Paul & Mary Lindner

Quick Facts:

  • Profit Strategy: Rehab and Wholesale (using owner finance to their buyer!)
  • Number: 20 units
  • Amount Earned: They estimate they’ll make $87k within 2 years
  • Prior Experience: Mary is a longtime real estate professional in Dallas, TX

Here’s their story:

A Certified Property Manager with nearly 40 years of experience in the multi-family realm, Mary Lindner has the distinction of being the only person who attended a Lance Edwards boot camp to do a wholesale and an owner finance of a property in the same deal. She and her husband and investment partner Paul had two essential requirements for their first deal: that the property be small and require a minimal down payment, and that it be in Texas because, as a longtime real estate professional in Dallas, Mary had easy access to Texas Association of Realtors form.

Paul found a suitable property in the border town of McAllen, some eight hours away, on Loopnet, and the couple reached out to the daughter of the owner, whose family had owned the ten unit single bedroom apartment building for 30 years without spending much time on upkeep and leaving the rent without increases. Checking comps in the area on, the Lindners learned that all the rents in the area were higher. The property also clearly needed some rehab work.

They also engaged in several of the strategies they learned from Lance, including using Google maps to start “driving the streets” around the property to make sure it’s a decent neighborhood. The property was very close to the bus line and close to buildings and businesses that were part of a downtown revitalization project. Mary raves about the success they had using Lance’s famed “Doable Deal Generator,” which she describes as “five year pro forma projection of income and expenses on the property. The beauty of this spreadsheet is that not only can you plug in actual numbers off the financials from the seller, you can also compare those to expenses you expect to incur.”

The McAllen property was listed at $280,000, and once the Lindners saw it was in a decent neighborhood they realized they could increase the rent, and once they did some rehab on things like faucets and fixtures, maintenance expenses would go down for the person they would be wholesaling it to. They negotiated the price down to $250,000.  

“We had never done a wholesale deal before, but knew how it worked,” says Mary. “We put together the pro forma in the Doable Deal Generator, which came up with numbers for us in three different potential scenarios, an all cash deal, an owner finance deal and one that fell somewhere in between those two. Based on the numbers, which included the money we put into rehabbing the property, we marketed it like Lance told us. Someone found it on his website and contacted  us. The prospective buyers knew that if they could buy with owner financing, they would be able to pay us more for it. We worked with our coach Hoku, and Lance helped us with some of the nitty gritty questions we had and helped us structure the deal.

“Ultimately we sold it for $330,000,” she adds, “and we got almost $10,000 at the closing table since we owner financed. We loaned the buyer $70,000 at 5% interest, and they are currently making monthly payments of $305 – with a balloon due in 23 months. By that time, we estimate that we will have made $87,000 on the deal. Our plan is to do wholesaling for a while to gain more capital for more permanent purchases down the road.”

Mary Lindner brings a dynamic background to her current endeavors as a multi-family investor. In the early 80s, she started out in as a leasing agent in multifamily property management, overseeing a 350 unit property. Over the years, she worked her way up to assistant manager of a 440 unit property, and then manager of huge properties ranging from 264 to 500 units. She later became a regional manager supervising eight apartment managers handling a total of over 2200 unites – and became one of the few women in the 90s to attend the Institute of Real Estate Management and receive a CPM. All of these experiences opened doors for her as far as learning the financial end of multi-family housing.

All told, Mary has been a realtor for over 30 years and became a broker six years ago. She and Paul became investors some years ago via their involvement with one of the local investment clubs in Dallas. Despite her background in managing apartments, their investments were limited to single family properties. Because they were focused on work and raising their children, they only had so much time to devote to these endeavors. Several years ago, she met Lance at an investor club meeting where he spoke.

“I really liked what he had to say, and quickly decided that if we were ever going to get into small apartment investing, he would be the person I wante to learn from,” she says. “He had made a lot of money for many investors and I knew he could help us do the same. Once the kids were out of the house, we knew it was time. We saw he was having a boot camp, and decided to sign up. Our March 2020 sessions were moved online because of the pandemic, but we still found them very informative. We also loved the fact that he and his staff are there to help us every step of the way.”

Like many families, The Lindners’ interest in investing in small apartments is legacy-related, based on their desire to leave something to their two children – which they adopted from Russia many years ago – and two grandsons. But their vision also extends beyond family to buying properties they can convert into specially equipped homes for disabled veterans and single parents struggling to get to the next phase of their lives.

“Many of our family members are in the military, and I feel sad when I hear things about disabled vets being forced to live in undesirable places because they have no other options,” Mary says. “It’s something I have been wanting to do for many years and now with small apartment investing, I see a path to do that. Just recently I took a course in this type of thing to learn more. We want to set things up where we would have a small apartment property and maybe a large house we could make modifications to for those in wheelchairs.

“Likewise, we’ve always had a vision to own a small apartment property as a place where single parents can live till they get back on their feet,” she adds. “We could help these single parents get schooling and learn how to interview for jobs. It would also be an opportunity to employ elderly people who could come and take care of the children as their parents go for interviews and start working. Sure, we would all like to have more money to live on, but we don’t have to be rich in the conventional way. Helping vets and single parents stay off the street and get back on their feet is a very worthwhile goal to us. With Lance’s help, we have laid a foundation to eventually achieve that goal and are currently looking for the right deals to take the next step.”