Tips for Flipping, Financing, and More

  • Investing in real estate can seem daunting.
  • We’ve compiled a list of our stories with expert advice for having success in the space.
  • Tips range from financing strategies to how to overcome being intimidated.

Investing in real estate can be one of the most effective ways to build wealth. 

But it can also be a difficult thing to get started in, with often-prohibitive down payments and marketplace competition driving up prices to unattainable heights. The process can also be intimidating to first-time investors financially, legally, and in terms of time commitment. 

But real estate investing doesn’t have to be exclusive and convoluted: there are tried and true strategies investors can use to begin building a portfolio of properties even if they don’t have a pile of cash ready to deploy. We know because we’ve talked to people who have put them into action. 

Below we’ve compiled several stories highlighting the various methods that investors have successfully used in the real estate world. 

House for sale US

A house’s real estate for sale sign shows the home as being “Under Contract” in Washington, DC, November 19, 2020.

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images


Arguably nobody does more for providing investors with the material they need to get started in or continue building their real estate portfolios than Brandon Turner. Turner is the founder of BiggerPockets, a site that educates and provides a platform for investors in the space. He also co-hosts the “BiggerPockets Podcast,” which highlights successful real estate investors. 

In May, we wrote about an episode of Turner’s podcast in which he unpacked six steps to buying a first property within three months. Turner bought his first property when he was 21.

Step one? Figure out what’s motivating you to get into real estate investing.

Austin, Texas real estate homes



Getty Images/RoschetzkyIstockPhoto


It took Kumar Sadaram a few years to find the strategy that worked best for him. But once he did, he repeated it again and again to build up a portfolio of over 50 properties. 

Sadaram now makes more money per year from rental income from the properties than he did when he was an IT consultant — a job which he quit for good three years ago.

In addition to sharing with Insider his preferred strategy, he shared his three best tips for those looking to break into real estate without large sums of money. He also shared his advice for overcoming being intimidated by investing in the space.

real estate market single family rental cerberus invitation homes



Getty Images


Money is perhaps the biggest hurdle — whether perceived or not — for many when it comes to real estate investing. But there are ways to invest without being rich first. 

Mike Bryant has used a very specific strategy that has helped him acquire 10 properties without first needing to dip into his own funds. 

“Without putting a nickel into any of these, I have a portfolio — between what I’ve sold already last year and what I haven’t sold yet — of more than a half a million dollars of equity, at least on paper, from what I can glean is the market value versus what I owe on these properties,” Bryant said on an episode of the “BiggerPockets Podcast.”

Deb Cleveland

Deb Cleveland is a self-taught 30-year real estate investor and house flipper.

Deb Cleveland


It’s the point of making any investment: returning a profit. To do so, you have to identify assets that are being undervalued by the market. Easier said than done.

Deb Cleveland has done it. An expert with three decades of experience and a portfolio of 80 properties, she shared with Insider how she goes about finding undervalued properties to rake in big returns.

real estate broker



AP Photo/Matt York


One reason investors can be hesitant to get into real estate is because of amount of time they may think they have to put into maintaining a property. But Mike Webb proves that it can still be done, even while working a full-time job. 

Another reason that gives people pause is financial risk and the work that goes into finding favorable deals. Webb broke down for Insider how he finds deals in a red-hot housing market. 

Sharon Tseung and Sean Pan



Sharon Tseung and Sean Pan


Again, finding favorable deals can be difficult, especially today. Many variables are involved, like regional population and job growth.

Sharon Tseung and Sean Pan, a couple in their 30s with 21 rental units, recently shared with Insider their approach to underwriting — analyzing all of the financial aspects of a deal. They also shared how they go about financing their properties. 

Aaron Amuchastegui

Aaron Amuchastegui

Courtesy of Aaron Amuchastegui


Aaron Amuchastegui, a real-estate investor who navigated the 2008 crisis but took a serious financial hit in 2013, revived his portfolio in just five years’ time. 

Buying foreclosed homes at auction, Amuchastegui’s strategy focuses on “courthouse step” deals, and he prioritizes a long-term investment plan focused on single-family Texas home rentals rather than quick flips.

 In January, we spoke to Amuchastegui about how he’s built a multimillion-dollar portfolio that then stood at 295 units, with 24 more properties in escrow at the time. Here’s how he did it.

Mike Hills headshot

Mike Hills

Mike Hills


Mike Hills has developed a property portfolio worth over $8 million, and he credits his success to “house hacking” — a strategy for multifamily rental properties in which an investor lives in one of their units while collecting rent from the others.

Hills has spent the past 19 years developing an expansive portfolio, and in October told Insider he now owns a condo, townhouse, duplex, quadplex, apartment, trailer park, and eight single-family homes.

Doubtful that he’d ever want to retire, he said he could. And he shared the strategy he used to maximize his portfolio.

Tony Julianelle Headshot

Tony Julianelle

Tony Julianelle


After a 20-year career at Wells Fargo, Tony Julianelle decided it was time for something new. 

Now, he’s CEO of Colorado-based property management firm Atlas Real Estate, where he has developed a personal property portfolio worth around $3.5 million and counting, he told Insider last year. 

Focused on accumulating a portfolio of wealth-generating assets he can pass to his children, Julianelle’s investment strategy is grounded in buying and holding real estate in a long-term, appreciating market.

Follow the broader real estate investing space here.

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