Dr. Thomas has been a real estate investor as long as he can remember while also pursuing other career paths.
He has always focused on rentals, but the deal he did on MyHouseDeals was his first fix and flip!
See how he got started at age 23, why to scout the area of the deal before purchase, and the importance of always educating yourself.
Keep reading to see how he jumped into a new investing strategy after just focusing on one for decades.
Listen to our conversation with Dr. Thomas to hear more about his investing experiences, the deal he found on MyHouseDeals and his tips for new investors plus…
- How to tap into new investing strategies
- How to own property at a young age
- The importance of having good credit and doing research
NOTE: Dr. Thomas is a premium member. He received a FULL refund of his upfront membership fees for simply doing a deal! Find out more about our premium membership here.
Tell me a little about yourself…
What got you interested in real estate investing?
I’ve been an investor as long as I can remember! I’ve focused on rentals and I’ve dipped my toes in rehabs and flipping. I came across the deal on MyHouseDeals and decided to go for it and jump right in.
What got you interested in doing the rental properties?
I’ve been doing rentals since I was in college. I realized it was cheaper for me to buy a duplex, live on one side, and rent it out to my grandmother. She helped me pay for the bills and on top of that, I had ownership. I kept that first property for 20 years.
I’m always looking for more rental properties to add to my portfolio like complexes or 4plexes.
I’m a part-time investor that looks for passive income. I am always looking for tax deductions and cash flow.
Was it difficult to take your first steps?
It wasn’t at all. I was young and dumb! I didn’t know what I was doing when I started at maybe 23 years old. I had a decent credit score and with my first job I was able to get a loan from the bank.
How did you build up your investing education?
Well, firstly I’m an educator. I do a lot of reading and always try to figure things out on my own. Once I found out how to get tax deductions and pay less to Uncle Sam I was all in.
What sparked the idea to invest in rentals?
I was in Athens, Georgia and a lot of people there were involved in rental properties. Whether it was a single family home or duplex. They were all over the city so I decided to get involved too.
How have you developed in the real estate industry?
I focus a ton of my time reading and watching videos. I also put time into going to real estate groups which has helped me. I love being around like-minded people.
My best friend is a commercial real estate professional and helps me. Ever since 9th grade we talked about owning properties and would look at homes in neighborhoods. It has been something we always loved to do.
Do you do more fix and flips or rentals?
Well the deal I got on your site was a fix and flip and it’s my first one, so we’ll see how it goes. Before that I’ve only done buy and hold.
Do you guys have a budget already for the property?
We have a budget, but it keeps going up. It went up a thousand dollars today actually!
How did you pull the comps?
Fortunately, my wholesaler had some comps pulled that he presented and I verified it using Zillow. Then I also looked at the comps from the bank.
I used hard money for financing for this one. The bank also got some appraisals and comps as well, so I used my different sources and pulled them together.
Have you thought about doing the private lending, or it was all bank funded?
It was all bank funded because that’s what I was most comfortable with. I am looking into private money for further deals. Hard money lenders cut into your profits because of the fees associated with them which I don’t like. Private money will definitely be used for me in the future.
What strategy did you use when you were negotiating the price?
The price itself was pretty fixed because the wholesaler is a smart guy. He offered the property to me all in at 65% ARV and you can’t beat that so there wasn’t much wiggle room.
If he was coming in at 80 or 85%, including his fee, then there would of been room for negotiation.
Were there any hurdles that you had to overcome when you went through closing?
No, closing went smoothly. The only thing was some contingencies that he was going to do beforehand on the property.
Were the numbers for the repairs good, or is it going to be more expensive?
They were not. But, what my wholesaler did do was give me a rehab budget of $50K. He then helped me find a contractor who could do that work for the budget.
There’s turning out to be a little bit more work that needs to be done, but it’s within the ballpark.
Were there any surprises that you’ve experienced?
There’s no surprises yet, but I’m sure there will be. People might break in and steal things, you never know.
I’m assuming that my property doesn’t need inspection because it’s gutted to the ground. But, we’ll see if this bites me in the back or not.
Do you plan on renting it out before you sell it and put it on the market?
That’s one of the exit strategies. I hope I don’t have to utilize that one. My goal is to put it up for listing as soon as we finish it.
It will be right in time for the summer. There are actually three properties right next to mine that are all being rehabbed together.
What advice would you give for someone who’s just starting out?
Number one is to drive in the neighborhood a lot. When I say that, I mean once a day for 30 to 45 days before you buy the property. You need to get a feel for the street and area. Become an expert on it so there’s no surprises.
Also, you need to protect your credit. Anything you can do to protect it is so important because although there’s lots of ways to finance, when you have solid credit it makes everything easier.
Dr. Thomas has been doing real estate investing since he was 23 and it always was a passion of his.
With educating himself, going to events, and making friendships with people in the industry he was able to learn and grow as an investor.
He told us of the importance of having great credit for financing, doing your own research on the property by driving by it consistently, and knowing your numbers. He mentioned how to always try out new things and don’t be afraid to tap into a new strategy.