Speaker 1: This is Start FM. Now here’s your host, active real estate investor and entrepreneur, Chad Duval.
Chad Duval: This episode of Start FM is sponsored by HoneyBook. HoneyBook is the management software that I just started using to stay organized, manage my invoices, get paid, and give every client an elevated unforgettable experience. HoneyBook is offering 50% off your first year exclusively for you guys, Start FM listeners. Just go to share.honeybook.com/startfm to get started and get your life back today.
Chad Duval: Thanks to Buildium for supporting Start FM and right now Start FM listeners can try Buildium for free for 15 days when you go to chadduval.com/buildium. There’s absolutely no risk and you can even start your free trial without entering any credit card information. You guys, this is the software that I used when I first started in real estate and let me tell you, it’s super easy to use, it’s cheap and there’s plenty of room to grow as your business grows. Again, to sign up, go to chadduval.com/buildium. That’s B-U-I-L-D-I-U-M.
Chad Duval: What’s going on guys? So today I am coming to you from sunny Los Angeles. I’m out here for some work this week. Actually recording this in my hotel room. I don’t have a microphone and totally roughing it this week. And because of all the travel, I’ve not had the time to to edit any of my podcasts that I have in the queue. So I decided today because I want to keep it consistent with you guys and bring as much value as possible, I actually am going to repost a interview that I was on an episode of the Dwellynn Show with Ola Dantis a few months ago and reached out to him and he sent me the audio file. So I decided to just kind of do a podcast within a podcast. Hope you guys enjoy it, and yeah, so this is episode 101 of the Dwellynn Show.
Ola Dantis: Thank you so much for joining us on the Dwellynn show. I’m your host, Ola Dantis. I’ve got the amazing Chad Duval with us today. How are you doing Chad?
Chad Duval: Good. Thanks for having me. How are you doing?
Ola Dantis: Doing fantastic. I really appreciate you taking the time out to join us today. Can you just kind of tell our Dwellynn listeners who you are, what you’ve been up to and what you’re doing lately?
Chad Duval: Sure, yeah, yeah. Thanks again for having me. So yeah, just I guess I’ve been in real estate since 2014. Going way back, I guess it just … I grew up in a small town in New Hampshire to a middle-class family, kind of surrounded by the entrepreneurs. Both my parents had businesses, so I got to see that firsthand. It kind of grew up. My dad had a painting business, my mom had a cleaning business. And then worked with them for years to scrape up some extra cash and that sort of thing. And then helped my parents when they bought their first rental property and kind of saw the value in that. That was back in high school I believe.
Chad Duval: And then I went off to college, kicking and screaming, but my parents said I had to go. So I went to college, had a great time. Didn’t do that well school wise, but I had a great time. And the whole time I was there I was working part time with my parents, back and forth. So I went to a local school that was only about a half an hour from my parents. And then graduated from that and decided that I wanted to try the world firsthand by myself without working for my parents and decided to move out to California. Had no job. This was in ’08, ’09. I tried to get a job in finance and as everybody knows, that was not the best time to try and find a job in finance.
Chad Duval: So then I ended up just doing all kinds of odd jobs. I think I worked at Kohl’s overnight stocking shelves. I worked at a Sherwin Williams stocking paint. And then I got the call from my dad and said, “Hey, how about you fly back and start working for us a little bit here? We’ll help you fly back for two weeks, put you to work, make some money and fly you back.”
Chad Duval: So I did that for a couple months too until I finally got my first break in aerospace. I was always a little bit of a geek and liked airplanes. And so I started working in that, and that’s where I’ve been working in ever since. I’ve been in aerospace for about 10 years. And then was it 2014 I finally bought my first house. And it was a turning point because my parents had kind of suggested, “Hey, if you’re going to buy a house, why don’t you buy a duplex? That way you can live in one side, rent out the other and live for free and start in real estate,” because they knew the value of it because they had a rental property and they own their house. And after months and months, I finally went and got a preapproval and started looking for properties and ever since I got a property under contract and closed on it. But that was kind of the start into my path into real estate.
Ola Dantis: Fantastic. Thank you so much for sharing. That is such a long synopsis, but I really love it, because, when somebody goes on your page, for example on Instagram, they’re like, “Oh my God, look at this guy. So lucky. He’s doing real estate, look at him, he’s just a overnight success.” But looking at the timeline, I mean I’m taking some notes here. You started in 2004, however you bought your first property in 2014. So 10 year gap of constantly working with your parents in real estate grinding, grinding, grinding, grinding. Also taking a risk of moving to California at kind of the deep of the recession in 2008 to get a finance job. Right?
Chad Duval: Yeah.
Ola Dantis: So I’m kind of teasing these things out because it kind of shows that you were able to take risks, right, real life risks. Like who moves to California, the most expensive real estate market and [inaudible 00:06:04] live in to try to get a job in the recession.
Chad Duval: Well, and I forgot the little piece too. So as soon as I graduated, my uncle actually was a manager at a local bank. And so when I decided that I didn’t want to work for my parents at that time and I want to try something new, I thought finance would be good. I looked at all these movies and finance and Wall Street. I was like, “Oh my God, I’ll make a ton of money doing this.” So I was on the search for something that I could make a lot of money, something I have fun with. So I reached out to my uncle and actually got a job with that bank. I think it was right after I graduated. So I went and worked for him for three months. But of course it was ’08, and three months into it we all showed up to the bank and it was locked and we had no job. So even my uncle didn’t know about it, none of us. So at that point they closed the branch, we were all out of a job.
Chad Duval: And at that point, yeah, I guess it was kind of a super risky and kind of not the best plan. But then I was like, “all right, I’ll just pick up and move to California. Why not?” You know? So I used it as an opportunity to take some risks and explore my options out there.
Ola Dantis: Yeah. And it looked like it worked out. So you got your first duplex, you did pretty well. You can kind of walk us through that process. You said you got a preapproval. How did you kind of … did you have to do any rehabs? You can share the numbers with us if you want to or just any other deal that you’re comfortable with [inaudible 00:07:26].
Chad Duval: Yeah. Yeah. So that first deal I guess is probably the most important one for me because like I said, I was studying real estate. I was listening to podcasts, reading books. And when my parents finally told me that my cousin had bought a duplex and lived on one side and was basically living rent free, it kind of clicked in my head after reading all these books and everything that it’s like, “Oh this is sort of what he’s talking about. This is what I got to do.” So as you know, my first step was I went and got a preapproval. And again I had a little bit of the resources, I had my parents, I had my uncle. So I went to my uncle and I said, “this is what I want to do. I want to buy a house. I want to do it really cheaply. How do I get into a house?”
Chad Duval: And he proposed the USDA loan, basically a rural development loan, which is in short, it’s basically you can buy a house with little money down in a certain geographical area. The USDA will loan a mortgage to you. So it’s basically like an FHA loan. So I pursued that, got a preapproval, and then started looking for duplexes, looking for houses. And finally stumbled upon this three two in a small little town in Connecticut and it had … what caught my eye is the upstairs was nice, the kitchen was already done. It would’ve been great just to live in it.
Chad Duval: But then I looked at the basement and it was partially finished. The full basement was partially finished, so it had like a water hookup down there. So I knew I could put a small little kitchenette, I could hook up and put a bathroom in there. So that all looked really good for me.
Chad Duval: So I put an offer in it. I got it for $189,000 and my uncle gave me a little trick. So he said, go in, put an offer in at the full listing price, but then negotiate all your closing costs into that so the seller can pay for it. So with a very low down payment, I think I got under a contract with $500. I gave them full asking price. They agreed to fix a few things and pay all my closing costs. So it was, I don’t remember exactly how the math worked, but at closing I actually got a check. Like it was crazy. I actually got a check for a couple hundred dollars. It wasn’t a lot, but it was like, wow, I got into this house thinking how to come up with all this money and now I can go into it. I have some money now to rehab the basement a little bit and then live rent free. So it was a really cool deal. So that’s what I did. Yeah.
Ola Dantis: Yeah. Fantastic. I’m guessing you lived in the basement and rent the main part of the house. Fantastic.
Chad Duval: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. So me and my dad spent a couple of months finishing up. We took a bunch of like … so he’s a contractor, so he was doing some properties and they were actually gutting some old houses and stuff like that. So I was able to reuse some of their old cabinets and we put in a very, very, very cheap bathroom and that sort of thing. So we did it on the cheap. I think I built part of our countertops out of some IKEA shelving units and I put them all together and screwed them together and totally did it all on the cheap. I think I only spent like a couple thousand dollars, which I think I even put it on like a credit card or a Home Depot card or something like that.
Ola Dantis: Wow. That is so fascinating. I really, really like that story. So even if somebody listening in our conversation and they’re like, wow. And they’ve been telling themselves like, “I don’t have any money. I don’t know how to get started.” You know, you just closed a deal where you were trying to raise at least 500 to close them, but you actually got money back. And then obviously when you closed, you were really, really scrappy and bootstrapping this project to kind of make your goal reality. What would you say to that person that is kind of telling themselves like, “I can’t. I cannot do this. I cannot start, I don’t have any money. I don’t have any contact.” What would you say to that person?
Chad Duval: Well it’s kind of funny because going through all of that, I thought of all these scenarios, why I couldn’t do it. I thought everything was scary, everything was risky. I don’t have money for this. But every time I took a step forward, I went and got that preapproval or I went and talked to somebody and they told me about this loan product that was super cheap. Every time I took a step forward, there was always a bunch of different avenues that would appear that you never saw before. So I mean that’s the greatest advice I can give is just to take that first step. And for me, I mean I tell everybody, go look at those USDA rural development loans. Even if you like living in the city, if you could do it for a year, move to the suburbs, find a place where you can get this loan product, live in it for a year, then move out of it, it at least gets you in the game. So those are my two things that I usually tell people.
Ola Dantis: Thank you so much for that. It’s that famous saying, a thousand steps starts with just one step. Yeah, right. Or I think there’s another one where you can’t wait for all of the stop lights or traffic lights to go green before you actually go. Right?
Chad Duval: Oh, I like that one. Yeah, that’s exactly what it’s like. It’s so crazy. I didn’t realize that until I bought that first property and went through that process and it was a really good lesson. I hope people can at least take something from that.
Ola Dantis: Yeah, I hope so too. I mean, that’s kind of the goal of the podcast is just motivate folks to really think differently and push themselves to get to wherever the end goal is for them. So I think this is a good segue for us. So you got this property, got in it, and then you got your first rent check and you were like, “Oh my goodness, this actually works. Somebody’s actually paying me money to do this.” Right? What did you do next and what was that process like?
Chad Duval: So yeah, I did that. I got my first rent check. It was to this younger couple that were working at a local school in that town. I think they were in their mid twenties so I was roughly that age too. So we kind of meshed together. Yeah, so they moved into this, the upstairs, which again was a three bedroom, two bathroom. And I started doing that for about a year, and after about a year of doing it, I really realized something about landlord slash tenant relationships and that I probably would not want to live on the property of a tenant because every time they see you, there’s something broken. Every time they see you, there’s an issue. If they get behind on rent, then you got to mention every time you see them.
Chad Duval: And so I really … I mean, I guess also too, when these first tenants came in, I didn’t know what a lease was, I kind of screwed up on my lease, and there was a lot of loopholes in it. They allowed somebody to move in off of Craigslist as a roommate and that person ultimately broke into my unit downstairs and stole a bunch of stuff. And so, it was a huge learning experience. And I think going forward, I’ll never ever rent to somebody that I’m living in the same property with.
Chad Duval: But yeah, so I did that for a year and decided yeah, I don’t want to do this anymore. I like the money. I like being a landlord, but I just need to move away. So at that time I had met somebody and she was living in Boston, so I was in Connecticut, she was in Boston. My parents were in New Hampshire, a bunch of family and friends were up in New Hampshire. So I decided that this would be a good opportunity to go live the city life, move up to Boston, be closer to family and then maybe rent out that full property in Connecticut and try it that way.
Chad Duval: So that’s what I did. I ended up moving up there. And I think I was up there for about a year after I moved out and started getting the bug again and actually starting to look for more properties. And at the time I kind of had listened to a lot of Grant Cardone. I’m sure a lot of your listeners listen to him. Uncle G, he’s crazy and he gets you to think a lot bigger. So at that time he was screaming this to me and I was looking at properties and I saw this nine unit pop up in the town over from where I grew up.
Chad Duval: Hey guys, me again. Hope you guys are enjoying this episode on the Dwellynn show. I just wanted to interrupt real quick to let you guys know I just created a new phone number for all you guys. If you guys want to call and leave a message with the questions that you’d like answered on the show, the number is 415-WE-START, that’s 415-937-8278. Leave a message or feel free to text. I’ll try and do a good job of responding to all you guys, but just looking for new questions to ask guests and help bring as much value as I can to you guys. So 415-WE-START. Now let’s get back to the show.
Chad Duval: It was nine units. And the reason why it caught my attention is because in the description that it had said that the seller would carry a note or do seller financing. So for me, I still didn’t have a lot of money to put down on a property, so that caught my eye. And that’s the pursuit that I went after and ultimately got that property under contract and closed on that with very little down because again it was a seller financing deal and I was able to meet with them and earn their trust and go in with a low down payment. They financed the rest and actually we just refinanced it a couple months ago too. But yes, that’s where my next step led me to.
Ola Dantis: Fantastic. Thank you for sharing that. It’s just really fascinating that you’re saying a lot but I really hope Dwellynn listeners are picking this. So you lived in this property and you’re like, “well I don’t really like it, I’m going to move.” Right? And then you just up and leave. Sometimes we all think that we have to stay somewhere because I grew up here or this is my new city or this is my city. And you’re just ready to up and leave. Like you went to California, you went to … I mean you’re from New Hampshire and then you went to Connecticut and then you went to Boston. So I’m just bringing this out for anyone that is listening to this and thinking, “well I’m not sure if I want to move because I like my comfortable life in the suburbs. I don’t want to go buy a duplex in the city. I’m going to have to find parking.” That’s what I had to do when I was starting out. Similar story to yours, my first duplex.
Ola Dantis: But I think we have to push ourselves to just edge out and take that risk of going to a new city or trying a new approach. Right? So I really like that you’re sharing that. And then before you know, you’re buying your multifamily, you’re refinancing, you’re getting the notes. It’s kind of the same thing that you said is when you make that first step, everything else just has to fall in line.
Chad Duval: Yeah. That’s exactly what happened with that property too. I didn’t know where I was going to get the money for it. I just started talking to the broker, found out … and I saw that it was a seller financing deal, tried to dig into them, talk to them a few times. And again, things would just reveal themselves. And I guess a lot of … those two properties too. At the time I was listening to a lot of podcasts and reading a lot. I had a lot of enthusiasm. So as I was going and taking a step forward, there was a lot of things being pushed at me that I was listening to that would open up even more. So it kind of helped me get through that. And yeah, it’s crazy that [crosstalk 00:18:22]
Ola Dantis: Yeah, the universe kind of meets you, right? When you move through the universe.
Chad Duval: Exactly.
Ola Dantis: Or whatever [inaudible 00:18:27]. So I really love that. You know, I can keep going. Yeah, I can keep going on every single deal you’ve done. But we obviously don’t have enough time. I think you’re doing a terrific job. So we’re definitely definitely dwelling into the quick rounds. These are going to be quick questions. Quick answers. You ready, sir?
Chad Duval: Absolutely.
Ola Dantis: All right, first question. What makes Chad unique? What is that differentiating factor that separates you from the next guy or the next girl?
Chad Duval: Actually, I just had a conversation with my girlfriend about this actually last night. It’s a strength of mine, but I think it can be looked at as a downfall as well. But when I get into something, I get narrow focus, and I focus like 150% of my time on that. And so it helps me propel myself forward. But at the same time, some other things drop. I can’t keep both plates spinning at all times, but I think ultimately it’s a positive score [inaudible 00:19:27] game.
Ola Dantis: Awesome. Second question. What was the last book that you read and what was the one thing that you picked up from that book?
Chad Duval: So again, like I said, I listen to a lot of books, but I listen to a lot of podcasts. But the last book I actually read I think was … oh, it was Splitting the Difference by, what’s his name? Chris Voss. That was really good. The thing that I can remember that I took out of that, using the word fair in negotiations. It does something to the person who’s on the other side of the table that actually brings you guys closer when you’re negotiating anything in life, but specifically real estate.
Ola Dantis: Yeah, that’s definitely a favorite one I’ve mentioned on the Dwellynn show numerous times. Yeah. So thank you for sharing that. Last question. You’ve got your nine units, you’re still managing your out of state property, your duplex, and you’re obviously doing all this other stuff. Spending time with your girlfriend, I’m sure. What do you do for fun?
Chad Duval: Actually every morning, me and Holly, we get up at 4:30 in the morning and we go to the gym. That’s our happy place. We spend a lot of time there. What else do we do? I like to hike and mountain bike, snowboard, those sort of things. Of course, I grew up in New Hampshire, so there’s a lot of outdoor activity. So yeah, and of course real estate.
Ola Dantis: Of course. Absolutely. Of course. If there’s a Dwellynn listener, a fly on the wall listening in on our conversation, they’re like, wow, I really like this Chad guy. Perhaps they’re in the Boston market or obviously anywhere in the country and they want to get to know you more or just connect with you. Where’s the best place that folks can reach out and get to know you better?
Chad Duval: I guess there’s two places. The main place of course is Instagram. That’s where we connected. @IAmChadDuval. That’s D-U-V-A-L. That’s where I spend all my time, interacting with a little community there that we’ve just started creating, but you can also check me out at chadduval.com.
Ola Dantis: Sweet. Thank you so much Chad. I really appreciate your time. It has been an amazing, amazing time just chatting with you today. Thank you.
Chad Duval: Thank you so much.
Chad Duval: Well guys, there you have it. That was my interview on the Dwellynn show. Hope you guys enjoyed it. Hope there were some little pieces of value that you guys can take away and apply them to your real estate investing careers. And feel free to go check out my Instagram page over @IAmChadDuval. That’s D-U-V-A-L. And I hope you guys have a great week. Super excited about some upcoming guests that we have scheduled out over the next couple of weeks. So feel free to come back, check them out. And again, have a great week. And as Zig Ziglar always says, you don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. See you.