Episode 34 | Jim Brooks | Military Millionaire Podcast

Show us some love!

82 / 100

00:00 - 05:00

David:

Hey what's going on guys. Today's episode is about a guy bouncing back from difficult times and using the subject two investing to take on the world and do well enough that he lives in Panama right now, which is just super cool.

Jim Brooks is an awesome guy. I'm really excited about this episode. If this is your first time joining us. Thanks for listening. If not awesome, welcome back. Be sure to check out the show notes at Frommilitarytomillionaire.com/podcasts. Now relax and enjoy the show.

Intro:

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.

David:

Hey, what's up everybody, it's Dave. And I am here with Jim Brooks, who has been both in the Marine Corps and the army and has a very unique story. And he's done well enough with real estate that if you can see his background right now on YouTube, he's living in the jungle in Panama, paid for by his properties scuba diving every day, which is just super cool.

Jim, welcome to the show. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Jim:

Thanks, Dave.

Well, I can tell you I did 10 in Corps and 13 in the army. I was when I was in the Corps. I did infantry and did recon for a few years. finishing up my bachelor's degree ended up in the Army Reserves did 13 years special ops Special Forces ended up going to Afghanistan as was seven the group in Afghanistan up in the Hindu Kush mountains, northern Afghanistan doing horseback missions. That was really cool.

Got a bachelor, Bachelor Degree in animal science and a horse trainer for several years. And I got my certification for special ed. And I was a certified special ed teacher for a few years.

I ended up having a pre deployment accident and had somebody sky shark me come up underneath me and my parachute collapse had a parachuting accident in 2009. And they ended up retiring me. But my military career was over, and did a little bit of teaching after that. And then finally I just said, You know what, it's about time I just go ahead and just enjoy life. So I went ahead and, and I'm doing nothing now, but just the real estate, and the real estate is doing well. But that is pretty much my military background.

My investing career started when I was 38. Up until the time that I was 38 I was married and had three kids and thought that was the way to get ahead. And getting ahead was working two jobs taking night school.

So I worked for years. I mean, as long as I could remember, I was working two jobs and taking night classes. And every time I'd get, you know, another little accomplishment and a little accomplishment, but it never amounted to any kind of the financial, you know, getting ahead that I was hoping for.

David:

Yeah.

Jim:

So I mean, it did and all the way up until, you know, I got deployed to Afghanistan, I came back and I was 38 you know, I was on the backside of my military career. My grandfather called me up and said, Hey, what are you gonna do now that you're back to the war? I said, I'll drink beer fish. And he says, oh, he'll hate fishing. I'm like, yeah, yeah.

So he says he wants to come hang out with me for a little bit and visit and he introduced me to a couple of CDs. You know cassette tapes, from one of you know, the big icons real estate investing I can you remember who it is offhand. But I listened to that and listened to that and studied that. And it opened up my eyes to another possibility that I had not learned about, you know, high school doesn't teach you about finance. High School will teach you how to get a job and how to work for someone else that understands finance.

So I started you know, I did the Robert Kiyosaki Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and every other real estate book that I could find, and just just kept working, kept studying, kept learning. I was still working a day job when I got back, you know, doing some substitute teaching and just working where I could when I could.

And one day, I got a lead. And I responded to the lead, and he accepted my offer. And I bought a house. And I was pretty much amazed because I didn't know, it was my first one. I made them the most ridiculous offer. I mean, I was so embarrassed by this ridiculous offer that I didn't even want to answer the phone when he called me back, but it was my first subject to deal. My very first deal.

05:00 - 10:00

Jim:

And when I got back from Afghanistan, we had sold my horse ranch outside of San Antonio. So we had really no place to live. And I didn't have a job. So I couldn't just move into a house anywhere. So we were living with family while I was trying to get back on my feet, and ended up getting this deal. And my wife said, we're moving in. So we moved in, and my first deal. And I just did the same thing with the very next decent lead that came along. And a couple months later, I bought another one, same thing, and it was a subject to deal.

And I spent from the time my grandfather introduced me to real estate. I spent a good year studying, learning, working on marketing. And what I did was I created a funnel by getting a real estate website.

And I did that through Dustin Griffin with the wooded street smart, super smart, Super Smart Web Profits, super smart web properties, got a website, real estate website. And then I would put up bandit signs, I had a sign on my truck, I had business cards that I would accidentally drop in Walmart, when I was walking around. I mean, I bought a big box. So I had two minutes, I would stop at a gas station, I'd be sticking them up on the little thing, I was dropping cards everywhere.

So I did the business cards, I did the bandit signs, and I sent letters. It's in direct mail marketing, but I was funneling everything to my website. So everything was funneling. And then I would get an email to say you get new leads. And then I would go to my website, and I would look at him. And I would go down the leads and say, okay, that one's good. That one's good, you know, and the rest of these are all junk, I was looking for motivated sellers, people that were willing, that weren't buying, willing to work something out.

So that was the first and second deal that I did, which were both subject to deals. And they worked out real well. And from there, I just kept doing it and kept doing it. And then I would expand a little bit, learn a little bit more, and try something else. And I would keep following up with my leads. Somebody called me up, they say, hey, I've got up well, I don't phone, but I get an email. And I went to the lead, they submitted to my website. And I would look at it and they would say, you know, this is the best I can do. And they would come back and say, Okay. And then I'm like, man, I had to call you back not hang up the phone. I'm like, they did not just agree to that.

So and so it's been interesting, and I ended up getting up to where we had 50 properties. We had a fourPlex, we had a three Plex, and a bunch of duplexes. And a total of 50 properties, not two units. We had 50 properties. And we were rolling. I mean, we were doing so well, that I mean, the thing about the subject to you when you get it, you get it for zero down. So I was putting nothing into buying this property. And I bought one and went down to San Antonio. And it was like two or three days before we were heading down to San Antonio, go to SeaWorld. So I was taken away from the kids. And I just got to make a couple stops along the way.

So I stopped off at Fort Hood, and I closed on a deal and picked up a check for 2500. It was a house that I had bought a week before and put nothing down. So I picked up a check for 2500 when I did a lease option on it and drove down to San Antonio and stayed at the Hilton. Got them all settled. And then I said I'll be right back, I gotta go run air.

So I went over to converse and close the house. And these people have had their house on the market for six months. And their contract was up. But they had already bought a new house. So they were kind of in a little bit of a time crunch. And I looked at their information on the lead sheet and it said that they owed a certain amount, but they owed what their balance was and what they were asking the asking price was with the balance on the mortgage.

And I asked him I said well how are you going to pay for the real dress and your commission is going to be $10,000 and they said, Oh, we took out extra loans. We got $10,000 sitting here but you know if you're gonna buy it and we don't have to pay the realtor now so are you going to help me with my closing costs. And they said what do you want? I said $5,000 they said okay. And they said okay, so I bought a house and made $5,000 and went back and put the thing on, on Craigslist or whatever. However, I was more I don't even remember. And then the next morning, we got up, we went to SeaWorld, we had a great time, we came back, everybody's tired. I get on, and I got somebody that says, hey, I'll give you $5,000, you'll, you know, do a lease option with this house.

10:00 - 15:00

Jim:

Okay, so I said, I'll be right back. So I ran over to converse and did a little contract with him and collected a check for $5,000 in the bank. So I mean, I made $12,500 on a vacation weekend. It was closing on two properties that I bought in ahead, put zero down on it, I mean, it just didn't get too much better than that. I bought another one in San Antonio, zero down. The guy was new.

I've had it on the market, buy it. But all I'm going to do is buy the house by taking over the mortgage. They'll take over the existing financing for the balance that you have. I said, You're not going to pay any out of pocket expenses, no closing costs, no fees. I said, but I'm not giving you any money.

He's like, so he says next month, I don't have a payment. I said no. Next month, you don't have a payment. He's done. Where do I sign? Right here.

So three or four days later, I had someone giving me $10,000 to move into that house. So I had that much into it. And I just got a check for $10,000 a few days later. So like I was saying, you know, when we had 50 of these things, we were doing pretty good. So for the first time in my life, I guess I was probably about 40. And you know, we'd always been you know, long and short on money. And I was finally able to say hey baby, where do you want to go? Anywhere you want to go? We picked up a condo down in Florida and went down here and stayed in the very top floor nicest room they had me and my wife got a three bedroom, two bath condo.

They had one bedroom. But I said Oh hell no. I want a three bedroom. I don't know if it was just you know, for the first time in my life I was actually able, I had a little bit of money. And it was good. I I called down to a dealership in Tyler, Tyler, Texas and I said you on your website. You got a Hummer that you're selling you guys like Yeah, yeah. Would you like to come down and look at it like no, I don't look at it as a go ahead and I'm signing for it here. I just want it delivered to my house tomorrow. All done. And when my wife came back from the store, there's a Hummer sitting there in the driveway and she's like, whose is that? I said, It's yours, Happy birthday. And she's like, no, don't mess with me. Like No, it's yours. Happy birthday.

It took her awhile she just sat in it for like an hour. You couldn't get her out of there with you know, we couldn't talk to her because she was not getting out of that car. You know, and I ended up going from driving my old piece of junk. I had a 3500 dodge dually with a Cummins turbo diesel solo drive lifted with a big 30 fives on bought me a big house. Well, that's later down the road. But uh, we were doing good. We were doing good.

And then because I was still in reserves, I was getting ready to deploy again. And I had a parachuting accident and shattered my femur. The doctor said that I had broken the largest and strongest bone in my body and shattered it as if it was a light bulb, light bulb because you're lucky to be alive. I didn't feel really lucky at that time. It sucked.

David:

Yeah.

Jim:

I can definitely tell you bumbles bounce, but I am not a bumble, I hit the ground and I just laid there and I hurt. And then the wind picked up and started dragging me across the drop zone. So I'm holding my leg saying Oh, my leg. Oh my leg, you know, then I'm like, Okay, I gotta reach up, hit my parachute release. And I just leg to the chute. Like Finally I just pulled it and lay there thinking God, am I dead? It hurts.

So it took me three years in multiple surgeries for them to get it fixed. And for me to be able to walk in and not walk pretty good. I still get kind of tired on that side of renown. And so they retired me in September 2012. And then in February of the following year, my wife was diagnosed with cancer. And that was probably not you know, I've been in combat and I've been through more stupid stuff that most people have. But that was a kick in the guts, really bad.

And a year and a half later, she passed away in her arms. Very hard day. I stopped caring about everything. My kids were actually coming back because they had already, you know, grown up and moved out. They would come by just to see if I was still alive if I was eating because I hadn't been my daughter actually moved in with me and started making sure that I was eating so I had a rough spot there for about 14 months. And then one day I said, You know what, it's about time I get up and get going again. And fortunately, because I learned real estate, it wasn't like starting over again, it wasn't, it wasn't starting at zero with that big learning curve. It was basically just turning on the engine, you know, and getting it going again, I didn't have to build the truck, I just had to get in and crank it up and just kind of pay attention to where I was going.

15:00 - 20:00

Jim:

And with that, that's been almost two years. I've got 21 properties right now, working on a few more deals. And the money that we have coming in from our real estate has us sitting in this massive house. It's like a tree house up in the mountains of the jungle overlooking the Caribbean, which unfortunately, you can't see behind me, but it's amazing if you could see it.

David:

Yeah, we tried before we recorded it. And it's just there's too much. It's too sunny out there. It just doesn't come through the camera.

Jim:

Yeah.

But there are 11 sailboats just right outside my window. actually gonna go I told you before that I was actually either gonna take some money and put money that I've been saving into another property or I was going to buy a sailboat, we're going to look at a sailboat tomorrow.

David:

I totally understand. That's awesome.

Jim:

Right, everybody, don't buy a boat. Don't buy a boat. You know, there's 11 of them.

David:

A wise friend of mine who is now retired from the military told me don't buy a boat unless you have money and way too much time on your hands. And I don't know about way too much time. But it sounds like you've got the time that you could handle a boat.

Jim:

Well, you know, I'm not complaining. I'm down in Panama for about three months or longer. Or if I decide to leave, I'll leave.

You know, and I'm scuba diving every day. I mean, we just did two dives this morning. Yesterday, we did two dives. And tomorrow we're gonna do a night dive. So I'm just hanging out just enjoying life is good. I get on my computer every morning. I look to see what leads I have a follow up on them.

I've been working with my kids trying to teach them how to do real estate deals. I was talking to my son earlier today as a matter of fact, because he's working on two of them right now. My daughter, she was working on short sales with me back when I was actually doing short sales. I closed on some short sales to make some good money until the banks caught on. Your banks are green and they're gonna squeeze you for every little penny they can get. You know, I always leave a little money on the table. I want everybody to be happy. That bank they just want to squeeze you.

David:

Yeah, absolutely.

Jim:

I've done some wholesaling. I've done short sales, I've flipped houses, I had a tied up one in Bossier City, Louisiana, and talked her down from 15,000 down to five, with a 30 day inspection period to a two days later, two or three days later, I sold it for $10,000. So I gave her five, and I had my five, you know, and the thing about wholesaling or flipping, you know, yeah, you can do it, you make a little quick money off of it. But you have to keep doing it. And then you have to keep doing it. If you want to keep money coming in, you know.

I like buying a house with subject to is my favorite, and turn around and doing a lease option or owner financing, and have that money coming in every month was me being able to just hang out in Panama and scuba dive and not have to worry about it, rather than having to keep that hustle going all the time. So that's one of the reasons it's subject two. I like the buy and hold.

David:

I was gonna ask if you could explain the subject two a little bit to some of our listeners, because I know, you know, I know what it is. But some people that's that's kind of a very niche style of investing that not everyone knows about.

Jim:

This is true. This is true. It's when someone said somebody will give you their house, they will give you the deed and the mortgage will stay in their name. I said no, no who in their right mind is going to give me a house and leave the mortgage in their name.

But I think it was Lou Brown or Ron Legrand one of them said if you're going through a divorce, if you know you're if you have two house payments because you just moved, you're stressed you're not in your right mind. You're looking for relief and you're looking for someone to give you that relief. So I will come in and I will say okay, you have this house and it's causing you what you know called nuisance problems.

I will purchase your house for the balance on the mortgage. Bye taken over to the existing financing. And yes, it's I'm going to get the deed the mortgage is going to stay in your name until I can refinance it or, or, or pay it off or resell it, or whatever we decide to do with it at that point.

20:00 - 25:00

Jim:

And, you know, they're like, you know, hey, I've got an extra $900 a month payment that I just can't afford. So they said that, that's relief, that's $900 worth of relief, that I'm willing to take on.

So they say, you know, give me the papers. So I send them the papers, they look over them all they sign on, they notarize them, they send them back to me, I now have the deed to that house, I now own that house. So I turn around and market it as a lease option or owner financing.

And, you know, as a matter of fact, I had, before I got on, I had a buyer lead for one of the houses that we have that's coming available. And the lady said she's got $8,000 that she can put down. So I buy a house for zero, then I lease option it to her for $8,000 down. You can't even calculate the return on investment when you get zero that you put down. That I mean, you want to say how much energy does it take for me to email a contract. But other than that, you can't even calculate a return on investment. You know, people are saying Oh, yeah, I can get you 15%. Okay, no.

David:

Yeah, I'm making 1,000,000% or whatever infinite return.

Jim:

Don't need it. 15%. But thank you very much. I wanted to, to my banker. And I sat down and she was like, Oh, hey, can I interest you in some of our programs? We've got this and we've got this. And we've got this. And I looked at her like, Stacey has it? You know, I do real estate, right? That's it, you know that I buy houses, and then I market them. And I do lease options and owner finances? She goes, Oh, I forgot. This will be a waste of your time.

You know, it is. I had someone that was trying to sell me on something here a little while ago, I can't remember what it was called. Oh, you can get a 12 to 14% return on your money. No, no, no, that's that's not gonna work. You know, I like subject two. It's simple. It's no money down. I mean, you always hear people say, Oh, no money down deals, no money down deals. This is a no money down deal.

I mean, if you use your VA, if you use the VA, get alone and do some of the house hacking. Yeah, that's a no money down deal. Well, this is the same thing, except I'm not going to the bank. I'm not asking anybody for a loan with if I'm buying it subject two you go down as an investor to the bank, and you say I want to buy this house a little property, boom, they're already gonna bump it up, you know, you're gonna be paying an extra two or three points on it just because it's an investment property. I'm getting them at the owner rate, because this guy went and he put in for a mortgage, he got approved for the loan, he got a 3%. And now he's gone. Now he's in a bind. So he just eats it over to me. So now I've got a 3% note. I can turn around and owner finance it at 9%.

David:

Man, that's so cool.

And it's really cool. Because when you lease options or you own or finance, you're no longer on the hook for the maintenance and everything. So you're just bringing in passive cash flow off, someone is handing you a check to pay you continually for something you didn't pay a penny for, which is just awesome.

Jim:

Exactly, exactly, yes.

That's one of the reasons that I like subject two. I get it for zero down, and I turn around and get five to $10,000 down on it to do a lease option, which means that it's still mine, but they've got the option, a three year option to go down and get a new loan.

I've been doing this for 15 years. I haven't had anybody go down and get a new loan. That house I told you about in San Antonio that I had made 5000 when they gave it to me. And then the other guy said I'll give you 5000 you know, and in after one year. He called me up and said Oh, we got to move. Like Dude, you gave me $5,000 for a three year lease option. You go yeah, but my job is moving me over here. Will you take the house back? Well, yeah, it appreciated like 6% you've paid down the mortgage for a whole year.

So now my mortgage is less. So I'm gonna bump it up. 6% put it back out there as a lease option. And within a week somebody else gave me $5,000 down. I mean $15,000 on the house and we're still getting 20250 a month.

David:

That's so cool.

Jim:

Lease options. I really do.

David:

Yeah, that's that's awesome. I've heard of people doing like the lease option sandwich before but subject two sounds better to me because it, well for one, it's a little bit less complicated, but you actually own the asset. You're not leasing it from some..

25:00 - 30:00

Jim:

They sign over the deed to you. And you know, so now I own the house, and then I lease, option it, and people will ask me, Hey, will you just rent to me? No, no, if I rent to you, then if it's $900 a month, you're gonna give me 900 deposit and $900. But that 900 is supposed to hold and give back to you, you know, if you give me a $5,000 non refundable deposit, and you're responsible for the maintenance and repairs.

David:

Yep.

Jim:

That beats renting the property in a day.

David:

Absolutely.

Jim:

I have no repairs that I have to cover. Nobody calls me when their toilet is backed up. Nobody, I actually did have someone call me and say, Hey, we got a problem with a roof leaking. Is that my responsibility? Or yours? And I said, you want to keep your lease option? Oh, yeah, it is yours, fix it.

You know, I have insurance on it. So if it ends up going over the deductible, then they pay the balance on it. But I have no maintenance or repair issues, because I do the lease options and owner financing.

In Texas, you have to do the owner financing. Because they got this whole weird thing going on with the lease options. They basically made it to where it's damn near impossible to do a lease option because somehow somebody got offended or something. I don't know.

David:

Yeah.

Jim:

Somebody got upset about something, somebody looked at me funny or whatever. Somebody's got in here and decide, okay, and lease options are now the devil. So you can no longer do lease options.

David:

Owner financing is still awesome.

Jim:

Owner financing. I owner financed one and I had. She's had it for two years, I think and she called me up the other day and said, I'm thinking I'm gonna have to leave you to take the house back? Okay.

David:

Yeah, sure. Yeah, that's cool.

And what's cool is that because you do it all through email, you can do it while you're down in Panama.

Jim:

Yes, as long as I've got an internet connection, I'm good. You know, I really don't do a lot with my phone. Other than, you know, like, play on Facebook and stuff. But yeah, most of my stuff is through email.

Like I said, you know, you put out the marketing so you know, you put out your bandit signs or you have the, you know, different internet marketing or you have a billboard or you have cards or whatever. And you do the marketing you could send out my son right now is sending letters out like, like, there ain't no tomorrow, he is sending out letters. He's been burning out like 50 a day.

And for a week or two, he was just like, Dad, I haven't heard anything. I haven't heard anything. Yesterday, like, I've already got two people that have called me today. He's like, oh, I've got someone else's called me. What do I do? So I'm going over little steps, and trying to help him out with it.

But as long as you set up your marketing, I don't like calling people. I really don't. It's like, Hey, I see your houses for sale. I'm in the middle of watching Oprah.

David:

Yeah. Okay, I'm offering you money. Like, you know, why are you being angry?

Jim:

You're the one who put the house up for sale. I'm calling you about the house and you're yelling at me because you're in the middle of watching TV? Do you want to sell the house or not? I don't, I don't care. You know, if you don't somebody else will.

David:

Yeah, exactly.

Jim:

I got so tired of calling people. I said, you know what I'm doing wrong. I said, What I'm doing wrong is I'm calling these people about their houses for sale. Is it what I need for people to call me and beg me to take their houses.

So I need to find people that are motivated and live in a mine that needs to sell their houses. And that's pretty much what I've been marketing to. But if I was putting up bandit signs, I was sending out letters. I had my cards right now, most of my marketing is just pretty much on the internet. So I don't actually have to get up every day and send letters or do any of that.

I did. Matter of fact, I had one I put up a sign in Walmart parking lot in Sulphur Springs, Texas. And I had just this lady call me up. And it was at least 120 $130,000 house fully furnished, because their sister had died. She died in a nursing home. But her sisters, there were three of them, didn't want to come in and have to sort through all the stuff. So we went over and looked at it or just like most of this stuff is antiques.

You know, it had a little bit of a foundation problem on one side. And I'm just like, okay, I did a little bit of research and I said, Okay, I think like I said Lou Brown or someone. He said if you're not embarrassed when you make an offer, and you're making an offer that's too high.

David:

Yeah.

30:00 - 35:00

Jim:

I said okay. I know this house is 125 $130,000 house, I said but I know there's $50,000 worth of stuff in that house. So I said, I'll give you $50,000 for this house. I said, but I need six months before I give you the money. So I'm gonna get the contract now. I get possession of the house now, in six months, I will have it cleaned up painted, all the stuff will be gone. And then I can turn around and sell it and pay you in six months.

And they say, Well, let me talk to my sisters, and I'll get back with you. I was so embarrassed about this offer. I never even called them back. Never call them back. Because I'm just like, there's no way you know, I don't want to get cussed out or yelled at or them. You know, I just didn't have the balls to listen to this. You know? Rejection is hard for anybody.

David:

Yeah.

Jim:

Especially when you're making stupid offers. I'm standing in Dallas at a bookstore, and my phone rings. And I answered the phone. And it was that same lady. And she goes, Mr. Brooks, she goes, I had been looking for you for a month, we agreed to your offer. But we couldn't find you. And you never called us back. So we gave your offer to someone else, and sold the house to him.

I'm standing with the phone in hand, my mouth is open. My wife walks up to me. She goes What's that? What happened? What's the matter? So I told her and my wife hit me. She called me some names. I'm not gonna repeat names. You know, so that was kind of like, holy crap. I could have had a $125,000 house for damn near nothing.

David:

Yeah.

Jim:

Sold antiques, given them the money, houses have been free and clear. It's all mine. didn't follow up on it. Somebody else got that deal? Because I was too embarrassed to call back and check.

David:

So following up can I've actually been in situations like that where I'm like, man, I don't want to. They didn't call me. I don't want to try to feel so bad. You know what? I don't want it. Yeah. And and the follow up is, is really it's probably the most important part. But it sucks.

Jim:

I think it really is, it really is.

So and I've realized, sometimes I'll get on and I'll be you know, looking at leads and I'm like, Okay, I'll make an offer on that one. I'll make an offer on this one to make an offer. And this one, closed my computer and walked away in like two or three days later, I'm like, Oh, God, let me check no end up following up with them. Sometimes I'll actually send a second email and a text message and just say, Hey, you know, we sent you an email, we were interested in your property. You know, if you're interested, please get back with us. Sometimes they didn't get the email and sometimes went to their spam folder.

So here I am thinking I'm being rejected. And they didn't even get this. Get the offer. So yeah, follow up is good, follow up is important.

David:

I actually just had a, this isn't a property, but it is real estate related. I can't really name the website. But I had an article I wrote and I thought it'd be. I mean, it would have made a good article for my website. But I felt like it was good enough that I can try to put it on a bigger website and get some to get out there a little bit.

So I emailed him never back like a month later, I emailed the same person again, never heard back then like last week, I was like, Okay, I'm gonna email it, I'm gonna attach it. I'm gonna change all the words in the email and try one last time. And I got an email back yesterday basically saying, hey, yeah, actually, the article looks good.

But how about instead of, you know, us posting that article for you, you write for us every week for the rest of the year? And I'm like, Oh, okay, like, that's a lot of work. But the payoff will be huge, because it's getting my name out there a little bit. But it's just, you know, something like most people would have sent an email or to not gotten a response and said, Alright, well, but for me, it's so much easier via email. I don't like bugging people on the phone too much. I think part of that's from recruiting, because you get told to go to hell a lot on recruiting duty, and you just get sick of it. And so emails so much nicer.

Jim:

Yes, it is. Yeah, that way, you don't have to hear the cussing and stuff. They may be doing it. But you don't have to do it, which is funny that I actually made an offer one time. And this guy sends me back an email, cussing at me, calling me names. I'm not even going to go into all the detail that he said, but you know, he's like, you know, you must think I'm some sort of idiot, I'm stupid or something you're trying to take advantage of me.

I said, I made you a fair offer. And you don't have to accept it. But you don't need to call and cuss at me. He called me back six months later, and he said, Hey, is that offer still open? Would you consider it? And I'm like, Who's this? Sounds kind of familiar. So let me let me look at my information.

So I'm sitting with him on the phone and I'm like, looking through my stuff. I'm like, Oh, it’s you! Man, I said I'm not doing business with you. And I walk away. You may have been a good deal. I don't know but it just made me feel good to get back at it. You know, just to say up yours, dude.

35:00 - 40:00

David:

That's it. It's always I mean, even if an opportunity there's a Tim Ferriss talks about it. There's a couple of people and this is not something I'm great at. But I want to get better at the art of saying no. And it's because you know if you're good at something, or even if you're not like, being able to say no to things is an art because if you say yes to everything right, you'll have no time to do anything. But it's hard to say no, in a way that doesn't sound like sorry, I don't have time for that, right? Like there's an art to it. And I'm trying to get better at it. Because as I'm getting busier, it's getting, I'm getting more and more requests for things. Like...

Jim:

When you figure that out, let me know, because I haven't got real good at it yet. Because I mean, everybody's like, Oh, hey, Jim, you're doing real well with real estate, teach me how to do it.

Yeah, dude, let me just open your head and put it in. Now, you know, you can do what I'm doing. You know, it's like. And it takes time. It takes effort. It takes studying and it takes trial and error. You know, it takes many, many failures.

I mean, I know, you know, as well as I do. I mean, you get turned down a lot. You know, sometimes your deals go south. I have actually had lawsuits.

David:

I’m going on right now. Yeah. I mean, I'm actually suing someone. But you know, still..

Jim:

Well, I mean, I have never, I haven't been on the suing in I'm usually on the getting sued in.

You know, and one time I actually went to court, I actually did go to court just because the attorney had insulted me. And I'm like, you know what, I'll play this game.

Usually, when the attorney will send me something, it'll say, you know, according to my client, you did this, and you did this. And you didn't give him back this. And then I'll highlight the part of the contract from those very same people that sends it back to that attorney. And every stinking time the attorney will say, either these people are no longer my client. Sorry to have disturbed you and sorry, have taken up your time.

You know, as long as your paperwork is good. It's ironclad. So I ended up going to court one time and adaline. And the both my attorney and the mediation attorney, both said, Jim, this is the best contract I've ever seen. They said, this thing is ironclad. They can't get you for nothing. No matter what you do. You could go and like your house on fire, burn it down, whatever. They have given you permission to do anything you want. And they have also agreed not to take you to court or sue you or anything like well, if they have agreed not to take me to court or sue me. And why am I here? It's because they're suing you. That's it. What is my response? And he's like, you don't even have to be here. This is a waste of your time. Like really? Is it they can't do anything.

So I got up and I said thank you. Thank you, thank you. And then as I was going through the door, I turned around and gave them all one last food. Thank you very much. And out the door, and it was over. Never heard a word. Until about six months later, when the people that tried to sue me.

I got a letter from their attorney through my attorney and it said, it said, You mean we paid you $5,000 and you told us we were going to make all this money by suing this rich real estate guy. And now we're not getting nothing. And we still owe you $10,000. So they ended up owing this attorney, their attorney like $15,000 and they got nothing.

You know some people are just greedy.

David:

Yeah.

Jim:

Sometimes people just say, How can I get back at this guy? or How can I, you know, and ultimately, what happened was they had sold me their house six months later, they changed their mind.

It says in there, I agree. I will not change my mind. It's even if I think number three on one, one of the contracts. I agree, I will not change my mind. If anything happens. I agree I will not sue you. Nobody's ever beat me.

I've been doing this for 15 years when I get something from an attorney now I'm just like, okay, whatever. And I haven't had that in a long time. But you know, that's just something if you're going to be in real estate, you got to expect eventually is going to happen.

And the first time my guts returned I was a nervous wreck. And now I don't even blink. Because you know, as long as you're in the right and you're doing the right thing, your paperwork is good, you really don't have anything to worry about.

So I mean, I do the sub two, I also do I buy also with owner financing. I was driving down a road one time going to visit my mother in law and I had my website on the back window, my truck, and I got a lead because all my leads funneled into my website, and then I would get an email saying you got new leads.

So I called them up and they wanted $15,000 for a house. It was probably a 40 or $50,000 house. It was completely paid off. And no, they weren't $25,000. So I told him I said I said it's not worth 25 that I don't it's not worth 25 to me. I said you may be looking at it and seeing that, oh, it's worth 30-40 me it's not worth that much. As I tell you what I'll do I said I'll give you $15,000 just to email.

40:00 - 45:00

Jim:

So they came back and they said, Okay, we'll be willing to do that. And I said, Well, here's the thing I said, I will give you $15,000. I said, but I'm only gonna give you $300 a month until the whole thing is paid off. And then they said, Okay, we'll do that.

So I went, looked at it, it was all cleaned up, ready to go, I moved somebody in there, they gave me a little bit of money down. And I think I'm getting 600 bucks a month off of that one, it's already paid off, paid it off in like two years. I even called him up, I read somewhere. One of those little hack things that you can do. I owed him probably about $7,000, which is what I had left, it was about halfway paid off.

So I called him up said, I tell you what I'm going to do instead of paying $300 a month, I'm going to give you $3,000 cash right now, if you'll just say where he's like, Oh, no, man, I want that 300 bucks a month, I'm living off that 300 bucks a month. Alright, fine. But that was one of those little hacks that I had learned.

David:

Bad idea, I might have to do that.

I've got some seller financing on one of my 10 units right now. Like I bridged the mortgage. And so I didn't have to put much data at all. So I may or may call him up here be like, Hey, you know? Cuz it's like, 180 bucks a month.

Jim:

Yeah, exactly. If I had, I think it was right after the tax return, like a $5,000 check. I called him up and said, Hey, I'll give you 3000 if you No, no, no, no, we can't do that to you, I'll give you 4000 I'll give you $4,000. And you wipe off that 7000 I figured I was gonna take that 15,000 and bring it down to 12. So then I would buy that house for 12,000. He wouldn't go for it. But I ended up paying it down. And now the house is paid off. And it's bringing in 600 bucks a month, free and clear every month.

David:

That's awesome.

All right, Jim, we'll uh, let's run through some questions, I always ask for my guests and go from there.

Jim:

All right.

David:

If a young 18-20 year old was to walk up to you asking for advice, and you had just a moment, what would be the one thing you'd want to tell him?

Jim:

If you would just ask me for general advice, I would say invest in real estate for the long term, not for the short term. But for the long term.

I would say study and learn everything you can. After you have a good understanding of real estate, you know, study finance, because you either are on the receiving end of finance, or you are on the losing end of finance, because if you understand finance, you're going to do well. If you don't, everybody's gonna be taken advantage of you.

Get into real estate long term. Learn everything you can study finance, and just keep learning. Never stop learning. Never be afraid to take a chance, make some offers. In fact, I think it's pretty much the same thing. I just told my son, he's 23. And he's just, he's, I'm gonna do this, I'm gonna do that. And he comes back and says dad, none of this stuff is working, he’s like I have to do real estate like you. And I told him, Get Rich Dad, Poor Dad, by Robert Kiyosaki.

I said, the first thing you do is read a book and get your mind right. You know, in high school, they train us to learn skills to get a job and work for someone else. No, you get your mind right, instead of instead of working hard for your money, have your money working hard for you. You know, that's the key. And the way you're going to do that is by cash flow. And the best way to get your cash flow is long term cash flowing real estate.

David:

Yeah, definitely.

Jim:

That would be my advice.

David:

Awesome. And that's good advice to give.

Alright. So you mentioned Rich Dad, Poor Dad, but outside of that, what's Uh, what's one resource, you know, book, course, website, whatever that you would recommend to anybody trying to get started in real estate?

Jim:

Well, like I said, what I do is I like having all my marketing funnel into one place, which is my website. And part of me paying for a monthly website goes into marketing. So I get leads from people that I didn't even market to. They just are searching on the internet and they find the website and they say, hey, look, please buy my house.

So I mean, any day of the week, I would rather have people beating on my door begging me to buy their house than me having to bang on there getting yelled at.

So like I said, the website is a super smart web profits Dustin Griffin and he's got real estate websites and he's got really good ones. So that's one resource that I would say is definitely worth considering.

45:00 - 50:00

David:

Awesome.

Jim:

Resources. There are several of the real estate sites. I was at Rei, something Rei.com. There's several of the different real estate websites that are out there that have a lot of good information. A lot of good articles. I can't think of the name offhand. You've mentioned it before, because I remember when you Oh, yeah, I love that thing. So I went and started looking at..

David:

Bigger Pockets?

Jim:

Yes Bigger Pockets!

David:

Yeah, that's one that I'm a big fan of.

Jim:

Yeah,

I like that. And that's good. But that's a good resource. It's not expensive. It's something that I used to do just on Sunday afternoons, I would go to the bookstore, and get big old cappuccinos. And I go and pick up two or three books on real estate, and go and sit down, and I would just be sitting drinking my coffee for two or three hours going through those books. And if one of those books actually had really good information, I would get it.

Sometimes I would go through and I'm like, Alright, I already know all that. Okay, I already know this. I'm looking for something new. When you first start, everything is new.

David:

Yep.

Jim:

And as you get going, the information, you know, you're looking for something new, and not just the same thing over and over again. So once I would find something, I've got a big library that ended up after my wife passed away. I couldn't. I couldn't live in the house that we lived in because it was her house. And mine a 4250 square foot two story on three and a half acres.

David:

That was huge.

Jim:

Five bedroom, three and a half bath had an inground pool. It was about, I don't know eight miles from town outside of Greenville in Texas, the guy just happened to be driving by and you know, I see the house and the grass was overgrown. It was a little sign out front. And it said for sale, but how the sign had kind of fallen over. So I got out, I looked at it, I called the guy up, came to find out they were like one week away from going into foreclosure.

So I told him, I said, I tell you what I'm going to do. I'm going to buy your house. I said, I'm going to do that by taking over your existing financing for the balance on your mortgage. I said yes, the mortgage will stay in your name. However, I will be responsible for all the payments and everything from here going forward.

I said you will have no closing costs, you have no fees, you have zero out of pocket. And I said and next month, I said I will be paying your bill. He's like let's go into foreclosure. I said within the next six months, I'll have caught up. That's gonna save your credit. And that's exactly what I did.

I ended up putting $100,000 in my money and fixed up that house. I did the foundation and a lot of work. It's been a couple years working on it and ended up being a beautiful, beautiful house. And then I realized, you know what, I don't live here anymore. I'll do something different. But around did a lease option on it. Got a big chunk down and came to the Caribbean.

David:

That's awesome.

What a cool cool way to end up in the Caribbean.

Jim:

It is pretty cool. I was hesitating. I'm like, you know, I put so much work in this house. And I've done this I'm in a kind of pulled out back, you know? And I'm like, well, the Caribbean is one big pool.

David:

Yeah.

Jim:

And then you get to scuba dive in my pool and keep bumping into the edges.

David:

Exactly. Oh man that's so cool.

All right. Well, before we wrap this up, is there anything that you want to add any parting advice?

Jim:

I think I have pretty much given.

David:

There's been a lot in there.

Jim:

The best advice I have.

Little things Little things like avoid bad debt, take on good debt. You know, what is the difference between good debt and bad debt? And that's things that these people need to be researching and looking for, you know, you go down and buy you a brand new car because it's cool. That's not good debt is bad debt.

You go down and buy a house. Yes, a 50-60 $70,000 mortgage, but you're making money off of it, it's appreciating, you get to write it off on your taxes. So you get to write off depreciation, you're making money, that's good debt.

So understand the difference between good debt and bad debt.

Have your money working for you. So put money aside, but don't save money? Just to save money, save money with a purpose, you know, I'm gonna save up $10,000 and I'm gonna use this $10,000 to go put, you know, 10% down on $100,000 investment property.

You know, I love the house hacking stuff that y'all been talking about, you know, using the, you know, I don't actually plan on living in one of them. I'm still trying to figure that part out. Maybe I'll just have that as a mailing address or something. And so I don't know, I don't want to leave the Caribbean. I want to live here but I want to have that four plex over there. I've never even used my VA.

50:00 - 52:58

David:

Yeah, it's a pretty cool opportunity.

Jim:

Well, I'm gonna follow up with you more about that.

David:

I'm sure there's, I'm sure there's a way to work where that's your primary residence and you're just on vacation right now for a long time.

Jim:

I’ve got a long vacation in the Caribbean. Yes. That's my thinking. I'm figuring that one out. I've already called my banker after I was listening to y'all, I'm doing the house hacking. As you know, I've never, I've never used my VA, that would be a good way, another way. And it just adds something to the skills that I already have.

So there's something else to keep adding skills. Don't get too distracted. You know, a lot of people get distracted, oh, I'm gonna try this, or I'm gonna try that. You get too much going on, learn something, and then add a skill to that, you know, I learned subject two and then learned how to get rid of the house with the lease options. That was all I knew, mind subject two settling it back in was lease options.

And then I found you know that I can buy it with owner financing. I'm like, okay, that's pretty cool. And then I learned how to sell with owner financing. So then you're adding multiple little bags of tricks, multiple skills, then I got into doing short sales, then I did a little bit and then a little of that. So I mean, after you get something down, add something to your skills, always be learning.

David:

Absolutely.

Absolutely. Alright, so Jim, where can people get a hold of you?

Jim:

Well, I've got my email, which is [email protected] Yes, it is long. [email protected] investmentsllc.com is my email.

David:

I'll link that below in the show notes so people can see it that way. They don't have to remember it.

Jim:

There you go.

David:

Easy day.

Jim, I really appreciate you coming on this show. It's been a pleasure. One of these days. I might have to come down there and grab a beer with you.

Jim:

Well, not today though. Cuz today they're doing elections so there's no drinking.

David:

Oh, what kind of messes that everybody loves drunk in electing politicians.

Jim:

I have no idea. The second time since we've been here that they just nobody's allowed to sell alcohol.

Fortunately, we said okay, there's going to be three days until the election that they're not going to be able to sell alcohol. So we went to the store ahead of time stocked up on rum, because we're in the Caribbean. We have all the rum. So we got plenty of rum.

David:

That's awesome.

Awesome. Well, Jim, have a great day. Thanks for joining us.

Jim:

All right, my brother. I appreciate you inviting me.

End:

Thank you for listening to another episode about my journey From military to millionaire. If you liked it, be sure to visit Frommilitarytomillionaire.com/podcast 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.

Jim Brooks on The military Millionaire Podcast

Episode 35

Jim Brooks

Jim Brooks is a retired Marine and Soldier, currently living in the Caribbean thanks to real estate investing!

Jim spent ten years as an infantry and reconnaissance Marine. He then joined the Army reserves as a special forces soldier. He was medically retired after 23 years of service due to a parachuting accident in pre-deployment training.

Jim owned 50 properties, lost them due to a rough spell in his life, and now owns over 20 properties again! Jim likes to buy subject to the existing mortgage, and doesn’t have to pay a penny out of pocket this way!

He recently sold his home, and has been on “vacation” in the Caribbean for three months…and is not sure if he will ever come back!

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

invest in real estate for the long term! Then study finance, and always keep learning!

the resource he recommends is:

Jim recommends funneling all of your marketing through one place, your website. He also recommends websites like BiggerPockets.com and Realestateinvesting.com

If you want to reach out to Jim you can Email him at [email protected]

SUBSCRIBE: https://bit.ly/2Q3EvfE

Blog: https://www.frommilitarytomillionaire.com/start-here/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/frommilitarytomillionaire/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/frommilitarytomillionaire/

Audible: https://amzn.to/2K0wzxL

Join me in the BiggerPockets Pro community! https://www.frommilitarytomillionaire.com/we-recommend-BP-Pro/

Books I recommend

First read: https://amzn.to/2KcTEww

Real Estate Investing: https://amzn.to/2ltPRNm

Real Estate Investing: https://amzn.to/2yxFBNf

Real Estate Investing: https://amzn.to/2IhQ1QI

Building Wealth: https://amzn.to/2ttiwpf

Efficiency: https://amzn.to/2K1eRdy

Efficiency: https://amzn.to/2yvuu7K

Negotiating: https://amzn.to/2tmCyT7

Share this article soldier!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
David Pere

David Pere

David is an active duty Marine, who devotes his free time to helping service members, veterans, and their families learn how to build wealth through real estate investing, entrepreneurship, and personal finance!

Leave a comment trooper!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Add Your Heading Text Here

never miss a post

Join the thousands of other Military Millionaires that are building their real estate portfolio!

ABOUT

Website powered by RapidWebLaunch

Copyright 2020 From Military to Millionaire

shares