Finance Podcast

How I Became a Real Estate Investor

June 8, 2018

Believe it or not, real estate is something that isn’t new to me. I grew up as a kid watching my dad study for his real estate license and then eventually becoming a broker. He opened up his own real estate company with my mom going from selling houses to managing various strip malls in LA. They got into the foreclosure market in the 90’s and then purchased a few apartment buildings within distressed areas. They restored them, found tenants for all of their units, and then did their own management and maintenance until retirement.

It’s funny because even though real estate is something that I grew up around and always heard within my household, it was never anything that I was super interested in. My passion earlier on was to become an artist so I always rejected opportunities to learn more about business or real estate even though it was right at my finger tips growing up. I realized that though I was consciously rejecting the education, subconsciously a lot of it stuck with me. In 2004, I found myself purchasing my first home in Hawaii that I got to see built from the ground up.. I didn’t realize how much of the process I already understood while searching for the house, looking at the numbers, and making educated decisions with the help of my father’s real estate advise. I found every bit of it completely fascinating!

After a few tough circumstances in my own personal, spiritual, and financial life, I wasn’t in a good place to afford my mortgage payments, maintenance fees, and insurance. I found that making these huge payments every month was nearly impossible based on solely living on one income. I thought that I would have to sell or could even turn to getting more side jobs through my business.. but from what I initially thought was a huge crisis turned out to be one of the hugest blessings as was forced to think outside the box.

It got me thinking back to how my dad was such an expert in terms of being able to use his investment properties to 1) bank off of the foreclosure market 2) gain rental income 3) be his own boss without having to work for anyone else. However, one of the struggles that I witnessed was the stress that came along my folks having to do their own management and maintenance.. whether it be a broken pipe in the middle of the night, having to evict a tenant who was delinquent on payments.. etc etc etc.. There always seemed that there was something that needed to be fixed or someone or something that need to be attended to.. Though the perks of real estate seemed to outweigh the disadvantages, it took a HUGE toll on them. It made me think, why not hire people who are experts to do that’s the least enjoyable / stressful while focusing on the things we love, thrive, and find fulfilling?

That epiphany wasn’t a new idea.. it was already something that real estate investors have been doing for years. It inspired me to hire out a property management company who could find someone to live in my home and pay off my mortgage while even providing me a bit of extra cash. I even thought about finding a much cheaper place to rent in town that was closer to work (1 hour commute vs. 5-minute commute), had no utility fees, and had no responsibility of doing my own repairs in the event that something broke down. This one move of releasing my home to a very trusted property manager was a game changer! I then realized that relying on the expert was empowering as it gave me more peace of mind about my finances, allowed me to focus more time and energy on my job, my business, and also become wiser as a real estate investor.

When Tardus Wealth Strategies came into the picture a few years later, their financial coaching, education using the patented Income Snowball helped me gain even more value as an investor who is now equipped with more strategies regarding debt pay down while simultaneously seeking alternative and diverse methods of investments. I’ve expanded my real estate portfolio beyond Hawaii into other markets in the mainland that have proven to be highly successful.

As a Tardus client, I was able to pay down the remainder of my mortgage on my first house in Hawaii, roll over monthly rental income from a mortgage now into monthly cashflow, and utilize side hustle income, savings, and leverage to now have 7 investment properties by the end of this month (with hopes to have a total of 10 by the end of the year). I went from having just one stream of active income to now having multiple streams of active and passive income as I started operating my personal finances more like a business.

The Lord showed me through the example set by my parents and also through Tardus coaches and educators my purpose of becoming a real estate investor. It’s through this constant learning and applying process that I’m now understanding more and more of what it means to become a good steward. Never before have I had more ownership and appreciation for what God has allowed me to steward. Experiencing these changes only gives me the option of wanting to help others, the ability to give more, and be more available to serve God and His people. My desire is to leave a legacy for my family so that they can be educated in order to serve the next generation well!

Now as a Wealth Coach at Tardus Wealth Strategies, I’ve been able to help many people find the fastest ways of paying down their debts and step into wealth in a revolutionary way. I love being a part of helping families, friends, and others experience freedom from financial bondage or any other kind to help them step into their hopes and dreams. Becoming a real estate investor is something I believe many of you can do. When you have a truthful assessment of where you stand, reset your thinking by learning from the more experienced, and implement strategies on a consistent basis, you will then start journeying ahead to reach the place where you want to be and beyond!

Do you have any debt where you need help consolidating and paying down? Thinking about the possibility of becoming a real estate investor? Let’s together step into hope.

E-mail me at


About Alex
Honolulu, HI

Unseen is an online experimental sandbox of Alex Cheng where he will be discussing the Word of God, personal experiences and thoughts. He is Media Director / Pastor at C4 Christ Centered Community Church, founder / creative director of instaMERSION studios LLC.