Feb. 12, 2020

Flipping Houses Into Longterm Rentals With Mei Hua

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Mei Hua and her husband recently jumped into the business of flipping houses into longterm rentals. Many of you have heard the strategy to buy, rehab, rent, refinance, and repeat, or BRRRR.

It's a great strategy to include in your investing, and if done correctly should net you some positive monthly cashflow. Plus, you can usually get a lot (if not all) of the rehab cost back out of the property when you refinance.

While flipping houses brings you those big profit paydays, flipping houses into longterm rentals adds some monthly cashflow and/or equity appreciation. Combine the two strategies and you've got the best of both worlds.

Tune in to learn:
- How Mei finds her deals
- How she secured Other People's Money to use to grow their real estate investing business faster
- Surprises she's encountered thus far and how she's handled them
- Her 3 big keys to success (can you spot them?)

...and so much more!


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Intro  00:01
You're listening to the flip houses like a girl podcast where we educate, empower and celebrate everyday women who are facing their fears, juggling family and business, embracing their awesomeness and wholeheartedly chasing their dream of flipping houses. Each episode delivers honest to goodness tools, tips and strategies you can implement today to get closer to your first or next successful house flip. Here's your spiky haired breakfast taco loving host house flipping coach, Debbie DeBerry.

Debbie DeBerry 00:37
You guys, it's Debbie here. And I hope that whatever you're up to today, it's an easy one. So in case you haven't seen in the Facebook group, or read in your email inbox, we are hard at work planning, the only women's real estate investing retreat where woo woo and house flipping collide. All right, it's called flip your heart out. And it's going to be in September, in beautiful Austin, Texas. And what I promise you is that it is not just another good old boys real estate investing event. All right, get yourself on the waitlist ladies go to flip your heart out.com for all the details, and to put your name on the waitlist because I promise you, this bad boy is going to sell out quickly. And you know me, I keep things small and intimate. So this isn't 100 plus people get to come. It is a smaller group of awesome women. All right. So flip your heart out.com Get yourself on the waitlist, and I promise it's gonna be awesome. All right. All right, let's get into today's episode, because I'm really excited for me to share part of her story with you, at least part of her real estate investing story with you. She and her husband are a military family well and their kids. And I know that I've got women in my coaching tribe who are also military families. So that specific piece will absolutely resonate with them, as well as some of you. Alright, let's get into this because she shares some surprising ways that she's finding deals. They don't really necessarily surprise me. But they will surprise some based on things I hear from people, how they can't find deals and such. And her investing strategy, she just cracks me up. Anyway, let's just get into this. Okay, so first, let's do this. Let's start with, introduce yourself a little bit, give a little bit of your story, your background, and what you do in your day to day life. And how you guys got into investing because you did start not necessarily with flips. You're doing some flips now, but you did start with some rentals. So let's like let's start there.

Mei 03:11
Yeah, sure. So my name is Mei. I am a military spouse. I've been wanting to do real estate investing for a long, long time. But I'm I grew up in New York City. And that's just a crazy market that you really is very, very hard to get into as a young person who doesn't have a lot of money. You grew up in the city. 

Debbie DeBerry 03:37
I do. Yeah. I've never met someone who grew up in New York City. That's cool.

Mei 03:43
Yeah, so Brooklyn, when I was growing up was still kind of like blue collar, middle class. Things you can still buy by working hard and saving your money. So by the time I was a working adult, I have some money saved up. Yeah, New York was really starting to take off in prices. They just never stopped. Europe never stops in its appreciation. So housing crisis, none of that mattered. Yeah, prices kept going up. So it was really difficult to get into that market, even though I want it to, um, I really couldn't see a way to do it. Because all I knew was New York City, and this is how I was right. Um, right. So that was, that was a long time ago.

Debbie DeBerry 04:28
I know. I know. I had to do the math on how long ago I was a freshman in high school, and I almost passed. Like, I was like, No way is that number that high? I can't actually be that old.

Mei 04:40
So it was the very beginning of why I wanted to do real estate. My parents actually owned a couple of houses for rental, and they it's been working out really, really well for them. Um, so after I moved out in New York City, that's what I wanted to do the problem was really getting the spouse on board for real estate. Um, and then eventually I got him on board. I was like, after years of talking about it.

Debbie DeBerry 05:13
So he was he was the one that was risk averse, more risk averse than you.

Mei 05:18
Right? So because we're military, a lot of our friends have owned real estate somewhere else. And then they were forced to leave by the military, basically. And there are horror stories floating around on my landlord. So he was really hesitant to really start doing that. Yeah, I'm for really looking into seriously. making investments in real estate is really since the beginning of last year. So it's been about a year.

Debbie DeBerry 05:46
Awesome. Okay, awesome. So you guys, were in North Carolina. Right now you're in in temple or Killeen? area, Texas. Okay. You guys were in North Carolina. And that's when you bought your first rentals. Right?

Mei 06:05
Right. So we started the first rental. The first two houses we had, we have we still have them. We live in them. So we bought them as to live in. And then it the first house we bought. It was small, a small town house wasn't very big, but it was close. It was walkable distance to downtown. It's close to what baseball field. Like with actual like teams, competent competitions, or the games and all that. So we enjoyed living there. But then we had children and that house was too small. So we had to buy another house. I was when we rented out the first house. And that's when my husband was starting to come around. Because when we put that house up for rental from the day, we listed it less than two weeks later, somebody was moving into the into the application credit check deposit was made. It was all very quick.

Debbie DeBerry 07:01
And were you managing the property yourself. So you were screening the tenant yourself?

Mei 07:06
I was not. So we used a property manager. Excellent. Awesome. Awesome that they've worked out really well. For us. The tenant has been there a while. So everything worked out really smoothly. Nice that the military made us move again. So now we're in Texas. So the second house, we lived in the larger house that we hopefully will move back into some day. It's also rented out and that rented out, like even faster. Well, we left the house, we physically left that house 10 o'clock in the morning. And by one o'clock in the afternoon, the property manager called me So hey, somebody's interested in this house. And it never even made two listing. 

Debbie DeBerry 07:48
That’s crazy. Were they other military families?

Mei 07:51
It was another military family. They're building their own house. So in between their own house being built, they want it to stay in the general area where they were living. And they had also a larger family. So they needed a larger house. And we allowed pets, so that was a huge plus for them. We had a big yard. So it just rented out, really quickly.

Debbie DeBerry 08:13
Yeah, I've learned that in Central Texas. If you don't allow pets, you're gonna be sitting on the market for a while because like everybody does, right?

Mei 08:24
Yeah, I know. Right. Me too. Like Yeah.

Debbie DeBerry 08:28
Okay, awesome. So that was North Carolina. And then you guys came to Texas about a year ago. 

Mei 08:36
Actually you know, we actually Exodus about six months ago, about six months ago.

Debbie DeBerry 08:40
Okay, wow, wow, okay, well, awesome. 

Mei 08:42
Well, I decided to do to do this. We were really talking to each other. Like, we don't have a lot of cash just lying around. If we're really getting to do this, we need some kind of capital. So last year, when we decided to really go, um, seriously into it. We just started talking to a lot of people, our family, friends, our circles. And eventually, we found somebody who was willing to go into a partnership with us who so then the partner, our investor, puts up the majority of the capital, we put in some, but then they're basically a silent partner. we're managing everything. We're finding the deals, we're doing the renovations, we're finding property managers for them. So even though we didn't have a lot of money, we were able to fund our investments.

Debbie DeBerry 09:35
That's awesome. I love that.

Mei 09:38
Yeah. So yeah, again, it worked out really well. Because at the time, we didn't have a house in mind to buy yet so we found the money first. And then went to look at which is great, I think, I mean, I think you should find the money first because you have to act quickly. 

Debbie DeBerry:
So when this is when you went and asked for money, Or were searching around kind of telling people what you were up to. You did that because you were about to get into flips. Is that right?

Mei 10:10
Right. So we were originally, so we flip flop a lot. So the original plan was buying rentals using conditional mortgages, just buy houses for rent and have cash flow. And then after we found the investor, like, Okay, so this is the amount of money they're willing to put up. So then we are where we have this amount of cash available to do our investments. And once we got to Texas, we're finding Oh, some houses are pretty cheap. And then we can maybe do flips, because a lot of people are very successful in flipping in the market that we live in. Yeah. So then you change to maybe we'll do some flips, build up the capital for future investments. And then we flip flop back. So like half, we bought the house for flipping, we original plans to sell it. And then we kind of change our mind halfway through the project. And then just kind of like, well, maybe we can just refinance out of these houses, because the value of it is going to go up so much after we put in our work, we can still get all our investments back and then it will still have cash flow every month as a rental. So you weren't

Debbie DeBerry 11:26
So you weren’t necessarily looking for the big paydays that flip can give right? You didn't need that big chunk. Really, the monthly cash flow is what attracts you.

Mei 11:38
Yeah, I perfect really, really attractive and we are still able to basically get all the cash back. So you can't go wrong with like, back and then still have something coming in.

Debbie DeBerry 11:50
Right. Right. Right. So okay, so let me I want to ask about the private money investor, because people tend to make this such a bigger a harder thing to do than it is. And I think it's because people are so scared to ask for money. And it's really a mindset shift that has to happen. Because it's not that you're asking for money. It's an investment opportunity for that person as well. It's not right, yeah, it's not about you. It's really about right, how can we do this together? And we both benefit? So what was your mindset around asking for money? Like, were you nervous at first? or What was your mindset around it?

Mei 12:36
I'm like, so yeah, there's always some nervousness going into doing something new, especially something that I haven't done, really any flips on myself. So there's some nervousness, but the way we talked about it, once we were serious about it, and I just started talking to everybody, listen, like, you know, we own rental houses, right now, we really want to build up our portfolio. So we're looking for people to partner up with, we're familiar with the southern United States kind of market where we're living in. And a lot of the people we knew are up in the northeast, where housing market is just crazy, really. into it. Sure. And, you know, I, I'm an immigrant, so a lot of my family, my friends, really, the older generation of my family, they're, their English is not great. They're not familiar with the US market. So us being already landlords, that was really a way we can present ourselves, as you know, we're serious about it. We've already done the research, we've educated ourselves, we know this, this and that, about how to proceed and build up a portfolio. So then it's really an invitation of Do you want to do this with us? We're not right, we're going to do it regardless, right? Do you want to?

Debbie DeBerry 13:58
I love it, it's confidence, that's what I hear from you is you are confident, if that's the thing, you've got to go into it confidently, and, and seeing it as it's a benefit for them, like they're lucky to get to come late to get to come along on the ride with you. It's not a - Oh, you know, I'm smaller than or I'm less than I'm not worthy. And I'm begging for money, and it's just not that kind of energy. So I I didn't know that part of your your background. So that's awesome. I love hearing that. 

Because you know, when you're seriously thinking about going into real estate investment, I would assume. Hopefully you have already done your research. You've tried to educate yourself and you're really an expert on this topic, more than the people who haven't done it before.

Debbie DeBerry 14:51
Right. Exactly. Being an expert just means you know more than the person you're talking to. That's it right? Haha. So, okay, that's that is. I love that, you got to share that. That's super helpful, I think. Okay, so you bought, you recently bought a couple of properties to flip.

Mei 15:17
So contracts out to Texas, we landed in Texas beginning of August. And we actually closed on two different properties on the same day in October. So for the two months, a little, about two months that we were here, we were able to find properties that are both going to turn out pretty pretty well for us. 

Debbie DeBerry:
How did you find those properties? 

So I'm going to talk just focus on the first one that we really closed on because that was already finished. Awesome. You know, on the market for rental. I found that while on Facebook, because I love procrastination, and just on Facebook all day long. Um, and in the for sale page on Facebook, a lot of times you'll find agents listing their things. Facebook Market place.

Mei 16:16
And I'm because we were looking for properties to buy, I'm on those listings every day, and I just happened to come across this one that was listed by the owner themselves. It wasn't through an agent, it wasn't through a wholesaler, it was just the the person selling it. So then I message the seller, like, Hey, I'm interested, can come and look at it. So we looked at that house that day, the same day, I contacted the seller, and then we made an offer on it the second day. So and I actually when we were there looking at the house, you know, the owners, or the owner was there. We were just talking to them. I was talking to them just chatting up, you know, why do you want to buy our Why do we want to sell what are you trying to get out of it. Um, it ended up being a really attractive house to purchase because the house was owned outright, the owner inherited it. So they put nothing into the house, and they wanted to leave Texas, they just wanted the cash in hand so they can leave.

Debbie DeBerry 17:22
So some people, some people doubt that that's, like possible that people really just want to get rid of a property like, it happens all the time. But you know, property at work. Yeah.

Mei 17:38
And the property wasn't in great shape. You know, they needed a lot of work on the inside. Sure. But really, I told the seller at at the time when we met with them that I'm going to make an offer. So can you please pull this down, I just need to work on the numbers to see how much I can offer. And they pulled out the market I sold until we also get on the phone the next day. And they took my offer, we ended up offering 68,000 a little bit of change on it. And they took it so because it was completely just owner selling to me directly. We went through a lawyer to come up with a contract, nice, get everything signed, they did the title, title, search all that stuff. And because I established a relationship, pretty good relationship with the seller, I was actually driving, I was picking them up from their house to drive them to the lawyers to do all that. stuff. So um, yeah, I mean, it ended up from the time I found it until we closed was probably just under two weeks make nice about two weeks. So yeah, it didn't take a whole lot of time was, you know, once you find a property, like you said, you need to move on it fast. So we were really fortunate that we found that property and we're really fortunate that we were able to talk to the seller directly and really have that relationship. So they would sell to absolutely, totally, totally. 

Debbie DeBerry:
Did you use all cash to purchase that. 

Yes, we did. The purchase price was fairly low. So we were able to purchase it with you know, the investor that we found that was that was completely covered under the amount of money they agreed to invest with us

Debbie DeBerry 19:36
Awesome. Okay, and so, that's so great. Okay, so Facebook marketplace people. Wait, what did you estimate the repairs to be? Because we are going into this as a flip.

Mei 19:53
Okay, we were estimating to be about 30 to 35,000 Okay, now being a little bit more than that. So that was done. So our final bill for renovations is 41,000. And a little bit change. Okay, no bad. Yeah, not bad at all. So basically, everything inside was changed. And so you know, 80 something, and then everything was originals. We had, we rip everything out. There were some, you know, rotting from leaks here and there that we had to fix. And basically, everything was new on the inside.

Debbie DeBerry 20:28
Nice. So you were in it, basically it like 110. Around 10?

Mei 20:33
Yeah. So yeah, we're only about 110. And we're pretty confident we can get the appraisal to be at 145. And that's for rent, or 1300 a month.

Debbie DeBerry 20:45
Awesome. Did you lease it already? Or you're in the process?

Mei 20:50
Yeah, we're in the process. We found a property manager listed it, you know, there's still the application process, if not areas of very good rental area. So that should be Yeah, well, I'm not worried.

Debbie DeBerry 21:04
yeah, totally. Okay. What was the timeline that you went into this? What was the rehab timeline you were giving yourself?

Mei 21:15
Well, I was giving myself about two months because of the because we close the October and then Thanksgiving was like, off. Right? So I was estimating about, you know, the end of the year ended up going over a few weeks. So we finish it at the end of January?

Debbie DeBerry 21:38
And did you hire a GC to manage everything? are you managing the project yourself?

Mei 21:45
We hired a general contractor, we found the general contractor through our network, because when we moved to Texas, I was going to all the meetups, I can find I was talking to everybody I can get my hands on basically. And we really have a good relationship with them with a few other flippers who are in this area. And they recommended this GC, they've worked with it with this guy for several projects. I've been to this GC from project sites to look at their work. I was really impressed by it. So we selected to use him and it worked out pretty well. I mean, besides the timeline went over a little bit, but his work is really, really good.

Debbie DeBerry 22:29
Sometimes you have to pick your battles, right? It's like, pretty much you trust that he's gonna show up and do the work and you trust the finish and you trust the quality? And it's like, okay, maybe I might have to give on this a little bit. And, yeah, sometimes that's just the way it goes. And okay, so were there any surprises on this property?

Mei 22:51
Not really. I'm pretty straightforward. I mean, yeah. So everything we thought was going to need change was pretty much there. I mean, we found a couple of leaks, but they were pretty minor. I wouldn't say they're, like, huge surprises. We did find a really large beehive on the property. We thought it was Oh, it was kind of a small hive. It just started wasn't there last year. And then we had a B guy come in, and he was like, yeah, it's like half the floor in the shed. To be replaced. Oh, my God. Yeah. Yeah. So so he redid the hive? Mm hmm. Yeah, he removed the hive. He's a beekeeper. And it's not really that expensive to remove a beehive. If he's able to relocate it. He didn't need to patch up the flooring, because apparently they burrow into the crown and get into the flooring. So it wasn't a shack. Oh, we had to replace the flooring in the shed. But it wasn't that much. And the shed is now in really good shape is beautiful. Like it looks fresh. And you're not worried about being stung by bees every time you walk by. Gosh, that's Yeah, he Yeah, so that was only surprised. I didn't really wasn't that. I mean, it caused those maybe another hundred dollars to get a report. So it wasn't it wasn't bad. Yeah. That's so funny. I forgot about that. 

Debbie DeBerry:
Um, okay, so is there anything else you want to talk about on that one on that property? 

For this one new but, um, like I said, we bought two houses on the same day, we closed on them on the same day and the other one is still ongoing.

Debbie DeBerry 24:33
I feel like there's a story there.

Mei 24:37
Right, so we closed it up on October in October, and now it's the beginning of February. That house had pretty big foundation issues that we knew about. But then we found we thought okay, there's probably going to be plumbing problems. We'll have to do some so we budgeted a little bit for plumbing, but when we actually got into it to look The plumbing It was a much bigger was a much bigger problem than I thought it was going to be. So not only was inside the house there were cracks in the pipes outside the house going from the house to the city sewers. Yeah, they all need to be replaced. So that was a surprise expense though. Yeah, we just got done. Um, yeah, that was that was just this is ongoing. 

Debbie DeBerry:
I remember my first surprise drain line experience. Yeah, go it because that's the thing about Central Texas, our soil? Yeah, like it, we have a very high clay content in our soil. So it expands in your tracks with any amount of rain or no amount of rain, like it's constantly moving. And so the foundations shift, and over time, they shift and shift and shift. And usually, the drain lines will also shift because they're underneath the slabs. And if they don't, when you do go in to lift the foundation or level it out, then there's separations that will occur. And the fact that most of these houses, probably not what was your year construction for yours?

Mei 26:20
For which one the one with the training problems? That was.. I want to say 76

Debbie DeBerry 26:25
Okay, so what is cast iron?

Mei 26:27
Yeah, it was cast iron.

Debbie DeBerry 26:28
That's why I asked so like 80s I was like, no, that's not going to be a thing for if it was at like your other house. The cast iron just rots. It would. Yeah, even if you don't have foundation issues. The cast iron totally rots away. 

Mei 26:43
Right, Yeah. So they will crack under the house. Yeah, we ended up so instead of trenching trenching and replacing the pipes under the house. We found I guess it's a newer technology that we didn't know about before it's called cure in place piping. So we found a company to go in and basically insert a liner on the inside of the crack pipe and cure it with UV light then it becomes basically a PVC pipe on the inside. So that saves quite a bit of expense. So instead of you know lifting the house trenching in replacing all the pipes, they just they just go inside the pipes and make sure it has a lining it doesn't leak anymore.

Debbie DeBerry 27:26
Right Right. Well the most expensive part usually is the tunneling it's breaking it's that labor to get to all the pipes to get all the pipes exposed. So yeah, we have a company in Austin called accurate leaking line I'm not sure who what the company that's doing it in your area is called we

Mei 27:46
it's hard to say I think it's called smelter slow. Okay, it's, it will come it's a waco company. I called them like masa like one come up so far. And I got into that.

Debbie DeBerry 27:58
Yeah, yeah, so that's an option relining What's existing and also what we've done in the past is instead of tunnelling underneath, if the if everything is situated in just the right way like the kitchen and the bathrooms and the yard line if it's all situated just the right way you can also redirect so around you can bring the pipes out around the foundation. That's another fix that I've done in the past most of the houses I do I have to redo the train lines. I mean, it's just a year like I do 60s, mid 70s. So most of them have to be redone. But yeah, so what was the cost of lining the pipes?

Mei 28:46
Um, the total cost for because we lined the inside portion, but we also have to trench and replace part of the outside the house portion. So altogether was about 10, nine, nine to 10,000 I think was the final pricing.

Debbie DeBerry 29:02
That's you nobody wants to spend money like that on pipes, because we see it. We want money like that on the pretty stuff that we see.

Mei 29:11
Right? Yeah, so our original budget for plumbing was I think it was about 4000 was fine. I was thinking and then we found like new problems outside the house and then it just went up.

Debbie DeBerry 29:23
Oh gosh, yeah. Okay, so when you bought what were your numbers on that one, what was the purchase price and what was your estimated rehab? 

Mei 29:35:
It was that to be is this going to be a flip or we may be gonna rent it probably hold on.

Debbie DeBerry29:42
I love it. A flip. 

We paid 60,000 for it. Okay. We found it on the MLS actually.

Debbie DeBerry 29:50
Okay, so there are deals on the MLS yet one more person telling me this.

Mei 29:56
Right. Our original budget for the rehab was was 45,000. And that's how it's looking probably going to be like 60. So, we'll see. We'll see how that one turns out. Um, but yeah, so it's all in I say, hopefully we can keep it at the 120. range. Om.

Unknown Speaker  30:24
Are you using the same contractor on this project? 

Mei 30:25:

Debbie DeBerry 20:27
Okay. Yeah. Awesome. Awesome. And what was your original timeline on the repairs and stuff on for that one.

Mei 30:37
For this, we allowed a little bit of time because of the foundation issues. And we knew there was going to be plumbing. So we gave ourselves until like, mid January end of January, but it's not done. So. Hopefully, um, if I can get it finished by the end of February, I'll be really happy.

Debbie DeBerry 30:58
Oh yeah.

Mei 31:00
Good times. Good time.

Debbie DeBerry 31:01
Yeah, good times. Yeah. What other weather? Well, let me let me I'll ask this way. Have there been any other big surprises on this one? or challenges on this one?

Mei 31:12
The permit took actually a bit longer.

Debbie DeBerry 31:14
Oh, let's talk about that. 

Mei 31:18
It wasn't too. Too bad. They just kept wanting new information. So we went back and forth, I think three or four times. So the first time we submitted, you know, did the scope of work, they came back, oh, please submit a blueprint of the house, the footprint of the house. So we put that in. And they came back Markoff where all the windows are. Okay, put that in. And then they came back again, give us all the measurements of the windows. So, put that in, and then they came back again. They wanted the E rating of all the wind we're gonna put in so I had to like go find the rain. So yeah, so I ended up being like four times. So we had to resubmit for the permit before we can start work.

Debbie DeBerry 32:05
So here in Austin, we can do what's called an express permit. So it's like changing windows doors. As long as I'm not removing walls or changing the footprint like as long as everything's staying the same. I'm just changing out size for size doors, windows, that sort of thing. I can do what's called an express permit, where I can email it in. And I usually hear back within they say, seven days, I usually have to end up going there in person and walking away with the permit. But were you doing like a full blown remodel, where you were removing walls and that sort of thing, or removing any walls?

Mei 32:47
We are not doing any removing of the walls, because the house inside, it still got a pretty big, great room. So the space is there, we didn't feel the need to really do any reconfiguration. So our printer was also kind of like I guess what you call it Express. They just have a different category for not a full remodel. I don't remember what it's called, like renovations or something. Wow.

Debbie DeBerry 33:12
So that you were required to do so we don't have to do drawings and stuff like that for Express.

Mei 33:18
yeah. We didn’t have to do that for drawings, either. Until this

Debbie DeBerry 33:23
that's interesting. That's it? 

Mei 33:27
Yeah. But you know, we are in a smaller city. So it's not as busy as Austin. So we were hearing back from them. Within a couple days, I'm almost off every, every time we submit a new thing. We were getting back immediately. Yeah, so that was, so I didn't hold up that much time on there. It's really about me, going back to the house gonna measure all the windows,

Debbie DeBerry 33:49
it's like the thing is, is we're trying to do things by the book, right? We're trying to do things the right way. And oftentimes, we do that, and it makes it more difficult makes the process longer. My challenge most recently was just I kept getting a different inspector every single time. Oh, wow. And oh my gosh, and every single one looked at things differently every single time. And it was incredibly frustrating. And at the end, I was just like, I just want to be done. Like please help me just be done. And when when the final inspector came, he's like, Okay, I'm gonna trust that you're gonna do this one thing. It was something real simple, silly. I was like, I promise. I will do this one thing. Just close out the permit, please. I was begging I was on my knees like, please, I'll do whatever you say. Just please close it. And he did. I kept checking the permits. I was like, reload, reload, reload waiting for say, closed. Oh my gosh. Yeah, it's frustrating. It can be really frustrating. But yeah, like I don't you know Do you do things by the book or not? And when a city's permitting process slows things down significantly and just cause more headaches than writes fairly necessary. It's like it doesn't incentivize us to do want to do that. That's a catch 22?

Mei 35:23
Yeah. Yeah, definitely.

Debbie DeBerry 35:26
Yeah. Um, well, you know what, I just realized, we didn't talk about what your What is your day job? Because you're a counsellor, right? Or therapy? 

Mei 35:35
yeah. So I work out of school. I am a contract counselor from the military. During the day, I'm based out of high school. And then on the weekends, I actually have a private practice office as well, where I see clients with the assurance or private pay for counseling.

Debbie DeBerry 35:54
And are both you and your husband military?

Mei 35:57
I am not. I've never been in the military. I've just been kind of in the vicinity. Right.

Debbie DeBerry 36:05
Yes, yes. profession. Got it. Did you have any fears or major concerns going into this or doubts going into investing?

Mei 36:17
Yeah, absolutely. I think we always have to start somewhere, you know, that first idea that comes into our head, you're not going to be ready to jump in right away, right? So there's always going to be something that stops you know, what, what stopped me is not going to be the same as was stopped somebody else. For me, the education piece was really important. And feel ready to do investing. Full time we're really like hundred percent into it until I can read read up on the different strategies, the different things that go into it. So, you know, I was, like I said, about about a year ago, when we were seriously thinking about going into it. I found all the books I couldn't read. I was listening to podcasts, or doing renovations, I was listening to your podcast talking about what to do the different stuff stuff. Was it 12 steps to flipping your house or other stuff? Yeah, I was listening to that. Just trying to get myself familiarize with the process to find house, find financing, find the permit, what needs to be done, what you need to do need to be doing during it. I'm still education, I would say was the most important piece for me.

Debbie DeBerry 37:38
Yeah, I agree. That's, that's totally how I am when I go into something. I seek out education. Like I love learning anyway. So I I'm constantly seeking out information and education. And for me, what it provides me is the confidence again, it's it comes back to just having the confidence to just go do the thing. It's not going to be perfect. It's not about being perfect. It's just about doing just doing doing doing.

Mei 38:08
Yeah, exactly. And I would say what helped me the most, especially after getting to Texas was just going to meetups and meet other humans. I mean, we learned so much. I'm really the only one who has time to go to these meetups, but I've learned so much just talking to different people. Yeah, you know, we found a general contractor before because we were talking to other people who flip houses. Absolutely. In fact, the properties actually the one that was on MLS, we found it through. Well, we found it on the MLS, but we purchased it through an agent that we met at one of the meetups. So you know, surrounding yourself with the the right network. Yes. is so important. If you're not ready to put down the money to purchase your first house, right, just going to meetups is going is it should be the first step you're taking.

Debbie DeBerry 39:06
Yeah, I agree around it just being right. Yeah. versation being around people who are doing the thing successfully. And instead of listening to your friends and family who have never done the thing, and they're saying it's risky, you're gonna lose it all. You shouldn't do that.

Mei 39:23
Yeah, right. Right. Yeah,

Debbie DeBerry 39:25
totally. Totally. Well, that's awesome advice. And is there anything else you want to share?

Mei 39:33
Um, I don't really know what people want to know.

Debbie DeBerry 39:38
We want to know your story. You know, the whole point of this, the whole point of this podcast and really the whole point of everything I do is highlighting and showing every day women who are doing this thing investing in real estate flipping houses, buying rentals, doing this thing that Others want to be doing. But they're just not taking action. And it's like, you don't have to be a guru. You don't have to do 400 deals a year. Like it's not about that. It's just just doing it just getting up and doing it and be in awe. Yeah.

Mei 40:15
Really, I think it's important to also remember that it's always a learning process, like, always new things that you can learn about the market is changing, the laws are changing, the environment is changing, you know, products that you can use are changing. So, right. It's okay, if you don't know everything, because nobody knows everything. Nobody, None of us know anything. We barely know, like any bitty bit. So I think that, you know, putting it that way, maybe easier to look at is that looking at all these gurus, they don't know everything, either. They're right on that topic. Right. You have your own. 

Debbie DeBerry 41:01
Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah, I think that's awesome. I think that's an awesome message to end on. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

Mei 41:12
Thank you. I really appreciate it. I know that it will, for sure. inspire other people. And yeah, absolutely. So thank you very much. I'll have you on again, because I want to I want to hear what else you're up to end with that other. Yeah, I know. Right.

Debbie DeBerry 41:34
Send me a message when you finish that house.

Mei  41:38
Yeah. For sure.

Debbie DeBerry 41:42
yes. Okay. Awesome. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I'm grateful. I appreciate it. Thank you for being part of the group. Thank you for interacting and encouraging other people. And I just appreciate it. So thank you. Awesome day. It was really great to connect with you. And to hear part of your story today. Thank you. Thank you. I'll see you soon.

Mei 42:08
Thank you! All right, bye.

Debbie DeBerry 42:12
Wasn't that so great? Man, I loved it. She was a blast to talk to. And we got to explore a little bit of a different investing strategy with you guys. So here's the thing, if you are sick of sitting on the sideline, if you're really ready to make some actual, not just progress, but actually get that first flip done. If you want to be part of this awesome movement, and group that we're building across the US, and you want to take serious action toward your house flipping dreams, go to first flip dunrite.com and you can learn all about what it takes to work with us, because we're really picky. And the integrity of the group is far more important than the number of people in it. So if you want to be part of it, go to first flip done right calm and follow the steps to learn with us. All right, you guys. Until next time, go out there, flip houses like a girl. Leave people and places better than you find them and make it a great day. Bye y’all