Taking Action Now to Live the Armchair Lifestyle Later
Taking Action Now to Live the Armchair Lifestyle Later
Welcome back to the Wealth Watchers podcast. I’m your host, Adam Lendy. With me, as always, is my co-host, Justin Hoggett.
Justin – Starting off season two, episode one, we got a new guest, Michael Dominguez.
Adam – All right. Well, Michael, I appreciate you joining us today. Obviously, we’re going to dive into your topic and talk to you about your book as well, too. But first, we’d like to give you a chance to share a little bit about your background, who you are, where you come from, and why does he do what you do?
Michael – My name is Michael Dominguez. I live in the Toronto, Ontario, Canada, area, and real estate entered into my life as a second career. I had a full career working in middle management and working the 9-5 job. And by the time I hit age 40, I was thinking to myself, I really haven’t moved forward in my wealth goals and my dreams, so I was trying to come up with an alternative way of moving forward in my life and I was introduced to real estate. I decided to become a Realtor. And within a year or two after becoming a Realtor, I was focused more on working with the investors because I felt they were kind of my people. And it was through that that I ended up buying my first and multiple investment properties. After that, as much of any reason was to make myself a better Realtor. But obviously, I started building some pretty significant wealth as a result as well. I focused on I was sort of the slow and steady builder. I still had my 9-5 job. I never wanted to become a full-time investor and my goal was to buy an investment property a year for ten straight years and buying quality properties and quality neighborhoods, looking for quality tenants, and hold on to them for a long time.
Adam – Are you still involved in brokerage today?
Michael – I have sold my core business and I’m still an active Realtor by definition, but not really very active. And the fact that I’m currently living in California, where my business is in Canada, might give you some indication that as long as the weather is better, I might be an active Realtor.
Adam – Well, it’s funny, we both come from a background of brokerage and when I got into it, boy, I thought, Man, I’m getting in with the elites in this real estate world, realizing, and I don’t want to disparage any people because I know a lot of great people in that industry. However, it’s surprising how many Realtors don’t have a sense about them when it comes to being an investor.
Michael – Yeah, I’ve actually spoken at a few different podcasts and on speaking events as well. One of my driving missions in writing this book was reaching out to a number of Realtors because honestly, real estate agents have an opportunity, a unique opportunity, where they’re in the middle of probably the best wealth-building opportunity in North America anywhere. And we’re selling products that are just such great opportunities. And with the skill sets that the average Realtor has, they can build generational wealth, which is kind of what I’ve been teaching a lot of my people.
Adam – Yeah. So obviously you mentioned you were getting started and you had a goal for ten properties in ten years. Did you achieve it in that time frame or did you?
Michael – To be fair, with joint ventures, but I think I wound up at the time with about 14 or 15 properties. Now I’m sitting with twelve investment properties. The type of property that I really focused on was not the large multi-flag site I had a six-flag site. I’m a joint venture partner with a nine flex, but it’s the single-family homes with additional dwelling units has been my niche business, which has essentially changed my life. I found that I talk about this in the book, but in my Goldilocks principle, it was just right for my investing. It generated the cash flow I was looking for because I had two tenants in the same building and it had the tenant profile I was looking for, where the multi-unit buildings tend to have a much more inferior tenant profile.
Adam – Now, obviously, for anybody listening who doesn’t know the ADU, the accessory dwelling unit, typically a detached single-like studio or single bedroom kind of unit. Is this something you are adding to these properties or are you buying properties that had existing ADU’s?
Michael – Now in my market, we have full basements in a lot of our properties. And as a result of that, we had like 1000 sq. Ft. Bungalow. And we were able to add that’s a three-bedroom apartment, basically in a 1000 square foot space. And then we’re adding some, in most cases a two-bedroom basement suite. But if I was in California or West Coast US, you could have a garage above a garage or placement of a garage. You have a garden suite. You can have an add-on behind the building sort of thing as well.
Adam – Anytime you can maximize the number of tenants on the property. So to be clear, the ones you’ve done were basement apartments.
Michael – As opposed to separate structures for the most part, yes. There’s been not a lot of exceptions to that. What we’re looking at doing going forward is because there’s such a huge need for housing. In my market, there’s even a talk about allowing single-family homes to have a third suite. And if that were to happen, I would actually look at building a top-up above the bungalow. I’d have essentially a triplex of sorts or a tiny house in the backyard. So those are the two options that I consider.
Adam – Now, are you restricted is it just zoning restrictions or is it actually a government restriction on how many, I guess, tenants per property?
Michael – The answer is yes. That’s the biggest challenge. There’s a term called missing middle in housing, and it’s funny how builders are allowed to build single-family homes or even semis and townhouses or they can build large apartment buildings. But prior to World War II, there was a large number of duplex, triplex Duplex type properties that were being built. But then in the 50s and 60s, when the suburbs were born, a lot of those markets, essentially it became banned to build a triplex because we don’t want those kinds of people or those kinds of houses in our yard, in our backyard. And so now, slowly but surely, we’re starting to see across North America, we’re seeing a real push towards allowing ads and in some cases, third tertiary suites in order to identify the buildings in a lot of ways because single-family homes are crap in terms of destination.
Most of my portfolio is in the suburbs of Toronto, about an hour east. And to put this in perspective, a bungalow and mine market. We’ve had the Toronto area. I’ve been blessed to have some of the best appreciation of any market in North America. And we’ve been for the last two years straight, we had about 30% year over year increase in property values. And so far this year it’s been just a frenzy. We’ve had about a 20% increase in value since January 1. My properties that were worth a typical bungalow with a basement apartment was selling for about $600,000 Canadian prior to COVID, and now they’re selling about $1.1 million.
Justin – That’s right. So how did you get started and what was your first property and how handy were you? Did you start right into it? Did you have a property manager?
Michael – The answer is I was not incredibly handy. I tried doing a lot of the things and I realized early on that my special sauce was not necessarily doing the work myself because I found every time I dedicated hours and weeks on the property, it actually affected my core business. So as a result of that, I started to build a really great team and they did the vast majority of the work. I obviously still was coordinating or overseeing the general contractors in most cases. But yeah, I didn’t do a heck of a lot. My first property I bought, you might be surprised, was actually a dilapidated six flex. And because I did a lot of the things that all these books tell you to do and to buy the best-undervalued properties, get it on the buy. All these myths that they talk about in real estate, you only make money on the buy. So I was looking for these pieces of crap property and I started to renovate. The challenge was that they were definitely secondary and tertiary quality markets. And so even after I renovated my first two properties and got them as great as I could, I still couldn’t attract tenant profile I was looking for.
And as a result of that, I was constantly dealing with trying to collect rent. I was trying to deal with keeping the place updated because a lot of the tenants, didn’t treat my buildings with respect. It almost broke me as an investor. But it wasn’t until I started to find quality properties and quality subdivisions and neighborhoods. And then I started to attract people with a really good credit score who treated it as their own building. And then I could hold on to these properties for five and ten years with no problem and just ride the appreciation wave and see my mortgage pay down as well.
Justin – Yeah. Do you think that you’re well, as a broker, do you think that was a huge advantage? It sounds like it was. So maybe speak on that if you could. And then were you able to kind of cherry-pick some of these deals that you’ve picked up because of that?
Michael – Like if I’m talking to Realtors, certainly there’s opportunities. Because I was focused on working with investors, I kind of had a rule in play where if any of my clients were actively looking for a property and the property came up, I would give them first dibs to buy it. Because the one thing that you learn in the real estate world is it’s not like you could buy every property even if you wanted to. So especially these replaceable subdivision homes. If you miss this one on Monday, there could be one on Thursday. I wasn’t so concerned about which one I bought, but my goal was to just buy one a year. And yeah, you’re absolutely right. There were times where opportunities came my way, either as an exclusive listing or even through the MLS system. And I just said, this meets my needs. It’s in the location I’m looking for. And I went forward and a lot of my colleagues, it’s amazing how they were. I wouldn’t say they went so far as to block me, but they were very nervous to move forward. They know that they built a lot of wealth with their personal residence, but they were afraid to move forward.
I spent a lot of time coaching people early on about the importance of taking action and buying what you believe in as a Realtor. Like, if I was running a pet food franchise, I would want to have a dog and buy the pet food that we sell. If you’re going to be a realtor, owning the product that you’re selling just makes you a better realtor.
Adam – You mentioned there too, that a lot of your colleagues saw the wealth and their principal residence. And I don’t know about you, but I’m personally a big Kiyosaki fan, of course. And your house is not an asset. Right. I mean, if you’re buying for future value, you’re buying on speculation when you should be buying for cash flow. So it’s funny because again, my brokerage background, of course, we get Todd to tell our clients all the time, of course, that your house is going to build all this net worth for you. And it’s pure speculation, right?
Michael – Yes. The only reason I’m going to say a little no. And by the way, Kiwisaki, if you ask me a question, said if there were three people that you’d want to have a lunch with, Robert Kiwisaki is one of those four people. I would love to be able to sit and just listen to him for an entire few hours and just be a fly on the wall and just hear him talk. So I’m not arguing his point. Sure. But the only reason why I’m going to put a bit of a caveat is it’s not pure speculation. Why is it that markets like a Detroit or Pittsburgh are not seeing values going up, whereas properties in Texas or Florida, or California are rising up? It’s not just pure randomness. What’s happening is and I talk about this a lot in my book as far as finding the right type of market and looking for the right type of market fundamentals. So I’m looking for stuff like GDP growth in the market that I’m looking to invest, population growth, and just simply overall, if more jobs and development and infrastructure are going into a market, that’s where I want to be invested.
And that’s where I use the term insider trading. It’s not that we have some huge unique skill set, but because we’re investors and Realtors, we’re seeing what’s going on in different communities. And I’ll throw another one out. There is what the municipal bylaw restrictions are in that market. So it might have everything I’m looking for. But if I can’t build an additional dwelling unit at that market, I go on to the next one. So the market I chose had every cheque Mark possible. And yeah, I did ride the appreciation wave, but it was not surprising. It was expected. Obviously, I didn’t expect it to grow by this percentage, but I knew it was going to go up because more people were going in. It was impossible to get new housing built. What’s going to happen? The prices are going to go up. And so that’s kind of what I focused on.
Adam – And I totally get the point then. I suppose the other side of that, too, is if you mentioned Detroit. Of course, if we were to go back and be real estate investors in the 1960s, what warning signs would we have looked for not to buy in Detroit then? Because that was a hot market then.
Michael – That’s a good point. I lived in the Windsor area, which is right across the border from Detroit, maybe not the 60s, but certainly the 70s. I saw that it was more of a happening place, but it was already disintegrating at that point already as well. But yeah, it was just simply pure population decrease and the opposite of job decline. And you saw the General Motors of the Ford leaving town and never coming back, and they just never recovered at those markets.
Taking Action Now to Live the Armchair Lifestyle Later
Adam – When you’re looking for a quality market, what are your criteria absolutely.
Michael – Like I talk about in the book, the first thing I am looking for is, and for those who don’t understand what GDP is, gross domestic product really quickly is essentially a collection of all of the goods and services that are created in whatever the area you’re talking about. And so let’s say we take a market like Austin, Texas. You can actually take a look and find out what the GDP is for the entire country just for the state of Texas or specifically for that market. And they provide those stats. And these are things that are available not like 25 years ago. You can literally type in through Google and find out this information in minutes. So I specifically am looking for markets that are growing at the fastest rate. And typically when you see a GDP growth and that’s the key, it doesn’t matter what the GDP is, it’s how much it’s growing. That’s what I’m looking at. And then the second component is that usually leads towards population growth because as more and more people are hiring because their GDP is going up, you’re seeing more people moving in the area. And as people are moving in now, you typically see a decline in the availability of rentals.
That’s usually the first thing people do when they move into an area. And then after a couple of years of that, you start seeing the rent prices going up. Then you start seeing demand towards housing purchasing and you start seeing prices going up. So it’s a chain event. And so it all starts with solid GDP growth and a solid population growth. And you can be pretty darn sure that within 18 months to two years you’re going to see a real increase in property values in that market.
Adam – You’ve picked a market. When you say a quality property, what are the criteria you’re looking for?
Michael – It’s not necessarily a property that you would want to live in yourself. But what I look for before I even buy a property is I want to find a property in a location that my tenant profile is going to want to live. It may not be on the busiest street in the town. It may not be in a building above the grocery store. I want to find my typical my tenant profile is a young couple, 25 to 35 years of age with a solid credit score, building some wealth, real career. They’re hoping to buy a home in a few years perhaps. And so I’m looking for a property that’s going to attract that kind of tenant. And in many cases, that’s a nice subdivision home located close to where they like to work and also located close to solid walks for it’s, close to a lot of people’s homes or a lot of shopping and stuff like that. And that’s what I’m focused on.
Adam – Do you look for value add or what are your criteria on that side. Yeah.
Michael – Well, obviously if I can’t create the additional dwelling unit, whether it be building behind above, dividing up the space and into two locations, whatever, if I can’t do that, then I’m moving on for sure. But if you can pick a market where that’s an opportunity, that’s another thing I’m looking for as well. But yeah, I’m absolutely looking to buy value. But that said, there have been properties. If you’re going in a market where the additional dwelling unit was already created and I’m okay paying close to market value on a property. If I could hold onto that sucker for 1015 years and then sell it at market value 15 years later, I’ll ride the wave and I’m not getting quite the cash flow. You guys are getting an incredible amount of cash flow. This is more of a wealth building play versus a cash flow play initially. But I always talk about in ten years with the kind of appreciation and cash flow and mortgage pay down. If you buy three properties at about half a million dollars a pop, you’re looking at building a billion dollars. That worth the leveraging opportunities, which is pretty cool.
Justin – All within ten years. And how many people do that with a W two job, right?
Michael – Well, that’s it exactly. And beautiful thing of the concept I’m selling is if you want to be a full time investor, that’s fantastic. And that’s totally great. But a lot of us want to keep our nine to five job. We want the stability of the nine to five job. And so how can you supplement your W two job within a couple of hours, a week or a month? And we talk about this in my book. A lot of the people that took action, I used some examples, some case studies, and some of the people bought as little as two or three properties, and they talked about how they spend maybe one to 3 hours a month on their portfolio. But what it’s done is it can actually reduce five to ten years off your work life at the back end to pay for your child’s education in cash. That’s the kind of thing that this side hustle will do for you.
Justin – Yeah. Do you have any tips and tricks on how to use your current assets to help make that happen?
Michael – That’s the greatest strength that real estate has. People forget about the quality of real estate and the security of real estate, and they take it for granted sometimes. But I can tell you that banks love loaning against a quality real estate asset. And so that’s how I built my portfolio. I was not some rich multimillionaire when I started this thing. I had a house worth maybe about $600,000 with no debt on it. That’s pretty much my main asset that I had. But what I was able to do is I was able to leverage that asset and get a line of credit or actually a mortgage and a line of credit against that property, giving you $350,000 in cash, which I used as down payments towards buying future assets. So the down payment came from my principal residence line of credit and then I was able to get an 80% loan to value ratio mortgage on this investment property. So if I’m getting 20% from my principal residence and 80% from the asset itself, I’m not a math teacher, but that’s 100% of the property value. So I was essentially leveraging quite well. And now because I was leveraged so highly, I wasn’t cash flowing tonne, but any cash flow I was making was going towards the pay down of the line of credit.
And then I would rent and repeat as I renovated the unit, I would refi it. And that’s how I was able to continue to build my portfolio from there using leveraging and never going into negative cash flowing situations, but leveraging as best I can until I got the portfolio I was looking for. And now today I’m sitting with a multi million dollar portfolio that’s cash flowing really nice.
Justin – Yes. It seems like you’ve mirrored a lot of my previous techniques in the single family. So a lot of what you’re saying kind of brings back the memories. With me starting out seven or eight years ago, I had the goal of the one a year. Like, yeah, that’s perfect, right? And I can certainly appreciate the people that do that and stick with that plan. And the one to 3 hours a month, like you said, that’s very enticing. But then I did take the move into the multi family and now obviously what we do with RV parks and campgrounds and making this my full time gig and I love what I do and that’s why I took that route. And then the HELOC, that’s exactly what I did. Took out a HELOC against my house line of credit. Same thing essentially. And utilise that buy a property, pay down, buy a property, pay down, repeat, repeat, repeat. And it’s like, wow, I can’t believe how fast this can work.
Michael – And honestly, people, when we hear all these podcasts and that’s the one thing I kind of swim against the stream because a lot of the people you’re interviewing, the successful people have a portfolio of 8 billion properties, it seems like, or they’re full time. And honestly, I’m sitting in listening to these podcasts and I’m applauding this success, but I think there is no freaking way that I would ever see myself doing that was your passion and you’re able to take your passion of recreational vehicles and then turn that into a career. And that’s fantastic. But a lot of us, I was pretty successful as a realtor and I didn’t want to give that business up and I was making a solid half a million dollars a year as a realtor. And then my portfolio was just sort of that extra side hustle. And I joked about it in my book, but you hear about these people doing side hustles where they’re driving Uber Eats or they’re building scrunchies on the side. I’m saying stop with the scrunchies, buy a freaking rental property and go for it from there. And the only thing I advise, again, if you have the appetite for challenging tenants, buying some property in a secondary and tertiary market, like I was interviewed by somebody recently, they buy in East Texas and you can buy properties there for under $50,000.
And that’s not my profile of tenant because if they couldn’t afford a mortgage on a $50,000 property, they’re probably not going to have a really solid credit score and they probably don’t have a really good job. So I don’t want to rent to those people and I don’t want to buy those properties. Maybe it sounds elitist, but I want to have a quality young person or even an older person that’s living there and going to treat my property with respect and pay the rent. That’s what I’m looking for.
Justin – Absolutely not going to appreciate that. Exactly that sentiment. Some of my properties have those less-than-ideal tenants, and it’s the headache. So what is the headache worth?
Michael – You have to decide for yourself. And one of my favourite quotes is one by Bill Gates. And people tend to overestimate what they can accomplish in one year, but they underestimate what you can accomplish in ten. And real estate is one of those type of businesses where you’re not going to necessarily see the world change of the year. But if you can buy an asset you can hold onto for ten years and it’s not causing you too much stress on a monthly annual basis and you can blink and all of a sudden ten years have gone by. I’m pretty confident that the property is going to be worth a lot more than you paid for it. If you bought a good market fundamental area and you’ve had mortgage pay down and you’ve had some cash flow, how’s that about that’s? A triple win as far as I’m concerned.
Adam – Michael, tell us about your book and maybe give us a brief synopsis of what it covers and who it’s targeted towards.
Michael – The book title is called Armchair Real Estate Millionaire. And then the subtitle is if you’re sitting there anyway, you might as well build your wealth. And honestly, I really focused it for exactly that type of a buyer or that type of a potential investor is someone that doesn’t want to make this into a full-time gig. And the premise is as little as three properties could essentially change your life and can get you so you can retire years earlier, pay, you know, just live more freedom, financial freedom. It could be generational wealth that you can pass on to your kids and grandkids and that’s the kind of person I’m looking for. Obviously, there are people in my client base that have taken this mindset and then grown from three properties to ten, to 20 to 30, and that’s fantastic. I find that a lot of people, when they start getting the double digits, they start gravitating towards the multi units. But I feel that it’s a very different tenant profile and it’s a very different landlord experience to be dealing with multi tenanted properties where this is one that, again, it was a bit of a rinse and repeat.
Once I learned the market, I wanted to invest in, learning the style I wanted to invest in, just repeat it again and again, build a team and go from there.
Adam – Would it be fair to say this is like a training wheels approach into real estate investing? Like you’re going to get better tenants or maybe not as many headaches, or can you tell us maybe, I guess, for the person coming in, what sort of knowledge should they have about real estate prior? Which should their experience be like? Do they have to have some background knowledge?
Michael – Yeah. Now, training wheels sometimes imply that, okay, this is fun and it’s exciting. But then now that you’ve done that for a few years, I’m going to sell all of those and buy something else. And this is one that you could buy it and set it and forget it kind of portfolio as well. And if you have a busy life, if you’ve got your three kids all in soccer and dance, practices and stuff like that, and you can’t possibly consider being a full time investor, this is the kind of profile that you want to be looking at. And if you’ve been sort of sitting on the sidelines and afraid of taking action, this is a perfect profile for you, because some of the people are afraid of the tenants who don’t pay rent and they’re afraid of the dealing with toilets and tenants and all those things. And in my experience, there have been very few issues with this type of property. I’m pushing back on the training wheels, but it’s definitely as an entry level type of a portfolio, it doesn’t take nearly as much research. Actually, I use the comparison and that’s the one thing that the banks, they love real estate so much, you can get an 80-90% loan to value mortgage like that, which is fantastic.
I might have gone to one meet-up course, I might have watched HGTV three times, and now all of a sudden I’m an expert landlord. Meanwhile, I could be America’s next great chef and the banks aren’t going to look at me twice to get a restaurant because you’re such a high foreclosure rate for that. Or I might be looking at creating some other business and they’re not going to want to touch you with that. But with real estate, I can get a low interest mortgage at an 80% loan to value quite easily just based on the asset itself and a pretty solid income right now, of course.
Adam – So for that person who’s just getting started, like you mentioned, the person still got their nine to five getting into this first time. What do they need to have if they’re following your method as far as assets go?
Michael – Now, obviously, if you’ve already got your personal residence, that’s a great way to get started. But I have an entire chapter that I call my millennial profit. And a lot of people here might be currently renting their own residence. And the advice I offer to anyone who’s currently renting or maybe even qualifies, they qualify for a mortgage, but the property values that they’re looking for that have the already the abuse already in place or maybe at a higher price point than they can afford. I would go back to your banker instead of saying, what if this is yes, maybe 30% more than I can afford. But if the second suite is already being rented and making that $1,500 a month, will I qualify for the higher amount? And my advice to any young person getting started is don’t be focusing on buying your dream house right at the beginning. Buying a property that already has one or two tenants in place will actually help to cover a lot of your mortgage and get you ahead much further. And many of my clients have done that in their 20s or early 30s. They can build a portfolio and live in one unit, rent out eventually 3456 properties. It just starts to grow from there.
Adam – Awesome. And Michael, where can we get your book?
Michael – Yeah, it’s available. Amazon is where it is. And actually, one thing I do want to share is just coming up on March 11, which it sounds like that’s when this is being released is I’m releasing it on audio. And I’m really proud of that because it’s one of those things that it’s not my skill set to do an audio recording. And I tried I was miserable at it. And so I hired an incredible voice actor. So I really encourage you to cheque that out. And if you’re a podcast listener and you get most of your education through audio, that’s certainly downloading this one through Audible or any other way you download it would be a great way to go.
Adam – Perfect. Michael, well, thank you so much for sharing today. Before we let you go, I’m going to turn it over to Justin for the wealth watchers Brain Pick.
Justin – All right. Five quick question for you, Michael. First one, what is your superpower or unique natural ability?
Michael – I think the best answer I have for you is I’m a master delegator, and some people think of that as a negative skill, but it’s just delegate everything. But I have the ability of building a really great power team and then getting all those people working together. And that’s the key is to find enough people that are trying to focus on building your success. And that’s my superpower.
Justin – All right, number two, if you were to go back three to five years, what might you have done differently that you wish you could have?
Michael – Yeah. For me, like, certainly it was more than three or five years ago when I started getting into real estate, so I’m not going to go there. Nobody knew the amount of the housing values across North America surge the way they did through the pandemic. But certainly if I had to do over again, I would have added a couple more quality assets and just riding that wave as well.
Justin – Yeah, good. And then so where you head in the next three to five years?
Michael – I’ve been really trying to focus on living my best life. And I’m a little older than you guys. I turned 55, like 76 now. When I turned 50, I had these aspirations. And I read Warren Buffett, and I’d read somewhere that from his 50th birthday to where he was four or five years ago, he was 1% of his net worth when he was 50. And I thought, okay, I’m not as good as Warren Buffett, but if I can increase my net worth by 50 times after my 50th birthday, I’ve really accomplished something. And by the time I hit 53, 54, I was thinking, you know what? I don’t need all of that. And so I’m trying to live my best life. And that’s why I’m living in California right now for the winter. I’m looking at buying here, and I will be still an occasional coach or mentor for people. But honestly, I’m just trying to be with the people I really want to spend my time with and just really enjoy myself. And I could see myself doing some venture capitalism as well.
Justin – Awesome. Well, to add to that a little bit is I read somewhere at one point before I turned 40 that the 40s bracket is the kind of the golden years, and that’s when you build your biggest stockpile, in a sense, and really get your balls rolling in the right direction. So when I turned 40, I was like, yeah, I’m turning 40. I can’t wait. It’s all about perspective.
Michael – And you have to, like, there’s at some point and you may not NEPA near that, but at some point you’ve got to say, I want to get a certain number of toys. I like having my choice. Like, I have my Corvette convertible and last year I drove across Route 66 and really enjoyed that. But you don’t necessarily need to have absolutely everything and at some point you think experiences are more important than stuff. And that’s really what I’m focused on now.
Justin – Excellent. So number four, do you have a favourite book on business or money?
Michael – Rich Dad Poor Dad is the book that has changed my life. It just gave me a mindset shift. The quote you said as far as not treating your principal residence as an asset, it’s a liability. It does resonate with me. But there’s still a lot of truth. The fact that I was saying where you could still turn that into the best by buying in the right area, make a whole lot of difference. So that’s a book. And then the other one is the book Die With Zero, which obviously anybody on audio is not going to hear this or see this, but Bill Perkins Die With Zero, it was very inspirational. It was the right book for me at the right time. And although I don’t necessarily agree with everything that he was talking about as far as truly dying to zero. But it’s also a matter of taking the money that you’ve made and at some point in your life you’ve made enough wealth that you’re going to be able to live comfortably in your they call it your go go years while you’re the most active.
You don’t necessarily need to save it all till you’re 87 and all of a sudden you’re in a retirement home and you can’t even spend it anymore, spend your 50s, spending your 60s and really live your best life. That’s what I tried to do with this.
Justin – Awesome. And last one, do you have a biggest AHA moment that you can share with us?
Michael – Well, and that’s honestly what was the premise of the book was simply in real estate, you’re going to hear this a million times money on the buy. And they’re also going to tell you that don’t even buy a property unless you’ve got like the 1% rule where you’re buying this piece of crap property that’s generating enough rental income where if, let’s say you’re making $1,000 in rent per month, you can’t pay more than $100,000 for it on a purchase price because that’s the 1% rule. The problem is that most of the properties that we’re seeing that meet those criteria’s are properties that nobody really wants to buy. You’re probably going to get solid cash flow, at least on paper. But my AHA moment was I looked at some of my properties that met a lot of my criteria like that, and I never saw the cash flow. I had damages from my units, I had tenants that didn’t pay rent, just left in the middle of the night. And I had more couches to throw out that I didn’t know what to do with. It was unbelievable how many people left their furniture behind.
I can invest with quality properties and quality neighbourhoods, finding those great quality tenants and just hold on to them for life. And that was my AHA moment. It changed my life.