Nothing Down Real Estate is No Dice

Nothing Down Real Estate is No Dice

How do you build the capital stack in a nothing-down deal?  Not very well.

You see it all the time; people touting the virtues of no-money-down deals- usually directed at the inexperienced or uninformed.  I am assuming that are you are neither, yet temptation prevails!


Because we continue to hear about the winners.

Charlie Rose on 60 Minutes ask Steve Wynn (casino owner) if he had ever known a player that had consistently beat the house. His answer was no.

If you were to ask that question differently; if he had ever known a player that had "inconsistently" beat the house, my guess his answer would be yes.  And there's the rub.

Inconsistency Prevails.

In my experience there is no way to consistently make money in no-money-down deals. Therefore; it is not a sustainable business.  Success stories are possible, they are just not probable.  The risk/reward ratio is seldom in alignment.

This is the primary reason to distance yourself from the perceived "home run" potential and focus that same time, energy and effort on things that work and on investments that do not threaten your entire net worth.

Sure, there is the occasional winner, but they are few and far between.  And the risk to your personal net worth can be overwhelmingly negative if things go bad.

It's true that main stream investing has lower yield expectations. It's also true that preservation of capital is paramount; intellectual capital and equity capital. I suggest using both in a sustainable business model that precludes the necessity of a perfect world.

Nothing down deals "require" a perfect world.  No bumps in the economy, no interest rate spikes, etc.  Since being tossed from the Garden of Eden man has yet to re-create that perfect world.  And a nothing-down deal is unlikely to be the starter switch to get any of us back there.

Mr. Wilhoit is the author of two books: How To Read A Rent Roll: A Guide to Understanding Rental Income and Multifamily Insight Vol 1 - How to Acquire Wealth Through Buying the Right Multifamily Assets in the Right Markets. Multifamily Insight Vol 2 is set for release in 2015.

For 50+ hours of property management audio training, 3 books and live weekly leadership academy–surf to the PowerHour Property Management Books and Courses.

About This Blog: Multifamily Insight is dedicated to assisting current and future multifamily property owners, operators and investors in executing specific tasks that allow multifamily assets to operate at their highest level of efficiency. We discuss real world issues in multifamily property management and acquisitions. This blog is intended to be informational only and does not provide legal, financial or accounting advice. See

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