"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas A. Edison

"Get off that couch and go buy that rundown duplex" - me

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


I was in my early 30's on my way to my middle management job when suddenly I can't talk. Everything seemed like it was a foreign language that I couldn't speak or understand. What the hell? Drove myself to the hospital emergency and stared at the receptionist until she walked me in to an exam room. Doc checks me out, and orders an MRI. Brain tumor.
Stay at home wife, four kids, no life insurance, no savings, no RRSP...
I needed the quickest (legal) way to increase my almost non-existent net worth and provide an income for my family, and I only had a few years to do it in (my predicted lifespan). After looking into the most obvious choice, real estate, I formulated a plan.
I would buy dirty, crappy fixer rental units, clean and fix them up, rent them out to good tenants, and refinance them so I could buy more.
Why buy fixer rentals? Lotsa reasons, but the best one is THE MONEY! Ya, the reason we all got into real estate investing is all about, like Kevin O'Leary always says, "the Money".
The reason you can make lots of money with fix-up rentals is that you can buy 'em cheap! You can also get all kinds of great terms from the seller (mostly because nobody else wants to buy them!). Were talking heavy discounts, owner financing, flexible closings, etc. If you're the only offer the seller has had, chances are good he'll take what he can get! You can then force up the value, and make huge amounts of instant equity which you can then refinance.
Well I did it! 14 years later and still going strong (thanks in large part to my ultra low carb diet!) and enough cash flow to not just survive, but to enjoy life, as well as a portfolio of properties valued in the millions. I won't say it was easy, but with motivation, it is possible!

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