In our Money Mic series, we hand over the podium to people with controversial views about money. These are their views, not ours—and we recognize their strategies may not work for everyone—but we welcome your responses.
Today, one man explains how he built a savvy real estate investment strategy—one property at a time.
Hi, I’m Tim. I’m 34 years old—and an aspiring member of the Kiss My You-Know-What Club.
An old co-worker introduced me to this “secret society” years ago, declaring that he could do whatever he wanted in life—even retire that very day—because he’d achieved financial freedom.
That conversation stuck with me, and I’ve made it my mission to achieve the same status.
How am I getting there? Through careful savings, a diligent focus on income growth and shrewd real estate investments.
The Start of a Beautiful Relationship … With Real Estate
I was attending the University of Texas at Austin when I executed my first deal.
I’d started working at an e-commerce site around Christmastime during my freshman year, and was fortunate to still be working there when the company went public in the spring of 1999.
I’d had my eye on some nearby property—land that was being developed into large custom houses. It was right on Lake Travis, and I relished the idea of getting out of the city to enjoy it.
A combination of intuition and market research led me to believe the land was undervalued—and the IPO was just what I needed to make the purchase. So I bought a couple hundred shares of the stock, and waited until my money increased 20%. Fortunately, it didn’t take long—in just a few weeks, I sold half for about $3,000.
I combined that with some of my earnings, and put a 10% down payment on the land, which cost $52,500.
Stepping onto a piece of property and being able to say, “This is mine!” was so exciting. The right, emotional side of my brain couldn’t wait to relax, listening to the lake lap against the shore. And the left, analytical side of my brain saw some serious potential for wealth creation.