Kalin McGuire, The Accidental Real Estate Investor

Ever heard of an “accidental” real estate investor? Meet Kalin Mc-Guire.It was never on her radar to pursue a career in real estate. But after stumbling into the business in her early adulthood, she has since builta portfolio of single-family and small multi-family homes specializing in value-add homes in need of rehabilitation.

Kalin’s story is one of fortuitous timing and a can-do attitude. Despite having no prior experience in the industry, she has managed to lever-age her strengths and skill into success as a real estate investor.

While a background in real estate can certainly be helpful, it is not necessarily required in order to be a successful investor. There are a number of ways to learn about the business, and many successful investors have come from a variety of different backgrounds.

What is important is that you are willing to put in the time and effort to learn about the industry and make smart investment decisions.

Who is Kalin McGuire?

Kalin was born in Kaukauna, Wisconsin, and at age 4 moved to the outskirts of Brillion where she grew up.

At age 15, she started working as a waitress. It wasn’t long before she moved up to working at a Piggly Wiggly, where she eventually became the Postal/Liquor Manager, managing a contract post office and liquor department.

From there, she started working for a small family-owned wine company. Later, she got a job with West Corporation in inside sales. Recently, she’s been working as a Business Director for Telmark Sales Solutions, selling Wilton products.

The Accidental Real Estate Investment That Started It All In her early 20s, Kalin purchased her first property which served as her primary residence. Shortly after, she fell in love with her next-door neighbor and now husband. Eventually, they moved in together. Between the two of them, they owned two properties. Rather than selling one of them, they decided to rent out Kalin’s property.

When the mortgage on that property had been paid off, she realized the advantages of investing. So, she took out a cash out refinance which gave her the funds for the down payments on her first batch of acquisitions.

Intentional First Investment

Kalin’s first intentional investment was made soon after that. Prior to finding this property, she had analyzed and seen several others.

The property is a non-conforming property located in Green Bay with a triplex and a single-family home. It was closed on Valentine’s Day in 2020 just before the pandemic hit.

Upon purchasing the property, they knew the triplex was in general disrepair. Both lower units were rented out to a tenant, who lived without flooring and the furnace went out soon after they purchased it. They realized that a replacement was needed sooner than expected.

So, what did she and her husband do? According to Kalin, “we communicated with the tenant regarding our intentions to improve her living conditions and began by painting her unit, then installed LVP flooring. Not knowing how we could find a tenant for the upper vacant unit, we remodeled it with new paint and LVP flooring and listed it on Facebook Market place.”

Within a week or so of listing, a representative from Newcap reached out. Kalin thought it “sounded like a safe and easy solution to fill the unit quickly with fairly little work on our end.We were lucky to find a quality Newcap tenant after a little screening who lived there for a couple of years.”

Not long after, though, Kalin started encountering problems with their tenants. At this point, they brought on Ruesch Management to assist with the eviction process and with rehabbing the units. Ruesch helped with restoring the units as well as negotiating some great contracts with Newcap.

Kalin’s Real Estate Investor Portfolio

Kalin has always aimed to do BRRRR (Buy, Rehab, Rent, Re finance, Repeat) and she’s had some pretty successful ones.

Initially, Kalin created a 5-year plan to acquire 25 units by 2025 using a combination of that initial cash-out refinance, commercial financing, and rental income. Only a couple of years into this plan, though, and they have 28 units currently and have since then up-ed that goal to 35 units by age 35 (January 2024).

Kalin’s portfolio is a mix of single-family and small multifamily (duplexes, a triplex, quad, and mixed-use building with two rentals on top/commercial space on the bottom). The majority of their properties are spread across several markets all within a 30-minute radius of their home. They also purchased a small resort on Rolling Stone Lake in Pearson that consists of three small cabins (2 two bedroom and 1 three bedroom), a 5-stall garage with a loft space they plan to finish off in the future, and a bar with an attached house.

Best and Worst Experiences in Real Estate Investing

Kalin loves the thrill of the find. She enjoys scouring the MLS, checking her inbox for wholesale emails, and analyzing properties from her realtor (off-market and on).

It’s been an interesting ride so far and looking back at some of the troubled properties I have purchased, I can laugh about how much time and money we put into the rehabs. I’m grateful to have been able to step up my standards since I started to say the least as I had certainly been in some sketchy properties!” – Kalin McGuire

Her least favorite part in real estate investing is easily dealing with problematic tenants. This is why she hired a property management company.

I knew at that point if I didn’t hire someone to handle the day-to-day with the tenants, screening, and evictions, I would not be able to continue to scale and probably would be too discouraged to continue on my investing journey. “- Kalin McGuire

What You Need to Know to Succeed in Real Estate Investing

Kalin shared what her biggest lesson was and what advice she might give to new real estate investors:

It’s ok to take risks when you have a support system (both from a business standpoint from my PM and realtor but also a mental and emotional standpoint from my family) but do the research and run your numbers conservatively as there will always be something unexpected that comes up when you pivot into something new. Find the people that can lift you up and help propel you to success.

I started this with the support of my husband and still find myself going lone wolf as I’ve always been a very independent person, which is all good, but it’s important to know what to delegate and what to hold on to or it would be easy to burnout. Property management and a realtor I can trust who respects me as a businesswoman were the biggest pieces of that puzzle for me.” – Kalin McGuire

Kalin shared that as a woman in a still predominantly male business, she found it frustrating to go to open houses with her husband and have the agent showing the property only speak with him and dismiss her. But she is grateful for her husband’s love, support, and trust to pursue her dream.

Kalin goes on to say,

To any female investors out there, find an agent that you trust but also that respects you. Be the strong, independent badass you were born to be and surround yourself with people who can bring that out in you. Be proud of what you are doing and know you deserve to be heard.”

Connect with Kalin

If you want to look into investment properties in Appleton, Brillion, De Pere, Green Bay, Greenleaf, Menasha, and Wrightstown, you can reach out to Kalin through REI News by contacting info@rei.news.

We’re always on the lookout for people and businesses who invest in real estate and who make our community great. If you want to be featured in our newspaper, or know someone that does let us know at info@rei.news!

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