About Real Estate
My Life Story
My name is Matthew Cole and I live in an oceanfront condo in Miami, Florida.
I have a lovely wife, three beautiful children, and I drive the car of my dreams.
Life here in Miami feels like a permanent vacation. I get to spend a lot of time with my family, travel often, and put my effort into things I’m really passionate about.
At 34 years old, I feel like I’m already retired.
However, life wasn’t always like this for me.
Seven years ago, I was uninspired, tired, and lonely. I was lost and directionless even though I went to college. I worked at a job I hated and the future looked bleak.
Although I didn’t know it at the time, fate would have it that I would come across a life-changing opportunity that would allow me to live a vibrant, happy life.
One day, on one of the rare occasions that I read the news instead of playing video games before work, I stumbled across an article that mentioned real estate investing.
I was living in a small town at the time, but the article spoke about the real estate market here in Miami.
Miami was a place I’d always wanted to visit, so I took time off work and made the trip down here a few weeks later. I had never traveled much before, so taking a trip to Florida was an exciting prospect.
I quickly forgot about the article and slipped into a two-week-long daydream about my upcoming vacation. Little did I know that this would be a life-changing trip.
The minute I arrived in Miami, I knew that I couldn’t waste another year in that small town. But how would I afford to move down here? I couldn’t just quit my job, right?
My mind flashed back to the article.
Real estate. That’s how I would escape.
My heart was set on Miami. I was determined to make it my permanent home.
I spent the rest of my trip sitting in my hotel room reading everything about real estate I could get my hands on. I bought books and scoured the internet for information.
By the time I got back home, I knew I wanted to own properties. I knew that if I could generate enough passive income from my properties, I could live a life of freedom in Miami.
I had some savings built up from my job and a decent credit score. After researching properties for several months, I decided to buy my first home.
I was terrified at first. That fear now seems like a distant memory.
My first tenants moved in one year after my trip to Miami. A year after that, I bought my second property.
I was now making enough passive income to replace the income from my job. I decided to take the leap of faith and quit.
I found a place to rent in Miami where I met my wife.
Since then, I’ve purchased several more properties that have generated more passive income. I’m no longer stuck at a job I hate, and I get to fully enjoy life on my own terms.
Buying real estate was the best decision I ever made. It’s my passion and I want to do it for the rest of my life.
Leveraging Real Estate
The truth is, most people don’t realize how simple it is to get into real estate.
It all starts with one simple method: leveraging.
Leveraging simple means using your current real estate to get more of it.
For example, if you have one property that you own and live in together with your wife, kids and the dog, by simply moving out of the home you now have an investment.
You can take that investment, do a cash out refinance to get equity (cash) out of the home, and go out and buy two or three properties with that money.
All you need to do is buy a home. With a FHA loan you can buy a home at 3.5% down. That’s just 3.5% investment for you to start your real estate journey!
Rinse, and repeat.
That’s just one way I have used leveraging to get into the real estate game.
Finding Deals Isn’t Hard – If You Are Looking
Everybody wants a deal.
Obviously, the home you buy is only deal if you buy it at less than market value.
But, everyone asks, how on earth do you find deals?
It’s simple, actually.
You need to look! That means getting dirty, going door to door, telling friends you want to buy, spending money on marketing, and working hard to get enough feelers out there.
There’s always deals to be had, in good times and bad turns in the economy, but the deals are only found by those who work hard enough to look.
Don’t Be Scared Of Hard Times
There’s always money to be made in real estate, if you stick to your principles and invest without too much debt.
Most peoples’ biggest fear is investing in real estate in the good times, for fear that the bad times will erase their investment and even add debt.
The truth is, if you maintain a healthy ratio of investment, debt and retain a 6 month emergency fund for each of your properties, you can weather the storm.
There’s always renters, even when there aren’t a lot of buyers.
Always Get Started With What You Can Afford
The best way to avoid burnouts when investing in real estate?
Buy that first home in the location you need for school or work.
Then, you can expand from there.
But buying a sensible home that works for your starter home, and a future rental, you’re creating a small win for yourself and realizing the dream of owning real estate.
Avoid the get rich quick schemes of buying up property in an area you aren’t familiar with, or is too far for you to properly manage.
Build Your Team
By getting to know some great realtors, mortgage officers and lenders in your area, you’re building a team of people that you can work with to find better deals.
I always spend time working on my relationships with realtors and mortgage officers.
They are necessary parts of your future real estate investments.
I wish you much success in your real estate journey.