"Big" Henry's Real Estate Bio Introduction:
Let me start by saying, thank you for your interest in my real estate beginning:
The event (w/Realtor/Broker) in the story below would shape how I would treat others in the future and how I would never allow myself to not help others who were in similar beginnings as I was in.
I am best known to my friends as "Big" Henry, I would like to believe this moniker is due to my importance and not otherwise... I took on the "Big" nickname in honor of my father who I witnessed pass away in the year 2000’ of Multiple Myeloma aka Bone Cancer.
My philosophy is not just about network & connections, but more importantly, about relationships.
As we all understand, knowledge is power, but relationships sure can make a huge difference.
I was born and raised on the rough streets of southeast San Antonio, Texas.
In 1996, my father and uncle were laid off from their respective jobs a month apart after seventeen years of dedicated service. This event motivated me to create a secure future for my family by learning how to fish (in real estate).
I attended the "University of Hard Knocks" and received a "Master’s Degree" in Real Estate.
Although broke with no job and no credit; I bought a couple of programs, one of which was an infomercial real estate package (by William J. McCorkle) with my last $35. I hate to admit it (considering he is in prison today), but it is true. However, the info was adequate enough to engage me, when finally, I read one paragraph that changed my life; a golden nugget of information which allowed me to learn my first true lesson in real estate; where and how to retrieve foreclosures.
While studying, I eventually found a Realtor/Broker in San Antonio named David Popkins with Remax; Blanco location. He was a multi-million dollar producer who had his resume of accomplishments splashed all over several pages in the newspaper (no social media then). With one page dedicated to a picture of him in a suit with a big smile on center page. He had all his accumulated career stats surrounding his picture. Needless to say, I shadowed him for about three months. I watched, listened, and took mental notes to his activities in calls and negotiations throughout each day. On the last day, while in the office with his associate, also named David, I finally drew up enough courage to tell them, "I want to buy houses with little to no money down out of pocket and with cash back at closing". These two who I shadowed and respected, laughed at me as if I told the funniest joke on the planet. Now, I'm from the Southside of San Antonio, known for being rough, and been in way too many fights... It took everything in my power to refrain from reacting in a negative manner. I bit my tongue (literally) and continued without them.
These peers who I respected pierced me through the heart and fueled my fire like never before. They were not alone... I had family and friends dismiss me.
Specifically, my father, who scoffed at the audacity it was even possible, "If it was that easy, everyone would be doing it!" I forgave my father as he didn't know better. Worse, was these real estate professionals who were limited to their "in the box" experiences showed no empathy towards my eagerness to learn.
After my completion of the course, I sought out to implement what my studies taught me. I set up my business and eventually found myself at the courthouse and tax office putting into action what I learned. After conducting my due diligence, I hitched a ride from another young wannabe investor and proceeded to knock on over fifty (50/1000) doors of homeowners who were facing and losing control of their homes. I had residents slam their doors in my face and tell me how much they loved me (sarcasm). One even threatened me with a shotgun (he loved me the most).
Finally, a week later, my legwork paid off. I received a telephone call in response to a letter I left on one of those fifty doors. The gentleman in distress was twelve months behind on his VA mortgage. He wanted out in the worst way and his call alone changed the course of my life.
He had a 2nd lien which was $10K. It took some bluffing, but I told those creditors, they would lose all their money and it would be best to accept my offer of $1K. It went back and forth, but It eventually worked!
After two months of successfully postponing the foreclosure sale on his property, I used my telephone skills to negotiate with the VA department secretaries to buy me enough time to borrow hard private money from a wonderful lawyer and doctor. They were more than generous (considering I was inexperienced and w/o a job or money) by offering me a loan of $35,000 at 18% interest & three points for the property. Their criterion was 60% LTV of the county tax appraisal. I purchased the property for $23,000 and received $6,500 back at closing.
I gave the former owner a $1,000 post move-out and proceeded to rehab my first property on a shoestring budget. Getting past the dead rats under the carpet to the trash left behind and dealing with Banana Spiders (those things are HUGE!), I would finally finish renovating and rent to my very first and worst horror story of tenants in my 23 year history, which will be shared for another day.
Regardless of my circumstances, it was not bad for my first deal. I refinanced it and pulled out tax free money.
Needless to say, shortly thereafter, I purchased the first ten (10) properties with little to no money down with cash back at closing with NO JOB, NO MONEY, NO CREDIT, NO HOME (stayed with parents after loss of job), and NO CAR.
I used my knack for reading people and negotiating by also using creative financing techniques to close these sometimes very difficult deals. I have experienced buy & holds, short-sales, wholesales, fix & flips, and have been a party to many successful transactions in real estate in one form or another.
That in essence, is how I began in Real Estate.
I would create my own opportunities (with my faith in God) and not be a victim to circumstance.
I became an expert at failure, yet my will and perseverance to face any and all obstacles is the cornerstone of my strength.
This is just the beginning and excerpt of my experience in real estate which still continues today.
Your Real Estate Ally,
Information provided Courtesy of San Antonio Board of Realtors. IDX information is provided exclusively for consumers' personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information is believed to be accurate but not guaranteed. Provided courtesy of the San Antonio Board of Realtors. Copyright 2019 San Antonio Board of Realtors, All Rights Reserved. Data last updated September 21, 2019 11:40 PM