I was having a conversation with one of my close friends recently about what he’s got planned once his time in the military is up.
He has some general ideas of what he’d like to do, some jobs that sound somewhat appealing to him and that would provide well. He and his wife own and rent a couple residential properties, and thought something in real estate might be a good idea. Then finally he said, “I’d love to just be my own boss, but I don’t have any good business ideas.”
Bro, you know who you’re talking to!? Hook, line, and sinker. I was on it like a unibrow on an Indian.
I gave him three words, “Dude, real estate.”
His response? “Yeah we’d like to get another property, maybe a duplex or multi-unit building, maybe even another single family home. Thing is, we don’t have a ton of money. And with our other properties already, our debt to income ratio is just way too high. I don’t think we’d get approved for another mortgage.”
Being an entrepreneur in addition to being a follower of Bigger Pockets, a reader of Robert Kiyosaki, Gary Keller, and the like. It was time to throw down some knowledge.
A bit of backstory:
My buddy and his wife bought the two homes that they own back in 2010… you know, that time when they were literally giving homes away. They’ve rented the homes out ever since. The homes values have grown significantly over the years, their tenants have been paying down their mortgages, and they have some cash flow coming in. It’s safe to say they have massive amounts of equity in these two homes.
My real estate savvy brothers and sisters know exactly what I’m thinking and exactly where I’m going with this.
My buddy’s problem that he thought he had with his debt to income ratio? There’s an answer to that, a solution, one he was totally unaware of.
His problem with not having money in the bank to put down on another property? There’s a solution there as well. In fact, he’s got a hell of a lot more money than he thought he had.
I shared my thoughts to these “problems” with my buddy and I figured I’d share them with you.
Let’s tackle these two completely avoidable roadblocks (if we can even call them that) one by one.
Debt to income ratio:
Even with the incredible amount of free information circulating the internet, there’s still a ton of homeowners out there that are totally clueless…
Whether it’s a single family home, duplex, or another kind of multi-unit building, the potential rent that you’d charge your tenant(s) each month, can be counted as income.
That’s right, to help with getting approved on a mortgage, you can and you should include the rent that the units would rent for each month into the figures for your income. Quite honestly if you’re working with a lender or even a real estate agent that doesn’t know this or doesn’t include this in your approval/buying process… get a different lender and get a different agent.
Suddenly that debt to income ratio isn’t looking so bad after all, not just to you, but to the lender as well.
Not enough money saved up for a down payment:
My friends… equity.
Again, my buddy bought his two homes just after the market crashed when home values were at an all time low.
Seriously, equity (and compounding) are to us here in real life, to what the force is in star wars.
It’s that powerful.
Like the force though, equity has to be used properly.
So how to use that equity?
Yet again, my friend has perfect timing… How the hell do people do this!?
Not only did he buy his homes for pennies on the dollar when the market was super low, we’re at a point now where interest rates have been lower than they’ve been in a long time.
What’s this mean?
The houses were bought when the market was lower, but during that period the interest rates were also higher than they are now. However, it’s exactly the opposite in the market right now: interest rates are lower but home values have risen… making this one hell of an opportune time to refinance and re-invest that equity.
As my buddy found out, with the equity he has in both of his homes, he shouldn’t be questioning if he can afford to purchase another property.
The real question he should be asking?
“What kind of property should I buy and how many should I get?”
Depending on your situation, this just might be a question you can ask yourself too.
If you want these concepts broken down in extreme detail from one of the best in the business, I highly recommend reading The Millionaire Real Estate Investor by Gary Keller.
You’d be amazed at the strategies you can act on, right now today, with the tools and resources you already have.
Being your own boss just might be a reality after all.