Investing in Real Estate Away from Home: A Detailed Guide
Have you ever wondered if investing in real estate outside of where you live is a good idea? Chances are, you've toyed with this idea more than once but aren't sure where to start or how to go about it.
But worry not – today, we explore the journey of Cody Szohr, an investor who chose to invest in his hometown, Milwaukee, after searching for his first real estate investment fruitlessly in San Diego.
Life Before Real Estate: The Driving Force
Cody's motivation for exploring real estate in his hometown was primarily due to the sky-high property values in San Diego. This not only made real estate investments harder to come by but also made the process significantly more difficult for a novice in the field. On the other hand, the lower-priced market of Milwaukee offered an easy path for breaking into the real estate world.
"If you live in a really expensive place like San Diego, going to a lower-priced market typically offers a more easy path to getting that first deal."
- Cody Szohr
Cody's approach makes sense, especially if you consider the broader idea of potentially replacing your present job with real estate investment. That's precisely what Cody decided to do, using the approach of wholesaling real estate.
This business model enables you to make large profits by finding discounted real estate and passing it off to an investor who has money, allowing you to earn a substantial finder's fee for your efforts.
Getting into Wholesaling Real Estate: The First Steps
One of Cody's initial steps was to use the DealMachine, the platform we created for finding off-market deals that has helped people close thousands of deals in all U.S. states over the past seven years. Cody began using DealMachine while still in San Diego and continued to use it after switching his investment focus to Milwaukee.
Cody's first deal was a property he got under contract for $12,000, which he sold for $13,500, resulting in earnings of $1,500. Now, you might be thinking, "What kind of property could you possibly purchase for $12,000?" Well, according to Cody, this was a property in the innermost city of Milwaukee, an area where properties are typically relatively cheap. From that point on, Cody began investing more in Milwaukee – without physically moving there, of course!
Driving for Dollars: A Lucrative Game Changer
One of the key strategies Cody employed in his investments was Driving for Dollars. Cody put together a guide that involved driving around and looking for rundown houses and then approaching the owners to see if they might be interested in selling. For those unsure about what Driving for Dollars truly entails, it's just a term for the process of looking for rundown houses and offering to buy them from the owners.
By employing this method, Cody was able to close multiple deals and even admitted that driving for dollars had been extremely lucrative for him. It cost him next to nothing, except for the time and resources he invested in mailers, which offered him returns well worth the investment.
The Challenges of Building a Buyer’s List: A Reality Check
In real estate investment, one of the primary challenges beginners face is building a buyer's list. Cody experienced the same; while he found it difficult to attract meaningful attention without having any deals at hand, once he started closing deals, he found it exponentially easier to grow his list of interested buyers.
Cody now ensures that he uses every deal to attract more potential buyers, adding several new buyers to his list after every one.
The Transformation with Wholesaling Real Estate
Looking back, Cody confessed that from being a special education teacher to a full-time real estate investor supporting his family, his life before and after wholesaling real estate has been worlds apart. Not only is he no longer waking up early for work, but he also enjoys the freedom to spend time with his family and celebrate life’s small moments without feeling exhausted. Added to this, the plethora of financial opportunities he now has is something he couldn’t even have imagined before.
Cody's story is evidence that sometimes, when it comes to investing in real estate, thinking outside of the 'location' box can open up a world of new opportunities. So the next time you're wondering whether investing in real estate afar could work for you, remember Cody's success story and consider giving it a try!
About Benjy Nichols
Benjy has been a media specialist at DealMachine for the last 2.5 years. He produces, writes, shoots, and edits our media content for our member's DealMachine and Real Estate education.