The Real Estate Law Podcast

5 Steps to Buying a House for the Price of a Car with Real Estate Finance Coach Pam Hill

August 02, 2022 Jason Muth + Rory Gill Season 1 Episode 61
The Real Estate Law Podcast
5 Steps to Buying a House for the Price of a Car with Real Estate Finance Coach Pam Hill
Show Notes Transcript

We are speaking with business coach Pam Hill about how new investors can buy a house for the price of a car, and scale a small business by applying the Fortune 500 operational and finance concepts.

Pam is a Harvard and Dartmouth-educated entrepreneur and CEO of a multi-million dollar real estate company. She's a business and money expert, a former Fortune-500 executive, and the founder of My Smart Cousin.

She's also fluent in both Chinese and Spanish and tells us about the impressive back story as to how that happened!

Pam's primary goal is to help Black and Brown people, and especially women, understand their money, increase their accountability, and build generational wealth.

We learned about where to discover these homes, how to finance them, and the best geographic locations for these properties, either as an investment or as an owner-occupied home.

Things we discussed in this episode:
- How Pam discovered real estate investing
- The value of focusing on local markets
- Self-managing a portfolio of 25 properties and 31 units.
- Her strategy of hiring property managers and general contractors, indirectly learning from them, and then taking on those responsibilities herself
- Being a mentor to new real estate investors of all ages
- Having financial conversations around the dinner table
- Holding on to generational wealth
- The steps and the math to searching for a house for the price of a car.
- Understanding what "lottery ticket value" of real estate means.

Get in touch with Pam:
Website - https://mysmartcousin.com/
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/mysmartcousin/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/MySmartCousin
Email - info@mysmartcousin.com

Join Jason Muth and Attorney / Broker Rory Gill of NextHome Titletown and UrbanVillage Legal in Boston, Massachusetts for another episode of The Real Estate Law Podcast!

#bostonrealestate #realestatepodcast #nexthome #humansoverhouses #realestate #realestateinvesting #financialcoaching #generationalwealth #financialconversations #realestaterookie #financialindependence #financialfreedom #blackwealth #financialtips
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The Real Estate Law Podcast is hosted by Jason Muth and Attorney / Broker Rory Gill.

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Pam Hill:

The first place that I steer them and really that they have questions themselves is how do I get started? Which can be a question that really anyone will have, because they have a hankering to do something, and yet the ocean is too big, you cannot boil the entirety of it. So we start off with setting out what their objectives are. So geographically, oh, are you looking for an investment?

Announcer:

You found The Real Estate Law Podcast, because real estate is more than just pretty pictures. And law goes well beyond the paperwork and courtroom argument. If you're a real estate professional, or looking to build real estate expertise, then welcome to the conversation and Discover more at realestatelawpodcast.com

Jason Muth:

Welcome to The Real Estate Law Podcast. Thank you so much for joining us for another episode. We are here today talking with super smart people where the Ivy League has outnumbered you today, Rory.

Rory Gill:

Oh, no.

Jason Muth:

Yeah, I know.

Rory Gill:

I'll try to keep up with you.

Jason Muth:

Yeah, well, there's two of us on this one. I mean, like, we've done two attorneys before, and then I feel outnumbered. But this time, you know, we had to bring in the reinforcements. And Pam Hill is here. She is the CEO of a multimillion dollar real estate company. And she is in charge of a website and a brand - My Smart Cousin. She has worked as a Fortune 500 executive and she is Harvard and Dartmouth educated. Love that. That's awesome. Pam, welcome. First, we should say welcome to the podcast.

Pam Hill:

Thank you. Thank you so very much really excited to be a part of your podcast, Jason and Rory, and just answering all the questions I know your guests have. So this is fantastic.

Jason Muth:

I had to just look for any kind of thing I had from Brown. And I have this, which is it's my old mailbox from actually yeah, they gave us the opportunity to buy them when they were knocking down the old mailroom, and I jumped at my old box. So my old box was 5455. And it was available. So I got it. And it's actually it's like a piggy bank now.

Pam Hill:

Yes. Isn't it funny how you remember these things? I went to Dartmouth a couple of weeks ago for a reunion there. And I just as you said they called them Hinman boxes there. And so I looked for my old Hinman box, which of course is already in use by another student. But it is a nice piece of nostalgia.

Jason Muth:

So Dartmouth for undergrad and then Harvard for grad school. Is that right?

Unknown:

That's right. So in between the two of them. I went to Johns Hopkins as program it was just brand new brand spanking new that they created with Nanjing University. So at Dartmouth, they require you to take a language to graduate. So my language was Chinese. So I took that my junior and senior year, went to China junior summer, I loved the language so much that I deferred Harvard, the Kennedy School of Government for a year in order to go on the Johns Hopkins Nanjing program. So all the classes were in Chinese exams, papers, studying everything from Leninism, to communism to the Chinese economy to Chinese-US foreign trade, and I am still in touch with my roommate. So every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, she and I would speak in Chinese. Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, we'd speak in English. And Sunday would just be Chinglish, I guess.

Jason Muth:

Rory, I don't think we've had any Chinese speakers on yet that we know of. Right?

Rory Gill:

Well, no we certainly haven't filmed the podcast in Chinese.

Jason Muth:

No, that must help you in your business endeavors. Pam. I mean, like, you could basically help give financial advice in multiple languages.

Pam Hill:

Yeah, absolutely. And I have done that. So with my roommate, she and I, we still speak in Chinese. We talk with other potential investors, who are Chinese. And so it does help to, to give a sense of engagement, I'd say with the people that we're talking with. And then likewise, Spanish. My Spanish was initially family Spanish. I met my first husband actually in China. And he's from a country called Equatorial Guinea, which speak Spanish. I didn't know Spanish, he didn't know English. So we spoke in Chinese our first two years, I ended up learning Spanish through his family, as well as my first corporate job where I was the director of finance for all our projects in Latin America. So that meant getting to know Spanish pretty intensively.

Jason Muth:

Wow. That's quite a pedigree right there with all those languages. And you know, we'll bring this back to the real estate world as well. But you know, just understanding your background of finance and financial education and working with clients working with Fortune 500 companies working as somebody and executive within a company but also doing your own investing on the side. It shows that you have an awful lot of experience and probably a lot of things to say about where the economy is today and ways to you find financial independence, especially from the real estate side. I know you have discussed being able to purchase real estate for the price of a car?

Unknown:

You heard right, that's exactly right. A whole house, not just the downpayment, but the whole house for the price of a car.

Jason Muth:

Let's get into that in just a second. I also want to highlight one of the things on your website where you say that one of your goals is to help black and brown folks, and especially women, understanding their money, increasing accountability and building generational wealth. I think that's amazingly important. And, you know, just before we hit record, I said that sometimes people need to see and hear people who look like themselves to, you know, be able to take action. And, you know, there's all different types of pundits out there and people that give experience, but, you know, it's very important, you know, we have listeners of all types. And, you know, sometimes if you need to see someone looks like yourself, to motivate yourself, you're giving a voice to people that, you know, really need to help build generational wealth. Because I mean, there have been studies out there that I'm sure you've read that show, you know, there's a huge wealth gap between white and black and brown people.

Unknown:

Yes, absolutely. And I agree with you completely, that it can be very motivating. Certainly, to see someone who looks like you, the voice can resonate just a bit more when you see that and know that it's within the realm of the possible and I firmly believe that all boats rise together. And since these United States are comprised of so very many vessels, as it were, from all over. When one does better, we all do better. I almost see it as a patriotic duty, as it were to make sure that all of the planks within the country are doing well.

Jason Muth:

Rory and I've talked about this before, in speaking with yourself, other investors, people in the real estate world, you know, obviously there is local competition, you know, people are competing over listings, they're competing over properties, but for knowledge, you know, Rory, we've talked about it a lot. Everyone just shares knowledge with each other. Because, you know, you don't have to win, you don't have to lose for me to win. Right? You know, Rory, you've talked to lots of people at a meetup last night, right? I didn't even ask you how it went.

Rory Gill:

Our industry, like a lot of industries, you're, it's about building the relationships. And it's, you know, there's competition, of course out there. But it's about building relationships and having, you know, ditching that whole zero sum mentality, because it's not about winning at somebody else's expense. At least not in this industry,

Unknown:

I would agree completely zero sum is far too narrow. And, and there's just so much more to be gained when we all collaborate and help to figure out how to build more rather than to compete for what looks like only a handful of crumbs. And I think it just said back to the notion of local. That local does provide a huge advantage for folks who feel like they can't compete against, you know, you name a big boy type thing. As far as an investor, or a real estate company. The advantage of being local is that you see opportunities that others might miss. So one that comes to mind, for me is a property that that bought - four units, so four apartment units, and then on the first floor is a bar. So it's a mixed use property. I bought it a few years ago, the bar was not operating, it didn't have a liquor license, it was something that had been shut down long ago, but it had the potential to come back. At any rate, this property has been listed as it were through the aid of a simple eight and a half by 11 sheet piece of paper that said for sale with a name and phone number on it. And it was not on any MLS site. So I was just diligent about calling, and finally was able to get in touch with the person who was selling it and able to buy it. And that property was, I believe $27,000. So that's the example of where when you are local, you are able to almost ant style, kind of get to see your neighborhood in a granular way that even Google Earth doesn't allow you to fully appreciate,

Jason Muth:

If you don't m,nd our askingm where are your investments?

Unknown:

Absolutely. They sound vague in terms of three states, right? Anytime you say three states that it feels like it's beginning to creep up on a regionalism that you have captive, but because of the location, so I am in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, in Marcus Hook. And so that just happens to be at the crossroads of Wilmington, Delaware, which is a handful of miles away. And also at the crossroads of Southeast New Jersey in five minutes. 10 minutes you're over a bridge and into Southeast Jersey. So thus I'm in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey.

Jason Muth:

And I know the area very well I used to live in Mercer County, New Jersey so it's about an hour away from Philadelphia and I used to drive down to DC a lot in a past life for a previous job and you know the northern tip of Delaware - actually I don't think you have to drive to DC and hit Delaware, do you?

Pam Hill:

No

Jason Muth:

No, you don't have to, Yeah, but but I have driven through before it's you know, it's a very quick drive in the northern part of Delaware when you do go that route. But yeah, all those sound like they're within what a one or two hour?

Unknown:

Exactly within a one hour distance within about 30 miles for the most part except for one property that's in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, which is probably more like 45 miles or so away.

Jason Muth:

We've heard from a lot of people who invest in faraway markets, you know, maybe rust belt cities, or sunbelt, they're investing in Arizona, Texas, Florida, what have you, why did you decide to have your investments be a little more local to where you are?

Unknown:

Right. So I really fell into it. So both fell into the localism of it as well as into real estate full stop. So when I was working in electric utility, in a high flying, high pressure job, my husband at the time we were dating, and he did not own a house in the US. He owned one outside of the US, but not in the US. He was in an apartment. So he was looking. So it happened that the real estate agent that we got with showed us some homes in Wilmington, Delaware. They were all rowhouses, this would have been around the time of the Great Recession, maybe a couple of years after it. And the houses were in the $20,000 neighborhood. And I was absolutely stupefied to see that. And I'd say we were fortunate to have a real estate agent who started with the telescope as it were kind of the other way around. So we're used to looking through a telescope where you start off as far out the telescope looks as far out as your bank says, you can look. So if you're qualified for $200,000, well, then guess what, that's the price of houses that you're going to look at probably 199,000, up to 240, because your realtor will say, Oh, they'll negotiate down. And moreover, they'll look to push you just a little higher. He turned it the opposite way around and said, We're going to look at houses that are very close in and go up from there. And so that house was $26,000, maybe, and now we rent it out. So that's what led me to fall into real estate, is seeing the tremendous value. Then once I saw that house in Wilmington, I continue to look in Wilmington. I looked in Baltimore, but I felt that was a little too far when there was so much opportunity right in Wilmington, and then moved out into Southeast Jersey as well as southeast PA, so in the city of Chester, and then the city of Coatesville, PA, and really haven't looked back, I think that when you mentioned the Rust Belt, absolutely, there's still plenty that's available there. And property management firms, as long as you pick a capable one is a great way to go in order to shoehorn your way into that geography.

Jason Muth:

How many properties do you manage?

Unknown:

So I manage all for myself. So it's 25 properties comprising 31 units. So I have not taken on anyone else's property thus far, although I am certainly exploring that, looking at property management as an actual business. So outside of the real estate investment and the coaching, I also am a general contractor. And I encourage folks who are involved in real estate, to look at opportunities that are almost parallel opportunities that they can consider. So in the same way that when they first begin a real estate investment, they will look to an outside property manager as I did. I certainly didn't start off by saying, I'm gonna do this myself. I paid someone learned from them, I considered that tuition. And then that tuition after three or four properties worth, I felt that I had learned enough to go ahead and begin to give it a go myself. And then the same thing. Of course with the renovations. The tuition is the general contractor that you pay, or the handyman that you pay. And then after a time you know enough such as you put together your own two or three man crew and begin to manage it yourself.

Rory Gill:

I love that mentality too. Because when you're hiring out these external people to work, you're not just abdicating responsibility for your own investments in your own, you know, your own future with it, you're actually taking the initiative to, to learn from them, to watch what they're doing and to grow yourself so that at a certain point, you can decide whether you want to keep hiring a third party to do it, or you're educated enough to actually take on those responsibilities directly yourself. I love that mentality. I love that. That's how you gain that knowledge.

Unknown:

And I agree with you completely Rory. For folks who who think to themselves, oh darn, I hate that I have all these expenses. I think that if they turn it around, and think of it as I am investing, I am paying someone thus, they are my teacher, I am the student. So let me be a good student and get my money's worth so that I can then make the decision on whether I want to walk in their shoes I can. So something I have my clients do is when they hire a property inspection person before they make a decision on if they're going to buy a house. Show up 15 minutes ahead of when the inspector shows up. Walk all around, walk inside. Have your notebook have your pen. Jot down everything if he looks up if the inspector looks up at the ceiling, you look up to - Hey, what are you looking at? What do you see there? Oh gee, I didn't see that stain, I wonder what could have caused that. Oh wait, you go on on the roof. Do you mind taking pictures? I've never seen a roof before or video and that way you are taught and for sure when the inspector sends you the report. What you don't do Well, I guess it's just gonna sit on email What you do? Let's open it up call and have them walk you through it.

Jason Muth:

I have two things that I just want to draw attention to. First they don't teach me this stuff at Brown. They didn't teach you this stuff at Harvard.

Pam Hill:

No, they did not, no.

Jason Muth:

They didn't. And I mean like, you know, there's a different level of classic education that these schools that - I love Brown, right, I'm sure, hopefully you like Dartmouth and Harvard.

Pam Hill:

Yes, yes, I did.

Jason Muth:

But this just feels so practical now, at least in my life, and in your life now. And it was not part of our college education. So admire you for continuing to learn. And maybe that's just in your nature, since you know multiple languages and have multiple degrees that you just kind of now you're learning this new thing. And this is your education. It also sounds like you did all this after, like your career. Right? Yeah, yes. You worked for a long time. And I want to emphasize that to people who are listening, that you're never too young or too old to start. Young people are like, oh, I don't have the money to do this. But some folks, you know, roll their sleeves up and find a way. The other side of the coin is people that feel like they're, they're past their prime to be able to start and you know, I'm in my 40s. And I don't feel like I'm too late to start. You know, I feel like I started on this real estate side in my early 40s. And I'm continuing to learn as well, you know, so it's great that this is almost like a second career for you, right? And this is like

Pam Hill:

That's exactly right.

Jason Muth:

And you're full time now.

Unknown:

I couldn't agree more that you're never too old or too young. On the two young side. So I am mentor to a program that a bank started, these kinds of programs probably exist all over the US. This particular one just happens to be called Jumpstart, you know, and the name of the city. But it's a mentorship program for young developers. Young, not meaning age wise, but experience wise, and our youngest age wise, is a college student, and that 20 year old has managed to buy their first house and flip it, and then likewise, turning it around. For those who say, Well, gee, I'm set in my ways, I don't have a lot to risk. And yet, I still have got an itch for this thing called real estate investment, you can start tiny, you can start with your home sweet home. These days through short term rentals, even things like swimming pools, there are websites that have people allow people to rent out by the hour, their above ground, or below ground swimming pool. Storage. There are folks who do not want to put their items in storage, but they will put them in your house. So there's a lot of ways that someone can get involved.

Jason Muth:

Yeah, I've heard about those. I don't have a swimming pool. I was curious if people really booked them. But there's lots of different ways to make money. I mean, like there's sites for visiting nurses, for example. You know, there are sites for, you know, a shared economy in the year 2022, which is when we're recording, this is very common for a generation of people that are realizing that they don't have to own everything, they could just kind of rent it from others, and then that provides an opportunity for somebody to make some money if they're the one that doesn't own the asset.

Pam Hill:

Absolutely.

Jason Muth:

Tell us about the types of people who you're mentoring, especially on you know, I mentioned earlier on your website that, you know, you have a specific focus on black and brown people and women. What are the things that they're asking you what, how are you coaching them? In what direction? Are you steering them?

Pam Hill:

Sure, absolutely. So the first place that I steer them, and really, that they have questions themselves is, how do I get started? Which can be a question that really anyone will have, because they have a hankering to do something. And yet the ocean is too big, you cannot boil the entirety of it. So we start off with setting out what their objectives are. So geographically, are you looking for an investment that is one that you will live in, in other words, a two family, three family, four family investment, or one that's, as you mentioned, the rust belt, and here I am in the northeast, I want nothing to do with it. What is the amount of money that you're looking at, and the financing strategy itself, and then really digging into that. There's an awful lot of free money that's out there for folks who are looking to be to establish the house as their residence. So looking at that. And then lastly, talking through what their overall objectives are over the next five years so that they can begin to connect to the passion within them the dream so that it doesn't feel like something that's just pure homework for them to have to plod through. And I always make it personal in telling them about my own story. So in my case, my parents they bought their first house and their only house when I was a child. My mom still lives there. And I had the good fortune to see neighbors on both sides, all African-American families who had left their house to their children. But often what happens to your point about real estate and business not being a part of the dinner table conversation is that these homes were lost. Yes, finances were talked about around the dinner table, in my case it was usually we have bills to pay. But certainly not, hey, there's this thing called Wall Street. So as a result of folks losing their homes through predatory or other just otherwise not knowing to prioritize property taxes and such, I internalized this mission that when black and brown folks and women talk about generational wealth, the very first step is to keep the wealth that you already had. The wealth that was left to you, if you were fortunate enough to have a parent or grandparent who passed something down. Or if you are in those shoes yourself with a house. How do we make sure that that gets held on to and then from there, to build, but to have that mindset? So it's not just well, let me just go find myself a government job. If government jobs are nice, but there can be more to it.

Jason Muth:

So let's talk a little bit about buying a house for the price of a car. In this day and age. I mean, interest rates, which are rising, like we're above the sixes now we're expecting the Fed to, you know, add, what another three quarters of basis point or something at the next meeting, again, how do you do that?

Unknown:

Absolutely. You're right, the Fed is on a mission to try to cool down the economy. And we certainly all respect and understand that. So again, back to the personal. So how did I do it? So I started off by looking through that other end of the telescope. So just as an example, for anybody who's listening, like okay, Pam, really and truly, just show me how you do this stuff. Go onto whatever your favorite website is your favorite MLS website. So if it's Zillow, or Redfin, or what have you, and then search put in parameters that first are house related, right, so get rid of the land, get rid of the manufactured housing, if that's a component of it, get rid of the apartments, and just simply look for houses and multifamily houses. Once you've done that put in, let's say two bedrooms, since that's probably the smallest you'll want to look at. Then next, put in a minimum and a maximum, the default otherwise is zero. And of course, nothing sells for zero. So put in, let's say, a minimum of 10,000 and put in a maximum of, let's say, $60,000. And you are able on most of these sites to search by state, so you don't have to feel limited to well, gee, I don't see anything here. And I don't know in Jackson, Mississippi, I guess I'm gonna go find another city. No, you can put it in the entire state of Mississippi, or Indiana, or Ohio, or what have you. Once you have that, you're then going to search for lowest to highest price. And when you do that, save for a handful of states. So let me get those out of the way. Forget about a California, close your ears. Looking in the Midwest, this is not for you. Same thing, Alaska, goodbye, Hawaii, you're lovely, but you're impossible as far as the price of a house. So there are a few states that are no. But there are states that are an absolute Yes. That you would not even think could be - New York State. We all think New York City impossible. But that's not the case with upstate New York. You will find houses and multifamily houses that are in the 30-40-50 up to $60,000 neighborhood. You will find them in Ohio, you will find them in the state of Pennsylvania and not just here. In the part of Pennsylvania I am in near Philly, but going west Erie think Scranton, those parts of Pennsylvania towards Pittsburgh, for sure the state of Wisconsin, the state of Michigan. So on any given day, just only through the MLS platform, you are going to see hundreds of houses that are the price of a car. Your next criteria, once you've done that, is then to begin to open up some of these links. For those that have, I'd say at least five pictures. Something that's got one picture has probably got some problems beyond your ability as a first time investor to think about. And when you work, see, does the house have the basic foundation that you're looking for - all four walls or roof probably just some drywall that needs to be patched some new floors, painting the kitchen cabinets, possibly replacing the furnace? That sort of thing? In other words, a $15,000 to $20,000 price tag on renovation. That's it.

Jason Muth:

Then you're talking about being what 70-80,000 into a house that

Unknown:

That's exactly right. So you're 70 in. So let's say that you get to house just as you just said for 50 got 20 on it. So now you're at 70 So now what can I rent a house like that for? Well, did you mention prices are going up? So if prices are going up for the price of a house, prices are going up for the price of rent. So rent even in a low income neighborhood and I have to say for the investors out there who think wait low income, who in the world is going to want to rent there?- Oh, everybody, the people who are living in these neighborhoods already living in those neighborhoods. So what they are looking for then are the two other things that they can control. Which is Do I have a good landlord and do I have a good house. So if you can go ahead and check those two boxes, you've checked two out of three. And on the neighborhood, if you're a good landlord, you can get to know the chief of police and so on to try to improve things around the margin. That's first around, gee, should I even look at that kind of neighborhood? Now what kind of rent am I going to see in that kind of neighborhood? You can do two things, first thing you can do is just type in the zip code and see zip code plus house for rent, and you will see what the rents are, I would say, generally, the rent is going to be for a three bedroom, one bath somewhere in the $1,400 or so neighborhood. So that's gonna put us at about do, the math, I don't know, what is that about $17-18,000 a year, gross, five, five years, six years or so. And you're at a breakeven, not, of course, including the property taxes, the insurance and the financing. With financing, you can break even in this many 10 fingers 10 years or less, just like the price of a car, and its financing horizon.

Jason Muth:

Yeah. Rory, how many searches have you done in that price range?

Rory Gill:

None recently, but I'm definitely putting that on my to do list for right after we wrap up here. That kind of rhymes a little bit with other advice we've heard on Bigger Pockets and elsewhere saying that, you know, no matter where you live in the country, within a two hour drive, you can find a market that might work a little better for you. Because I know people who live you know where we live here in Boston, Bay Area, California, other parts of the country, it just seems so prohibitively expensive to get your foot in the door. But if you expand your horizons just a little bit, you can still keep it local to you, you can keep it in a state that you know, and like maybe not Alaska, Hawaii, most of California, but we can do that search here. And we'll have to hop in the car, we'll have to, you know, expand beyond our immediate neighborhood. But you can find opportunities anywhere?

Pam Hill:

Absolutely.

Jason Muth:

You have to run the numbers a little differently with the higher interest rates today. But you know, if you could find a property to work at the interest rates today, then it definitely will work. You know, who knows where things are going down the line? You know, I don't know when we'll have a refinancing opportunity again. But you know, if you're looking at property at the price of a car, you know, that mortgage payment won't be that big, you know, maybe some people could actually pay cash for it.

Unknown:

Absolutely. And you have to keep in mind too, yes, the interest rate is higher, but the rent is higher. And whereas interest rates will come down in their cyclicality. It's, it's rare that rents, rents themselves really come down. And something that is a particular value with a house for the price of a car versus let's say, versus a flip your typical flip where it's going to be six figures, maybe 150. And it's, it's the $150,000 House in the $300,000 neighborhood. And so there's that immediate value that you can obtain, which is absolutely a good value with a house for the price of a car, meaning 50s or so - that is not a flip opportunity. Not in the near term. If you're looking at flips, don't be in this market, you need to be in this market for two things. One is the annuity as it were, in other words, the rent the rental income. Second is the lottery ticket value of the property. So yes, the property will appreciate Of course it will I have a house that I bought, I think it was in 2018 that I bought for $15,500. And now its value is something like $150,000. But that is really not a lottery ticket value. Lottery ticket value is when you have let's say a Brooklyn New York happen. So 20 years ago, Brooklyn, New York, those prices were probably in the in neighborhoods that would have been considered unsafe neighborhoods, the price would have been maybe in the $40-50,000 neighborhood. Now you have to add one zero, two zeros, those are million dollar homes, every one of them. So that's a lottery ticket, the lottery ticket can happen because of gentrification, because of some sort of economic development factors that coalesce. So that's what you wait for. So here's a lottery ticket. I don't know if it will occur, but one that I can see having a possibility of occurring - the city of Wilmington, Delaware. Why Wilmington? Because President Joe Biden, a longtime senator of Delaware, and certainly with Wilmington roots will, I would imagine, construct his presidential library when that time comes in the great city of Wilmington, and much like how parts of Chicago near the Obama Library are seeing a material increase in price, I would expect the same with Wilmington. So those are the kinds of micro pockets where this lottery ticket might materialize and that you can target.

Jason Muth:

And it's being aware of that and understanding where things might be in that specific neighborhood and five or 10 years. You know, I think that Rory'S office is based in South Boston where we've lived and you know, that I think is a lottery ticket neighborhood at least it was 20 years ago when I first bought in there and 2003 And then everything just went bonkers since then, you know, but a lottery ticket neighborhood, it's I don't think it is anymore because it's already had its lottery ticket, you know it's now stable and desirable. But yeah, it's finding those pockets that might be near public transit might be near new attraction that if you could have the foresight a few years down the line as to what projects are coming in there and get in right now, you might see that explosive 5x 6x, even higher growth on some of your properties, if they're low enough. I was going to ask before we get to our final questions, My Smart Cousin, tell me about how that came about.

Unknown:

Yeah, how that came to be? Absolutely. So I've always been that cousin at our family reunions, who follows up with folks, when it comes to their personal finances with with anything that's got money attached to it. So if they told me at last year's family reunion, you know, I'm thinking about finally getting started in my retirement fund that my job is offering me or I'm tired of renting, I want to how I can get into some kind of little piece of a house, that cousin that really does follow up with them. And thus the kind of moniker within the family - Oh, here come a smart cousin Pam, come on over year, I got a question for you. And so as a result, I treat the family, friends, and now clients always, as part of that big My Smart Cousin family. And I suppose a name like that, I'm also looking to connote that these really are just kitchen table topics. If you can't explain personal finance, or or even corporate finance, or just about any topic, if you can't explain it, like you're talking to a five year old, in just very plain, basic English words, not high jargon words, then you probably need to go back and study a little more because you yourself might be lost on certain concepts. And that's why you aren't able to articulate it. So that's why I used My Smart Cousin, because the idea is, we're just going to talk plain, we're going to talk simple. I'm going to refer to your check register to help you make the jump between that and how your business finances should look.

Jason Muth:

That's brilliant. I love that. And now you're imparting that wisdom on clients and friends and us. You're now our smart cousin as well.

Pam Hill:

Yes!

Jason Muth:

You probably try to get get your clients to be the smart cousin awesome.

Unknown:

Family dues are due at the end of the month. You hope you're welcome to come to our reunion in August.

Jason Muth:

But you're the smart cousin though. I won't be the smart cousin at that reunion.

Unknown:

We've got many a smart cousin so so you will be for your niche.

Jason Muth:

What's important in that lesson is sometimes like being smart doesn't mean talking above people and getting them more confused.

Pam Hill:

Just the opposite.

Jason Muth:

You sound smart to them. It is you're right. It's the opposite. It is dumbing it down and talking to them like they're a fifth grader. Like not condescending, but in a way they're going to understand it. And if you could explain it that way, then that is the true sign of brilliance.

Pam Hill:

Absolutely! Conversation is for the benefit of others, not you.

Jason Muth:

Yeah, it certainly is. Well, Rory, why don't we get to the final couple of questions that we ask all of our guests love to hear Pam's responses to some of these now. Do you want to do them? You stumbled on them early on when were talking about it, but I think you have it down, right?

Rory Gill:

I have stumbled over these in the past. We'll see how I do here. So our first final question is if you had to give a presentation for 30 minutes on any topic whatsoever with zero preparation, what topic would that be?

Unknown:

How to buy a house for the price of a car. And it would be that because that is meaningful to everyone. When I was at a college reunion three weeks ago, I talked to college students about how to do that. And I talked to alums. So this is something the white picket fence that is still the American dream, despite the many challenges that so many families have, should be in reach of every American, my personal font. And thus, we can start with one component of getting everyone that by buying a house for the price of a car.

Jason Muth:

Love it. That's your TED talk.

Rory Gill:

You know, another question we like to ask of everybody is, what's something that happened early in your life that's impacted how you live and how you do business today?

Unknown:

I got older, I had a chance to watch what real life looked like. And I'm from a small family - my mom and myself. So I could only imagine what it looks like for friends and family. But life could be very difficult. My dad was a taxi driver. My mom was working for an airline that no longer exists, but in baggage claim. And so I got a chance to see that without careful financial planning, you could very much find yourself at the crosshairs and the whims a bit of the economy. So the lesson that I took from that is that you cannot only rely on work. Yes, work is important. But you have to have multiple stakes in the ground multiple streams of income is how some have translated into that into. So that's the big takeaway that I took is that you need to make sure that you are the captain of that ship as much as you can.

Jason Muth:

Great advice.

Rory Gill:

And then something light here, what's something that you're watching or listening to these days?

Unknown:

So I'm always a fan of some of the older shows that are out there. So with the passing months ago of the great Betty White, I, sometimes I just love to indulge with things like the Golden Girls, that never gets old. And it's funny because when you watch shows that are older, you can see a slice of America and how we thought about things years ago, and when I want to delve into the serious, Marketplace is probably among my favorite news podcasts to listen to, because they always have a snapshot of what's happening in the here and now. So I like to, I suppose be a full person as it were. all facets in other words, not just only work Pam only serious Pam, but also play Pam, I think we all should indulge in the full spectrum of ourselves and see our clients that same way.

Jason Muth:

We love Marketplace. We listen to that a lot as well. And the Golden Girls, I am also old enough to remember that when it was a first run show, yes, back in the classic ad sitcoms, and yes, every so often, I'll just find my way to the Golden Girls. And you know, it's still funny today. Very witty humor.

Pam Hill:

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely.

Jason Muth:

So Pam, tell everybody where they could find you. If they want to reach out to you and learn more from you and become come one of your students.

Unknown:

Absolutely.

Jason Muth:

Become a smart cousin themselves.

Pam Hill:

Become part of the My Smart Cousin family. So I urge them to head on over to mysmartcousin.com. So that's mysmartcousin.com. Of course, they can also follow me on Instagram and Twitter, the handle is at mysmartcousin. Same with Facebook. And then when you are on the my smart cousin website. First of all, there's all kinds of free content that's there. So I have an e-book that's free. That's there. I have a number of blogs that I've written that are there as well as video snippets vignettes that you're able to watch. And then certainly if you say you no, that's a nice taste. But let's face it, Pam, I actually want someone to hold me by the hand. Well, guess what, five years from now, I'll still be just sitting here looking. All right, in that case, and let's get going. Let's do it through either three hour classes that I do online or through one on one coaching. Because as the old saying goes, if you want to change what you have from this world, then you've got to change how you exhibit yourself in this world.

Jason Muth:

It's all about taking that action.

Pam Hill:

Take the action.

Jason Muth:

Yeah, Rory, where can people find you?

Rory Gill:

People can find me at my brokerage NextHome Titletown - nexthometitletown.com or my law practice UrbanVillage Legal - urbanvillagelegal.com.

Unknown:

I love that handle UrbanVillage. I like that very, very much.

Rory Gill:

Thank you.

Jason Muth:

We came up with that, what? Long time - eight years ago?

Rory Gill:

8-10 years ago? Yeah, we're looking for something to depersonalize the law office, because it's not about me. And a lot of attorneys tend to name their practices after themselves. But it wasn't about me.

Pam Hill:

Me, myself, and I, right?

Rory Gill:

Exactly. Yeah, absolutely. And so I've wanted to name it for my community in a way that spoke to what I did. So we after after a bit of brainstorming UrbanVillage Legal is what I've had for for about a decade now.

Pam Hill:

Yeah, it feels welcoming, feels engaging. That's nice.

Jason Muth:

Thank you for listening also to this podcast. And Pam, thank you for being on the podcast. Like we really appreciate your insights and your perspective. It's always nice to hear from folks from the East Coast. We've had a lot of people on the West Coast, on the podcast as well. And yeah, can't wait to go do some MLS searches between $10 and $60,000. In Massachusetts, I just want to see what comes up, you know, and everyone thank you for listening. If you enjoyed this podcast, go reach out to Pam on her website mysmartcousin.com or on social media and give us a review also on iTunes or wherever you're listening to this drop us a comment. We will watch and listen to all those comments, watch comments. I guess if people send us a video comment, that's fine too. And on behalf of Rory and Pam, I'm Jason Muth and I really appreciate your listening to The Real Estate Law Podcast and we'll see you next time. Thank you.

Rory Gill:

Thank you.

Pam Hill:

Thank you.

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