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As a financial planner, Jason Harris helped clients prepare for retirement. At the same time, he was building a real estate portfolio to replace his W-2 income. And last Thursday, he retired from financial planning (in his early 30’s!) to pursue investing full-time. What did that journey look like? What strategies did Jason and his wife, Carrie, use to generate passive income with multifamily?

Jason and Carrie started investing in real estate in 2010. Nine years later, they have a portfolio of 75-plus units and the couple is building a consulting business known as Creative Gains. With his background in financial planning, Jason offers clients a unique perspective on diversifying their portfolio with real estate. Jason and Carrie also run a successful property management company.

Today, Jason joins me to discuss his last day of work as a financial planner and explain how his friends and family reacted to his decision to pursue real estate full-time. Jason walks us through his journey to financial independence, from the FHA loan he used to buy his first fourplex to the creative strategies he and his wife leveraged to build their portfolio. Listen in for Jason’s unique insight on making real estate investing a part of your retirement plan and get his advice around making the leap from a W-2 job to full-time investor!

Key Takeaways

Jason’s last day of work as a financial planner

  • Surreal, scary and exciting
  • Confusion around what to do with time

What’s next for Jason

  • Sharing ideas with others (consulting, book)
  • Maintain property management company

How Jason’s friends and family reacted to his transition

  • Mixed reactions (e.g.: ‘too young to leave good career’)
  • Few colleagues understand assets outside securities

Jason’s journey to financial freedom

  • Started exploring real estate in 2010
  • Bought fourplex with FHA loan
  • Cashflow for down payment on next property

Why Jason and his wife chose not to expand their lifestyle

  • Dad laid off twice in teen years
  • ‘Sacrifice today for better tomorrow’

The fundamentals of FHA loans

  • Must own/occupy property to get financing
  • 4% down to live there, 28% otherwise

The creative strategies Jason used to build his portfolio

  • Wife got license, use commission as down payment
  • Hard money loan for value-add opportunity (BRRRR)
  • Partner on larger deals
  • Seller financing
  • Portfolio loans

Jason’s advice for transitioning from W-2 to full-time investor

  • Know your numbers (passive income net of all expenses)
  • Consider ability to qualify for loans without W-2 income

How Jason might have accelerated his timeline

  • Think bigger (stayed within 20-unit range)
  • Restricted from syndication by license as financial planner

Jason’s insights for passive investors

  • Diversify with ROTH IRA, 401(k) + real estate portfolio
  • Considerable tax benefits associated with multifamily

Connect with Jason

Creative Gains

Email [email protected]

Call (801) 362-0784


Keith Weinhold on ABI EP034

Tyler Sheff on ABI EP072

Invest with Michael

Financial Freedom with Real Estate Investing: The Blueprint to Quitting Your Job with Real Estate—Even Without Experience or Cash by Michael Blank

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