The Freedom Formula: How to turn $244,000 into $1.4M in 14 years 

Today’s post is exciting for me to write primarily because of what it can do for investors that actually heed the advice. Since the beginning of Investing Architect, I’ve argued that quality real estate purchased in the context of and according to a sound overarching long term strategy can alter an investor’s life in fundamental ways. Surely, it can have an impact in that investors financial life - namely her passive income and net worth. But that’s only part of the magic. Most importantly, through their financial impact they can offer what I believe most of us are truly after: The freedom and independence to craft a life well lived. I have a Freedom Formula that I’d like to share with you:  (Quality real estate + Strategy+ Discipline + Execution)^ Time = Freedom The case study … Continue reading

How to assemble a “judgment proof” asset protection strategy – A comprehensive guide

Asset protection for real estate

Note: Today I have the honor of welcoming Scott Smith as an expert guest contributor to Investing Architect. Scott is an Attorney that specializes in asset protection strategies for long-term real estate investors. He is a real estate investor himself and uses the same strategies he will share with us to protect himself and his portfolio. What I admire most about Scott's writing is that it is all substance and no fluff. Enjoy! --  *** This information is not legal advice and I am not your attorney*** A proper asset protection strategy protects your net worth even if you are sued. Below, I will share with you the secrets that will have you sleeping easy at night and going about your business as usual even when you’re being threatened by a lawsuit. You won't have to worry about … Continue reading

Capital, Income and Net Worth are not the Goal

Have you ever had that experience where you set an important goal for yourself, get intense about achieving it, work hard and grit your teeth to push it over the finish line and when you arrive there’s absolutely no joy? Just a whimper. I have - and it feels like you just ran a whole marathon only to find out that the actual marathon isn’t until next week. And you were wondering why participation seemed so low this year. You get the wind knocked out of you and all that’s left is a deep disappointment and lack of direction. The reason why you feel no joy about the achievement of a goal that you thought you wanted is because your inherited someone else’s goal and tried to make it your own. But it never was because there was no alignment between that goal and what matters to you. Here’s … Continue reading

Why property taxes rise on your investment properties (and what to do about it)

Sometime in March, county appraisal districts across Texas have an epic party. There’s loud music, dancing, cake, party hats and party horns. Oh and they send out the new property tax appraisals to property owners. Coincidentally, around the same time of the year, I receive numerous calls and text messages from clients. “Ouch”, “Getting killed over here” and “This is out of control” are some sentences that may be uttered. I’m trying to make light of it, but truth be told ever increasing tax appraisals are no fun. They take a bigger bite out of your incoming rent and reduce your positive cashflow. On average, operating expenses account for 40% of incoming rent and property taxes account for 65% of operating expenses. Therefore, they’re the principal driver of those expenses. So when you … Continue reading

Forget the Nest Egg Approach: How to create retirement income, grow your net worth and leave a legacy

Take a good hard look at the Net Worth Timeline Comparison graph below: It’s a colorful, damning indictment of the Nest Egg approach to retirement that an overwhelming majority of investors in the developed world follow. Let me set the scene for you so the meaning of the graph can come into better focus: A very disciplined high net worth individual (over $1MM) with a six figure job income maxes out contributions to tax advantaged retirement accounts (401k) and college savings accounts. Her family lives well below their means so even after those contributions there is surplus income that is invested regularly in a taxable stock/mutual fund account (dollar cost averaging). The return assumptions are the same shade of conservative we use on real estate investment projections. We are … Continue reading

How to keep great Tenants without squeezing your margins

A little less than a year ago we got the hardest part right. Like leasing Sherlock Holmes-es we pored over lease applications, ran countless credit checks, background checks, prior eviction checks, cross reference checks, written and verbal rental … Continue reading

The most amazing real estate deal of all time

Imagine for a moment that you just orchestrated the most amazing real estate deal of all time. This deal is so impressive Scorsese will make a movie about it with Di Caprio playing your part. People who aspire to become successful real estate … Continue reading

How the oil market crash impacted the Houston real estate market

Every conversation I have with Investing Architect clients or prospective clients these days eventually veers into the impact the oil market crash has had on the real estate market in general and investment opportunities in particular. With all the … Continue reading

The state of Houston’s rental market: A year over year study [UPDATED]

Note: This article was originally written on October 27, 2015 and it has been updated to reflect all data from 2015 now that it's in. To request a full copy of the report  or if you're viewing this in your … Continue reading

The Fermi Technique: How to analyze investment properties in under 5 minutes 

Over the last decade,  I have worked with many successful long term real estate investors. They have different personalities, different professions and often employ different strategies. But they all have one critical thing in common: Successful … Continue reading

5 Critical Real Estate Investing Lessons I learned in 2015

Today is the last day of 2015. In a few hours, the bubbly will flow and we get to write a new chapter. That’s why this is the best time to reflect back on the year that was, learn the critical investing lessons it taught us and become better … Continue reading