An Interview with Richard Phipps- Real Estate Veteran, Author, Wealth Builder Advisor, Host of Phipps Talk

We are pleased to have the opportunity to interview Richard Phipps, a real estate veteran, successful wealth builder. public speaker, television producer and host of the show Phipps Talk.  Phipps has been advising consumers on real estate for over 40 years.

His interest with real estate started with his first acquisition in 1978 and has grown more exciting with each acquisition.

Phipps served as the Regional Vice President for the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, (NAREB), Region 1, the New England State. He is the founder and managing Broker of CFS Realty and Management Inc. and Consumer Financial Services in Boston, MA. Phipps recently released his premiere book, “First-Time Home Buyers: Success Guide, a book that aims to enlighten the readers about the home buying process and gives them the guidance to participating successfully if they choose to do so.   He also authored the highly successful book, Genuine Real Estate Investing Made Easy: Proven Strategies for Low Risk and High Profits

“I have been selling professionally since the age of 14 from school uniforms to financial service, and education and housing. I have shared business strategies and opportunities with others allowing them to build small fortunes some now retired. I hope to do the same for many others in much larger numbers, “stated Phipps.

Mr. Phipps answered a Q and A for our readers on building wealth with Real Estate.

Mr. Phipps, you are an experienced Real Estate investor, what would you advise a novice on how to begin investing in real estate?

First Acquire knowledge and build relationships, identify others who are successfully practicing in an area of interest and develop relationships with them. Identify and share your intent with providers in the area of interest then use the information and knowledge gained from all sources to research and determine the area of real estate investing which best suits your mission/purpose,  goals and resources available including personal funds/assets and other available funding and personal to embark to your real estate investing journey. In some cases, as a result of limited resources, knowledge or experience, individuals may want to consider partnership opportunities to get started as real estate investors. There is a great book recently published Genuine Real Estate Investing Made Easy” as beginners’ guide to the process.

How much money would you require to begin building a ‘rental property’ empire.

 The answer to this question is relative and is dependent on the initial approach, cost, and type of assets selected for your rental portfolio. Currently, if you start as an owner/occupant, you may need from 4%-10% depending on whether it’s residential or commercial and if purchased at the right price point after a brief period of ownership generally 90 days to 1 year, you may be able to leverage funds out for additional acquisitions. If you start your present yourself as an investor at the beginning of your journey, most lenders and institutions will require 20%-30% of your purchase as a down payment and in some cases more if they take experience and current assets into consideration. However, there are numerous funding sources and you should shop patiently and carefully to find one that best fits your needs and resource capacity.

Do you suggest investing in vacation rental properties or year-round rentals?

 Whether you select year-round or vacation rentals, it would be a factor of your mission, plan, resources and goals and area of interest. Some locations may be suited for vacation rentals while others may not necessarily meet the criteria. It generally qualifies as vacation rentals. it is also possible to have a combination of the two. Although vacation rentals may provide an increase in cash flow. It may not necessarily be consistent. Personally, I prefer lower risk with the ability to assess and select long term tenants and consistent cash flow over a period of time. Although there are now some companies and systems which you can engage in vacation rentals to have a similar experience. One important to note is that hospitality including vacation rentals is closely connected to the economy and discretionary spending.

What kind of return can a new investor expect to gain after 5 years?

 An investor’s return on investment is subject to many variables including the market, type of properties, purchase price, cash in the transaction, cost of funds, cost of repairs if any, etc. All of which must be calculated and balanced with a margin of profit calculated as part of the process therefore until an investor had developed some consistency. As an investor, buying and selling property margins has declined somewhat over the last 18 months and in many cases after all expenses, rate of return for many of those with whom I work ranges from 12% to 20%. For that who buy and hold property in anticipation of a more consistent income stream, the number suggests that the returns range from 10% to 12%. Bear in mind these returns are not guarantees but based on recent market data examined.

Do you suggest flipping properties for wealth building?

 Yes. I suggest that an investor examine his/her interest carefully including their risk tolerance levels to determine where they want to focus their attention, energies, and resources. Generally, the greater the risk, the higher the reward, although flipping can offer higher returns short term, there’s also a greater risk and in some cases the cost of funds, other loan terms or repairs not anticipated. sometimes even non-compliant contractors can create such a level of risks that it stifles your opportunity before you are able to get your first transaction completed.

What experience do you need to start flipping?

 In order to start flipping a person should first have knowledge in addition to having observed or studied a few flip transactions and having detailed conversations with the individual or entities having completed the transactions being studied. Experience can be very useful but is not necessary. Careful examinations on the fundamentals can provide the platform from which one can get started.

 Do you need large down-payments?

  Down payments are relative to your transactions. Most investment transactions require 20% to 30% down depending on your lender and their perceived risk. In some cases, required down payment may even be higher. However, if you have limited resources, good negotiation skills, and creativity or a partner willing to support your investments, there are many ways to address down payment requirements.

Does the new real estate investor need a high credit score?

 High credit scores are not a necessity. Generally, in the beginning, loans are asset-based as opposed to credit-based. If you have relatively good credit and liquid resources, some institutions would be willing to work with providing conventional type loan you based on your business plan and goals. This option would more than likely make the cost of funding for your transaction much less than private funding or hard money.

Can you buy a property with no money down? 

 Yes, you can acquire a property with no money down. Here are a few of the ways you can do so: Assume an existing mortgage, have an owner conveys the property for consideration other than cash, generally due to some overwhelming challenge which the homeowner is unwilling or unprepared to deal with. The third would be a lease with an option to purchase. An investor may also be able to negotiate a seller-financed loan or a loan that does not require a down payment. This would also be subject to the seller and the source of funding. Another is trade good skill services or other property for down-payment and creative contract accommodations.

Some homeowners may convey their property to others in ignorance without full knowledge of their rights. 

Although some investors take advantage of this situation, it is not something I would recommend based on the adverse impact it may have on one’s business or reputation or causes for legal action.  In the real world of investing, down payments are required to purchase a property.

If yes, what are the steps?

 To find a willing, ready and able property owner whose circumstances would dictate or facilitate the need for a conveyance without cash consideration and negotiate the best acquisition terms for the asset-based on your needs and resources.

Are there certain areas in the USA that are best to invest in real estate?

 Any areas in the US can be considered great for investment based on the demand, availability, the cost to acquire assets and the return on the investments in those assets anticipating optimum rents whether residential or commercial for units available. While interest rates are low and credit is available, investors may capitalize on cities in certain states such as Texas, Washington, Georgia, where the demand is high, availability is low, and rents have been steadily increasing. The same can be said for Las Vegas, Nevada where many Californians are moving through after selling their properties in California and being able to purchase similar homes in Las Vegas for about 50% less for the California equivalent in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Please share any further advice you wish to share with our readers.

 Real estate investing provides a unique opportunity for those interested in pursuing it as a source of wealth, retirement, part-time income or just experiencing the excitement that comes with negotiating real estate transaction. It can be an individual endeavor or team sport. It can be used to fulfill personal needs or support the accomplishment of great vision. The return on your time and investment will depend on your plan, it’s execution and your goals. In many areas, there are support networks including meet-up groups to assist you towards your goal in a self-help process which will take time and patience and the acquisition of knowledge to set and reach your goals. However, if you would like to expedite the process and have the resources to do so, you may be able to acquire the services of a skilled, competent, knowledgeable, experienced investor to expedite the realization of your benefit from real estate investing. That includes time with friends and family, cash liquidity whether this is in your local area or across the country.

You can visit and join and visit: 

New England Real Estate Investment Group and


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