Real State

$1.1M in Real Estate at 21 WITHOUT a W2, Tax Return, or Degree!

The path to financial freedom is a marathon, not a sprint. It requires patience, discipline, sacrifice, and a long-term mindset. Today’s guest, Logan Kohn, is on his way to financial freedom with over one million dollars of real estate with three properties at only twenty-one years old!

Logan planned to invest in real estate later in life, but COVID forced him to rethink his timeline. Since interest rates were at an all-time low during the pandemic and his income took a hit, Logan decided to expedite his investing journey. For his first investment property, he looked at his county, but it wasn’t affordable, so he looked at the next county over. It wasn’t the best area, but he saw the opportunity for growth, and now his first property has already appreciated over thirty percent!

Logan bought his first property and his other two properties in the span of one year, which required extreme financial discipline and frugality. Logan has been interested in growing his money since he was a child. From the age of ten to the end of his teenage years, he started various side hustles to make money. He’s done magic on the street, dropshipping, affiliate marketing, and email marketing. At seventeen, he discovered stocks and started stacking his money and letting it grow. Now he invests his money while having few expenses to be as frugal as possible so he can multiply his wealth through real estate!

Ashley:
This is the Real Estate Rookie, episode 233.

Logan:
Yeah, I think it was just, I think I saw the opportunity. I kind of looked at the sales price history of that property and the surrounding properties in that area, and I saw that they were on an upward trend, and of course, we probably couldn’t have foreseen the appreciation that would’ve come in the year following, but I think I just kind of saw the trend and I saw it was on the up and up, and I just thought… Believe it or not, it’s actually only about 30, 40 minutes from The Hamptons. So, it’s a very black and white scenario where you have such a bad area and a very good area very close to it. So, I took the chance. It was definitely a risk.

Ashley:
My name is Ashley Kehr and I’m here with my cohost, Tony Robinson.

Tony:
And welcome to the Real Estate Rookie Podcast where every week, twice a week, we give you the inspiration, motivation, and stories you need to hear to kickstart your investing journey, and I want to start today’s episode by shouting out a very special listener who left us a five-star review on Apple Podcast. This week’s review comes from Jess Haas, and Jess says, “Start here,” with like five exclamation marks. “This is hands down the best place to start your real estate journey. From the minisodes on Saturdays to the guests, everything is pure gold.” Jess, we appreciate you. And for all of you listening, if you haven’t yet left us an honest rating review on Apple Podcast, please do. The more reviews we get, the more folks we can help, and that is our first and always biggest goal here at the Real Estate Rookie. So, Ashley Kehr, what’s up? How you doing today?

Ashley:
Not much. Super excited, today I submitted my final edits on my manuscript, so haven’t really told a lot of people because I didn’t know if I’d ever finish it. But yeah, so coming out January 2023 is going to be a new book that I wrote.

Tony:
There you go. Congratulations. Ashley, podcast host, published author, and professional hula hooper, all coming together.

Ashley:
And bull rider, don’t forget that too.

Tony:
And bull rider. But now, seriously, I’m super happy for you, Ashley.

Ashley:
Thank you very much.

Tony:
I’m excited to get my hands on the book, and the world’s going to love it, I’m sure.

Ashley:
Yeah, thank you very much. What about you, Tony? What’s new? You got your vacation coming up, very well deserved. And what else?

Tony:
We got vacation, but it’s always weird before vacation because you’re scrambling to get everything done. So, Ash and I were talking before we started recording how we both pulled all-nighters last night. It’s like we’re in college or something, again, trying to study for a final. But yeah, we’re just moving along. We onboarded a new assistant, so she kind of started last month, but this week was her first full week working with us. When you first hire a new team member, it almost, there’s more work initially just getting them trained up and eventually they’ll kind of be off and running. So, we’ve just been a little all over the place this week.

Ashley:
Well, we have a great episode for you guys today. The first thing is Tony once again finds a reason to talk about his Streetfort, Treefort, whatever, I still don’t even know what the actual name of the city is in Louisiana, and we actually kind of go into a rabbit hole about insurance in this episode. But I think it’s definitely worth listening, especially after we are hearing the impact of what has happened from Hurricane Ian down in Florida and just how your insurance can change and things you guys should be aware of and know as an investor for your properties, things to be aware of. But we have Logan on the show today. So, he is only 21 years old, and he is so cool. I mean, just listening to all the things he’s done already at the age of 21, I think it’s really remarkable.

Tony:
Yeah, Logan’s going to teach you how to not just do this anywhere, but how to do this in an expensive market. He’s going to show you how you can buy properties with no W2 job, no tax returns, and no car. And so, this kid’s incredible, man, and I think regardless of what age you are, you will really get inspired and motivated by hearing his story.

Ashley:
Yeah. So, before we bring Logan onto the show, we would love for you guys to join the Real Estate Rookie Facebook group. We have over 50,000 members in the group right now, and it’s a great place to get your questions asked, to share your wins, but also to help other people and answer some questions too. So, make sure you join the Facebook group if you guys haven’t already, and of course, subscribe to our YouTube channel so that you guys can watch the Real Estate Rookie Podcast and also see-

Tony:
See these beautiful faces.

Ashley:
Yeah, I think the tiredness of the all-nighters. I mean, that’s the second joke that you pulled today, Tony. But you guys could also get to watch our awesome contributors on the real estate rookie YouTube channel too.

Tony:
Logan, welcome to the Real Estate Rookie Podcast, brother. We’re excited to have you, man. Before we get into the nitty-gritty, why don’t you tell us a little bit about who you are and how you got started in real estate investment?

Logan:
Yeah. So, I think I was bit by the money entrepreneur bug pretty early on, I would say, probably before I even reached the age of 10, 11, 12. As far as the real estate, that was something that I didn’t think was going to happen this soon and early in my life. I really thought that was going to come much later down the road, maybe five, 10 years from now. It was really the pandemic that was kind of the impetus, the motivation to jump right into real estate. I had been studying it for a few years, reading books, watching BiggerPockets, courses, videos, but I took a big hit with my income mainly due to the pandemic, and that definitely put a dent in me, and I saw that interest rates were at an all-time low. I thought now was an opportune time, and I just decided to jump right in, and now I’m here with $1.1 million worth of real estate and growing and growing even more.

Ashley:
And how old are you?

Logan:
I’ll be turning 22 next month.

Ashley:
Oh my gosh. Congratulations, Logan.

Logan:
That’s amazing, man.

Ashley:
That is so cool. So, when you decided, you’re looking at, okay, interest rates are low, everything like that, was it like, “I’m just going to buy a house to live in,” or did you already know like, “I want to do an investment property”?

Logan:
It was definitely going to be an investment property, but I had no idea where to start. There were so many looming fears and the unknown. Maybe I thought I would start with commercial, like a storefront. Maybe I would buy something a couple blocks away from me and just put all the money I had into it. I really didn’t know where I was going to start. But mainly for me, I live on long island in Nassau county and obviously Long Island is one of the most expensive markets in the nation, and so, I saw there was an opportunity in the county next to mine about an hour, hour and a half away, and I saw that prices were much lower there, mainly because it’s not the best area, it has a bad reputation, and so, that’s where I started. I started in that specific city, and that was my first single family residence as my first property.

Ashley:
Logan, before we go any further, what does your portfolio kind of look like right now?

Logan:
So, it consists of a duplex that’s local near me, just 10 minutes away, and then the two single families are in that area about an hour and a half away from me. So, four units total, three properties.

Ashley:
Okay. Let’s just, let’s go back to the beginning a little bit. So, you were an entrepreneur. Tell us a little bit about your first business before you even got into real estate. Then we can go into as to what skills actually transferred over for you?

Logan:
Yeah. So, for me-

Ashley:
And when did you start a business? If you’re 21, when did you start your first business?

Tony:
Yeah, can we talk a little bit? Ash, what were you doing at 21?

Ashley:
I had just transferred colleges. Yeah, I mean, I definitely wasn’t running a business. I was interning as an accountant, I guess, while I was going to college.

Tony:
Yeah. Yeah, I think my 21st year, I think that’s when I almost flunked out of college. I changed my majors halfway through that year, and I still had aspiring dreams of being a hip hop artist. So, definitely not doing all the cool stuff you’re doing, Logan.

Logan:
It’s [inaudible 00:07:45].

Tony:
Yeah, maybe one day. Yeah.

Logan:
Well, for me, I actually didn’t go to college, but as far as the first money I ever made, I’m actually a magician. So, that’s really where I would say my money journey started was doing magic actually. As early as 9, 10 years old, I would do magic on the street and make a few dollars. I remember a $20 tip being the world at the time, and I would do gigs. I started approaching restaurants, and that was sort of my first introduction to money, but obviously not having the literacy or knowing to do with that money or budgeting it or managing it, that came a little bit later. But then I started getting into online business. I saw it was possible just naturally through the internet. So, I started doing drop shipping, affiliate marketing, email marketing, and other various forms, just selling items I had around the household. As far as trying to invest my money and actually grow it, I would say it really started with gambling. I tried gambling with horse racing, yeah.

Ashley:
You don’t hear that very often.

Logan:
No, I know. That’s where it started really for me. I tried to get rich quick too many times, but long-term investing came probably when I was like 17, 18 years old. I decided to start investing in stocks and have that long-term mindset.

Tony:
Logan, do you have family or a mentor or someone that kind of guided you towards real estate? Where do you think this initial interest came from?

Logan:
As far as real estate itself, no one in my family has ever done real estate, not even anyone distant. It’s never been in the family. The closest that I’ve ever gotten to money and managing and actually trying to do something with money was probably my father. Unfortunately, he passed away last year, but he tried many things online just like myself, and I don’t think he quite got anything to necessarily work in his lifetime, but I think that bug definitely bit me and probably was passed on to me through him.

Tony:
Yeah. Well, I’m sorry to hear about your father, but I guess we can tick solace to knowing that some of those lessons that he passed onto you are bearing fruit, man, so there’s always a silver lining there. So, you talked about the magician work earlier in your life and you’re still doing that today, the kind of digital marketing experience that you had. To Ashley’s question earlier, have any of those skills from those earlier businesses translated into the world of real estate investing?

Logan:
I would say that I’ve definitely made mistakes in both areas, real estate and online business in itself. I would probably say that having that long-term mindset, when I first started to build my business, I probably tried too many ways to build it too quickly or tried to throw money in areas that probably weren’t necessarily worthwhile. I think that sort of does translate into real estate, having that long-term mindset and looking many years down the road, and also potentially moving and managing your money in certain areas that are definitely more necessary and more of a positive return on investment than other ways to put your money into a property.

Tony:
Can we touch a little bit, Logan, on how you’ve been able to afford over a million dollars worth of real estate? At any age, it’s an achievement, but I think especially at 21, almost 22 years old. What did that process look like? Was this your life savings? Were you working with other investors? Just kind of walk us through how someone is able to purchase four units in such a short period of time.

Logan:
So, yeah, the units, that was purchased in under one year. So, the actual purchasing was definitely pretty expedited. But as far as the actual building of the money itself, that came mostly from just stacking away my money and hoarding that money. Every single year, I really tried to be as frugal as possible. A little expenditures here and there, little splurges, but I really was quite disciplined with investing my money and putting it all into stocks. I just put every nickel I had, try to throw it away, and really keep as little cash as possible. That was really going to be the plan before real estate was just going to be putting my money in stocks or in next funds, and maybe by the time I reach 40, 50 years old, I will have seven, eight figures worth saved up, and real estate probably wouldn’t have come for a very long time down the road.
But yeah, it was all through just being disciplined with investing and paying yourself first and keeping low credit card debt, open that first credit card soon after I turned 18. So, that definitely helped. But it was all just mainly through online business and life savings.

Ashley:
Logan, as a teenager earning this money, how were you disciplined to not go and spend it? So, when I was a teenager, I worked as a waitress and a hostess, and I remember I’d go home with my wad of cash from my tips and I’d count out my money and I’d put it in my save. Then when I went to college, I literally blew through all that money probably in the first semester. How were you able to stay disciplined to not just go out and spend that money?

Logan:
Yeah. No, I definitely have a few friends that same story as you, but I would probably say that I think I screwed up so many times early on, and I realized that I wanted to make that change and actually reach financial freedom, and I knew what it was going to take. And so, I think I had that mindset pretty early on and I think I sort of had that epiphany that in order to make this work and in order to create the lifestyle that I truly wanted, it wasn’t going to happen through spending and wasting your money and having little leftover after every month. So, I think the dream and having that goal definitely helped in that, and I learned that very early on. I don’t think it was luck. I think it was just probably maybe just my influence and who was around me and probably just what I learned, just learning so much at such a young age. I’ve been reading books and watching so many courses and et cetera for a very long time.

Ashley:
At the BiggerPockets conference this year, I felt like I heard so many people say the same thing, that if you want to really excel at life, if you want to take it to the next level, if you want to be successful, you need to change the people who are in the same room as you. You don’t want to be hanging out with people who are going out partying instead of wanting to plan a business or things like that. You want to keep your friends around you that are doing the same thing as you or even higher and higher than you, and I think that’s kind of what you’re touching on there is that you surrounded yourself with the right people to get your mindset right and to push you and to achieve you because being around people is contagious. You’re going to get caught into what they’re doing, You’re going to lose focus on what you really want just because you’re interacting with other people that don’t have that same determination, that same focus to reach and get to the next level.
We had Pace Morby on an episode and that should be coming out soon, and he talks about this too as to how he actually had to clean house on his circle of friends, and he’s like, “Yeah, that’s a hard thing to do, but I was really being held back.” So, I think that’s really awesome that at an early age you surrounded yourself with people who were a good influence on you and who actually helped push you to kind of get to where you are today.

Tony:
Can I add to that, Ash, before we move on? I’m so glad you brought that up because I think at any point in your life, your social circle is so important, especially if you’re a newer investor because even outside of just the support, the motivation, one of the things you get from your social circle is a new belief system, and I think that’s a part that a lot of people overlook.
If you’ve never made a hundred thousand dollars in a single year before, when you start hanging around people who have made six figures, you somehow believe that it’s possible. If you’ve never become a millionaire before, you start hanging around with other millionaires, now you suddenly believe that’s possible. If you have friends that have yachts, right, or private jets, you start hanging around with them, now you think that that’s possible. So, it’s like even outside of the support and the social aspect of it, I think when you surround yourself with people who are on the same path as you or have achieved the things you want to achieve, one of the biggest benefits you get from that is just the belief system that you can actually follow in those footsteps.

Ashley:
Logan, so with this pile of cash that you have shoved under your mattress at a young age, did you use this for a down payment? How did you purchase that first property? Was it all cash? How did you work that deal?

Logan:
Yeah, so that was all just accumulated in brokerage accounts, just sitting there growing on a monthly annual basis. As far as the real estate, that first deal, I wasn’t necessarily exposed to different types of financing specifically like a hard money or DSCR type of loan, or even if I was exposed to it, I probably wouldn’t have done it. I probably would’ve been too fearful to do it. So, I just started with a basic conventional loan, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, but the thing was is that I was still being claimed as a dependent on my parents’ tax returns so I didn’t necessarily have any tax returns. So, I actually had to go out and file two years worth of tax returns, which as you know, New York State, some of the highest income tax in the country, in order to qualify and show sufficient income on paper to qualify for that conventional loan. So, it was also the accumulation of tons of fees and penalties for paying late and everything like that.

Ashley:
So, you went back actually and took your… So, your parents, did they amend their tax return to no longer have you as a dependent and then you went and filed for two years prior?

Logan:
They didn’t necessarily amend theirs. It was just my own Schedule C self-employed income, and that was a hefty hit, probably like 40, $50,000 worth of taxes. But in hindsight, maybe I would’ve shown a little bit less income and just did a DSCR loan, maybe I wouldn’t have shown that much income on paper. So, yeah, that was first deal, a conventional loan, 20% down for that single family house.

Ashley:
Cool. That’s interesting. I never thought about being at an young age, not having that income. So, what income did you show on there? Your income as being a magician? Did you pull money out of the stock market that hadn’t been reported that you’re reporting now?

Logan:
So, I would probably say it was magic income, it was also online business income, affiliate marketing, all that, and I don’t think necessarily capital gain showed on that tax return just yet because the money was pulled out after. But yeah, so that was all the income that was shown on there. It was a big hit, but I think in hindsight it definitely was a good decision because I got two conventional mortgages and I might get another conventional mortgage out of it.

Ashley:
Awesome. So, you did the 20% down. What did your terms look like in that? You had said you noticed interest rates were low, so did you get in at a good time?

Logan:
Yep, that was a good way. I’d do anything to get that rate back. It’s only three and a quarter, believe it or not, on that first loan. That was last year and I closed on that property June of 2021. I locked in that rate probably a few months before, and so, do anything to get that rate back. And also, as far as the property itself, the price of that property was only 213,000 which at the time I thought it was overpaying for it.And especially in that area which doesn’t necessarily have the best reputation. It’s considered the armpit of Long Island. At the time I thought I was overpaying for it, and if you asked other investors in the area, they probably wouldn’t have even touched that area.

Ashley:
Go ahead. Name names. What’s the name of it? What’s the [inaudible 00:18:58]?

Logan:
So, it’s Mastic-Shirley area, Mastic Beach. It’s considered the dump of Long Island, but it definitely is growing and appreciating at a high rate right now.

Ashley:
How did you kind of work up the courage to invest in an area that has a bad reputation? I feel like most investors want to go to a good area where there’s appreciation and tenants.

Logan:
Yeah, I think it was just, I think saw the opportunity. I kind of looked at the sales price history of that property and the surrounding properties in that area, and I saw that they were on an upward trend, and of course, we probably couldn’t have foreseen the appreciation that would’ve come in the year following, but I think I just kind of saw the trend and I saw it was on the up and up, and I just thought… Believe it or not, it’s actually only about 30, 40 minutes from The Hamptons. So, it’s a very black and white scenario where you have such a bad area and a very good area very close to it. So, I took the chance. It was definitely a risk.
As far as, by the way, on the income, I’ve dispelled a couple notions so far, number one that if you’re my age, you can’t invest in real estate. And then also if you didn’t go to college, you can’t invest in real estate. If you’re living on Long Island, you can’t invest in real estate. If you don’t have any W2 income, you can’t invest in real estate. So, I’ve kind of broken all those barriers.

Tony:
Logan, I want to ask a question because you have these four units right now, are you living in any of your investments or are you still living at home with the folks? What’s the living situation look like right now?

Logan:
Yeah, still living in the same apartment with my mother. We rent, we don’t own. I own everything else though.

Tony:
That’s such a unique thing. I’m glad I asked this question because you obviously have the financial ability to go out and purchase property, but instead of doing it for your primary residence, you’re doing it to build a portfolio. And I’m seeing this theme throughout the conversation, Logan, where you’re able to exercise patience and discipline to move towards your goals, and I think that’s something that a lot of people struggle with, and people have the maybe financial ability, they have the mental capacity, they have the technical know-how to become real estate investors, but what they lack is the patience and the discipline to stick with it and execute and do the things they need to do.
You’re staying at home with your mom while you’re still building this real estate portfolio. You are super frugal with all this money you’re making at a very young age which most people can’t do. There are just all these things that you’re doing that show how disciplined and committed you are to your goals. So, if there’s something for our rookie audience to take away, it’s that if you want to be successful, there has to be a certain level of sacrifice. You have to give up something if you want that bigger reward down the road, and I think you’ve just done a great job, Logan, of exemplifying that.

Logan:
I appreciate that. Especially kids my age and my generation, I think I’m kind of going against the grain as far as what I’m investing in because I would imagine that most of my generation is obviously playing around with cryptocurrency and the next hot thing, and so, I could have easily done that. Obviously I disclose that I do own a little bit of cryptocurrency, but is definitely not the majority of my portfolio.

Ashley:
Logan, when you say your generation, you mean our generation.

Logan:
Gen Z, Gen Z. Yeah, yeah, of course.

Ashley:
So, Logan, what do your expenses and your bills look like for yourself? So, you’re living at home. Do you help your mom? Do you pay a portion of the rent? Do you have a car payment? Are you paying insurance? What kind of monthly expenses do you have, and what have you decided to cut out of your life to live so frugally to be able to invest more?

Logan:
Not too much besides the rent. So, I actually don’t even drive either. So, that’s another notion dispelled there that if you don’t have a car, you can’t access real estate. So, I usually just get a ride from my agent or via an Uber or whatever. But yeah, so I actually pay 100% of the rent here and obviously very expensive market on Long Island which is tough, but I make it work. Unfortunately, my mom, completely different situation, different scenario. She did not necessarily follow the same path or the footsteps as I’m doing right now, and so, I’m actually paying 100% of the rent. She helps out a little bit with utilities, but other than that, no car payment, no student loans, no debt like that.

Ashley:
Logan, how awesome is that that you get to do that for your mom?

Logan:
Appreciate that.

Ashley:
I think that is, and really proud of you that you want to do that too for her. I mean, not many people at your age or even at any age can help their parents out in that sense. So, I think that’s really amazing that you’re doing that and that’s how you’re choosing to spend the money. Really, that’s your only expense that you have. So, yeah, that’s really awesome and that’s a huge thing. So, congratulations on being able to do that. That’s definitely a huge accomplishment.

Tony:
If I can ask one follow up question, Logan, you mentioned that when you go visit some of these properties you either catch an Uber or you have your agent pick you up. It made me think like okay, yeah, you’re working with an agent and as a younger investor, how did you kind of build that relationship with your agents so that they took you seriously? I think a lot of new investors, regardless of age, struggle with this imposter syndrome around like, “Oh man, will this agent really take me seriously or will this contractor take me seriously, or this property management company?” So, what was your approach to building a good relationship and getting that person, as a 21, 20 years old maybe at the time, actually them take the time to show you around and pick you up and do all these things?

Logan:
So, luckily, I haven’t run into anyone that’s necessarily disowned me or anything like that. So, luckily pretty good relationships all around. I haven’t had anyone doubt me, and the agent lives local, so that’s not necessarily something that took too much convincing, they were happy to do it. But I’ve definitely gotten some eyeballs and some surprised looks and faces when I show up to that closing table and they see who’s closing on that property, or the insurance agent, maybe they see my birthdate or something and they definitely make a comment on my age. So, I’ve definitely gotten those.

Tony:
What about your tenants, Logan? Are you self-managing? Do you have a relationship with them and what does that dynamic look like?

Logan:
Yeah, so all self-managed right now. I don’t know, maybe when I hit 10 units I’ll probably move to a property manager. I can’t quite make the decision yet. I will see how much I can handle. But a few different stories as far as the tenants because on the first property I technically inherited that tenant, so that has a story there, and then the second property I did inherit a tenant for that duplex, so we definitely get into that as well.

Tony:
Let’s hear the stories, man.

Ashley:
Yeah.

Logan:
The first property actually I would say I got pretty lucky. Interesting story, believe it or not, the owner that sold it to me actually wanted to stay and live at that property. I think they had some sort of living arrangement set up that they were going to be moving out in six months or a year, and they just wanted to rent the property from me actually until they move out. Still, they have not moved out and it’s been a year and a half, and we’re actually going to renew that lease next month, but I will have to raise the rent, and so, we’ll see what happens there if they choose to renew or not. But yeah, so I did get pretty lucky there. That was pretty turnkey with the tenant set up, and I didn’t get to screen them, but luckily they’re just closing that property, and so, they did have a boatload of funds from selling it to me. So, I guess that was kind of a pre-screen. So, that’s the first one.
The second one, the duplex, one of the units was occupied, the other one vacant. So, I did inherit a tenant there, and that was definitely a risky tenant because I don’t even think they’re technically documented, so I don’t even think they were able to provide a social security number so I didn’t get to screen them. So, I’ve taken a lot of risk all around between the tenants not being screened, and then also all these properties are in flood zones, so that’s definitely a risk as well. So, I’ve definitely taken on some risky situations.

Ashley:
Logan, how did you show the vacant unit? Did you set up one showing so you only had to get a ride there once? I figure without a car it would be somewhat difficult to go there all the time to do showing. So, how if you set up your leasing process so that you don’t have to actually be at the property all the time?

Logan:
I just went through my broker so that they show the property, but on that duplex actually, specifically, that one is just 10 minutes away from me so it probably wouldn’t have been a big deal anyways to show it. The train goes right there. But on the third one, that I bought vacant, that third house, so that was an hour and a half away from me because it’s in that same Mastic area. And again, my broker just showed that one and now it’s occupied. We got it occupied within a couple weeks.

Ashley:
What was the fee that you paid your broker to do that? Because I had that before and I think it was one month’s rent that we actually paid the agent once they got a tenant in there.

Logan:
Yeah, it was just the one month’s rent that the tenant pays. I will say for New York they have some pretty strict laws in regards to how much you could charge as far as one month’s rent upfront security. So, in New York, it’s definitely a tough market with the laws and regulations.

Ashley:
No I meant to the broker, the real estate agent. Did you pay them once they got a tenant in place? Did you pay them?

Logan:
Didn’t come out of my pocket. It was from the tenant. Yeah, they paid the broker one month upfront the one month brokerage fee.

Ashley:
Oh, the tenant paid. Okay.

Logan:
Yeah, nothing out of my pocket.

Ashley:
Oh, interesting, oh.

Tony:
Oh, that’s cool.

Ashley:
Yeah, I’ve only seen on the other side where the actual landlord pays the broker but to have the tenant pay.

Tony:
Breaking more rules, Logan, I love it, man.

Logan:
Okay. I didn’t know that actually.

Ashley:
But yes, what you said too is very true in New York State where you can only charge one month’s rent for security deposit or less. You can’t charge more than that and you also can charge last month’s rent. And I actually had somebody text me the other day asking me this because their daughter was trying to get a unit and the landlord told them like, “You’re going to have to put a higher security deposit down,” and they were thinking, “I don’t think you’re true.” So, of course, I get on, I get all the government documents, I send it to them, like, “They can’t do that to you.”

Logan:
And also in regards to Section 8, there’s also regulations with that. I don’t know if it’s the same in all states, but in New York, it’s technically illegal to take over the voucher amount. So, that’s also legal, and I had some Section 8 people try to apply for that third property.

Ashley:
So, how are you finding out all of this information? What are some great resources that somebody who’s getting into property management can go and find everything that you’ve learned?

Logan:
Facebook groups are great. I learn a lot of information from the Real Estate Rookie group and the bigger, the BRRRR Invest group, lots of groups in regards to real estate on Facebook, and then naturally there’s also local meetups which I’m sure are great for people as well. There’s a few on Long Island and then also just naturally YouTube University, right, this Google University, endless research. But the big thing is that you can gain all this knowledge, do all of your analysis, and have all this information, but it’s until you actually do it and execute that some of these unknowns and fears won’t go away.

Tony:
BiggerPockets, BiggerPockets, BiggerPockets.

Ashley:
Tony, did you just crack a joke?

Tony:
I’m joking but I’m also serious, right? I think for so many new investors, the forums on BiggerPockets, it’s like an encyclopedia of… It’s a PhD of real estate investing. Almost any question that you can think about asking has probably already been asked and someone has answered it in very high details somewhere on the forums, and honestly I think that’s how I initially found BiggerPockets. It’s like I googled some super obscure real estate something and then I landed on one of the pages in the forums and then that kind of sent me down the rabbit hole. So, I love all the resources you talked about. Look, but obviously just wanted to plug the forums cause I think it’s a great resource for new investors.

Logan:
Absolutely.

Ashley:
So, Logan, do you have a deal that you kind of want to go through the numbers with us?

Logan:
Sure thing. I think we could start with that first one because it’s definitely the largest as far as cash flow and the return on investment, so I think we could definitely dig in with that. My first deal, that was 20% down, single family unit, quite a small two bedroom house. I think it’s less than a thousand square feet, but again, 213,000, at the time I thought I was overpaying for it. That was after-

Ashley:
What was that? Is that the asking price?

Logan:
It was 224 or 5, we got it down to 215, then a $2,000 credit, 213 was the final price, and that 20% down, so all in, I think it was like 65, 70 grand all in with closing costs. It was pretty turnkey. I replaced a water heater and some minor TLC but nothing too big. I can’t necessarily speak for everyone, but I would say especially for someone like myself who’s not necessarily majorly astute with handy work and contracting, I would probably start with turnkey properties. I probably wouldn’t begin with a major rehab project. That’s just my opinion, but everyone’s different. So, turnkey property, and like I said with that situation, the tenant, that was pretty much built into it, the owner, and I got it rented right away. It was occupied day one at closing and now it has appreciated like 30, 40% just in the last year, year and a half because of what’s going on in the market there.

Ashley:
Wow. And what does the tenant pay for rent in that property?

Logan:
Right now, 2,200, but that’s way below market value actually.

Ashley:
And that’s the one where it’s the owners living in there?

Logan:
Correct.

Tony:
Sorry, $2,200 per month on a $213,000 house?

Logan:
That’s right. But that’s way below market value, yeah.

Tony:
Wow, that’s amazing.

Ashley:
So, you put about $75,000.

Logan:
Yeah, about 70 grand all in with closing costs and the down payment.

Ashley:
Tony, what’s the cash on cash return on that?

Tony:
Yeah, what are you netting on that 22?

Logan:
Yeah, insurance went up because the flood insurance is so high, especially in that area because it’s such a risky flood zone. That’s the only caveat, but it’s about 600 bucks in cash flow a month. So, that’s a great deal. I would do anything to get that deal again and again. I would do it every day of the week but the market has gone up so much and obviously interest rates on top of that, just not feasible anymore. But the percentage return is about 12, 13% actually, the percentage.

Tony:
Yeah, that’s awesome, man. That’s a great first deal. I’m super impressed that you’re able to get such a high monthly rent amount on comparatively speaking low purchase price. That’s great, man.

Ashley:
But you have to think about too that the properties in New York State where the property taxes are a lot higher. So, it’s very easy to hit the 1% rule where the rent is 1% of the purchase price or even higher than the 1% rule, but it’s very hard to meet the 50% rule where your expenses are 50% of the monthly rental income. So, that’s a big thing to think too is those property taxes kill you.

Tony:
The flood insurance is a big risk too. So, I don’t know if you’ve heard my story, Logan, but I also bought my second investment property was in a flood zone, and the first year we owned the property, the flood insurance premium was super reasonable. The second year we owned the property, the flood insurance premium quadrupled, so it was like a thousand bucks a year and it went up to 4,000 bucks a year, and we shopped it around to multiple different insurance brokers, they all came back with very similar quotes. I don’t know what happened. I don’t know if there… Mercury must have been in retrograde or something because there was some weird stuff happening across the insurance industry, but that killed us on that deal. We ended up selling it at a loss actually. So, there is some risk with that. I’m not trying to scare you.

Logan:
No, on my second property that actually just happened where a few months ago I got the renewal notice, and it was double what I was paying just months before, and so, I had to shop it around and got a little bit better of a rate. But yeah, it’s definitely gone up.

Tony:
I learned a lot about flood insurance as we were going through that. There’s a way to challenge the flood insurance or I guess the flood zone designation. It’s a really lengthy process, and we just didn’t feel like going through it, but if you talk to your insurance agent, there is a way to challenge that flood zone designation if you can prove there hasn’t been any major floods or something like that, or there’s like a map you have to pull from the FEMA website. But there is a process. It’s just, it is pretty lengthy and the chances of success are really slim. So something to look into if you’ve got the time.

Ashley:
Yeah, I just got one of my bills yesterday actually that there’s one property that’s in a flood zone. I actually have it under contract to sell it right now, but it went up $400 for the year. It went from 1,400 to 1,800.

Logan:
Especially Long Island got hit very badly by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Everything was absolutely devastated. So, we’re definitely in a bad risky flood area.

Ashley:
Yeah, I did two of my bootcamp calls this week, and in both of them the conversation came up as to how Hurricane Ian is changing Florida for insurance and how the premiums are just going to increase even more and just there is a cap on how much it can actually increase. But it was really interesting listening to a couple investors who invest in Florida talk about how that is going to impact them and then also people who are homeowners too, and it’s not just investment property. So, insurance is definitely a…

Tony:
Tricky.

Ashley:
Yeah.

Tony:
Yeah.

Ashley:
I have my insurance license and I hate it so much. I don’t understand half of it anymore because I’m just like don’t stay on top of it. It’s kind of like a CPA, if they don’t stay up to date on the tax laws and regulations [inaudible 00:36:23].

Logan:
But I would say definitely shop around, shop around different agents and brokers and play around with the coverage and I think you’ll get a better rate. That would just be my advice, especially to people in flood areas to shop around and I think you’ll get a better rate than you originally got.

Ashley:
I think that’s great advice too, especially play around with the coverage as to look at what you actually have on your policy. Is there something in there that you don’t think you would ever, ever use or ever come up even costing you a hundred bucks extra a year for the premium? So, I think that’s interesting, and then especially with it being an investment property, look at what your coverage is to replace the property, and I usually try to get it as low because I actually might, if a duplex or something was to burn down, I don’t even actually know if I would rebuild it or if I would just sell the lot or something like that too. So, where if was my primary residence, yes I’d have to rebuild.

Tony:
That’s so funny you mentioned that, Ashley, because Omi, my partner and I and Sara were literally just having this conversation about insurance yesterday and we said the opposite. It’s like our properties have appreciated so much since we purchased them that if one of them did burn down we’re undercover right now. So Omi’s going to do the work to increase that replacement cover so if they do burn down, we’re not caught holding the bag. A buddy of ours, he was building a cabin in the Smokey Mountains. He was like two weeks away from it being completed. Once the property was going to be done, he was going to have like $300,000 in equity just because of his build cost versus where the properties were appraising at. One of the workers flicked a cigarette butt that ended up catching some debris on fire, burned down the entire cabin, and his cover, he was undercovered, so now instead of having $300,000 in equity, he had to write a $50,000 check to cover that construction debt. So, when we heard that story we’re like, “Oh my god.” We got way too many properties to not be accurately covered.

Ashley:
And Tony, I think you have to compare properties too where my $50,000 duplexes are not appreciating $300,000 in four years.

Tony:
That’s true, that’s true, that’s true.

Ashley:
My $3,000 appreciation can handle that.

Tony:
You could probably write that check. You could probably Write that check.

Ashley:
But also for me to have to write a check, it’s like I always make sure I at least have coverage for more than what the mortgage is, and that’s like the priority to me is if it did burn down that I could pay off the mortgage on the property easily.

Tony:
A good conversation about insurance. Let’s go to the rookie request line, Logan. So, for all our rookies, if you’re listening, you guys can leave us a voicemail at any time, just give us a call at 8885-ROOKIE to leave a voicemail. We love getting the voicemails, guys. We love the Facebook questions and we love the Instagram DMs but the rookie voicemails are cool because we actually get to hear you guys. So, if you want your voice featured on the Real Estate Rookie Podcast, give us a call, 8885-ROOKIE. So. Logan, are you ready for today’s question?

Logan:
I think so.

Reid:
Hey guys, this is Reid from Brandon, Mississippi. When my wife and I moved out of our previous home, we kept it as a rental and are currently looking to purchase our next rental unit. The first house was already in our names and we left it that way. Moving forward, at what point do we want to start putting homes under a LLC, or should we at all? Does the protection offered offset whatever pain there may be to purchasing a home under a LLC? So, just curious if and when we should move to a LLC. Loving the content. Keep up the good work.

Logan:
So, as far as my knowledge, an LLC doesn’t necessarily prevent you from getting sued, right? There’s still liability to be had there, but certainly, I think a general rule of thumb, just from my analysis and what I’ve learned, I think once you reach that number of 10, I think you should start considering an LLC, may be 20 units, but I think for me especially, and I don’t know what the property value is on his property are and what kind of issues he’s dealing with, if it’s maybe it’s a high crime area, every circumstance would be different. Not an attorney, but I think probably magic number of 10, 10 units.

Ashley:
Yeah. I think what you said there about the equity in the property too because an LLC is to protect your assets so that if you are sued, they can’t go after your personal assets. So, really looking at the net worth that you’re putting and the equity that you’re putting in each LLC. So, if I have two properties in an LLC but they’re both mortgaged to the hill and there’s only $10,000 in equity, somebody sues me, yeah, my insurance can pay out, but there’s only 10% of the equity in there and say that’s only $10,000, whatever.
But if I have half a million dollars of equity of properties in there, and maybe that’s only one property where I have half a million dollars in equity, I’m probably only going to put that one property in an LLC. But if I have a bunch of little properties, those 10 and they don’t have a ton of equity in each of them, then yeah, I’ll throw those into one LLC. So, I think looking that, just like what you said, but adding in that component of how much do you want to risk putting into one LLC together. Okay, so, Logan, we are going to move on to our rookie exam.

Logan:
Alrighty.

Ashley:
First question is, what is one actionable thing rookies should do after listening to this episode?

Logan:
So, the easiest thing I would definitely say is to start analyzing deals online and start really getting a concrete understanding of your market. You don’t necessarily have to look out of state. At first, I probably consider doing something in New Jersey or Connecticut or Pennsylvania because maybe I can get a much better deal there. But just start analyzing your local market and seeing how close you can get, and certainly start playing around those numbers, see what the cash on cash return looks like, see what you can get for rents, and just kind of do a market analysis, a market sweep of the area. I think that’s something anyone could do right now.

Tony:
Great answer, Logan. Next question, what’s one tool, app, software system that you use in your business today?

Logan:
I’m actually not much of a spreadsheet techy guy. It’s mostly just everything’s just on paper or in the mind. I actually don’t use too many apps or softwares. But as far as knowledge and learning, like you mentioned, BiggerPockets forum is definitely something everywhere everyone can use.

Tony:
I love that, man. See, I’m so the opposite. My brain, I need, I need lots of structure and things documented and regimented, whereas my wife, she’s the opposite where everything just kind of swirling around in her brain, but that gives me anxiety. So, we’re yin and yang like that.

Ashley:
Logan, where do you plan on being in five years?

Logan:
So, I think I definitely want to experiment with larger complexes and 1031 exchanging into longer, larger apartment buildings, hopefully getting into commercial real estate, so five-plus units. That’s certainly going to be tough in this area, but I think I can make it happen, and just basically doing everything I’m doing right now at scale. Whether it’s in business, whether it’s my YouTube channel and doing content branding and real estate, just everything hopefully at a larger scale and exactly what I’m doing right now though.

Tony:
Awesome. Well great job, Logan, man, and I’m excited to see that journey take off, man, and the way you’re crushing it, I’m sure you’ll reach all those goals you’ve got. So, before we close out today, I just want to give a quick shout out to our Rookie Rockstar, and if you’d like to get shout out to Rookie Rockstar, get active in the Real Estate Rookie Facebook group on the Real Estate Rookie forum section on BiggerPockets, or you can slide into my DMs or Ashley’s DMs. But today’s Rookie Rockstar is Isaiah Foster, and Isaiah says that his first business partner and he closed on their first house flip last week. They purchased it for $100,000. They were all in for about 160 and they sold it for $265,000, and what’s crazy, this is what Isaiah says is we have literally used none of our own money from this flip. They use two lines of credit and then a hard money loan to cover the entire purchase and the rehab. So, congratulations to Isaiah for crushing it with that first house flip.

Ashley:
Well, Logan, thank you so much for joining us today. I have to be honest and tell you I slept two hours last night. I’ve been working on this project, I just wanted to get it done, and that’s why I was even a couple minutes late because I was hitting something on it to get it done, and I was like, “Man, I’m exhausted.” But I have to tell you, listening to your story and talking with you, I am all pumped up again. I can pull another all-nighter. So, just thank you so much for coming on and sharing your story. You are super cool, and I’m sure all of our listeners are going to appreciate hearing your story, getting tons of motivation like me. So, can you tell everyone where they can reach out to you and find out some more information about you?

Logan:
Sure thing. Mainly active on Instagram and YouTube. So, Instagram is @logankohn, sounds like ice cream cone, but spelled K-O-H-N. And then YouTube is the same name, Logan Kohn, that that is where I am mostly putting content and mostly active.

Ashley:
Well, thank you so much for joining us, Logan. We really appreciate it. I’m Ashley @wealthfromrentals and he’s Tony, @tonyjrobinson on Instagram, and we will be back on Saturday with a Rookie Reply.(singing)

 

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