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The real estate business has been going well, so I decided to upgrade my 1983 Chevy S-10 to something a little bigger. The family loves to take the truck to Home Depot, and we are tired of being jammed in the front seat of that truck. Plus, it has no air conditioning and we live in the South. Enough said.

I wanted a three-door long bed with a back seat. Nothing fancy, but big enough for everyone.

Unfortunately, the oldest truck that meets this requirement is a 1997 Ford F150. This is about 10 years newer and $10,000 more then any vehicle I have ever bought, so this is uncharted territory for me. Apparently, banks offer financing on vehicles (new to me), so I arranged with my credit union to get pre-approved for a used car loan.

If you are wondering what this has to do with real estate, hang in there. I'll get to it…

After looking for 3-4 weeks, I finally locate a truck, negotiate a good price and arrange to meet the guy at the credit union to do the deal. Before the seller arrives, I am sitting in the credit union going over the terms of the loan. I am getting 7.5% and we are figuring out how much I have to put down. He does some figuring and tells me that he can loan me the entire cost of the truck PLUS $3000. The rate would go up to 8.5%.

Let's see.

I pay my hard-money lenders 16% plus fees. I pay 9% for most of my long-term financing. Here is $3k for 8.5%.

I'll take it.

So, what to do with the $3,000?

Well, before we answer that, don't forget about the old truck. I don't need it anymore and no sense in it sitting around the house. Coincidentally, a guy in my church wants an old truck. We agree on $2,000. I paid $2,100 about a year ago, so this seems fair enough.

So, what to do with the $5,000?

Here is the good part.

I just so happened to have found a condo in a not-so-great location. The seller was asking $28,000 for a 3/2 in pretty good condition. It's already rented to a Section 8 tenant for $875 a month. We agree on $26,000 plus some of the closing costs.

Turns out, the down payment and closing costs add up to about $5,000. If you include the hefty association fee, the positive cash flow on the condo equals the monthly payment on the truck.

Is this a great country?

Best I can figure, I just arranged for the United States Housing Department to pay for my truck and purchase a condo for me. After 4 years, I get to keep the extra cash flow and the truck will be paid for. After 30 years the condo will be paid for.

All with no money down.
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