Nate Armstrong of Home Invest is a real estate investor with unparalleled experience when it comes to coaching and negotiating. Thus far, he has worked with more than 800 students from all over the United States and Canada. His experience, which was gathered from more than 500 successful deals, helps him teach young investors about real estate. Presently, he is also serving as an Investor Relations Chair.
Before moving into real estate, Nate Armstrong of Home Invest worked as an Executive for Facility Operations at Target. The corporate experience helped him learn the ins and outs of team leadership and management. After leaving Target in 2008, he was able to transfer the attained skill set in the field of property transactions. Nowadays, Nate Armstrong does most of his work alongside his wife of seven years, Jennifer.
What are some of the best real estate markets to invest in right now?
The answer varies based on one’s goals. In my opinion, Texas, Florida, California, Colorado, and Georgia are all great for investments. All of those mentioned above are showing signs of an improved economy and an increasing GDP. Additionally, homeowner rates within these states are growing, and some of them do not even have a state-wide income tax. To find the best market in each state, however, you must do some in-depth research.
How should someone address failure when investing large amounts of capital?
After incurring a loss, you must identify the exact reasons for your failure. I advise my students to do this because it allows them to pinpoint the mistakes. Once they realize what part of the process went wrong, they can learn from it. So, when they run into a similar set of circumstances in the future, they will be able to make a better decision.
Is there a specific way that you advise people to go about mortgages?
First, I would wait until I have the 20 percent of the amount. Whenever you take such a high-end loan from a bank with less than a 20-percent down payment, you may need to get private mortgage insurance. This is just another cost that can be avoided. Then, do your best to make 13 payments annually if you are repaying the debt on a monthly basis. Meaning, try to make at least one extra payment every year. This increases savings via the time value of money concept. Ultimately, you can usually lower your interest expense by refinancing your mortgage.
What should new investors learn before making any property investments?
If their learning time frame is cut short, they should at least understand the basics of finance, accounting, and negotiation. Finance will help them grasp those money-related issues that arise with long-term lending. Similarly, accounting goes over a lot of tax concerns that overlap with real estate. As far as negotiating, it is necessary to strike good bargains sometimes.
Is lease-based renting becoming more difficult when it comes to finding the right tenants?
I honestly doubt that. On the contrary, it is becoming easier and more efficient. With the resources we now have, landlords can verify applicants faster. For example, getting someone’s credit history is nowhere near as convoluted as it used to be years ago. Additionally, better surveillance and management systems make it easier to track tenants’ behavior. So, if they ever do something that goes against the rules of the lease, it is easier to obtain tangible evidence.
What skills do landlords need to be successful in the long-run?
Knowing how to manage property is the most important skill all landlords, as well as property owners, must have. It is a rare one, however, as people have to be strict yet friendly. Consider someone who is trying to fill their residential building. They first have to attract new tenants in a very approachable manner while remaining firm on their lease rules. Not to mention that all landlords must know exactly how to deal with extenuating circumstances. After all, breaking a lease can be a nightmare and renting sometimes results in evictions or unforeseen move outs.
What helped you develop your reputation and become very successful with your students?
Well, I invest a lot of time and capital into improving my network. For those unfamiliar, the network involves all professionals that I am connected with in a professional capacity. Over time, I developed relationships with other investors, and we worked together. Additionally, whenever my students become successful, they refer people to me. So, word-of-mouth referrals are another large driver of my progress.
Do you have any quick advice for people who are on the verge of giving up their investing careers?
Whatever you do, never give it all up. I understand that certain issues can be quite challenging to overcome. Nevertheless, give yourself time to learn, and you will be successful! It’s the very same advice I would give to young Nate Armstrong before he started working for Home Invest.