17 Apr The Life Changing Power of Real Estate
I am passionate about making sense of making money for making a difference, so I love receiving testimonies from those who have attended my workshops, read my books, or listened to my teachings. Cedric van Duyn has been and faithful follower of mine, and I was excited when he wanted to share his testimony. It was so good, that I wanted to share with you all! What do you feel you have learned or gained? I’d love to hear your feedback as well!
Real Estate Testimony
Cedric van Duyn
In 2005, my wife and I purchased our first home in the Seattle, WA area. In 2008, after the bubble burst, we had
to relocate 1 hour away, due to work. At that time, we could not sell the house for a profit, so we
decided to rent it out at a monthly loss of $750, hoping that the market would rebound and that the
equity investment would come in handy down the road.
As our 3 boys came along, it became increasingly difficult to carry the negative cash flow, and so in the
summer of 2016, we decided to sell. Our renters asked to be kept in consideration, so we settled on an
off-market sale. Due to this, our realtor charged us only 2% commission, which enabled us to sell below
market value and still receive the same amount of equity. Our renters agreed to purchase “as is,”
enabling us to avoid the hassle of what would have been a laundry list of repairs on a 1922 construction.
It was a WIN-WIN- WIN for everyone involved!
Our 8 years of negative cash flow @ $750 p/m yielded an equity value of slightly over $144,000. Under a
1031 exchange, we had 45 days to identify a new investment property. I had already heard Billy teach
the 1% rule several times, and so the search was on! However, our area simply did not fit the numbers!
A desperate text message arrived on Billy’s phone while he was in Uganda, to which he replied, “Look at
multi-family.” I started punching numbers on duplexes, triplexes, etc. until I landed on a 6-plex which
was the closest fit.
Our deal landed on exactly 1%. We purchased for $430K and the recorded rental income was $4,300 at
the time! With our $144K equity down, our PITI payment was $2,229, yielding a cash flow of $2,071. I
felt that this was a healthy situation for me to start the learning process on apartment complex
Desperate in my pursuit for the acquisition of Knowledge, Understanding, and Wisdom, I attended Billy’s
next Real Estate Workshop, which happened to be within weeks after I closed. This investment has paid
huge dividends for my property management skills!
A hidden blessing I soon discovered was that all the apartments had been rented out way below market
prices. At my first tenant turnover, I gingerly raised the rent by $25 p/m. The moment I posted it to
Craigslist, I was overwhelmed with crushing interest. I realized that I could easily have raised the rent by
$100 p/m. From this discovery, I did some market research and systematically started bringing the rent
closer to the averages in our area.
Since purchase almost 7 months ago, I have raised the total rent by $665, which averages at $110 per
unit. I currently have a pending agreement for another $125 rent increase on one of the units, and
another unit that will most likely see about $75 around the same time. This will be a total increase of
$865 p/m cash flow over a period of 9 months, which averages at $144 per unit! At this point, the cash
flow will be $3,000 p/m, which is an average of $500 per unit (excluding vacancies and repairs).
To minimize tenant turnover costs, I decided to institute a $200 non-refundable portion of the security
deposit to cover cleaning and other turnover fees. I was encouraged to find new tenants fully agreeable
to this reasoning, and somewhat relieved that they would not need to do a deep clean upon departure.
In my limited experience, cleaning costs have never been over $100, and several new tenants have
preferred to clean themselves, saving me the full non-refundable turnover fee!
Thank you, Billy, for equipping me to step into a whole new realm of financial blessing!
And thank you, Cedric, for sharing your testimony. Remember, you have the power to change your life. How has real estate investing been a game changer for you?