#57 Talking subject-to deals and Carlton Sheets with William Tingle
William Tingle, Host of Sub2Deals.com & The Sub2Deals Show Podcast is a nationally-known real estate investor, investing coach, author, and public speaker.
William had worked in the restaurant business for almost 20 years when in 1999, he ordered a Carleton Sheets Nothing Down course off of a late night TV infomercial. He read it and took a $5000 advance from a credit card to start his real estate investing career. Exactly one year later he quit his job for good, paid the credit card off and has to this day never used a penny of his own money for investing.
For over 10 years he operated a real estate business where he wholesaled and rehabbed numerous properties each year but found his real niche in what he calls “Sub2”, buying subject to existing financing. To date, he has taken the deed on over 500 properties and even though he “retired” in Belize in 2010, he still continues to buy 20 to 25 properties a year in this manner in select markets throughout the United States.
He has trained and coached countless students all over the country to become financially successful real estate investors.
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Itunes – www.TonyJavier.com/itunes
The key and is really just opening it up and doing it following the step. I just kept doing it. And pretty soon I bought a house. Do
You teach people how to do this themselves so they can do it themselves? You,
Like I said, you can turn a lot of those. So called negatives in, in positive.
All right. Welcome everyone to another great episode. We have another special guest for you guys. We are bringing you some movers and shakers. We’re bringing you the people that are doing some things to inspire you to either get started in real estate. Or if you’re doing real estate now to do things bigger, better, faster, and more efficiently. So today we have William tingle on our show today. So William, how’s it going, bud?
Uh, going great, Tony. I appreciate you having me here today.
Absolutely. Great to have you, you know, what’s cool is we have a similar story, uh, Carleton sheets, no down payment system. Back in 99, you bought the course, right? I bought the course in 2001, uh, figured out how to make it work. And like you and I were talking about before, uh, hit record here. Not a lot of people have made that system work a very small percentage and actually that’s the way it is for most courses. Right? I mean, a lot of people buy the courses, they right. Put ’em on their shelf. Well, actually now courses are online mostly mm-hmm . Um, but yeah, they don’t really put ’em into action, right? Yeah. So I guess that’s my first question for you. So back in 99, when you bought that course, tell us how you started, tell us how you took, uh, a 200, it was $200 for me. I don’t know what it was for you at the time. Right. Um, how did you take a $200 course and figure out how to start buying properties and make it work
well, first of all, yeah, the course was about 200 bucks, but they got me for the upsells, the package on partners and foreclosures and all that stuff. So I, I spent a little bit more on it, but you know, the key, uh, it’s just like you were just saying is really just opening it up and do it following the steps. And I said, where most people fail. We’re in such a sticking in the microwave society. They want everything instantly. You know, these guys today, man, they don’t know how good they got it. Texting prop stream, all of these tools and toys. We used to drive for dollars all week long, go down to the tax office on Tuesdays, look up all the owners and their new addresses and then direct mail ’em because there was nothing else really. And that’s what you had to do.
But really what I did was I opened the course up and I just started following the steps. He said, call fisbos people with, uh, properties in the newspaper. And that’s what I did. And man, I got cussed out and just, I heard everything in the world. One investor I got on the phone says put down the Carlton sheets course, it doesn’t work. Uh, but I just kept doing it. And pretty soon I bought a house and then the next month I bought another house and after about four houses, I said, gee, this stuff might really work. Maybe I need to plan something. So I said, you know what? I wanna leave my job in 12 months, I need to buy X number of houses. And that’s what I did a year later. I quit my job.
Fantastic. Yeah. 2001, I bought the course and you know, like you said, not a lot of people just put the first action into place. Right. So I actually went to the newspaper. I don’t know if you remember that section of the course, but he taught you how to go into newspapers, call on for sale by owners. Exactly. That’s actually how I found my first property. Um, a real real estate agent actually had it listed. She sold me the property and she said, well, why don’t you just get your real estate license? So she convinced me to convinced me to get my real estate license. I was 21. And then I got my license sold real estate for a couple years while I waited tables and went to co you know, was finishing college. Right. Which I didn’t actually finish. I, I left with nine hours left eventually after about two years of selling two to three years of selling real estate and doing some investing on the side, I was a finally able to quit my job and kind of get outta school and all that and, and have full time into the business. So yeah. Yeah.
Well, I’ll tell you, when I got started, I had, I was a restaurant district manager and I worked insane hours. So a lot of my stuff had to be done on lunch breaks or in the afternoons or yeah, up late at night on all these chat rooms, we didn’t have Facebook and, and all these places to learn YouTube didn’t exist. Uh, it was a much different time. So I mean, you had to really work. Like I said, these guys today, they’ve got it so easy. They can, you know, click a couple of buttons and know exactly who owns the house and how much their mortgage is and what their payments are. It’s just amazing how much simpler it is
Now. I know right. Uploaded into a list. And the next day they’re real estate investors. That’s cuz we’re get in front of so many, you know, potential motivated sellers. Yeah. Back then it was a lot harder for us. But at the same time there was less competition. Right. That’s true. That’s true. Little, little bit a trade off. Yeah. Little of trade off. Well, cool. So why were the last, um, 20, some years looks like 23 years, uh, done hundreds of deals, right? You’re the sub two guys. So you do a lot of sub two deals, a lot of creative financing. Right. But for those of people who maybe don’t know what sub two is kind of explain a little bit in your process on, um, getting deals under contract and taking them subject to. Right.
Well, if you don’t know what sub two is, let me tell you the greatest thing in the, world’s an neatest thing since lines on paper. Uh, and it’s literally where someone will deed the property to you and let you take over the payments on their existing mortgage. The thing that they sweated over for weeks trying to get approved and finalized, they pay it all the fees, the closing costs. Now they’ve got this mortgage in place and they will actually deed you the property and let you take over those payments. And I know if you’re hearing it for the first time, you’re probably thinking the same thing I was, who in the world would do that. But you’d be surprised when you have a life event, a divorce, uh, a death in the family of someone very close to your spouse. And both of you, you had incomes that contributed to making the house payment.
Maybe you’re getting a job transfer. You gotta be across the country in two weeks and you don’t have many options. Uh, you know, the house becomes something that’s just a burden that just has to be dealt with. And if you get in front of these people and you know, you just present the option to ’em, you’d be amazed at the number of ’em they’ll say, Hey, that sounds great. What, what do I have signed to do that? So that’s what we do. We try to put ourselves in front of people who have situations where the house is a burden. And if we can talk to those people, then chances are, we can get, you know, another house that we can buy
Mm-hmm . So when you take deal subject to, do you actually put any money down or is, or is it more just them wanting outta the house and they’re just willing to sign it over to you?
It depends on the situation. You know, for example, I had two conversations with sellers today. Both of them each have about $80,000 in, in real equity in their house. And one of them, you know, it’s not gonna work. He said, well, I would do this, but I would want half of my money up front. I’ve got some things I wanna do. So I said, well, $40,000. Down’s probably not gonna work for us, but you know, Hey, I understand we’re not for everybody. If you change your mind, give us a call. Now the lady that we talked with, again, she’s got about $80,000 in equity, but she’s already been approved to buy her new house. So she’s not in a situation where she needs the money and she’s very interested in it. So, uh, we’re gonna have some follow up conversations with her next week. Uh, she wants to consider a couple of things, ask us a few more questions. Uh, but you know, that’s a situation where, you know, it will work. So, uh, it just really depends. Uh, neither one of these people, you know, the one guy wanted half his money up front. Of course, that won’t work for us. The lady she’s not too concerned about getting any money. So that would be a no money down situation for us on a very nice house that doesn’t need any work. So in that case, no money down. So it really, it really just depends on what the seller needs.
And in that case, if you take a subject to, on something like that, is there much equity involved? And then what do you do? Just turn it around and rent it until you pay the mortgage down enough to where you can either sell it or, uh, do something else with it.
Now you could do that if you wanted to Tony, but our exit is very specific. Uh, we only exit with seller financing. Uh, we’re looking for home buyers, not renters. Uh, we want someone who wants to own that home and has a little bit of money to put down. And typically we’ll get eight to 10% down from our borrower, uh, which on a $300,000 house is gonna be 26,000 to $30,000. So that’s, we’ll collect that on the front end. And if we had to give our seller any money for a down payment that would come out of that down payment. So we usually go into these deals with no money out of pocket, nothing down money on the front cash flow in the middle, and then a back end payoff when our buyer buys. That’s the only way that we do. ’em
How hard is it to find people that have that much money down the 10%? Cause we do, we do a lot of, um, or used to do a lot of rent owns. We’re doing straight rentals on a lot of stuff, just cuz the appreciation that we’re getting right now. Uh, but how hard do you have, have, how hard is it? Have you found to find those that have 10% down?
If you’re buying houses in marginal areas, uh, sea neighborhoods are worse houses that need work, things like that. It’s gonna be tough if you’re buying nice homes in nice neighborhoods where people want to live finding somebody with eight to 10% down, isn’t that big a stretch. There are plenty of people out there who are either self-employed, uh, or have a situation where they don’t have enough provable income. Uh, most mortgage brokers will tell you 70% of the people that walk in the door can’t qualify for traditional mortgage because of credit issue, a bankruptcy or something like that. But they have money to put down. So finding someone with a down payment, hasn’t been a challenge for us in a long, long time.
Mm-hmm yeah. So tell us, um, I’ve asked this question before we hit record, but a lot of people want to know, well, how do most people find properties? How do they find motivated seller leads? So talk people through, um, your strategies to find those motivated sellers that are calling you or that you’re calling them and then working through those deals.
Well, you, you know, when I first got started 23 years ago, we just did generic marketing. We had magnet magnetics on our cars. We put bandit signs out, we ran ads in the newspaper. I mean, we just did everything. We had a website that we drove people to. We talked to every agent or mortgage broker in town, just local, generic type marketing. And then the leads that came in, we would funnel ’em where they went at the time I did rehabs, I did some rentals. We did some lease options. We just, we made the deal fit a different box today with subject two, we’re looking again for a very specific seller. We prefer to deal with sellers where the house is a burden. What is that going to be? People getting a divorce VA, people who are getting transferred that generally don’t have a lot of equity, but need to move very quickly.
Uh, people in foreclosure, people with tax issues, that sort of thing. We also market to FSBO sellers, uh, on Zillow or Craigslist and things like like that. And you know, during the whole COVID thing, that’s been tough because the market’s been so crazy. You know, these people all thought they were sitting on a golden house and they weren’t very negotiable, but I’m gonna tell you in the last two or three months, things have changed a lot. Uh, you know, we used to have to text a thousand people to get a few leads, to get something, to turn into a deal. Now you can text two or 300 people and you’ve got several people that want to talk to you. So the market’s really changed a lot. It’s a lot easier.
And that’s because, uh, more people are, are more motivated or do you think, you know, maybe real estate investors are pausing lately, just cuz there’s little bit of, uh, uncertainty in the market. What, why do you think that that’s changed? Well,
I think people are so influenced by the news back when they were hearing how hot the, the housing market was, everyone, even in the tiny towns, Podunk USA, they thought they had had a million dollars in equity in their house. So they weren’t very flexible, but they watched the news now too. You know, the market’s softening sales are down all kind of things with the economy that scare people. So the people that didn’t sell, you know, they’re trying to throw their house up there trying to get some sales. A lot of Zillow, fisbos are quickly going to agents because you know, they can’t sell their house themselves. Now. I think the markets just got softer in general. I don’t think a lot of investors are jumping out of it so much. I mean, I see as much activity around as, as ever before, but I think the sellers are just getting a little bit more flexible. It’s just, it seems a lot easier for us. Maybe it’s just our approach, you know, we’re looking for people that don’t have a ton of equity or that have a problem. So, so we already have an advantage that way. Mm-hmm
yeah. So, uh, tell us about the last 23 years. So I’ve been in business 20 years. I know I’ve seen a lot of different things. I’ve seen different markets, I’ve seen ups and downs. I’ve had, you know, good people in my business. I’ve had really bad people in my business, uh, and different respects. Tell us some learning lessons, like what are, what are some things that going back 23 years ago, if you sat down with the person that started the business 23 years ago, what are some lessons that you would teach yourself 23 years ago? Right. First start, uh, started in, well,
You know, just thinking about just seeing the things that have happened just in the last couple of years, what I would say, first of all, equity really isn’t as important as cash flow. I can buy a house today. That’s worth 300 that they owe 200 and say, oh wow, I’ve got a hundred thousand dollars in equity, but something big can happen in the marketplace. All of a sudden, and that house isn’t worth 300 anymore. It’s worth 200. Okay. So the equity’s gone. What’s important is cash flow. I see a lot of people today, uh, that will take any deal. They can get the deed on, even if the loan is horrible and it won’t cash flow because say for example, well just turn it into an Airbnb. Okay. That’s the solution because you can make a house that will not cash flow as a rental that will not cash flow. As a wrap, all of a sudden it’s making a thousand, $2,000 a month as an Airbnb and that’s their only exit plan. But what happens when your city decides overnight no more Airbnbs. What do you do then? Then you’ve got an alligator on your hands. So you better have backup exit plans. And equity’s great. We love it. But cashflow is really what’s important. Well, that thing make money for you month after month after month, whether the market goes up or down, it’s not gonna make any difference. That’s what’s critical.
Cool. Yeah. So cash flow equity. I love both actually mm-hmm
oh yeah, for sure. We love ’em both.
If you, if you can get both that’s killer. I mean, I, I invest mostly in the Midwest, so, uh, so for me, we can get properties with equity and we can figure out how to make up cash flow. Right. You know, lately with the way the market is, it has been, um, you know, prices have gone up and rent. Haven’t gone, gone up quite as much. So it is a little bit tougher, but um, you know, there are, there, there cash flow can offset equity and equity can offset cash flow at this, you know, same time, but you’re right. If a property can’t cash flow, uh, and somebody doesn’t have the money, um, to float the property, then you know, there could be some issues there. So that’s right.
Yeah. That’s, that’s probably the biggest thing for me. Okay. It’s gotta make money. And I, and I tell my students all the time certainty is the most important part of any deal. I, if I’m not certain, I will make money with this. I’m not interested
That. So tell us about Belize. You, you have in your bio that you retired, uh, to Belize in 2010. Yeah,
Right. You told you can kind of tell the story, but it sounds like you moved back to the us recently. So tell us, why did you choose Belize and, and what brought, brought you back to the us? You
Know, one of the things that I started doing when I started making money in real estate was traveling. I traveled all over the country. You know, a lot of the Caribbean been to all 50 states now in Canada, in Mexico. I mean just, we did a lot of traveling and started looking at some other options for retirement. Belize was very attractive to me because, well, first of all, it’s accessible from the us by land sea air. I mean, you have to drive through Mexico to get there, but you can do it. So I was just looking at those things. It’s very close to the us. It’s only about a three hour flight away. Uh, everything is super affordable there, you can get a two bedroom furnished condo on the beach down there for under two grand a month. Right. And that’s now it used to be a lot cheaper than that.
English is the first language they’re very American friendly and some countries aren’t. So there are a lot of reasons I really liked it. So I’d already looked at it. And then I got a divorce in 2010 and my life changed pretty dramatically. And I said, you know what, I’m gonna get outta here. So I left the country, moved down there. I could live very affordably and, uh, and just hung out for several years and really enjoyed it. And that’s when I got started buying remotely, I lived out of the country. So I had to learn how to do stuff away. Uh, and that’s when I got started doing that, I completely changed my business. No more rehabs, no more rental properties by subject to sell with seller finance. And that’s how I got onto the, the model that we follow today.
Mm-hmm yeah. That’s the great thing about real estate investing is you don’t have to be stuck in one place, especially with, like you said, there’s so many tools that allow you to virtually invest. We run, uh, you know, TV commercials for investors throughout the country. And I would say probably half of them don’t even go look at the properties when they right. Properties under contracts. So right with, um, you know, the automation to be able to comp properties and Google maps and be able to drive the streets and, you know, reaching out to agents and people on Facebook. If, you know, if you need resources, it just, it’s so easy these days to do things remotely and virtually. And so, you know, if someone’s in a, in a really expensive market, um, or even if someone’s not in the us and they want to, actually, I just did a podcast with someone that they’re in, uh, Australia and they do, they do deals in, uh, the United States. So no one really has an excuse, not, um, you know, to not invest in real estate. Right.
That’s a, that’s a real mental switch though. You know, because the first 12 years I was an investor, I wouldn’t buy anything that was more than a half hour drive from me. I wanted to be able to see that house, touch it, you know, all that stuff. And, and I advised other investors the same. Don’t, you know, you need to be right there. But when I moved outta the country, things, you know, it was necessary to make that change. So had to learn to do that, but that’s a little bit of a middle shift to buy that first house and not see it, you know, not be able to drive by it or go talk to even meet the people that are gonna move in it. You got all people handling that stuff for you. So, but it really it’s, uh, it’s, it’s kinda like learning to live without a car. You know, when I moved to believe, you know, I lived on an island, there were, there were very few cars. Most people got around on a golf court, uh, golf cart. Uh, but even just not having a car is a real mental shift when you’re used to having one and being able to go and do things like that. So we made some changes for sure.
So what’s on the rising for you next. I mean, you’ve done a ton of deals. Um, you know, you’ve done hundreds of deals and, and you feel like, you know, it sounds like you have it down. What, what is the next move for you? You, you do coaching. Um, is there anything else you’re looking to, you know, put in place in the next, you know, five years that are kind of like a, you know, a big goal for you?
You know, it is funny as it sounds, you know, been in the last several years, just buying stuff remotely and, and talking about that, my wife and I are actually looking for a permanent residence where we want to be heavily involved in local real estate. Again, actually getting out there, knocking on the doors, talking to people, buying houses locally. So we’re looking for a market. We’ve been traveling the country for the last year. Uh, we’ve been, gosh, and we’ve stayed in several states now, anything from, uh, Oregon right now, we’re in Florida all the way across the country, trying to decide where we want to live. So that’s what our next plan is, is sometime later this year or early next year, finding our, our place, our hometown, and just becoming, uh, the go-to people for real estate there. So that’s really what we want to do.
Cool. Well, let me know if you, uh, need some options. Like I said, we run, uh, TV commercials for investors throughout the country. So we get the insight on kind of what they’re doing, the price points, right. Uh, what markets are, uh, you know, good to find deals, what, you know, states and cities are a little more investor friendly. So mm-hmm, I look forward to seeing where you land cuz there’s so many. Oh yeah. Well, what else do you wanna share? So, you know, like I said, you’ve been in the business 23 years. I feel like through 20 years, I could, I could spend probably a whole week talking about struggles and talking about, you know, obstacles and things that I’ve, you know, gone through and all of that. So for a new investor, getting, getting into the game, what would you recommend for them besides just picking up the phone and, you know, making calls and, and doing, you know, just getting started. Um, what are some things that you would, uh, suggest that they do to get, get started?
Well, the first recommendation I would make to them is to, you know, look at all the different ways you can make money in real estate and they’re a million, whether it’s mobile homes and I’ve got students that do all of it, mobile homes, wholesaling, lease sandwich, lease options, or a million things. You can do commercial, uh, multi-family single family, but whatever it is that you pick, just stick with it long enough to see success. You know, most people jump from thing to thing and it really slows ’em down and they don’t see success for years because they can’t be still pick something. I like to say, pick a horse and ride it. Okay. Find someone who’s reputable, preferably local in your area. That’s doing what you want to do and you know, and see how you can offer service to them, to get them to help you.
You know, people offer to take you to lunch and spend 20 bucks on you. And they want 20 years of information during that lunch, but offer value to that person. How can you assist them in their business and learn from them that way and just realize that this is a people business in the end, you know, when you’re buying real estate, if you’re getting a good deal, we buy houses from people in foreclosure that have problems. And the best deals we make are, are with people. We make a connection with, we’re able to offer service to them other than just buying their house. You know, even if it’s just somebody to listen. So it is a people business, you know, I know we get into texting and non-personal ways of communication, but the more personal you can make it, the better that you’ll do. But the biggest thing is just to realize it is gonna take some effort. It is going to be some work it’s simple, it’s not easy, but it’s simple. And it is really worth it to have financial freedom and be able to do all the things that you want to do. So instead of working for somebody else all your
Life, yeah. That’s a good point with adding value to someone else. I think, um, you know, when someone asks me what I would do differently, you know, starting out that’s one of the top, probably three things that I, I, I mentioned, especially being young is I wish I would work for someone else and kind of got mentorship and guidance and learn from on someone else’s dime. Right, right. Not saying you have to do that, you know, reaching out to someone that’s already doing deals and saying, Hey, can I shadow you? Can I, can I help me con you know, meet your contractors? Is there any anything I can do to help you and get ingrained in it? And who knows, they may be a private lender for you down the road. They may send you deals. You’ll probably be able to send them deals. You know, I know a lot of, um, a lot of people that got started that way, that just kind of helped, uh, local, real estate investor in their area.
Right. Uh, and that got them started, got them resources, got them experience and, and, uh, really got them, uh, going. Whereas I did it the opposite way when I first started, I didn’t ask for help. I didn’t help anybody else. I just put my head down and just grinded away, which worked for me. Um, luckily my personality kind of pushed through that. There, there are easier ways to do it. Right. Mm-hmm and that’s really doing it with other people. Well, any last thoughts William, before we kind of kind of start wrapping this up?
Well, I’d like to invite your listeners to, uh, follow us on YouTube. We’ve got a, a pretty cool YouTube channel there. Uh, we release several videos a week. You can find it at Sub2Deals, it’s S U B, the number two deals. Uh, you can check us out there and, uh, you know, make sure you subscribe.
Awesome. Sounds good. Well, Hey, appreciate your time, William. Uh, congrats on all the success, the hundreds of deals that you’ve done, uh, and you do it creatively and that’s, that’s really, um, you know, when we bought this course, we did no creative financing, right? When we bought Carlton sheets and that’s, you know, that, that course now would be pretty basic, but it was just enough for me. I know, um, to get started, I bought my first two properties with no money down right. Using my, my dad’s money. And at that time you could use the after repair value to fund a hundred percent of the purchasing renovations, which there’s still some of that out there. And then even to this day, kind of like you, I, I really haven’t used much if any of my money on right. Real estate deals. So that’s one of the things that people say when, when they say, I want to get started, invest in real estate is I don’t have money. You don’t have to have the money. You just have to that’s right. Someone that has the money. Right.
That’s exactly right. I mean, there’s several options. I mean, you can, if you’ve got credit cards, you can have no money, but have good credit. Then you can use lines of credit. I, I talked to a guy today that uses credit cards to do rehabs, and that’s gonna be an interesting conversation we’re gonna have later, but we had our initial conversation today. And I thought, well, my I’ve heard of that before, but you know, there’s a, when you’re talking creative, you can do a lot of stuff. You really can.
I remember back in the day in the first, uh, five years of my business, I was, I got a $25,000 line of credit from beneficial. I don’t even know if they’re still around anymore. 28.9% or 20. I was like a really high interest rate. And I, I did what I had to do. I just knew that if I took that money and put it into something, I could, I could pay it back. So. Awesome. Well, thanks, William. I appreciate it. Look forward to connecting and, uh, you know, we’ll, uh, uh, look forward to being on your podcast as well, and absolutely good luck on the move and let us know where you land. Ah,
Thanks, Tony. I appreciate
Alright. Thanks bud!