In this episode, I interview a good friend of mine and someone who I respect tremendously in the industry. His name is Dennis Fassett. Dennis is a married father of four living here in Southeast Michigan. He earned an MBA back in 1992, and was fully vested in the corporate ladder until the automotive industry started to crash and burn in 2004. With kids, a stay-at-home wife, and his terminally ill mother at home, he jumped into real estate investing to create a safety net for his family. Since then, he has developed a portfolio of rental houses and one apartment building.
This is an interview that I have been looking forward to for quite some time. Dennis is a really great real estate investor who I have known for a long time. He definitely did not disappoint in this interview and was as informative and interesting as I knew he would be!
Dennis’ start in real estate was born out of working in an industry that was starting to go through some very tough times: the automotive industry in Michigan. Dennis had a wife and kids, as well as an ailing mother. He could see that his job was going to be less than secure as the industry continued to fail. He looked at a number of options for supplementing or replacing his income if necessary. He eventually landed on real estate, and began building his business during the evenings and on weekends. At the time, Dennis was an automotive executive and was making very good money and living the corporate dream. In his spare time, he was learning about real estate investing and starting to buy and flip homes in Michigan. This is how he got his start, but at one point someone that he knew in real estate pointed out to him that a house he was considering buying would make make a much better rental than a flip. This changed Dennis’s perspective. At this point he hadn’t considered buy-and-hold real estate investing. Because he only had so much time to devote to real estate, and also had a family at home, from that point forward he focused more on building a rental portfolio for long-term wealth.
During the interview Dennis shared the technique he used to purchase his initial rentals. It’s a process that is no longer available with banks, but essentially he bought the property and quickly did a cash out-refi (currently you have to wait one year to do this). Because the house was worth much more than he had into it, and the banks were lending on appraised value, he took the excess money and put it as a down payment on the next house. He continued doing this until he maxed out on the number of houses that he could mortgage. At that point, he started developing relationships with private investors. Dennis used private money to buy the next several houses. Eventually Dennis moved on to apartment buildings. He currently owns one apartment building.
Near the end of the interview, Dennis shared that he was recently let go from his job. Because he had built such a strong rental portfolio, and had good cash flow, he was able to sustain things until he found another job. He now has a new job, and everything is great. The real estate business that he built back in 2004, out of concern for his job security, was not really needed until nearly 10 years later. It was a great feeling to know that even though he lost his job, thank to his rental income, he and his family would be just fine until he found a new job.
Below are the links to some great resources that Dennis shared with us during the interview. Among them are his website, his probate course, and his book. I suggest you spend some time looking into everything Dennis has to offer! His buy-and-hold business has been a huge inspiration to me!
www.dennisfassett.com – Dennis’ website. Contact him here and check out all of the information that he has to offer!
http://www.probaterealestate101.com/ – Dennis’ program that shows you how to use probate to take your business to the next level! Don’t forget to use the promotional code just start (space between words) to get your huge discount for being one of my listeners!
How to Buy Your FIRST Set and Forget Rental House – Dennis’ book on buying your first rental.
https://www.omnigroup.com/omnifocus – Omnifocus for Mac (robust task manager – expensive)
https://www.omnigroup.com/omniplan – Omniplan for Mac (project manager app – expensive)
http://www.evernote.com – cross platform information manager – (free)
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/onenote/ – Cross platform information manager like Evernote – (now free)