If I remember 2009 as anything it will most likely be as a year of challenges and learning. As I look toward the future I can’t help but reflect on the past. 2009 was the year I had my most expensive repair bill on a rental home and understood the meaning of repair expenses; $15,000 to legally hook a property to a sewer line and clean up the spilled sewage from the over flowing and failed septic system. It was the first time I lost money on a deal; approximately $10,000, but I was so happy to get it out of my life and off my books. It was a record breaker for my longest hold; 12 months to finally get a rehab sold to a buyer and when the dust settled I ended up with about $2,500 profit. I also learned why I should buy property within a reasonable driving distance of my office; the property I held for 12 months was out in Palm Springs. It was the year I lost two people I looked up to and relied on for knowledge; Chris Carlson was a local investor and even though we had only met less than a year ago, we spoke almost every day. He was my local go to guy for creative financing and difficult transactioneering. The creative investing community lost a great asset with his untimely passing. Jack Miller was the smartest person I had ever personally met and one of the most knowledgeable people in the industry. My sympathy goes out to all those who never had the honor to sit in one of his seminars and be overwhelmed or attend one of his box wine parties. I learned that Thomas Stanley and William Danko knew what they were writing about after I attended one of those millionaire’s club events.
2009 was full of challenges, but with these come experience and with experience comes knowledge. In 2009 I closed on some of my most creative deals thus far. Always attempting to use what I learn, I purchased several properties with seller financing, one of which has a very favorable interest rate somewhere south of 1%. I also signed my first note with both substitution of collateral and first right of refusal clauses.
As I look forward to 2010 I am grateful for the friendships and connections I have made in this business. It is these that carry me through the difficult times and provide me with the support and encouragement to open another escrow. I am excited about the never ending river of opportunity this business delivers to me each and every day. I wake up energized to answer the phone and check my email for seller leads. I am inspired by the vast creativity I can express using techniques and strategies to acquire, hold and sell real estate. I never thought I could have so much fun with numbers.
2010 looks to be very promising. I doubled my portfolio of rentals in 2009 and hope to continue to grow my rental business even more in 2010. I will continue to avoid the crowds and instead keep buying property from people sellers. While the other investors rush to the court house steps and chase down the REO brokers, I will be quietly perfecting my craft and ensuring that my steady stream of profits will not dry up as the market shifts. I will continue to focus on education and seek out the best speakers on topics I have yet to master. Above all, I will spend time with my wife, pets, and friends. I look forward to 2010, but I’m enjoying today very much.