Passive Apartment Investing with Lane Kawaoka

Episode 303: Passive Apartment Investing with Lane Kawaoka

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REIS 303 | Passive Apartment Investing


Passive apartment investing can offer you a lot of income when you know the important nooks and crannies to look at. In this episode, Mitch Stephen interviews notable real estate investor/syndicator Lane Kawaoka about how he started on the rental business, going in with REIT, and buying more homes. Lane gives some great advice to first-time investors, especially in doing apartments. Hitting a certain critical mass, he shares the importance of building relationships and networks as well as doing marketing. On the side, he also talks about his Coaching Mastermind and how you can learn about passive investing from it.

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I have Lane Kawaoka. He’s in Honolulu, Hawaii. We’re going to be talking about passive income and how he started. Lane, how are you doing?

I’m doing good. I subscribe by the, “Live where you want, invest where the numbers make sense.”

Is that the name of your next book?

No, everybody thinks that I invest in Hawaii but I tell them “No, nothing cashflows here. It’s a primary market.” I go off to cashflow.

Tell us a little bit about your background. Who is Lane? How was he raised and what do we go through to get here a little bit, the bullet points?

I grew up and followed that linear path. I go to school and get a good job. I finished college years ago. I got an engineering degree and I started working for the man and didn’t like it. I bought a house to live in like how everybody said you should, which I don’t believe in. I don’t think people should buy their primary residences, especially if they live in primary markets. I bought mine and then after the first couple of years of not living at home and working on a traveling gig, I rented it out. For a young twenty-year-old kid, that was a lot of beer money, $2,200 rents and $1,600 mortgage. I was like, “I’ve got to keep doing this again and again.” That was when I was hooked.

I went through the same experience. I bought a one-bedroom condo to live in. It got tight and I wanted something bigger. There’s one down the way, so I bought a two-bedroom condo. When I leased out the one-bedroom condo and in my two-bedroom condo, I was living for free and making $100. The light bulb went off for me. It would be ten-plus years before I would jump into the business, but I had my start there. Also, I don’t like condos myself because of the volatility of the deals and special assessments and all that. I heard rumors of a special assessment, so I sold my places and I ended up with more money than I’d ever seen in my life in one place, which wasn’t all that much money but it was almost $40,000-something. I said the same thing, “How do you do this again? How do you duplicate that?” I started studying. I was a very slow learner though. I could read concepts, nothing down but I didn’t own the concept in my heart so much. I spent a lot of time accidentally doing things that would slowly convince myself that I could do it. That was half the battle, figuring out that you are that person that can do that. That’s a hurdle for some of us. The light bulb went off. You’re making $800 a month spread on this house. What’s the next thing?

I decided that I need to pour all my money into buying more rentals. At the time, I didn’t have too much living expenses and I was living on the road on the company’s dime. I was able to save probably about $30,000 to $60,000 a year. I was a construction supervisor and that’s usually where they stick the new engineers, construction management. I didn’t like that job. I didn’t like the employer. I did a lot of time on the road, listen to podcasts and then I could read books in the evenings. I realized that the first house I bought in Seattle, Washington was in a primary market. A lot of times the numbers just don’t make sense there.

Number one, the rent-to-value ratio isn’t higher than 1% to be able to cashflow unless you’re in a war zone area. Number two, there’s too much-unsophisticated money. I remember one time going down to an auction and I looked around and it was a bunch of people working for Microsoft. They didn’t know what they are doing. That’s when I realized I needed to change my strategy after buying under the duplex in Seattle. The first one was an A-class rental, which we all know that doesn’t cashflow out. I started to go down to more of a B-plus. On the third one, the market had been rebounding at that point in 2012. I tried one of these turnkey rentals that you can buy that are all fixed up, new plumbing, new roof, new electrical and painted up. Some of them you can even buy with the tenant in place, you don’t have to do it yourself. I bought one of those things and I was like, “This works and it’s cashflowing.” It’s not going to appreciate as much as that Seattle property, but I wasn’t more in it for cashflow. I wanted to replace my salary in the near future so I can quit my job.

People think big companies are making more money, but they're not. They're more in it for capital preservation. Click To Tweet

How many houses did it take for you to quit your job?

It took me about six, seven more years to get up to double digits, ten houses but that doesn’t quit your job. With a few $100 a property, that was probably about a third of the way there. I realized that although I still believe that it’s a great place for people to start and get going and start to put equity, definitely get to that $100,000 to $250,000 net worth mark. Single-family homes are going to get you rest of the way. You’ve got to go into more scalable assets. I started to learn about apartment investing, mostly the 50, 60 units and above. I probably spent about two years analyzing 200 deals that don’t make any sense. At that point, I knew how to analyze the deals and I knew all the players, so I went into deals as a passive investor. I could do that because my net worth was at a certain level where I could hit that scale and hit that nice return.

Did you start going in with REITs or partnerships with people? Is that what you’re saying?

I guess the right term wouldn’t be REIT. It’s more of private equity. REITs in institutions are usually fighting around $10 million mark and above. Whereas the single-family home investors, those legacy investors, we call them mom and pops. They’re usually above the $1 million to $2 million or below. We try and stay in that sweet spot between them from $2 million to $10 million.

I imagine they let you make more money too because the REITs are probably working on smaller margins.

I think that’s what people don’t realize. People think the institutions and all those big companies are making more money, but they’re not. They’re more in it for capital preservation. Their clients give them a boatload of money and they have more trouble allocating the money and make a decent return, which is usually 5% or less. As private equity investors, we want higher returns. We want anywhere from 15% to 20% a year. To do that, we need to be still taking on some calculated risks. What I look for is the asset that we buy is cashflowing on day one. None of this build on pro forma. I know you don’t do too many developments, but I’m not a huge fan of that especially in this market cycle.

The market seems to be so hot in San Antonio that I know that the major apartment players in town are not buying anything. They’re loaning me money just to keep it out. One of the guys I know that’s the head of the National Apartment Association or seems to be that the president, he lives here in town. He’s in a holding pattern. People are paying crazy money for these things. I have a mini storage, so the same thing. I would look around town trying to find out where the mini storage is of resale, and they’re offering 3% and 4% cap rate.

I’m thinking this isn’t even passive. I’m going to have to work and make 4% and having some liabilities is not exactly my idea of a great investment. If I built it from the ground up, I’m building three storage facilities. It’s probably over 700 units in total. I borrowed $3 million to build this place, 325 units on six acres on a major highway. They said the minute it’s finished, it’s worth $5.2 million before it had one occupant. When it rounds out and gets filled up, it’s worth $7.2 million. You can’t buy them, but it sounds like you can build them and do well. Is it the same for apartments? Can you build apartments and do well? You just said you don’t like to do that, but is it because it’s too much intense labor for a year and a half or whatever?

I see a few guys doing that. They would do the value-add repositions and then they’re seeing exactly what you’re saying. To make it work, you’ve got to get the HUD financing and these longer notes that are a little bit better rates, but they’re very difficult to get. They take a long time to originate. There is a lot of red tape. You need a HUD contractor and all that stuff.

REIS 303 | Passive Apartment Investing

Passive Apartment Investing: When people start out investing, they should start off with hitting a bunch of single-family homes.


I hate red tape. I bought these six acres for $630,000 in this little town up here. I went down and I asked him before I bought it, “Do you got any tree ordinance or anything?” because San Antonio is famous for you buy a piece of land and then you’ve got to pay per inch in diameter for every tree you cut down. It’s not every kind of tree, but it’s oak trees and favorable trees. They said no and I started tearing down all the trees so I could build my storage place. Three weeks later, I’m clearing the land and I had knocked over all the trees. They come out there screaming that I can’t tear down those trees down. I said I went down there and they said they had annexed. Two weeks after I went in there, they annexed that part of my town. I didn’t know I was in the zone.

It became a nightmare because I had to deal with the city. I thought I was building rural. All I needed was a septic tank permit and maybe a Fire Marshal Permit to make sure that I was good with the Fire Marshal whatever I was building, I had it how they wanted, but that slowed me down a lot. I’m about to finish that first one. I think I’ll be done in another 30, 40 days. I think it’s going to be worth it, but the jury’s out. It’s not finished and people aren’t coming to rent it yet because it’s not built. I don’t know what it’s worth yet. I know what the appraiser told me, but I don’t know with my own two eyes.

For my personal investing perspective, I only go off the cashflow. I’m not in a position to be taking the homerun swings. In my opinion especially when people starting out, they should start off with hitting a bunch of single-family homes. When I’m doing apartments, I’m going to underwrite the deal and I want to pull profit and loss statements from the last several years. I want to see where that thing is now. I bought actuals, not a pro forma. Most of the times, people always send me syndication deals. A lot of them will be developments. I used to like them.

I would much rather buy a note instead of buying a house and have to fix the house and create a note or buy the house and not fix it and create a note. I don’t find those notes that easy to find. I functioned highly off of a lot of private money. I like to keep my stuff right around me so that if there are some economic ebbs and flows, I’m right here to handle everything. I’m not spread across the country. I understand you’re probably doing stuff in multiple arenas or did you pick one a city or state to stay in?

I got a couple in San Antonio. I have more B-plus apartments there. I like the diversification, multiple geographic locations and multiple asset classes. You’ve got the single-families and then you’ve got the self-storage. That’s asset classes for example. I also like different partners and different business plans too. Mostly, I stay with cashflow because I don’t bet on pro forma.

I like what you’re saying because there’s a whole bunch of people in my town that are constantly flipping. Making that one big check and then got to do it over and over again. I quit selling my notes a long time ago. There was a time when I was younger in the career that I needed to sell some notes. First, I was selling everything. I buy a house, I’d create a note, then I’d sell the note usually all at the same table. I did it 450 times in a row and I was making great money but somewhere along the way, you wake up and you think this is a job that never ends. One day, Associates closed. It was a division of Ford Motor Credit. They were the largest third-party note buyer in the world. They were buying some rougher paper. It wasn’t class-A paper.

One day, they closed and I had 50 houses in my inventory to sell and I couldn’t. I thought my world had just ended. I said, “How far can I go?” I can buy the house, I can sell the house and get a down payment and I can carry the notes. What does that look like? I said, “If I sell 50 houses and I collect only $5,000 down a house, which is 10%, then I’d have $250,000 in the bank. If I had a $500 cashflow on 50 houses, I’d have $25,000 a month coming in. What’s wrong with that?” I was forced to stay there and hold my notes. After about a couple of months, I asked myself, “Why did I ever sell a note?” I don’t know why I would sell a note.

What I talk about to a lot of people, it’s an investing progression. You don’t get up to your point until you hit a certain critical mass. A lot of people just don’t have that critical mass to do what you do.

There’s a point in time I didn’t. The key to my business strategy was private money. I have $15 million of private money. How do you get $15 million with the private money? You start out with someone that has $100,000 and you pay them on time and you don’t ever let them hear about your problems, you just pay them. You pay them off when you’re supposed to and you make your payments when you’re supposed to. They give you more money and then they recommended you to their uncles or their family members. It starts going and you keep talking to people, then now you have references. It’s been 22 years and I have people that have been loaning me money for decades. Some of them over twenty years. Almost all of them over ten, a lot of them over fifteen years. I guess the key was the private money. It’s always getting down to funding. How do you all fund these apartment complexes typically? Do you band together and put your financials in a pot and go to a bank to find the loan? How does it work?

You don't get up to your point until you hit a certain critical mass. Click To Tweet

We get bank financing for the majority of it, but the private equity group, we do syndication. Individuals put in initially for 30 or 50 or 60 individuals putting in $50,000 each. Some will put in more, but a lot of sophisticated investors like to put in the minimums, no more than 5% of their net worth. We put together a private placement memorandum. There’s a general partnership that oversees the asset and oversees the property manager and has skin in the game. That’s how it’s all put together. All the investors are equity investors, not debt investors.

You’re giving away a newsletter here. You guys can go to 1000houses.com/simplepassive. What can they expect if they go and take advantage of this free newsletter? What’s in the newsletter?

First thing, they’ll get this big treasure trove of my Google Drive of all these spreadsheets and single-family home analysis tools. I threw in a lot of personal financial sheets in there too, amateurization charts. A lot of the foundation of what I have is single-family home investing. How do you get started with turnkeys? Some lists of questions to ask property managers. I pretty much throw all a bunch of junk in there, but I know some people will find that very valuable. There’s a bunch of tools that you can add to a toolbox.

Having all that stuff helps and not having to invent it yourself. There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel here. There are people that have already come up with analysis tools and spreadsheets. I don’t know anybody who’s in the business that doesn’t have something like that. If you don’t have anything like that, go to 1000houses.com/simplepassive and get you a newsletter by Lane Kawaoka and check it out. Do you do any training or boot camps?

I run a mastermind. I call it my Group Coaching Mastermind. We’ve got about 40 to 50 people in there. It’s mostly for higher net worth individuals who want to become more of passive investors. A third of them are trying to pick up their first few rentals. The rest have rental properties already, but they want to be more astute passive investors to be able to open up a pitch deck and understand what’s crap and what’s not.

Is the subject in this mastermind centered around apartments?

It’s not. It’s more holistic wealth-building, how to pull it all together with infinite banking, bringing my lawyers and my CPA team in. 21 out of the 40 something are accredited investors. We can find out what to invest then, no problem, but how do we pull it all together? Let’s build this network and tribe of other high pay professionals so we can at least not be lonely.

Different people have different perspectives and different points of views that you may have never thought of. A mastermind changed my life a long time ago. I have not seen the last 300 houses I bought in my town and I have not seen the last 300 people that bought my houses. I don’t go to that office maybe, but once a week to sign some papers or just check in. Sometimes I go to check in because I haven’t been there so long. I learned that through that mastermind, how to get my business automated to the point that it could run without me. That was no easy feat for me. I tried four or five times myself and failed and then I decided the next time, I was either going to walk away and drop $1 million-plus income because I was flat worn out or I was going to try one more time to get it done without me. Because I didn’t go about it myself that last time, it worked and I had a lot of great input from people who had already done it. Part of it was I had to be convinced that it could actually be done.

When I got in that room, there was a whole bunch of people that had already done it. They’re like, “I never go to my office. I bought 200 houses, flipped or wholesale.” I’m like, “How do you do that and not show up?” They told me how. I had to go in with an open mind. I had to let them unwind me and then let them rewind me a different way. The biggest thing though was that I had not given myself permission to not do 100 houses a year. The last time that was successful was I gave myself permission to work on my business and not run my business for a year, which meant I didn’t buy 100 houses that year. I only bought 30, but I needed that space, that time, that bandwidth in my head to work on an office, to work on who sits in that chair and what are they doing? Can I outsource this or does it need to be in the house? I went through all the things that my office needed and spent a year hiring and firing and rehiring until I found the right people.

REIS 303 | Passive Apartment Investing

Passive Apartment Investing: The objective of a mastermind is to build a relationship with people in the group that you like and grow that lifelong friendship.


To your point too, I spent seven years investing and trying to get as far as I could on my own with all the free stuff. I didn’t start taking off until I joined masterminds and got around other doctors, lawyers, engineers and figured out what they were doing and that helped me get around my pedigree

I think a big point to make here is you did this while having a full-time job. How long did you have to burn the candle at both ends?

I just quit my job. It’s twelve years.

I’ve been self-employed for a long time. If you don’t be careful, you end up giving yourself a job that’s worse than the other job. Because the other job, at least they’re responsible for all the shortfalls and everything. When you go into entrepreneurship, if you give yourself a job, now you’ve got to do all the work and you’re responsible for the money if it’s short in the drawer. Tell us a little bit about what someone can expect if they went to your mastermind. When is the mastermind?

There’s a 27-week course that’s curated in different topics, but the real draw is that we get on the phone twice a month, every other week in the evenings for an hour, we do a video call. Basically, people get to ask me whatever and we get a little bit of a good discussion going. A lot of people are making progressions in the real estate. They want to flash up a deal or they’d been pitched this deal, we can talk about it. The real big draw is I’ve got this database and lists people will be able to reach out to other members and build relationships. I tell people the objective is to build a relationship with maybe three or four people in the group that you like and grow that lifelong friendship.

It’s all about relationships and network.

Maybe not so much when you’re starting off, but when you get to a decent critical mass, it is probably the most important thing.

I’ve had partners for decades. It seems like every time I have a partner, that partnership lasts for over ten years. Some of them are still going on the past ten years. It wasn’t always a great partner picker, but I learned from my mistakes and I became a fantastic partner picker. It’s more like a romance than it is a business. The people that I ended up with as partners, they were in my life and it became apparent that we needed to partner. I wasn’t looking for them to be partners. It just became apparent that, “We could do this together. We would be good combined to do this thing over here. If you’d be my partner, we’d go do that.” I talk to someone else and they’d be around my life for a while, “If we went over there, we could do something else different. We could do this over there. You’d be the perfect partner for that. Do you want to be the partner and you take the bull by the horns over there on that project and I’ll help fund it and everything?” I have a lot of great partners. People ask me how do I do as much as I do? It’s because I have a great team. I’m sure it’s no different with you. Are you pretty relaxed during the day? You’ve quit your job. What’s a day been like for you? Have you settled in yet?

Most of the day I still check emails and do stuff. I talk to my investors a lot. From the deal front, people already bring me deals, so I don’t have to go looking for them. They just arrive in my inbox. I can be here in Hawaii.

Investing can be lonely if you do not have a network. Click To Tweet

Part what I do too is I have the private lenders and the reputation and a lot of deals come to me because of 22 years’ worth of doing business in one town. Most of my partners are younger than I am. I’m 58. Some of the critical partners are younger than I am because they’re all full of piss and vinegar and they’re ready to run and do deals. If I never get another contract signed in my life, I’m okay. I’m over it. I’m more now into the challenge of how do I help other people become successful and help my company run without me? That’s the new challenge in my life. How can I do less and make more? It sounds like an oxymoron or something but it’s true. Ron LeGrand coined, “Do less and make more.” That’s always stayed with me after I talked to him and met him. I was in his mastermind for a year too, but that was mostly about marketing. If you think about it, most of the businesses in the world are marketing companies. They’re selling some widget, but it doesn’t matter what it is. Every business has to know how to market. I took some time to learn a lot about that. Do you find marketing critical in your arena or is it a little less critical?

All the apartments we buy are mostly done to brokers. It’s the flip flop in apartments because brokers care or sellers care if you can close. It’s very rare that a property is going to go off-market. Direct mailers don’t work on with apartment owners for some strange reason. It makes sense. It’s more about building brands and closing.

You have some places in San Antonio. What other markets do you have apartments in?

Mostly on the South and Southeast cashflow: Georgia, Dallas, El Paso, Oklahoma City, Huntsville, Birmingham and Indianapolis. I have single-family homes there.

The flyover states.

They’re not sexy, but at least you don’t have all these other unsophisticated money competing with you.

I learned how to sell some of my problem properties. One time when I went down to an auction to watch one particular property that was understated in its size, I thought maybe people wouldn’t know how big the property was and I would be able to get a bargain on it. I ended up getting the property but while I was there, there was a lady bidding on a house that was on a street that I had four houses on. I knew the street well and she bid this unbelievable prize for this house. I knew the house and the house was a mess, it was bad. She bid like a retail fix up price for it and she won. I said, “I’ve got to go talk to this lady.” I walked over there and I said, “You’re the one that bought the house over there on Hayes Street, right?” She said, “Yes, I bought it.” I said, “You paid $68,000 for it?” She said, “Yes.” I said, “Are you going to live in that house or what’s your love for this house? Because you seem to have been wanting that house bad. I didn’t want to say that you paid too much for it. I just wanted to find out where you are coming from.” She said, “No, we just decided to go into the house business in San Antonio. We’re from Los Angeles and my husband is a very successful doctor and he said that I could buy houses under $100,000. This one will be under $100,000, so I could buy it.” I said, “Have you seen the house?” She said, “No, but I’m going to go look at it right now.”

I didn’t even know what to say. I was dumbfounded. That’s not how you buy a house because you have $100,000 to bid on a house blind. You don’t know what it’s worth or what condition it’s in or anything. I turned around and I walked over to my partner and I said, “You know those two problem houses we have?” “Yes.” I said, “We’re going to put them in a land trust and we’re going to foreclose on this land trust and we’re going to bring him down here next auction.” We sold two major problems that we had. I think we made a little bit on one and we broke even on the other one. It was because there’s all this unsophisticated money down here coming from all over the nation and the world. They’re coming from China, they’re coming from every place and they’re paying too much at those auctions. If they weren’t paying too much, I’d be down there every auction buying houses myself, but you can’t find a deal down there because this unsophisticated money throwing money at crap. There’s a little twist for you. If you’re out there and you’ve got a problem, go visit your local foreclosure auction and see how it’s going. You might find the same thing in your part of the country and find a way to liquidate one of your problems.

I was that person back in 2014. I didn’t realize you could buy a pretty good house that rented for $1,000 for $100,000. I wouldn’t say most of America, but people that live on the West Coast and primary markets. It’s a mind-blowing thing when you first learn about that.

REIS 303 | Passive Apartment Investing

Passive Apartment Investing: You have to have integrity in your business or people won’t come to you.


They’re from these 1,000, 1,100, 1,200 square foot houses where $650,000, $750,000 if not more and then they come to Texas. When I started, I was buying houses on credit cards. I bought my first 100 houses on credit cards because I could get two credit cards out and go to the bank and say, “Give me $10,000 on this one and $10,000 on this one.” That would buy the house. I would say, “Give me $10,000 on this one.” That would fix it. I’d be $30,000 in with a 0% credit card and I’d fix it all up and I’d sell it for $60,000 and run to the bank. The title company at that time, I get the whole $60,000 because there were no liens on the house. I was buying it with unsecured credit card debt.

I’d put the $60,000 in the bank and I’d call up the house and tell my wife, “Get in the folder for 123 Main Street and call all the credit cards that are taped in the front folder and send them all a check and tell me how much we have left over out of $60,000.” She would tell me. That’s how he did business because no one wanted to loan me any money when I started out. I didn’t have a track record. I didn’t have a job and I was out here by the seat of my pants making a living and credit cards didn’t seem to care. I had good credit. At the time if you had good credit, you just send off for the credit card and they’d give you every card you sent for if you had good credit, they’d give you all the cash advance limits maximum like you’re a millionaire. If you had good credit, you’ve got a card.

It’s not the same now, but back then I’d found a little loophole. You might find it interesting. My partner and I have about 45, 50 credit cards. If we wanted to, we could have spent a week and we could have put $600,000 on our kitchen table, cash advances and then left for Mexico and never returned and lived a good life. I don’t want to live like that. I don’t want anyone else’s money. I want my money. I think integrity is a big part of getting to critical mass. You have to have integrity in your business or people won’t come to your mastermind and people won’t loan you money or team up with you. Sometimes there are hard decisions to make and it has to do the choices. Typically, don’t be as honest as you could and keep some money or be honest and it’s going to cost you some money. I always paid, so I think that’s why I have all my private money and stuff. When is the next mastermind or you do this all online?

It’s all online every two weeks. People can jump in at any point.

I’m sure there are some disappointed people thinking they’re going to go to Hawaii for a mastermind, but no, you’re not. You’re going to stay at home and you can do it on the phone.

We try and do quarterly events out and about. They go up to Seattle and then I’m going to take folks to Birmingham and Atlanta.

I still have friends from the masterminds. I can call them anytime I want to. The oldest mastermind I went to was eight years ago. I’m still talking to people that I met at those masterminds. They’re still on my “to call list” They know what they’re doing. If I got questions or issues, I could always call some of these guys and they’ll talk to me because we have that camaraderie that you build in a mastermind. Go to 1000houses.com/simplepassive and get your free newsletter with all the spreadsheets and how to size up a deal. There are all goodies over there. It’s free so you got nothing to lose. Anything you’d like to say to the audience?

No, thanks for having me, Mitch.

I appreciate you. Do you have a podcast?

Yes. It’s Simple Passive Cashflow.

Check out his podcast. Maybe I can be on your podcast one day. We’ll talk about seller financing, the other side of the coin from being a buy and hold landlord and we’ll compare the differences. Why people choose to be a landlord and why people choose to be an owner financier. Maybe we’ll do that in the future. I’d like to thank all of you for reading to get you some Lane Kawaoka. Go ahead and get his free newsletter. I hope you achieve all your goals. If you’re not or you’re struggling, find someone to help you. Find someone who you want to be on and off the field and then employ them. You’re going to pay for an education one way or the other. You’re either going to pay the street, which is high anxiety, second-guessing yourself all the time and being down on yourself or making mistakes. You can pay someone with less anxiety, get a path, be able to consult someone in your corner that’s already been there a thousand times or more and get on with it. Either way, it’s going to be work. You always have to work and don’t expect to be easy money. Everyone’s thinking that flipping houses is super easy. You might find it to be a little more challenging and you may need some help. Check it out. You can find me at 1000Houses.com. We appreciate you. Talk to you soon.

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About Lane Kawaoka

REIS 303 | Passive Apartment InvestingA little bit about me: I am a full-time Civil Engineer who invests passively in Real Estate from Honolulu, Hawaii. I used to be in a big bad private company as a construction engineer but after some time, I began investing in 2009 in rainy Seattle, being a ramen eating cheapo I was able to buy a property early right after college. After discovering the difference between ‘Cashflow Investing’ and ‘appreciation for investing (gambling/speculating)’… I moved my portfolio into 11 single family rentals in Birmingham, Atlanta, Indianapolis, and Pennsylvania.

Today, I am investing in syndications which invest in Class C & B Multi-Family Apartment, RV Parks, mobile homes, and assisted living facilities because of this Nation’s demand for affordable housing – not rich people Class-A assets. My mission is to help regular people into good deals that were once only accessible to the rich. The passive income from investing in stabilized rental properties made it possible for me to move back home to Hawaii where the cost of paradise is 10%+ cost of living and -30% less pay for comparable jobs in the US mainland. There I was able to live a lifestyle where I was able to bike to work. It did not take me long, however, to finally quit the day job and ditch the bike for a Mercedes.

Annoyed by the bogus real estate education programs out there (that take money from people who don’t have it in the first place), I set out to make this free website to help other hard-working professionals, the shrinking middle-class dispel the Wall-Street dogma of traditional wealth-building and offer an alternative to “garbage” investments in the 401K/mutual funds that only make the insiders rich. We help the hard-working middle-class build real asset portfolios by providing free investing education, podcasts, and networking plus access to investment opportunities not offered to the general public.


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