Chad Carson – Do What Matters
I’m really excited to introduce you to a man I met at Fincon this year. Chad Carson is a real estate investor and he also has a great website where you can learn a lot about financial independence and real estate investing.
I also really love how he and I are doing some similar things. He uses his cash flow to take “mini retirements” and travel the world. That’s pretty amazing.
Where Do You Live?
Clemson, South Carolina (and in 2017 – Ecuador, likely in city of Cuenca)
What Is Your Full-Time Job?
Job? What’s that? Lol. Real estate investing has paid my bills for the 14 years of my professional life. But writing and teaching now feels like my truest calling.
What Is Your Investment Strategy?
It has evolved over the years. Now my business partner and I primarily buy and hold small multi-unit rentals for income and growth in the college town where I live. I like value-added properties where I can do something (like cosmetic improvements, structural changes, etc) to increase the rents and improve our cash flow. We’re also getting into some small development deals when it makes sense.
In the past we have fixed and flipped many houses. We wholesaled a lot of deals that were not a good fit for us. We own a small mobile home park. We’ve owner financed houses to our tenants. We lease optioned properties. We bought tax liens (and eventually got real estate as a result). We’ve loaned money to others using our self-directed IRAs. I’m sure there are other strategies, but you get the point. It’s been a lot of fun!
What’s Your Plan To Achieve Financial Independence?
When we started we didn’t have a great plan. We just bought a bunch of properties and assumed each would make cash flow to make us wealthy. Given that we bought between 2003 to 2007 – that wasn’t so smart:)
During the recession of 2009-10 slowed down and became more deliberate. Our strategy ended up being to buy more properties than we needed, sell off some to capture the equity, and use the proceeds to pay down debt to increase cash flow. It made for an exciting ride because we used leverage, but it’s worked out well in the end. I wrote an article about it called the “Buy 3, Sell 2, Keep 1” strategy.
I also like the debt snowball strategy where you attack one debt at a time until multiple properties are free and clear.
What’s Your Website?
What Is Unique About Your Site (Why Should People Read It)?
I write about investing in real estate to retire early and do what matters.
My site is unique because I share the details of my own 14 years as a full-time investor. I’ve done hundreds of real estate investment deals, including rentals and fix-and-flips, so I’ve got a lot of good, bad, and ugly stories to share.
What matters to everyone is different, but I like to use real estate investing cash flow to travel and to take mini-retirements. In 2017 my family and I are leaving for 1-year to live in Ecuador. On my site I share strategies that helped me get to this point, and I also share how to manage your business and properties from a distance.
Money isn’t the most important thing in life, but lack of money sure gets in the way of what does. Real estate investing is an incredible tool to make more money and do more of what matters. I love helping people do that with my website.
What Are Your Favorite 3 Pieces Of Content On Your Site?
“How to Retire Rich With Embarrassing Old Cars and Ugly Houses” – you have to do things differently to get different results. Average sucks. Your car and your residence are two of the biggest financial opportunities or money pits, depending upon how you approach it. This article shares the story of two college grads, the different car and house choices they made, and the incredible difference in results after 20 years.
“How to Calculate Rental Property Cashflow – A Comprehensive Guide” – This article explains the fundamentals of analyzing good real estate deals. I share examples and formulas for cap rates, cash on cash returns, net operating income, and more.
“Simplicity – An Uncommon Path to Freedom” – This is both a philosophical and practical post. I share the personal and real estate details of how I’m preparing to leave for a 1-year mini-retirement with my family to Ecuador. But I also challenge myself and others with quotes from Thoreau that tell us to live simpler. More stuff, more money, more activity does not always lead to more happiness.
What Is Your Favorite Investing/Business Book? Why?
“The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change” by Stephen Covey. I’ve used and profited from the ideas in this book more than any other in the business/investment genre. But more than profit, I think it’s made me a better person. It’s about becoming your best self, and then communicating with others in a way that brings their own best self out.
What Is The Biggest Piece Of Advice You Could Give To Someone Just Getting Started?
Balance in-depth education with massive action. You can’t be successful without both. But if you lean too heavily on one or the other, you’ll get yourself into trouble.