What is Increasing Net Worth, Worth? (Guest Post)

I couldn’t really ask for a better testimonial from a client. Thanks, Paul.

“What is increasing net worth, worth?”

net-worth-clientI was signing papers in an escrow office a month ago when I came upon some vital and surprising statistics. Not as vital as my heart rate or blood pressure, but still, very meaningful to me:

Total Assets: $2.26M – Net Worth $1.122M – Total Liabilities $1.138M. (see image above)

Why was this meaningful? Three years ago I had a net worth that was negative – essentially my $45,000 of student loan debt.

In that same year, 2013, I decided to buy income properties to build wealth and have a good long-term plan for developing passive income. My realtor, David Brundige, helped me find an undervalued fourplex in Koreatown. I bought it and, through some strategy and work, rented all the units at 50% higher rents than the seller estimated was possible. Now I had a cash-flowing fourplex in Ktown, minutes from Silverlake, Echo Park and Downtown LA.

One keeps a solid, cash-flowing property for 30+ years, right? That was the plan according to the standard “buy and hold” strategy. But as I considered how much I’d already increased the value of the property in year one with higher than expected rents, and how long it would take me to save up enough for my next property, I began to seriously question whether to hold or to sell the property. I discussed my impatience with David and he told me if I sold the property through a 1031 exchange I could buy something bigger, or maybe two properties, to replace my original fourplex investment. Then I’d have increased my equity and assets considerably while shielding profit and cap gains from taxes.

Against the advice of the fairly vocal “buy and hold” crowd, and after owning it for only one year, I put my first fourplex up for sale in 2014. David helped me sell well-above list price and just as planned the significant profit and 1031 tax deferment allowed me to buy two more properties with the proceeds. And a year later, in 2015, using the same formula that we used to sell my first fourplex, I sold my second fourplex and bought two more properties, bringing me to a total of three properties.

This brings me to my post’s title: What is increasing net worth, worth? Is it worth selling a property that will likely appreciate over time? Is it worth the energy it takes to reposition your property and increase its value? Is it worth the risk that when selling and buying in a 1031 exchange you may not hit your targets? For me, the answer to all of these questions is an emphatic yes. David helped me go from a negative net worth in 2013 to a $1.122M net worth in three years through two 1031 exchanges. If you feel handcuffed by your current property’s income stream and you have the potential to become a successful income property investor, David can help you to develop that potential—and you’ll find yourself making much smarter real estate decisions than you imagined you could.

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