Status: Buying and holding
Stance: Aggressive, in spots.
Matthew Martinez has known a lot of real estate success since we profiled him in October 2004. At the time, the former director of international business development at Terra Lycos was investing mostly in multiple family housing properties in the Boston area. However, most of the bargains had disappeared there by late 2004 and Martinez was casting his acquisitive glance elsewhere.
"The returns are horrendous if you want to be a landlord in Boston," he says. He sold some of his Boston-area holdings and concentrated his buying in the Kansas City market, where the rent versus price equation makes more sense. He now owns about 100 units in 10 buildings. His biggest surprise, after being profiled, was the extent to which his story inspired readers. "I was inundated with e-mails," he says. "People even tracked me down at my workplace. They want freedom and they see real estate investing as a way to achieve that."
The response prompted Martinez to write a book about how rental income can free you from the 9-to-5 world. "2 Years to a Million in Real Estate" hit the bookstores this past spring and sold well. Now he's writing another with the tentative tile, "Investing in Apartment Buildings - How Anyone Can get Started on the Road to Success."