10 Years Later “Our Retirement Is Looking Fine”
My 6 month mentor program:
A few Case Study Video Interviews with my Students:
Read Transcript for “10 Years Later ‘Our Retirement Is Looking Fine’”
Ron: My name is Ron Rabenstein and I’m from Muncie, Indiana. I think with the first one… Okay, there was an ad in the paper that my wife found and the guy wanted to sell on contract and so we went to talk to him to see if he had the money to catch up on his taxes. And so we were able to purchase that with just a little bit down. He already had a renter in there that he’d had for many years and so by doing the numbers that Joe suggested, we were going to get a 22.5% return on our small investment down and get that property. I think that was our first one. It didn’t seem like it took more than a week to ten days.
Ron: We had another person that tried to come in and get the deal and we talked to another friend and he said, ‘Well, it looks like they’re getting ready to take your deal.’ And so we had to go over there and move a little quicker. He was ready to move to get that deal because the other good deal I remember us getting was when Joe said to go look through the neighborhoods and find the worst house on the block and then contact the owner.
Ron: And that’s what we did. We found that the house was actually empty and the gentleman had moved to a retirement home and I had to actually go pick him up and bring him over there for him to show me the house. He was willing to sell it. We found out he had actually already sold his house to his daughter for a dollar just because he was elderly. We contacted her, and for almost nothing down, we were able to get her to sign a contract and agree to make monthly payments while we fixed it up with a balloon payment a year later. That worked out really well. We fixed it up so nice that we actually moved into it.
Ron: We found it interesting. We liked the hunt of the next property and just going around and looking for the worst house on the block. So naturally, you’re going to get the appreciation of fixing the house up and have other people interested in that particular area where we were at. But then we liked it and we just used another system that Joe taught of lease optioning our house where we lived, which we already had a home equity loan on that one, and we were able to then get another one on this home that we moved into, which was one of Joe’s techniques. That helped get us to get started and do one of the many systems that he offers in his book.
Ron: My wife actually found it on the internet back in early 2001.
Interviewer: What made you decided to get involved?
Ron: We were looking at different housing options at that time. You hear other people talk about how they got a rental here and a rental there, and so we were looking at it and I had another family member on my wife’s side who had been in the kind of like the small motel one room type rental in another town. And so we’d always see them at family reunions and talked to them and they always encouraged us. So, we were hinting around the edges even with like what they call the foreclosure/sheriff’s sale before Joe, but just didn’t know the right questions to ask or the right places to look to really get started until we saw his program, and he laid it out just a week at a time to where we could digest it and understand this new terminology that we weren’t familiar with.
Ron: Yes, in the summer of ’01 we found his program and got started, went through that whole Six Month Mentor Program. When we finished was probably when we made our first offer on that house and it was accepted. We started going to foreclosure sales during that period to familiarize ourselves with our local market and that’s when we really felt like that was our calling.
Interviewer: And so you specialize in foreclosures? How do you work in that area?
Ron: Well, we studied our county. We’ve studied it really well over the years, and we just get the list of all of them that are becoming available. My son used to say, ‘Dad, you never drive straight home,’ because any time we were going across town, we’d always move over one or two streets and go look at another house. There was always, in the beginning, at least 5 a week that we would look at, and now it’s up to 40 or 60 a month. So, we just research and kind of drive by. You start learning what to look at with the homes and how to go about the process of bidding on them and seeing what you want to do with them.
Ron: In the beginning, we wanted to get a few rentals and try that market and then we found out that we didn’t enjoy that as much, like Joe, so then we started using his lease option methods where we sold them on contract to people, got several of them, and then decided that we didn’t want to deal with the paperwork and that end of it because we weren’t quite as good at Joe at dictating it out to other people. So, we switched over to just the flipping of the houses; buying them and getting a group of people to work on them and fix them up and then resell them.
Ron: We just liked the hunt and getting the homes and being able to provide homes for different people in our area. It’s worked out good and our son is growing up in the business and is now working for us on the homes. It helps him and his family, and, several different people in our family have gotten homes.
Ron: A little bit but not nearly to the extend we need to. It certainly has helped by marketing those on Craigslist to bring buyers, and also creating a website to list our homes and then that works while you’re sleeping. You’re waking up the next morning and then you’ve got emails from people invested in those homes. But we want to get better in that area and just need to kind of try to catch up with the technology. We’re always enthused by the emails and things we get about Joe and his other members and what they’re doing with the automation, but we just don’t have all the gifts that he has right at the moment. He just keeps flying…
Interviewer: You’re getting there?
Ron: Yes. My short term goal is to retire from my job I’ve been at for 28 years. I don’t dislike it, but I knew that when I saw Joe’s program, we wanted to plan for the future because with that retirement, you’re going to drop down in income considerably. I don’t dislike it, but I just see all of the opportunity.
Ron: Also, having more time to do a little more traveling. I just got back this morning at midnight from Florida. We stayed on the beach in a friend of ours condo that they just got. They’re an investor down there, so that gives us opportunities to go to other cities or states and do the real estate anywhere in the country just like many of Joe’s students are doing. Also, to help out our son to grow in the business and giving him more options. We have the goal of retiring and doing this more full time. That’s what we’d like to do.
Ron: The automation is something I think we need to work on. That’s something – that the wife feels like I get too many phone calls that I’m trying to handle myself. But that’s just my nature – trying to handle everything. But I like it when she’s able to do the websites and get people to fill out the forms and kind of get them prequalified, have them be prequalified if they’re buying it, or if they’re just finding out how much of a down payment they have or monthly payments they can afford; things like that. So our goal is to get more automated in that area.
Ron: Yes, we’ve done dozens and dozens of flips in the last year. We’re focusing more on that because that’s kind of what we enjoy is hunting the property down. We’ve got a group of people that do each task and it’s a little bit automated there with having roofers and heat and air guys; you just call and they come in. I’ve got my nephew who’s a good tile man now and can beautify them with that. And then you don’t have to worry about the tenants and all of the paperwork. So yes, that’s what we’d like to do now.
Ron: Check out Joe’s program. Get educated. Try his steps where you test your own market where you’re at, or whatever city you’re in, and just be consistent. Year in and year out, I’ve read the book over and over and the tortoise always beats the hare. And that’s what we just do. We just continually keep looking. Like I said, my son said we never drive straight home. We were on vacation last week but we still looked at houses down there and seeing what that market’s like and how other people do things in another area.
Ron: But we just consistently within our life talk to people. We get referrals because people know the market we’re in and the industry and they’ve all got a friend or a brother or somebody who’s either wanting to buy or sell a house. So word of mouth is a way you can learn this lesson, but if you’re interested in real estate and you want to set your own hours and set your own pay scale, there’s a lot of opportunity out there despite what you hear on the news. Each of those situations creates an opportunity and we’ve all been able to take advantage of those opportunities, and in an up or down market, there’s always people who are moving because of death, divorce, disinterest, etc. – people just keep moving and moving and houses are available everywhere. It’s been a great industry for us to get into.
Ron: We look forward to continuing to doing it. The investor that we stayed with this week is 82 and we had trouble keeping up with him. He just gets up each morning, goes on the websites, checks the homes, and so we hope to be active as long as he is.
Ron: Just that we thank Joe so much for providing this opportunity and being such a simple teacher and being available to answer your questions, and how he puts you together in networks with other members so that you can learn from each one of their talents and strengths that they have. And, he shares that information with everyone in his group so that you can adjust things in your area. We enjoy coming back to the seminars and meeting the people and trying to help them and answer their questions.
Ron: I would recommend you try Joe’s program. It’s really worked very well for us. We’ve done better in the 10 years in Joe’s program than we’ve done in the 28 years with my employer. And so our retirement is looking fine.