We Made Our First Million in 4 Years

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At about age 35 I starting to read books like “The Millionaire Next Door: and “Rich Dad Poor Dad” and quickly realized that most of my neighbors were in debt and that I was going to retire with only 300k in my 401k which would not be enough. My company does not offer a retirement plan beyond 401k.

My wife Ann Marie and I decided to sell our home in Livermore, CA that sold for 500k. We bought the house 5 years earlier for 259k. This was a couple of months before the Silicone Valley bubble burst. We had a gut feeling that it was going to burst soon so we took the money and ran. We then moved to the Sacramento area and bought a home for 289k and just about doubled our square footage and my wife didn't have to work anymore so we let the nanny go and my wife raised our 2 boys. In 2002 we refinanced our personal house and pulled 50k out and bought a rental in Elk Grove for 189k. In 2003 we refinanced our rental in Elk Grove and pulled out 50k and bought a rental in Bakersfield for 154k. I then moved Ann Maries and my IRA (189k) and purchased another Bakersfield home with our IRA. The home cost 169k and we paid it in full. The rent then goes back into my IRA. We property manage all properties. Each Bakersfield property is worth 275k now!

Two months ago we sold our Elk Grove rental for 349k and 1031 exchanged our cash into three new 4plexes each costing 265k and one new single family home for 143k in Boise ID. All properties cash flow 200 to 300/month.

I think next year I am going to sell the Bakersfield properties for about 300k and buy in the next emerging market as long as the bubble does not burst any time soon.

What I find strange about this game is that many of my friends including realtors, mortgage brokers etc are asking me for advice on how to buy properties. Many people want to partner with me on purchases but I tend to like to invest on my own. I don't think I could handle their stress.

Ann Marie and I started Santana Properties Management about a year ago. It is a fictitious name only. We didn't form an LLC or an S Corp but I think we should. We are insured nicely for each of our properties and have a 1 million dollar umbrella.

We finally have a net worth of over 1 million and I finally realized that our road to riches is not solely funded by working for another company.

Anthony Santana
Sacramento, CA

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We Made Our First Million in 4 Years

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