When I went along on my real estate journey and—all of a sudden—apartments became the thing that I wanted, there was a level of excitement that I had not experienced before… I imagine myself owning many apartment buildings, and that’s the vision I’ve set for myself.’

In December of 2016, veteran Seattle police officer David Sweeney turned 53. After a 30-year career, he had reached the minimum retirement age, but David knew he could not stop working if he wanted his family to have a comfortable life. Looking for new options for himself and his family, he started exploring real estate. David liked the ring of ‘multi-family investor,’ so he started looking for duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes. By April, he had secured his real estate license to gain access to the MLS, and he spent the next five months evaluating 400-plus deals.

Though a few deals fell through, David was motivated by his goal. He refinanced his own home and pulled $380K—and waited for the right opportunity. By August, David had started thinking bigger, and when he came across a 24-unit property in Centralia, he made an offer that was accepted. Now David is looking for his next deal and looking to help other aspiring investors find deals of their own. Today he shares his process for analyzing deals and how he made the mindset shift from pursuing duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes to apartment buildings. He discusses the challenges he faced in getting a loan and how he leverages his commercial lender as a ‘second set of eyes.’ Listen in for David’s bold 2018 goals and his advice for aspiring investors around increasing your productivity through purpose!

Key Takeaways

[0:40] The trigger that moved David to pursue real estate

  • Turned 53 last December (minimum retirement age)
  • Wanted new options for self, family

[2:15] David’s initial strategy

  • Consumed much info, liked idea of multi-family
  • Initial goal to purchase duplex, triplex or fourplex in western Washington

[4:32] How David moved forward toward his goals

  • Started shopping on real estate sites
  • Couldn’t find information he wanted
  • Secured real estate license in April
  • Evaluated 400 deals via access to MLS
  • Narrowed down to properties with potential cashflow
  • Used syndicated deal analyzer to determine offer

[8:16] David’s mindset from April through August

  • Motivated by goal
  • Not too frustrated by deals that fell through
  • Refinanced house, pulled $380K
  • Waiting for right opportunity

[10:28] David’s shift to thinking big

  • Came across larger deal
  • Four duplexes vs. one apartment building
  • Benefit of dealing with one roof, contractor
  • Ventured into commercial financing
  • Experience expanded comfort zone

[15:58] David’s first deal

  • 24-units (16 1BR, 8 studio) in Centralia, WA
  • Came with 15-unit storage facility, single-family home
  • Listed at $1.325M, looked at cap rate in area
  • Offered $1.1M, took for $1.14M
  • Received real estate commission as well

[19:08] David’s goals for 2018

  • Buy 100-unit property
  • Learn more about raising money
  • Help other people find deals
  • Eventually become passive investor

[22:16] The challenges David faced in doing his first deal

  • Acquiring commercial loan
  • Getting insurance
  • Roof inspection

[24:28] How David’s first deal is performing

  • $3,700-$4,000/month in pocket (after expenses)
  • Increase property value

[26:57] David’s advice for aspiring real estate investors

  • Do more tomorrow that you did today
  • List your goals, take steps daily
  • Move from education to action
  • Productivity increases with purpose

Connect with David Sweeney

David’s Website


Syndicated Deal Analyzer

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Podcast Show Notes

Free eBook: The Secret to Raising Money to Buy Your First Apartment Building

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