Mon, 17 July 2023
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In this podcast episode, host Keith Weinhold introduces Scott Saunders, a successful real estate investor who shares his insights and experiences in building a portfolio of 64 single-family rental properties.
They discuss the advantages of investing in cash-flowing rental properties, the importance of focusing on cash flow in the early stages, and the benefits of single-family rentals compared to multifamily properties.
Scott also discusses his analysis of different markets for real estate investment and his approach to financing and leveraging his investments.
They emphasize the importance of seeking professional advice and using resources like GREmarketplace.com for wealth building.
The advantages of single family rentals [00:06:22]
Scott discusses the advantages of investing in single family rentals, including better cap rates, long-term fixed-rate financing, and the inherent demand for single family homes.
Greater liquidity with single family rentals [00:08:31]
Scott and Keith talk about the liquidity component of single family rentals, highlighting that even in a recession, people will still need a place to live and therefore be buyers of single family homes.
Longer tenancy duration in single family rentals [00:09:34]
The discussion focuses on how tenants tend to stay longer in single family homes and duplexes compared to larger apartment buildings, often due to factors such as larger square footage and the desire to be in a specific school district.
The importance of cash flow at the beginning [00:11:34]
Starting with cash flow-centric properties and gradually moving towards appreciation as the portfolio grows.
Scaling up the portfolio with short-term targets [00:14:55]
Setting 90-day targets to buy a specific number of properties, leading to significant progress in a year.
Factors in selecting the next market to buy in [00:18:24]
Considerations include having a communicative property manager and existing opportunities in a market rather than solely focusing on a good deal.
The importance of relationships in real estate investing [00:19:18]
Scott discusses the significance of having a good relationship with property managers and asset providers in different markets.
Factors to consider when choosing a real estate market [00:20:18]
Scott talks about the importance of factors such as job growth, a diversified economy, and an influx of people when selecting a market to invest in.
Using inflation as a tailwind in real estate investing [00:23:54]
Scott explains how he leverages inflation to his advantage by locking in assets today and using inflation to propel his investing forward.
The importance of 30-year fixed rate financing [00:28:12]
Scott discusses the benefits of locking in a 30-year fixed rate for financing and shares his experience during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Using paid-off assets as collateral for future financing [00:29:11]
Scott explains his strategy of paying off some properties to use them as collateral for obtaining loans for future investments.
Managing properties and involving family in real estate business [00:31:19]
Scott talks about using Excel to track his rental income and involving his daughter in managing the financials of his real estate business.
The goal of acquiring lifestyle assets [00:36:34]
Scott Saunders discusses his long-term goal of purchasing properties in Tuscany, Italy, Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and other locations for both enjoyment and return on investment.
The importance of return on attention [00:38:01]
Scott explains the concept of return on attention, which focuses on having the freedom to enjoy life without being constantly distracted by financial concerns.
The impact of purchasing single-family rentals [00:40:07]
Scott emphasizes the benefits of purchasing 5 to 10 single-family rental properties, which can provide economic freedom and significantly improve one's financial situation.
The disclaimer [00:46:07]
The speaker provides a disclaimer stating that the show does not provide specific advice and encourages listeners to seek professional advice.
The speaker introduces the show and mentions the website getricheducation.com as the home for wealth building.
Scott Saunders’ resources:
Get mortgage loans for investment property:
RidgeLendingGroup.com or call 855-74-RIDGE
or e-mail: info@RidgeLendingGroup.com
Find cash-flowing Jacksonville property at:
Invest with Freedom Family Investments. You get paid first: Text ‘FAMILY’ to 66866
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Complete episode transcript:
Speaker 1 (00:00:00) - Welcome to. I'm your host, Keith Weinhold. A follower has built a multi-state portfolio of 64 single family rental properties. He'll tell us how he's doing it, how he finances them all, his management technique and his guiding success principles today on Get Rich education. With real estate capital Jacksonville. Real estate has outperformed the stock market by 44% over the last 20 years. It's proven to be a more stable asset, especially during recessions. Their vertically integrated strategy has led to 79% more home price appreciation compared to the average Jacksonville investor since 2013. GWB is ready to help your money make money and to make it easy for everyday investors. Get started at GWB Real estate agree that's GWB real estate.com slash.
Speaker 2 (00:01:00) - You're listening to the show that has created more financial freedom than nearly any show in the world. This is Get rich education.
Speaker 1 (00:01:23) - Hey, welcome to GRE. From the tropical currents in the Gulf of Mexico to the icy waters of Hudson Bay across the Americas in 188 world nations, this is get rich education where we just reach the 5 million listener download.
Speaker 1 (00:01:37) - Mark, I am grateful to you for that. I'm your host, Keith Weinhold. Hey, a little context before we chat with our listener guests about the architecture of how he's building this robust 64 single family homes portfolio in growing across nine US states Once in a while. I like to drop things back for just a minute in case perhaps you're new here and you wonder how do people buy so many rental homes like adding ten every year? How am I supposed to do that? Well, of course, your speed of growth is going to be predicated on your income and some other things. But the best long term single-family rental homes, they're not 500 homes. They tend to be more like 200,000 homes in areas that are not upscale but yet safe, where you use a 20 to 25% down payment. And if you're new here and you have an aversion to debt, you know, I think that the simplest, most reassuring thing that I can tell a newcomer about real estate debt in just one sentence is that in a cash flowing rental, the tenant pays all of the debt for you, the principal, the interest, no matter what the interest rate is, all the operating expenses.
Speaker 1 (00:02:51) - And then a little on top of that called cash flow. Now, really, when you add the first few income properties to your life and you think about protecting your time, think about how that is a surrogate, a substitute to adding a part time job that can be a rather circuitous way of going about life, because what you really want is the income, not the job or not the lost time. So therefore add properties, not jobs. Most people think of financial improvement is cutting expenses. It is not. It is adding income. Then those the triadic income, many times they look to add a part time job. But I brazenly posit that income producing property is the way. And what do they call Ryan Seacrest the hardest working guy in show business? I guess if you wanted to, you could have as many part time jobs as Ryan Seacrest. Prepare yourself for drama on this stage.
Speaker 2 (00:03:54) - This is American Idol.
Speaker 1 (00:04:00) - Yeah, Ryan Seacrest. He will also become the Wheel of Fortune host starting next year along with the daytime talk show and being a producer and whatever else he does.
Speaker 1 (00:04:10) - I'm not really up on the latest. But yes, you want to have fewer jobs than Ryan Seacrest now speaking to your ROI, your return on time invested. You could get 64 single family rental homes like our guest today, and yet do it the wrong way. The wrong way might be say you live in a certain metro area and you buy all the properties just in your home metro so that the properties are spread, say one hour apart. That way you rationalize that you could self-manage, well, gosh, you'd be running all over the place. You'd have scores of tenants that could tax you. You'd almost be living at Home Depot, and after all that, you would still not be diversified because you'd only be in one metro market. Plus, how would you really ever get away on, say, a vacation? So that's probably not what you'd want either. Let's talk to our listener guest Scott, today and learn about how he does it. Here with me today is a great listener. Don't quit your day dream letter reader to discuss growing his Single-family rental portfolio.
Speaker 1 (00:05:22) - He's based in Colorado and he specializes in real estate in tax law. In fact, he often teaches real estate law to attorneys. He's a single family real estate investor that owns 64 single family rentals and four duplexes. So therefore, he owns 72 doors, 64 of which are single family rentals. And he owns those properties across nine different states Tennessee, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas and Arkansas. Higher mortgage rates aren't slowing him down as he's added six of those single family rentals this year. He's also a member of a Washington, D.C. based public policy organization that represents real estate interests. So he's really involved. He advocates for investor friendly tax policies with Congress. He's got a lot going on in his life. Hey, it's great to welcome on to Scott Saunders. Hey, Keith, Great to be with you. I'm a longtime follower and you have so many great nuggets of wisdom that you share, and it's just great. To visit with you for a few minutes.
Speaker 1 (00:06:22) - So thanks a lot. I appreciate that so much, Scott. Now, in the real estate world, there are pros and cons between single family rentals and larger apartments. Apartments have a certain economies of scale advantage, but single family rentals have advantages that some people overlook. So talk to us about why you like single family rentals so much. Happy to do that. I think single family rentals are, first of all, a great entryway to get into investment real estate. But some people kind of springboard. They get into single family and then they want to go into duplexes, four Plex apartments, Single family is an asset class. You know, if you just look at it, it has so many advantages. The cap rate on a single family is typically better than a lot of commercial buildings right now. You can lock in long term fixed rate financing. So even if the rate's a tad higher, you go into an apartment building or commercial, you've got to refinance. And as we all know right now in the marketplace, there are some commercial properties that are facing some significant distress because they're having to refinance at higher rates.
Speaker 1 (00:07:29) - Single family, you lock it in for 30 years and fix that. You've got buyer.
Speaker 3 (00:07:34) - Pool. I can sell a single family to an investor or a homeowner. So there just are a lot of advantages and maybe even just at the most basic level, we all need to live somewhere, right? And so a choice of an apartment or a single family. So many people like the freedom, the room, the convenience, the yard, the garage that comes with a single family. So I just think there's a lot of inherent demand where people want to be in that type of property, either as a renter or a homeowner. So I'm a big fan of buying a single family home, buy another one, you know, and just continue scaling in that niche. I call it Get Rich in a niche, right? And that's the single family rental niche.
Speaker 1 (00:08:16) - Sure. I had some apartment buildings that I sold recently that had balloon loans that were about to expire. And you mentioned the liquidity component where you have greater liquidity with single family rentals regardless of when it is in the cycle.
Speaker 1 (00:08:31) - Even if it were a recession, borderline depression, people will be a buyer because they need a place to live. But a person doesn't always need to invest in an apartment building regardless of where we're at in the economic cycle.
Speaker 3 (00:08:45) - Absolutely. Well, smart timing on your part to kind of see where those loans are going. And I think that there's a good time to maybe redeploy that capital somewhere else. So I like single family, and I think you can really grow and scale a portfolio. I mean, think of it this way, Keith. What if I needed to raise some cash? What if I had a medical need? I could unload a single family home or two right away. Now, I know from listening to your teaching, you'd say, don't sell it, refinance it. Right, harvest that equity. And that would be my first bet. But if I needed to generate cash, it's not that hard to unload some smaller single family rentals. And within a matter of a few months I could liquidate that and get the cash.
Speaker 3 (00:09:26) - Some apartment buildings, you know, in some markets it could take a long time to find the right buyer in some places.
Speaker 1 (00:09:34) - Now, during that whole time on a single family rental, you mentioned the cap rates. Oftentimes single family rentals are more profitable than what an investor projects. And one reason is that greater tenancy duration tenants tend to stay in single family homes and duplexes longer than they do a larger apartment building. Oftentimes it's because it feels like their own single family homes just tend to have more square footage, which lends to having larger families. We have a larger family. It just tends toward people wanting to stay longer and not uproot, and they get invested in things like buying to be in a certain school district, for example, where more single family homes tend to be than apartment buildings.
Speaker 3 (00:10:18) - Absolutely. You know, you bring that up. My very first investment years ago was a fourplex, kind of a C class neighborhood. And when I bought it, I naively write. I look back at it now, I thought, well, if this is fully occupied, look at what the money will make.
Speaker 3 (00:10:33) - The reality was there was a lot of turnover at that particular area. People came and went. It wasn't the top of the line. It wasn't a top tier neighborhood. And so I found that I was always chasing people and it was never in my case, fully occupied. And that tenant turn, that's expensive, as you well know. When you turn tenants, you have lost rent. You got to fix it up. So a single family home. I've had properties that my longest one I had attended stay in one for 15 years. I don't think you're going to find that in a multifamily property.
Speaker 1 (00:11:06) - Yeah, that really is rather unlikely. I know in that first fourplex you bought, you tended to do some things where later you learned that those were mistakes, like doing some excessive landscaping and spending a lot on fencing and. For a nice driveway so that you get a better quality tenant. But sometimes you learn you can only attract a certain quality tenant based on the neighborhood that you're already in. That's why oftentimes it's better to buy a lesser property in a better neighborhood.
Speaker 1 (00:11:34) - For example. Looking back and we'll get into your journey in a bit about how you've added all these properties, but one takeaway that you've had is that it's better to focus on cash flow at the beginning, more so that appreciation. So therefore getting a Class B or C property, which you probably don't want to stoop too low, or you also might have a bad experience at the beginning. So talk to us about the importance of for many people think they want to start with cash flow centric properties at the beginning and then maybe new build appreciation ones later.
Speaker 3 (00:12:03) - I agree. I think when you go into an asset that produces a cash flow, it kind of gives you the fuel to start growing, right? You get some positive reinforcement, but it also gives you the capital to go out and buy more assets. So I think that. BK and maybe call it B to C plus starting there, you know, getting 250 to 300 an asset in cash flow, you get one of those, you get three, you're talking about $1,000, you've got six.
Speaker 3 (00:12:29) - Now you're 2000. And at that point, when you get to maybe 6 to 10 properties, the cash flow is now helping to contribute your down payment to go out and buy another asset. So I personally think you kind of start with that maybe as your gateway for your first 5 or 10, get some momentum and then maybe later. So we all know an A-class property in a great neighborhood with great schools. It might appreciate better long term. And so I lean towards building the cash flow on the front end and then moving over into more appreciation as the portfolio grows. So there are merits on both sides. There's not a right or wrong way to do it, but that I think gets your average investor with some momentum. You know, you want to create momentum, you want to start buying assets. And so the cash flow allows you to buy assets faster than waiting for appreciation to kind of carry you up. That rising tide lifts all boats saying that'll happen over time, but get the momentum with the cash flow to help augment and help you buy more assets quickly.
Speaker 3 (00:13:33) - I tend to lean towards that approach. Again, no right or wrong, Keith, I'll tell you, I've done it wrong. I started out buying some A-class, about five new homes, and now those have produced good appreciation, but I didn't have much cash flow off them, so I had a little modest cash flow. I do things differently looking back, but I'm still moving forward. Real estate corrects, right? It's like a bad haircut and not that I would really know, but you can get a bad haircut and give it a 4 or 6 weeks and it'll grow out in a way you go and it covers over any mistakes that Barber made.
Speaker 1 (00:14:07) - Yeah, real estate's very forgiving over the long term. I kind of think of real estate as a game of attrition as long as you buy, right? Even if there is a bit of a mistake or a stumble, when you have five simultaneous ways that you're paid, you're going to feel that sooner than later. Scott You've really done a great job of scaling up your portfolio.
Speaker 1 (00:14:30) - Last I checked, you were in nine different markets. I mentioned the nine states that you were in earlier and you have 18 different property managers now. Can you talk to us more about how you scaled that? You talk to us about how it might be best to get that snowball rolling sooner with cash flow, but how do you scale up and ramp up to where you're at today with 72 doors, 64 of them single family rentals?
Speaker 3 (00:14:55) - Oh, what I'll do, Keith, I'll share what I did to kind of get there. And I want to be candid with you and listeners of that. I probably made a mistake doing that. I don't think everybody has to be in that many markets, that many managers. So what I did, quite frankly, it sounds so simple. I said a 90 day target. So I would say I'm going to buy X number of properties. That was a do or die goal. It wasn't an annual goal. If I wanted to buy three in that 90 day period, I would make sure no matter what, I bought three assets.
Speaker 3 (00:15:26) - So what happened was I maybe bought in different states to get the job done. I had to buy quickly, right? I was focused on adding my numbers. So for me, having that short term target that I looked at every day in the morning and the night that gave me the focus. So I wasn't looking over three years. I was like, What do I need to do in the next three months? And I really applied everything to doing that. And so you figure if you do a three month period, you pick up three, but you do that every quarter, that's 12 new assets in a year. That's big progress in just annual time frame. So that's what I did. 90 day targets were the game changer for me. Now, you shared kind of the downside of that and that I'm probably over diversified, I would say probably in my level being in three, four states, half the states and maybe two thirds less property managers would be more. Just from a relationship standpoint. So that was a mistake.
Speaker 3 (00:16:25) - And, you know, I can correct for it Over time. I'll probably do 1030 ones out of some of the states and consolidate in areas that I like. But that was how I did it is I just identified a lot of Midwest type markets that are good cash flow markets. And when I saw an opportunity, I grabbed it a few of them. Keith I buy one and then the next door, somebody was doing a renovation next door. And there are a few streets, right? Three houses right next to one another as a result of that. So that's kind of been interesting. And then I also find is word got out that I was buying. I had people approach me and say, Look, I've got a package of properties. Would you like the whole package or part of the package? And so that helped me a little bit. So instead of doing one loan on three different properties three times, I do one larger loan purchase, three properties at once. And so it gave me a little bit of efficiency.
Speaker 3 (00:17:19) - Now that didn't happen on all of them, but over time I've been doing more of that. My last one this year I bought four assets in Tennessee from one seller as a package deal, and that makes it a little bit easier.
Speaker 1 (00:17:32) - Yeah, I want to get into that financing piece shortly, but I think the important thing is you acted, you jumped in and once you do that, more opportunities begin to present themselves. And not everyone does everything the right way. If you've got 18 property managers you're dealing with, which would be a lot. I mean, if you get one monthly email statement from property manager that's getting one a little bit more than every other day, if one would happen to do it that way. I've often talked about how three, 4 or 5 markets to be in that number probably is a good number where you have adequate diversification, yet it hasn't overcomplicated your life administratively at the same time. But with that in mind, Scott, as you're growing your portfolio, what makes you decide what market to buy in next? Oftentimes it's not the sort of thing that you think it will be, just like you had an opportunity to present itself.
Speaker 1 (00:18:24) - For example, if you buy in a market and you find that you have a really communicative property manager that you really like in that market, you might buy in that market where you know you've already got a good manager, for example, rather than just what appears to be a good deal on the surface. So what are some of the factors that go into what make you decide which market to select next?
Speaker 3 (00:18:43) - Scott I've done a lot of analysis and there are a lot of good markets. You know, one thing, there's no perfect market. You and I probably know 20, 30, 40 good markets where people can make money that have good growing economies, populations growing. There's pressure on rents and appreciation. So I've identified some that I like. Would you just alluded to is really one of the factors now, which is more of a relationship, right? I've consolidated over, so I have a good property manager in Memphis, Tennessee. I've got a great working relationship with them and then also a provider of assets.
Speaker 3 (00:19:18) - And so for me, I'm finding having that relationship makes things a little smoother. There's a trust factor when you manage remotely. I haven't seen most of my assets and I do very little in my own home state. So for me, it's really important that I can trust who I'm working with out of state. And so I find having that relationship makes me more likely to purchase more properties in that particular market because I've got that. So Saint Louis, Missouri is one market. Memphis, Tennessee is another. Those are some markets that I like. Now, some of them have great fundamentals. You know, Memphis, number one airport in the entire country, you've got a waterway, you've got a lot of highways that converge there. You've got a lot of industrial Nike's there, Amazon. So there are, you know, kind of a multitude of factors. You know, right now in Memphis, you've got the blue oval development, which is the Ford. They're going to build battery trucks. And I think it's a $10 billion plant they're putting in.
Speaker 3 (00:20:18) - Well, that's going to be a huge draw for jobs. So I tend to look for jobs, a diversified economy. I like to see an influx of people coming into the market. So that's the big macro. When I look at my investment, I try to get fairly close to that 1% rule if I can. You know, I don't have to hit it perfectly, but that's kind of a decent benchmark on an asset. I like to get fairly close.
Speaker 1 (00:20:44) - You're listening to Get Rich Education. We're talking with super real estate investor on Single-family turnkey Homes, Scott Saunders. When we come back, including how did he do it with the financing and what does he do to manage all this? You're listening to Get Resuscitation. I'm your host, Keith Weinhold. You know, I'll just tell you, for the most passive part of my real estate investing personally, I put my own dollars with Freedom family investments because their funds pay me a stream of regular cash flow in. Returns are better than a bank savings account up to 12%.
Speaker 1 (00:21:18) - Their minimums are as low as 25 K. You don't even need to be accredited. For some of them, it's all backed by real estate and that kind of love. How the tax benefit of doing this can offset capital gains and your W-2 jobs income. And they've always given me exactly their stated return paid on time. So it's steady income, no surprises while I'm sleeping or just doing the things I love. For a little insider tip, I've invested in their power fund to get going on that text family to 668660, and this isn't a solicitation If you want to invest where I do, just go ahead and text family to six six, 866. Jerry listeners can't stop talking about their service from Ridge Lending Group and MLS 42056. They've provided our tribe with more loans than anyone. They're truly a top lender for beginners and veterans. It's where I go to get my own loans for single family rental property up to four plex. So start your prequalification and you can chat with President Charlie Ridge personally, though even deliver your custom plan for growing your real estate portfolio.
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Speaker 1 (00:22:46) - Listen to Get Rich Education with Keith Weinhold. Welcome back to Get Rich Education we're talking with Scott Saunders get rich education listener owner of 64 single family rental properties. He really loves single family and he's still buying now. But Scott, some people have slowed down their buying with higher mortgage rates. They're not adding properties nearly as quickly. But still, really the question I asked myself is where could I invest better dollar today than in rental property? Of course, inflation debases that debt for us, and then when inflation and interest rates drop, I can refinance. And you've added just about 60 properties in the last four and a half years. So tell us about that.
Speaker 3 (00:23:39) - I have added a lot of them recently and it started again with setting those goals and I'm keeping up the momentum now. You know, I realized the rates have changed. This is still a good time to be a buyer If you're in certain markets.
Speaker 3 (00:23:54) - There are good purchases out there. So I'm able to negotiate a little better with sellers, maybe get a little concession where they'll give a couple points towards my rate or the closing cost. I couldn't get that and the go go days, people are doing that. And the way I look at it is I'm really making an investment now in an asset, right? What is a single family home? It's just a bunch of commodities glass, bricks, wood. And with inflation, we know commodities are going to go up. So I'm locking in that today and I'm going to really use inflation as a tailwind to propel my investing forward, whether that's with rents and appreciation, whether it's debasing my good business debt, I'm using that as a tailwind. And I'll tell you my personal opinion, Keith, I'll go on record on this. People are going to kick themselves a few years down the road when rates go down, whenever that is for not purchasing now, because when rates go down, it's going to create more demand.
Speaker 3 (00:24:54) - And I think you're going to lock in today's pricing now and somewhere rates will change. I don't know when, but nobody has that crystal ball. When they do, prices are going to pop up, I think, at that time. And so people are like, oh, I should have bought back in 2023. I don't want to do the woulda, coulda, shoulda. I'd rather make smart baby steps now. Just keep buying chunking along slow and steady and locking in assets today that I know five, ten years from now, my future self is going to be glad that I took action today.
Speaker 1 (00:25:30) - Now, I know that you, the listener, must be thinking, yes, I do want to buy more property here. But how to Scott add so many properties so fast and that really guides us into the financing. What do you do for the financing of these properties? Because of course for single people, those golden ticket Fannie Freddie loans run out at ten.
Speaker 3 (00:25:52) - One of the biggest things is getting over that hurdle of those lower rates.
Speaker 3 (00:25:57) - So I do what's called non QM or what they're also called DSR financing, where the load is made based upon the asset and the cash flow the asset produces. So these are going to be a little bit higher rate, a touch higher. But once you get into them and you get comfortable, you realize this is what all the big players do. People that buy commercial properties, that's how they buy them. So I'm using a rate that's a touch higher, but now I've got a great working relationship. I have one particular lender. I've done 40 loans with them directly, not with the broker. I go direct to the lender, save some money, and I'll literally email over to that lender at night. I'm buying just one of their contract on two more assets, and it's really easy to do the loan. So I find what's called non QM, which stands for Non-qualifying Mortgage, that type of financing. I actually prefer it. It's easier. I don't have to provide every financial statement, you know, updated within the last 30 days.
Speaker 3 (00:26:58) - I actually find it's an easier approach. And as long as you look at the numbers and you still have positive cash flow. So today maybe I'm positive $200 where a year and a half ago I might have been positive 3 or 350. So it takes me five assets to get another thousand in cash flow today where I could have done that and maybe three or so a little while back. Okay, I'm just buying more assets, right? I win with that because I'm still locking in more of those commodities in those assets. And so I just that inflation raised that up over time and I just get the benefit of it. So now instead of fighting against inflation, I'm using inflation to move me forward.
Speaker 1 (00:27:41) - About dcr loans, debt service coverage ratio loans which are used more commonly in the five plus apartment space area. That is one option for one after they run out of their ten golden ticket Fannie Freddie loans that are at the best rates in terms. Can you tell us more about those terms of the hours? Are you getting a longer term fixed rate? Do you need to put a greater percent down for those?
Speaker 3 (00:28:08) - Most of mine are relatively close to a conventional loan.
Speaker 3 (00:28:12) - You can get those with 20% down. I have chosen in some cases to put down maybe 25%, but I'm getting in almost all situations 30 year fixed rate financing. To me, I want to fix that debt service and have it locked in. So that's really important. So I'm a big believer in 30 year fixed rate. I did have during Covid right at the beginning and I had some assets under contract. You couldn't get a loan. It was very difficult. March, April, May and I had deals closing. Then I had lender that I had to get the lender that they required me to put down 40%. So I had to put a bigger down payment to get it done. At the time, Keith, I was like, Oh, I'm not getting as much leverage. My money's not working quite as hard. Now, that was several years ago, and a few of those because they were smaller assets. I've got little small loans on them where and I want to be careful because I know your view on debt.
Speaker 3 (00:29:11) - I'm going to be paying some of them off, not to have them free and clear, but to use those as a resource as collateral. So I can go to a bank and say, Look, I'm going to pledge this collateral. Let's say ten homes that are free and clear, you give me a loan and now I'll use that loan to do some other things, probably like hard money, loans, private lending. So I'm going to use those paid off assets as a tool for me to do some financing, some creative financing deals in the future. So it's a means to an end. It's a stepping stone to go a little bit deeper and use the banks money for me to make more money in the future. So that's kind of what I'll be doing there.
Speaker 1 (00:29:51) - All right. It sounds like you still want to keep most of them leverage. Are you talking about the advantages of having a few of them paid off and therefore really so that you can borrow against the value of those paid off properties? So really, you're just paying them off to effectively use leverage again in a different way?
Speaker 3 (00:30:08) - Precisely.
Speaker 3 (00:30:09) - That's exactly what I'm going to do is bundle those together and those become collateral. So exactly. I'm going to relieve them maybe in a different fashion. So I am a huge fan of good business debt. It's one of those things is concepts. So you got to wrap your head around it at the beginning because we're beat into our brains that, you know, debt is bad, but good business debt is not only good, it's great. It allows you to multiply your efforts faster than you could with your own capital. So to take the bank's capital and use that to get ahead, that to me is is a smart move 100%.
Speaker 1 (00:30:50) - So you've got this robust portfolio spread across several different states. You've even admitted probably dealing currently with more managers than you even want to. And it makes one wonder, is there any particular type of management software that you use? Now, of course, each one of your individual property managers, 18 of them, they have their own management software. But how does that work? How do you manage all this? Do you really get 18 monthly statement emails from 18 property managers each month?
Speaker 3 (00:31:19) - I do actually get 18 different emails and statements a month.
Speaker 3 (00:31:23) - I'll tell you what I've done, Keith. I'm very low tech. I'll be honest. I use Excel to track things and what I've done, which is kind of a fun thing for me. My youngest daughter, who, believe it or not, actually owns. She bought her first single family home at age 16. She's been watching me. She actually helps me now track my rental income and work with the financials. So I've hired her in my real estate business. She now gets all the statements she puts in, puts everything into my spreadsheet and then runs the reports for me. So it's been kind of neat in that I get the data I need, but I'm also training my kid about real estate. And not only that, I actually include her on my emails, so she has a real estate specific email. When I reply to my property manager about an issue, I'll copy her so she sees my thinking how I do it. So I'm trying to be strategic, realizing I'm not going to be around forever.
Speaker 3 (00:32:21) - Someday my kids are going to get a pile of real estate and I want them to know what to do with it when they get it, that they walk into it and they're like, okay, I kind of know what to do versus selling it all off and then giving the money to Wall Street, which is I would hate to have that happen. So I'm. Try to bring them along.
Speaker 1 (00:32:41) - Despite the fact you use Excel. You talk about how you're relatively low tech. I'm, in fact, impressed with that because it demonstrates to me that, you know, the proper formulas to use in Excel and which numbers actually matter to drive your current and future investment decisions. So that actually tells me a lot that you really understand what's going on behind the scenes and you don't have it too automated. Also, when you're involved like this, which is a sense that you just cannot get being a stock investor where your profits are really coming from and where they're really not coming from. Having one of your children involved that is huge at building this legacy wealth piece like we talked about on the show last month and helping ensure that there is generational wealth in your family, like with your daughter.
Speaker 1 (00:33:26) - Now, she understands where it comes from and what it takes. So I absolutely love that piece. Scott We talk about what drives investment decisions. We talk about how you've acquired and you've held some properties. What about the time to sell? For example, I like to buy turnkey investments that already have the renovation done, or they're just brand new and oftentimes like to just hold them 7 to 10 years because in 7 to 10 years, in the last three years, it's been as short as three years, those properties have gone up in value enough where the leverage ratio was cut such that I either want to do a cash out refinance or a 1031 exchange, not get too emotional about properties, only hold them seven years, rarely if ever, more than ten years. What are your thoughts with the whole time and the duration?
Speaker 3 (00:34:09) - I'm fairly similar to you on that. I do. My preference is turnkey. That's what most of my portfolio is. So I'm buying stuff that's already been renovated after, you know, 10 to 15 years.
Speaker 3 (00:34:21) - And that window, that's when you're going to start to see roof issues, the furnace, the AC. So my plan would then be to do a 1031 roll out and get more turnkey. So let's say I take one single family home that might allow me to go out and buy 2 or 3 more single family homes, probably ten years max would be what I would be doing. And I did that. I rolled out A1A couple of years ago. I had one single family in Arizona exchanged out of it, and I bought four in Saint Louis, one in Memphis. I got a much better return on my investment. So to think of if you take my portfolio today, right in the 60s, if I can roll out of that and go up to, let's say 120 or 130, that's going to give me some significant scale and benefits. So that would be my plan. I'll never sell and pay the taxes. I always do it 1031 or I'll refinance to harvest equity.
Speaker 1 (00:35:17) - If you're a brand new listener and you don't know what a 1031 tax deferred exchange is, the short story on that is it basically allows you to roll your profits from appreciation into another property, either multiple properties or a larger property is what it usually is with you being able to 100% defer the tax.
Speaker 1 (00:35:37) - And there's no limit to the number of times you can do that. Therefore, it should become a tax free event. You can defer that tax your entire life by trading up with that. 1031 also called a 1031 like kind exchange. As you go along, I know that you've got some great philosophy, Scott. I mean, first of all, you're a goal driven guy, so you have these longer term goals. And you mentioned you also have these shorter term milestones, like a 90 day goal on your way to those longer term goals. For one that hasn't heard the acronym before, Goals should be smart, that is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound. That's what differentiates a goal from a wish. So tell us about your goals and how that drives this. Scott.
Speaker 3 (00:36:22) - My duals. I do every three months. I do have a short term goal and I've got some For this year. I'll probably pick up 15 properties. I think I'm halfway through the year. I'm on track, so I'll do that.
Speaker 3 (00:36:34) - I've got some long term goals. One of them just before I left on vacation a couple of weeks ago, I'm under contract on a property in Tuscany, Italy, so I can have what I call a lifestyle asset. So one of my goals would be to get a few lifestyle assets. I want to buy a place in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, enjoyed some of the year, rent it out other times. So one goal would be picking up a few of these. That would be something that I can enjoy and my kids can enjoy, but it also produced a return. So it's a twofer. I gave money on it and I get to enjoy it. That's a big long term goal of doing that. So Tuscany, I like to do a place in Sardinia, Italy, which is the most beautiful beaches, gorgeous. The mountains may be a place in Florida, so I like to pick up over the next few years, maybe a property a year in that category. That's just something that's fun.
Speaker 3 (00:37:25) - It doesn't make any sense to work really hard and save if you can't enjoy life, right? I mean, that's the whole goal is to get free where you can enjoy your time and enjoy spending time with the ones you care about. So I want to transition that way into Tastic.
Speaker 1 (00:37:42) - Yeah, spending time in Tuscany was part of perhaps the best week of my life personally, part of your philosophies. It's not just having tangible goals, it's you call something rather than an ROI in ROA, and it's that the return on a realisation that I talk about.
Speaker 3 (00:38:01) - Yeah, what that is, you know, so many people have heard of ROI, which is a return on investment and we kind of get bottlenecked around that, right? Looking at our return, you know, 7%, 8%, 1619 And there's a lot of focus. What I tend to do, and this actually came through a good friend of mine, Rick ROA, is return on attention. Yeah. Looking at our life from a time standpoint.
Speaker 3 (00:38:25) - So when we look at ROI, we're looking at money dollars return on attention. We're now measuring things in time, right? What do we have the free time to enjoy without having to be distracted with following the stock market every day? And is it up or down? Or what's the Fed doing? So return on attention to me is actually more important than the ROI. And I know we're on a podcast talking about real estate, so surely making wise investment decisions is important. But if I look at where I am in life, more important to me is my return on attention than my return on my investment. So I want to have my attention free that I can enjoy what's around me while I'm young enough and vibrant enough to enjoy it. So I just got back from travel and Saint Lucia had a wonderful time out there. I love to travel. I typically do an international trip probably every quarter or so. I'm taking my son to Morocco, did an African safari. We did Iceland swam with whale sharks last year.
Speaker 3 (00:39:30) - Portugal. I want to spend time with the people I care about and travel is a part of that and having my attention freed up so I can do that. That actually is a big principle. It's a big objective is having my time freed up and my attention freed up.
Speaker 1 (00:39:47) - Wealth is measured in time, not dollars. You and I sure do agree there. Scott is we're about to wrap up here. I know you often talk to people about the importance of taking action and just sort of getting those base hits and how do you think that people would have more economic freedom if they just purchased 5 to 10 single family rentals?
Speaker 3 (00:40:07) - Absolutely. And it's not that hard, right? You get over the first one's the hardest and then you get a little momentum after that, Right. The first one hard, the second one, you've just doubled the size of your real estate portfolio. You go to four, you quadrupled your first one. And I think the magic number to hit is get to five and add five assets.
Speaker 3 (00:40:28) - You typically have enough rental income coming in that it's pretty close to being self-sustaining. So if you have one vacancy, you're going to typically have pretty much enough rental income to do it. So getting to five and then pushing on to 10 or 15, that can change so many people's lives. Just that small thing for the average American. If you had ten single family rental homes, you'd be light years ahead of the people that are doing all the 401. And Wall Street racket stuff.
Speaker 1 (00:40:59) - That's so on point. Yeah, you are really doing the things. Scott, before I ask you how our audience can learn more about you, do you have any last thoughts? Anything else you'd like to discuss maybe that did not come up with scaling up this terrific Single-family rental portfolio and how that's enhancing your life.
Speaker 3 (00:41:18) - I'll give two quick tidbits to kind of wrap things up here. Keith, it's been great visiting with you. I've been a longtime follower and just love all the information you bring out and the resources, so it's great to visit with you in person.
Speaker 3 (00:41:30) - Two things. One, I would say use the tax code, use guys like Tom Lehrer write, read those books, figure out how to master the tax code. A lot of people don't do that. They're intimidated by taxes and the IRS go after that and it'll give you more capital to grow your portfolio. The other one, I would say, and I think you alluded to it, is don't be paralyzed by inaction. Don't do that analysis paralysis thing of is this good or not? My whole philosophy is I never try to hit a home run. I don't need the best performing investment. I just need a good investment. And you know, in a portfolio, I've some that have been stellar and I've had 1 or 2 dogs like anybody would. When you get a bunch of them, my feedback would be, if you're not in the game of real estate, put all your focus on to getting that first one and then jump to your second translated into action rather than overanalyzing. So on your show, you've got a lot of great resources of turnkey providers.
Speaker 3 (00:42:29) - In many of the markets that I'm in pick market, take action and jump in. You'll be so much farther ahead by taking action than by studying and running formulas and spreadsheets. Get into the game, buy the first property, buy the second push with some short term goals, and then all of a sudden you're using all of these economic forces to get ahead in life and they're not fighting against you. And I think what that does is now you're swimming downstream, so to speak, rather than fighting upstream. That's what all these inflationary forces that you talk about all the time do. So get in, start swimming downstream, join it. I want to see more people in America that have freedom and have some independence and are benefiting from the economic forces rather than getting crushed by those same economic forces.
Speaker 1 (00:43:21) - And it starts with just getting your first base hit. Well, this has been terrific, Scott. How can our audience learn more about you?
Speaker 3 (00:43:29) - I've got a website up. It's my name, so it's Scott R Saunders.
Speaker 3 (00:43:35) - Sanders And that's got a little more background. And I've got for people that are interested, I put together a course of how to kind of get into single family and scale it and grow it. So for those that is appropriate, I'm happy to be a resource in that department there at that website.
Speaker 1 (00:43:54) - Scott has been such a great chat. Our audience is going to benefit from it. Thanks so much for coming on to the show.
Speaker 3 (00:44:00) - It's been a blast. Thanks, Keith.
Speaker 1 (00:44:07) - Yeah, great stuff from Scott. We do a lot of things the same way as far as having remote managers in multiple markets. I've also never seen most of my properties in person, nor do I need to. We often buy multiple properties at once. I like to buy at least two single family rentals at a time to make things more efficient. But big picture, we are not postponing life and are traveling to great places. As I'm fond of saying, some delayed gratification is good, but the risk of too much delayed gratification is denied gratification, which is the road of the 401 plan, which is also known as a life deferral plan.
Speaker 1 (00:44:49) - Scott is currently meeting with our provider of Chattanooga Properties on Marketplace. It is rare to see Crest buying properties in Jerry Marketplace. I guess I'm actually not sure we might have to turn him onto it so that he can quit one of those part time jobs. He's got pretty cool part time jobs, though. He's not breaking his back like a longshoreman. Yeah. Jerry Marketplace. That is where you find the right properties that really are just never going to make it out onto the open market at all. And they're the ones that are conducive to this strategy. Lower cost properties that have a high ratio of rent income to a low purchase price, they're typically fully renovated with a tenant from day one where an experienced manager also manages it for you from day one, if you so choose. And it's free. Just creating one log in one time like thousands of others have, gives you access to nationwide providers. We've even got free coaching for you there if you so choose. Knowledge really isn't power in itself. Knowledge plus action is what's powerful.
Speaker 1 (00:45:56) - Get started at GRC marketplace.com until next week I'm your host Keith Winfield. Don't quit your day dream.
Speaker 4 (00:46:07) - Nothing on this show should be considered specific, personal or professional advice. Please consult an appropriate tax, legal, real estate, financial or business professional for individualized advice. Opinions of guests are their own information is not guaranteed. All investment strategies have the potential for profit or loss. The host is operating on behalf of Get Rich Education LLC exclusively.
Speaker 1 (00:46:35) - The preceding program was brought to you by your home for wealth building get rich education. Com.