Given that I’ve been very dizzy and unable to work in the past 3 months, I decided to invest most of my time thinking about how to accelerate my early retirement. This doesn’t mean that I started to rush all the time again (as I said in my net worth reports). Although I truly want to have a set of assets which will allow me to retire early, I will take my time to get there. I have achieved more in 28 years of life than most of my peers in 40. As I’ve been saying, enjoy your life, wanting everything now is going to kill you.
My rationale was actually pretty simple. I’ve been doing pretty well with my Real Estate investments, so I should increase my portfolio and gain scale. In my next book, about stuff I learned by interviewing millionaires, you’ll see that paying a lot principle every month is key to achieve real wealth. And this can only be achieved with scale; One has to create a lot of sustainable debt and leverage.
I’ve been approached by some readers, who asked me why I don’t leverage on my current portfolio to grow it.
For instance, many of my readers asked me “well if your Rental Property #3 is appraised at almost 200k and you only asked for 30k, why don’t you cash refinance and leverage on the equity you have?”. Well, Lin Portugal, cash refinancing is not possible.
This consumed me for almost one year (as, as you know, I wanted to run faster) until I found something that will be equivalent to cash refinance, but has the advantage to scale more and faster. I would like to share that – called lines of credit – with you.
Ways to finance your portfolio growth
As a real estate investor, you have many different ways to finance the acquisition of new properties. The most common include:
- Common mortgages
- Seller financing
- Private investors
- IRA funds
- RE equity (cash refinance)
- Hard money loans
- Credit card debt
From these, some are easier to get than others, although most are hard (and time-consuming) and most importantly, not scalable! Recently, I found something that will be a game changer for me: lines of credit. Note that acquisition lines of credit are different from personal lines of credit, and unsecured lines of credit.
The whole point of real estate investing lines of credit is that the bank will lend you money if you provide them with a collateral. In my case, this is pretty straightforward: let me give them my properties (which were appraised high) and invest that money into more properties.
In the following, I will explain you the entire model.
How can I take advantage of lines of credit – and scale my business
The coolest thing about lines of credit with RE as collateral is that they are highly scalable if used correctly.
The key is to find properties that are appraised at way more than what you pay for them. This will allow you to achieve scalability. However, you must be confident you’ll be able to monetize the properties effectively, otherwise you’ll default much more quickly than with regular mortgages (because you scale much faster).
In the following example, I start with RP#3. Let’s assume that after some renovation works (which I’ve recently started), the property with the be worth 220k. As I can pull out 70% of this valuation, I can effectively pull out 150k in free cash.
As for the renovation of RP#3, I have secured a renovation budget of about 28k (for the 3 units that are yet to be renovated), and a leasing contract of €520/mo for the 3 units. This leasing contract possibility was offered by a sub-leasing company I work with, when I look for properties for investors.
I don’t have 28k in the bank right now because my 30k in interest accounts are frozen as I decided to buy another rental property. Next month, I will write a post on this… I will get this money from my RE company, a bonus from my job (5k) and savings from my salary. Probably, I will be able to draw 10-15k from my company, in the form of dividends.
After the renovation is done, I will appraise the home and settle the (presumably 180k-) credit line.
How I will escalate my real estate portfolio
With 150k from the bank (because I need to pay off the current mortgage on RP#3), I will look for RP#5 and RP#6 (I may actually look for three properties). These properties have to abide by the following rules:
- They are worth (before the bank) at least twice more than what I pay for them. Let us assume I pay 70k for each property and use the remaining 10k for closing costs with the properties. This means that each property should be worth 140k. Assuming I can pull out 65% of the appraisals (which is typically the case after the 1st line of credit), I could get a second line of credit of 180k.
- RP#5 and RP#6 (or any other property I can close on with the line of credit) should generate enough money (with a very strong guarantee) to pay for the installments of the 180k line of credit. A strong guarantee of yield/occupancy rate is easily achieved if I lease the properties to the sub-leasing company, however, these are typically must lower rents than renting directly to the public. At the same time, it becomes a hands-off investment, as they run the entire show for me.
- There should be no limitation whatsoever to replicate the process.
Of course that finding such properties is very hard, and having high guarantees that they will be always rented out is probably even harder. From my experience, these properties are big properties that cannot be rented as they are. I am sure I can find them over the course of a few months. Until July 2018, I hope to have bought all of them.
Now, the real trick: I will create a new LLC to hold these new rental properties so that I escalate even faster in the future. I want a fresh start with this money because this will allow me to get even more money from the bank. With the 150k I will get from the acquisition lines of credit, I will start the new LLC and buy rental properties putting down
With the 150k I will get from the acquisition lines of credit (after paying off the 30k mortgage currently on RP#3), I will start the new LLC and buy rental properties under this LLC. At first, I will try to put down only 50%, so that buy even more properties. If I can do that, I will buy 4 or 5 properties. If I have to buy the properties all cash (it is actually possible for the bank to turn me down, as I’ll have no credit history with the new LLC), I will finance new properties with lines of credit on the free-and-clear properties. Note that within an LLC, you can write off interest, so that is why I am so keen on creating debt there.
As for the future, this is the very minimum I expect to hit as far as my real estate portfolio:
Making sure I get a balanced portfolio
Real Estate is definitely my primary way to retire early. I hope to lower my exposure to Real Estate by increasing my stock portfolio over time. BTW, I’ve been making some purchases, I need to update this soon. For now, I will escalate my Real Estate portfolio because I finally hit the sweet spot of creditworthiness. As for buying stocks to balance things out, I don’t think I will be buying much before 2018.
If you have any comments on my strategy, let me know down below!