The key to real estate investing

Last Sunday morning, there was a raging thunderstorm in Austin. It was rowdy enough to make us question whether anyone would show up to our sold-out Coffee & Coin event with Steph Douglass.

We were wrong to question you. Obviously, this badass little community doesn’t let a little rain get in the way of talking money.

Asking the tough questions.

Asking the tough questions.

For those of you that couldn’t make it, we heard about how Steph went from making $43K annually to owning a real estate portfolio valued at $2.5M.

One of the most important lessons we learned is kind of related to the storm, if you’ll allow us to be cheesy for one second. Steph shared that her financial journey was a thunderstorm of its own, full of sacrifice, sweat, and tears.

For example, when she and her mom were still teachers, they spent their summer vacation working 15-hour days to renovate a house. They slept on an air mattress in a ramshackle, half-finished home to get it all done in 6 weeks.

One of Steph’s many renovations. Don’t know where the air mattress went…

One of Steph’s many renovations. Don’t know where the air mattress went…

3 years later, the house is worth 200K more than Steph bought it for. Plus, her mom makes $5-6K a month by managing the Airbnb listing.

Back to the storm: Steph didn’t let one tough summer—or any other setback—get in her way. She kept the bigger picture in mind (hello, real estate empire) and powered through it, knowing her situation was just temporary.

Building your real estate portfolio isn’t just about tolerating risk. It’s about tolerating sacrifice, too.

We can all get through a little rain and thunder to get to the rainbow—and obviously, pot of gold—that comes after it. Buying real estate isn’t easy, but it’s rewarding. And fun! Sometimes.

We learned so many more cool things from Steph that we’ll be sharing in the coming weeks. In the meantime...

Let’s break down Steph’s numbers:

Starting salary as a teacher: 43K

Salary last year: 200K

Price of her first property: 180K (in 2013)

Down payment on that property: 6.3K, or 3.5%

Price of her second property: 300K, 5% down payment

Total properties owned now: 9 (16 doors)

Real estate portfolio value: 2.5M

Total debt: 1.3M

Net worth: 1.2M