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Now I have seven or eight properties that I have, and it literally has to replaced my income. I, I worked for Shell through that time. And now I no longer work for Shell. I stopped working for them about two years ago, and now I’m home. And all of our daily expenses, all of our income on a monthly basis comes from real estate.
What would your life look like if you could replace all of your working income? With simple and conservative investments that could do it for you. Over the last 13 years, we’ve helped thousands of clients transact over half a billion dollars in simple and conservative real estate transactions, allowing them to begin replacing their work income with real estate investment income.
Each week, we’ll be pulling back the curtain on the ins and outs of real time retirement based real estate transac. That will transform your financial future even if you have no real estate experience. This is replace your income with me, Kevin Clayson and Steve Earl. All right, well, hello everybody and welcome to Replace Your Income with Kevin and Steve.
Steve, I see you over there. How you doing man? Doing great. Beautiful day out today. A little bit chilly, but uh, got a good start to the day up early down the gym. Made my smoothie you. Good, thanks. Hi, my name is Steven. Listen to my amazing morning routine. Yeah, I got up and after doing hours of charity work, I went to the gym and made a smoothie with fresh, organic fruit.
I grew in my backyard. Thanks. That’s great. That’s awesome. Yeah. I woke up and drank a diet coke, so there’s the juxtaposition. Yeah, but I wasn’t at the office until 4:00 AM this morning. Kev, like you, Okay, fine. Touche, shake. Good point. Well, we are so excited to be with you guys and this is gonna be an awesome episode.
So we actually have a very special guest that’s here in the office with us that you’re gonna get to hear from. He is a client of ours. He is a friend of ours. But what’s super amazing and why we wanted to have him on and he was so gracious to be willing to come on, is you’re gonna be able to hear from our friend Eric.
And Eric has replaced his income with real. Relying heavily on simple and conservative single family residential real estate, which is the stuff that we talk about all the time. And so Eric’s gonna be on today and you get to hear his story and we’re gonna interview him. He is truly an amazing person and we’re so excited to be able to chat with him.
Yeah, just, uh, a little bit of background and then we’ll let, uh, Eric kind of tell, uh, you know, a bunch of his story. But, uh, you know, we met Eric, what about, uh, 10 plus years ago? We get started. We’re in 2009, 2010. He’s been traveling around the world really as an engineer for Shell Oil, and yet, you know, during the time that he was building his portfolio, he, he literally, he came back for vacations to the United States, really, is what, what it boiled down to.
But while he was out and about doing his thing, being super busy, being super productive, providing. Energy for the world. Uh, through, through his company. He was building this small portfolio of property, one single family home at a time, which he did. He followed the formula basically. And so I’m super excited to, to hear from him.
It, it’s really fun, Kevin. I know that we, we say this all the time, but we literally have hundreds of clients at this time, and we have literally hundreds of clients who have done very similar to what, uh, Eric has done. And when we get an opportunity to invite somebody on the podcast, And have them share their story.
It’s kind of cool. In fact, this came out pretty organically. Um, Eric was in the office the other day. In fact, now that he’s back in the United States, he’s, he drops by the office every once in a while. And, and so we’ve had the opportunity to get to know him a little bit, a little bit better. And so as we were kind of chatting and, and talking to him, uh, I guess it was last week, Eric’s like, Hey, you know, I’d listened to your podcast and stuff.
If you ever want like an actual guest who’s actually done. Has turned theory into reality. Um, in fact, I was talking, thinking about the other date, Kevin, I wanna write a book called Theory to Reality. There, there’s so many different things that that applies to, but what’s fun in this kind of, uh, world of real estate, to be able to talk to people who, who saw kind of the opportunity, they saw the theory of what we had put together years and years ago, and they believed in it.
They trusted in it, they exercised a little bit of faith and started taking one step after another, and now 10 plus years later. Eric is kinda living proof testimony that the theory can be reality if you put it into, into practical application, which is completely awesome. And so let’s stop jabbering and let’s bring Eric on.
Now we have Eric with us. Eric, you pronounce your last name Shaman, right? That’s correct. So, but it’s spelled. S C H A U M A N N, is that right? That is correct. Okay. So I speak German, so for me that says shaman, which means you’re a showman. And so that’s, I feel like we should be singing. This is the greatest show there.
I feel like that’s what we should do. . Eric, thank you so much for being with us. We have Eric here with us, Eric Shaman, and he’s the man that Steve was talking about. Eric, thank you for coming in today. You’re welcome. It’s a pleasure. I’m glad to be here. Now, Eric, you’re not unfamiliar with being interviewed on podcast.
That is correct. I have been interviewed on a couple of other real estate podcasts as well, but were any of them, uh, with somebody whose bald heads looked as good as our. Definitely not. See, Okay. I knew it. I knew it. Steve, This guy over here. Oh, look at my hair. Look at my morning routine. Yeah. Okay. We get it.
Um, but we are, we’re, Thank you so much for coming in and being willing to share your story. So, Eric, let’s go back to the beginning. Well, maybe not the beginning, maybe kind of the middle, Right. You’re working for Shell and you went, Tell us about the time when you decided that you wanted to start to incorporate real estate as a part of the long term plan or long term.
Great. So yeah, I worked for Shell, I worked for Shell in Louisiana, New Orleans for nine years. Then I moved abroad to Brunai, little tiny country in, um, Southeast Asia. And I would come home every summer and one summer I came home and my mom said to me, Hey Eric, I’ve met these real estate guys. I think you should come meet them.
So she brought me and my older brother in, and we had our first meeting with D fy. In 2000, probably in 2009, um, we sat down, they kind of talked about the process, you know, single family rentals. And so I went back and, and I went back to Brunai and I started putting together my packet for, you know, getting my first mortgage to buy a home.
And it took, you know, way longer than I thought it was, because there was so much more information that was needed than I thought. And I just, I bought my first home and then I bought a second home. And just long story short, over the next 10 years, I think I conducted 10 or 11 transactions with you guys.
I still don’t have all of them because at some point I sold one home and I bought two, and I took the equity that I had, that I had gained, sold it, bought two, and then I did a 10 31 exchange about six months. So I, I went to a portfolio. Now I have seven or eight properties that I have, and it literally has replaced my income.
I, I worked for Shell through that time and now I no longer work for Shell. I stopped working for them about two years ago, and now I’m home. And all of our daily expenses, all of our income on a monthly basis comes from real estate. So, So, Eric. You know this as well as we do at this point, because you’ve been investing for so long.
Now that, uh, real estate comes with a little bit of pain, sometimes it come, comes with a little bit of headache. Mm-hmm. , Um, maybe share with us what was kind of, you know, one of your, your more difficult moments. Was there ever a time when you questioned, it’s like, Gosh, what am I doing here? Yeah, actually, you know, one of the, one of the things you have to recognize is, you know, you have the proforma and you know, seven to 8%, you know, five to 8%.
And so those times, those years when you had to refi the AC cuz it went out and that was, you know, 2,500 bucks. And, and you had to turn a renter. And so, you know, that was a whole month of, that was a whole month of rent that went to the property manager. And so sometimes those years came up and you’re like, I only made 4%.
Right. And, and taxes came back. And the Indiana, you know, whatever the Indiana law is, a year later, you lose that. Uh, I can’t remember what it’s called. Homestead exemption. Yeah, lose homestead exemption. And so your property taxes jump. And so yeah, there were years when I would look at specific houses and think, Wait, wait a minute.
This was, this is not meeting the proforma. But that’s not every year. I mean, then the next year you didn’t have to replace the AC and you’re, and the, you’re not getting another property tax bump and you keep a renter in for four years in a row. And so it’s just, you know, it’s just turning cash and you know, you have to have a renter who doesn’t ask a lot of the property manager, so there’s no rental expenses and there’s no repair expenses.
And so it just depends on, you know, sometimes I wouldn’t say you get a lemon, but you sometimes have a house that, Oh wow, I didn’t, I wasn’t expecting that. Yeah. Along the way. So you’re collecting the cash flow and then of course, you know when you took one property, sold it, turned it into two, maybe you did a 10 31.
That’s when you took advantage of the appreciation, right? Right. That happened along the way. You know, you don’t get to necessarily see that appreciation, you know, accumulating in your bank account like you do the cash flow. But the appreciation is kind of this invisible force that is, you know, driving up, that’s moving the, the price of the home along such that, you know, you, you get to kind of cash in on that at, at one point, you know, during the process and being that you’ve owned the homes for 10 years, like how many times did you like buy and sell and buy and sell?
So I, I had four originally. The first four properties I bought were all Phoenix properties, cuz back in two thousand nine thousand ten, the, I mean, those were the ones to, to get, I have since sold all four. I sold two to turn to, to two other ones and then I sold one to, to finance the actual house that we’ve purchased here.
And then I, I can’t remember. And then I, 10 31 exchanged the last one to just, it had appreciated to the point, and the rent hadn’t, hadn’t caught up with the appreciation. So I turned that house into something that would give me a better return in Memphis. So you said something super interesting. So we’re big believers, and we say this all the time, that there’s a story behind each individual house and just listening to, to you for the last 30 seconds, like, yeah, we bought this one and we did this and that, and we bought this one.
And that’s what we paid, you know, for our primary residents with I’m like, Wait, wait, wait, wait a minute. So with one of your properties, you’re able to take that and utilize that as, as I’m assuming, probably, you know, a significant down payment for the home, Or did you, or did you pay cash for that house?
So basically we. So we paid cash for our house here, but we had a major remodel that we needed to do, and we looked at it and said, Well, and we were remodeling to put in a basement that we could rent out. So basically we sold the property in Arizona to do the remodel on this house. To actually increase our monthly rent.
We’re making more now on our basement here than we were on the house in Arizona. So it was more of, it was kind of our primary residence, but we used the money to finance the remodel that allowed us to turn it into a rental to, to then give us cash. See, that’s the power of this It. You know, we say sometimes Kevin and I say, it’s like, you know, it’s kind of real estate.
It’s kind of boring sometimes. But what you’re describing is actually pretty darn exciting in terms of like the, the creativeness with which you’ve utilized real estate to acquire your primary residents to actually pay for, for your, your mortgage because you have renters in the basement. Different things like that.
And just that, that small amount of creativity using conventional single family property rentals, it, it really is, uh, a pretty cool thing that you’ve been able to do Well, and it’s interesting because looking back, I now think, Oh wow, that, that is kind of cool. But this, you know, this happens over years, right?
And so always looking back, you think about how creative it is, but then in the moment it’s more just kind of transactional. And it doesn’t seem that exciting because you’re only doing something every, you know, six to nine months is when you’re actually maybe touching it, right? But then when you look back, you think, Oh yeah, that was actually, that was actually pretty creative.
And that was, that was pretty good use of, of real Well, and it’s kinda the concept. Sometimes we, we, we have the, the, you know, the phrase, it’s like, let your real estate pay for everything. Right? I remember back in the day when I, when I purchased my first street motorcycle as, as an adult, My wife was, was kind of against it, just, you know, for the whole danger side of things.
But when I, I assured her that I had a good large life insurance policy, she was less scared of it. Maybe she was even hoping a little bit that somebody to run a red light. Prob, well, not really. She’s, she my wife, I think she loves me. But, uh, so I was able to convince her that, Hey look, I’m gonna purchase this motorcycle.
I’ve got the cash flow. From one of the properties that, that I bought, and it’s significantly more than what, you know, my payment’s gonna be. So instead of going out and purchasing cash, a depreciating asset, which is what a motorcycle is, I took the cash flow from one of my properties and just designated that as the payment source for this, this motorcycle.
And I’ve been riding motorcycles ever since, you know, I’m been doing that for, for a long, long, long time. And it’s kind of that concept where you get to utilize, you know, your real estate, whether it’s for a motorcycle, for a primary residence, or you’re using it, you know, to, to buy groceries with, you know, at this point, you know, you’re, you’re, you know, you’re saying that, uh, you literally are using primarily your income properties to live life.
Right. And, and to have taken, like I’m looking across from, from Eric and I’m, I’m pretty certain that he’s younger than I am, and. The dude’s retired. What is up with that? Kim . It’s awesome. Is what it is. And so Eric, you said a couple things that I think are super critical that I wanna just point out for our listeners, cuz for you, and I love it because it’s just this, like you just said, it’s this kind of casual transactional story for you, but what you’ve been able to accomplish and achieve by dedicating time and resources.
And, and I wanna circle back to that idea of time, Eric. This didn’t happen overnight. No, it’s taken how long? Well, it wasted Louis’s 2009, so it was 10 years from the time I, from the time I started until I left Shelia. It’s like constant pressure being applied to a real estate portfolio for 10 years. It’s not just, ya bought a home, set it in, forget it, and now you’re retired.
There was work that you did along the way. Everything from saving up money for the next down payment to. Siding when it was time to sell or to refinance or to 10 31 exchange. So there’s been this, this active effort, but in terms of the amount of work that you’ve had to put into the properties, I’m just curious cause I know that’s a question we get a lot.
So we know that time is a critical piece of the equation, both time from the standpoint. The, the amount of years that you need to be investing in and and utilizing real estate. That’s why we always talk about we’re hitting real estate singles one at a time over time, but also over that last 10, 11 years that you’ve been doing this, how much time have you found that you need to dedicate to your portfolio, to the plan to sort of actively working on thinking about engaging with the portfolio?
Has it been like a full-time job or has it been something that’s been far more passive? Far, far more passive. I mean, basically once a month I review all of the reports from each of the property managers, enter it all into QuickBooks cuz I kind of keep my own books. So literally once, once a month takes me four hours to download all that stuff and just see how each one is done and, and get my QuickBooks p and l up to date.
And then at that same time, I’m making sure that the property taxes, if they come up or paid, the homeowner’s insurance is paid and the HOA feess are paid, and even those, you can sometimes turn those over to the property manager. So, It’s reviewing monthly reports once a month and making sure property taxes and homeowner’s insurance is paid.
Awesome. And that’s automated too half the time cuz now it’s just direct deposit. So, yeah, and I, That’s actually what I was gonna ask. So believe it or not, when I talk to people that are considering investing in real estate, one of the questions that I actually get frequently, Is, so does the property manager pay the mortgage?
Do I pay the mortgage? Do do I get a check of the cash flow? Do I get a, a full rent check? Talk us through that because I actually think for, you know, if you’ve invested in real estate, that may seem like, okay, this is just kind of how it works. But there’s a lot of people who. Have not owned investment real estate in another state.
And here you were right. Even living in another country for a while. So talk us through, or or rather the listeners talk them through, talk us through what that process is like. Cause a lot of people I think just have a little question mark, something we overlook probably. Right. So the initial, the, like, like I said before, the, the initial turn was, was time intensive because I was dealing with the mortgage company.
And, and doing all the oversee kind, not so much that overseas was an issue, but just pulling all my finances together to get qualified. Right? So that does take time, and that sometimes feels like a part-time job for that week when you have to get all that stuff done, right? But then once that’s done, then you know, you’re, you’re reviewing properties.
So you might take a couple hours to sit down with you guys and say, Well, tell me about this one. Tell me about this one, da, da da da. And then you choose the property. And then everything’s gonna roll until you sign for the property and actually purchase it. And of course for me, I was overseas, so I. You know, gave Power Attorney to my mom and, and she would have to sign all the paperwork,
I never, I never had to sign a thing. I never signed on a single mortgage. I wanna know if, How did you pay Vicky? Well, for taking care of that in love and, and adoration from her son? She’s, she’s, I’m sure that that was plenty of payment first her. Absolutely. So, but then once you actually own the property, You can set everything up automatically.
Your mortgage can come out direct deposit, your homeowner’s insurance can come out direct deposit. You can set up your taxes are harder to do. Property taxes, it’s harder to do that. It depends on the state, but so you just once a year or maybe twice a year, you’re making sure that check is paid and then you just hope you don’t get a call for the property manager who says, Hey, I’ve got a repair over $500.
I need your approval on it. Because anything under that, he’s just gonna take care. But that’s it. I mean, when it’s in another state and you have someone else looking after it, I’ve never seen 60% of my properties. I’ve never been there. I’ve never even seen it other than a Zillow picture. Right? And even when I went to go see my properties, I was in Indianapolis.
I said, I’m just, I’m gonna go see them. So I went, and I honestly remember very little about any of the houses I walked through because it’s an investment property. It’s not my personal residence, it’s an investment property. It’s supposed to make money. It just sits off the side and makes money. It doesn’t need to take my emotional energy.
It’s like a stock, right? If you buy stock in Exxon, you’re not looking at it and touching it and playing with it every day. You just let it sit there and and grow. And that’s the same thing with investment properties. Well, I love what you just said and that’s something that, that, honestly, I think a lot of investors when they get going, like you want to be in some way emotionally connected to your properties cuz you somehow feel like you should, or maybe it’s just old school real estate mentality.
That I don’t know, tells you, you know, you have to see the property, you have to touch the property, and, and then, you know, it’s hard to sometimes not get emotionally attached to the property, but it ought to be looked at, just like you described, right? If you, if you went and bought cryptocurrency, you probably shouldn’t check it every day, right?
Because it’s. So volatile, right? You just kinda let it, kinda set it and forget it to a certain extent. Same thing with maybe a mutual fund. And I think that that’s sometimes a barrier for people to kind of get over when it comes to real estate because it’s a real property. There’s real tenants, there’s a real property manager, there’s real dollars involved.
So was that B, because you hadn’t really invested in real estate before you started to kind of do this passively to build your retirement portfolio? Correct. So I had the first house we bought in Utah. It was a, it had an apartment, so we had done some renting of the renting of the apartment to pay our mortgage while we were living in it.
So that was some experience we had. But then we moved to Louisiana. We just bought our house, so we had nine years where we, we didn’t really have new real estate. And so when you started to kind of dive in, was that a switch that you had to flip to say, Okay, I need to view this as like this passive sort of looking to retirement investment?
Or was it hard for you to not be sort of emotionally attached and sort of in the numbers on a daily basis? Kind of What was that like for you? Yeah. No, it was, well, because I was geographically far away, right? Because I was living in Southeast Asia at the time. I purchased, you know, my first six properties.
By nature, I couldn’t, I couldn’t see them, so it wasn’t. It wasn’t hard just to treat it as an investment. And the other thing was, it really was because, you know, I had some disposable income at the time and I was investing in stocks in my 401k and mutual funds and I just wanted to do something else to invest.
So I really looked at it as an investment. Right. And I, and I totally respect people who do have that emotional attachment to homes, and even people who buy with you, they can, they can maintain that, right? It’s just gonna cause them some emotional. Emotional anxiety that they don’t need to have. Right? And if they want that, that’s fine, but you can let that one go and just free up your mind and your emotion to just concentrate on something else.
The way I look at, at real estate, so I’m a grandfather now, I’ve got four grandsons and I’ve, I’ve got four kids. And so I went through the teenage years with four, four kids and sometimes I compare real estate a little bit to two teenage kids. In that, in any given moment in time, you know, you might wanna throw your teenager off the nearest roof , but over time they work out pretty darn, you know?
And, and, and in the long run, in the long term, these, these children who, who have their moments of, of pain and anguish, you know, along the way, you know, just are, are amazing and they’re awesome. And then when they start having, you know, children, you become a grandfather or grand. You now get to have a different relationship with their children.
And it’s kind of, it’s kinda like you get to have your cake and eat too. So, you know, you get, you get the kids, you get to have tons of fun with them, build amazing relationship with them, and then you get, but you, but they’re still at a little bit of a distance. When they’re having trouble and they’re causing pain, you get to hand ’em back over to the parent.
And I kind of have, have looked at real estate kind of in a similar vein in that at this point in, in my career, like I’ve, I’ve owned, I’ve bought and sold a lot of real estate and I’ve, I’ve got a decent, nice little portfolio right now. And when you talk about a little bit of an emotional attachment, Like when I look at the quarterly report on, on my portfolio of real estate, and I look at each individual property and I feel like I know that property, even though I’ve never stepped foot in many of these properties, right?
I feel like, you know, I’ve seen all the photos. I’m constantly looking the numbers. I’m measuring them. I’m seeing how they’re doing. I’m trying to like, how do I make them better? How do I make decisions that will improve them as individual proper? And so I get a little bit of an emotional attachment to each property, but more at that, I get to have my cake and eat it too.
In terms. Of, I’m not feeling the pain and anguish of having to show up and fix the leaky faucet. Right. I’m not having to show up and collect that check from the, from the tenant. Like that’s all taken care of. And, and so it, it’s a, it’s a really, it’s a, it’s just a love, love relationship with each of those properties.
Right. And, and it is fun. Like on a monthly, on a quarterly basis, I take a real good hard look at each of those properties and how they’re doing, how they’re performing, what things can I do to improve them. Is it time to refinance? Is it time to sell and turn into additional properties? And, and so I don’t know when, when you started talking about, you know, the emotional attachment.
So those, those are some of the thoughts that I’ve, I’ve actually had about real estate and with my own, my own portfolio. And, and each one of those properties has a name and for me, the name of those properties is typically just the first part of the address, you know? And, and so the last two properties that I bought recently were, were in Memphis 45, 10 Tracy Lynn and 1 66 Kelsey.
Like, those are endearing names to me at this point. Like these are the, you know, the, the most recent two properties that, that I purchased. And although they’re the newest part, you know, the newest, uh, introductions to the portfolio, it’s kinda like those brand, the brand new, you know, grandchild. I just had a new grandchild and, and you, you form an attachment and, and an enduring relationship with them.
So it, so, you know, from that standpoint, it is true that real estate can’t have a little bit more of an emotional appeal to it than just a typical, you know, stock or bond and that kind of thing. One question I do have, I wanted to ask. Is, could you kind of list like the states that you’ve bought in and kinda what was your experience with the property managers that, uh, that we were able to connect you with?
Yeah, so my first properties were in Phoenix and gosh, when I, when I left, I think they had changed names a couple times. When I left, it wasn’t Rent vest anymore, it was, now I can’t even remember what, what they were called, but, but yeah, it was so, Okay. First question I’ve bought in Phoenix, I’ve bought in Memphis, I’ve bought in Indianapolis, and I’ve bought in Florida with, with you all, and I’ve had great experiences with, with all the property managers.
I mean, everyone has his ups and downs, but you know, in, in Florida, He’s not as great with Propertyware as other other property managers are, but he, you know what he did for me in terms of, I had a renter who wasn’t paying and he’s just really gone out of his way to help me get a new tenant in, and he helped me with.
Kind of the, the property turn prices. So, I mean, he was extremely generous with kind of what he did for me and, and that property. And so, you know, you can start to overlook some of the others. Wow. Where’s my report this month? Okay, well it’s gonna get there. It’ll be there eventually. You know Memphis. Oh, gimme the name Morgan.
Morgan Morgan’s great. You know, I, and I think he’s grown his business quite a bit. I know he has some more people working for him now and you know, he’s always like right on time, like first of the month property report comes out. Um, you know, owner draw is always right there. Really good. I’m with Tnh in Indianapolis with Jeremy.
And they’re always super willing to answer the phone. Um, you know, Jeremy is willing to talk to me personally, you know, if I have questions. So, yeah, I mean, they’re all, they’re all good, solid, uh, solid property managers. And I, and I never have a concern of, oh, is my property in good hands? Because they’re all, I mean, they’re all very much professionals in what they do.
Nice. So here, here’s a loaded question for you. So, knowing what you know today, is there anything that you would do differently? Or, or that you would tell somebody who was starting out today in terms of how to go about this or, or, you know, just based on your experience and, and, and how things kind of went down for you.
Yeah, so of course knowing what I know now, I would’ve bought 10 properties in Phoenix as quickly as I could instead of, you know, pacing it out. And of course, you know, of course you have money. You, you have to be able to pay for it, right? But, But I, I can’t say that I’m sad with the decisions I made. It’s just the Phoenix properties.
I mean, the first property I bought was the last one I sold, and I think I bought it for 1 0 9 and I sold it for two 50. I mean, so you can’t control of appreciation, but it just, it just happened to work out. Super. Well, you know, my advice for someone would be just to get on the wagon. I mean, just start, start doing it.
Start saving money towards your down payment so you can make your first property. And you know, we’ve also been, you know, people, you know, I had mortgages on all my properties, but it was all, I was buying this with disposable income at the time. I wasn’t trying to replace my income and I was trying to invest disposable income.
And so we turned. Like for the first nine years, everything we made, we just threw back in the mortgage. We were just paying these things off as quickly as possible. And I think that was, I mean, for me, if you really are looking at this to replace future income, You know, the best way to do that is to just pay that down as quickly as you can, because eventually when you get that, you, when you get paid off, you’re not making $300 on a property, you’re making $1,200 on a property every month.
Right. And that’s, that’s what allows us to, to do what we do is because we have these paid off. So we have a full more, we have a full rent payment coming at us each. Which I love that so much. And I, Steve, I was actually gonna ask a really similar question cause I think there’s people listening that are going, Okay, so the market to buy a home today, it’s gonna be a lot more expensive than to go and buy a home in Phoenix in 2009.
Right? So, but you said something that I, I just kind of wanna double down on and kind of get your, get your opinion on or your feedback on. If somebody has not jumped into the ring yet, like, let’s say that if you know what you. But you don’t own real estate currently. Would you be buying real estate right now?
Right. Like if we were to, we say, okay, look, you know, it’s been successful over the long run, right? But, but let’s say that you know, you’re at a position where you have disposable income and you’re trying to figure out what to do with it would, even in this market, with these prices, and you’re in the markets where currently helping our clients invest in, would you be buying today?
Absolutely. I mean, there’s no. And that’s the great thing about going with a turnkey guy like you guys, because you’re looking at the markets where it makes the most sense, right? You’re not in, you’re not advocating to buy properties in Phoenix anymore because it doesn’t make sense. You’re not advocating to buy properties in Utah because, you know, Utah County just does not make sense.
You cannot spend money and get rent that would give you any return at all. But in the markets you are in and in the markets that you’re still looking at around the country, there’s always gonna be places where you can get to the 1% rule close, not all the time, but close. Right? And then that’s, That’s what I like about the fact that you, that’s you guys.
That’s where you are. And if it doesn’t make sense anymore, okay, it doesn’t make sense in Phoenix anymore. It doesn’t make sense in Las Vegas anymore. And so that’s not where you buy, but there’s going to be a place somewhere in the country where you can get a great house and you can get a great rent.
And then it’s growing and you’re gonna get appreciation. And that’s where, that’s where you buy. No question. Yeah. I appreciate that. And the, the last kind of thing I, I would love for you to cover before we let you go, you already talked a little bit about it, but I wanna circle back to it because I was gonna ask you earlier in the interview and then you touched on it, which I was so glad you did.
If you were to give like a success tip or two or three to someone that’s thinking. Utilizing real estate for their future. Maybe it’s income today, maybe it’s income replacement, but you talked about the choice you guys made to take 100% of your cash flows and invest it into the property to pay it down.
I feel like that’s something that I, I would imagine has been a success tip you would give somebody. Is that, is that fair to say? Absolutely. I mean, we. Yeah, we we’re in the position we’re in because we, because we did that. Yeah. And people ask me about retirement, about, about leaving Shell and about, you know, how, how did you make that decision?
And, and you know, I’m making much less money now than I was when I left Shell. Right. I mean, I was making Shell a lot four times what I make now when I left Shell, Right. And don’t get me wrong, I miss the money. Right. I miss, I miss making that much. It was really nice. But when it came time to leave, Tara and I had to ask ourselves, and this is kind of the whole financially independent, retire early fire movement, right?
There comes a time when you say, Well, how much is enough? Right? When is enough? Enough? Cuz we were putting money in our 401k, it was growing. We had a great retirement and, and my 401k had, I continued working. If I decided to retire five years from now, we would’ve, we literally would have double what we have now.
But what would that do for us? Right? When was enough? Enough and we determined when we left Shell, Okay, Now enough is enough with what we now have. I don’t think. I need more than this. I can just take this now and just let it play out over my retirement. And part of that, And the great thing about that was is I’m not drawing anything down because I replaced.
Right. And so I’m still, I still have, you know, retirement assets that are continuing to grow and I’m not drawing them down yet because I’ve replaced what I need and we’d live comfortably and well. And the other thing, the other tip I would give, Even when we were making a whole lot of money, we were living within our means.
We were not overextending ourselves. And I can honestly say that our lifestyle has not necessarily changed all that much because we were always living frugally, comfortably, somewhat extravagantly for world travel things we love to do, but we were not buying super fancy cars and we were not just blowing money on this and that, that we just couldn’t, at the end of the day, remember what we spent money on.
Right? And so if you’re just, if you’re living with a comfortable lifestyle, That you can maintain, That’s what you can replace your income, right? You’re not gonna replace your income with single family homes to go buy a BMW every five years, right? Or to go buy a fancy or to go or to do just extravagant things.
And for people who like to live extravagant, I, I have no problem with that. Spend your money the way you wanna spend it, but it’s gonna be hard for you to maintain that forever. So if you live in a way that you can maintain that, that’s what this type of real estate can do to replace your income, to keep yourself in a, a nice lifestyle that’s maintainable.
I, I really like what you said, that when you, you know, back in those years when you were making a substantial amount of money, you lived well below your income so that when you did decide to take an early retirement and you had sufficient from your real estate investments, you didn’t take a step down, you just stepped sideways.
Right. And moved out. Out of one lifestyle and into another, you know? Exactly. Instead of living internationally, you decided to live domestically in, in the us Right. And you got to maintain kind of your standard That’s, That’s right. Well, and here’s a good example of that. I came outta college, I started working for Exxon, was making I think 48,000 a year coming out of college in what, 2008, I think.
We went down to Louisiana and we. We’re thinking of renting for the first few months to kind of find out what we were doing. But we talked to a real estate agent and she said, Oh no, no. Let, let me just show you some houses. Let me just show you some houses in case you decide to buy. She took us to this first house and we walked in and it was just beautiful.
It was this two story in, you know, not that old. It was just this incredible house. And she said, Yeah, you guys, this, this, you guys could afford this. I mean, you guys could qualify for this mortgage, and Tara and I are just looking at each other. Oh my gosh. I never would’ve imagined we could live in a place like this coming out of college and I think it was like $250,000 house, and we looked at each other and said, We don’t need this.
Like we don’t, we don’t. This is not what we want. We went to a more modest area. We bought a house for like 110, which fit our needs was wonderful. And we had a mortgage on $110,000 house instead of a $250,000 house that we could have qualified for. I’m doing air quotes, you can’t see, but we could have qualified for, and that would’ve stretched us in a way that we didn’t, we didn’t need.
Right. And so we bought a much more modest house. We were very comfortable. It was wonderful. It served our needs and we didn’t have, and we, and our mortgage payment was half of what it would’ve. So that’s the kind of the way we tried to live kind of in, in all of the decisions we made. Right? Yeah. So at the end of the day, you know, replacing your income, it depends on what your goals are, depends on what you want your, you know, your standard of living, you know, to be.
Two extreme examples. I mean, if you wanna move to El Salvador, you could buy one house and a cash flow from that. You’re gonna live really great down there. I say that from experience cuz that’s what my son did, , right? He went down there for two years. He owned a property in the cash flow. He lived like, he could have retired right then at age 20 because he had sufficient income from one property.
But if your goals go beyond that, which might be normal, you, you might wanna, uh, live somewhere. Here’s the other extreme. I sat down with a young, a young person here just this last week, and he was asking me, So how many, how many properties do I need to get in order to, you know, replace my income and, and you know, and do what I wanna do?
And I was like, Well, it depends on my, what do you want? He’s like, Well, I wanna be worth 50 million, lot, a lot of properties. And so that’s what I said, Well, you’re gonna need a lot of properties then. So it is like, what do you got to get started? And, you know, and, and, and let’s talk about this and you know, what’s reasonable and what, what can you do?
What can you accomplish? And so it really depends on, on what you wanna do, what you wanna accomplish. And, and, and I don’t want to put, put that thought down, right? If you wanna be worth $50 million and you wanna live a more, and you want like travel in helicopters and planes and that kind of a thing, I think that’s awesome.
If that’s what you want to do, you just need to understand and know what it’s gonna take, right? If at some point in your life you want. Shift out of having to work, you know, 60, 70 hours a week to make that kind of money, um, and shift to a more laid back lifestyle. And how do you maintain that standard of living and what are you doing to prepare for that day in time?
So, So it really depends right on, on what it is that you want to accomplish. And that’s really what what we try and strive to do is sit down with people at the beginning of the relationship with them and help them understand and see, it’s like you tell us what you wanna accomplish and we’ll help you understand what you need to do to get there.
Right. Well, and, and you know, I’m just, I, I, I mentioned this, but you know, real estate did not replace my income a hundred percent. Right. Because I didn’t need it to, Because when I was working, I was making, I had a lot of disposable income and with that disposable income, I was buying houses that would help me in the future.
And so when I stopped working, I didn’t need, I don’t, I don’t need to make contributions to my 401k anymore. I don’t need to save for my college, my kids’ college funds anymore. I don’t need to buy more investment properties to build up, to build up more because I already have what I need. And so my income now, which is, like I said, about a quarter of what I was making before, is sufficient and I’m not looking.
I’m not looking to match what I used to make because I don’t, I don’t need that anymore. We’re, we’re comfortable with what we have and we can continue on. And I have, you know, I can come talk to you guys in the middle of the day cuz I don’t Yeah. Cause I don’t have to go to work. Well it’s, it’s, it’s awesome.
And you know, I, my daughter the other morning, she came up to me after breakfast and she said, Dad, what’s a Rolls Royce? And I was like, It’s a car. And she’s like, Why do people talk about it? Why is it so special? And I said, Cuz it has a cool hood, Orna. And she’s like, I wanna see it. So I pull it up and she’s like, Well, how much are these cars?
And I show her the price of the cars. And I was like, They cost about as much as a house. And she’s like, Why would anybody spend that on a car now look, I have no problem with a Rolls Royce. My dad, My dad had a roll. Soro. Did he? Yeah. So, So I have no problem with the Rose Roy, but what the analogy that I think of and what I saw in the innocence of my daughter, just the way she views the world.
Is if I had a nice Dodge Ram truck or Rolls Royce. I’m using the same gas and I’m still going from my house to the grocery store in the same way on four wheels with an engine. Right? Absolutely. And, and that’s kind of, I think of real estate and this kind of real estate we do in much the same way. If you’re doing simple and conservative single family residential real estate, it’s not a Rolls Royce.
But it might be a nice new, dependable Honda Accord Toyota Camry, which may not excite you, but you know what? There’s other things you could do to maybe go get the Rolls Royce, but man, isn’t it good to have that dependable accord, Camry, F-150, whatever it is? I always think about that because you know there’s a variety of different tastes.
And a variety of different experience levels and comfort levels that people choose to enjoy. What I love about what you guys have done, Eric, and, and really what, what I think we do here at Dun for real estate for our clients, and what Steve and I talk about all the time is we love to be comfortable to enjoy the things that matter, but we may not necessarily care.
Personally, I don’t really care. Private jets and Lamborghini doors, that’s just me and single family residential real estate allows us to do things like have a conversation like this, right? You guys know one of my passions is speaking to youth. I get a chance to go speak in schools and to youth and to church groups because what we do had done for you real estate because of real estate, because this type of way of living allows me to do some of those things that are far more fulfilling than driving a Rolls Royce for me personally would ever be.
And I love that about what you guys have done, Eric, is I think you guys are so wise to say, what is it that we need? How do we accomplish it? And then when you started your. Knowing kind of who you guys were and what it would require and what it would, how dedicated you’d have to be for a, a significant amount of time, 10, 11, 12 years.
That’s nothing to wink at, right? I mean, that is significant. And look at what it’s done. And I love your philosophy. I love your approach and, and I think that it’s something that I hope if you’re listening right now, I hope you’re benefiting from this approach. It’s very much the Millionaire Next Door type of book mentality.
If you haven’t read that book, you. So as we wrap the episode, Eric, what any final thoughts, ideas, comments that you wanna share with our awesome replace your income listeners? You know, I was just thinking about, you know, your roles Roy analogy and you know, we lived in the Netherlands and so we just learned to love biking cuz everyone bikes everywhere in the Netherlands.
When we came back home, now we’re living, we’ve got four drivers in the house. We have one car, Honda Odys. Love it. Yep. Dependable. We’ve, we’ve driven it to Guatemala and back. That’s awesome. And we have eight bikes. And the kids know that if they’re gonna go get a job, they’re gonna bike to work. If they’re gonna miss the bus, they’re gonna bike to school.
If they’re gonna do this, if they’re, if they need milk, they can bike to the store. And that’s, you know, Just one of the things that, one of the things that we do is we don’t need to spend money on, we don’t even need two Honda, uh, Accords. Right. Or three, We just need one. We just, we just need one car, eight bikes, and that serves us.
And you know, in my auto maintenance column, in my budget is bike repair. Right. And so I love it. And because I’m always fixed tires, right? Yeah. So that’s, but that’s one of the things that allows us to not need. All that money because bike repair is a whole lot less expensive than car repair and car maintenance.
So yeah, how, How are you living? And if you can live frugally and comfortably, then you can have the income to support your frugal, that comfortable lifestyle. Wow. Uh, Eric, we’ve, we just, I’ve just really enjoyed, uh, speaking with you here today. I learned a ton about you that I didn’t know before and, uh, I, I, I love your philosophy and how you live life and, and the fact that the, the way that you, you go about just living life now, like I, I, I think it is a way of life.
And you’ve been able to set yourself up in such a way that you’re doing what you want to be doing now, and you’re not governed by anyone or anything else. It, it really is fantastic. So as we kinda wrap up this episode, care I don’t you to take us home. Yeah. Eric, thank you so much for being here and thank you guys for listening and I hope that you got some nuggets today.
Eric did a great job of describing. How somebody can actually really look at this type of an investment vehicle as a type of income replacement. Whether that’s replacing all of your income or a portion of your income, or just enough income for you to live the life that you’ve determined is the right life for you to live where you can enjoy that.
And Eric, I think your philosophy, the work that you’ve put in your experience is truly invaluable. I am so thankful that you were able to come today and share this with us. And so guys, at the end of the day, this is the invitation, right? Just like Eric shared, if you’re not, if you are still sitting on the sidelines, at least investigate.
Maybe now might be a good time to jump in. If you’re wondering when is the next step to take the next bit of evolution in your portfolio. Take whatever form of action that looks like. Pick up the phone, do a little bit of research, whatever the case may be. At the end of the day, we know. That these actions, this type of civilly conservative real estate, can make a profound difference in your life, just like it has for Eric and Eric.
You were such a brilliant example of that. Thank you so much for joining us today, and I’m gonna give you the last word. Any final thoughts? Wow. This is like my third final thought question. This is the real final thought. This is the real final thought. The The finalist final thought. The most final thought.
Yeah. No, it works over time, right? It works immediately, but you don’t feel the benefits immediately. I love that. Like your first house, 250, 300 bucks a month, you put all this time in think, oh man, that, that just doesn’t seem like all that much. And it didn’t the first two or three, but with time, I mean time and money.
Just our, our very, very great bed companions, right? I mean, it’s gonna work and it didn’t all happen for us immediately, but, you know, 10 years later and now, 12 years later, because, you know, I left, I left Shell in 2018. It works. I love it. The benefits can come immediately, but the way it really works is with time and over time.
Thank you. I think that, see that was a, Finalist thought. I mean, that was fantastic. So thank you everybody for joining us. Thank you to Eric. Thank you to Steve. And uh, we appreciate you guys listening. As always, please go follow the podcast or subscribe to the podcast or go leave us a five star review. Go in and tell Eric how awesome he did cuz he did do awesome.
And, uh, we appreciate you guys out there. Have an amazing week and we’ll talk to you soon. Thanks so much for listening to replace your income. Steven, Kevin, if you’re not subscribed already, be sure to head over to your favorite podcasting platform and do that now. If you enjoyed this episode, we’d love it if you could do us a quick favor and rate and review the podcast on Apple Podcast.
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