Thursday, December 30, 2010

Where'd Everybody Go?

So 2011 is around the corner. It's been almost 7 years since I started this blog and investing in real estate. Back in the first couple of years of this blog, the real estate bubble had yet to burst and people everywhere were getting into flipping properties. There were a regular group of people that used to blog on their own and leave comments on this blog. I got to thinking about what happened to those people and what they might be doing today. I went back through some of my earliest posts, found the people who used to comment a lot and tried to see if I could find them today. Truthfully, I didn't search too hard. I'm not looking to actually contact these people or anything. I was just curious to see if they were still blogging and still in real estate investing. It's possible these people are still doing that, but using different names or blogs, but it seems most have moved on.

Trish#1 - Trish ran the blog Building An Empire, which is no longer around. She lived in Oklahoma and was purchasing and rehabbing properties she bought at foreclosure auctions. I actually bought a house from her, which didn't turn out too well. (In fact, it was the only investment property I lost money on - which was entirely my fault.) Last I heard of her, sometime back in 2007, she had started working for a property management company.

Seattle Eric - Used to run the blog, which is now defunct. I'm not sure if I'm remembering correctly, but he might have left real estate investing to become a Realtor. I know one of the bloggers I followed in the Seattle area went that route.

BGInvestor - a fellow RE investor in Arizona. He ran the blog The Life And Times Of An Arizona Investor, which is still up, but hasn't been updated since 2006. His last entry said he was starting a new blog with a focus on real estate investing education, but that blog doesn't exist anymore.

Erin Morgan - aka PRLinkBiz. I met her in person back in 2006 at a local get together of people who were active on Robert Kiyosaki's forums. She obtained some infamy from her involvement with Casey Serin, a clueless wanna-be real estate investor. She was also part of the No Limit Ladies website, whose last entry is from March, 2009. This site was run by a couple of different women though, and I think Erin stopped posting there years earlier.

Savvy Saver - although not a real estate investor, she did follow my blog and commented frequently. She runs an eponymous blog that is still operating and focuses on personal finance.

Kenric - another Arizona resident I met at the previously mentioned Rich Dad get together. He has shifted his focus from real estate investing to creating and running internet businesses. He still actively posts on his blog Live Learn Invest.

Les - my partner in real estate investing, whom I also met at the Rich Dad meeting, although we had corresponded prior to that. He lives in Northern California. He never had a blog and I found him mainly though his postings on the discussion forums at I haven't been there in ages, so I don't know if he's still active there or not. He is still very much active in real estate investing, mainly as a hard money lender, although he and his wife do buy and rehab foreclosures now and then. He was a mortgage broker prior to becoming a full time real estate investor, so he was involved in real estate before the bubble started.

Steve - yet another local real estate investor. He invests in apartment complexes and it's through him that I found the apartment complex in Houston that we are both invested in. He never blogged, but did post somewhat frequently on the Rich Dad forums. Again, I don't know if he still does. He is still active in real estate investing.

So in looking back, it seems many people who got involved in real estate back in the bubble have now left. Not surprising. If people were looking for a quick or easy buck, they're not going to stick around when things head south. But I think the people that took Kiyosaki's point to heart - that your money needs to work for you and not the other way around - are still going strong. It's true, my focus has shifted more from rehabbing properties to doing more hard money lending, but I still believe in the security of real estate and its power to generate passive income. Kenric took what he learned at the get together (where someone made a presentation on internet businesses) to set up businesses that run 24 hours a day with or without him (although he has shifted lately from using drop shippers to fulfilling and shipping orders himself, so he is moving away from the truly passive concept). He took to heart another of Kiyosaki's principles - build businesses that can be sold.

I wonder if any of those people that have disappeared still take to heart the concept of passive income or if they gave it up when they gave up real estate and went back to living paycheck to paycheck? I personally no longer follow Kiyosaki or read his books - I feel he's simply repeating the same thing over and over now. I do credit him for opening my eyes to the power of passive income and for changing how I look at spending my money.


Another Investor said...

Those of us that invested long before the mid-2000's are still around and still investing. Some of us got our noses bloodied by the bursting of the bubble, but we are largely devoting available capital to debt reduction and new purchases. I bought two short sales in the last 13 months and will continue to buy as money and deals become available.

Landlording is not a passive business, and if you buy betting on appreciation, you will likely lose your shirt. That said, it's a great time to start a property portfolio if that's what you want to do. You need reserves, but positive leverage is out there if you can get a mortgage.

I will bet you are still in real estate in 20 years. I think Kenric will dive back in as well, when he pauses from building his businesses to refocus on investing in income-producing assets.

danishinvestor said...

Sold my portfolio december2006 - bought 1½ year ago (house in foreclosure)

Looking for new opportunities

I saw the bubble and ran away!

Kenric said...

Hey Shaun, Thanks for the post. About 6 months ago I went back and tried to find those old REI blogs and many are totally gone.

I still look at REI about once a month. In fact, I have my eye on a condo right now but I'm struggling with the decision. My credit is crap so I have to buy any real estate with all cash.

I can either buy another property or use my cash and pay down some loans. Either way, I would increase my cashflow about the same. I'll probably make a more detailed post about this.

The thing about REI vs. online biz is that it takes $80k cash to make $500/mo cashflow plus the tenant headaches. With an online biz it takes me about $1000 and 1 year to get to $500/mo cashflow.

So if the REI market is not appreciating, it really doesn't make sense for me. But owning a bunch of real estate free and clear is definitely one of my end game plans.

Clifford said...

I don't think real estate is as exciting as it once was. I know for the time being that I won't be buying anything anytime soon. But the quest for cashflow is ever-present and that's why the ebusiness model makes sense to pursue at the moment. Besides, it's also too dern easy and too cheap to pass up the rewards.

Shaun said...

Hey Cliff.. Funny.. I don't want my real estate investments to be exciting! I'm totally happy with my boring hard money loan payments coming in each month :-)

Green Mountain Realty said...

I am seeing that most investors got into trouble during the bubble, however, for those that still have money around we are seeing huge cap rates on bank owned and distressed properties ripe for the taking, redevelopment, re-marketing and sell off.

Philippine real estate said...

It's sad to say that some Investors in real estate didn't make it to survive because of the recessions. But some investors are successful also.

savvy said...

Shaun - your email prompted me to visit your blog again. I have also wondered where some of the bloggers of the past ended up.

Mr. Savvy and I still own a 4-unit, purchased in 2007. It's making us money and we are glad we have it. We think we may be able to sell it in a couple years and pay off our primary mortgage and live truly debt free :)

I don't feel real estate is passive income... it's given us some headaches, but it is income and we aren't turning that down.


Thomas Ott said...

I'm still around, holding one property as a rental. We took a breather, waiting for all the shoes to drop BUT we are looking hard now for low risk foreclosure deals.

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