A lot of people think that they don’t have what it takes to get into real estate. But here’s the truth: we have more than what we realize. If we are intentional and we know what levers to pull, we can become successful.
Here to share how she started small and made it big is Chandra Minter.
Chandra is a real estate professional with over 13 years of experience. Her career in real estate began in 2009 as a mortgage underwriter. During that time she decided to use her knowledge of mortgages and apply it as a real estate investor where she purchased 5 rental properties using various strategies over a span of 3 years. In 2019, she became a licensed realtor in the state of Virginia which she uses primarily as an investor herself and in helping others who are currently investing or want to enter the world of real estate investing.
[00:01 – 06:27] Who is Chandra Minter?
- Chandra on her first introduction to the loan world
- Working as an underwriter and getting a glimpse behind the scenes of real estate
[06:28 – 19:05] Building a Rental Property Empire
- How Chandra utilized conventional and FHA loans
- Being intentional in creating cashflow
- The financial benefits of having a rental property
[19:06 – 21:22] Spend More Money to Make More Money
- Using house equity to buy more properties and live life to the fullest
- How we can leverage our 401k
[21:23 – 22:07] Closing Segment
- Watch out for part 2 of our conversation with Chandra!
“There’s all these different ways that you can maximize your profits off of one property, even if it’s the one that you currently live in.” – Chandra Minter
“I spent that money on my memory bank so we traveled a lot. I was able to create memories on that money.” – Chandra Minter
“Some people think they have nothing, but you have more than you think. If you have a job and you’re paying into your 401k, you have more than you think.” – Chandra Minter
Let’s get connected!
[00:00:00] Chandra Minter: Well, I knew enough that I knew how much I wanted to pay. So the fact that , you know, there’s, there’s also not even from an underwriter standpoint, if someone says you qualify for this much, it doesn’t mean that you have to buy that much.
[00:00:16] Nicole Pendergrass: That much. Yes.
[00:00:17] Chandra Minter: Now it’s a little different in this environment that we’re in right now, but you don’t have to buy that much. You . Still can set it to where, you know, I don’t want my payments to be more than this. I don’t want to pay more than this out of pocket, even though I have X amount that I can spend.
[00:00:31] Nicole Pendergrass: All right. All right. All right. Welcome back everyone to the Share The Wealth Show. This is the show where we focus on strategies to build, grow, and protect minority wealth. Today we spoke with Chandra Minter she is a real estate professional with over 13 years of experience and her career started in 2009 as a mortgage underwriter.
[00:01:22] Nicole Pendergrass: During that time, she decided to use her knowledge of mortgages and apply it to become a real estate investor. When she purchased five rental properties using various strategies over a three year timeframe. Now that was very quick. And actually from our conversation that we had, she had six properties.
[00:01:37] Nicole Pendergrass: And I think one of those, maybe it’s not, she’s not counting the last one, that was her primary. Even though a couple of them were her primary throughout that process, she moved a lot in three years. Anyway, in 2019, she became a licensed realtor in the state of Virginia, which she uses her license primarily as an investor herself, but also to help other people who want to grow portfolio and become investors if they want to, if they’re current investors or they want to enter the world of real estate investing. So she’s all about helping other people do what she did and growing in their investment portfolios. Now, she’s an underwriter or she used to be an underwriter.
[00:02:14] Nicole Pendergrass: We talked a lot about her strategies, how she was able to grow her portfolio using that knowledge, like I just read, but there’s some tips and tricks in there that people don’t really tell you or make you become aware of in the process of trying to build your portfolio. So if you are intentional and you create a plan, then it’s not easy and it takes a little while, but nothing worth. Building wealth is easy.
[00:02:41] Nicole Pendergrass: But in any case, this kind of gives you a really clear roadmap and we have her contact information. Her Facebook profile will be in the show notes. And you can reach out to her and get more detail, maybe even more in depth that she was able to on this episode, but in any case, let’s get started.
[00:02:58] Nicole Pendergrass: Hello, everyone. Welcome to the Share The Wealth Show. Thanks for joining us again. And today we have with us Chandra Minter and I know we touched base a little while ago. It was the first time I met Chandra and her story is just fascinating. She really is epitome of taking the information that she’s learned, even in her W2 and applying it to benefit herself in her wealth building journey.
[00:03:25] Nicole Pendergrass: And she has so many secret tips and tricks. Don’t tell anybody, guys. If you apply it, it could really change the trajectory of your life. So Chandra, thank you so much for joining us today. And welcome.
[00:03:39] Chandra Minter: Thank you so much. You make me sound, like, so great.
[00:03:44] Nicole Pendergrass: No, but it was, it was fantastic. That’s why I was like, oh no, this will be it. She’ll be great for the show ’cause she has so much information to share and that’s what the show is all about, right? Share the wealth. So I gave a high level, you know, of your bio and what we kind of are going to discuss, which I don’t know yet. But anyway, can you give us a little background information and fill us in on your journey, how you got to what you were doing before, what you planned to do, like, you know, as a child and what you wanted to be when you grew up kind of thing. What you ended up doing and how you transitioned to what you’re doing now?
[00:04:18] Chandra Minter: I grew up in a very small city. I won’t say town, but, like, one of the next towns over only had one stoplight. So that’s how small the city I grew up in. So as far as what I wanted to do, when I grow up, I just wanted to leave that city.
[00:04:33] Chandra Minter: That was my goal. So I did what I needed to do to get out of there. Go to college, did not use my degree from college in what I ended up doing. I think my first job was, it was called American General back then. I think it might be Springly or something it’s been sold so many times, but that was my introduction to the loan world.
[00:04:55] Chandra Minter: That was, like, unsecured loans. And then sometimes it was, like, title loans. I didn’t do that for too long because you know, Me having just a basic knowledge of lending and loans in general just from what my parents had taught me, I did not, I couldn’t sleep at night with that job. Just leave it at that.
[00:05:15] Chandra Minter: So I, I think around 2008 or 2009, I was introduced to the mortgage world. I got in as a, a, you know, entry level processor, started learning things. And then I learned about the underwriters and it spoke to me because I am a very introverted person. And in the underwriting world, the underwriters don’t have to talk to anyone.
[00:05:40] Chandra Minter: They don’t have to talk to the customers. So I was like, sign me up for that job. All I have to do is just sit behind my computer and do the work and shoot it out and, and onto the next one. So in that role, I started seeing the different setup of how, because we have to, we, we wear a lot of different hats.
[00:05:59] Chandra Minter: So I had to put on my CPA hat and look at people’s tax returns, you see how some people had multiple properties. I mean, 10, 15, 20 properties on their own Schedule E, then they’d have properties set up through a corporation or S Corp and just seeing the different ways that people are setting them up.
[00:06:21] Chandra Minter: So, seeing that behind the scenes, I decided one day it was time for me to buy my own. So I did, I purchased my first home for me in, I think, 2011 and I decided to house hack, which I didn’t know anything about, Bigger Pockets or terms or anything back then. And I just had a, there was a friend of mine, so I met her through her mother and we were, we were going to get an apartment together and I said, Hey, I’m going to buy a house instead.
[00:06:52] Chandra Minter: Do you just want to rent from me? And she said, sure. So for about four or five years, she rented from me. You know, I took that money, traveled a lot. And then moving forward, I came into contact with a couple of people who were buying properties all over the place. I mean, at the time I think she was up to about 15 properties and she was in her mid twenties.
[00:07:17] Chandra Minter: So I said, you know, I, I think I can do this. So my first house, I actually purchased as a short sale. And by the time I wanted to start buying property in 2016, there was equity in that property. So I refinanced my house, took cash out, and I used the equity to buy my first two rental properties. My first rental property, I purchased through a realtor.
[00:07:42] Chandra Minter: I put down 20%. The house was less than $60,000 or right above $60,000. It needed a little work. And I cash flowed about $400 a month on that one. After I closed on that one, the house next door had a sale sign up. So I called the, my realtor and I said, Hey can we see about buying the house next door?
[00:08:03] Chandra Minter: So I was able to get that one. It was, again, was right over $60,000. My monthly payment, my mortgage was less than $500 a month. The rent was $850, so I was cash flowing close to $400 a month.
[00:08:19] Nicole Pendergrass: Was that in 2016, too?
[00:08:21] Chandra Minter: That was in 2016. Now here is where it gets a little tricky. So before I say what I’m going to say, this only works with certain loan programs and I’m going to leave it up to, to you, the audience, to look into these loan programs. Just make sure that when you, if you try to use this, what I’m going to tell you to do that, you know, whether or not you’re supposed to do this based on the type of loan that you get. So, I say around that same time, maybe in 2017, I had a friend of mine that lived on in, in a different part of my city.
[00:08:59] Chandra Minter: And she wanted to move closer to the side that I lived on. So at the time my roommate had moved out and I had told this friend like, yeah, I think I’m ready to move as well. If you move into my property and rent it for a little while, then I can just show a lender that I have this property rented and I can buy a new property as my primary home.
[00:09:24] Chandra Minter: The reason that that is beneficial is because instead of me buying a new rental property, I’m not having to put down 20%. At this point, if it’s conventional, it’s 5%. If it’s FHA, it’s three and a half percent. So we made it work. She moved into my town. And then I bought a new property that I moved into.
[00:09:44] Chandra Minter: Not even two months later, I had another friend that had sold her home and she needed a place to stay for about a month or so. So it was her whole family that needed a place to stay. And my house was not big enough for all of us. So I said, well, let me do it again. Write up a lease saying how much you’re going to pay me.
[00:10:06] Chandra Minter: And I’m going to buy a new primary residence that I’m going to live in in that timeframe. Now with these properties, I did live in them for a time. So again, I’m only putting down 3.5% to 5%, depending on which loan program I did. And I did it one more time. So during that time, my mother got sick.
[00:10:28] Chandra Minter: So I went to live, my job at the time, allowed me to work from home. So I went to stay with my mom at her home for six months. And in the meantime, my homes were rented. Everything was rented. So when I came back, I was able to use the same method. I wrote a letter. I said, you know, by my house, ’cause they’re going to ask the underwriters are going to ask for a letter.
[00:10:52] Chandra Minter: Like, I see that you’ve bought houses kind of close together. What’s going on? And so I wrote a letter explaining, you know, I had to rent my properties out while I was away. And now I am in a situation to where I want to buy a house. It’s still in the same area and I did it again. I bought another property at five, 3.5% to 5% down.
[00:11:15] Chandra Minter: And I eventually put a tenant in that one and I moved back into my original house. In the meantime, the townhouse was sold. So I had money from that, so.
[00:11:28] Nicole Pendergrass: Okay. So how many, all right, I’m losing track. What year is it now by the time you bought the last house and moved back into your primary?
[00:11:36] Chandra Minter: 2017 or 18.
[00:11:39] Nicole Pendergrass: So all that’s like in two to three years, Oh, my goodness. All right.
[00:11:44] Chandra Minter: I did a lot. I did a lot of moving.
[00:11:46] Nicole Pendergrass: Yeah. That is a lot of moving. I just already am tired. Just thinking about all that moving. And how long were you at? How many houses is it now?
[00:11:53] Chandra Minter: That would’ve been six.
[00:11:55] Nicole Pendergrass: 6. 2011, your first primary. 2016, you bought two.
[00:11:59] Chandra Minter: Yep.
[00:12:00] Nicole Pendergrass: Then you, you moved in it and did it again. So that’s only three. And then you did that three more times. And then on the sixth one, you ended up renting that and moving back into your primary after you stayed at your mom for a little bit.
[00:12:11] Chandra Minter: Yes.
[00:12:12] Nicole Pendergrass: Whoa. All right. Now you said you just wrote a letter. That’s really all it takes to, for the underwriter to approve you getting an additional FHA loan? Because I know that they say you’re not supposed to get another FHA unless you either refinance of the first one into a conventional or another loan product, or like, like, you said, like you have to move a certain length away for job purposes or some other reason, or your family grew, like, we got, got married, had kids or something like that. And your place is no longer sustainable.
[00:12:45] Nicole Pendergrass: But in your case, in every situation you were able to write a letter explaining what was happening. Like, for the first one, did you say in the letter, like your friend needed a place to stay and you needed to move or I don’t even know how to word it.
[00:13:02] Chandra Minter: So, okay. Only one of the, or I’ll say two, technically of the six were FHA. The very first one that I bought was FHA back in 2011, but I had refinanced out of that.
[00:13:14] Nicole Pendergrass: Out of that, yes.
[00:13:15] Chandra Minter: So then the very next one that I bought as my primary was also FHA, I think, no.
[00:13:22] Nicole Pendergrass: Well, ’cause in 2016 you bought two and those, you said 20% down. So those two in 2016 were 20% down. Okay.
[00:13:29] Chandra Minter: Yes. Those were conventional bought as investment property.
[00:13:32] Nicole Pendergrass: But then you were able to use the equity from the first house in order to even buy those?
[00:13:36] Chandra Minter: Yes.
[00:13:36] Nicole Pendergrass: So, okay. It was just like recycling that initial capital. That’s what I like to call it. Okay.
[00:13:41] Chandra Minter: I would say, I believe let’s get some dates here. So 2017 was when I moved from the townhouse into a new primary. That was going to be my actual new primary. That was a conventional loan.
[00:14:00] Nicole Pendergrass: Okay.
[00:14:00] Chandra Minter: Then, and I’d say about not too far after that, maybe two months after that, I bought another one. So let’s say that. April, or may I moved into a house that was in a different part of the city. I bought it as a primary because that was when my friend, another friend needed to rent my house.
[00:14:22] Chandra Minter: That one was FHA. So at this point I only have one FHA. So I have one conventional, well, two investment conventional. One primary, conventional, and now I have a primary FHA.
[00:14:35] Nicole Pendergrass: Okay.
[00:14:35] Chandra Minter: Then I went to stay with my, my mom for six months.
[00:14:39] Nicole Pendergrass: Yeah.
[00:14:40] Chandra Minter: So six months forward, I buy another one with a conventional primary, so that’s five.
[00:14:47] Nicole Pendergrass: Okay. Okay. And then the sixth one you bought with FHA because you were moving back from out of your mom and you needed a place to stay because your other properties were already rented. You couldn’t kick people out?
[00:14:58] Chandra Minter: No. At that point, it’s just the one FHA.
[00:15:01] Nicole Pendergrass: Oh, okay.
[00:15:02] Chandra Minter: The sixth one was the one that I purchased conventional when I came back.
[00:15:06] Chandra Minter: Okay. Okay.
[00:15:07] Nicole Pendergrass: All right. Well, in any case. The fact that you even had the foresight to think about that. Like, and I just want people to, to see this story, because if you are intentional with your plan and you come up and say, okay, I want to have multiple rental properties. How can I do this? How can I utilize loans within the limits of what I, you know, what’s out there and what’s available to be able to scale my portfolio.
[00:15:34] Nicole Pendergrass: And you were smart that you bought the first one or, you know, smart that you were looking out, and that opportunity came. You bought the first one as a short sale, because then, and you weren’t even looking to build a rental property empire at that point. You were just living and that’s still smart. Even if you’re just living, you’re buying the house for your primary.
[00:15:51] Nicole Pendergrass: You’re buying something already under value. So you build up a lot of equity there and then being able to pull that out and go and roll that over into multiple properties. And that’s the power of real estate that I love is that you really can just sit there and live your life and build up net worth and equity, and be able to access that to, like, roll it into additional properties.
[00:16:13] Nicole Pendergrass: And I think that’s just. That’s fantastic. And so, yeah. I think the way you were able to finagle is because you were a loan officer for so long. So how many years were you a loan officer before you bought your first one?
[00:16:26] Chandra Minter: I was a underwriter.
[00:16:27] Nicole Pendergrass: Yes, underwriter. Oh, that, that’s what I meant. Sorry about that.
[00:16:30] Chandra Minter: Before I bought my very first property in 2011, about three years, two to three years.
[00:16:34] Nicole Pendergrass: Okay. Okay. So you, you had seen enough to, to know that, like, people are doing this.
[00:16:40] Chandra Minter: Well, I knew enough that I knew how much I wanted to pay. So the fact that , you know, there’s, there’s also not even from an underwriter standpoint, if someone says you qualify for this much, it doesn’t mean that you have to buy that much.
[00:16:57] Nicole Pendergrass: That much. Yes.
[00:16:58] Chandra Minter: Now it’s a little different in this environment that we’re in right now, but you don’t have to buy that much. You . Still can set it to where, you know, I don’t want my payments to be more than this. I don’t want to pay more than this out of pocket, even though I have X amount that I can spend. So I knew that if I was going to capitalize on having a roommate, I didn’t want to overcharge her, but I wanted us to be able to split everything kind of down the middle.
[00:17:24] Chandra Minter: And I mean, my payment was less than $800. And that’s what I wanted at the time. So when I refinanced and then eventually sold it, I mean, I made money off of that property three times technically. So I had monthly rent multiple times. Then I was able to refinance it. Take some equity out and then I, I sold it and I was able to have, you know, get the money out of it that way.
[00:17:47] Chandra Minter: Yeah. So, you know, there’s all these different ways that you can maximize your profits off of one property, even if it’s the one that you currently live in.
[00:17:54] Nicole Pendergrass: Exactly. Okay. And so your first property, you house hacked it, but it wasn’t a multifamily. It was a single family.
[00:18:00] Chandra Minter: It was a single family.
[00:18:01] Nicole Pendergrass: So you lived in, okay. So that want people to realize that too. Some people are like, oh, I don’t want to live with anybody, blah, blah, blah. But, like, you, sometimes you have to think about things as a short, if that’s a sacrifice to you, sharing your living space with someone or risk or whatever. I mean, if you vet the person or, you know, like, you knew the person, so that’s another way to go about it.
[00:18:21] Nicole Pendergrass: Moving in with like a friend or family member, but you have to think of a short term sacrifice for the longer term mission. And if you have like a five year plan, then you know that this is only a short segment of that total plan. So you have to take action based on where you see yourself in the future.
[00:18:37] Nicole Pendergrass: Right. So I love that, that you were motivated by the housing payment that you wanted. Actually, that’s what motivated me for my first purchase too. ‘Cause I purchased the house hack was my first one, but it was a multi-unit but it was really because I wanted to live for free. I didn’t want to pay to live. Like, I didn’t want to pay rent.
[00:18:54] Nicole Pendergrass: I didn’t want to pay mortgage. That was my entire motivation. How I ran my numbers, I didn’t care about percent cash on cash return. None of those return metrics. I just want to know is my housing payment zero or not .
[00:19:06] Chandra Minter: And I think that’s important. I think that for a lot of people that want to even, they just want to buy their first house or they want to buy a rental property.
[00:19:14] Chandra Minter: Sometimes they get so in the weeds with I have to do everything right. I technically did nothing right. Everything was just I used other knowledge that I had, even if I hadn’t been an underwriter, I would’ve known, you know, I don’t want to pay more than this. And someone just happened to want to be my roommate and she was quiet and clean at also at the time, I was 24 years old.
[00:19:39] Chandra Minter: I had no children. I wasn’t married. It was very easy to just have a roommate, especially wanting to travel a lot. Honestly, if I had been very, you know, done things right. I would’ve been putting that money to the side and saving it to buy it more. But, like, what my friends like to say is I spent that money on my memory bank.
[00:19:57] Chandra Minter: So we traveled a lot. So I have, I was able to create memories on that money. And then I let the equity in my house be the thing that allowed me to, to buy more properties. I also tapped into my, this is another thing that is beneficial when you’re buying a primary home or a home as a primary, you can use your 401k.
[00:20:19] Chandra Minter: If you can prove that it’s your primary, you can use your 401k. I use my 401k multiple times.
[00:20:26] Nicole Pendergrass: I used my 401k to purchase my first three family house act as well. I was short, I was saving enough, but I had, I didn’t have enough. And I was able to take a 10 year loan for my primary. I just had to upload the purchase in sales agreement.
[00:20:39] Chandra Minter: And it worked for me because when I bought my first home that I used my 401k for, I was with one company. But when I bought a new home, my new primary, I was with a different company. So I was able to use the second 401k. So, I mean, you just have to be conscious of what you do have available. Some people think they have nothing, but you have more than you think. If you have a job and you’re paying into your 401k, you have more than you think.
[00:21:10] Chandra Minter: And, at this point in time, if you’re buying something that will end up being an asset for you, I always say if you’re spending money to make more money, it’s worth it.
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