Steve and Veronica's Journal

Steve and Veronica's Journal

Steve and Veronica’s Real Estate Journal. I have said in the past, I did not want to post anything on a deal, until the deal closed. I felt that it is not a deal until it is closed. I see so many other DG Family members writing about offers they make trying to get a deal done and I realized that is part of the deal so I should write about our real estate experiences good and bad. I have a lot to say to catch up here with this first post.

We started with real estate back in 1985 my soon to be Father-in-law told me if I wanted to marry his daughter I had to buy a home for her to live in. To save money to buy this house, we built a room in my Father in-law’s garage for me to sleep in. For 6 months, I worked two jobs to save the down payment money. At this time, I did not earn enough money to go with a VA loan and we had to use a FHA loan with my in-laws co-signing. In Jan. of 1986 I bought my first house for 80k at 10.5% interest. Our payment was $850.00 a month.

I had to rent bedrooms out to friends to help pay the mortgage. Then in August of 86 we got married and Veronica moved in. With my wife working and me working two jobs, we still did not make enough money to pay the mortgage without renting to roommates. After a year of living with roommates, we decided to move back to Veronica’s Mom and Dad’s home and rent our house out to one family.

The last day of 1989 we were blessed with a little girl. I was from the Midwest and my wife and I thought it would be better to raise our daughter in Indiana where my family lived at the time. Veronica’s Dad told us he would give us 40k to buy us out of our home after one of his other homes sold. So off to Indiana we went. It took a while for my in-laws home to sell to give us the 40k and we were down to having no money, no job, and bill collectors calling. Veronica went back to California with our daughter to work and help get the house sold. I said I would not move back to California and I could make this work out here. One of my brothers in Northern Indiana said he could get me a job up there in Elkhart. Finely in December of 1990 our home sold Veronica came back to Indiana with our daughter and the money. We were able to get ourselves out of debt.

We moved to Elkhart Indiana and I started working at an aerosol packaging plant as a maintenance mechanic making good money. In 1993 we bought our first no money down home using a VA loan and seller paying all closing cost. It was a great place to raise our daughter but Veronica was getting tired of what she called "12 years of long winters." She wanted to move back to California. We left Indiana in 2002 with 60k from the sale of our home.

In 2002 the prices of homes in California were going through the roof. We bought a 255K home with no money down, again using a VA loan and seller paying all closing. The week after we closed on this house Veronica and I got laid off from our jobs, we worked at the same place. Veronica was able to get a job right away but it was harder to find a job that paid me what I was making as a maintenance mechanic. We still had money in the bank from the sale of our house in Indiana so we knew we would be okay for a month or so. I have worked for over 20 years without taking any unemployment benefits. So I took the school benefits and put myself through a 23 week Sheriff’s Academy. After I completed the Academy I worked as security at a mall until I was hired on at a Sheriff’s department. During this time houses in California were going up in value like crazy about 10k or more each month.

We moved to Northern California and sold our house in 2004 for 410k that was a 155k profit. We paid 17k in commissions to the real estate agent. We still had over 100k in bank. We bought a house in Northern California with 20% down for 385k. Due to not being on the job for 2 years I could not use the VA loan.
In 2005 the area we lived in was hard on Veronica’s allergies and we knew that if we were going to sell it would have to be very quickly because we knew that the housing bubble was about to burst. We sold that house for 399k. We moved closer to Veronica’s work and into a better high school district for our daughter. Again, we felt that the housing bubble was about to burst so we rented a home for the next three years. The house we rented was close to the high school which was convenient.

In 2006 we started watching Dean’s programs on TV and Veronica read Rich Dad Poor Dad. Veronica told me we needed to start buying homes and renting them out. By 2007 we had been to a 3 day class by Rich Dad but we did not want to pay the 24k-40k they wanted for their advanced training classes.
Veronica knew my Mom and Dad had never owned their own home and were great renters. Homes in the Vermillion County area of Illinois were not affected by the housing market like California was. We bought a house to rent to my Mom and Dad and in 2007 you could buy a house with no money down using a 80/20 loan. 80% on the first mortgage and 20% on the 2nd. We wanted my Mom and Dad to have a nice house to live in that they could feel that it was their own. My Dad takes better care of rentals houses than most homeowners.

In 2008 I bought the book Be A Real Estate Millionaire by Dean Graziosi. We paid $ 495.00 for a 3 day class by Rich Dad. Dean’s book cost $24.95 at the bookstore and had better information on real estate investing than the 3 day class we paid $495.00 for.
In the spring of 2008 our daughter graduated from high school and we felt it was time to buy a primary home for us again. Using Dean’s techniques we bought an REO home that previously sold for 655k we got it for 365k no money down with the seller paying 4% toward all closing cost and enough money left over to buy down the loan. The home was built in 2003 so it was only 5 years old plus it was a 4060 sq ft. We did not need a 4000 sq ft home but all the other homes in the area were smaller needed more work and were priced higher. This house was vacant for a year. The fence in the back yard was down from a windstorm and the neighbor's big dog had left big messes all over the back yard. So we told our realtor to request additonal money form the seller for for repairs. The REO bank said they would give us 1k for repairs in addition to having the fence repaired before closing. All the things Dean says to ask for on a deal the bank was saying yes to. We walked out of closing with so much money we had to have the seller put ther rest of the funds into an escrow account. I guess the seller cannot directly give money to the buyer at closing. However, we did get a check for over 1k at closing and the remainder was placed in an impound account wich was applied to insurance and taxes. Thanks Dean.

In August of 2009 we joined the Success Academy. The On Demand classes are great and the Coaching staff is terrific. We were on fire to get our real estate business going so now we opened a LLC and started making offers. We started with a duplex in the small town of Covington IN...FSBO. I have a sister that lives in that town and she looked at the property for us. The owner did not want to do seller financing so we talked to a small town bank about a loan. The bank said they would consider making a loan to us and needed a purchase agreement. The sellers were asking 38k for the duplex. We sent the sellers a purchase agreement that we printed from this DG site. We gave the seller 5 days to respond. The 5 days went by and we had not heard back from the seller. I called the seller and was only able to leave a message. Since there was no response to our voice mail my wife and I decided to move on to other deals. The seller called us back about ten days later saying she wanted a different contract. I had to tell her we have moved on from this deal. So we did not get that house. It was a duplex, one bed one bath each which had rental income of $550.00 a month together. After the mortgage payment it would cash flow around $150-200 a month. But we did not get this one.

We started working on a two home deal in Danville IL for 34k. I had my Dad go with the realtor to look at the houses for us. Remember we live in California. So my Dad said with a little work they would be good rentals. Both houses were two bed one bath homes that would rent for about $400.00 a month each. We had the down payment money and we wer talking to banks for the rest of funds. We got to the end of the time frame for the loan contingency and all the banks said our debt to income ratio was to high. That crushed us. ( Don’t let this happen to anyone of you reading this post.) We dropped out of the hunt for a deal for a few months.

We tried to see if the stock market would give us the capital to buy homes out right. That did not work out so well.

We refinanced our primary home and dropped our payment by $400.00 a month. I bought the book Profit from Real Estate Right Now. We were back in the game but I wanted to study the classes put on by the Academy and maybe get out of our comfort zone and try something else than just buy and hold. We bought the book Your Town Your Real Estate Profits and we are on fire again making this real estate business work.

I was talking to some coworker of mine about real estate and they said they would be willing to partner up for some deals. This was in May of 2010. We looked at a lot of houses and agreed to go for a house listed for 60k it is the worst looking property in the area in this part of California. The other houses in the area were selling for 150k. It was a two bedroom with one bath on a third of an acre lot. We put an offer in for 55k with the seller paying closing cost. The seller countered with 58k and we said OK. The bank we were working with told us they could not give a loan on this house due to a report of mold. We were dead in the water. We talked to a few so-called Hard Money Loan people and they wanted 30 to 40% down telling us there is no hard money 100% financing. Well with the mold issue which, in my opinion was not that bad we still decided to move on.

A few days later our agent called us and asked if we still wanted that house. The bank was willing to pay $2,100.00 for mold abatement if we would pay 60k for the house. It was worth it to us if the bank could give us something in writing that the mold was removed, so we said yes. Now our partner on this deal moved on to another deal so he would not be able to go through on this deal with us. Veronica and I decided to do the deal on our own. After the inspection report, we felt that there was too much work to be done to this house. The kicker was that the person the bank sent out to remove the mold ended up just wiping the walls down with bleach and not producing a clearance report for the removal of the mold. We countered with a 55k offer with a contingency that the house would appraise at 55k. The bank said no so we exercised one of our exit clauses ad canceled escrow. I just received information that we would get our earnest money back as I am writing this post. There are a lot of deals out there so we know that we don’t have to settle on just one house.

We now have the Set for Life program and are going to try some wholesale deals.

Sorry this was so long but we had to do a lot of catching up.

Steve and Veronica

Greetings from Florida

Hi Steve and Veronica,
Thanks for the inspiration,I own few properties even before joining Dean's but now I felt like I am stuck,from the ones I acquired in '92,'03,'04 I have used the equity to purchase 5 more properties for cash as the last 5 were in the 60k range but I could not cash out as the banks I have called require seasoning and require 6 months of reserve on each property.I also joined the academy which I really have not utilized .I work 3 days a week and I really want a phone number separate from my work as I do not answer calls while I am at work just like you it is taking me long time to even have a business card printed as I do not have a number to put in my card.I think I am just having a cold feet right now.


On condos just remember the HOA fees. You will want the rent to cover the fees and give you a positive cash flow.



Virginia use the coaching line as much as you can it will help you a lot.

Do your properties have a positive cash flow on them now. If they do just wait it out and the refi will come. Also have you looked for small banks or credit unions that may refi with out seasoning.

Virginia I recommend reading about Greg Murphy's lease options. You may get more income on your properties if you do a lease to own option for 2-3 years.

I hope this helps.


Thanks for the response,5

Thanks for the response,5 are free and clear and I know that if I offer it to all my tenants they would be grateful I have had all these recently before reading Greg Murphy's technique,I have called a couple of banks and some I went personally,i haven't had luck of finding a bank that do not require seasoning but I will probably refinance 1 of the homes I acquired earlier.I wanted to do one with 0 down,that will be a challenge for me.
Thanks again.


Steve and Veronica, i hope you don't mind me stepping in here. Virginia, you can set up a gmail account if you don't have one all ready, then set up a google voice account with them. you get a new number and it can ring to whatever phone you want. you can choose to answer or let it go to voice mail and it will be easy to listen to through your account or you can see it written in text. it has some other options too. you could use that as your business number. it's free. i also know a DGer who uses Magic Jack for the business number. it's inexpensive and worth looking into. either way, you have a couple choices at least. hope that helps.


Linda, Army EOD Mom
you can follow my journal at
Fear equals:

Linda ,thank you for the

Linda ,thank you for the input,I will surely look into that.Just starting to write here makes me feel good already instead of just being on the sideline.
Thanks again.


Jump in anytime you have good information. Thanks for your input.



We hope every thing works out the way you need it to.

Steve and veronica


I received a call from our agent today. He told us we should close on the house in Indiana on the 5th of Oct. We gave one of my sisters POA so she can sign for us. We are going to fly out there later in the month to do some of the work it needs. This is not our first income house but I have to say we are like kids at Christmas time with this one.

Veronica spent time working on airline tickets today. I can not tell you how glad I am to have a spouse that is on the same page with me on REI.



Veronica and I spent a lot of time working on a plan for when we go to Indiana to work on the house we are buying out there. Talked to my Mom and Dad about thier game plan in helping with this deal. I also spoke with my sister that is going to do the signing for us to get her game plan together. I have to say we have been blessed with family willing to help out on some of the work to do with REI.



Are closing was pushed back to the 8th of Oct. I hope it will close that day. The closings are the worst part of REI. At least getting up to that point. The closing is fine for the most part.



Started the day off right by going to church. The sermon was on tithing. I know it is not what everyone wants to hear but we have found out in our life that you can not out give God. They used a good quote from J.D. Rockerfeller "I never would have been able to tithe the first million dollars I ever made if I had not tithed my first salary, which was $1.50 per week."

Today was a said day also with Da Bears loss to the Giants.

We will be back to REI tomorrow.

God Bless the DG family and the USA.


Steve & Veronica,

I like your reminder about tithing. If we tithe what we can now, God will multiply that gift many times over. I have heard of many others that tithed when they could barely make ends meet, and don't you know their bills never went unpaid. Money came in from some place and they steadily improved financially. Have you ever been able to watch Joel Osteen on Sundays?
I am encouraged to hear you are making progress with your REI. Please keep us up on your progress, it is helpful.


Keep on Keeping On !!! Expect it, God has already given it to you. You just need to get out there and grab it!
If you want to follow my journal:

Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10


We have watched Joel Osteen when we have not gone to our owne church. The church we go to inter acts with Joel's church. We have a big name worship leader named Lincoln Brewster and the worship leader from Joel's church have recorded songs together.

God Bless you and your family Tim.



Well we are going to the 2011 live Edge Event. I just paid for it today. We want to meet our DG family members along with all the learning we wll receive.

Still working on getting things together for our deal in Indiana it should close on Friday.

Looking for more deals.



Today we received our HUD 1 for the house we are buying in Indiana. We should close on the 8th. My sister was in that house today she took some measurments for us so we can get carpet and other flooring ordered. She gave us other information on the house we wanted as well.

In the past I was always afraid to ask family to help with somthing like this house deal. So far everyone wants to help out with this deal I am blown away. I did tell them that I would pay for thier help. The older we get I think we see that we need to help each other out.



Today I spent the morning working on getting everything we need for the repair work on the Indiana home we are closing on. My sister is cleaning the house today and my Dad is going to Lowes to order carpet and other flooring. We are only going to have about 3 days to work on the house coming up here soon. It is going to be like the HGTV shows when they fix a home up over a weekend except not as well done. We will do are best.



Today we received the notification that we were the 2nd runner up in (Indiana)Joe's fun in the sun contest. Thanks again Joe for having a contest it was a lot of fun. Jay we hope you enjoy the trip. We hope to see all the contestants at the Edge event in May.

Today I wired the money for our closing on the Indiana house we are buying. It should close on 10/08/10.

Spent a lot of time working on getting insurance and supplies for the fix up on the house we are buying

Still looking for our next deal.



Steve and Veronica,

Congratulations!! I have been reading through your posts regarding your current deal. I admire how you have stayed the course and made it happen. I am looking forward to the day I close my first deal. Hats off to you two!


Praise the Lord!

Your teamwork and persistance is an inspiration to me! Reading this journal has given me a reason why not to ever get discouraged. Our Father in Heaven always seems to answer our prayers at his right timing. I'm still working on my first assignment deal and startd in the begining of August. I keep hearing this over and over in my mind and hasn't gone away for about 4 years now "patience". So..."persistance with patience" has a good ring to it don't you think? God bless guys and many more deals to come.



Hope things go well on your rehab. And congratulations on the contest.




To save some time I copied our post from 1st deal in a while.

Today we closed on this deal. My sister in Indiana signed the closing papers today. We gave her power of attorney to sign for us since we live in California.

I talked to a Realtor on 10/07/10 in that area that sold this house for 50k a few years ago and he agreed that it should only take about 6k to fix the place up nice.

When it was all done with closing cost we paid $15,961.00 for the house that also included a home warranty. It was 100% finaced with OPM. We are starting the fix up and plan to have it rented out by 11/01/10 for $500.00 a month. After we do a refi we should have a positive cash flow of $300.00 a month or more.

A big thank you out to Dean, Indiana Joe and Stacey, Randy428, and the Ceriani's for all the suport advise and motivation to make this deal hapen. Thank you DG family and my personal family in the Illinois and Indiana area.

Steve and Veronica.


Thank you Devil Dog for the kind words. I hope to read about your deals soon.

Steve and Veronica


Thanks fro the kind words. Things are in Gods time not our time we just have to be ready for when the time is right.

God Bless

Steve and Veronica.

Thank you Randy

Like I said before Randy you have motivated me to get a deal done and move on the next one. I hope to see you and your wife at the Edge event in 2011 we will be there.

Steve and Veronica.


Today I ordered carpet and kitchen flooring for the house in Indiana. My brother in-law told me he power washed the house and it looks a lot better.

We have out of town guest this weekend so I have not done much with REI today.



I can not believe this year is almost over. I received a call from my brother in-law asking us if we wanted an electric range that was in his Dads garage. We said yes. His Dad put a new gas range in thier house and just wanted the old one out of thier garage. Free range that's a good deal.

My sister called us latter and she knew we needed a new vanity for the bathroom in the house we bought in Indiana. She found the size of vanity we needed at lowes on sale for $20.00 from $70.00. I told her to pick it up. My sister and her family have been a big blessing in this house deal in Indiana.

Bears win today.

God bless everyone and the USA.

Steve and Veronica.

Setting the Example

My pleasure. I will be sure to post my progress every step of the way. You and Veronica have really set an example for the rest of us by maintaining a chronicle of your progress on this site. It is very inspiring and helpful.

Semper Fi

Thank you Shawn

Please do post your progress.

Semper Fi.



Today the phone rang of the hook we had so many calls on the house for rent we are going to have to buy a lot more homes in that part of Indiana to make everyone happy out there. There are not that many homes available.

Called on another house in the same area and left a message with the agent. we want to close on at least one more house befor the year end.

Steve and Veronica.

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