I am not pretending to be something I am not, and I am not saying I am better than others who teach people how to invest in self-storage or other forms of real estate. I am not an expert at money or financial success – although I have gone from being bankrupt to being a multimillionaire.
What I’m saying is that if you want to shorten your learning curve and avoid the mistakes that I and so many others have made during self storage investing their self-storage career – then I invite you to join us on this amazing journey in the self-storage business.
Please join us on this magnificent journey to enjoy the real estate business you have always dreamed of by downloading our free resources, attending our free webinars, and browsing our catalog of educational tools for the serious investor.
Starting back in 1993 after purchasing a home study course by one of the top “Guru’s” in the country on how to invest in self storage with no money down.
And I, unlike so many other people who buy courses and then stick them on the shelf, actually watched those tapes and read the manual. And Guess what……..it worked! I bought my first piece of investment real estate (pictured below) for $30,000 with $0 money down!
The one that started it all! 8719 E. Catalina
I followed the steps in the home study course which showed me how to increase the value and force appreciation in my new investment.
I rehabbed that first house myself and moved a tenant in at $550 per month, which gave me a $150/month in positive cash flow after the mortgage, insurance, and taxes. Shortly after that, I had the property re-appraised and then I refinanced it and pulled out $15,000 which I used to buy 2 more just like it. I was hooked!
Approximately 6 years and 20 rental houses later, I decided to quit my Job to transform my real estate hobby into a full time Self Storage Investing business. I was married now and my wife and I were expecting our first child. My first full year in the real estate business went very well and we had acquired several more homes and an apartment complex (pictured below).
By now, I believed I had finally made it, I was living the dream!
As a result, I decided to show my friends and family how successful I was by buying a new car, taking my family on expensive vacations, shopping for the latest clothes, and by basically buying and doing whatever I pleased.
I continued to acquire more rental houses and apartment complexes, amassing over 400 rental units, and leveraging ourselves to the max along the way.
Then came the tragic events of September 11, which as many of you may remember, shook our country to the core. In the months afterward, The Fed dropped interest rates to record setting levels to boost the economy and our tenants began leaving in droves to take advantage of all the $0 Down-1st time home buyer programs that were being offered.
In addition, our insurance rates had soared after the attacks, and a statewide property tax increase on all our properties a year later delivered the final blow. I continued to borrow from our credit lines and I maxed out both our business and personal credit cards each month in order to make our mortgage payments, pay our employees, keep the lights on, and provide for
We slashed every possible expense in our business of Investing in self storage and personal budgets and began selling off our rental houses and apartments in an effort to keep from sinking. At home, my wife began selling everything in the house that wasn’t nailed down on EBay® just to make ends meet, and it was working, but we were still holding our breath every 30 days in hopes the money wouldn’t run out before the month did.
So as I continued to think and work through this process over the next several days, I realized that my passion still lied with real estate, and that the main reason I was in this mess was because I was in the business of renting space to PEOPLE.
The lost rent from evictions, move-outs in the middle of the night, along with huge collection expenses and extended periods of time with high vacancies during the home sales boom, had literally drained our bank accounts. I then added in the cost to repair, re-paint, and re-carpet each of our 400 units over the years as they became vacant, and that number virtually doubled!
Also, being a victim of 100% to 200% increases in property taxes, insurance, and utility costs over the past 5 years brought me to the conclusion that I didn’t want to be in a position where I was slave to these 3 business partners any longer.
After that, I estimated the cost and hassle of hiring and firing several employees and added up the cost of their theft and falsifying payroll reports which ran into several thousand dollars more in losses and lost productivity over the years, and I became even more depressed at how bad things had become.
My dream of owning my own business to Invest in storage units and enjoying the benefits of being my own boss and the promise of a better life and the creation of wealth through real estate had become my nightmare in a matter of just a few short years.
So, the conclusion was that my dream job was to build a low-risk, high cash flow real estate business of Investing in storage units without all the hassles of tenants, toilets, or trash. Great! Except that what I wanted, didn’t exist. It was nothing but an Impossible, pie in the sky pipe dream.
…OR WAS IT?