The past few years have been good to many business owners, but the overall market for commercial real estate acquisition today is as solid as I can remember.
How can I start a real estate business?
I started at 19, forty years ago, when my wife and I bought our first townhouse. It cost around $48K if I recall. We lived in it for seven months and sold it for a $7K net profit.
We moved and built a house. We sold that and built another house. In the mean time, we had invested in five acres on a major Austin highway, but way out of town. (We held that property a little over thirty years before we decided to sell it. By then, the town had grown out to where our land was. The property was worth approximately sixty-eight times what we had paid for it).
We sold the house that we were living in, had raised our children in, and loved dearly. It was the perfect house for us, but we sold it, took the profits, put the minimum down on another home to live in, and started buying investment properties.
Before long we were buying commercial properties to add to our rent houses. Then we started selling off our residential units to acquire more commercial properties.
Now we pretty much just invest in commercial units. We bought a small shopping center in San Antonio, about 75 miles away, a few months ago. That was our most recent purchase.
We are currently trying to buy out the last remaining tenant’s lease on one of the other properties that we own. That should cost us somewhere between $270K to $400K, I hope. Once that is accomplished, and that tenant has moved, we can begin construction on a fifty-million-dollar 253-unit luxury apartment community with 5,000’ of high-end retail.
It all started with a thousand-dollar down payment… forty years ago.
Update: I ended up offering my last remaining tenant (a public company) $750,000 just to move out of the space they were in. They refused. It looks like I’m stuck with them for another six and a half years. I was really hoping to build that larger project in their space. I may end up just building above them and around them. It won’t be as beautiful a building as I had hoped, but it also will feel alright to not have to pay them $750K just to move out. We used a standard Texas Commercial lease instead of my regular lease contracts and now I’m regretting that decision. Things can change so fast when you are working with real estate deals, but it’s all good. They will end up paying me a little under another million dollars in rent during that time and the property will likely double in value during the next six years.