How to Find REI Opportunities: Just Ask

*Repost from December 2016; as we get into the holiday season, childhood family traditions become nostalgic and lead me back to this little story…
“If you can move the house by the end of the month, you can just have the whole thing!”


real estate investing pensacola fl
As the year is coming to an end, the sights, sounds, and smells of Christmas often remind me of those precious childhood memories. Forcing me to reflect and think about love ones who have passed and I hope those great memories stay with me forever. On that note, when thinking about real estate investing, I sometimes think about my Maw-Maw & Paw-Paw. For as long as I can remember my grandparents owned & operated what they referred to as a tenant building – low income, mid-size multi-family rental property that provided them a way of life. I hope to blog about more of those memories one day, but they lived in the house next door to their tenant building and the story on that house acquisition is amazing.
As the story goes, my Paw-Paw was in need of some spare lumber, this was late 1970s, ’78 or ’79 I think. Driving by this house, he noticed the owner was outside and in the process of removing the front porch from this 2 story, 3 bedroom / 1.5 bath, 1900 sq. ft. home. When Paw-Paw asked if he could have some of the lumber being discarded from the front porch removal, the owner simply said, “If you can move the house by the end of the month, you can just have the whole thing!”
And that’s exactly what they did. They acquired a lot a few blocks away near downtown, hired a moving company, and a few weeks later my grandparents were setup in their new home. I cannot tell this story without mentioning the power company. The path of the move required the power company to drop lines on 2 sides of the street – the largest cost of this project which had to be done on a Sunday; when most businesses downtown were closed (late 70s). I believe their all-in cost was around $25k. Simply put, an amazing opportunity.
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Paw-Paw (green hat, 2nd from the right)

We created many holiday memories in this home and my parents still own it today. Opportunities are everywhere and through this event, my Paw-Paw has certainly encouraged me to Just Ask.

 #REI  #RealEstateInvesting #HelmsREI

How Do You Know How To Invest in Real Estate?

As I continue to talk with more & more people about our buy & hold real estate investing in Pensacola, I find myself running into a similar question: How do you know how to do this? How do you know how to successfully invest in buy & hold real estate?

Fair question. I have spent most of my career in the IT world, I did not study REI in a MBA course, and we just started actively investing in 2014. Self-education is the actual answer; self-education and being strict on the tripod of acquisition criteria that we have adopted.

Years before we purchased our first Pensacola property we started learning. Learning about the Pensacola market, different ways to invest, and trying not to repeat what I consider a false start to my real estate investing career in 2006. It seems like Real Estate has always interested us and it really wasn’t until after our first full year of investing did our focus become clear – thanks largely in part to the REI social network @

We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel, just follow the pros!  The best source of learning is from people who have and are successfully investing. At the time of this original post (I’ll add more books as I continue to educate myself), I’ve listened to over 250 hours of audiobooks & podcasts that are focused on real estate investing/wealth building and held countless conversations with local realtors, lenders and real estate attorneys.

Below I’ve listed the books/links that I credit the most in helping shape my mind around our real estate investing. As I run across additional, paradigm shifting material, I’ll be sure to update this post. Enjoy!


real estate investing pensacola fl

The Total Money Makeover – Dave Ramsey

Biggest Takeaway: Create a budget that will assist you in meeting your financial goals and stick to it.


real estate investing pensacola fl

The 10X Rule – Grant Cardone

Biggest Takeway:  Write down your goals often and dream big! Being financially successful is my duty & obligation. #DBALB

Biggest Takeaway: Overall different way of looking at money and putting validation around making your money work for you. This book is a perfect gift for anyone, especially new fathers. 

Biggest Takeaway: All about stats.  Create a budget and not a flashy lifestyle; live within your means. Focus on being an exemplary builder of personal net worth. Exemplary Net Worth Equation: 

Exemplary Net Worth > Your Age / 10 X Current Salary

real estate investing pensacola fl

BiggerPockets Podcast & Social Network 

Biggest Takeaway: Too many to count here. Always great to have a network of like minded people seeking similar goals to bounce ideas and directly learn from. Free to join – send me a colleague request. They have published a few Amazon Best Selling Books on REI


Related Articles:

#REI  #RealEstateInvesting #HelmsREI