Buddy began White Feather Investing in early 2007 in Twentynine Palms, California. His ultimate goal is to build a passive income stream through residential and commercial properties that can ensure our financial freedom for our family and help as many fellow militaries as we can along the way.
Since the launch Buddy was pulled away on multiple month-long training exercises and four trips to Afghanistan! Despite those difficulties, WFI has purchased Single Family rentals, wholesaled, flipped, invested in Trust Deeds, executed Joint Ventures, constructed Roth IRA acquisitions, executed BRRR deals, and Short Term Rentals, purchased an apartment complex, and even launched an RV and Solar business!
He also launched a WFI Investor club and an online Real Estate Investment Accelerator that is focused on helping educate and empower military members to achieve financial freedom through Real Estate investing, which has allowed us to open new Turnkey Rental operations in Memphis, Little Rock, St Louis, Milan, Columbus, Chicago, California, Florida and Alabama and we are moving into Mississippi and North Carolina!
His most recent endeavors have definitely been a challenge but our primary goal remains the same: To help our nation’s heroes build financial freedom so they can live the American Dream they fight to protect.
Narrator This is The Norris Group’s real estate investor radio show the award-winning show dedicated to thought leaders shaping the real estate industry and local experts revealing their insider tips to succeed in an ever -changing real estate market hosted by author, investor, and hard money lender, Bruce Norris.
Joey Romero Welcome back to the Norris Group, real estate radio show and podcast. Our special guest this week again is Buddy Rushing, real estate investor and mentor, enjoy the show.
Bruce Norris And as a matter of fact, that’s one of the thing I wanted to ask you because, you know, Twentynine Palms would have been the epicenter of damage to price in 2009. So, you buy this thing and euphoric, like right at the end of euphoria. And then it had to be at least worth less than half in very short period of time. But yet you didn’t walk away. Why was that?
Buddy Rushing Yeah, so that’s, that’s a great question. I did buy it, right. If you look at, so the address is 72285 Sun Valley Drive. That’s the house that I bought. I bought it as a primary home to live in it. And I don’t know if you can go back this far on Zillow. And look now because it’s been over 10 years. But like, if you did, if you weren’t able to see it, you would see a massive increase in price and then a tiny little dip down and then a purchase. And then at the bottom drops out that purchase. And I bought it unrenovated and I told the real estate agent, this old crusty guy sitting behind a desk, I was like, ‘Hey, is it a good time to buy real estate?’ He goes ‘July 2007, it’s a fantastic time to buy real estate.’ And I said, well give me the biggest piece of crap on renovated house you can find, because I’m gonna renovate it, and then I’m gonna sell it and make a lot of money. He goes, sounds good. So’ we got this old piece of crap the house, two bedroom, two bath house. And anyway, I did I off of Home Depot and YouTube, we renovated everything inside and out. Everything except the gas to the electric. I didn’t trust myself with those. But we redid’ Kimberly, like, where their hair up in a bun in July, you know, August Twentynine Palms with a nail gun on top of the roof. All the neighbors outside, like ‘what do they do?’ So, we, we’ve renovated the entire thing inside and out and yeah, I bought it for 152 and put all of my money into it every penny $30,000 every penny that we had from saved up from Afghanistan. And after renovation, I had it appraised, it appraised for $70,000. So, it lost over half of its value renovated right and it wasn’t even finished it I had it appraised toward the end of 2008. So, it was still going to keep going down. And it’s a great question, I would have been fully justified in saying real estate stocks. And I’m never doing this again and everything. But I have to say, I think the numbers, numbers have always excited me just numbers in general. And my son’s the same way like he would rather do numbers than talk to you. But numbers have always excited me and I looked at it and I said man, every house in this town is half off or worth half of what it was, but the rent income because the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are both raging right now, troop strength has increased from 150,000 to 200,000 in the Marine Corps, which means that and they’re also paying huge hefty bonuses. So, money is flooding into the military, which affects BAH, which is the housing allowance that you get. Well, in a military town like Twentynine Palms, the rent is correlated really, really strongly with housing allowance. So, as housing allowance went up, rent goes up. So, now you’ve got these houses that are worth 50, maybe 40% of what they were, but the rent has gone up from what it was two years prior.
Bruce Norris Right.
Buddy Rushing So, I’m like, I can now buy a house for 60,000. And it’s renting for $1,000 a month. And you know…
Bruce Norris …how, you know, how unusual that journey is, when you’re in the middle of upside down. And I’m trying to, I’m trying to do this, because I want you to like if you heard this story from somebody else, somebody else said, ‘You know what, I was upside down and I took this path instead of the other one.’ That’s the guy you’d hire. Right?
Buddy Rushing Yeah.
Bruce Norris That’s, that’s a lot of character.
Buddy Rushing Yeah. Or something…
Bruce Norris Yeah, but I bet you, I think you know that about yourself. But as an outsider, when I hear something like that, I’m very attracted to that. It’s like, okay, when it hits the fan, this guy shows up and even thinks outside the box and makes it a win. Wow.
Buddy Rushing Yeah. I, well, I agree with you too. And I’m in the process of trying to, you know, bring people on board to White Feathers so we can kind of, you know, so I can start doing all the work myself, me and me, and one other guy. But that’s what we look for as well. To your point that is what you know, I told the guys and I’ve interviewed a bunch and none of them worked out so far, but Like, I’ve interviewed a bunch, and I’m like, you don’t have to be, honestly, even that smart. You definitely don’t have to have that much experience, right? You have to be able to figure things out. You have to be extremely loyal. And you have to be the kind of person that ultimately, no matter what happens, we’re going to accomplish the mission. We just need to figure it out. Everything’s figureoutable, I say, right? You just have to, you know, you just have to work together and figure it out and not let it get you down, right, because you’re still breathing. Nobody’s shooting at you. Kimberly will tell you I say this all the time. When, when things are really crappy. Just understand like, bro, nobody’s shooting at you. It’s okay. Yeah, this is a different level. Yeah, that’s interesting. When, when you started buying the Twentynine Palms, the goal was to keep them for quite a long time. Is that something that you that you still own? Or did you exit those at some point? No, I didn’t I, so I did hold on to those for, we bought I think we ended up buying five there in Twentynine Palms.
Bruce Norris Okay.
Buddy Rushing And you know that, I don’t know, depending on your perspective, it may sound like a lot or a small amount, but bear in mind, it was just us, me saving my W-2 income and using that as downpayment. So, like, I didn’t know anything about leverage, or, you know, net, any of that stuff. So, I was just kind of doing it very simple. So, we, so we bought 10, I’m sorry, five. And, you know, they appreciated, right, they appreciated until about 2000, I think it was 2015. So, you know, they had all built up from 60, 70,000 to maybe 120-130,000 each. And so, you know, for me, that’s, that was all of my network. That was a lot of equity. And so we decided that, actually what triggered it was, you got to keep plugged into the city and make sure you know, what’s going on Yucca Valley, which was where one of the houses that I had bought, they were doing a sewage program, right, they were on septic. And so they were putting a new sewage plant in, and whenever they do a sewage, they levy taxes on homeowners, right. So, they were looking at levying a tax that would, that would essentially can knock out my cash flow, right? And so I was like, well, I need to sell this thing before that knocks out my cash flow, because that’s the whole point of me buying this thing. And so I sold it. And I picked the proceeds. And I did a 1031 exchange into two properties in Memphis. So, you know, Kaaren Hall, right?
Bruce Norris Yep.
Buddy Rushing So, she runs OCREIA, of course, and I went to OCREIA, Orange County Real Estate Investors Association, I heard a guy named Matt Owens talking and he ran a turnkey rental business in Memphis. And, you know, I liked him right away, we had a great rapport. And so I basically sold that Eldorado property and bought two properties using a 1031 exchange about two turnkey properties through him. And it was a totally different world than what I’d done managing myself trying to figure stuff out. Like, this was a professional organization. And so I was like, ‘Man, these are, it’s a better neighborhood, fully managed, turnkey, this is great.’ So, I sold all the rest 1031 Exchange into more, I ended up with seven or eight Memphis properties. And that’s what sparked the idea of what White Feather Investments then became, because I said, I’ve spent 10 years just telling people what I’m doing in real estate and on deployments and in Afghanistan, and everything, and everybody’s like, wow, this is amazing. You should, I want to be involved. And I never had the ability to involve them. How could I, I had a full time job, whatever. And so finally, I said, Hey, Matt, I’ve got a ton of my friends that want to do the same thing that I’m doing. So, why don’t I educate them? Why don’t I match them up with these opportunities? He’s like,’ Yeah, let’s do it. Because who doesn’t want one sales source?’ Right, one place where you can sell all your stuff. That’s, that’s what made it appealing to him. And then it just blew up from there. And so we ended up buying over 300 houses from him over the next several years
Bruce Norris Wow. And changing a lot of people’s life.
Buddy Rushing Well, so interesting notes, we no longer buy rental properties from him primarily, well, the market, you know, increased competition and things like that, but primarily because he took a look at the 300 houses we had bought, and, and the amount of money he made from us, which was millions of dollars to be fair, but how much equity we had all gained from those 300 properties. And it swaps the amount of money he’d made.
Bruce Norris Oh, of course.
Buddy Rushing He said ‘why am I telling these things?’ And so yeah, you’re right, that, that amounts, lots and lots, many millions of dollars have gone into the lives of of military members because of that.
Bruce Norris Well, now you don’t, you don’t just hand people rental ready properties, you teach them to find their own as well.
Buddy Rushing That’s the big thing.
Bruce Norris So, let’s talk about that process and what you call that education system.
Buddy Rushing Yeah, so it’s a real estate investing accelerator. And I built it. Because I took a bunch of courses whenever I was first getting started a very high priced courses. And, you know, I learned from there that information alone is not enough.
Bruce Norris No.
Buddy Rushing Right? You have to have some sort of construct that drives action. And you have to have the ability to tap into a network. Every problem is solvable, whether it’s capital, whether it’s a deal opportunity, whether it’s the legal structure or whatever, the tax strategy, everything solvable. If you have a network, then it’s very easy to solve those things. I just didn’t, Bruce, the text. ‘Hey, Bruce, have you ever seen an example like this? Oh, yeah, here’s how you do it. Boom’, problem solved. Or, ‘hey, Bruce, I’ve got this amazing opportunity. We need, you know, 1.2 million to close it. And you got any investors that want a 14% cash on cash return? Sure do, boom’, it can happen that fast. And it does happen that fast. So, I realized that if I was going to do a course, I needed it to be everything that like I so desperately wanted, but didn’t have, I eventually found pieces of it at the different REIAs, right. But in the courses that I paid for those $40,000 courses, and I never found it, I never found I just spent a lot of money and got good information. And it didn’t result, most of the people that I was in those courses with never ended up having success, right. And so, I created the accelerator as an action course, with an educational backbone. And people will tell you who’ve gone through it, it’s a pressure cooker, right. And so, you know, I do everything from, you know, I do a financial freedom call at the beginning, that’s an hour long, and we really get deep and personal about what they’re trying to accomplish and, and what they have, what assets they have, and, you know, create a blueprint, this is the action you need to take. And if you don’t take this action, I’m gonna very politely very insistently be in your face.
Bruce Norris Yeah.
Buddy Rushing And they love that. They love it and hate it, right? I’m trying to mirror the military construct, in that you have a mission. And you’ve committed to that mission. And you volunteered, by the way, it’s an all-volunteer force, so you only have yourself to blame, you know, and then I hold you accountable. And we hold each other accountable, kind of like a wolf pack, as opposed to just a collection of people.
Bruce Norris Okay. Well, we know what’s interesting about that is what you just said is that, my experience with consulting. I didn’t I didn’t like it. And matter of fact, we were thinking, Okay, how much can we charge for our so no one will take it, because there’s somebody, somebody that worked for the company that wanted to promote it, and I put it off and often I said, Okay, fine. We can sign up a maximum 10 people for five sessions. And and I don’t know what the cost was, but it was a lot. And it was gone in a day. And I was like, oh, no, now I felt like an attorney. But what happened was what you said only I didn’t really have a team. I had individuals but we would meet and I would hear their, their story what they had an exactly say that. This is the plan for the first month. And they come back in the next time. Okay, did what how did how did that work? I didn’t do it. So now I’m a I’m a counselor. Yeah. And a psychologist, which, by the way, is part of becoming an investor is thinking about what’s standing in your way you ever watched the movie, movie Rudy?
Buddy Rushing Of course.
Bruce Norris Okay, well, one of the most profound things is when he’s at the bus stop and his dad comes and tries to talk him to come and back and be in a factory worker, and you could be a manager and a few years. And Rudy says, ‘You know what, I’ve spent all of my life listening to what other people tell me what’s possible, what’s not, I’m not going to do that anymore.’ And you got to get to that moment, when you know what it’s on, I’m going to find out how big I can get and how much I can try. And that’s why when I asked you that question about a Marine, you know, that, you know, what Hell Week is. And so, of all the things, you know, that person survived the unsurvivable.
Buddy Rushing Yeah, and it’s, it does change you, you know, I mean, there’s, there are, I think it’s perspective that I’ve taken more than anything else. And again, there’s a lot of negative that comes with going through the fire, right, and we don’t have to spend too much time on it. But one of the driving forces behind why I’m doing White Feather is because there is a lot of pain and destructions that military experienced whenever they transition out, right? Yeah, I don’t have to tell you. I mean, everybody, everybody kind of knows that the veteran homeless population is massive and that the drug abuse problem and that the alcohol abuse problem is insane and suicide right there. There’s a lot of dark parts of people trying to deal with that loss of camaraderie, that loss of purpose, the loss of, you know, that sense of structure, and everything like that when you lose all of that in a neat dark moment, but you still have the scars, the emotional and the physical scars from, from really an intense situation, it’s very difficult to deal with it. And it much easier to just escape it in the form of some, you know, chemical or, you know, the most extreme of circumstances, of course, is whenever they commit suicide. And so one of the one of the driving forces, I tell everybody, financial freedom is freedom from and freedom to, it’s freedom to do all the things that you see on the infomercials, the great life, the great, you know, whatever, time freedom and all that that’s fine, right. And that’s, that’s wonderful. And we’ll focus on that. But it’s also freedom from that life where when your car breaks down, it ruins your whole week.
Bruce Norris Yeah. Right.
Buddy Rushing Or when you get a toothache, you wait and wait and hope it goes away because you can’t afford the copay, right? It’s that freedom from like, feeling lost, that you were at one time, you know, that spit and polish marine and service of your nation and you were on top of the world. And now, all you have is like the memory and you’re not even allowed on base anymore, right. And even if you go on base, it’s not like you’re, that’s a part of you anymore. You’re not doing that anymore. Now you’re a plumber, or now you’re whatever, and you have a 22 year old boss who’s never done anything in his life that’s running, you down.
Bruce Norris Right. Right.
Buddy Rushing These are stories that I’m not telling the names, but I’m pulling these stories from actual Marines that have served under me. And so giving them a home within White Feather, giving them a sense of purpose and of accountability, kicking their butt a little bit, right, and helping them like create the value that you know that they have inside them, both in the form of financial freedom as well as value and impact to others. And it’s the easiest thing in the world. When you have a you know, a military or White Feather person who has had a successful engagement and like they bought a rental property investment, for instance, and they turn it into a short term rental and they’re killing it like, like a friend of mine, Rick, I can text him at any time. He will never say no, when I asked him to help someone, no matter what he will never, ever say no, he will immediately drop what he’s doing. And go try to provide as much value as possible. And everybody’s like that.
Bruce Norris Very cool. Very, very cool. There was one story that I was, I wanted to ask you about. There was a Jared and Carly Ann. Yeah, and you mentioned that you tried to discourage them from coming to the training. Now why was that? And then tell me tell us the outcome of them.
Buddy Rushing Yeah.
Bruce Norris …forcing their way in?
Buddy Rushing Yeah, the, the Accelerators’ an interesting thing. And people who are listening, this might ask themselves, why they’ve never heard of it. And there’s a very good reason why you’ve never heard of it. It’s because we don’t advertise for it. And we we believe that, in order for people to have massive success, then for the, there’s only been about 230 people that have graduated from the Accelerator in four years, which is about 30 ish, every six months, which is not a lot. And they have had a Gargantua I mean, over a half a billion dollars of real estate acquired, right, just those people. And they were not investors before they came in.
Bruce Norris That’s very cool.
Buddy Rushing Yeah, so it’s so an outsize result. But the reason there’s an outsized results is because we make sure two things. One, is that you’re a good fit for the course, right? If you’re in it just to get rich and make it rain at the club, this ain’t for you, right? If you’re in it to get rich in a year, this ain’t for you, right? If you’re in it for, you know, the long term sort of base hit, build generational wealth and create a massive impact in your community? Okay, now we can talk, right? Do you have to have time freedom, you have to have done it all that you have to be a good fit, and of course, has to be a good fit for you. So, if you’re looking to build a commercial investing empire, it’s just not how the course is set up, right? It’s mostly focused on residential real estate. If you’re looking to become a new construction, like a home builder, well, then you’re not going to get much out of this because I don’t teach you how to build homes, right, stuff like that.
Bruce Norris Right.
Buddy Rushing So, with Carly and Jared, they had both had successful Wall Street career, successful Silicon Valley careers and they were in the middle of a multimillion dollar flip in San Francisco. And they had raised over a million dollars from friends and family. I’m sorry, but like, if you raise a million bucks from friends and family and you’re doing a multimillion dollar flip in San Francisco, there’s a chance you’re not a beginner, right. And I like beginners. I like taking somebody who doesn’t know much, or maybe knows the wrong things. And I can make massive impact in their lives just by showing them what I know. That’s what I love and like you love right? massive impact if you I don’t want to make a millionaire another million, but that doesn’t do anything for me, right? And so, so we currently Jared, I was like, Alright, I you know, guys, maybe like, why don’t we just stay in touch? That’s what I told him, why don’t we just stay in touch and happy to text and things like that? And their response was no, we want to take the course. Because number one you always have, we always have something we can learn, always. And I was like, ‘Whew,’ that’s the mentality. That’s what I like. I like that mentality, I always have something I can learn. And two they said, and maybe we can have the opportunity to offer value to other people in the course, based off of stuff we know. And so, I’m like, who they want to provide value. And they’re humble. Interesting, right? They were West Point grads. So, I was like, Well, I mean, that goes against him. But like, they were a couple as well, to your point earlier, there were a couple and both of them were, you know, engaged. And I was like, man, these guys can be really something special. So, so, we let them in the course. And they, at the time, I wasn’t focused at all on short term rentals, it was all long term rentals. But they decided to take the market analysis portion of the course where we teach you how to do macro and micro market analysis. And they would run all of these analysis and figure out that they wanted the Jacksonville, Florida was a fantastic place to potentially invest. Long story short, throughout the course, they quit their jobs. Out in San Francisco, they moved their entire family to Jacksonville on Stamp Shop there. And as of this recording, we’ve purchased together about 120 units, somewhere around $70 million worth of real estate, and done a lot. More importantly, though, than that, is we syndicated most of it for White Feather investors.
Bruce Norris Yeah, that’s fantastic.
Buddy Rushing The vast majority of the money comes from other White Feather investors. So, think about this, if my goal really, is to help military create financial freedom, Carly and Jared are getting closer., well, they’re already financially free. But at the time they weren’t. They were just embarking on it. So, every deal that we do with them, helps get them closer to financial freedom by creating an opportunity to help other White Feather people get closer to financial freedom, right?
Bruce Norris Great system.
Buddy Rushing Yeah, so, anyway, they’re now like the hottest, hottest thing around, hottest thing since sliced bread. We love Carly and Jared, and they gotta let him in the accelerator. You know,
Bruce Norris That’s a that’s a great story. When I believe in matches, I you know, like, like, what you just did is you’re trying to see if this was going to be a fit. So, you know, when you went to the Florida Boot camp, you had an interview, the purpose of that interview was for me to find out if you should go or not. Every time we have boot camps, we tell people this isn’t going to work for, it’s not a good fit. And they’re surprised. It’s like, you know, and I just know.
Buddy Rushing ‘I thought you were trying to do so many houses?’
Bruce Norris Yeah, no, no, no, I’m trying to make sure you have a good fit. And some of that comes down to personality, like, I have to oversee everything I do. Well, you’re going to own something in Florida. You live in California how’s that gonna work? You’re gonna drive yourself nuts. You can’t go back there and fix the toilet. You know? So, yes, isn’t a good match for you. Well, I, I think, buddy, I think you should be very proud of what you’re, the direction you’re headed and who you’re helping. That’s a big deal.
Buddy Rushing Well, thank you. I appreciate that. And coming from you. I, I very much appreciate it.
Bruce Norris Well, I’ve enjoyed our interview. I’m glad we got to meet and I’m sure we will continue to be talking and doing some stuff together.
Buddy Rushing Yes, sir. Absolutely. Anything that I can possibly do for you or your whole group. Just please. I’m more than happy to answer is always yes. All right, buddy. Thank you.
Narrator For more information on hard money, loans and upcoming events with The Norris Group, check out thenorrisgroup.com. For information on passive investing with trust deeds, visit tngtrustdeeds.com.
Bruce Norris The Norris Group originates and services loans in California and Florida under California DRE License 01219911, Florida Mortgage Lender License 1577, and NMLS License 1623669. For more information on hard money lending, go www.thenorrisgroup.com and click the Hard Money tab.