Why I chose Real Estate

Why am I involved in real estate?

I first started gaining a passion for real estate in my early teens. My mom had been buying and remodeling houses and often had me do a lot of the labor work like demo, clean-up, paint, sanding, etc. This taught me a lot about construction and how to make remodeling cheaper by doing it on your own. My mom has such a good eye for bringing things to life and seeing hidden value that others miss not to mention she owns her own appraisal business which I frequently helped with and went along with her on some of her appraisals. I have had the advantage of learning first hand from her on so many aspects of real estate: construction, value, markets and investing. I think learning this so early on and experiencing it first hand is what really helped spark my interest for real estate so I began to dive in and really try to learn and understand all aspects of real estate. I decided to work really hard through my teen years and bought my first house when I was 18 years old. I didn’t know how important this would become to me until later down the road. The only unfortunate thing about this was that it was in 2008 which was definitely not a good time to buy but hey I was young and I didn’t know any better.

 

My First House

My house was a 3 bedroom 2 bath house so I rented out the other 2 rooms to my friends. As you can imagine being young with 2 of your friends, we were always having people over and always had something going on, it was great. I learned quickly though that not everyone has the same values or values the same things you do. Being the fact that it was my house most of the stuff in the house was also mine…..this didn’t always go over so well when others couldn’t understand why respecting my stuff was so important to me……I wanted it to last awhile whats wrong with that? When your young you don’t always have money. I was only charging $300 for rent and everything was included (this was cheap then and is really cheap now) but still it seemed as though it was hard for my friends to come up with the money. It isn’t very easy being a landlord, a friend and living in the house together especially when they owe you money and don’t have it. People would argue with me and say its not fair to pay my mortgage or this or that excuse. I went through a lot of room mates in the 5 years I had my house and also had a lot of amazing experiences as well. Through this experience and looking back I learned a lot about property management, renters and how earning passive income is the key to wealth. Adding this knowledge along with what my mom taught me and understanding passive income has been one of the greatest wealth building tools I have learned.

Alaska and Selling My First House.

I had spent the last few years working in Alaska furthering my skills and knowledge in construction. At the time I worked for a company who did general contracting jobs for the Forest Service, Coast Guard and Navy. I have always had a passion for business and investing however it was during this time in Alaska I became obsessed with reading, putting in hours a day! From there I spent years reading and studying the most successful people in many industries. What I learned from this was that many of them, no matter what industry they were in, owned real estate. I started learning about tax advantages, appreciation, depreciation, leverage, debt, 1031 exchange and more about passive income. It was then July of 2013 that my little brother passed away and October of 2013 I put my house on the market. Losing my brother was a huge turning point in my life so I set out for a new change. I put my house on the market and decided to head to Colorado. My house sold for the same price I bought it for so I didn’t win nor did I lose. However I did gain an enormous amount of knowledge and had a new vision, I wanted to become a real estate investor.

Colorado

My friend had gone to Colorado the year before and made some really good connections. He got me lined out with a job bar-tending at this private members club on Beaver Creek mountain in Avon. I had no idea what I was in for. This place was absolutely amazing it was a huge cabin on the side of the mountain and was only accessible by skiing-in and skiing-out. The food was incredible not to mention we had the best view on the mountain and it was exclusive to members only. When I say exclusive I mean to belong to the club you had to own property on the mountain which was 2 million to 10 million dollars plus you pay $90,000 for your membership. Here I was 23 years old, I had to snowboard to work everyday, they fed me amazing food everyday and I felt like I was in paradise. This is where I really started wanting to become an Investor because I was surrounded by many successful business CEOs, venture capitalist, professional athletes, NFL team managers, actors and other celebrities. I wanted to have the life they had. I took every opportunity I could to talk with them, hang out with them and just do whatever I could to surround myself around them and learn. One of the members at our club owned over 1000 properties all over the world with the smallest being a 200 unit apartment complex. I spent countless hours over the years talking and getting to know him as I did with many of the members. They shared their successes with me, mentored me and gave me the drive I needed to get started.

My Career and Today

 

Posted on January 3, 2017 at 10:17 am
Nick Leonard | Category: Uncategorized

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