“Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius.”
In business, success often comes when you take that big leap and make wise decisions. Most of the time, we’re all too hyper-focused around how much money we put into our bank accounts, not knowing that being rich doesn’t necessarily equate to being wealthy. In fact, being rich can lead you to debts. If your expenses are still higher than your income, you will eventually fall short. Being wealthy means that you have a positive net worth which gives you the ability and time to do the things you want to do. And SPOILER ALERT, you can do all of that when you venture into real estate! David Dodge and Chris Craddock are on the show to prove to you that you have what it takes to become a seven-figure investor.
The Difference Between Becoming Rich And Becoming Wealthy With David Dodge
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I am so excited to be here with you. If you’re like most wholesalers or investors, you are spending so much money on deals. Some of them go through and some of them are great, but some of them don’t go through. The bottom line is what we are spending our time here doing is teaching people how to make the most of every single lead that they’re getting. I’m, Chris Craddock. I’m going to help you become a seven-figure investor and get to where the American dream is. That is through doing business, making the most of the deal that you’re doing, and winning it.
I am excited to have my friend who you are going to know a lot more from over the next months and years. My buddy David Dodge from St. Louis is here with us. I love to spend some time with David Dodge. I’ll tell you one thing about him. Anytime there’s fun to be had, David will show up. We’re in a mastermind together and anytime there’s a fun event, I’m like, “I can get out again.” There’s David’s smiling face right there. Anybody that knows David knows that my man does not miss an opportunity to have fun and hang out with great folks. With that said, David, tell us a little bit about yourself, your journey and what brought you to where you are now.
Chris, I’m so happy to be here. Thanks for having me and for those kind words. I love going out and having fun. That’s what this business allows me to do. This business has created financial freedom for me so I’m able to go and fly fighter jets. You were my fighter jet buddy. I drive tanks, go on vacations and do all this cool stuff. It all comes back to real estate which has given me that opportunity.
I got started when I was twenty years old and I was in college. I started with house hacking. I’m sure a lot of people are familiar with that, especially you. You go out and find a house that you can buy and rent out the rest of the rooms and any additional bedroom or basement. You do so to reduce your expenses. I did that three different times while I was in college. I started when I was a sophomore and did one. I said, “This is pretty cool.” I did it again as a junior and then as a senior. Over the next 7, 8 years out of college, I continue to buy a rental property. For ten entire years, I was essentially buying a rental a year. When I turned 30, I had twelve rental properties.
Here’s the thing, Chris. I didn’t do it the right way. Anybody that’s reading, I want to try to educate them quickly on a better way to do it. In the beginning, I was doing some house hacking but after that, I was still buying rentals. The way I did it was I went and found a real estate agent. I went to the MLS and found a property that was listed as full retail. How I was able to acquire them was I was going to the bank and getting traditional loans. These weren’t loans in my LLC. They were 80% loans and I had to put down 20% on these properties.
I was going to my family, friends and grandparents. I was borrowing the 20% that I needed to put down and getting co-signers on the first twelve properties over the first ten years. Every property that I was buying was between $100,000 and $150,000 property, but most for about $150,000. Twenty percent of $150,000 is $30,000. I was essentially borrowing $20,000 to $30,000 every time I was buying a rental. I would put that down, then I would go to the bank and get a conventional loan for the other 80% but I wasn’t getting deals. I was paying full retail.
At the age of 30, I was like, “I have worked at various sales and marketing jobs and had a couple of businesses that weren’t doing that great.” We were doing okay but I decided, “I’m going to go into real estate full-time and start experimenting, learning and seeing what a good entrance to full-time real estate could look like for me.” I stumbled across wholesaling.
If you have no idea what you’re doing, just start moving forward. As you start moving forward, you’ll eventually get into a better position.
Thank God I did because wholesaling taught me that you don’t need to pay full retail for a property. You can find sellers that have some level of motivation to where you can go in and provide convenience to them in exchange for a discount. It took me ten years to acquire twelve rentals. Also, it took me ten years to do twelve deals if you want to look at the big picture.
Over the years that I’ve been full-time, my partner and I have purchased over 700 properties and not paid retail for any of them. We know that there’s a better way than going and paying in full retail for a deal. Check this out. My passion is being a landlord. I love using the BRRRR method and I’ve written a book on it.
If you start with deal-finding and direct-to-seller marketing and you’re able to get a deal, the BRRRR method is the perfect strategy to acquire rental property without having to put down 20% or $20,000 or $30,000 on $100,000 to $150,000 property. What we’re able to do is get a deal on these properties and buy them at discounts. We fix these properties up, get them rented, and then take them to the bank.
What we’re able to do is use the equity that we have captured along this process as the 20% that we’re having to put into the deal. I’m still only getting 70%, 75%, 80% loans. Most of my loans are about 80% at this point, but the difference is I’m not having to bring 20% to the table anymore. Instead, what I’m able to do is get a loan based on the appraised amount. My goal would be to be all in for the purchase and the rehab at or below 80%. The bank will then allow me to use the sweat equity that’s in my deal as my down payment to secure my portfolio.
The first thing I want to say is this. Doing what David did at first is better than doing nothing at all. Get into movement, activity and creation. It’s like a big ship. You got to get it moving forward. If you’ve got no idea what you’re doing, start moving forward and get into a better position. What David is saying is you find a property under market.
We can talk through all the different things, whether it’s bad or driving for dollars. Any of these different ways that you move forward are totally good, but then what we’re looking to do is refinance it, keep the money, get the cashback so that you’re moving forward. With what you’re doing, David, essentially when you’re getting a hard money loan to buy that property upfront, are you not having to put any money as a down payment? For students, what if they have very little money but want to get into the BRRRR method?
The beautiful thing is I borrowed all of the money that I need to do these deals. A good successful BRRRR deal not only is zero of my own money out of pocket but I might even walk at closing with a couple of extra grand. What that means is I’m adding a rental to my portfolio. I’m borrowing the purchase and rehab. I’m even borrowing a little extra to cover the closing costs and the holding costs.
In an ideal deal, which is the ones that I try to do as many as possible, I don’t use $0.1 of my money. I’m using private and hard money lenders to buy these deals. I’m buying them at a discount so I’m already capturing equity. I’m fixing the properties up, be it rehab, renovations or updates. I’m increasing my equity even further. I go on and get them rented. I take them to a bank and refinanced them. That refinance will typically pay back that private or hard money lender 100%.
In some instances, I’ll even walk away from the closing with an asset. This asset is going to be updated, rehabbed and renovated. Not only is it going to appraise for the highest. Sometimes it’s going to set some new records when it comes to the appraisal. At a minimum, I’m able to get the market rent and in some cases, above-market rent because these houses have been rehabbed.
The refinance goes and pays back the money that I borrowed to do it. I’m adding a rental to my portfolio. I’m using little to none of my money and that’s the goal. Each rental that we add, we shoot to add at least $20,000 worth of equity and $300 a month in cashflow, which are the minimums that we shoot for.
I want to be massively clear on this. I hear so many people talking about becoming a real estate investor but there is a difference in terms. If you are flipping and wholesaling houses, you are still trading your time for dollars. You get paid on the transaction being completed so it’s still a job. Your time is traded for dollars. The difference between what you’re talking about is you are building wealth.
David, I was assuming there are some times where you’ll cash out and make a lot of money but most of the time, you’re not making a lot of money on day one on the refi. Most of the time you are building wealth that will snowball and after a couple of years or even a year, all of a sudden, you’ll have massive equity that you can then take out tax-free or a massive amount of properties. What do you have now?
I have 88 doors but we’re constantly buying more and sometimes sell them off turnkey randomly. Sometimes we’ll rebalance the portfolio. It depends on how good of a deal we’re able to buy the property and how much rehab the property is going to need. Sometimes we’ll borrow an additional $5,000 or $10,000 in the beginning and paid ourselves to do these deals. It’s yes and no. It depends a little bit on how good of a deal you get. If you get a deal and it works great for a BRRRR but there’s not a whole lot extra, then no. We may not make a ton of money by adding this property to the portfolio.
However, we are shooting to capture $20,000 in equity and add $300,000. Those are both minimums to the monthly income. If we’re able to get a good deal, we may pay or sell $5,000 or $10,000 in advance to where we get paid before we even do anything. When we’re buying the property, we walk with money at closing in some cases. We’ll go through the process, refinance and pay back the lender.
Invest in yourself first; that’s the most important best investment you can make.
A great deal is one that I don’t have any of my own millions. If I’m able to walk with money, it’s the icing on the cake. The thing about creating wealth and having $20,000-plus in equity is it is not taxed. My goal every day isn’t to go necessarily increase my income because that means that I’m going to increase the amount of money that I pay Uncle Sam. My goal over the last couple of years has been to increase my equity capture, which is also known as wealth. It’s creating wealth.
I’m a tax nerd. The thing about taxes is that you only pay taxes on income. You do not pay taxes when you create wealth. If you can add $300,000, $400,000, $500,000 or more in equity capture or wealth every single year, that’s non-taxable. The other thing is whenever I am earning income, which is the cashflow, that’s passive income over and above all of my expenses. I rent the property for $1,500 and owe $1,100 in expenses a month or $400 in cashflow.
That is classified with the IRS as passive income. It’s not earned income. The money that we make with the cashflow and the passive income is taxed a whole lot less than the earned income. You’re not getting taxed on the wealth that you’re creating. The money that you are making in the monthly cashflow is taxed less than the earned income. It’s a win-win all the way around.
Here’s the resource for everybody reading. Go get the book. It’s on Audible. You can listen to it when you’re working out or you’re in the car. Here’s another thing. Success leaves clues. Talk to almost all successful people. They are not listening to music all the time in the car. They’re listening to Audible and podcasts. They’re leveling up the most important investment. If you’re an investor, invest in yourself first. That’s the most important investment you can make. The book is called Tax-Free Wealth by Tom Wheelwright.
The whole idea behind it is that the tax code incentivizes certain things. One of the things that it incentivizes is providing housing for people. When you provide rentals, the government gives you massive breaks. I have some mentors in my life and this is what they have helped me understood. We need to make as much money as we need to survive and that’s called cashflow. You cashflow as much as you need to survive and for the rest, you work towards growing your net worth or equity because that is non-taxed. You can grow it without everything. Here’s the best thing.
Over the last couple of years, David has owned all these properties. It’s gone up hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars in value. David can go to the bank, refi out, take $1 million out and if that was coming to him in cashflow, he’s paying 50% of that to Uncle Sam. He could take $1 million out and he doesn’t have to pay anything because it’s called a non-taxable event when you refinance that. How cool is that? This whole process that David is teaching teaches you to build massive net worth that you can convert to non-taxable cashflow at any point in time.
A perfect example of this is I got a deal that I’m going to be refinancing. I’m all into this deal for about $180,000. That’s my purchase and rehab. It appraised for $300,000. The neighborhood that it’s in is going to give me a 75% loan, which means that they’re going to give me $225,000 on my refi while we owe $180,000. That’s essentially $40,000 or $45,000.
Check this out. That’s not income or taxable. It’s debt. That’s what you were referring to. If you do a BRRRR and get a bigger loan than what you owe, you can walk with tax-free money. That’s not income, that’s debt. That is the coolest thing. This is good debt. There’s good debt and bad debt. Good debt is debt that somebody else pays off for you, whereas bad debt is debt that you have to pay off and you’re typically going to be trading your time for money to pay those debts off.
I love talking about buying rental properties. I want to share the four reasons why real estate is a better bet than the stock market. What David is teaching right here is one of the best ways to get into it because you can use somebody else’s cash over and over again. OPM, Other People’s Money, is that what you’re looking at?
If I was to say, “Here’s the short list of reasons why you would want to own rentals,” it’s simple. Number one, you get to cashflow on these rentals. That’s passive income. You’re making money while you sleep. Number two, it’s good debt. Somebody else is paying it off for you. Number three, you can use leverage. I use leverage to buy on the frontend. I use leverage to have other people fix these properties up for me. I use leverage to get a property management company to help with the leasing and the management. I use leverage on the backend to refinance.
Number four is appreciation, which is icing on the cake to me. I don’t necessarily bank on appreciation, but if you have a 5, 10 or 20-year time horizon, the value of real estate goes up over time. Number five is tax benefits. We’ve talked about a ton of these. You don’t pay taxes on wealth creation. You only pay taxes on income. If your income is passive, it’s taxed lower. Last but not least, number six, is wealth creation. Somebody else is paying off the loan. Over time, the value of the property is going to go up. All around this whole process, we are getting paid every single month. It’s allowing me to get paid while I sleep.
I don’t know about you, Chris, but I don’t like the stock market because I don’t have control. With rental properties, I am in control. I can choose who my lender is going to be. I can choose if the deal is good or not. I can choose who these tenants are. I have so many ways to have some control when it comes to these assets and investments, whereas in the stock market, you’re throwing money out there, praying and hoping it goes up. I don’t do stocks. I’m all in on real estate, and rentals are my favorite.
On the loans that you get from the banks when you refi, do you do a straight 5, 10, 20, 30-year ARM? With the way that it’s set up, does it have an amortization schedule in which you’re paying down principal too or do you pay interest only?
I never do interest only. There are a lot of different products out there. I’ve done over 200 successful BRRRR deals, but when I first started doing it, I was doing it wrong. That’s why I would highly suggest don’t try to go do this on your own. Find somebody that can help and show you the proven strategies so you’re not leaving a bunch of money in these deals.
Good debt is debt that somebody else pays off for you, whereas bad debt is debt that you have to pay off yourself.
In the beginning, I was leaving money in because I didn’t know what I was doing, but now I have essentially mastered this. Some of the loans that I get will be with a local bank and those will have a 20 to 25-year amortization. However, they will have a fixed rate for 3 or 5 years. The cool thing is they are not necessarily ARMs. I don’t know if that’s the right terminology but what I’m getting at is that these loans don’t balloon.
If you have a 20 or 25-year amortized loan and a three-year fixed rate, after those 36 months or 3 years are up, what happens is the bank will re-issue you a new rate for 3 or 5 years. You don’t have to start all over on your amortization schedule. That’s how it works with the local banks and the local credit unions. However, the lending industry has changed quite a bit. Now, we’re starting to sprinkle in some 30-year that are not only 30-year amortization but also 30-year fixed rates into our portfolio.
Let me tell you. When you go from a twenty-year amortization loan that’s got a three-year fixed rate to a 30-year amortized loan that’s got a 30-year fixed rate, the cashflow on a deal that’s maybe $300,000, $350,000, all of a sudden becomes $500,000. We’re starting to sprinkle some of these other loans in there. The thing is that there are lots of options out there. There’s no right or wrong way to do it. It depends. Is your goal to maximize cashflow so you can create some financial freedom for yourself or to pay off these properties quicker? It depends on what you’re looking to do, but there are lots of options.
I still remember the first time I heard all this stuff. If you’ve been around for a while, you know this stuff. If you’re new to this business, this is all the stuff you’re going to get and understand. This is the stuff that David teaches, which will help you. When you understand the stuff that David is teaching you, in the investor world, you become like a tiger playing with little hamsters. The game becomes so much easier. We break this down. In your BRRRR method course, you teach how to find off-market deals.
It’s four courses in one. We teach people how to find discounted properties, use direct-to-seller marketing, get in the door, run appointments and make offers. There’s a whole course within like a buy-in and how to buy at a discount. Next, we teach them how to rehab these homes, what to avoid, what not to do, what materials were used in it and what we’re essentially looking for.
The thing about the BRRRR method is you can’t just buy a property, not add value to it, and then have a bank lend you on the appraisal. They are going to say, “We’ll lend it to you but you need to have 20% skin in the game.” If you do it the right way and increase the value, you essentially limit or mitigate the risk of the bank and then the bank, all of a sudden, will lend you on the appraisal. There’s a whole strategy to that. I love teaching people that strategy because when I do it, their eyes are like, “That’s crazy. That changes everything.”
Next is the property management side of things. We teach how you can lease these properties yourself. We have example leases and all this good stuff that you’re going to need, the do’s and the don’ts to stay away from. I love leveraging property managers. We teach how to find the right people and how to interview those people.
Last but not least is the refinance. It’s what you want to do and how you want to talk to your bank, how you want to present this deal and go about getting your loans based on appraisals, and the certain things that you need to do to ensure and guarantee that that’s how you’re going to get those loans versus walking in and saying, “I’d like to purchase a house or refinance a house.” You’re going to get stuck leaving money in it. That’s not the goal. The goal is to do this with little to none of your money. It’s four courses in one. It’s buying, rehabbing, renting and property management and refinance process. You can learn more at WholesalingInc.com/rentals.
One of my favorite quotes is from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle that says, “Mediocrity knows nothing greater than self, but talent instantly recognizes genius.” You see the genius in what David is talking about here just listening to it. A more modern version of that quote is, “Game recognizes game.” That’s the whole idea behind what we’re seeing here. Anybody who listens to David knows he knows his stuff. He’s one of the best in the world when it comes to BRRRR. He understands it at a high level. For those of you that are looking to build wealth, check out what David is doing here. I’m not talking about making a few bucks here to continually be on the time for dollar hamster wheel. We’re talking about how do you build wealth and legacy money? It’s money that supports you for the rest of your life and your family.
On top of that, what I teach over and over again is how do you make the most out of every deal you bring in. When David is teaching you how to bring in deals and identify them for the BRRRR method, what I teach with Revive is how you take those deals when you find the ones where they want close to retail value. Instead of throwing them away and saying, “Some agent is going to get it.” Somebody is going to get paid. It’s just not you.
What I teach is how do you make those deals that you’ve already paid for? How do you monetize them? How do you make sure that you’re getting paid on those? With that said, if you are interested in the BRRRR method, learn about how David could help you build massive legacy wealth. If you are interested in monetizing all of those other leads, go to ChrisCraddock.com and we will dive in, look at your business and make sure you’re bringing in enough leads to make it worth your time. If you are bringing in many leads at all, we can help you monetize those leads on a massive level. David, how do people follow you on Instagram?
My handle is my full name, @DavidAlanDodge. One more thing before we wrap up. I am a student of Chris in REI Revive. It is an amazing program because it has helped me automate and put my marketing budget on autopilot with the extra income that we are generating from the leads that may not make for great wholesales or rentals but we can refer out to our other team members. It kicks back income which helps automate it. I’m so grateful for you, Chris. Thank you.
Thank you. Anybody that reaches out to me on Instagram, it’s @Craddrock. I will reply to anybody that has any questions or comments. People were generous with me so I want to be generous with other people and help other people along. With that said, we’re going to wrap on this episode. David, thank you so much. Everybody, listen to David, learn from him, build legacy wealth and go live uncommon.
- David Dodge
- Book – The BRRRR Method: Build a Rental Empire With Nothing Out Of Pocket
- Tax-Free Wealth
- @DavidAlanDodge – Instagram
- @Craddrock – Instagram
- Be sure to join the Wholesaling Inc Facebook group
About Chris Craddock
A nationally certified Life Coach with a Doctorate in Leadership, Chris Craddock is the driving force behind REI Revive, the host of the Uncommon Real Estate Podcast, a Realtor, and an entrepreneur who runs multiple successful businesses in the Washington DC Metro area (and Richmond, VA). Chris is a consistent NVAR multi-million dollar producer who produces over $4 Million in commission each year.
In 2020, his team, The Redux Group, was #20 in all of Keller Williams and sold just under $160 million in volume. Chris has been married for 20 years and is the proud father to six beautiful children.