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How to Buy a House in 2024

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You asked, and we answered. Here’s our step-by-step guide on how to buy a house in 2024. Whether you’re looking for a first primary residence, rental property, house hack, or short-term rental, these are the EXACT steps you’ll have to follow to buy a house. But before you can even think about buying, you’ll need to ensure you CAN buy in today’s housing market. Ready to start? Let’s hop in!

Here to show you how to buy a house are David Greene and Rob Abasolo, two expert real estate investors who have bought dozens of homes each. Now a real estate agent and mortgage broker, David knows the ins and outs of the industry and can give you insider knowledge on what most buyers, sellers, and agents don’t know (but wish they did). Rob has bought throughout the nation and has turned multiple primary residences into rentals, so he knows both processes like the back of his hand.

Let’s make 2024 the year YOU buy your first property. Stick around because we’re going to walk through the six beginner steps to buying a house, the HUGE home inspection red flags you MUST watch out for, and how to get your money back if a deal turns into a dud!

Dave:
Welcome to the BiggerPockets Podcast. My name’s Dave Meyer here today with Rob Abasolo, and we have a very interesting investor story for you.

Rob:
Yeah, today, we’re going to be talking with Antoine Martel, who has done some really interesting things using market intelligence and data to pick markets and scale his real estate business.

Dave:
Thank you for letting me come on here and join you today, Rob. It’s our first show hosting together too, which I’m very excited about.

Rob:
I know, it’s so exciting.

Dave:
I’m a little nervous.

Rob:
I’ve got notes. I’ve got notes on the intro. Usually, when I intro someone, I say, “I’m here with my good friend Henry Washington,” or, “my good friend David Greene.”

Dave:
But I haven’t earned it yet.

Rob:
I noticed you didn’t say that when you introduced me. Okay, hey, you’re a good friend, Dave.

Dave:
Oh, I was introducing you. I’m sorry. Well, next time after we have this show together, I’ll have detailed adjectives to describe you.

Rob:
Thank you very much.

Dave:
But seriously, thank you for having me on the show because, if you don’t know me, I really love data, that’s my job at BiggerPockets, and I know that Antoine is going to share a lot of information about how he uses data in a really practical and honestly simple way to pick different markets and figure out what strategies are right for him.

Rob:
And you’re going to hear a very practical strategy that we’re calling micro flips that he uses, and I think it’s a really super approachable way and less risky strategy for getting into the game in 2024. I really like it. I’m excited to jump into that.

Dave:
All right, well then, with no further ado, let’s welcome Antoine onto the show. Antoine, welcome to the show. We appreciate you being here.

Antoine:
Of course. Thanks for having me.

Dave:
So I want to dig into your start to real estate investing. From what I understand, you got started really early in college and were also investing out of state. Let’s just start, why did you do this in the first place? What compelled you while you were already a student in college to start investing in real estate?

Antoine:
I was very entrepreneurial as a kid growing up. I always was selling something, always had a business on the side. I studied entrepreneurship in college and while I was there I was making mobile apps. That was the hot thing at the time. My brother dragged my dad and I to a real estate conference. It was a three day bootcamp on a Friday, Saturday, Sunday. After that, I just became completely addicted to real estate investing and after that, I went back to college, I moved all my classes from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m. so that I could network with people throughout the day. And I took a ton of people out to coffee meetings in Los Angeles, picking their brains. Actually, on BiggerPockets, I would go on BiggerPockets, message people in L.A. and say, “Hey, I go to this college. I would love to meet you and take you out for coffee.”
And I was meeting people that had more experience than me, which I didn’t have any experience at the time, and I was leveraging this college kid status that I had. And after 200 coffee meetings, 90% of those people were investing out of state. And so that was my first iteration and ideation of looking out of state and investing out of state, was from meeting all of those people. And then from them I got even more and more granular on how they were doing it, what they were investing in, where they were investing, all that stuff.

Dave:
Given your entrepreneurial background, Antoine, I’m curious, what about real estate clicked for you and made you think this is what you wanted to jump in rather than other alternative entrepreneurial pursuits?

Antoine:
I think for me it was profitable going from the tech space or starting a mobile app where you the goal is to just lose money and get users.

Dave:
What a great call.

Antoine:
I came from that world. Those are kind of the people I was meeting with in college that would come and speak at our class. And I was like, “Okay, cool. So we’re going to make a business that loses money as long as we keep raising money to keep the lights on.” And to me that didn’t seem fun. I grew up, again, selling candy bars, selling soda, selling things where you invest this much money, you make a margin of 10%, 20%, 30%, and you make money every single day. And I think real estate for me was that but the big leagues. Instead of selling a $3 soda, you can sell a $150,000 house. And so to me it was just something that I’ve been doing my entire life, whereas the whole tech world just did not make business sense to me. I’m like, “This does not sound fun continuously raising money to pay employees and keep the lights on.”

Rob:
I think it’s really impressive that you picked this up as a college student because real estate in general I don’t think is really hard once you’re into it, but picking it up is not really the smoothest task for somebody. At your age, when you were doing this, did it feel easy? Did it feel easy in comparison to developing mobile apps? Or was it just fun and so the fact that it was hard was no big deal?

Antoine:
I think what saved me was that I didn’t look my age. So I would go into these meetings and just be like, “Hey, I’m a college kid and I’m looking to invest in real estate.” I was leveraging that young or youth and leveraging my age. And then when I would go to a more important meeting where I didn’t want them to know I was in college, I would just grow my beard out a little bit and I can get by with the meeting. At the end of the meeting, somebody would always say, “Man, how old are you?” And I’d be like, “22,” and their brains would explode at how much knowledge I had. I was doing a lot of the work in the backend, listening to podcasts all day long, reading all the books, and then also just meeting people on a consistent basis.

Rob:
So you’re in the groove, you’re interviewing people or getting their autobiographies, as you call it, which I love that by the way, that’s a really great way to think about it, and then not only are you picking up real estate ever so casually as a youngster, you also decided to do long distance for your first deal. How did you even go about selecting a market, having no experience in the field? That must’ve been pretty difficult.

Antoine:
My brother took me and my dad to this real estate seminar over the weekend. From there I was like, “Man, screw mobile apps. I don’t want to do that anymore. I want to do real estate.” It’s in my blood. I’ve been doing the same thing just instead of, sodas, like I said, I’m now selling houses. So I think from that my dad was like, “All right, cool.” I didn’t have any money at the time. My dad had around $40,000 that he was willing to invest in this new business venture. And so throughout all those autobiographies, I would ask people, “Where are you investing? What is the average purchase price? The average repair costs? How did you build your team?” All this stuff.
And then doing a ton of homework and research online on Zillow and Redfin and Trulia. I started looking at, where could I buy a house, whether the down payment or buying the house all cash, with 40,000 bucks? So I think it was a mixture of all those things, literally budget constraints, the people I was meeting and where they were investing to figure out a market that would make sense for our budget. And the first house we ended up buying was $35,000 and we renovated it for 5,000 bucks. And that was in Memphis.

Rob:
Wow. Okay, cool. So a $35,000 house. How long ago was this, by the way?

Antoine:
This was in 2016.

Rob:
Okay, 2016. So either way, that’s still a pretty cheap house. 5,000 bucks to renovate a house, what does that mean? I imagine it wasn’t a full gut remodel. It sounds more like a paint and new carpet situation.

Antoine:
Yes. It was replacing the tile in the kitchen. It was new interior paint and exterior paint, I believe. And then there was a carpeted bedroom or two and it was a deep cleaning of that. That’s all we did. And the goal was to do a BRRRR on the deal, so buy it for 35, rehab it for five. We did a cash-out refinance with a local credit union after. The house appraised for like 65,000 bucks. We were able to pull out almost all the money. And then that’s what propelled us to continue going from there.

Rob:
Wow. Okay, cool. So for anyone that doesn’t know a BRRRR, basically, a buy, rehab, rent, refinance, and repeat, and that’s what you just described. You were able to fix it up enough. You left a little bit of equity into it. And then second house, you’re like, “This is working, I want to do another BRRRR,” or were you already curious on what other aspects you could follow?

Antoine:
After that first deal, obviously, my dad was stoked that we had gotten almost all the investment back from the deal, so we decided to keep on doing that strategy. And the goal was literally just to grow a family portfolio. I had graduated college now at this point and I went to my dad and said, “Hey, I want to keep doing this. I don’t want to go and look for a job. Can you keep funding this venture? Let’s just see how many times we can recycle this. The people I’ve met are able to do this. I think we can do the same. And I think we got a great team here, property manager, realtor, and contractor.” So we just kept on recycling that for about a year after graduating from college, just kept recycling that money. And in that first 12 months, I believe we did eight deals where we just BRRRR’d every single one, every single one, recycling the same money, slowly putting more cash into the family portfolio.

Rob:
All right, so Antoine kicked off his real estate journey with a $40,000 budget and the BRRRR strategy, but part of what has made Antoine so successful is how he’s picking markets. And he’s going to break down how exactly he zeroes in on the zip codes that will make him a ton of money right after the break.

Dave:
Welcome back. We’re here with Antoine Martel, an investor who’s doing BRRRRs and fix and flips deals in the Midwest. Before the break we talked about his first deal and now we’re going to transition to what he’s been up to recently, and later we’ll talk about what’s working for him in 2024.

Rob:
Okay. So you went into Memphis for your first deal. Did you stay in Memphis?

Antoine:
Stayed in Memphis until about two years ago, two or three years ago. That’s when we had the Memphis market just got extremely expensive. Those houses we were buying for 30,000 to 50,000 bucks back then now we’re selling for $150,000 today.

Rob:
Wow.

Antoine:
And then now a lot of the retail fix and flippers are getting into those neighborhoods, which is not really my business model. My model is more in the turnkey fix and flip area, so buying in the $50,000 range and selling it below 150,000 bucks.

Rob:
I want to backtrack a little bit because it’s such an important aspect of getting into real estate, it’s picking your market. And I know you mentioned you’re coming into the market here with 40 grand, and obviously that worked for your first house, but there’s so many cities out there with houses that probably cost 35,000 to 40,000 bucks. So was there any particular criteria or was there any specific reason why Memphis was the city that you decided to get started in?

Antoine:
Memphis was a city we decided to get started in because of the budgeting constraints that we did have and from meeting those people and collecting their autobiographies. That was why we decided to go into Memphis in the first place, just by looking purely on Zillow and Redfin and Trulia and looking at the sales prices. From there, we did expand into other markets over the years because after we built up our family portfolio, we started a turnkey fix and flip business, which then we decided to expand into other markets across the country and that’s really when we started looking at the data of what was working in some of our markets and trying to match that data like the average purchase price, average sales price, all that stuff, and matching that data to other markets across the country.

Dave:
All right, Antoine, you’re hitting some of my trigger words here talking about data and selecting markets. Tell me a little bit about your process. What metrics are you looking at when figuring out what markets you want to get into?

Antoine:
So I grew the family portfolio. It’s at about eight houses. After that, we had ran out of capital to keep doing this family business and keep growing the family portfolio. We decided to start selling these houses as turnkey rentals. When we sold them as turnkey rentals, I made a little website called martelfamilyrealty.com and sent it to everybody in my email list to sell these turnkey rental properties. Once we sold these turnkey rental properties, we grew that Martel turnkey business and we did over 650 turnkey fix and flips from that 2016 to today. And because of that success that we were having with Martel turnkey, we constantly needed to add more and more markets to the portfolio. We had to add new cities, add new zip codes.
My dad’s actually an actuarial major. He loves math and loves looking at all the data and in our search to find new markets we needed to have that amount of data on what was working and what was selling for our clients. Once we had that, we actually not just looked at the city, but to find new cities to invest in, we would actually look at the most popular zip codes and the zip codes that we were doing the most amount of volume in. So, for example, now that we had data 50 or 100 houses in a zip code or 30 houses in a zip code, we would look at all that data. What is the property tax rate, average purchase price, average sale price, the population growth, the crime rate? And we would put all of this down into a spreadsheet. Then we would go and pull data for every single zip code in America and we would find zip codes that matched that criteria.
Obviously, the crime rate is something we had to do manually, but we would almost look at what zip codes were working well for the business. We would use that data, look at the bls.gov data, download all of that, and figure out which cities and which zip codes, therefore which cities, were going to be the best cities for us to move and expand our business into.

Dave:
That’s crazy.

Rob:
Well, I admire your depth of research for all of the data that you’re looking at. It’s very impressive. One of the questions I get a lot that I’m curious how you handle is, there are so many different data points, so if you’re pulling all this business information that you have plus census data, plus all this different data, how do you weigh all those different variables and decide which are the most important and which are going to determine what actions you take next?

Antoine:
So a couple of different things. Because we were looking at zip codes, we would pull a list of the top 100 zip codes that are working well for our business or potentially could work well for our business. Once we had those 100 zip codes, we would actually do a count of which zip codes were for which city. So, for example, out of that top 100, Detroit, Michigan, which is a city we moved into very shortly after that, was the top 20 or 30 in that top 100 list. Toledo, Ohio had some. Cincinnati had some. Cleveland, which was where we were already investing, had a ton of zip codes. St. Louis, Missouri. So that was a big thing for us because you have to go into these cities and then build teams, which is the next step of this whole entire process.
So if we had a city that had one zip code that makes sense, like Louisville, Kentucky comes to mind, if you have a city that just has one zip code that makes sense, it may not be worth the time or effort to go into that city and build the team. So we did have different weighing factors, but I think that was probably the most important one for us was, “Cool. Out of this top 100 list, 20 of them are Detroit. Great. We got to build a team in Detroit. We got to find a property manager, realtor, contractors, insurance, all that stuff to help us grow that business.” Because that’s what takes the longest, is building those teams. You can do the data and then once the data tell you something, now it’s time to get to work and build those boots on the ground.

Rob:
Yeah. There’s I imagine a lot of parallel pathing here where you’re, A, researching a market, B, calling around to see if there’s anyone to service the rental properties. Because I find rental properties all the time that are amazing properties, but there’s no one to actually manage it and run it and run the day to day.

Antoine:
Exactly.

Rob:
So do you have a stress test or is there any amount of due diligence that you do to ensure that those vendors exist before running the data or is it something you do at the same time?

Antoine:
It’s really a trial and error that we have to go through, sadly. Like you said, Rob, you can find a zip code in the middle of the forest and it’s four houses in that zip code and it’s like, “Great. This is a great zip code to invest in the data told us, but it’s in the middle of nowhere. It’s three hours outside of a major metro. No property managers, no realtors, no contractors, so it’s not going to work.” So it was combing through that list, finding out which cities are going to make the most amount of sense, and then building a team on the ground to just test one house. Can we just do one house in Detroit? Can we just do one house in St. Louis? You test that team out, the realtor, property manager, and contractor.
And because of the deals that we were doing, again, our average purchase price was 50,000 to 90,000 bucks, average renovation, $20,000, $30,000, average ARV, 100 to 150. Can we go and do some deals that have a $5,000 repair, a $10,000 repair, test out the team with a light, light BRRRR or buy and hold or something like that just to see if they stay on budget, stay on point. And then from there, let’s increase the budget to 20,000 bucks, 15,000 bucks. You slowly build that out. So it really was a trial and error after that, after the data pointed us into the right city or the right zip codes.

Dave:
Antoine, how do you find your initial team to even do that test?

Antoine:
Tons and tons and tons of cold calls.

Rob:
I was like, “I wonder if there’s a secret strategy here.” I was hoping there was.

Dave:
Me too.

Rob:
Nope because I hate making calls.

Dave:
Unfortunately, it’s just a lot of work.

Antoine:
It’s a lot of work cold calling them to find them. Then you have to consistently email them, send them deals, collect feedback. You probably have to go through 10, 20 deals to make offers on, let’s say you send them 20 deals, you make offers on five of them, you get one of those houses under contract, then you’ve got to go through the rehab bid. So it is a lot of testing. It would take us many, many months to finally have a team that we felt comfortable doing a $20,000 or $30,000 repair. But yeah, Dave, it’s a ton of cold calls and saying, “Hey, I’m Antoine. I live in Florida. I’d love to invest in St. Louis. Can you help me buy houses, renovate them, rent them out, and either sell them or refinance that?” And yeah, you get a ton of nos, that’s for sure,

Rob:
Or no answers. That’s usually the main thing. No one ever answers their phone. I’ve always said that I was going to start a company in the Smoky Mountains particularly because that’s where it’s so hard to get someone to answer the phone. It’s Rob’s Handyman Service and our tagline is “We answer the phone.” Because I genuinely believe anyone who does this could make so much money as a vendor for rental properties.

Dave:
It’s a low bar. Honestly, it is a low bar. Just pick up the phone. You’re probably going to get a lot of business.

Antoine:
Yeah, really.

Dave:
Antoine, you said that, I love this idea of testing too, and maybe it comes from your software background because in software companies this is this idea where you try and test something for the smallest amount of money possible and maximize what they call your rate of learning. So if you can learn about this market or you can learn about rehab costs in a market for five grand, that’s amazing, rather than spending 30 grand. So I love that and I think that’s a super important thing for our audience to take home is that, try and minimize the amount you need to invest to build your network or to expand your portfolio so that you can maximize your learning. Now, Antoine, even though you’re saying you’re getting up to this $30,000 rehab, that, for anyone who’s new, is a lot of money, but in the scope or scale of rehabs, that’s still a pretty inexpensive type of flip or BRRRR. Do you deliberately target that type of budget?

Antoine:
We do, because, again, from the data that we’ve looked at, the last 650-odd deals, the average renovation cost is around 30,000 bucks. We realized that if we went over $40,000 in rehab cost, the variable from the actual bid to what actually happened, so to the bid to what actually happened, went way up. So if you did a $50,000 renovation in Cleveland or Detroit, they have to tear down walls, they have to remove cabinets, they have to do this thing and that thing, which then brings up all these other issues with subflooring or rotting wood, and then you have to do that, and now your $50,000 bid turns into $60,000 in the blink of an eye. And some of these deals, that’s your profit margin after financing costs, realtor costs, all that stuff.
So we found out that if we stuck below 40,000, you have to do enough renovation to add enough value to get the house to appraise, but you don’t want to do too much renovation to where your variable renovation costs goes through the roof. So for the last 650 rehab deals that we did, the actual rehab bid to what actually happened was 96%.

Dave:
Whoa. That’s crazy.

Antoine:
And I think that’s from staying in that sweet spot price point that there isn’t that much of a variable and not doing heavy demo and not tearing down walls, not looking at the subflooring, all that stuff.

Rob:
I have always wondered this, and you’re explaining it, but help me understand this, and I feel like other people have the same question. When you rehab a house and it’s a full gut remodel, let’s say in just most markets in the country, I just did a full gut remodel, it’s going to be on one of my properties $100,000 plus. And it makes sense because it’s in Austin, Texas and no big deal, but then you go to some of these cities where the houses are $40,000 but they’re only worth a certain amount above that. Does that just mean that houses in certain areas or cities that you’re rehabbing in never get full gut remodels?

Antoine:
Exactly. Rob, I can give you a house in Detroit for free and you would lose money on it.

Rob:
Okay. That’s super interesting.

Dave:
That’s just the way it works.

Antoine:
There’s some deals where for me to give you the house I would have to pay you money for there to be any profit margin. What happens to those houses? They get added to the demo list and in 10, 20 years, hopefully, somebody buys that land and builds a brand new home.

Dave:
Got it. Okay. So it really is a waiting game on most houses like that.

Rob:
And just out of curiosity, Antoine, because I’ve never really encountered this, do you mean demo list by the city? Are they buying the properties and knocking them down?

Antoine:
Yep.

Rob:
That is I guess unique to some of these cities.

Antoine:
Because what happens is, the person who owns that property, they don’t pay their taxes, the house is just completely demolished, they get notices from the city, eventually the city through legal action, through years of going to court, gets ownership back of the property and they get the deed of the property and then they’ll put it up for auction. But like Rob’s question, nobody wants to buy the house anyways because there’s no profit margin. I can give you a duplex for free in Detroit that’s just the exterior brick, it’s going to cost you $80,000, $100,000 to renovate that property and make it nice. Plus, all the other, let’s call it HVAC, hot water tank. Let’s say you’re all in for 130, 140 and the duplex may be worth 120, nobody’s going to buy it.
Nobody buys it from the auction. What does the city do next? We have to get rid of the blight. We’re just going to demo the property anyways. It’s better than having something that kids are going to run through and get injured and then we’re going to have police reports. So they’d rather just demo it and wait for somebody to come and buy that land.

Rob:
Okay. So Antoine has done a ton of volume to scale his portfolio and make smarter choices, but how has he optimized those properties and why is his strategy working in today’s market conditions? Stay tuned after the break.

Dave:
Welcome back, everyone. We’re here with Antoine Martel talking about his data-driven investing strategy. So it seems like you’ve fine-tuned your system here. You’re within a 96% range. Amazing. I wish I was in that range for literally any real estate project I ever did. But then again, I haven’t done 650 flips, so that does make sense. So tell us, where are you at nowadays? What does your portfolio look like? What are the type of deals that you’re expanding into at the scale that you’re at currently?

Antoine:
So before COVID, interest rates were low, people were buying left, right, and center. We had a portfolio of around 250 houses. We had the turnkey fix and flip business, which was growing. Our biggest month pre-COVID was we did 50 houses in one month. So the business was really, really scaling up.

Dave:
Wait. 50 houses? What do you mean 50 flips? 50 sales?

Antoine:
Yeah. We purchased 50 houses and we sold about 30 houses in one month.

Rob:
Okay. Wow. So just a little bit, just a couple of houses.

Antoine:
From that, we realized that doing these kinds of deals at this volume really did hurt our net profit margin, and it didn’t really make much sense just because we had to have so many project managers on staff and on payroll. Then we had to hire a ton of people to sell these assets and to sell the properties. So throughout that time, we were just getting offers on our properties, on our apartment buildings that were insane. And my dad and I ended up selling a ton of the assets before the interest rates started climbing, even sold our apartment buildings, which again we bought and we were like, “We’re never selling these things. We’re going to hold them for cashflow forever,” until you get a crazy offer. And we ended up selling a lot of that portfolio.
So with the turnkey fix and flip business, we really slowed that business down to a place where it made the most amount of sense profitably having the highest amount of margin without having all the overhead cost for us. And then we actually started a company flip system to show people this model and how to do it out of state, doing that sweet spot, $20,000 to $40,000 renovations, building their teams on the ground, giving them a software to manage and track the whole thing. And we took a lot of that cash that we had in those single family houses and in those rental properties and started investing that into the software that we’re building to help other people do the same and invest in these markets.

Rob:
And can you, just as a refresher, you said 20,000 to 40,000 is the main cost to flip, and then what is the average profit? I guess, give it to us one more time, just break this down very simply, average cost of the house, average renovation, and then average profit.

Antoine:
Sure. Average purchase price will be, let’s call it for easy math, 70,000 bucks. Average renovation, let’s say, is $30,000. Other costs will be around 5,000 bucks. And then you’ll sell it for anything from let’s say 110 all the way up to 130. So your net margin, if you’re doing the deal, all cash will be around 20,000 bucks. If you’re using financing, it pretty much cuts that in half. So your net margin is going to be more like 10,000 to 15,000 bucks on these houses if you’re using a hard money-lender, for example.

Rob:
Got it. Got it. Okay. And then you’re changing your business model and you said you’ve scaled down a little bit or you’ve figured out what the optimal amount of flips is. So tell us about that now. Where were you at your peak and then where are you at now volume wise?

Antoine:
The peak was that month and it was like an “oh man” moment. We bought 50 houses, a lot of them were in a big portfolio that we acquired, and we sold 30 houses. We had 30 people on staff and on payroll, not including the contractors, realtors, property managers that we had. We were in five, six cities at the time running the business. So that was our peak of it. And my dad and I sat down and looked at the P&L and we were like, “This doesn’t make sense. We were making more money doing five deals a month with a third of the staff.” It was a point of diminishing returns with the fix and flip business, which was very interesting. And we decided, “Okay, cool. Let’s start scaling this business down a little bit.” We had let some people go, we paid off a ton of the loans that we had owed and really just kept the business down to more like five deals per month.
It was a great place where you didn’t have to have staff. You didn’t have to have a large payroll. Most of the profit you were making was going right into the owner’s pockets. And so that’s where we maintained. And then, because of the excess capital that we did have, that’s what allowed us to launch more of a software play on building out the software, building a team to build the software company

Dave:
Antoine. That’s super cool. I don’t often hear real estate investors say that they’ve scaled down parts of their business, and I just think it’s important for our audience to take note of that because it’s not all about getting to the most doors or growing to the largest size possible. It’s about what works for you and your individual goals and your individual plan. But I imagine that was hard. Was it difficult? I mean, laying off people is always difficult, but was that a tough transition for you?

Antoine:
Yes, it was a very tough transition. It’s a gut punch. It was like your baby and all you want to do for eight years straight is grow and do more deals every single month, or I guess less than that, six years straight, just grow and do more and more deals every single month. And then you’re like, “Wow, I’m making less money doing more deals than I was with no employees, no staff, all this stuff.” It definitely was a little bit of a gut punch, but I always say that I’m a business guy or an entrepreneur that fell into real estate. Like I said, I was doing software and tech and apps and stuff before that. And I think it worked out for me. It got me to the point where I am today and I learned a ton and now it’s doing other things that are still in the real estate space. But I really like what I’m doing now with going back to software. Look at that, full circle back to the software play.

Rob:
Well, I have a question that I think a lot of people are probably wondering because, obviously, you were crushing it in the last five years or six years, seven years. Now that the economy in the market is shifting a little bit, do you still feel like this level of housing, the micro flips, if you will, is still a good strategy in 2024?

Antoine:
I think it’s probably the best and safest strategy in 2024. If you are a newbie investor, if you’re looking to get into your first deal, I would highly, highly recommend doing something where you have multiple exit strategies, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s your first time. Like Dave mentioned earlier, if you’re testing out something, you want to test it out with the lowest amount of capital upfront, which is going to be a deal that has a $10,000 renovation where you have multiple exit strategies. So I would recommend getting into a deal that you can buy, renovate it, rent it out, and now we can refinance it as a BRRRR. We can sell it as a turnkey fix and flip. We can list it on the market.
There’s so many different exit strategies versus the traditional retail fix and flip where you don’t have those options. Maybe you can rent it out on Airbnb, but typically renting out to a long-term tenant or refinancing it or selling it as a turnkey rental doesn’t really make sense. So I’m just a big proponent of testing with small amounts of money and then having a strategy where I can make money no matter what happens to the deal. And for me, that’s having multiple different exits.

Rob:
I thought you were going to say “make mad money”, and I was like, “Yeah, that’s right. That’s what I’m talking about.” I love it, man. Dave, are there any houses in Amsterdam that we can do this on? I imagine all the houses there are much, much higher than the $40,000 to $60,000 break in point.

Dave:
I think the median house price in Amsterdam is like 700,000 Euro, so probably close to 800 grand, and there’s so many regulations about what you can do. So I think Antoine’s got a better approach here.

Rob:
Awesome. Well, thank you, Antoine. We really, really appreciate you sharing. This is an amazing strategy. And I agree, I think this is an awesome strategy for people that are looking to get into their first deals. So for anyone at home that’s listening to this and wants to get in contact with Antoine, with me, with Dave, all of our contact information can be found in the show notes down below. And don’t forget, we have so many tools available to everyone over on biggerpockets.com. There’s a little tab there that says Tools. We’ve got a bunch of rehab estimators, rent estimators, a bunch of good stuff. So go visit that after you listen to today’s episode and be sure to leave us a five star review. Thanks, everyone, for listening, and we will catch you on the next episode of BiggerPockets.

 

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