What's up Jump In Nation! We've got another #JumpIn Stories interview, where we profile individuals who have taken the leap and jumped into real estate investing. These investors have taken action (arguably the toughest part), and are doing everything they can to create a life of financial independence.
Gabe and I go back to the days when I was just getting into the Indianapolis market and purchased My First Property. We've stayed in touch ever since then and even use the same property manager. It's been really fun to see how Gabe has grown and progressed since we first met!
So, let's get started!
Gabe, tell us a little about yourself.
I’ve been happily married since 2014 to my beautiful wife Claudine, who I met at Rutgers University in New Jersey, where I went to undergraduate school. We have two daughters, Zuri and Aria, who are 1 and 3 years old respectively. I am a pharmacist by training and a drug safety specialist by trade. I became interested in real estate investing in 2014 after reading “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki.
Where do you invest?
At this time we invest in Indianapolis, IN.
Why did you Jump Into real estate?
I jumped into real estate with my wife in pursuit of financial freedom. Financial freedom to us is that day when our passive monthly income is equal to or greater than our monthly cost of living. More simply, passive income >= to expenses.
What's your investing strategy?
Since 2018 we have been employing the long distance BRRRR strategy. BRRRR stands for buy, rehab, rent, refinance, repeat.
B- Buy a property for a discount (the property is usually distressed in some way)
R- Rehab the property to increase it’s market value
R- Rent it out to a well-screened tenant
R- Refinance the property with a long-term, fully amortized, fixed rate mortgage (30 year term)
R- Repeat the process with another property
We have been implementing this strategy with vacant, single family houses in safe blue collar areas.
Why do you invest outside of your local market?
We live in northern New Jersey where property values are high in comparison to rental rates. New Jersey taxes are pretty high as well. We looked for a market that had these elements:
We feel that investing in Indianapolis gives us a good chance to earn solid cashflow.
What's the first step you took to invest in long-distance real estate?
The first step I took was to get educated through reading and listening to audiobooks and podcasts centered on real estate investing and personal development. I wanted to get knowledgeable about how to buy and hold real estate for passive income, and I also knew I needed to become a better leader for my family and future businesses.
What's been the worst moment as a real estate investor?
My first move after starting to get educated was to partner with two guys I met through a close friend in an attempt to flip seven houses simultaneously to build up enough capital for a down payment on an apartment building. This went horribly wrong, and my wife and I lost about $150,000 in the process. We had borrowed from close friends and family members and promised huge returns. In the end, we paid back every dime, including the interest we promised. It took us from December 2015 through August 2017 to pay back all of our lenders. The pain of making such a huge mistake was tremendous, but we made it through with our integrity intact, which no one can put a price on.
What's your greatest takeaway from that moment?
I learned the value of taking ownership when things go wrong. We found out our partners were using funds meant for renovation to pay off “investors” we didn’t know about, buy jewelry, and eat at expensive restaurants. They eventually began selling the properties without telling us.
Allowing myself to even be in a situation like that was so ridiculous it’s laughable when I think about it today. Believe me while we were going through it, there were way more tears than laughter. For the longest, I blamed everyone but myself. Once I started to take accountability, I began to feel like I was gaining back a sense of power. It was an expensive takeaway but well worth it.
How has real estate changed your life?
Real estate has opened my mind to the endless possibilities that life has to offer. It has given me a practical roadmap to financial freedom.
If you could learn any real estate related skill right now, what would it be?
My current skill I am honing is the ability to analyze multifamily properties (5 units and larger). In order to achieve financial freedom through buy and hold real estate, I have come to the realization that purchasing multifamily properties can accelerate the process, so I am preparing myself by learning to analyze them.
If you had an extra $100,000 right now what would you do with it?
I would keep it in an account until I increase my knowledge and network to the point when my wife and I are ready to buy an apartment building.
What's the best book you've read recently? Why?
I love to read so it’s tough to choose one.
On the financial/ RE investing side I would say “Fake” by Robert Kiyosaki
In the book, Kiyosaki discusses:
-Fake money (fiat currency like the dollar) vs. real money (gold/silver)
-Fake teachers (those who teach but have never had any real-world experience in what they teach) vs. real teachers (those who teach what they have actually done)
-Derivatives (mutual funds, etc) vs. buy and hold real estate. The book makes one stop and think about the advantages of choosing real over fake.
On the personal development side, “The Fifth Agreement” by don Miguel Ruiz. This one discusses the power of doubting negative “agreements” that we have made internally that hinder us from creating the best life for ourselves and everyone around us.
What's your end goal?
I don’t know that I have an “end goal” per se. I have accomplished a couple of significant goals I set for myself throughout my life, and the sense of peace from accomplishing them has always been temporary. It is becoming clearer to me that learning to enjoy the process of working toward a goal IS the goal. I seek to grow as a husband, father, and leader on a consistent basis. I want to raise emotionally healthy children that add value to society in powerful ways. That being said….if I happen to amass a 10,000 unit portfolio along the way, then I’ll take it.
What's your greatest real estate advice?
It might not seem like real estate advice, as it has to do more with mindset. Focus on your “why” and never give up.
And there you have it folks!
THANK YOU Gabe for sharing your story and taking time to connect with Jump In Real Estate and the community. Best of luck, happy investing, and can't wait to see how your journey progresses!