The Dirty 30: From a $581.26 check to a $1.55 Million portfolio
12 Jan 2013

The Dirty 30: From a $581.26 check to a $1.55 Million portfolio

When Jonathan Dieguez of Absolute Capital Homes, LLC bought his first real estate investment, all he came with to the closing table was his New York driver’s license and a check for $581.26 for the closing costs. Thirty-six days later, he rented out the home to a very nice family for $1,050 a month, almost double the amount he had on the check.

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From there, networking, learning real estate strategies and a $3K credit limit on his personal credit card has brought him a $1.55M portfolio and an investors education business.

Name: Jonathan A. Dieguez
Current Age: 29
Location: Long Island, NY
Started investing at: 22, on a 5-bedroom, 1-bath single-family home in Allentown, PA for $79,063.

How much real estate do you currently own?
I own a total of 22 units consisting of 4 single-family houses, 3 two-family houses, and 2 six-unit apartment buildings covering Easton down to Philadelphia, PA. The current asset value stands at $1.55M.

How did you get started in property investing? What inspired you to put your money in real estate at such a young age?
I always believed in 2 main types of income to be financially stable in life – portfolio income and passive income. I had the portfolio income from swing-trading commodities and futures; however, I needed the passive income.

I started attending numerous real estate investment clubs and seminars. Networking and learning real estate strategies became my life, all the while balancing a 50-hour week job at a major investment bank. All that, coupled with a $3K credit limit on my personal credit card, led to where I am today.

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I believe the best times in life to take chances and roll the dice are during one’s younger days when there aren’t any nuptial or childrearing responsibilities. I also just figured if I lose all my money, so what? It’s only money. I can always earn it back.

Your generation seems to be redefining what it means to be successful. What does success look like to you?
Success to me means being able to live a healthy, stress-free, family-oriented, financially stable life that allows one to play golf or go to the beach on a Wednesday.

What’s your best advice for someone wanting to start investing early?  Do you have any investing mentors?
I never had a mentor growing up. I learned, failed, and succeeded on my own. Undercapitalization is one of the biggest oversights when starting to invest.

The biggest recurring mistake I’ve seen amateur investors make is quitting their full-time job even before completing their very first investment deal!

If you do decide to quit your full-time job, make sure you have enough of a monetary cushion to cover your living expenses for 12 months. Ideally, you want to have a surplus in your bank account in order to fund your investment (i.e., entity formation fees, licensing, marketing expenses, working capital, etc).

What are your future investing goals? Can you share a little bit about your plans?
As far as my future plans and goals, I want to expand my education business across the northeast to teach new investors the right ways to invest, whether it be fix-and-flip rehabs or buying for cash flow. There are too many gurus out there teaching people strategies that simply do not work in today’s environment or are unrealistic for the average person with limited funds.

In addition, I plan to acquire more apartment buildings (12 units +) to increase my passive income portfolio. I plan to expand my private venture capital fund to allow more investors to obtain the necessary funding to realize and achieve their investment goals.

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