TGCI 196: Leaving her 13 years of Respiratory Therapist job by flipping 3 houses a year!

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Episode 196: Leaving her 13 years of Respiratory Therapist job by flipping 3 houses a year!

Copy of EP #18 - 2 Guests

Summary

In today’s show, Pancham interviews April Crossley – founder of Lazy Girl REI and Crossley Property Group.

After realizing that she is paying their landlord’s mortgage and blindly placing her money in a Roth IRA without knowing her expected returns, she has finally left her healthcare job of 13 years to pursue investing! On a mission to grow wealth and change lives, she continues to engage in private lending and focuses on affordable housing!

In this episode, get inspired by her journey as she shares how a book helped her end up on the path of real estate investing, building up her investment portfolio, and why marketing is an important aspect when you are investing!

 

Listen and enjoy the show!

PanchamHeadshotTGCI
Pancham Gupta
Screen Shot 2022-06-15 at 2.36.31 PM
April Crossley

Tune in to this show and enjoy!

Copy of Quote #00 - 1 Guest

Timestamped Shownotes:

  • 0:40 – Pancham introduces April to the show
  • 1:22 – Her transition from healthcare worker to real estate investor
  • 6:33 – On surviving the 2008 market crash with the help of her husband
  • 10:09 – Why real estate investing is more of a business of marketing
  • 12:31 – The challenges she faced when she first got into investing
  • 14:38 – On continuously learning and providing affordable housing
  • 16:23 – Her “Aha!” moment in her unforgettable first deal
  • 19:13 – How her morning routine helps with her productivity
  • 22:37 – Taking the Leap Round
  • 22:37 – Her first property investment outside of Wall Street
  • 23:01 – Overcoming her fear from real estate nightmare stories
  • 24:46 – Why her seller-financed deal didn’t work out
  • 27:30 – Why investing partners are more important than the deal
  • 28:19 – How you can connect with April

3 Key Points:

  1. Identify the reason why you want to invest in the first place. In this way, you can find out what’s the excellent avenue of investing for you.
  2. Real estate investing is a slow journey. You’ll not become a millionaire right away but you have to continuously learn about the market and its needs.
  3. Starting your journey as a real estate investor is a challenge in itself as you need to learn to be more disciplined as you will be adjusting to a new career.

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Read Full Transcript

Welcome to The Gold Collar Investor Podcast with your host Pancham Gupta. This podcast is dedicated to helping the high paid professionals to break out of the Wall Street investments and create multiple income streams. Here’s your host Pancham Gupta.



Hi, this is Russell gray cohost Of the Real Estate Guys Radio Show, and you are listening To the Gold Collar Investor Podcast.

 

Pancham Gupta  

Welcome To the Gold Collar Investor Podcast. This is your host Pancham really appreciate you for tuning in today. On today’s podcast, I’m joined by April Crossley, founder of Lazy girl REI and Crossley Property Group. teenage mom, millionaire wealth grower RV lifer. She is on a mission to grow wealth and change lives. April, welcome to the show.

 

April Crossley  

Thank you for having me.

 

Pancham Gupta  

So excited for recording the show today. Before we get started, are you ready to fire up my listeners break out of Wall Street investments?

 

April Crossley  

Absolutely. I broke out of it. It was one of the best things I ever did. And I am super excited to be here and talk to your listeners about what I did and how they can do it too.

 

Pancham Gupta  

Awesome. Awesome. So why don’t we get started with your background? How have you got into it? And then you know more importantly, the person behind that background?

 

April Crossley  

Sure, sure. So, I got into real estate investing in 2004. And prior to Well, during that time I worked in healthcare. So, I worked in healthcare for 13 years up until nine years ago, I retired fully out of healthcare into doing real estate and passive investing in real estate full time. So, I started flipping houses. And then that grew into flipping enough that I could leave my healthcare career. And then I started buying small multifamily buildings. And in the process of doing all of this from 2004, Two, I would say 2013 is when I left my health care job. I was using other people’s money to do this private money, and was having a conversation with a private money lender who was sitting across the table saying to me, why aren’t you a private money lender? And where are your old retirements from accounts from healthcare? Because I had told him I left my health care jobs and I worked several jobs over 13 years. He’s like, so where are all those accounts? And I was telling him how I had a Roth IRA and he started asking me, where is it invested? How much are you making on it? What fees? Are you paying? What are you netting at the end of every year? And I couldn’t answer any of those questions. And it was kind of smack upside the head that I was blindly placing my money not really knowing what return I was getting, despite being in the trenches of real estate. And seeing that I can utilize other people’s money and make them great returns. So that was the day I opened my self-directed IRA and became a private lender. And that led to me selling off some of my single-family properties to cash in equity. So, I could do passive investing into larger buildings so I could get tax deductions. So, it kind of snowballed into private lending, which opened more space for me to do what I’m now doing today, which is focusing on projects that have a lot more impact on community. So, we’re super passionate about buying houses that we can turn into share affordable housing or building affordable housing. And that’s what we’re really working on now.

 

Pancham Gupta  

Awesome. What a great story. So, I have so many questions. I think I was thinking about all of them, I should have written them. Alright, so my first question, right, so 2004, you got started, like, how did you get started? You know, in this industry, like for flipping what happened?

 

April Crossley  

Yeah. So I was in healthcare, I was in school for my master’s degree to be the CEO of a hospital and I was shadowing the CEO of a small hospital. And this was I was determined to go down this path. Basically, following in my mom’s footsteps. And I picked up a book that my husband had laying around, he owned two small rental properties. And he was reading The One Minute Millionaire. And I picked up this book and started reading the stories about people that are living off income from investment properties and passive investments and you have a tenant or paying off your mortgage and you get to keep the equity and I’m like, why would someone do that? Like why someone would pay off someone else’s mortgage and my husband were like, you are renting a house from someone. I was making great money in health care, but I was renting a house from someone else. He’s like you are paying off your landlord’s mortgage. And I was like, this is fascinating. So, I dropped out of my master’s program and started just going reading books about real estate. And through that I ended up going to one of those free three-day seminars where they sold me on like a $20,000 program, I went down Montell rabbit hole. And all they talked about was flipping houses, they didn’t talk about anything else, they didn’t really take the approach of what’s a good avenue of investing for you, like a lot of people think you must flip houses, or you must own rentals, but no one ever takes the time to say, why do you want to invest? Is it because you have money? Is it because you have debt to pay off is because you want rentals for tax deductions, like, no one really takes the time to do that with people? So, I got all caught up in and I still today have a very large flipping and wholesaling company that I have business partners that pretty much run that, which is nice. But I got really into flipping which was, in hindsight, a good path for me because it paid off my college debt and got me out of my job. So, I worked in health care for 13 years, and I replaced my health care income with my flipping income very easily just by flipping like three houses a year, more than replaced my health care income. So that’s how I ended up on that path. Because of a book.

 

Pancham Gupta  

Wow, no, that’s awesome. You know, so many journeys. I’ve talked to so many people on the podcast, and after the podcast, and you know, including mine, these lives have been changed by reading books, right? Yeah. So let me ask you this. My second question. So, you started in 2004. Right. And 2008 came along during that. And how did that impact you or your business mentally did that? Was that a detriment in any way? Or did it scare you like what happened? Yeah, so

 

April Crossley  

I wasn’t, I still consider myself to be such a new investor between 2004 and 2008. Because it’s slow journey. Everyone thinks it’s; you learn and in two years, you’re a millionaire. And you’re retired. And that’s not. At least that’s not how it was. For me, it was a very slow journey, because I’m working full time. And I’m still working full time in 2008. So, at this time, my husband had his real estate license and was a real tour, he moved from a financing job into being a real tour. And during ’06 and ’07. I remember, I’m still doing the same marketing I’m doing in 2004 and 2005. I’m doing off market mailings and trying to find deals. And my husband saying to me, we are not buying anything in this market, in ’06 and ’07. And I was so frustrated. I was like, why, why? And I had a very intense job at the time. So, we kind of took the approach of my jobs very intense, it’s taking up a lot of my time, we’re going to take a step back, we’re not going to really look for a lot of properties at this time, we still were doing a few here and there. And then when 2008 happen and the quote, unquote, bubble popped, we bought a whole bunch of single-family homes and small multifamily using cash from private lenders and just did the burr strategy. So, then that allowed us from 2008, you’re talking 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 to 2013. I usually tell people when you’re going to buy rentals, the new investors, I’m like, hang on, just hang on for seven to 10 years, because in that seven-to-10-year timeframe, is when you really start to see that you’ve built up a lot of equity in your property. And you can cash in on that or do a cash out refinance and pull equity out. And after 2013, and my eyes opening to wow, I’ve used private money, but I could be a private money lender and not do as much work. So, I kind of left my job go into real estate full time and at the same time was working on becoming a private money lender. And then I would say over the last three to four years, we sold a lot of our single-family homes to do more private lending, because I’m like, why doesn’t anyone tell you that you can do this without like having all the headaches of owning rental property is even if you have a property manager it is no joke. I mean, it can be very difficult. There are very difficult things that you must deal with and tenants you must deal with, and it never dawned on me Wow. Now I have enough equity. I can cash that in and private lenders with that and have a much easier real estate journey.

 

Pancham Gupta  

I know you touched on so many things. It’s so true that owning a private is single family homes and even having a property manager can be so time consuming that and taking some time to get stressed too. So, it is very hard. I remember my days when I quit my job before that I had so many properties that are being managed by property managers, but I was getting these calls on all the time. Right when while at work, I’m sure you did too.

 

April Crossley  

Yes, yeah.

 

Pancham Gupta  

So, okay, let me ask you this, right. So, you kind of evaded in a way and your husband was smart, like, you know, he didn’t buy anything in that market, that kind of crash. And then after that, you kind of used all of that whatever, you had to kind of build up your portfolio. And you mentioned something awesome that you only must flip three houses, right to kind of quit your full-time job. But at the same time, anyone listening? I don’t want them to think that oh, that’s it. All right. And let me just go ahead and start doing flipping Can you touch on like what it takes to do a flip? And it’s not easy, like, three houses sound, pretty low number, but to do it successfully, it is not easy. So, can you touch on that?

 

April Crossley  

Yeah, it is not easy at all. So, I tell people, you’re not in the business of houses, you’re really in the business of marketing. So, we had a marketing machine going, and I was that marketing machine. And now, the market we’re in now, today, 2022 is completely different than back in 2004, 2005. There are so many people in the flipping space and trying to get their money into real estate that I tell people right now, our budget for marketing and systems is like 100 to $125,000 a year. That’s our budget for our marketing and systems just for the flipping business, to keep marketing going out and keep our systems going, keep everything running, we never stop marketing, then if you buy a house, you have to work with contractors, coordinate the rehab, work with the title company work with the real estate agent, when you list it work with the buyers that are coming in and putting offers in on it. When people are like, oh, you retired from health care when you were 35? That’s amazing. I’m like, all I did was retire into another job called house flipping. That’s all I did. And I worked harder and longer hours than what I worked in healthcare in my house flipping job. It’s intense. Yeah

 

Pancham Gupta  

It is. Thank you for mentioning that. Yeah. So, anyone listening, if you’re intrigued by that, pick the flipping housing by knowing exactly what it entails. And okay, so you did that, right. And in 2013, I want to go to the time when you quit your healthcare job. Did you like you were there for 13 years, and I was in my full-time job for 14 years, it is very hard to quit, depending on what situation you are in, at least for me, it was it very difficult for you to quit your job.

 

April Crossley  

Yes, in some respects, healthcare was going down a road I did not like so I wasn’t I had such a passion for health care and such a calling on my heart to help people that I loved my job. But health care went from caring for people to big business for the hospital. And you must see a certain number of patients within a certain number of timeframes. And when it became all about business, I started to become disgusted with it. But I can tell you when you work somewhere for 13 years, the people you work with become your friends. That’s your people. That’s camaraderie. That’s all you know. So, when you’re like, I’m going out on my own and leaving my job, you’re not going anywhere every day, interacting with people now you’re sitting in your office in your house, like, wow, I’ve talked to my dog today. And that’s about it. Like you’re all on your own and no one’s telling you what to do or where to go. And I didn’t take business classes in school outside the minimal I had in my master’s program when I started that, and then I ended up dropping out of that. So, for me, it was more difficult adjusting and trying to find like friends in real estate and connect with them, you know, because we’re all entrepreneurs. So, we’re all kind of working on our individual thing. Yeah, so that part was very hard for me. I felt lost for probably the first year and a half. Very lost.

 

Pancham Gupta  

Yeah. And that and then you know, you don’t have a schedule before you were picking up going getting ready and going. I remember my first like, okay, now what you know, yeah, you must, you must be so disciplined like, you know, no, no, I have like whole schedule always, you know, plan out the day and all that. So, thank you for sharing that. So, let me ask you this. What are you doing today? I know you touched on it on the private lending, right? Yeah. What is your focus today and what’s next?

 

April Crossley  

Yeah, so today we are still I have a flipping company, but I have a partner I brought on to that so that just keeps going. So, few hours a week I dedicate to that the rest of my time I have a small multi I’m Emily portfolio I passively invest in syndications. I’ve co GP on a few. And I just bought a mobile home park down in Tennessee, I’m based out of Pennsylvania, but I have a partner in Tennessee, and I bought a mobile home park down there, and really focusing on the affordable housing space. So, currently, like right now, in June of 2022, I feel like I’m going back to school. Honestly, that’s what I tell people. It’s like starting all over again, because the affordable housing space to me is a completely different world. And we’re talking tax credits and opportunity zones and things I’ve never dealt with before. So right now, I’m honestly just reading a lot of books, reading a lot of books. So, we’re working on buying six houses that we will use as shared affordable housing down in Tennessee. And that’s coming together. Great. So, we’re trying to look how we can buy more of that or build more of that. Because I really think the need for affordable housing is off the charts. Obviously, there’s a massive need for it. But there’s a lot I must learn. So, I’m back in learning mode again.

 

Pancham Gupta  

That’s awesome, right? Like learning never stops. Never. Every time you do a deal, you learn something new. Yes. All right. All right. So, I want to switch gears and I want to ask you about if you can share. Usually, I talked about like sharing numbers on first deal that you did. If I know it’s been a very long time ago, if you remember that.

 

April Crossley  

I do I do. Yeah, the first deal was good. I mean, a wholesaler brought me a flip property. And I met the wholesaler at that $20,000 course that I signed up for, oh, it was in my area. And he brought me a deal and was like, I think this is a good deal. But I have no money. So, I took it to my husband and said, I think this is a good deal. Let’s buy it. And he’s like, it looks like a good deal. But we have no money to buy this. So, he took it to someone at his real estate office that he knew was flipping houses. And that guy came back to us and said, I’ll bring the money if you want to put in some sweat equity, and we can do the deal together. So, we bought the deal. The wholesaler made $20,000 on the deal. I was like, wow, that was great. We made 20,000 Our partner made 20,000. And then that was my first exposure to who is this other person that’s getting paid when we went to settlement, and it was the private lender. So, I didn’t realize our partner was bringing the money, but it wasn’t his money. It was someone else’s money. And that’s what I was like, wow, what is this private money lender thing? And how do we do more of that? Because we don’t need our own money to do real estate. Yeah.

 

Pancham Gupta  

Wow. That’s awesome. So, what was the value of the house?

 

April Crossley  

Oh, that’s a great question. I do not remember exact values. I want to say it was probably in the 160 to 170 range. It was a little Cape Cod, but it was on a whole bunch of land. The reason I vaguely remember the deal is because deals you get through flipping when you buy houses at a discount for cash are always have issues. They’re a little odd. And so that deal was owned by someone that owed a drug dealer a debt. So, it was someone that was buying drugs and owed his dealer a debt. He was selling the house to supposedly pay off the debt. But he took the money from settlement. And I’m assuming ran and went into hiding because when we settled on the house, we drove to the property and the drug dealer, and his people were there, and they have the driveway chained off. And they just said, we own this house. We own this house because this guy owed us a debt. We were like not really. We just came from settlement, and we own the house. We just bought it. So that’s a story you don’t really forget.

 

Pancham Gupta  

Wow, yeah, crazy. Cool. But I want to ask you one question before we move on to the second part of the show. And like Do you have a morning routine that you follow? If so, what is it? And do you think that it contributes to your success?

 

April Crossley  

150% Yes, my morning routine starts the night before. So, I do not allow myself any screen time after 8pm I have a program on my phone that shuts off my accessibility to all my apps and everything after 8pm I’m not allowed on my computer after 8pm And I’m not allowed back on until 8am. So, I wake up at 530 in the morning, and I walked my dog while I listened to right now. It’s either an audible book or right now I’m listening to some YouTube videos just about like my faith and the Bible and stuff and digging deeper into that and then I read a morning devotional when I get back from walking the dog and I do my gratitude journal. And then I go to the gym. And then I come home for the gym, and I get ready for my day. And by eight o’clock, I’m at my desk and I’m ready to go. So, I feel like just having that downtime and break from everything keeps my brain very clear. So, I sleep better. I’m more alert when I start my day, and I’ve had time to do self-care first, before everyone else needs something from me.

 

Pancham Gupta  

Right putting your oxygen mask before you Yeah, yeah. Right. All right. Great. Well, thank you for that. We’ll be back after this short message. Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the thought that you have no time after work, and family time to learn about investing? Do you feel left behind that you are not putting your money to work for you? Do you want to create passive income, but you do not know where to start? If so, I have good news for you. I have created an investor club which I call the gold collar investor club for accredited investors, I will be putting together investing opportunities exclusively for this group. These are the opportunities where I have done my part of the due diligence for you and will be investing my own money alongside you. If you are interested, please sign up on thegoldcollarinvestor.com/club, I repeat thegoldcollarinvestor.com/club, I will reach out to schedule a 30-minute phone conversation to discuss your investing goals. Once you sign up, this can be a good opportunity to diversify and take some chips off the hands of Wall Street to produce some cash flow. And in case you are wondering, what is an accredited investor credited investor is someone who has earned more than 200,000 as filing single, or more than 300,000 Filing Jointly for the last two years. Another way to qualify as an accredited investor is if your total net worth is more than $1 million. Excluding your personal home. It includes your stocks, 401Ks, IRAs, cars, etc. Just not the equity in your personal home. If this, is you, I would highly encourage you to sign up? So, April, let’s move on to the second part of the show, which I call taking the leap round. I ask these four questions to every guest on my show. My first question is, when was the first time you invested outside of Wall Street? Was it in 2000? For the house that you just mentioned?

 

April Crossley  

Yeah, I didn’t use any of my own money for that. So, the first time we put our own money towards something was probably 2005 When we bought a six unit, and then I started private lending in 2000. I think around 2015.

 

Pancham Gupta  

Got it. Got it. Did you have any fears to overcome? When you bought that six unit in 2005? Oh, yeah. Yeah.

 

April Crossley  

Just was never a landlord before. So, you know, you hear nightmare stories and people who aren’t in real estate love to tell you nightmare stories from their friends like, oh my gosh, I can’t believe you have tenants. Your tenants are going to do this. And we’re going to do that and they’re going to destroy the building. I’ve had tenants that we inherited when we bought that building. They are still there to this day and half not still have that building. Still, have it? Yeah, it’s my favorite building. I’ll never sell it. People approached me all the time. And I just they could call me or whatever I say. It’s my favorite building I’ll never sell. It’s just an amazing area. It attracts amazing tenants. And I just love it. Yeah,

 

Pancham Gupta  

where is it?

 

April Crossley  

It’s in Werner Seville, Pennsylvania.

 

Pancham Gupta  

Got it. Got it. So, I don’t know if you remember. I’m just curious, since you mentioned that you still have the building, how much the rents have increased? What were they when you bought it? Like? Yes, ballpark?

 

April Crossley  

I do. So, ballpark. It’s set up to have four one-bedroom efficiency apartments on the first floor. And on the second floor. It has two big two-bedroom apartments. So, the first-floor rents I remember better the efficiencies when we bought it were like 350, 400, 425. Now I rent and I’m usually below market rent on my efficiencies on that about 725 a month right now. And they pay all their own utilities. Everything separated on

 

Pancham Gupta  

that building. Got it. So double, almost double. Yeah, more than double actually. Yeah. Wow. Great. So, my third question for you is can you share with us one investment that did not go as expected?

 

April Crossley  

Yeah. One time I did a hell lease with an option to buy rent to own whatever you want to call it. I did us seller finance deal I bought the home from the seller-on-seller finance turned around pre-qualified the tenant on like a lease with an option to buy, they put down $10,000 They were renting the house. It’s a long story. But the family ended up falling apart, they stopped paying rent, stopped paying a water bill, we went to an eviction court and the judge would not evict them because we didn’t have a straight lease agreement. So, we’re talking to house that was running at like 1250 a month, plus my water, sewer bills were like 400 A quarter. And so, all these bills are piling up plus them on a seller finance. So, I’m making sure the seller is getting his payments, because that’s my priority. And I was still working in health care at the time, thank goodness. So, I’m like picking up extra shifts, making sure the seller is getting paid. That’s my priority, but for over six months, was basically paying for these people to live there for free and couldn’t get them evicted.

 

Pancham Gupta  

So, did they leave by themselves?

 

April Crossley  

They did not. My attorney that did the documents for me basically said, unfortunately, you got unlucky, the district justice doesn’t know what he’s doing. All your paperwork and documents are right, he was arguing back and forth with the judge. The judge was just like, you must take it to civil court. And so, my attorney said it could take you a year to get a hearing in civil court, it can cost you over 10 grand. So, I suggest you get creative with how you’re going to get rid of these people. So, I sent the wife ended up staying in the house, the husband had left. And that’s why the family was falling apart. And I had said to the wife, I can’t afford to pay the water bill anymore. So, the water’s gonna get shut off. I just wanted to give you a heads up because she’s living there with four kids. I’m like, but just so you know, I have another rental property that’s half the price over here in the county, and I’ll let you move in there with no security deposit, and your rent will be half of what it is now. And she took it and I put her on a month-to-month lease moved her to my other rental property. And the first time she didn’t pay rent. I filed for eviction and evicted her and evicted her. Yep.

 

Pancham Gupta  

Wow. That was quite creative. Yeah. I’m sure must be very stressful to. Yeah, yeah. So, my last question for you is, what is one piece of advice would you give to someone who’s thinking of investing in the main street that is outside of Wall Street?

 

April Crossley  

I think my biggest piece of advice, especially for people who are kind of passively investing and might not want to be as active in it is that the partners are just as important, if not more important than the deal itself. I see a lot of people they get really excited about it or really excited about a deal, but they know nothing about the people that they’re investing with, or they don’t dig deep enough into that. And that really takes time and asking a lot of questions and getting to know someone even outside of their investing experience just getting to know them personally and what they value and making sure it aligns with your core values.

 

Pancham Gupta  

Right, but thank you for sharing that, April. How can people connect with you if they want to reach out and have questions and you know?

 

April Crossley  

yeah, my websites April crossly.us, and I have a YouTube channel April crossly. That’s the best way to reach me.

 

Pancham Gupta  

Awesome. Thank you for your time. Thank you. Thank you for joining me today on the podcast. If you have questions, do not hesitate to email them to me at p at thegoldcollarinvestor.com. That’s P as in Paul at thegoldcollarinvestor.com. This has been Pancham signing off. Until next time, take care.



Thank you for listening to the gold collar investor podcast. If you love what you’ve heard and you want more of Pancham Gupta, visit us at www.thegoldcollarinvestor.com And follow us on Facebook at the gold collar investor. The information on this podcast are opinions as always, please consult your own financial team before investing

Copy of EP #18 - 2 Guests

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