103: Residential Multi-Family House Hacking with Devin Moreno
Devin Moreno started with nothing but a stable job living paycheck-to-paycheck and $500 to his name. Despite coming from a family of investors (stocks and other businesses), it’s a surprise Devin didn’t actually make the jump to real estate sooner than he did. (And this was one of Devin’s motivations to succeed as much as he has so quickly.)
So, coming onto the scene a little later than many Millennials investors, Devin buckled down and learned as much as he could about the real estate industry in six months. He knew he struggled with analysis paralysis so the six month deadline was crucial for him to get started.
And just like that, Devin had purchased his very first House Hack using a VA Loan, meaning he was able to purchase the property for 0% down. Since then, he has used this first property as a launching point into the small multi-family space using a combination of conventional and private financing to continue leveraging his investments.
Up to date, Devin is closing on his first triplex which will be a BRRRR investment purchase. Devin knows his goals have definitely evolved since he began, and thinks they will continue to change going forward. Right now, the important thing for him is to ensure he continues to invest in properties that excite him and challenge his comfort levels.
Our takeaways with our conversation with Devin:
1) Run your business like a business. When Devin purchased his first privately funded deal, he confessed to us that asking people for money was not something he was accustomed to (as we’re sure with many investors starting out). That’s okay. As per Devin’s case, the people he was looking to get funding from were people who also didn’t know much about private financing. So as he learned more and more about deal structure, Devin kept an open line of communication with them and explained to his lenders exactly how the deal was going to work. Along with explanations and his competence, Devin proved he was trustworthy by displaying the business systems he had in place. Lastly, he didn’t take too much money for anyone to handle. Each person who funded his deal lent no more than $10,000.
2) Give yourself deadlines. All too much, we see many eager investors cave into fear and fall prey to analysis paralysis. By giving yourself a deadline (and an honest effort), you will be able to hold yourself accountable and examine your “readiness” from an outside perspective. The goal isn’t to learn and/or analyze everything for your first deal. If that’s the case, you’ll never be ready. The goal is to learn and/or analyze enough to do your first deal. Remember, even if your first deal goes completely wrong, you will still have learned more from those mistakes than you would have had you not taken any action in the first place.
3) Read the fine print. One of the many reasons real estate is such a great investment vehicle are the legal loopholes available to investors’ disposal. However, because many loopholes are popular (and maybe even considered common practice), just one overlook of text or just one uneducated assumption can lead you to a plethora of legal trouble. Have competent advisors and be competent yourself. Make sure your business practices are within the confines of the law and protect yourself and your assets. When it comes to asset protection, “Better safe than sorry” is the motto.
4) Learning your market. You don’t always need to invest where you live (not at all), but the real estate industry and real estate markets are very niche. If you want to be successful, it would suit you well to learn where you are putting your money into. There are many ways to learn a new market. You can assemble a team who knows the area, talk to other investors who invest in the area of interest, or spend time traveling around the area for yourself. For Devin, the third option was the way for him. He invests in Baltimore where the market tends to be “block-for-block,” meaning one street over from another can be a totally different market in and of itself. And that’s okay. Regardless of how you learn your market, with enough due diligence and practice, you will learn your market as well as many others along the way (just don’t fall into analysis paralysis!). Devin knew nothing about Baltimore starting out, but now he can distinguish one “block” from another very easily.
If David could go back and talk to his 16 year old self, he’d tell him, “The biggest disappointment is starting this so late. At minimum, paycheck-to-paycheck will not do you any favors.”
An unexpected benefit of real estate investing, Devin said, was the confidence boost it gives you knowing you are a homeowner, as well as a business owner.
A piece of advice Devin would tell his friends looking to get started in real estate would be to “House Hack—even if that is [your] only purchase ever.”
Devin recommends using YouTube to learn and consume all things real estate. Subscribe to Devin’s channel at Devin Moreno Investing!
Devin recommends reading Landlording on Autopilot by Mike Butler & Real Estate Investing Gone Bad by Phil Pustejovsky to help you get started on your real estate education.
If you’d like to get in touch with Devin, contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you to everyone that has reached out to us to connect them with our trusted real estate agents in their area! And congratulations to those who have even closed deals using our referrals! For those that didn’t know, we can help connect you with real estate investor friendly agents in your area to help you get started investing in real estate. We recently made some changes to our website that we believe will better suit you in your real estate investing needs. For more information, visit www.millennial-realestate.com and head over to the “Start Investing” Tab. Best wishes and see you in the next one!