I have been a real estate investor since 1986. During that time I have helped many hundreds of people buy and sell real estate and sold a ton of it for myself. I've also taught many, many folks how to become real estate investors, quit their job and change their life.
I've been married to my wife, Nancy since 1990. I'm a dad to an 20 year old son named Alex and a 16 year old daughter named Katie. Alex is a writer and Katie is a dancer. We live in Indiana now - the town where I grew up. I've come full circle.
I have very few complaints about my life at the moment. I've found some excellent ways to make a living that don't take up all of my time (it hasn't always been this way). I work at home, so I get to be involved on a day to day basis in the lives of my family. Nancy is a stay at home mom (that's the way she wanted it too). I love what I do and I don't ever intend to retire.
I graduated from college in 1981 with a degree in Film Production (making movies) and promptly moved from Chicago (where I went to college) to Los Angeles. I worked in the movie industry for the next 5 years as a "Grip."
"Grips" are the guys that rig the lights and camera to prepare for a shot. It wasn't a bad living. I made good money and I had half the year off (it was all freelance work). But I wanted to be a script writer... (they say everybody in L.A. has a script)
So, over a 5 year period, I wrote 12 feature length screenplays until, finally, some executive at 20th Century Fox gave me a call and told me they liked one of my scripts and wanted to develop it.
Hooray!... I was going to make $350,000 and begin my real career! Or so I thought. Well, after about a year of "development" and rewrites, it finally sputtered and died.
I said, "enough of this garbage," (but not in those exact words) and decided that I would make enough money to make my own damn movie. I thought that real estate might be the right way.
Real estate *was* more fun than being a grip. No bosses - no regular hours - good money (better than gripping) and lots of freedom.
My Grandpa Pete said...
"There's no shame in being poor, it's just damn inconvenient."
You know, I've been poor and I've been rich and it's better to be rich.
I started real estate investing back in 1986 in Los Angeles, California. Three years after I started I had bought $17,000,000 (that's 17 million) worth of property. The first property I bought was brand new construction.
I didn't know what the heck I was doing back then.
I bought brand new construction and I didn't know what I was going to do with it, I didn't know if I was going to rent it and I didn't know if I was going to keep it.
I did know that I didn't want to live in it. It was too far away from where I worked.
To be honest with you, I don't know why I bought it, other than the fact that I looked at all my friends and they were making more money on the appreciation on their houses than they were making on the job.
Since then, I've learned that the biggest mistake you can make as a real estate investor is not having a viable exit strategy. Ah, the school of hard knocks.
I was in the movie industry at the time and I was making good money by most people's standards. I only worked about 100 days a year, had lots of time off and got to work on sets and do lighting.
Anyway - the real estate values were shooting up so quickly in the late l980's in Los Angeles, that my friends and coworkers were making more money on their property than they were in their job. So I decided to buy a property - and then, within a month after I bought it, the value had gone up 20%.
Blind, dumb luck.
Don't try to repeat this idiocy. I was in the right place at the right time.
I turned around and immediately sold that new house and made a nice chunk of money and I thought, "This is a great business. I'm going to like this."
I didn't realize at the time that markets don't jump like that very often and when they do, they are hard to predict. I was very lucky - at least in the beginning. But this good fortune started me on a road to being able to start buying properties like crazy. I started doing rehabs after that first success.
I had this brilliant idea that if I bought a house a little bit under value, I might make even more money - what a concept - so I bought HUD and VA foreclosures.
These properties were a little under value and I fixed them up, waited a month or two for the values to rise, and then sold them for another big chunk of cash.
I did that again and again and again. Then I went truly insane and started buying construction projects, new construction. It seemed like a good idea at the time - kids, don't do this at home.
My business kept growing...
Leverage Was King!
I was living up in the Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles in the Laurel Canyon Area. A shack up there cost $350,000 at the time. I was building properties like crazy - I think the most expensive one was a $1.6 million. They were all on the hillside. These properties had $300,000 foundations because of the earthquake rules in L.A.. They had 3 foot wide concrete and rebar pillars going down 50 feet into the ground. They were huge properties and I thought they were going to make me a fortune.
Remember, only three years had passed and I had bought over $17 MILLION dollars worth of property and a big wad of that was equity. Everything I had was buried in these properties. I was leveraged to the hilt and constantly looking for more property to buy. I thought I was immune to failure, touched by the gods, a golden child.
My fall to earth was approaching rapidly.
Well, 1990 comes along and then 1991 and the real estate market in Los Angeles dropped 30%. That's right, the value of property dropped 30%. That meant that my $1,600,000 house was now worth $1,120,000. That means that $17,000,000 worth of property, was now worth $11,900,000.
I owed more than that - my equity, my profits, my fortune had vanished like smoke - almost overnight.
I had a 25% margin on most of these properties. The construction lenders that I had borrowed from, came to me and said, "We're going to stop the loans. We are not going to give you any more money." I said, "But I just finished the foundation, a $300,000 foundation - it's in the ground - concrete, steel. You can't get it out. Are you really going to stop this?"
They said, "We're very sorry. We can't continue giving you more money. We have to cut our losses. You'll have to stop building. If the property doesn't keep it's value, we have the right to stop the construction draws and reduce our potential losses. Look at your contract. We can stop you anytime we want to." They stopped me and everything fell apart. I could no longer make any of the payments on my infrastructure.
I Lost Everything...
I lost my house. I lost my cars. I lost my dump truck, my bulldozer, my bobcat, my concrete forms... "NOT the bulldozer," I said. They took the bulldozer. I lost everything. I had people coming to my house in the middle of the night pounding on the door wanting money. I had people serving me legal papers every night. I got served with many lawsuits for unpaid bills because when you're doing construction, there are a lot of contracts going on.
It was a hard lesson - a very hard lesson.
When it all finally played out, I knew that I had to leave my house. I was walking up in the Hollywood Hills with my dog Jessie and I remember looking out over all of L.A. (it's really beautiful at night - you can see the whole city from up there). But that night, as I looked out over the city - it was in flames. On top of everything else, the L.A. Rodney King riots where in full swing.
So, we have the riots going, my business was in the tank, my wife was 6-months pregnant with our 1st child, I had no place to live, no place to go - but I had family in Indiana and they still loved me.
Ex-Millionaire Eats Humble Pie
So here I was, 35 years old, driving back to the Midwest in a big rented moving truck to move in with my parents. Talk about eating humble pie. This was a difficult thing to do. I'm sure a lot of you have been in tough financial situations before. I know a lot of people have gone through this sort of thing, maybe not to the extreme that I've done, but a lot of you have seen hard times. It was a difficult thing to experience and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.
I had to start over. I didn't have any money to work with and my credit was trashed.
But I knew a lot about real estate. I became a real estate agent and started selling property. I just had to get on my feet quickly. I needed money quickly.
I was in a funk. My self esteem tanked - I was depressed, I was walking around in a haze trying to get back on my feet.
I think the thing that got me moving at last was when I made a conscious decision to stop feeling sorry for myself. I realized the people I was working with as an agent needed my help and my attention and as soon as I shifted my focus from myself to them, I started to succeed again.
I know this sounds kind of corny, but I had to learn to learn to "go back to grateful." I had a wife who loved me, a baby boy who needed me and a big extended family who were happy to have me back in town. Despite the things I went through, I was a very lucky man - and when I looked around at what others have to deal with in their lives, I saw that things could have been much worse.
As the months passed, I started doing very well as an agent and we could breathe financially again.
Then - a funny thing happened - I started to open my eyes and look at real estate investing again. With the knowledge of creative financing I had from my previous business and the marketing and sales I was learning as an agent, I realized, "Wow, I could buy property again if I do things a little differently than I did them before."
Here was the equation I was using before the crash.
I would go out, I would get a loan, I would put money down and I would use creative financing to help leverage the deal. That is how I built the business so big, so fast.
With my new situation (no money and terrible credit), I knew I was not going to be able to take out any conventional loans.
I had to stop using conventional lenders.
I had to pull out of that system altogether. I had to learn to invest without any money because I didn't have any money.
All I had was my knowledge of creative financing. So my question to myself was... "how am I going to make that work?"
An Incredible System For Buying With No Money And No Credit Arose From The Ashes Of My Failure
The answer to the question, "how am I going to make it work?" is what evolved into the "Safety Net" method and my "Millionaire Matrix" and the "Push Button Method."
I developed the "Safety Net" Method of real estate investing over the past 14 years. This is a revolutionary, proprietary method that you will not find anywhere else. It is so proprietary that I trademarked it.
Nobody, anywhere, is teaching this method and it's not because people know about it and don't want to teach it, it is because I INVENTED this method.
Using this method you can:
> Do deals in a matter of minutes.
> You can do them from your HOUSE... you never even have to leave.
> The deals will not close unless they are good deals and you make money.
> You never put your finances at ANY risk with this method.
> You are able to leverage your profits so that you can make literally hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars without having to get a single loan or use your credit.
I've been involved in over $50,000,000 in real estate transactions over the years. There have been lots of headaches and I've been stabbed in the back a few times, but overall, it has been a blast. I now personally own a ton of property in different states around the country - all of it managed by professional property managers.
Over these years, I've helped many people buy their first investment property.
Some of them had money and good credit, many of them did not. I've dedicated the courses I created on real estate investing to the folks who had NOTHING to start with and built a money-making real estate business to be proud of.
I put my first venture online in 1998. It is a book that I originally wrote for my clients with bad credit titled, "How To Clean Your Credit In 60 Days!" It's still relevant. You can find out more about this book at: www.cleanyourcredit.com
Then, I started a real estate investor newsletter called "The Real Estate Money Maker E-zine!" It's FREE and gives tips about how to buy and sell real estate with little or no money down, with bad credit or no income. I've got over 50,000 subscribers and it's growing every day. You can subscribe by going to: www.JoeCrump.com
It's free and you can unsubscribe any time you want.
Now I train new investors and partner with them on deals I help them find. For details about my Partner/Mentor/Training Program. www.ZeroDownInvesting.com
And you can watch a video interview with me where I talk about the techniques and systems I teach my mentor students here: www.JoeCrump.com/partner
I've also created an extensive home study program that teaches investors how to build and automate a real estate investing business using websites, internet marketing, email, autoresponders, voiceblasts, snail mail, outsourced workers - and more. You can find out more about this program here: www.PushButtonMethod.com
Here is a recorded webinar about how we automate these systems with proprietary software. www.JoeCrump.com/automarketerwebinar
So that's probably more than you ever wanted to know about Joe Crump.
Things are busy here, but I try to stay accessible. Go to my contact page if you need to send me a note: www.RealEstateMoneyMaker.com/contact.html
I wish you and your family the best of all good things.
My Company Name Is:
Crump Publishing Inc
2113 E 62nd St, Ste 202
Indianapolis IN 46220-2311
My Fax number is 317-598-0605
Where to find Joe Crump online
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