Get Your FILL
Get Your FILL
E23 Damon Amato

*Intro and outro music are from an original piece by

Carl Zukroff of The Blue Hotel

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You have stumbled onto another episode of Get Your FILL – Financial Independence and Long Life, where we explore ways to achieve those goals. The music you just heard is an original score by Carl Zukroff of the band, Blue Hotel. You’ll find links to his website, along with other relevant material including a video of today’s episode on my website, GetYourFILLPodcast. com.
So I guess a show that talks about long life would be remiss not to mention the avoidance of illness as one method of living a longer, healthier life. And right now, that involves not getting the coronavirus. The best way, according to the CDC, is to stay away from sick people.
I know, right? They get paid for this stuff.
If you don’t know whether you’re sick, sorry if you don’t know whether they’re sick, just wash your hands a lot and don’t put your hands into your eyes, nose, mouth or any other nearby mucous membranes. This advice also helps with the flu and pretty much any other germy thing that you might encounter.
And when I say washing your hands, that doesn’t mean just getting them wet and toweling them off. You need soap and hot or warm water for at least 20 seconds and if you think you might be coming down with something, do everybody a favor – and stay home. That way, you can avoid infecting others, you’ll get well more quickly. Believe me, your work doesn’t need you that badly.
On a happier note, I’m really excited today to be talking with Damon Amato. He’s what we call a Renaissance Man. He’s an athletic trainer and coach by day and a real estate investor, developer and lender by night and weekend. Damon thank you so much for joining us today.
Can you just tell me a little bit about yourself and how you kinda got into investing and your background, and that good stuff?
D: Sure, I’m not the typical investor, I guess. I have a bachelor’s degree in athletic training and a master’s degree in applied nutrition, so I actually still work as the head athletic trainer for Lowell High School in Lowell, Massachusetts.
I actually wrote a nutrition textbook also that’s kind of my primary occupation. I got into investing. I think 2008. I had enough money to put a down payment to build my own personal house, so I had no idea what I was doing. House is still standing though, so that’s good. Yeah, so it couldn’t have been that bad.
And then from there, I kinda started looking at investment properties to see how we could get some long-term wealth.
Of course, I did it in 2007 so was the worst possible time, thankfully of the 50 or 60 offers I made, nobody took any, so, I didn’t get anything. So I kinda lucked out a little bit. Actually, I saw recently, several properties, I put offers on at the time ended up, I gave them a low ball offer for what I thought the properties were worth and they end up selling it for even less than that, so I kind of lucked out there.
So in 2015, I started to really get involved with investing, I joined Fortune Builders which is an education company to learn how to invest in real estate.
I ended up meeting my current business partner there. He actually found me my first deal – lost my shirt and decided I could have quit right then and just decided it wasn’t for me, but instead decided I gotta figure out how to get myself out of this jam.
Yeah, so what ended up happening is I started to find wholesale deals through some network marketing, but also, I actually was able to wholesale two properties off of the MLS and my partner wasn’t my partner at the time. But he was like, “Well how did you even do that off the MLS… So I showed him and then actually I found a property that needed some permitting involved with it and some renderings and he’s a design architect, so he did them for me, we split the wholesale and then we said, “Yeah this is a pretty good gig. We should do more of this. So we started to do more and more involved projects and eventually this is about three months ago, we permitted a 15-lot subdivision in Newburyport and also a 13-unit condo project and a commercial building in downtown Salisbury.
So those are our two biggest permitting projects to date, so we end up permitting them and then wholesaling the contracts to a builder. So we never actually even owned it. So, those are some pretty good profits. And sprinkled in, we did some gut renovations. We did five or six new construction projects on the North Shore, so now we do a lot of permitting and wholesaling new construction.
Occasionally, a fix and flip, if it’s not gonna take too long. And we’re also now hard money lenders as well, and we also do real estate investor consulting. We have a consulting company that we help newer investors get funding, pick finishes, design projects, things like that.
C: Well that’s interesting and it sounds like the secret is persistence, right? Just kinda keep trying and keep doing it until you get it right.
D: Yeah, there’s definitely a learning curve. Certainly we’re successful now, but we weren’t always like that.
C: What do you think where that wasn’t in your background or was it… Is there some relative or some reason that you thought that real estate investing would be the way to go as far as building wealth?
D: No, actually the opposite. My father was a bank examiner for the Comptroller of the Currency for 30 years. So he and his circle of co-workers are about as conservative with money, as you can be. I know because I’ve asked them to be private lenders in the past and they’re just like: “Yeah, you know, I really like my 6% annuity and it’s guaranteed, and this is what I get every year” and I’m just like, “I can pay you in second position. 12-15%”. And they were just like: “No, I don’t really want to.”
So, I’m kind of the opposite of what everybody- friends and family still now they either think they think I’m not actually doing anything or they think what I’m doing is some kind of fancy.
C: Just a hobby right?
D: Yeah.
C: Now, are you handy, have you done any of the work yourself on any of these projects?
D: Not even a little bit, no. I can hang pictures on a wall like you wouldn’t believe. I can hang lights, too. Other than that, I like to pay the professionals.
C: So did you get lucky, when you chose people as far as… ’cause I feel like you have to know a little something in order to supervise people. Did you just get lucky and you got great professionals right out of the gate?
D: No I had, I fired at least a dozen contractors, general contractors for lack of work and that’s why I lost my shirt on my first deal ’cause I took way too long to fire him. He was previously a friend of mine who just ended up taking too long. He was costing me a lot of money. I was trying to give them the benefit of the doubt, and it was a terrible business decision but eventually I had to let him go. And now we’re a little bit quicker on the switch with that.
C: Yeah, I think that is a real challenge, especially for folks who are just getting started investing. You don’t know anybody, you just trial and error. Do you have a screening process of… Now that you’ve got that experience behind you, do you have a way of sort of trying to find… You must have a team at this point.
D: Other than my business partner, when we do permitting projects right now we’re partnering with our engineer to do that, mostly because it’s very heavily involved on the engineer side and we make a little bit less money doing it that way but it’s a lot less work and we can hold off on a lot of engineering costs until the end so we don’t have to go out and get investor money to pay those in the interim, so that’s one of our hedges. When we build new construction houses, we generally will partner with our builder, so that they’re very well-invested in getting the project done right, and quickly because otherwise they’re not gonna make the profit that they thought they were going to. And I feel like that’s a big difference – when a lot of people say with buy-and-hold properties that you should self-manage. I think there is definitely something to that because nobody cares about your property like you do because you are vested into it, and if people who you’re working with are not vested into it, it’s a lot harder to get them to do everything on time and on budget.
C: Yeah, I know some folks say to give them a bonus if everything comes in under budget, but obviously if they’re a partner, if you’re doing something that’s gonna have an end in sight obviously buy-and-holds you can’t necessarily or don’t necessarily want to make the person a partner, but when you’re gonna go ahead and sell it ’cause there’s nothing like that, nothing like that kind of investment – that skin in the game.
D: Right, even when we do renovations that we’re just hiring a contractor, we will give a bonus for finishing on time. We also have a penalty if they don’t finish within a week of the contract as well. So although I never enforced that.
C: Yeah, well, if you know that it’s coming, if something, if it’s outside their control, but if they’re just not showing up and not answering calls or whatever, then certainly.
D: If it’s not their fault then I definitely wouldn’t enforce that, for sure, but if it’s just them not showing up, then yeah, we have to.
C: Yeah, no choice.. So you’re saying that you were able to put some wholesale deals, together off the MLS, is that something that you think anybody could do if they just did a little research, or is it a special talent you have?
D: I wouldn’t call it a talent. I think both of them were multifamily condo conversions, anyway, so you do have to be able to think a little bit farther than just looking at a single family and seeing how it can be improved because that I think would be pretty difficult to wholesale off the MLS, although some we wholesaled a single family on the MLS, but it was a short sale, and it was on my business partner’s Street and he was watching the guy put the sign up and stopped over and we put the offer in 10 minutes later. So sometimes you really just have to be Johnny-on-the-spot to get those.
C: Then I have a question I don’t know the answer, but I was thinking as you were talking about short sales, a lot of the foreclosures that are coming up now are occupied. Have you ever worked with occupied units? You ever do that?
D: If it’s not a buy-and-hold property, we will never take it occupied. In fact, we just dealt with one a few months ago, it was being used as a motel in Salisbury, it was completely run down. The place had to be demolished and we permitted it to be six new condos but three of the tenants just would not leave.
They weren’t on lease, they didn’t have a place to go, we had to find them a place to live, we actually had to get moving trucks and move for them to get them to go because they knew they had to, and it was a fight, it took a while. It was a little bit miserable.
C: Yeah, that’s, I think, I have only found in the past what six, eight months, two properties that were foreclosed on, that were not occupied, so it’s, there are a bunch of foreclosures out there, but that just seems like it’s a mess.
D: It is. And in Massachusetts, you have to figure on it’s gonna take you 12 months to get those people out if they’re not supposed to be there.
C: Yeah, yeah, especially I think some of these folks are probably the original owners and they just, they’re not in tune with the fact that the bank has taken the house. Hello, you don’t own this anymore. I don’t even wanna go there with these people. It’s heartbreaking, and it’s miserable like you say.
So how do you feel? Like I’m starting to see – somebody told me the other day. Oh, I just read that, it’s gonna be a great year for real estate, and then there’s… And I’m saying to you, there seems like there’s a lot of supply to me, I feel like we’re kind of at the top of the market once you’re kind of feeling about what the market is doing right now?
D: Oh wow, I wish I had a crystal ball to tell you. I kinda thought that last year and things still seem to be going fine and interest rates are very low. If I had to guess, I would say there’s gonna be at least to slow down near the election because that’s what happened last time. In fact, last election we had two condos in Cambridge- in a good part of Cambridge came up in the beginning of October, so about a month before the election and nothing happened at all during that month and then the week after the election, we had eight offers on one of the properties.
So, I don’t know, people just are scared for a minute and they say, “Oh my God, what’s gonna happen with the election? And then they see that somebody gets elected and nothing happens, and they go back to buying real estate.
C: It’s weird. Right now, they’re probably just all wrapped up in the reality TV show that is the United States.
So I’m thinking about helping new people who are thinking about getting started. I know you do consulting, I don’t want you to give away any of your secrets, but any absolute things that people… The first thing or the most important thing or anything that you think would be helpful?
D: Well, this might be a little bit of tough love, but if you’re considering getting into investing and doing it for real, if you can’t handle a $50,000 loss and keep going, don’t bother because that will happen and that can happen very easily.
So I think a lot of the HGTV and even commercials for education systems tell you how you don’t need any of your own money, and this is gonna be great and it’s super easy, it’s tough, it could be a lot of work, and if you’re not prepared to be able to take a loss and keep going, then it’s not for you.
C: Well, it’s emotionally prepared as well as financially prepared.
D: Right, exactly, yeah.
C: If you think this is a sure thing and I’m gonna do this and I’m gonna be great. It’s like maybe not.
D: Yeah, only a very small percentage of people. ’cause I run a real estate meetup and I go to several real estate meetups and there’s a very small core contingent group that always shows up and everybody else is new, and that’ll happen every time. Because some people just they can’t handle it or they try it and they find a deal that they thought was a deal but because they were looking for a deal so bad, they really wanted this to work and it’s really not that good a deal and they end up losing their deposit or they can’t wholesale it or they lose money on the renovation and then they just say, Oh, I guess this wasn’t as easy as people made it out to be.
C: So I’m gonna go back to my nine to five. The sure thing, my 6% annuity.
D: Yeah, exactly.
C: So I see a lot of people when they do their renovations, they put money into the wrong stuff. Can you speak to what you’ve learned? Do you have a checklist of items like this is where we want to put our money, this is where we definitely don’t want to put it.
D: Yeah, it’s pretty automatic at this point. I would say it’s kind of funny that these two condos in Cambridge we did a few years ago, we did a lot of smart home stuff, so we did August smart locks, and Ring doorbells, and a Wink system, and then Ecobee4 thermostat and some other stuff. I don’t even remember.
And everybody loved it. And this is great technology, and makes us wanna buy the condo. And it was great and so we thought, “Okay this is cool. So we did a new construction house in Newburyport. The price point was $1.2 million and I was listing off – we had potential buyers when we were framing it and they were showing the spec sheet to them and I listed off all this stuff and the guys, the buyer stopped me halfway through and he said: Wait, wait, I don’t care about any of that. Take it all out.
C: Interesting. And do you hear that just from one person or were there multiple?
D: Multiple.
C: Really? Interesting. Neighborhood? Do you think Newburyport people are not as interested in smart homes as Cambridge people?
D: Newburyport people are very interesting people.
Yeah, so you have to know your market and you have to know what’s gonna sell and that smart home stuff – really not very expensive. I think the extra money, we put in less than a $1000 but it does go a long way. So yeah, I see people all the time trying to make a sizzle features here and there, that maybe they think is cool, but only a very small percentage of buyers might think that’s interesting. So I see a lot of weird things in properties, especially higher price points.
C: Well, I see a lot of people putting money into infrastructure and that’s not the right word. I have a friend, just as an example, the house was finished, he was ready to put on the market – this was a flip that he was working on – and he went in the basement and there was a little tiny puddle of water in the basement, he’s like, “Oh water in the basement.” He excavated the entire exterior perimeter, put some kind of waterproofing stuff on the outside and the inside, and I thought: You are never gonna see that money back. No one is going to pay for that.
D: A simple sump pump will do the same thing.
C: He didn’t even need that, he could have dried it with a towel – a simple paper towel would have solved the problem.
That kind of stuff where people went in and I had some folks who had bought a house and it had knob-and-tube wiring. They went in there, they replaced all the knob-and-tube and then maybe six months after buying it, they got relocated they had to move and it was like… That whatever – $50,000 – you put into that electrical, you’re not gonna see that back. It’s just expected in a house that when you flick the switch, the lights come on. They can’t put a number on something like knob-and-tube wiring and just not real. If it’s in the walls, it’s just not real to people. I don’t know.
D: Right, I think specific things go a long way, every million dollar plus house that we built, I think the biggest compliments we get are on the lighting and everybody’s like, “Oh my God, we… Because it’s not regular Home Depot lighting and everybody’s like, “Oh my God. Where did you get these? They are amazing. You must have done Ballard designs or whatever, and we’re just like… I got these on Amazon. I can… It was like the chandelier was like $20, more than a regular chandelier.
C: Yeah, but it’s taking that time and having that thought that you want something to be… That’s a little bit different. That isn’t some cookie-cutter design everybody sees, right?
What other things would you like to share? What other information do you think folks should have if they’re just getting started?
D: I think, once you get started, it’s really important to build a good team around you. So getting a good real estate attorney, getting… Finding agents in the area that you’re targeting, finding a good contractor obviously can be very difficult, but those kinds of things and have people that you can rely on that are gonna help you be successful and that can be very difficult. We’ve gone through probably four different lawyers, many, many contractors because we find that contractors generally have a lifespan of about 12-18 months before they increase their prices to price themselves out and real estate agents when they bring you one deal and it went well, and then they stop calling you and they don’t return your calls, which blows my mind every time but still happens every day.
So that’s the really difficult part is, is you have to try to build a good team around yourself and realize that even when you do that, it’s still your team and not everybody is always gonna wanna be on that team.
C: Yeah, yeah that’s true. Where do you get your information? Do you read, you listen to podcasts where when you wanna learn something new, how do you go about that?
D: I do a lot of self-education, reading books, talking to people who I think are smarter than I am in the business and how they’re going about doing things, just learning about new ways to invest and do things the way we want to do them. That’s how we got – for instance the consulting we were like, “You know what people want us to consult and this is great.” And we had a property that they wanted us to consult on and they couldn’t find funding so we helped them get second position funding and our lender said, “Well if it’s not your project, they really want you to watch it a lot more closely. So we said, “Okay well, if we’re gonna lend you our investors’ money, we need to consult on the project and we did and it went well and then we found another project that went fine and they said, “You know what, we can’t find a first position lender. So I went out to find a first position lender to help fund the project and we did it a couple of times, and we just said, “You know what, why are we giving this away? Let’s just be the lender.
So we just started a hard money lending company, and so everything just kind of evolved out of necessity, I think.
C: Yeah, and I think that’s often the way it happened. You don’t set out and say, “I’m gonna become a hard money lender, unless you have a ton of money.
D: We’ve got several projects that we found… We wholesale is we got a wholesale fee, we lent on it, in first and second position, so we got origination fees, and then we got a consulting fee at the end too.
C: And how about property management?
D: No, thank you. I am not interested in dealing with tenants that is a lot of work and a lot of paperwork that I don’t wanna do. And we have buy-and-holds, but we have property management companies in place that take care of that and there are some guys who are really, really good at property management. They have a lot of systems in place so that it’s pretty automatic for them and that’s great and I’ll probably use them, but that’s not my area of expertise. And we try to essentially find deals and put them in order of how much time, effort, money it’s gonna take and what the reward is gonna be at the end, and that’s a lot to calculate when you’re thinking about return on investment. It’s not just dollars, it’s a lot more than that.
So we try to focus on what is gonna be the biggest return on our time and money investment and we try to hammer those deals as best we can.
C: What do you think is the best book you’ve ever read, about real estate or about financial creating a financial cash flow for yourself, or whatever?
D: I think the first one I read was “Rich Dad, Poor Dad ” Robert Kyosaki. I think that initially it is funny that I read it like 15 years ago and if I remember right, it’s actually mostly about tax lens, which you can’t really do in Massachusetts as a… But it at least started the conversation about, “Hey real state is a good investment to make. And I think not long after that, I think I saw a Facebook post about the top – I’m gonna get this wrong – the top 100 billionaires in the world, the vast majority got there through real estate investment.
C: Yeah, yeah, Rich Dad is not… I don’t think it talks about tax liens. If it does, not very much. It’s more about figuring out the difference between good debt and bad debt. That’s what I like about it. I think about this different way, you know what I mean? You think that your house is an asset, it’s not an asset unless it’s paying you money, that’s what an asset is. A liability is some that you take money out of your pocket every month. So it’s just a different way for people to think about money.
D: Right. And I have friends that try to ask me about real estate and then they take a step back because at some point I’m gonna say something that they think is too risky in their eyes and to me, putting your money in a CD and not using the equity in your house is too much of a risk for me because you have all this money just sitting around that could be making money and you’re just kind of letting it sit there and rotting. Essentially, if you have your money making under 4% somewhere after taxes are and inflation, you’re essentially breaking even or if not losing money.
I have several friends that put their money in 18 month CDs at 1.25% interest and I just wanna lose my mind at them and just say, “What are you doing with your money? And I have other people who… We leverage everything. We leverage a HELOC on our house, we leverage our current 401k because you can do that for free, essentially. You pay interest, but it’s interest back in your 401k so it’s essentially free money. A HELOC on your house, that is at less than 4% right now. So that is a lot of money that we can leverage to make a lot more money. And I just think it’s nuts not to put that to work. Absolutely nuts.
C: It’s hard though, it’s hard to make people understand that, right?
D: I mean, yeah, and I’ve had that conversation with people and say, You’re nuts, not to do that and people are just like… Well, that’s a big risk. I’d be borrowing from my 401K. What if I lose it and I’m like: Yeah it’d be terrible. Maybe you should leave it in, like people did in 2008 and they did lose it.
C: Yeah, and now the idea that things are… I don’t know, this job, I’ve got this guaranteed job, I’ve got this guaranteed money, I’ve got this insured thing. No, you don’t, you have, I don’t know, but it’s a tough sell because people have been, for whatever reason, programmed to think that they can, I don’t know…
D: I can tell I have investor meetings all the time with people who are interested in putting their money to work, and I’ll know within the first five minutes whether they’re going to or not, and I try not to waste my time as much as possible doing that, but you’ll know immediately if people are willing to do it and if they’re not and if they’re even a little bit risk averse about it then you’re not gonna convince them.
And even if you do, and it takes a lot of effort to do that, they’re gonna be calling you every single day to make sure that you’re not using their money and that’s just not worth the hassle either.
C: Do you do any kind of diversification? Do you have any stocks or anything like that?
D: A little bit, very little bit. Of course, my father being a bank examiner has all his money there and so he gives me some tips and everything. But I just think – my 401K for a long time, was making 4.25% or something and I had it in the specific fund that is like, “Okay you’re gonna retire in 2030 or 2040 and so this is the fund you put it in. It’s more risky now but it gets more conservative as you get closer to retirement. And I was like, “Well I’m getting like 4.25% right now. What are we doing?
C: You’re not gonna retire any time soon, with that, right?
D: And then luckily I have my wife and I have enough in our 401Ks that we could borrow against it, or even convert it to Solo K’s and buy a couple of properties with it now and in 30 years, I’m gonna have a lot more money than if I just left it in there.
Even if I was getting – people tell you, I think the average return in the stock market since the crash is about 10% depending on who you ask, and it’s okay, but if I put it into properties, I’m gonna make more like 30%, so I’d rather do that.
C: Exactly, so you have a self-directed IRA, or you just did a loan against your 401K?
D: We did a loan against both of our 401Ks, which is coming up. I have to pay back pretty soon. And once we do that, then we’re gonna convert them to buy property with.
C: Sounds like you and your wife are on the same page on this, did you have any trouble convincing her that this was a good plan?
D: No, I’m a lucky guy. I went to a weekend Fortune Builders seminar. We had talked about investing a little bit before that, and we were into it and I went with my mother and I just called my wife afterwards and I said, he got this program. It’s gonna show me how to invest. We’re gonna do this, we’re gonna do that, blah, blah, blah, it’s gonna be $25,000 and she said, “Okay let’s do it.”
So not everybody’s conversation goes like that.
C: I’m sure it doesn’t.
D: So I’m a very lucky man that she was all in.
C: Do you have any contact with any of the other people you met in Fortune Builders? I’m just curious what the actual success rate is for a lot of folks that start down that path.
D: Quite a bit. There’s a local Fortune Builders coach that runs his own meetup once a month, which again ends up being him and me and about three other people and everybody else is new and that happens every single month. So honestly, I would say the success rate for people who are still doing real estate investment two or three years later is more like 1% or 2%.
C: If it was easy, everyone would be doing it, right?
D: Right, everybody is sold all the hype and they get into it and then they can’t find a property, they can’t get funding and so they eventually just surrender and give up and go back to what they were doing.
C: Yeah, the sure thing. And I think it’s hard, I’ve seen in a lot of different situations where people are… There’s the low-hanging fruit, if you wanna consider that is your job, you know it’s guaranteed they’re gonna keep paying you, as opposed to when you have to deviate from that and go find your own, find a whole new orchard and start from scratch, it’s scary for people and the lure of that low hang fruit or the guaranteed money is very strong.
D: Yeah, it is, but also, it’s also almost like a prison. You wanna get out of this but you’re too scared too and you, you have that key to open that door and some people just don’t wanna turn that key.
C: Yeah, yeah is afraid that might cut their hand on the way out of the cage or whatever, it’s just…
D: Yeah, and I get it. People have spouses and kids and college tuition to pay for and they’re afraid if this doesn’t go well, they’re gonna put themselves in a really deep hole, which some people have. But if you’re really truly committed to it, and you have… You’re doing everything the right way that you can make a really… A lot of money.
C: I think the other thing that I’ve noticed is, sometimes when people have no other options they have to make it work, that they’ll make it work, so there’s always a way to make it work, it’s just how persistent are you… How much energy you’re gonna put into it and how are you gonna just burn your bridges, and go.
D: Yeah, in some ways a lot of the most successful people had just got fired from their job, or don’t have a job currently. And this is their only way to make it so they don’t have another choice.
It’s a lot harder for those people to give up a $75,000-a-year salary to go out and maybe make some money in real estate.
C: Yeah, yeah, that’s it. If you feel like you’re already sort of comfortable enough: I’ve got this okay salary now. I’ve got this okay 401K. I’m gonna be okay. And that’s a little harder than if you’re starving.
D: Right, that was probably my biggest factor was that, before I started I was looking at our 401Ks, and where the money is and I said, Okay, well we get a company match. I’m putting it in the max. So was my wife. So what does that look like when we retire, how much income are we gonna have on a monthly basis from that when we retire? And I think it was like $4,500 a month or something like that, and I said, Okay, it sounds pretty good. But in 30 years with inflation and cost of living, how much money are we gonna need on a monthly basis to keep living the life that we wanna live?
And that number came out to be like $10,000 a month. So that made me think: Well, I gotta do something else here, right?
C: Yeah, and I think it’s that second step that people don’t take.
D: Right and maybe not everybody has done that calculation like I did ’cause didn’t dawn on me until I did that, that it was not only a good idea, but necessary for me to take that step to have the life that we wanna live, and now we’re a lot better off. We have a short-term rental on a beach that we use every now and then and actually cash flows as well. We’re renovating our house, we’re actually permitting a site near my house. And if it goes well, I’m gonna keep one to build my next house, so I couldn’t have done any of that before based on the income we were getting.
C: I think it sounds like you’ve got your long-term vision and that’s what again, I think a lot of people are missing. You know what you want your life to look like. I wanna have a house on a beach. Okay, I’m gonna go buy one now and make sure that it can pay for itself. I want this particular type of house, I want this particular lifestyle and knowing that’s what you want in the future, you can work backwards and say, Okay, what do I need to do today to make that happen?
D: Right.
C: Good job, Any parting words? Anything else that you wanna share with folks who are sort of dabbling and thinking about being in your position, fantasizing about being your position?
D: The number one thing would be to network, go to networking meetings. So like I said, we run a networking meeting, it’s called the Recap Investment Group, so real estate capital it’s on the… We meet at the DoubleTree Hotel in Danvers once a month.
And that there’s a lot of networking that goes on, there’s a lot of team building, we have a lot of good vendors like Agents and Attorneys and stagers: people that you would wanna meet and learn from. There’s a lot of deals that show up. We do a lot of deal making at these events.
So that is how you really can get yourself out there, even if you’re not currently looking for a deal, just to educate yourself, that is the single best thing you can do is network with as many people as possible.
C: Yeah, hear the conversations that are going on. Hear the kind of questions people ask. Do you have a website if folks wanna hire you to consult with them or learn?
D: Oh, we have a bunch of websites.
So our main company is DownEast Building and Development, so it’s Our consulting website is, and our hard money company is DownEast Private Lending, so that is,
Okay, and that is really easy, especially for people who are looking for funding, we do proof of funds letters there’s actually a tab on the website that says, “Get my pre-approval that you can fill that out if you have a deal just give some simple information on yourself and the subject property and we can get you terms within 24 hours or so.
C: Excellent, excellent. So I’ll put links to all those websites on my website which is, and thank you Damon so much for sharing your knowledge with us today.
D: Well, thank you for having me.
C: Thank you so much, Damon, for sharing your wisdom and philosophy, with us and thank you, listener, for listening. Tune in next week when we’ll be talking with Monica Gonzales, an award-winning architect and developer. She’s a really cool, really interesting person, and I think you’re gonna learn a lot from her and really appreciate her wisdom. In the meantime, have a fantastic week and stay healthy.