The Crash and How I Stayed Positive in Real Estate Investing

‘If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.’ – Frances H. Burnett, The Secret Garden

sunrise

By John Majalca, Financially Retired Real Estate Investor

It is incredibly important to always stay positive in your real estate investing business. Early on in my career, I learned maintaining an optimistic attitude in my under market value real estate investing would carry me through the tough times.

And have I had some tough times! But let me back up:

Before the crash, my real estate investing in distressed San Antonio properties boomed. I also bought $1 million houses, rehabbed them and resold them. These were the boom years – I could resell those big mansions for a $300,000 profit! Life was great.

The Crash

And then one day in 2007, I called the local bank to borrow more money. They said:  ‘Oh, we aren’t loaning money to investors anymore.’

Whoa. And that was when things started to crumble. I couldn’t borrow money from banks, even though I owned more than 100 properties with an excellent record of success.

Worse, I couldn’t sell my $1 million mansions anymore for what I paid for them. And of course, fewer banks were doing mortgages, people lost their jobs and couldn’t qualify….that end of my business was a bit of a mess.

God and Increase

However, I managed to stay positive throughout it all. In my personal case, I focused on God and people who deliver Godly, positive sermons and speeches. Some of the positive people I listened to online included (and still do include) Joel Osteen. I find that his positive and optimistic sermons about increase and prosperity (in all things, not just money) to be tremendously uplifting.

I also listened every day to Bob Harrison, who is known as America’s #1 Increase Authority, and is the founder of Christian Business Leaders International. His lectures and seminars are incredibly rewarding.

Those two mentors most of all got me through the crash.

Optimism Leads to New Opportunity

Maintaining a positive outlook through the downturn opened me to new opportunities in real estate investing. I realized that ironically, it’s the higher end, $500k+ homes that are the riskier investments! Meanwhile, my little $40,000 2 BR 1 bath houses still bought and sold like normal! In the middle the crash! And that was when I fully focused on distressed, under market value real estate investing.

My logic was, people will always need a house to live in, even in bad times. So the demand for affordable homes ($25k-75k depending on the market condition) will always be there. I was able to buy up distressed homes in the crash for as little as $20,000!

I bought 200 of them and most I still hold today, each producing monthly cash flow with owner financing.

3 Tips

Now, I always advise new and experienced investors to maintain a positive attitude at all costs. It is what will make you stick with investing and be successful when others quit. Here is what I recommend to you:

  1. Listen every day to positive and motivational people during your work. Personally, I listen to Christian leaders such as Harrison and Osteen, but that is what works for me. You may be different. Find positive mentors online that you can listen to and inspire you. Listening to them is what got me into the best part of my real estate career – owner financed real estate in under market value houses. You cannot go wrong in distressed sales with positive cash flow.
  2. Stay away from all negativity, especially online. The Internet is wonderful, but it can be a cesspool of negativity! The problem is that people feel anonymous and uninhibited online, and will say terrible things. This is true in real estate forums. I’ve had people tell me all sorts of nonsense about owner finance, that it is dishonest, illegal, predatory….it’s a waste of my time. I get away from them immediately. If you spend too much time among real estate investors online, the pessimism of a few can really get you down. Get completely away from that! I made nearly all of my money in real estate investing without a website and without ever going online. It’s not necessary to participate in real estate online forums to succeed in fixer upper homes for positive cash flow.
  3. Find a positive and successful real estate mentor! Whatever city you live in, you can find a mentor to talk to that can inspire and motivate you. Why would he talk to you? Well, what can you offer him? Offer to help him out for free in any way he needs so that you can learn from him. You want to find a really successful, long term, ethical investor, ideally a person in business 10 years. You’ll  have to go to real estate meetings for a few months to figure out who is who in your city. I did exactly this when I first got started and got connected in San Antonio with very successful investors who still inspire me to excellence today.