By: Chris Tew
Published for Salt Lake City, Utah
About forty years ago a builder and his wife that I know stretched their family finances to the limit to build a 26-unit apartment building in Utah. He borrowed $250,000 to complete this project. The builder drew the plans, built the buildings, managed the lease up, provided the maintenance, paid the bills and made the mortgage payments. It was an ongoing test of his vision, his plan, his work ethic, and his commitment. For forty years he served the loan, the building, and the tenants.
For the first several years he experienced a negative cash flow. He had all the headaches of management, building maintenance, and what was for the time massive debt in a tough economy. However, he thought to himself, I’m betting that inflation will eventually minimize this debt, drive rents up, and increase the value of the buildings.
Gradually his rents increased from $100 per month per unit to $500 per month per unit. He built five more units on the property bringing the total to 31-units. Eventually he paid off the $250,000 loan. His income from the property continued to increase while the value of the property doubled, then doubled again and finally doubled again relative to the ever falling value of the dollar. As far back as sixty years ago or more he could see the government’s commitment to destroy the dollar through inflation. He knew that big government’s commitment to deficit spending financed in part by monetary inflation facilitated by the Federal Reserve would drive a secular bull market in hard assets such as real estate (see: http://www.area-info.net/articles/show.php?cty=Salt%20Lake%20City&st=Utah&article_id=951). He had the courage of his convictions to go forward with his plan, and to follow his dream.
The approximate $550,000 total investment ($50,000 down plus the $250,000 loan plus the 5-plex that was built later for ~$250,000) is worth about $2.2 million in today’s dollars. This builder has enjoyed an ~$80,000 to ~$120,000 annual cash flow from these assets for at least the last 20 year or so (probably lower numbers during the first 20 years). If we call it an average $100,000 multiplied by even the last 20-years we see a $2,000,000 total income. This has provided the builder and his wife a comfortable retirement, a strong net worth, and a great credit rating.
This builder will tell you that he has enjoyed depreciation (tax shelter), appreciation (due to inflation and a growing population), cash flow, a hedge against inflation (rents and values rise relative to a dying dollar as monetary inflation continues), equity growth through debt reduction, eventual peace of mind, and the powerful wealth building effects of intelligent leverage (see: http://www.area-info.net/articles/show.php?cty=Ogden&st=Utah&article_id=1336).
This apartment complex provided sufficient cash flow to allow the builder to build additional capital to ensure the economic security of his family. That capital lead to other investments that also multiplied. He was able to help his children, grandchildren, extended family, neighbors, church and many other worthwhile charities and good causes with the extra capital he earned (not to mention that he paid tons of income taxes and property taxes to help the various governments that fed off his vision and productivity). He kept his living expenses in check so as to build capital.
The money he was able to provide to his children coupled with his guidance turned into additional millions in assets over the thirteen years since he began helping them with gifts and investment advice.
This was a long term plan that required vision, courage, faith, planning, patience, and commitment (See: http://www.area-info.net/articles/show.php?cty=Ogden&st=Utah&article_id=1268). It’s a plan that’s not for the faint of heart. Few really good things are achieved without exercising those elements of character as well as the skill set of planning. It wasn’t easy, but it was possible. America needs those rare people like the builder I’m describing who will envision, plan, work, and implement. We need the visionary risk takers and the hard working entrepreneurs who will build for future needs. To those who envision, work and risk, come the best rewards.
Although this builder has dabbled in the stock market, the commodities market, and other investment vehicles, he is still a big believer in real estate. Real estate marks the bulk of his investment portfolio. He taught his children to do likewise and helped them to buy and/or develop properties for themselves. These properties are already starting to provide a modest income for each of them as they age. His teachings and example echo through the generations that have followed.
Imagine starting with ~$50,000 down (plus sweat equity) and turning that capital into millions through intelligent real estate investment. The mass media trumpets stories about about stocks and bonds all the time as if they were the only asset classes to invest in. A word to the wise: “Learn about real estate and you’ll learn how to multiply your wealth.”
Investing in stocks, real estate, and precious metals is risky and could result in losing money. I am offering ideas for your consideration and education. I am not offering financial advice. Please do your own due diligence. I am not an investment adviser. Precious metals is not for everyone. I promote precious metals. You should do your own due diligence when making investment decisions of any kind. You should consult your own financial advisers before making any investment decision. I make no guarantees that by following any advice or suggestion I might make that you will realize any return. Beware, all commodity markets and other markets carry risk of loss. – See more at: http://www.area-info.net/articles/show.php?cty=Salt%20Lake%20City&st=Utah&article_id=2262#sthash.JoOIxhsi.dpuf