Buying houses as an investment changes the lives of Thao and David Nguyen and the lives of those around them.
In just under five years of serious investing, they’ve acquired more than 50 single-family homes as investors, mostly in Oklahoma City, as well as duplexes, other small multi-family homes, and RV parks — about 180 “doors” in all. put it
“David worked as a chemist at Tinker AFB for 17 years, and I have worked as a pharmacist at Walgreens for 12 years,” Thao said in an email interview. “Before 2018, we happened to buy a few rental properties.”
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Soon they could afford to invest full-time. David, 43, quit his job in 2019 and Thao, 39, quit hers late last year.
“In 2018, after attending some seminars, reading some books and meeting some successful real estate investors, our mindset changed and we learned that real estate investing is the most predictable way to achieve our financial freedom to live the lifestyle, we desire and build the wealth and legacy of our generation.”
The Nguyens got into real estate investing in the right way, said Angelena Harris, president of MLSOK Inc., the multiple listing service of the Oklahoma City Metro Association of Realtors.
It starts with making connections, said Harris, who is a co-founder and managing broker of Spearhead Realty.
“There are many things to consider when looking for a potential investment property, and the best way to learn the ins and outs is to meet with people who are successful property buyers,” Harris said.
Groups meet weekly and monthly to share advice, she said, and “You can even hire a coach to help you navigate the market.”
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The Nguyens are interested in income and appreciation, which means they buy some houses, make improvements and sell them using numerous limited liability companies.
“We buy, fix and hold them for rent, or buy, fix and resell them as flips,” Thao said. “There are so many benefits to investing in real estate. One of them is appreciation.
“Real estate prices have risen sharply since the pandemic due to low inventories and increased demand. Single-family homes have the greatest increase in value, especially those in the best locations.”
Turning a property over after renovations is more difficult than it was when it started, she said, as the cost of construction materials has skyrocketed and contract workers have become harder to source due to the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain disruptions.
The market appreciation and rental income increased the Nguyens’ net worth “substantially,” she said.
She said it had all been satisfactory for reasons other than accumulation of income and wealth.
“We have created many jobs, provided great and affordable housing for many families, and have had a profound impact on many people around us,” Thao said. “Real estate also allows us to control our time.
“Now we can have free time for our family, for our church, or for our friends and community. It also gives us the resources and means to help many other people or to do many more worthwhile things. It is our vision and mission to make positive impact and improve people’s quality of life through real estate investments.”
To that end, they plan to expand their influence by entering a market segment that is growing and growing faster as baby boomers age.
“We’ve been working to set up some assisted living facilities and adult day care centers, using my medical background and real estate knowledge. In short, there’s no limit to what we can do with real estate,” Thao said.
Success did not come without difficulties.
“Real estate investing hasn’t always been easy and it definitely requires a lot of hard and painstaking work,” Thao said. “However, we really enjoy this real estate business.
“We are very confident that, based on the knowledge we have acquired and the network we have built over the past few years, we will be successful with real estate investments, whether the market rises or falls.”
Richard Mize, Senior Business Writer, has covered housing, construction, commercial real estate and related topics for the newspaper and Oklahoman.com since 1999. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.