Tell me a little bit about your background.
I studied Finance at Michigan and Law at Duquesne University. I bought my first real estate investment book in 2008, and decided that I wanted to invest in real estate. Although my interest in real estate grew, I spent the next 10 years reading real estate books and analyzing deals (and watching other people purchase the great deals, post-great recession), but I failed to take action. I did not buy my first investment property until 2018. After investing personally, I decided to commit to real estate fully - focusing both my professional and personal efforts to real estate investing.
Which has been more valuable in your career, your education or your experience?
Experience. Real estate is always perfect in the classroom, on paper, and in Excel, but not in real life.
What's the best thing about your job?
Learning new skills, acquiring knowledge, and making connections that I can use outside of work.
What’s the best career decision you’ve ever made?
Taking a chance by purchasing an investment property. My buddy and I bought a property on a foreclosure auction website. I have learned so much from the experience and it really sparked my interest to make real estate my career - both with my professional time commitment and with my personal investments.
What skills have you found vital to your job?
Asking lots of questions.
What advice do you have for someone new to the industry?
Ask lots of questions. Take action now, don’t wait to buy an investment property.
Is there a quote that motivates you?
The light shines in the darkness & the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5
The secret to surviving is knowing what to throw away and knowing what to keep, Cause every hand’s a winner and every hand’s a loser…” Kenny Roger - The Gambler
Who inspires you?
My family. My wife is super patient.
My twin daughters were born 14-weeks prematurely. They both weighed about 1 lb 12 oz and spent about 105 days in the NICU. They suffered more during their first 100 days of life than most people will suffer in a lifetime. Witnessing their development has been amazing.
My third daughter is awesome too.
Dream job (apart from working at Birgo!)?
Owner of a fleet of Catamarans in some exotic tropical paradise.
You’re dropped off on a deserted island. What three items are with you?
See #5. Am I alone or is my family with me? Will someone be picking me up? How long will I be on the island? How far is the swim to the mainland? What food source(s) are on this island? Is there shelter? Is there Wifi access (Starlink)? What is the climate?
What was the last gift you gave someone?
Duluth Fire Hose Jacket
Teach me something I don’t know in the next minute.
When buying real estate always make sure that the Risk of Loss remains with the Seller through closing. In Pennsylvania, under the common law, the Risk of Loss was on the Buyer - meaning that if the real estate was destroyed prior to the Settlement Date, the Buyer still owed the full purchase price. Therefore, it is critical to include that the Risk of Loss remains with the Seller through the Settlement Date in your Agreement of Sale in PA.
Note: the standard PA Realtors Agreement of Sale (which is used for most residential purchases of real estate in PA) contains a provision that shifts the Risk of Loss to the Seller. So if you use the PAR form you are covered. However, if you draft your own Agreement of Sale or download something online be certain to shift the Risk of Loss to the Seller.
We experienced a loss prior to settlement for a property in Maryland. The Agreement of Sale presented by the Maryland realtor did not contain a Risk of Loss provision. Luckily, we added the provision via an addendum prior to going under agreement.
Dogs or cats?
Other people’s dogs
What books or articles should I be reading?
Probably cliché, but Rich Dad, Poor Dad is a must read. The Black Swan and Fooled by Randomness. Flash Boys and Liar’s Poker. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***. I read a lot of blogs too: Bigger Pockets, Financial Samurai, A Student of the Real Estate Game.
What does a typical weekend look like in your household?
Relax with my family on Saturday. I try to get outside if the weather permits. My wife, daughters, and I will usually watch something together on Saturday evening. My daughters are really obsessed with The Sound of Music and so we have watched that many times.
We do rotating-Sunday dinners with my five siblings & their spouses/significant others (and my parents when they’re in town). Each sibling hosts the dinner every sixth Sunday.