Chris Griffith on The Military Millionaire Podcast

Episode 50 | Chris Griffith | Military Millionaire Podcast

Chris Griffith on The Military Millionaire Podcast

00:00 - 05:00


Hey, what's up guys? I'm David Pere, the host of the military millionaire podcast.

Today we have an exciting episode with Christopher Griffith of, talking all about the VA loan, the mortgage industry and debt and how to utilize this tool known as debt to your advantage to build wealth. And like everything debt is a tool. It's all on you. So you can either use it to be a good good debt or you can use it to be bad debt.

We got some really cool insight throughout this conversation. It's awesome.

If this is your first time joining us thank you for joining the community if not welcome back. Show notes as always are found at Now relax, and enjoy the show.


You're listening to the military millionaire podcast, a show about real estate investing for the working class. Stay tuned as we explore ways to help you improve your finances, build wealth through real estate and become a person that is worth knowing.


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Hey, what's up everybody? It's Dave military to millionaire and I'm here with Chris Griffith a fellow marine and you may have seen him in the Facebook Live a few times in the group. And obviously he has personality. So I invited him on the show and I'm really excited about this. He has since got out of the Marine Corps and he's a mortgage broker. And I'm gonna leave it there to let him tell the story. So Chris, welcome aboard.


Hey, brother, thanks for having me, for real man.


Yeah, anytime. Tell us a little bit about yourself, brother.


Oh man, I was born in 1985. Eight year Marine Corps, medically retired for nothing cool or sexy way sooner than I wanted to be. I grew up in real estate. My dad was a framer still frames houses to this day, I was going to be around. And when I got out, parlayed a couple of opportunities into investing and into a mortgage company as a to become a mortgage originator that my stepfather and mom owned in Colorado, what out there spent six years, about five years with his company, their company working to grow it and change it from a few different stages. I've actually been through the mortgage brokerage, mortgage banking, right and everything in between men got to a point to where I had to leave and create my own company, which you see now that those deals are mortgage brokers licensed in about six states at the moment.

So guess what they're a pretty quick transition out had to get a lot of things figured out, which they just don't tell you about when you're active. Or actually a lot of people don't learn about these either. So even if they're not veterans, but tools like debt, words like debt to income ratio, and all of these things, and ultimately a factor into what I perceive to be the biggest currency there is that it's also the most efficient for what it's worth.

But there was no place to learn about any of these things. So I became a student. The thing that I thought would hold keys to the future I wanted when I wanted to own assets when only one of them was real estate and I wanted to push in that direction. From what I saw as a mortgage loan officer, one looking at people's total circumstances, you know, all of their financial profiles, the ones that know how to own real estate? Well, I could see kind of how they did it, I can build a past story.

05:00 - 10:00


You know, and asking them direct questions to get direct answers is a lot easier than interrogations and they told me the answer. So I was able to backfill not only theory based information, and this one's really important, I always try to tell people on it and now I'm not sure if this is a good quote, edited out if it sucks, but tell theories of cost reality can afford. Like there's a measure of theory and reality and everything in theory is the place I think that we try to hold ourselves accountable for but all of the things that I've thought, once the rubber met the road, and I got into the assets, the ownership to trying to wire them and seeing how other people did it. Reality changed a little bit.

So after that time period, I kind of put together my M O, I guess, of how I do things, how I use debt, how I plan for it. I tell everybody, like the biggest opportunities of your life will be achieved by debt. Do you know how to plan with that? Or are you just saving money and hoping?


That's cool.

I really like that I like the three theories of cost, reality can't afford but I like the quote that I'm going to quote, I'm gonna turn it into a quote where you said that you became a student of the thing, the thought held keys to the future. And that's key. I mean, that's, you know, I tell people all the time, like, just learn the network and take action. Because if you can, if you learn something that's great. Getting around other like minded people is great. But like, once you pull that trigger, that's where all of a sudden everything comes together.


Yeah, absolutely. You have to put paleo feet to the pavement, if you will, or whatever boots the ground gets off away from all those military.

For me, it came I mean, you've heard about the five year VA house hack. And that's what I talked to a lot of people about, because it was my first stumbling into the owner occupied home space. And I had a goal of making a bunch of money, I wanted to make a bunch of money with a house, because I couldn't buy a lot. I had this VA loan, I said zero down and I thought, sign me up suckers.

So I looked and I searched and really got a tactic down that worked. It kind of mirrored some of the commercial stuff that we do, from front to back. And so what I mean by this is I was going through a process where I was trying to understand the things that not only made the market do what it was going to do as far as grow. But how do I find the right asset? How do I find the right house, so I broke it down into five tenants, market location, acquisition, rehab, and sell to simplify. And basically began to break down markets and broke down Colorado at the time when perfect timing was 2012. And I bought a place out there, I bought a house for 332 and then sold it for 810, a little over five years later.

So did pretty well that place parlayed that into the house that I'm in now part of the backdrop you're seeing and bought a place for 742. That appraised at closing for 945. It's the most even out of professionals, I've known that I've seen an appraisal come in over purchase price, and it's indicative of large value.

So there are a lot of things that go into making real estate valuable, and a lot of them are supply and demand functions, right. And then you have the affordability kind of piece that wavers and sorts through it all for everybody as far as growth or decline. But that was kind of my approach.

I felt like looking at everything houses should make me rich, I felt like that should be a true statement. Oh, I'm looking around with a bunch of Google houses and a lot of more whining. So what are they doing wrong? What are they missing, right? For me it worked because my first part is Marine Corps I was 59-54 air traffic control communication tech, I did something called an empty marine air traffic control mobile team, six of us on the team, we punched out and kind of by ourselves to do airfield stuff, which was cool.

Got out of that went into counter Intel, human Intel. So a completely different set of skill sets. Beards like and stuff from what I hear, you know, but that that process and understanding, counted and documented. Tell guys, right? They run interrogations, they do elicitation, they do human source operations. There's a lot of those things where you're assessing motivators, and finding placement and access to certain things. And you're in a very specific way to break something down to see how can I exploit this for gain, right?

And so that's what I did the VA loan with a home owner and not like half these house hacking guys out there. Hey, listen, guys, for everyone that's waiting to this point. If you have the idea of buying a house with your VA loan, and you're not going to live in it, don't it's mortgage fraud. Guys, everyone's kind of like, well, how can I buy? Like really living?


I get that question all the time. And I'm like, don't be the one who ruins this benefit for us.

10:00 - 15:00


Like if you do this do me a favor and tag me on Facebook because I want to see you go to jail.

Mortgage frauds investigated by the FBI, they can find you like a billion dollars. It’s like $10,000. But for most vets let's be real $10,000 is a billion dollars, right? And that's what I want to change. I want people to understand that when it comes to achieving wealth in America, homeowners are 44 times wealthier than renters for a reason. And that was data that came from a census bureau after the last major economic downturn, right. As far as the housing market, the biggest crash ever.

So how houses should make you wealthy. But why? Where? How? Who? What? Right, you got to fill in all the questions from there.


Yeah. I mean, and it all comes down to buying your house as an investment not necessarily buying your house. Because you want said house, if that makes sense. Like I run into guys all the time, who were like, well, I got approved for $700,000 in San Diego, and I spent it and now my mortgage is out the rear and I don't and it's only worth 705. What do I do with it? Well..


Make better choices.


Yeah, the problem wasn't the house. The problem is how you bought the house.



100% right. And it's just an asset just like debt. A lot of people think debt is a bad word like that. That's debts like fire debts, like a gun point to a good gun budget bag, and like it's a freaking it doesn't it doesn't have those traits about it, right? It's what it accomplishes, ultimately, to give someone an opinion of it.

And so debt itself is a lot like fire. I mean, you wouldn't get rid of every single thing that can cause fire in your house for fear of burning it down. What do you know yet a fire alarm. Fire Extinguisher you have a fire department down the road, you have all of these different things, safety shut offs, and whatnot to make the instrument of fire safer, because it's really valuable. That's the same way, right?

There are certain things you can do to prepare for debt, right? The debt that you're going to be holding that will make it much safer. And understanding the value of where things are moving is one because there's no reason to carry all of it. If you're not going to get anything. You've heard the saying you can't have your cake and eat it too. Growing up every time I heard a grown up say that I thought you're dumb grown up. Never do anything that matters.

Because if you can't have your cake and eat it too, why the hell are you carrying it? Who gave you cake? Why did you pick it up? Did you buy that was stupid? Why are you wasting your and like my mind goes nuts at that point. And so this thing with the house goes the same way. Why on earth would I get into this big colossal thing, just to carry weight when honestly for me, my heart's happy on a in a double wide with three bass ponds around it somewhere like I don't care about a house, outside its capacity to protect my family, nurture us and provide a lot of money because it ought to know you can't be overpaying. You can't be paying premium prices, or overpriced pricing on these things in order to, you know, try to keep up with the Joneses basically, or because you like it or something along those lines.


Yeah, just because you qualified for a large mortgage does not mean that you have to buy a house that costs a large mortgage. And if you do buy well, I mean more and more on you. So everyone's super excited about the loan limit thing coming up in January, I see a lot of people getting themselves in trouble. But I also see that there's some I mean, you can buy, like I could actually afford a duplex out here in San Diego with that, you know, and there's ways to do that, that would make a ton of sense. In fact, I'm really kind of, I'm locked in a lease, and I'm debating, you know, I'm going to start looking like it's gonna be worth breaking the lease if I find the right place in San Diego because I feel like and you know, everything's always super dependent.

You'd never know. But I feel like the moment that loan limit gets leased or gets lifted in a county where the limit has been reached. But veterans are the main economic driver, when the limit comes off. I think the value of real estate around here is only going to go up at least for a little while because everybody's going to start buying these houses. They couldn't afford.


Military centric towns, you're right, I think they can see like a short lived boon of value, but also I would, you know, expect that value to be kind of a I don't know, it's not consistent it hasn't been around for a long time. So has to do with how well they hold the assets and a bunch of other stuff is supply and demand ultimately moves everything you know, so if it's a favor, they buy poorly and they have a whole bunch of vets dump on properties in San Diego that are over a million dollars. Well, the market will come back.



So yeah, I don't know I will look for a multifamily but I'm totally content living in here and pocketing half my BAH too. So.


Yeah, you should be that's a great idea man or live with a buddy and pocket all of it. Now you're married. You have kids, you can't do that.


I know but I have a spare room downstairs. My landlord lets me Airbnb. So making back some of our mortgage that way or rent which is totally fine by me and going back to Missouri. I'll be able to play the four plex game and it'll cost me nothing.

15:00 - 20:00


Yeah, like from Missouri compared to LA or San Diego, you're looking at like eight bucks.


Yeah, it’s awesome.

It's great. I think the cost of living there's like half of what it is here, like, and I can go you know, hunting because I can have my guns.



Cost of living is a big deal for affordability right now.

And affordability was my company's word of the year for 2019. For a very specific reason.

I think affordability is the word that will show you why some markets are suffering a lot and why some markets are about to prosper a lot. We're getting ready to.. There's a lot of people who say getting ready to, I don't want to happen. A lot of people think we're going into something that could be recessionary is all it's really all a debt cycle right and natural cycle.

Probably the right I think you're in kind of hearing the sometime future we've got some sort of a cycle coming up just like little and trying to catch up with big in the military when you go on a hop. Short fatties up front, like no offense, guys, y'all set pace that we don't get strung out on an economic movement, switch those but the shorter, the short, fat dump began in the very back, you put the tall, fast, lanky guys out front, and when it moves, that's what happens. So you get slinky.

But the guys out front, if they're not careful, they get like blitzkrieg kind of going on, right, they can outrun little in and they ultimately need little end because that's where their bivouac stuff is and that's where the water is at. That's where so many supplies that they need in order to function. It's actually an economy. It's a community of people, they're functioning together. And so you have these contractions, expanding periods. Really pretty neat to watch.

And I'm not for sure exactly where I was going with that. I told you that was gonna happen. Maybe that made some sense for some reasons.


Yeah. We were discussing going towards people, people think we're going towards recession.


Oh, yeah.

So if that is the direction that we're moving in, recessionary, it's not that the metrics out there look pretty good. Consumer based economy consumption numbers are up right. As far as debt goes. corelogic reported defaults are an all time low that people have all time highs and equity in their property, right?

There are all these good fundamentals out there. But there are certain things that are making sense, or that are indicative of some change, at least the two and 10 year, bond and version was kind of one elements have to come times here very briefly, and people are talking about it everywhere.

There are a lot of other stuff. And personally, I think that where we're at, I think because of the amount of time we lost after the last recession and everything. I'm kind of staying stagnant for a good period of time, I think we're in a weird period of growth. And I don't think during this next cycle, all markets are impacted equally. Just like you're seeing right now, troves of companies moved from California to New York to Texas, you're seeing individuals doing too. And all of them are seeking affordability to grow, whether they're individuals or corporations, they all want to grow, they're still in a growth cycle personally, right, but they're hitting up against hard pieces that are stopping them elsewhere.

So whether it's a health company out of California moving down here, because down here, they can have 40 more employees at the same factory. And they all 100 employees make more money now, because they're not being stroked out to death by a million dollar 4100 square foot house in California.

So you'll see this throughout the year, I think play out and as we go back down into a cycle, if there's a down cycle that we happen to hit, I think a lot of people listen to it, if you made it this far, take my advice and look around for well positioned small cities or markets adjacent to large one.

So what I mean is like Colorado Springs is to Denver, right? And the reason I say that is because Colorado Springs is still doing this jam now.

MSA is when they grow together, the big one goes for a while and then the little grows back you have this process of diffusion where people leave the big one and go to this one when it's unaffordable, right.

So you have all of this going on. But I think if we get to a point where things are looking a little gloomy, I think there'll be plenty of places and this is important for veterans because a bunch of trolls are going to go there anyways, these small towns and places where they're from these typically rural areas that have new companies and jobs coming into them. Look at them, pay attention to them, make sure they're well positioned, check out the fundamentals behind what's driving the economy, good jobs coming in the city reinvesting in infrastructure, all those pieces, then you may be able to avoid a lot of the problems many people are going to want about.


I think it's pretty cool that you mentioned that.

So it's funny, I realized, like last month, that there's a market about two hours from where I'm from through maybe three hours depending on who's driving the car, but Fayetteville Arkansas, right. So I'm from Little Rock and Fayetteville, Arkansas, which is the Bentonville Rogersville or Rogers area where Walmart's from I always knew like man, Fayetteville University of Arkansas, it's a big area, that's a great area, blah, blah, blah.

20:00 - 25:00


I pulled up some data the other day. It's like 40 small towns around Fayetteville because it was surrounded by mountains. There's only like two ways it can grow. And the small towns north of Fayetteville have grown like 42% population increase in the last five to 10 years.

And like, man, property values have tripled. And like I should have seen that comment I, you know, I knew it. And you're right. I mean, that's exactly it, right? The big market grew, it couldn't go any further and it just started going. And.


So you have a big market over here, like, boom, boom, boom, and then it'll stop. And then the little market dances back to it. And eventually they merge together, but one doesn't grow over the other. It's a give and take kind of a thing.


Yeah, it's really cool to watch.


It is, man, if you're buying a piece of property there at the right time is super cool.


Yeah, no, absolutely. Oh, man. Yeah, that's cool.

So Alright, there is so much to unpack here.

What would you say? So you bought two very well appreciated houses. What do you think like, if you had to give a tidbit for what you're looking for? I mean, you mentioned the town, the location, but like, How were you able to increase the value that much and such?


I am looking for imbalances of some type.

I'm looking for something that I say, well, that I hear, right? Right. I'm looking for something with a gross reason why it's way off from par where it ought to be. Right.

So in Colorado, I bought a place. It was a short sale, I needed a ton of work, right? I had to do a ton of work just to get it to pass the VA home loan process. Some of that work was done in the dark, because it was a bank owned property or was in Banco at the time, the bank wouldn't want certain repairs to be done, or they didn't want since they were short selling it.

But I had to get those woodpecker holes filled. So I'm over there night making sure I've got to do it. Right, right.


Talking about, like VA advice as far as a homebuyer and you're saying, gross.


Oh, no. How did I pick those down? So buying off of imbalance sorry.

In Colorado, I bought in balance of value, local value, like there the house that I bought, should not have sold for it. It sold for but what the market was down and two the asset had a lot of problems. And they're trying to move it so they sold it off undervalued.

Here in Texas, it's a little bit different. I bought a house where it was way undervalued. But it wasn't because of the asset itself. It's done, right. It's because of the market. The market wasn't in a place yet to substantiate the value with a regular turnover rate. For here. There's not enough borrowers making 120,130,140 grand a year in my market, but they're constantly coming in, you know, with new job announcements from companies and and people migrating down to Northern Dallas, the biggest recipient of migration from California, I think has been North Texas, specifically the DFW market.

So what's cool about that is that it causes a natural process of diffusion as well, once those that market continues to get over price, because of the demand and the supply issues down there, right. It's still short on supply, still how on demand that a lot of people that haven't moved yet. Here's another trend that's going on that's significant with where I bought off of the market imbalance.

My area is traditionally the retiree area, it's a place where a lot of people come to put them up for however many years right, one of the nicest lakes around. But what you're seeing right now is not only have millennials failed to move, right, the boomers didn't move out when they thought they would. Sorry, boomers, not millennials.

The boomers have failed to move and retire out move away when they thought that they wouldn't have been realizing all these values. The millennials haven't been able to cover down and become homeowners and the places they traditionally resided, right. So we're in a weird market where I think actually a couple things could happen. I think that we're going to continue to see improvement here as far as jobs and other things are announced, which is going to be a big boost to demand right.

From there. We're going to see people retirees continuing to come to this area as they always have. And then three, the national trend that's occurring right now I had one post that went over like 1000 comments, which is only significant in that it gives you a good idea of what people are thinking.

But I asked people how far you live from your home? And then after they answered that I'd asked them another follow up, will you ever go back? A lot of people are going home. Technology is a disruptor technology, I think is going to finish what the industrial revolution in manufacturing desperately wanted to but never had hopes up.

I think tech unites the flyover states. And it also gives a location and a capability to these companies that need to bring that type of functionality to their operations in these small towns. I think a lot of people are migrating back. I think there are people migrating big markets to smaller markets because of affordability.

25:00 - 30:00


So that's why I'm planting my flag but I think it's really interesting because man over the next two I think five to 10 years, especially small towns, I think Middle America has a chance to respond back Middle America is and I don't think urban predominantly urban based, I think there's a lot of, you know, your guys that are more rural or suburban markets, not necessarily your hot urban centers. And so I think the middle middle class specifically has an opportunity to rebound depending on a couple of things where they buy and how they use real estate.


No, so my alarm clock, I have a six o'clock alarm just in case I somehow sleep through everything else, even though I haven't in forever. It's been going off for like seven minutes. But as long as you can't hear it, I just wanted to make sure like, wasn't interrupting you. Because I can hear..


No, man, I got nothing.


Cool! Then I'm going to just forget this entire piece happened.

But that's so you're right. And the technology world, man, there's so much stuff changing. I mean, people are able to work in a job and move to Texas and your employer might not care. Right. And that's, I mean..


California, tax people care.


Well, that's Yeah, that's true.
But I mean, can you imagine the implications? I think they call it location arbitrage, where you can live somewhere super affordable, and be paid like you don't.

So I have a friend, you know, and he's eventually going to be on the show. But he does blogging and YouTubing and stuff. So he has an online business, right? So he gets paid the same amount, no matter where he lives. And they lived in the Midwest, and we're not super expensive. But his wife's from Colombia, they moved down to Colombia for the last three years.

He's living like a king for a third the price and he's making the same paycheck. And he's, I mean, spending like nothing, you know, compared to what he was, and then he's gonna come back to the States after a few years. And he's built this entire, like, huge retirement nest egg, and he's gonna be good.




I mean, that just opens so many opportunities. And you're so you're right, people are going back to where they're from, where they're familiar, where they have family, because they can still work doing what they want. And they can afford to live easily, somewhere somewhere comfortable.


Yeah. And that makes all the difference in the world, even if you can't pick up additional revenue, but you can cut costs. Hey, man, that that at least opens up a little bit of spread for people.

So interesting, two trends to continue to watch. It's significant for what I do, because it's all about supply and demand, like something has value because it has desire, right. And I don't think that's changing with a single family occupancy home, you know, for quite some time, multi families as well. Small Multi’s. A lot of veterans, in my opinion, their biggest tool for getting out of the military and transitioning the most likely thing to help build them reliable wealth is their VA home loan in a home that they do some due diligence on in purchase. And if you're listening to this, and you're like, Whoa, pitch great was due diligence, read a book out there called emerging real estate markets by a guy named David Lindell. And I say this, just because it's a great book that points out, there are other ones, I'm sure, but I like this guy. He writes pretty well, as far as readability goes.

And it points out things from a very man on this brick street perspective. So all the Marines out there with tray crayons dripping out the corner of their mouths will be able to get it to guys. So don't worry, it's not complicated. But what it will do is it'll help you to understand and see the changes in the things that occur that are dominoes 1,2,3, that lead to something happening, like, we can put 20 Marines in a formation and something happens over here. And it may be seemingly insignificant to everyone on Earth. But all 20 Marines start laughing because they know what the domino effect is four years down the chain, whether the guy stuck his hands in a pocket beside somebody else, or whatever it is the point being, you see what you see when you see it, right.

And if you can't see something, especially around real estate, buying, markets, like ask, reach out and ask as well, because it's really not that hard. And it's something that each and every veteran can use to change their wealth profile. Do you have any yummy trust fund babies under the Marine Corps?




None. All arrays were broke but yeah, the poor you know.


I made all of the mistakes I got booz, II got the motorcycles.


I didn't get the officers over there. They're like, yeah, I'm an officer. I'm like, What do you do? I sell crack. Not really, they don't sell crack, folks. But like, I don't know, I never met any massively wealthy people in the military.

And so based off of that, I would think that it's pretty important for a lot of people to try to change that unless they just don't want to be massively wealthy.


Yeah, we spend all this money and all these crazy interest rates on things that depreciate extremely fast and then we get nervous about buying real estate. And I don't think the old adage, buy a house, every duty station I think couldn't be more, more wrong, because..


I agree.


Because we'll get burned by that. But I think that if you buy an investment, you know it, maybe not every duty stating because some markets just don't make sense. But if you're smart about it, I mean, that's a huge benefit.

30:00 - 35:00


I agree. 100%.

When I was in North Carolina, I didn't buy a house there because in 2006 I bought an investment property somewhere else and other people's funds in it too. So it wasn't as risky for myself. Not that I haven't bought anything in Jacksonville. Anyways, I will go back.


These places are wonderful!




It's, it's actually funny, I actually was gonna request orders there this last go round, because, you know, after being in Hawaii for three years, like okay, well, I'm gonna get sent somewhere crappy. I'd rather be in June in Okinawa. Although, I mean, I would love to go back to Okinawa, but my wife was like, hell no.

And so I was getting ready to request Jacksonville, you know, go back and I was like, real estate's affordable. We'll see. I'll figure something out.

And I called the monitor up and I was gonna tell him, he's like, hey, how does a Del Mar sound like, you want to send me where he's like, yeah, Camp Pendleton. Are you cool with like, be right by the beach in Camp Pendleton. For the next couple years. I was like, This isn't supposed to happen. You're not supposed to get to good locations. And like back to back, you're supposed to get screwed after Hawaii. So I kept my mouth shut. And here I am. But.


If Marines are good at one thing, it's getting screwed, man, they get screwed better than anybody.


Oh, and we do it ourselves half the time.




That piece. And it's like, I’m a command financial specialist, right. I've gone through the course. And in my last year that I helped build it for a little while. And you do all these at..

The military command financial specialists program is a wonderful tool that only gets utilized. When somebody screws up on their Sergeant is like, oh, man, we got to make you go talk to the wizard guy over here and see if he can fix what you did. It's never like, Oh, I'm gonna go buy a car. Let me ask this guy for advice. It's always, hey, how do I get out of this 32% interest on this Mustang? And you're like, how did you even get into that?




I mean, I've seen I've never seen higher than like 22%. But supposedly the people on base saw like a 31% interest rate on a car. And like, basically, when negotiating with the company, like you screwed this guy, but it's nuts. Sometimes what guys or girls will get themselves into because it looks cool.


Yeah, and they don't have a clue what they're getting into. And they're just looking to spend some money on something that makes them feel good.


Yeah, it's like you said debts. Debts like fire. I like that analogy. I always just say that's a tool. But I think the fires are better. I mean, because fire is a tool.


When you think about it, it's like like, and this is what I try to tell people with a bunch of big student loans or other debt that they're not sure how they're going to get on top of, or even the vets out there that have a foreclosure or something against part of their entitlement.

In the forest, you know, when they have a massive forest fire, they're out there fighting it with water, they're not flying in from the ocean, over and over planes with hordes and hordes of water bottle, they drop in hot shots, right, these hot shots, cut a clear safety zone, and then they let a big fire back at it.

So all these people with student loans are guys out there that have missing portions of their entitlement because of a default or other large, you know, debts that are kind of growing, I think the fastest way to do that stuff is by lining a clear line and burning back towards it right save your reserves, creating a pool of debt maintenance that you'll have for a year or two for all your debt maintenance as fast as you can, right.

And then at the same time, cut your cutting, you're clear on and get ready to back burn with buying an asset that's likely to appreciate using the instrument of debt. And everyone thinks Money makes the world go round. It's the biggest lie you've ever been told.

There's far more debt than there is money. It's a larger currency, it's more efficient. It's the one that can do something with nothing, right? With a zero down VA home loan kind of a thing. It's the stronger tool like you would never think about picking a shovel up and using it if it didn't have a handle on it with just a spade and you had to dig a ditch with it. Like that'd be stupid, right? Leverage is not so different. You just have to learn how to do it safely. And it's not that hard. You just have to know how to ask.

So for anyone listen to this, if you don't know. Like, rock says you better call somebody man. Not 038157537 I don't even care if I'm making money from helping you, I’ll answer your questions just so you don't get Skylon and pop on the ridge.



What would you say? You know, if you had to give like one or two pointers for when you're looking for utilizing a VA loan, like what kind of things would you say are like red flags that someone should stay away from maybe that'll? I don't know.


The first thing I'll say is every single person listening to this message, if you're going to get a mortgage, go out there and shop and look for an independent mortgage broker.

35:00 - 40:00


Here's the difference of what this is okay.

As an independent mortgage broker, you know who you work for?


The consumer.


The Consumer.




Banks out there I can use. And their job is to provide my consumer with the best product. And I know this because I've already done this and created these other companies as a bank or as a mortgage bank, or what we call a non delegated bank, right?

Either one of those situations has a warehouse line, behind me a big credit card for houses, and I fund all your loans on that warehouse slide. But that warehouse slide has special terms and conditions that all of these 100 people may not necessarily have. And this I can send to this or I can broke it to all of these people in that situation too.

So you have is you have steering that occurs, oops, just send it to the warehouse line. And ultimately, that can remove options and create additional costs, everything else is an independent broker. I'm not captive, right. I don't follow your chain of command. That's how I work as an independent broker. These companies, the owners of these companies don't work. They're not telling the piss off. Sorry, I'm not working with y'all then. And tell I hold an industry accountable to the standards that ought to be served for the consumer. And that's incredibly important.

So if you're a vet, and you're looking for a mortgage, independent mortgage broker, if you go to these big companies, here is what I'll tell you. The bigger the billboard, the bigger the zapping guys, they are bug zappers, that's what those billboards are. That's what marketing is, all of them. They all overcharge, if they have veterans or something vet exclusive, or USA or something in their name, and they're massive and national. I guarantee you it's not even, it’s comical, at this point, bring me something called a loan estimate. And I'll show you how comical it is, but avoid them. And here's why they're going to rob some of your future by the cost that they make you carry presently, right? That's a great tool. But it must be credibly efficient in order for it to accomplish what it needs to. And that's freeing up your money. So the offense can go compound.

Einstein said compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He didn't say amortized interest even though there's some compounding there negatively. And the reason why was Einstein was concerned with the ability to grow. He wasn't concerned with cost in the wake of growing.

So y'all need to understand this too. And you understand you need to understand that growth is more important. And if you can free up your values, your money by not putting them down, right and you can assess all of these things. So if you're buying a house with the right metrics, then your money can do the offensive things. You've heard people say defense wins championships bull crap. Now unless you're doing offensive minded things, maybe your D gets to pick sixes and runs. Oh man, but that's an offensive move. Good auto. It's not how it works in the Marine Corps, right? We're not a trench force. Everyone loves the Marine Corps. Because, like point and whack, like that's what they do. They go you know, they go get him. And that's what your values need to be doing for you in order to propel you forward financially.


Yeah, I love I love that the independent mortgage brokers Oh, it sounds as though an individual independent mortgage broker is like the equivalent to mortgage loans that a portfolio like kind of more portfolio lender type type benefit where you can you're you're making the decision, essentially, you're not having to conform to what DC is telling you or wherever the headquarter.


No, not necessarily.

So portfolio lenders create stuff out of thin air, and they service it usually against their deposits that they take from people like you and me when we go into the bank and give them our money on Friday payday, right?

So portfolio lenders, those guys are servicing and there's some other stuff out there to kind of go around that. But VA loans have to fit in the box in order to do it. And if you don't, then it's not a sellable loan. And it can create a problem for you or your warehouse line or somebody right basic though.

So as a broker, a portfolio lender creating their one channel kind of a thing like hey, you fit in here, hop in. So still they can make any decision they want on it, not that they will write a broker, the difference for me is where Tim companies may have liked, here's a veteran veterans united, right, they say that you can't do or they don't do loans below 620. I think the USA is probably also well a VA loan doesn't actually declare a low minimum fica, that's the loan that they want to do. They're cherry picking what they want to do. And they leave a lot of veterans to believe their entitlements won't do another thing which is false.

So as an independent broker, I don't write or have specific overlays that come in and say, Oh, you can't do that, right? Like it's like the commander, a staff sergeant Gunny company got like, all those people series Oh, they can all add 15 minutes to how early you have to show up to formation so that you're there for hours early for some overlays to work the same soldier, right?

Yeah, close to home, right.

Like everyone has their 15 minutes that way everyone's pissed off and and early, but that's the way these companies can do it. They can add overlays to the risk to make it a little more stringent depending on certain things. The warehouse lines do it.

40:00 - 45:00


Or they can go straight to what the VA says off of automated underwriting, or whatever it is. But most companies don't do that because there's an additional risk fair. And so they declare to the veteran that they can't do it, which is false.

So, if you go to an independent mortgage broker, all you vets out there and all y'all, you anybody's out there, here's the truth of the matter, I'm liberated, no one holds me captive. All of these companies vie for my business by how well they serve you, how well their interest rates, their costs, and their fees price compared to their competitors. So many different things matter to whether or not as a mortgage professional, I help them or show them as an option for you, given your circumstances, because that's my job. It's to line up the perfect scenario. Grownups tailor their clothes, why not their mortgages, right?

Debts, a currency reverse engineered, you have to have years in history for the debt instrument. And if you don't know, or you're not working with someone that understands how to plan two years in the past, then all you're gonna end up doing is like we said earlier, it's like I asked people, do you know how to plan for your debt needs? Are you just saving money and hoping? Because that's the strategy. Most people deploy. And when it comes to the biggest purchase of your life, the most likely thing to yield you a wealth change from your current status, saving money and hoping sounds pretty stupid to me.


Oh, man, I agree.

Well, I'm gonna roll into some of the questions I normally ask. And one of the first ones here is I always ask, you know, if an E one, E two walk up to you asking you for financial advice, what would be the you know, you had only a few minutes to give them your best tip, what would you give them?


Don’t give me 100 foot a flatline, and I'll tell you.


Blinker fluid.


Yeah, because like, here’s one , because I want to see if they're gonna go try to do something stupid to get the value, E ones and E twos are really stupid, and they might not be worth the time and they only to say they may not be ready to learn it yet.

They're like, if they're ready to go look for some freakin flatline or some rotor wash or ID 10 T form or whatever it is, if they've got that sort of passion, vigor, then I would put a lot of time, energy and effort into them.

The first thing I'll tell them to do, though, once they do that task is don't spend them blowing all your money, guys, you have an opportunity to save to create a functional liquid reserve, they will act as your liquid reserve for the rest of your life. Do something with it, don't spend it. Even if you can't afford the bigger things that come second, third, fourth, order down the road, start the basic steps, get some money set aside that you do not use or spend for anything, quit spending dumb moneys, on cars, clothes, all of those things that you didn't get for three months in boot camp, and now you want to spend like you're never gonna have money ever again. If you don't save what you have now, right, so that you can invest it so that you can provide security with it, then you're not gonna have anything that can grow.


That's huge. I love it.

And that's what I wish I'd done it uh, you know, should have woulda coulda. For those of you listening who don't understand the Marine Corps isms going on here and did not pick up on that. Those are all running jokes, because those are things that are not probably acceptable anymore because people complain about hazing.

But like when we joined the Marine Corps, the ID 10 T form which if you write on a piece of paper spells out the word idiot is something that you got set running around the motor pool or wherever looking for as well. What's the other good one that used to be? Oh, pricky, the pricky six. So you walk around looking for a pricky seven, which is basically saying, where's that asshole Gunny, but you're asking the Gunny without knowing that you're asking the Gunny. So.


He used to the Hummer. Hummers don't have keys.


All these things that we used to do.


Five gallon bucket a rotor wash rotor washes the air that comes out from under the blades of a helicopter flightline is tarmac where the freakin planes take off. You can't bring someone 100 footers that more than likely.


I mean, shoot if the kid shows up with it. You're right. He's ready.


He's probably a marine. I chewed the concrete.

Like I knew it was an idiot job. But that's how you know he's a marine.


I love it.

So yeah, that was the joke there if you couldn't figure out why I was laughing about the flightline. But oh, man, that's awesome.

So are there any, like what's a book, resource, course? I know. You mentioned I wrote it down here. My notes are terrible. It's like I'm a Marine.

Emerging real estate markets. But what you know, are there any other resources you would recommend to people looking to get in but invest in or utilize VA loans?


Books are a great place to start first because it's going to help you to understand the market.

Investing with the market is as significant as understanding the tide when you're trying to launch your boat in the ocean. If you don't, you're probably gonna have a rough time, right? Just how it works.

45:00 - 48:56


Other books that are out there that are really good to read. If you're looking to get into Real Estate Investing specifically, I think it's incredibly important for each person to have a large liquid reserve. I hate cash because cash does one thing daily, constantly loses value. And it's always going to inflation assures that rising interest rates and what they do to re-soak up the margin of money they create after it's been effective or useful to people brings it back.

But there's a book out there called Confessions of a CPA, the truth about life insurance, I was not a life insurance fan, I didn't believe in the product and argued against it until I had basically vetted it so much using a couple different sources that I just couldn't again anymore. But it's something that a lot of people, while they're in the military and still have a better health rating and are younger, and they have large swings of money.

It's something that could come into play, especially if they want to own real estate. Because you're going to need a large functional liquid reserve, in my opinion. That's the place where most people fail to prepare is reserve assets, or they'll have assets that they think reserves that they end up spending and they think it's a temporary expense. That's not reserves.


Yep. That's, that's huge. Definitely check out that book.
Before we wrap things up, you got anything you'd like to add any parting, parting advice or big ideas?


Parting advice or big ideas to the ones who made it this deep into the podcast.

I would say, here's my big idea. I think each house should make me around half a million at least, I think my current house may do a little bit better than that. If that sounds like something you think, and get in touch with us. Reach out. Talk to David he's available, he will be wearing his Hawaiian shirt when you call and he will be ready to grab one of those paddles off the wall and come find you. Like paddle over to you.

If you think houses should make you wealthy. You're correct. You're right. Don't be talked off of it. Don't let someone discourage you. Don't let your buddy's story of how he bought his plays in Chicago was one of your buddies probably an idiot. Or you've caught a bad wave in the market. But don't fight the data. 44x Grant Cardones out there selling 10x the average homeowner I've already told you he is 44 times wealthier than the average renter, study after study show. That's a census bureau number like Harvard's put out studies, it should happen. You should plan for it. And as veterans with a VA loan, there's no better opportunity than buying a house as long as you make things as long as you make certain things are right then you have an opportunity to change your life guys.

A poor kid from Texas. Dad still frames houses today and is coming over here in about an hour because he's got to help me carry a couch to my new office, right but didn't have a lot growing up. It's different now. Houses did that for me.


That's awesome. That's huge. Awesome.

Well, Chris, where can people get a hold of you? What's the best way to reach out?


Yeah, I'm all over Facebook like a 13 year old girl, man. But if you don't find me on Facebook, my cell phone numbers 903-815-7537. My email is


Love it. Awesome.

Well, Chris, thanks for joining us today. This has been awesome. I look forward to I mean, shoot. I'm gonna have to reach out to you here when I go back towards the Midwest.


Yeah, man. Give me a holler as soon as you get a chance. And now I'd love to help you out ever again. Man. appreciate you sharing your story with me having me on your podcast. I hope it was valuable to your audience.


Oh, it absolutely was. This is huge.


Awesome, man. Great chatting with you, brother.


You too.


Thank you for listening to another episode about my journey From military to millionaire. If you liked it, be sure to visit to subscribe to future podcasts. While you're there, we'd love for you to rate the show. Give us a review on iTunes. Now get out there and take action.

Episode: 50

Chris Griffith

Chris Griffith is a Counter-intelligence Marine, gone Independent Mortgage Broker!

Chris served in the Marine Corps for eight years working in both the air-traffic control, and counter-intelligence fields! Upon exiting the military, he worked in the mortgage broker for a few years before starting his own independent mortgage brokerage called Debt Does Deals. Chris has utilized his VA loan benefits to add almost a million dollars to his net worth!

I love watching Chris continually add value to the veteran community online. He is a wealth of knowledge, and a really fun guy to talk with. We had a lot (maybe too much) of fun recording this show for you!

His advice to an E-1/E-2 (18/20-year-old) is:

Don’t spend all of your money. Save as much as you can to invest!

the resource he recommends is:

Emerging Real Estate Markets and Confessions of a CPA

His big idea/parting advice is:

Every house should make you $500,000!

If you want to reach out to you can find him on Facebook as: Chris Griffith, Email him at: , or call him at 903-815-7537

For more information about their program send an email to:   Again, that is Tell David and Stu you heard about them through the Military to Millionaire Podcast and they will get you going down the right path.






Join me in the BiggerPockets Pro community!

Books I recommend

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Real Estate Investing:

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Building Wealth:





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