420 Living Your Life By Design as an Investor – Interview with Chase Maher

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Chris Miles, the “Cash Flow Expert and Anti-Financial Advisor,” is a leading authority on how to quickly free up and create cash flow for thousands of his clients, entrepreneurs, and others internationally! He’s an author, speaker, and radio host that has been featured in US News, CNN Money, Bankrate, Entrepreneur on Fire, and spoken to thousands getting them fast financial results.

Today, Chris Miles talks with Chase Maher. He started real estate investing in 2008, which is the time that everyone was running away from it. Chase ran towards it instead and was born out of the fire.

Chase also does wholesale, house flipping, he is an entrepreneur, and he is an investor.

So today, what we want to know is how can someone like Chase Maher who is into all these businesses, still have a life outside of it as well? And that’s the important part.


Chris Miles (00:07):
Hello, my fellow Ripplers! This is Chris Miles. Your Cash Flow Expert and Anti-Financial Advisor. Welcome you out for a wonderful show. Show that’s for you and about you. Those of you that work so stinking hard for your money, and you’re ready for your money to start working harder for you. Now! You want that freedom. That cash flow. That prosperity. Today! Not 30 or 40 bazillion years from now, but right now. So you can have that life that you love doing what you love being with those that you love. But guys, it’s not just be able to get out of the rat race yourself, right. And have that lifestyle that you dreamed of, which is definitely awesome. But it’s so much more than that because as a Rippler, you can create a Ripple effect in the lives of others. You can bless more lives when you are free. And so guys, I’m proud to be a part of this group. To be a Rippler with you because man, I love what you guys are up to. I love hearing about the good that you’re up to. The results you’re creating, but I love also the fact that you guys are bingeing and sharing the show too. So I appreciate that so much.

Chris Miles (01:03):
As a quick reminder, check out our website, MoneyRipples.com. You’ve got the ebook on there, Beyond Rice and Beans. You can download for free today. And by the way, if you hate reading, don’t worry. It’s like 28 pages because I put page breaks and pictures in there. So you’re welcome. It’ll take you like 15 minutes, but check that out as well as the other blogs that are being uploaded as well.

Chris Miles (01:22):
Alright! Today, I’ve got a special guest here. Chase Maher. Now, Chase, you know, interesting thing with him, is that not only he is a podcast host, which I definitely recommend you guys go check out his show, but the thing that’s so cool about Chase is that he’s a real estate investor doing the very things. And he was born at a fire. Like he started investing in 2008, when everybody was saying run, he was running towards the fire. Right? So, I mean, Chase started doing real estate investing. He does things with San Diego. In Tucson. And even out East as well. And so he does wholesaling, fixing, flipping. He’s an entrepreneur and investor all together wrapped in one. And that’s primarily why I wanted to bring him on here today because you know what, how is it that someone can actually have a business. Like what he does, but still have a lifestyle. Just like we talked about in the show, right? It’s not just about making a lot of money. It’s about having a life too. And that’s the main thing I want to talk about to Chase about today. So, Chase, welcome to our show!

Chase Maher (02:17):
Chris man. Thanks for having me. I’m excited. Just had you on my show. So a little swap here, man, and you dropped a lot of value, so hopefully I can return the favor.

Chris Miles (02:26):
I guarantee it, man. Like I can already tell just from our conversation, that’s going to be easy, you know.

Chase Maher (02:30):
For sure.

Chris Miles (02:31):
So give us some background, like what even led you down that path. I mean, of all the things you could have done, why would you want to go and be crazy Investing real estate when everybody else said run, right?

Chase Maher (02:40):
Yeah. Well, you know, I wish I waited two years and started in 2010, but Hey, I started in 2008. I’ll tell you the story. It’s actually pretty good. So I’m 30 years old now. I live in San Diego. And I grew up in Virginia Beach, Virginia and I grew up in the car dealership. My parents owned a couple car dealerships. I grew up, I learned the sales, used to pick-up cigarette butts, then wash the cars. Then I went to the auctions and eventually just kind of ran the show, working full time through college. And I always had discipline with money. I always had that entrepreneurial mindset where, you know, my dad taught me, put it away, put it away. I started buying gold when I was like 14 years old and, I had that mindset, but I never knew anything about real estate. My parents weren’t real estate investors. And when I was 18 moving out of my freshmen dorm and I saw like a lot of my buddies were going to go kinda split a house rental near our college, old dominion university, shout out to the monarchs. And I was like, man, I got like 25 grand in the bank. Why don’t I just like take 20K of that and go buy a house?

Chase Maher (03:45):
And so I called up a real estate agent that I knew and I went and bought a house and I had no idea what I was doing. I did not know that we needed to check the market. I didn’t know the world was on fire with mortgages. I bought it June, 2008 and I basically house hacked it with buddies before house hacking was even like a buzzword. I rented out each bedrooms, four bedroom house. I rented out each bedroom for 500 bucks. Rented out the garage for 600 bucks. Covered my mortgage. Covered all my utilities and all throughout college, I lived rent-free, but you know, by July or by June, 2009, the house lost like 35% in value. But Hey, it recovered. I still have it to this day. And it’s a really good cash flow machine for me. And you know, after a couple of years I said, why don’t I do it again? And again, and again, and fast forward to now I live in San Diego. I fix and flip. I wholesale. I do some Realty stuff here and there. And I’m still invested in properties.

Chris Miles (04:37):
Well, yeah, I think the cool thing that you did, whether you knew it or not, is that you still focused on the cash flow part, right? That’s the mistake I made during the last recession. I was buying property. So I thought, well, man, like if I can buy a hundred thousand property and appreciates 10%, that’s 10,000 bucks. But if you buy a 500,000 property, 10%, that’s 50,000. So let’s go big or go home. Right. And then I was like, no, I’m going home. You know, it was pretty bad, but I mean, you still, at least had roommates go into there. Or even after you probably moved out, you probably saw students in there paying rent. So even if it lost value, you were still getting paid.

Chase Maher (05:12):
Yeah, absolutely. You know, the only appreciation that I bank on is forced appreciation. So, I don’t factor in any of my underwriting. Hey, hopefully the property value goes up 3% or 5% or here in San Diego sometimes 10% in the year, 2015, we went up like 20% in one year. So what I mean by that is forced appreciation. So actively figuring out ways that when I buy it, how can I increase the value of it by 10% 20% 30% within a 12 month period? Refinancing, getting my money back, redeploying it.

Chris Miles (05:42):
I like that because you want to play it safe. Cause you’re not trying to bank on appreciation. You’re trying to bank on we’re going to do that actually, control the variables, right? Control the values versus just hoping that the values hold or whatever it might be.

Chase Maher (05:53):
Yeah. I take the risk with my business and I play it safe with my investments. That’s kind of my philosophy.

Chris Miles (05:59):
That’s great! I love it! So tell us more about that. Like, I mean you’re only 30, right?

Chase Maher (06:04):
Yeah. I’m thirty.

Chris Miles (06:04):
I mean, most people.

Chase Maher (06:06):
Thanks for using the only!

Chris Miles (06:09):
Yeah. I know. Coming from a guy who’s almost 13 years older than you. Yeah. So, you know, like for me it’s like, that’s incredible because when I was 30, I was trying to dig myself out of a hole. Right. Like I was going through the recession, you know, but I mean, you, I mean, you’ve actually been doing this, like you said, since you were 18 years old, you know, and again, it’s not something you just started doing a couple like three years ago. Like I always laugh with people that come by. They’re like, Oh yeah, I’m successful. I’ve been doing this for three years. And like, you haven’t seen anything yet. You know? So I mean, that being said, like, what do you feel is like been kind of a secret of success for you both, whether it be for your business and or even with your investing too?

Chase Maher (06:44):
Yeah, man! I think discipline is like the most important thing. And just figuring out what’s your longterm goal, your longterm strategy and sort of reverse engineering it from there and it doesn’t have to be perfect. So if anybody’s out there and they’re listening, you’re trying to out like, what’s your life goals? What do you want to do? It doesn’t have to be perfect. Imperfect action is better than taking no action. So when I was 18, I bought that property. I thought to myself, man, you know, I’m going to school with some kids that are trust fund babies. They’re inheriting a bunch of money and they’re kind of blowing it and they’re blowing it because they don’t know what to do with it.

Chase Maher (07:18):
And they don’t have any sort of education around it. So I started studying money and I didn’t inherit any crazy amount of money. I didn’t inherit anything. And I told myself, I want to be educated with money. I want to make sure that this mistake of a house that I just bought that, you know, fast forward, it’s not a mistake now, but at the time, imagine 12 months after you buy it. And the value is down 30%. You’re like, crap. What did I do? So that caused me to study markets that caused me to study, you know, market philosophy and what’s kinda going on. And like I said, I didn’t inherit any money. I wanted to be able to pass down money generations below me. I wanted to be that first one that when I have a great, great grandchild, they look at me and they think that’s the one that changed the path for our family forever.

Chase Maher (08:04):
But I wanted to do it in a way that they were educated and they knew how to handle the funds that I passed down to them, the assets that I pass down to them so that they stay in families forever. You think about some of the wealthiest people in the world, the Rothschilds and a few others. It’s a family. And they run that family like a business. And I wanted to instill that. So I started studying the markets, studying books, listening to podcasts and just making the right decisions along the way. And like anything, those decisions compounded over time.

Chris Miles (08:31):
That’s right. That’s like what? My, one of my old buddies, well, my old partners wrote the book. What would the Rockefellers do? Right. And it’s a big point, you know, it’s what can you actually pass on? And it goes beyond it really you’re creating your own ripple effect, right? Yeah. Not just for the people that you come in contact with, but really, I think one of the biggest ripple effects you could ever create is through your own family, creating that legacy.

Chase Maher (08:52):
I couldn’t agree more.

Chris Miles (08:53):
And the cool thing is too. I can already tell from what you said. You said it’s not just passing down the money, is it?

Chase Maher (08:59):
No, it’s passing down the assets. So my philosophy is active income versus passive income. And so I like being an entrepreneur. I love being an entrepreneur. I haven’t had a job since high school. I really enjoy it. I’ve done a bunch of different things. So anybody that’s listening, if you think, Oh, here’s this 30 year old guy and he’s got it all figured out from 18 years old, that’s not true. From, you know, 18 to 22. I was selling cars and buying houses. And then from 22 to 26, I was kinda lost and just kind of living off my income from my assets. Blowing through my savings, traveling Southern California, you know, snowboarding, surfing all over the world. Kind of figuring out what I wanted to do. And then I ramped up the active income part again in my late twenties.

Chase Maher (09:43):
And that instilled this like philosophy in me that if we can eliminate distractions and we can stay disciplined, we can have some strong, active income sources. We put it away, properly and passive income. And we live a lifestyle that is enjoyable to us. So I can do it for the long haul and not get burnt out. I saw my dad get burnt out when I was young and I saw him get overweight and get on healthy. And it, it made me think I don’t want that to happen to me. So I wrote down on paper, what’s important to me between health, wealth and relationships. And I just kind of live by that philosophy that if I’m not happy and I’m not able to do the things that I want to do, what the heck am I working this hard for anyways? So it’s really important to me. And I definitely, you know, I enjoy sharing that.

Chris Miles (10:29):
There is a lot right there, man! Everybody, that’s a part you should probably go back and rewind a couple of times and re-listen to because there’s so many different tangents we could take with us. Right.

Chase Maher (10:39):
Yeah. I know. Sometimes I’m valuable a little bit.

Chris Miles (10:39):
Yeah. We can create like three shows that last comment you just made and we agreed create all these tangents from it. I think the thing that’s more valuable if I’m thinking from listener’s perspective here too is, youth aspects, right? I mean, one, I think will make a big point that you already said is, I love the clarity that you were having. Right? Like you’re writing this down. You’re saying, what is my life really about? And I think we even made this mentioned another time, you know, before we went on the air. Where that question of, you know, if money were no issue, what would you spend your time doing, right? Like kind of like, what do you want to be when you grow up? I know that there’s 60 and 70 year olds out there that have not asked this question with. What would I want to spend my time doing? Right? Like what would you do if you hit your financial goals? And what would that life look like? And it sounds like you really have to kind of create an architecture behind that life, didn’t you with that design?

Chase Maher (11:30):
Absolutely. And it comes from repetition of constantly thinking over and over. And it, for anybody listening out there, if you like constantly have the same thought over and over, you should probably follow that instinct. And what I mean by if you’re constantly thinking I want to be in real estate, or if you’re constantly thinking, man, I want to be able to take a snowboard trip every year. Or if you’re constantly thinking, you know, I want live in this city, you should start crafting your lifestyle around, being able to do that. There’s a calling that you’re having that you should go after that. And I truly feel that the most depressed people in the world, they’re the ones that aren’t listening to that calling. They’re the ones that keep that thought in the back of their mind rather than in the front of their minds. So what that looks like to me is like purging out the things that, I’ll put it to you this way. There’s a lot of things that matter, but focus on the things that matter a lot.

Chase Maher (12:19):
And what I mean by that is like, I would love to, you know, be a great golfer or a great tennis player or, you know, still play basketball twice a week. Like, you know, all these things. But what I love more is surfing. I love more is snowboarding. So I don’t waste any time, like trying to learn anything new. I just stay with what I know. I try to stay a fish when it comes to food. I’d love to learn how to cook this, this and this, but I just stay efficient because that mental space is better focused elsewhere. I’d rather go all in on the things that I know make me happy rather than trying to go discover a bunch of other thing. And the same applies with money. So that one core active income source and then pick a few streams of passive income for me, it’s hard assets and just stay focused and try not to lose sight of, you know, what you’ve written down and what you want to focus on because it will compound over time. You’ll get better and better and better.

Chris Miles (13:14):
So true. Yeah. I want to go to both of those points. Man, you’re making this so hard on me, man. Cause you have, you’re testing my focus right now of how I can do this. But you know, when you mentioned about like the designing that life, right? Like really, you know, figuring out what is it you want? It took me back to four years ago when I asked my wife to marry me, you know, I said, Hey, I want to marry you. She says, all right, two conditions, one, no more kids. Cause eight is enough. Right. So we’re not having anymore. And then two, you need to make sure that every winter, she was like, I don’t care if you come or not. But every winter I got to leave, like I cannot do another Utah winter anymore. Like I’m done. I’m from the tropics. I can’t do it.

Chris Miles (13:57):
And I said, all right, well, let’s do this. You know? And in my mind that was something that was impossible. Right. That seemed impossible. But when we really like mapped it out, like figured out how much would it really cost to do that? And you know, obviously, you know, of course with my business being virtual, I can do it anywhere anyways, but it was a whole mindset shift. And now I realize it’s freaking easy. It’s easy to do that. Like the hardest thing is now just, you know, trying to make it all work with children. You know, that’s the hardest part, but everything else is great, you know? And so I love that you did that. You can design that life. And once, you know, it’s easier to create.

Chase Maher (14:31):
Chris, Gary Keller talks a lot about living a life by design. And if we don’t build a plan and then work towards that plan, we’re kind of just like living endlessly and just kind of wandering. And that’s a lifestyle that I didn’t really want for me. So I made that decision to live a life by design.

Chris Miles (14:49):
I love it. So tell us, you mentioned about the income streams too, right? So you say you have one main income stream and you create other income streams. Tell us more about your philosophy on that.

Chase Maher (14:58):
So active income figure out what’s that sweet spot that you can live off, you know, 50% or less of that active income and then invest the rest. And so for me, I figured out, you know, what’s that sweet spot and then I want to invest everything else. And so the active income that I like kind of sets up my passive income stream. So I realized that I wanted to have rental properties. I wanted to have buildings and assets. And so how can I build an active income that kind of sets that up? Well, it was lead generation for distressed properties, and then I can take those properties. I can fix and flip them. I can wholesale them. I can list them as an agent or I can refer them to a realtor. So those are four different streams of active income that are all built off of one marketing channel.

Chris Miles (15:44):
Just one activity, yeah.

Chase Maher (15:45):
One activity. We’re just, how do I simplify and dumb it down? Here’s another thing that I learned from Gary Keller when I was an agent is, what’s the one thing that you can do that makes everything simple or unnecessary? And so I focus on lead generation and then how can I maximize my use of that property? And then also what that does is I’m able to cherry pick the best ones for my portfolio. It kind of all builds off of that. And then from there, you know, some other income streams, passive that were sort of built off that and you know, just focusing on what that sweet spot is. So me personally, now I live off 30% of it and I invest the rest. And, you know, based off your investment philosophies, I learned from you and your show, we kind of have a lot of alignment there as well.

Chris Miles (16:33):
Yeah. I love that! I love that! That basic philosophy of saying, all right, how do I get myself to have a lifestyle where I’m only at 50% of my income? That’s, for some people that’s a stretch, right. But it is kind of a core challenge.

Chase Maher (16:46):
Yeah. You just got to make more than, you know, if your lifestyle is, is 10 grand, you need to figure out a way to make 20 grand. And actually you need to work, figure out a way to make like 30 grand cause of the taxes. So another reason why I love being an entrepreneur is, you know, tax saving strategies. So I’ve figured out how can I pay the least amount of taxes legally? And that’s by setting up, you know, an escorp paying myself a salary, profit distributions, owning assets that I can write off the interest. And so that sweet spot for me, I’m able to like focus in on it more and more and not have to go too high above that because I’m saving money on the taxes as well.

Chris Miles (17:25):
That’s true. I get a lot of clients where, you know, like I get some of that. We can get them retire like this year, right. Others might take within five to seven years, 10 years. And I get some of those clients they’ll say, alright, like we got a couple deals, but they didn’t have a whole lot of cash. Like maybe they have 50 to a hundred grand. We’re like, alright, we’re making 500,000 passive a month, but we need 10,000 a month. Right. And it seems like there’s a big Hill to climb. We’re like, well, how do we do it faster, Chris? I’m like, well, other than just reinvesting the money you’re making, I’m like the best thing you can do is just find other ways to create more income or reduce your expenses and allow yourself to invest more faster. That is really the amplifier. Right? That’s the thing that multiplies it all is if you go from saying, Oh, I only got a thousand a month to build a, to put towards buying passive investments versus, Hey, I’ve now got 5,000 or 10,000 a month. I can put towards that. It’s a complete game changer. Like the numbers has become exponentially better. When you do that.

Chase Maher (18:24):
Yeah. If you can think of a way to like productize yourself. And what that looks like is either sell it for more, make more money or reduce your costs, reduce your expenses. It’s pretty simple. I usually opt for, I like just trying to make more money because I still like, I like that 30% or 50% I focus on the 30%. I like to live a good lifestyle though. You know, like I’m not some Rice and Beans kind of guy. I do a lot of trips, a lot of traveling. I figure out what’s that sweet spot. So do you need that? You know, tier two or tier three above the current car you’re driving right now? Do you need that fifth surfboard? Do you need, you know, certain things like, do you really need them and you know, live your life a little bit above the needs so that you’re still happy and you’re still enjoying yourself, but ask yourself on your purchases. Like, are there certain things like, do I really need that? And then, you know, if you do buy it, try to match that towards an investment. So anything that’s a want, I buy it and it’s 500 bucks, all right. Then I need to commit to 500 bucks towards an investment. And so kind of simplified it like that.

Chris Miles (19:32):
I think that’s the key is that, I mean, just like you said earlier, like when you can really know what you want, right? What’s really the priority. Yeah. You can still have a life that you love, but you can say, you know, all those rest of the stuff is distraction. It’s just extra clutter in my life. I don’t need it. Simplify on what I really want. Keep that simple life and create freedom from it. I love that.

Chase Maher (19:52):
Yeah, man.

Chris Miles (19:53):
Cool, man. Well, Hey, if people want to get to know your stuff or follow you or whatever, what’s the best way they can do that, Chase?

Chase Maher (19:59):
So the best way is my podcast. The Life Worth Chasing Podcasts. We talk about real estate, money, wealth, business strategies, and pretty much every guest that I bring on like yourself, you were just on. I really want to make sure that they live, you know, a life by design that, you know, they’re not working until their eyes bleed. And so it’s the kind of show that you’re going to learn a lot, but you’re also going to be inspired. And then if you want to get ahold of me directly, the best place is probably on Twitter and it’s @iamchasemaher and yeah, I’m on Twitter a lot dropping knowledge. That’s how I communicate with a lot of people and can join me on there. And there’s a lot of good, useful information on that.

Chris Miles (20:35):
Awesome! Chase, I really appreciate it. Like I said, there were so many nuggets on here. We could go like an hour long episode and have some fun with this, but man, the stuff you’ve given, I recommend people listen to show more than once just to pick up on these nuggets you’ve given us. So I really appreciate that.

Chase Maher (20:50):
Hey, my pleasure, man. I appreciate you having me on.

Chris Miles (20:53):
You bet! Everybody else, you know, we’ll put in the show notes, you know, Chase’s podcast as well as his Twitter handle. So check them out, check out his stuff. Great show. As you already know, like, well, our life is so much more than just money, right? It’s so much about the kind of life that we can create. So make sure you follow his show because that’s what it’s all about. And definitely reach out to Chase. If you feel like that little ping of, Oh, that resonated that I needed that. So check him out. Everybody, I hope you make it a wonderful and prosperous week. We’ll see you later.

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