person pulling out their empty pockets

4 Ways to Acquire Real Estate with No Money Out-of-Pocket

Each week, we post a new question to the Best Ever Show Community on Facebook. The Best Ever Show Community is a place where real estate entrepreneurs of all stripes and sizes can come together to interact with each other, me, and the guests featured on my podcast with the purpose of everyone helping each other reach the next level in their businesses and their lives.


What better way to add value than to ask you, the community, for your Best Ever advice on a variety of different real estate topics. This week, the question was “how much money do you need to do your first deal?


Overall, the responses fell into two camps: no money down and money down, with the former camp winning out by four. 13 investors said $0 was needed for the first deal while 9 said some form of capital was required for the first deal.


I think the most interesting and educational aspect of these responses was from the winning camp (the $0 downers), who offered up their creative strategies for acquiring real estate with no money down. A common theme between all of the investors who believe that one can acquire their first deal with no money down is that one’s own money needs to be substituted with something else. There is no such thing as a no money down strategy that doesn’t require a high level of effort to offset the lack of capital.


That being said, the poll is closed, the responses are in and here are the four substitutes to your own money that can result in the acquisition of real estate with no money down:


1 – Knowledge


The first substitute is knowledge. Brandon Moryl said that it is a balance between money and knowledge. If you don’t have the money, you need to compensate with knowledge, and vice versa. Similarly, Harrison Liu said that getting started with no money is the easy part. The difficult part is having a profitable first deal. In both scenarios, the investor who wants to acquire their first deal with no money out-of-pocket is required to invest in their education. That means reading books and articles, listening to podcasts and picking the brain of experienced investors who are actively and successfully pursuing the same investment strategy they plan on implementing.


2 – OPM


The most popular substitute for your own money is OPM (other people’s money). In regards to fix-and-flip projects, Eric Kottner said you can go in with $0, but you’ll need to have access to funds to cover the down payment and rehab costs. And for rentals, you’ll need to make sure that you have at least one-years’ worth of rent in reserves and the down payment money. But for both of these scenarios, the funds can be OPM.  Ryan Groene said that you can partner up with a private money investor to purchase real estate with zero dollars out-of-pocket, but you will need a little bit of cash to pay for gas to visit properties and to pay for coffee or lunch when meeting with potential partners. Adam Adams says that you need as much money as the deal costs but it doesn’t need to come from you. Finally, Nathan Tabor says you can enter a deal with zero money down by partnering with a private money investor or partnering with the current owner in the form of seller financing. However, most of you won’t be able to snap your fingers and, poof, has access to OPM. But as an apartment syndicator myself, I have documented proven tactics for finding OPM, which you can learn about here.


3 – Leverage


Another substitute for your own money is leverage. Glen Sutherland purchased his first investment property by leveraging the existing equity in his personal residence. Elliot Milek financed 100% of his first investment property with a line of credit from a local bank. Hai Loc said that you can leverage credit cards. And Robert Lawry II said the someone can acquire their first investment property with $0, especially when all they have is $0. All it requires is leverage, learning and strategy.


4 – Resourcefulness


The final substitute for your own money is resourcefulness. For example, click here to learn how someone was able to acquire a property with a paperclip in one year! Similarly, Ash Patel said that sometimes hustle is better than money.



In reality, all four of these strategies require resourcefulness. But what is great about resourcefulness, creativity and hustle is that – unlike money – they are essentially unlimited. As long you are willing to put in the time, anything is possible.



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