Tamara Wilhite is a technical writer, industrial engineer, mother of two, and published sci-fi and horror author.
The two day Lifestyles Unlimited two day course is the first full introduction to the Lifestyles Unlimited program. The two day course gives attendees an in depth understanding of their system of buying single family homes to fix up and rent out as well as how they invest in multifamily housing.
They are also the "list" prices, and there may be discounts if you actually sign up, as there were when I signed up for the two day course and annual membership.
Pros of the Lifestyles Unlimited Two Day Course
Becoming an initial member, you gain access to their online content and classes.
The vendor database on Lifestyles Unlimited is as good if not better than Angie’s List in terms of quality. The vendors on the Lifestyles Unlimited list are those who aren’t just good at fixing a toilet but fixing leaky pipes under a foundation or upgrading bathrooms in a single day.
Their staff is quick to respond to emails and phone calls for advice. Del Walmsley himself has replied to emails I’ve sent him in a day or so.
The two day course gives good guidelines for repair costs per square foot given the condition of the property and simple formulas for determining the valuation of a property given its condition and revenue.
The two day course outlines the financial thresholds that determine where you should invest. For example, if you have $50,000 to invest, you should consider investing in multi-family instead of buying several rental houses. The Lifestyles Unlimited model suggests buying a rental house when you have $5,000 to $10,000. After you’ve fixed up the house and rented it for a year or two so that you reduce the taxes on its sale, sell it and invest the profits into more rental homes. After you have ten rental houses, the next step is to roll over the money via a 1031 exchange into multi-family housing. This is why they suggest moving directly into multi-family if you already have $50,000 to invest.
What if you want to buy rental property but don’t want to work on the rehabilitation and hunt for tenants? New members have the opportunity to buy properties from other Lifestyles Unlimited members who have fixed it up, held it the two year recommended time frame and now want to unload. This makes Lifestyle Unlimited a good opportunity for those who want to invest in turnkey properties that aren’t listed on the MLS.
You receive actionable and useful advice for turning property into a best value for the best price and improving the cash flow from the property. For example, pay someone minimum wage to pick up the trash around the complex periodically so it is attractive to perspective tenants. Keep the maid to clean the common areas and laundry room, keeping it attractive to potential renters and preventing the “broken window syndrome”.
Don’t cannibalize units for parts to fix something in another unit, because the $500 in parts aren’t worth the lost rent of the now uninhabitable unit. Never use a unit as an office – build an office, if you have to, and rent out that unit. Negotiate your insurance rates, utility rates and laundry service contracts to lower monthly bills and increase profits. I heard valuable tips like this over the duration of the course.The savings following this advice could garner more than equal the $500 cost I paid to attend in 2014.
The joining fee is the same for a single person as a married couple. This makes it a good deal for married couples.
You can attend the two day course again without paying more, if you’d like. Given the sheer volume of information, this isn’t a bad idea.
The Lifestyles Unlimited 2 day class is available online for those who have trouble attending in person.
Lifestyles Unlimited requires the lead investor organizing the deal to invest in the deal, at least for the first two deals. For example, the lead investor on his or her first deal must invest at least 25% of the money in the deal. This was described as making them put skin in the came, managing the risk because they are taking the risk, too. Lifestyles Unlimited’s deal structuring also permits the passive investors to vote out bad leads when the person is making bad decisions. Both of these factors give investors more protection than other real estate investment programs.
Lifestyles Unlimited Levels
Preferred Investor Group
Cons of the Lifestyles Unlimited Two Day Course
Do you want a Lifestyles Unlimited mentor to guide you as an adviser through your first deal or visit a property you are considering buying? That’s not available at the basic level – that’s at the Challenge membership level. The $9,000 one time fee charged in 2014 was in addition to the membership/joining fee you already paid. This wasn’t clearly communicated at the two hour class.
It was at the two day course that I learned that gaining access to their organized investment opportunities in multi-family housing were not available to basic members. Those opportunities were only available to those who paid $18,000 in a one time fee to become a “PIG”, a member of the Preferred Investor Group. This $18,000 fee was in addition to the $500 initial membership fee and continuing annual dues.
Observations about the Lifestyles Unlimited 2 Day Course
The presenters repeatedly discussed how you need to eliminate fear, “false evidence appearing real”, liquidate the 401K, borrow against your current house and jump into investing in real estate to see the results they promise. Don’t be afraid, you can succeed, we’re here, don’t worry. Then the presenters talked about the risks of the stock market crashing, taking all your wealth, people whose entire life savings were wiped out in the stock market, the danger of the federal government needing money and seizing your retirement accounts because they need the money. The juxtaposition of don’t be afraid of us and be afraid of not joining us was quite ironic.
While they say your children can attend under 18, the material is too complex and the class too long for young children. Unless your teenager is eager to learn the basics of accounting, real estate law and finance, don’t even bring a 16 year old.
While the Lifestyles Unlimited two day course provides a financial freedom program guide, a nearly 80 page book outlining many details of the course, many pages are simply pictures of the presenter’s slides. Take copious notes to record the actual meat of the presentation.
The Lifestyles Unlimited model involves investing at least $5-10,000 in a rental property, using the proceeds to buy more property and increase the number of rental properties. After two years, sell the rental property to re-invest in more rental properties or move to multifamily rental properties. They are up front about the fact that this isn’t a get rich quick scheme. If you are not comfortable with their recommended degrees of leverage, it will take longer to increase the property portfolio generate sufficient cash flow to replace your income. While their numbers are optimistic, it is actually feasible on their schedule, unlike the “invest $5,000 in the stock market and make $50,000 with options”.