closing in two weeks, the bank is going to give
you a loan commitment and insurance is the last one that comes, as
the final price. And if the insurance agent messed up or if the
syndicators or the sponsor messed up, in estimating that amount;
the deal can fall through at the end. So what happened is people,
there's a lot of possibility that people take shortcuts in
insurance because they didn't want to deal to fall through, so it’s
It is just so important to have good insurance. I have a friend who is a big fund manager, a multimillion dollar fund and he's savvy, very smart investor and he owned a bunch of buildings, commercial buildings, I believe apartments in Houston before the floods. I don't know if you know this, but if your insurance doesn't specifically say it covers named storms, and of course what hurricane doesn't have a name, if that's not specified, then it's not covered. And he did not have, I don't know specifically, but he was not covered in that storm. Which again is, an insurance company is going to do what’s best for them? So make sure you've got an attorney who specializes. I've got a neighbor who that’s his job; He’s a specialist in making sure your insurance is what you think it is, because it would be just so easy to change one little word.
That's interesting, I didn't know that. Good thing I don't have anything in Houston, but it can happen anyway, whole Texas.. So, did you try to hire a public adjuster and tried to fight for you and they gave up on it just because it's not covered?
We hired an attorney to help us find it and it didn't get anywhere. I think we got money for the vandalism, but even that, you have to make sure when you have a vacant building, whether it's a single family or multifamily, you have to make sure your insurance company is aware of that and there's a different policy for that. So, there's just a lot to understand, when managing these properties. But, now I know what it's like to manage other people's money and be in a situation like that; I couldn't sleep for years. I think you could probably hear me on the balcony crying. I would have investor calls where I would just burst out in tears halfway through and these lovely people just worked with me through it, because they knew it wasn't my fault; but I will never go through that again, that's the worst feeling, it's terrible.
Nobody sued me, but they could have maybe, I don't know. They've
been very understanding. But today when I do syndications, we
eliminate as many risks as is possible. One of them is we do a lot
of building subdivisions and it was really the builders and
developers who got wiped out in the last downturn. Because a few
banks just failed, they couldn't pay their construction loans; even
if you had $20 million construction loan to finish your project
that was gone. So, you literally couldn't finish your project, so
builders just went out of business left and right, and land became
dirt cheap, cheap as the dirt that it was on. We were able to buy a
lot of that land because I was just getting into syndications back
in 2010, we bought some incredible land; 4,200 lots in Tampa for a
10 cents on the dollar and things like that.
But we didn't want to be on the other side of that this time around. So the way that we have handled all of our developments is we raise all the money, believe it or not, we raise all the money to acquire the land, and title it, get a horizontal construction, the utilities, the roads and everything and build the first phase. We raise all the money for that, we don't take any bank financing because we do not want to get stuck in that situation; which again, took down the biggest of builders. National builders went down because of their loans, because they're financing. So we just own it with cash, we take all the money from the first phase, use that to build the second phase and our investors get a nice 15% preferred return in a situation where there's no leverage.
Now I love leverage, I love leverage. And it's different on a multifamily and certainly on one to four units; I’m all about leverage. Just make sure that it's the kind of leverage that you could live with. On a single family home, just make sure, again, you've got the right insurance on that property too. I do know somebody who owned a single family home in Houston, didn't have that named insurance, their house flooded and insurance didn't cover it. So even for a single family up to a big multifamily, you really need advice on your insurance.
Interesting, I just learned something new, that construction loan and how the builders, because we always wonder how did the building not happen. So now it makes sense because the construction loan, the bank doesn't have the money and they just said, no more, already done.
You're done. You had everything you need, it all lined up. But
even people who had their money in the bank, they couldn't access
it. For a lot of people our equity lines, they were just gone. In
2009, I had a developer come to me with somebody who actually
listens to the real wealth show and he said, you're just not going
to believe the kinds of things I can pick up from the banks, from
the REO departments. And these asset managers don't know what
they've got; they don't know how to value it. But there were these
subdivisions one after another that literally could not be
completed because the loans were gone. And I didn't know that I
could raise money, but I tried it and we raised $3 million dollars
in one event. And we were able to buy 27 waterfront town homes in
Portland, in the Pearl district, the hottest part of Portland. They
were 70% complete, they were totally built; the only thing that
wasn't done was the interior. All we had to do is put in the
kitchens and the bedrooms and the carpets and finish it off; and,
so we were able to buy it for $3 million, all 27 units, when the
loan alone had been 13 million. And then we just finished them off
because the builder couldn't do it.
That's the opportunity you get in the downturn I guess, if you've got the cash and you know how to do it kind of thing, very Interesting. So, let's go to a more personal side, Cathy because you have a big network of investors and you have a big presence on the radio and also on the podcast side of it. So why do you what you do? I mean, what's your big why in your whole venture?
That's a great question. It started out more self focused. My husband was told in 2003 that he had melanoma, that it had spread, and the doctor thought it spread to his liver and metastasize and told my husband he had six months to live. No one should put a timeline on your life and the doctor was wrong, and Rich is fine today. However, 16 years later, he is fine. Although he gets regular checks, make sure his skin is okay because he's a surfer and a rock climber; and he's still out there in the sun. So in the beginning it was like, I got to figure out how to make money. I don't believe the doctor is right but if he is, I've got two kids, I've got a house, I've got to figure this out. So I just changed my radio show to, how to make money. So in the beginning it was a passionate desire to take care of my husband and my children and learn the secrets of the wealthy and that's how the real wealth show started.
Then when I learned the secrets, and found out that people are willing to share them, people like Robert Kiyosaki, he was willing to come on my show and tell me his secrets; that's how we ended up investing in Texas. I just couldn't believe what I was hearing; I just couldn't believe that there was this way to build wealth that no one had told me. I just couldn't believe it and all the ins and outs of how to get loans and how to clean up your credit and the tax benefits and the leverage; there’s no other way to build wealth. I just couldn't believe it.
So it opened my eyes, gave me hope. We followed, we made
mistakes, but even with mistakes and even with losing our money and
other people's money in the beginning, we got back up on our feet
and it works. And now when I help people, I see, I have people
who've been following me since then. And I just had someone on my
show last week who said, I did everything you said and I'm retired
now, it worked, it worked; 10 years later. So I know it works and
so I'm passionate about helping other people who were in the same
situation I was in, which was absolute terror. How was I going to
take on the payments of our big house and raise these two little
children as a single mother, if the doctor was right? We blew
through our medical bills. What was I going to do? I wasn't going
to go get a job and be away from my kids for 10 hours a day. So to
learn the secrets of the wealthy, to learn passive income and to be
able to share that with other people and see their light bulbs go
on and like, oh my gosh, this is incredible, how is this possible?
I don't know, I don't know why we're not taught it in school?
That’s my why.
Yeah. I realized with my first single family, when I start getting that monthly cash, [44:07 inaudible] actually, this really works.
It works, it works.
Yeah. Somebody else paying for your mortgage and cash flows and you buy it right, all kinds of things, it definitely works. It's amazing. Correct.
I got my daughter, when she was 24; she got a job right out of college, worked for two years, was making pretty good money. She lived in Chico, which is northern California, and you know the home prices there aren't totally inflated like they are today, but they weren't two years ago when she bought. She's only 24 years old, and she came to me and said, hey mom, I'm going to buy a new car. I said, no, no; before you buy a car, because that's going to affect your debt to income ratios, let's just talk about buying a house. Oh Mom, I'm too young, I'm too young to buy a house. I'm like; do you know who your mother is? We need to talk. So we went to a mortgage broker and sure enough, she could qualify for a house up to $300,000; she was blown away.
It turns out that her payment was less than what she was paying in rent for a two bedroom; she could get a three bedroom. So we went house shopping, she found a house that needed a little bit of work, so she got a good deal on it right across from Bidwell Park, amazing location. And then when she bought it, she realized there was a lot of work and then she got real mad at me for about six months. She's like, mom, I'm 24 I'm too young for all this, I don't want to be settled down, I'm a millennial. I'm not supposed to be settling down, it’s too much, I hate this house. I said, honey, just trust me. Well then the fires happened, right? And Paradise got completely wiped out an entire city, suddenly. She had put her house on Airbnb to rent out a couple of rooms on certain holidays and so forth.
All of a sudden her Airbnb app was just blowing up with people saying, I'll pay $4,000 a month for your place. And her rent is $1,600, not her rent, her mortgage, PITI, taxes and insurance, $1,400 and she was getting people willing to rent for 4,000. So she took that offer, she rented it to a very nice family who lost their home and she went cash flowing incredibly. And she's like, I get it now, mom, this is better than a car, I get it.
And she can buy a car with that money, right? And be comfortable paying for it too.
That's right, she can buy a car.
Can you name a few of your secret sauces that you have grown
this big, in terms of popularity and getting known by people?
What's your secret sauce?
You know, everybody has their thing. I happen to love broadcasting, that's my background. I went to school in broadcasting, so radio and podcasts that was just something I love to do. I love to write, I love to educate, so I just followed my passion. I know a lot of people want to start podcasts right; maybe they're not suited for that. For me, it was just passion and bullishness and desire to learn. And I think because I was on a major San Francisco station, I got invited to speak at a lot of [47:29 inaudible] before I knew anything about the business. It was terrible; I'd stand in front of the room, I don't know what I'm talking about. But that's when I realized, a lot of people don't know what they're talking about.
So I just made it my mission to understand and to read as many books and to truly become an expert because I started to see that people who were being treated as experts, really weren't, and that was upsetting because they were guiding people in the wrong direction. So I guess you could say that's part of what... another thing is, I'm just really bullish. If I want to go to an event and I don't want to pay $2,000 for it, I'll just call and ask if I could be a speaker and a lot of times they'll say yes; sometimes it was just for personal reasons.
Okay, that's interesting. When I hear you on your podcast, it's like a newscaster, like Fox or CNN, you know? Its like, is that Kathy? Oh, it sounds really good. You have a really good voice and a presence on the radio and podcasts, that's awesome. Is there any proud moments in your life that you think it's going to be with you until the end? Do you think, I am very proud of this moment, related to business?
Related to business? Wow, there's been a few. I would say it's our ability to raise money. I'll tell you one, a developer that we love came to us and said he'd been working on entitlements on this land for 10 years; it had been very difficult to get the entitlements, but he wouldn't bring us in, until he had them. Which was great and we wouldn't do the deal until he had them. Well, he got them, but he was in a hard money loan because it took so long. It was actually a friend of his, lent him the money for six months and he was at the five month mark, and he thought his friend would extend it and his friend said, no. The loan was for 4 million, the property was worth 9 million. So this friend lent the money for six months, knowing that he would probably foreclose and take the 4 or 5 million in equity, from his friend. So he came to us and said, I just can't believe he's doing this, can you raise the money in a month? And I said, I don't know? So we did, we did an event, we raised the money, we paid off that hard money loan the day it was due. And that guy already had come to the property telling everybody he was their new boss.
Wow. So he was really wanting to take it, I guess
He was a shark, yeah. And so to be able to come in and save this developer, because we had built a network of people who are willing to write a check so quickly, it really meant a lot. He invited us to a dinner once we closed and he had 50 employees there, all who would have lost their jobs, if we hadn't been able to do that. So, I would say that was a moment that I was very proud of; and our investors are going to be the ones who benefit from all that equity, not this guy who is just a shark.
Got It. That's very interesting. I can't resist asking you one question because you raise a lot of money from investors. So, who would you invest with? What kind of sponsor or syndicator that you would look for? What are their characteristics? You don't have to have no names, but what are the character types or characteristic that you would look for, if you want to invest. Because you have seen the whole gamut of our real estate cycle and what people do and all that.
Well, and I am investing in other people's deals. What I look for is kind of what I told you. Track record, experience, a deal that favors, I don't want to say favors the investor, but is very fair, investor friendly. I don't like seeing deals where they're fees here and fees there, so you get a piece of the profit, but there's no profit at the end because they've charged so many fees along the way, there's nothing for you. So just investor friendly projects, but mainly it would be people with a tremendous track record and who has been through several cycles, at least someone on the team has several decades of experience. At this point, I think a lot of people are looking for cash flow, though a lot of our deals have been development, it's not cash flow, we just get a big check at the end once the project's done. But the ongoing cash flow, there’s only a few that really know how to keep that cash flow going in any kind of cycle. So those are the people for my retirement that I would want to be investing with.
Okay, awesome. All right, Kathy thanks for coming on the show. Can you tell the listeners how to get hold of you?
Sure. You can go to Real Wealth Network. Real as in real estate, wealth as in your money and network as the network we have nationwide; Real Wealth Network.com. You can join for free and it just opens up all these portals in our website. It gives you data on different cities, where the job growth is, the demographics; you get a session with one of our investment counselors and ongoing education. It's all for free@ realwealthnetwork.com And then of course, my podcast, Real Wealth Show.
Awesome. It's really nice to have you on the show and I'm sure you add tons of value, so happy to have you here.
Thank you so much.
Take care. Bye.