Tools to help with your Real Estate journey

Finding Capital

A lot of the folks new to real estate are worried about being able to afford the down payment on a property. Most don't realize that they have access to cash they might not have thought about. This money can go towards down payment, permits, renovations and any other expenses. Here are a few ways you can create a fund that can get you started on your investing journey:

HELOC - Home Equity Line of Credit

If you own a primary residence (if you don't, that might be the first step in real estate investing :)) and have equity in your home then you might be able to access that equity using a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). This is a product available through a number of banks and credit unions. Criteria you should use when evaluating different institutions'  HELOC products include reliability, trustworthiness  and good rates

SBLOC - Securities Backed Line Of Credit

If you receive RSUs as part of your compensation (I'm looking at you my ex-colleagues from the tech world), you might be able to set up a securities backed line of credit with a financial institution (bank, brokerage, etc.)  of your choice. A Securities Backed Line of Credit gives you access to cash up to a certain % of the value of your assets without the need to sell the stocks. This cash can be used for purchasing a property, renovations, investing in syndications, or a variety of other real estate investing needs. This is typically an interest-only loan which makes monthly payments lower than a conventional loan, reducing the holding cost on real estate investments.   

Once you have the down payment figured out you can use Conventional Loans, Hard Money Loans (HML), Private Money Lenders to finance the debt piece of your deal.

Networking - Seattle

For those investing outside of Seattle, I recommend looking up resources in your market similar to the ones shared below.

The next most common question after money is about finding the right people. In real estate, like any other business, your success depends on your team. I would argue it's more critical in real estate to have a good and trustworthy network than in many other businesses. This group of people will dictate whether you make or lose money on your investments. This team includes your contractor, realtor, loan officer, partner, builder, sub-contractor, stager, property manager and many others. The way to find the right people for you is to start networking. Here are some of the networking resources that have helped my in my journey:

WAREI (Washington Real Estate Investing)  -

This Facebook group is a treasure trove of knowledge and includes like-minded folks focused on one thing - real estate investing. Reading through the posts has helped me learn a lot about various aspects of Real Estate. This has to be step 1 in the journey of becoming a real estate investor. You will also find information about various networking events in the state and you can choose the one that works best for you. Jan Wanot, who created and runs the group (along with other key admins), is a prolific investor primarily focused on Mobile Home Parks (MHPs). He also owns several Single and Multi Family investments in the Seattle-Tacoma region. 

If you have never been to a real estate mixer then this is the one to start with. You will meet investors, realtors, contractors, etc. from the Greater Seattle region at different points of their investing journey. (Pro tip - Be ready to put yourself out there and talk to as many people as you can. It's harder at first but gets easier with practice :)). This is a once a month in-person meetup with a new topic and expert panel every month. The meetup is hosted by one of the powerhouses of the Greater Seattle market - Leka Devatha. She is well-known not only in the state but across the country, evidenced by the fact that she will be the emcee of the 2023 Bigger Pockets Conference. 

In addition to the Facebook group, Jan also hosts a monthly meetup on different topics. The one coming up in June is geared towards new investors . Follow WAREI events on Eventbrite for updates on future events and meet ups. 

My recommended list of contacts

It is very critical to have the right team and network in the real estate world. Things can go sideways real quick if you get into business with the wrong people. Here are the folks I recommend networking/investing/working with as you look to grow your Real Estate career.

As mentioned earlier, Leka is a powerhouse investor and flipper. WIth experience across residential and commercial, she has mastered various aspects of Real Estate. She has an amazing track record of delivering results and is always pushing the envelope. I started my investor journey with her as an equity partner on a flip in Shoreline and learned a lot throughout the process. Leka was kind enough to bring me along and answer my questions at every stage. 

Her other superpower is her ability to network. She is not only well-connected in the Greater Seattle region but also across the country. Leka is always willing to share her knowledge and is a great person to work with. I highly recommend connecting with her.

If you are on the WAREI Facebook group then you know Jan. He created this Facebook group as a way to bring folks with similar mindsets and interests together. The WAREI page is a great resource for noobs as well as experienced investors. In addition to running the WAREI Facebook group, Jan invests in MHPs (Mobile Home Parks) across the country. Jan also hosts a masterclass twice a year where he shares his learnings, tools and network with his students. I cannot recommend this class enough. I took the class over Easter weekend in 2023. It is an awesome way to kick start your career as an investor or sharpen your skills if you have been at it for a while.

Augie is one of those people who has a secret identity. He is a loan officer by day but during his spare time he dons the hat of a real estate investor regularly making 7 figure profits. He also looks out for his clients' interests. Whether you are purchasing a primary residence or an investment property, Augie will steer you in the right direction and make sure you not only get the best rate, but also the right exit strategy. A testament to this is the North Seattle property he convinced me to buy, and that too on a Sunday. When this project is complete in 2-3 years I will have over 7 figures in equity in this deal. This does not happen everyday and would not have happened for me without Augie's vision and experience with similar projects. Make Augie your loan officer, you will not regret it.

Disclaimer: This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.