Prepare for a captivating conversation with the dynamic David Dippong, who flipped the script from being a hardworking chef to a prosperous real estate investor. As we traverse the vibrant real estate scene of Los Angeles and Orange Counties, you'll uncover an intimate understanding of the increasing demand for homes in spite of towering interest rates.
Dippong's expertise doesn't stop there. We delve into how he's leveraging down payment assistance programs, closing cost assistance programs, and credit programs in California to his advantage. As we go along, you'll gain valuable insights on the importance of building long-term partnerships in real estate, and how it's the key to a "get rich for sure" strategy. Hear how he's building a legacy for his family through smart investments and master the secret to assembling a reliable dream team in real estate. So gear up, because this episode is packed with practical advice and insider tips that could revolutionize your approach to real estate investing.
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Hey guys, welcome back to another episode of Latinos and Real Estate Investing Podcast, where individuals just like you come to learn how to create wealth through real estate investing, entrepreneurship and business ownership. And today, guest is David Dipong. Did I say that right, David? Yes, I got it right this time. David is a real estate professional and the owner of Dipong Real Estate at the Compass Brokerage in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. He specializes in residential home and multi-family purchases, sales and investments. David believes in educating his clients first on how real estate can work for them. He starts out by helping them change their views on what to expect when buying a home and how to leverage their homes to build generational wealth for their family. Sir, welcome to Latinos and Real Estate Investing Podcast. I'm glad you're here. It's my honor to have you. Thank you so much for taking your time.Speaker 2:
Thanks for having me sir, I'm glad to be here.Speaker 1:
Dave, let's start from the beginning. You look like a young guy. Tell us, how did you get started in real estate, california real estate investing? I love talking to California guys because it's a different world there. Man, it's a ball game, different animal investing there, playing there. Your strategies, have you have to plan for more? It's just you got to know the game really well.Speaker 2:
So I was always ready to work very hard and just work hard and work hard. So I was a chef when I came out here about 15 years ago, and then I was a private chef after that for some of the more wealthy families out here. And what I learned very quickly is I would save a lot of money and then the money wouldn't do anything for me. I'd save a lot of money, spend a lot of money, save a lot of money, spend a lot of money. And so after a few years of just back breaking work and realizing it wasn't just creating anything for me or allowing me to have a personal life, I shifted into real estate, because real estate here almost does all the work for you, as long as you invest a smart amount of time in it. When you're younger, working smart, it was just a natural transition that this could. Finally, all of my hard work was fine and taught me how to work hard, but working smart is what's actually needed to build by the home, invest in the home, build wealth for your future kids, build wealth for your future retirement all that so I never looked back.Speaker 1:
Let me ask you so you said you were a private chef for very wealthy families in California, and wealthy in California is very different than wealthy in Pennsylvania. Well, rich in Pennsylvania is middle class in California and New York City. What exposed you to real estate? So I mean, how did that happen?Speaker 2:
So no, not particularly real estate information. What I learned is that they leverage everything out and they don't think twice, like you're not there to interact with them. You're there to take something off their plate so they can do one of the two things that matters most to them and that pays the bills, and, through leveraging everything out of their life that they don't need to be doing, are able to achieve hyper success at the few things that pay their bills, whereas a normal person might say well, I've got so many things to do today, I'm just so busy. They stepped out of that cycle and I'm gone. Well, I know where my time is about spent and I know what my time is worth, and it's worth more than paying all of these people to do this thing.Speaker 1:
I love it. Man, Someone needed to hear that right now. Why did you choose real estate? Why did you go from being a chef to real estate?Speaker 2:
So I found out that there were some really, really successful brokers near me and I'd always been a numbers guy For the homes I worked for. I would have to do budgets, menus, pricing, do all of these things to figure out how to achieve their goals for as little as possible and stretch it, make it as successful as possible. So, funny enough, my wife at some point when she was still my girlfriend, was like hey, you're really good with this financial stuff, why don't you go into something that's a little bit more helpful to you while you're working? So I took a look at the things that that would apply to and the barrier to entry and licensing and the time it takes to get there. What could I do while working 80 hours a week? And real estate seems like a natural fit. It's an industry that almost anybody can get into, but few do it well, and I already knew I had experience working hard and doing things well that a number of my colleagues just weren't gonna put the time in To make that, to make that effort to achieve that level of success. So it just fit in my mind and then I, you know, once I commit to something, I go Hard, and I started working for one of the most successful brokers in the city. They taught me within a few years what I needed to do to be successful, and then I went on my own, and I continue doing that to this day.Speaker 1:
What is the market like today? You do commercial right. You sell commercial real estate as well as residential mostly residential.Speaker 2:
I'll do commercial occasional if there's a residential Component. So commercial is five units or more here technically. But am I gonna do it on this space or a warehouse now?Speaker 1:
and I'm curious with the home prices in Los Angeles and Orange counties Right being as high as they are historically have been. What is the market like there today, and what are some of the challenges that your typical home buyer has to overcome in today's?Speaker 2:
market. So those are really great questions, and when people originally thought of this slowdown, they were like oh, prices are definitely gonna come down. Interest rates have shot up so quickly, but what has actually happened is the supply shot down in line with demand. So now all those people sitting with 5% and less mortgages aren't gonna put their homes on the market again. They're also sitting on historic levels of equity which they can use as down payments on more homes. So, even though mortgage rates and everything has thrown the market out of whack, the ratio of buyers to the homes available has stayed very similar. So instead of prices shooting up, they're just Generally going out, because there just isn't anything available as far as single-family homes or Condos in desirable neighborhoods. The on the other side of the coin, though, we have a 12 months supply of two to four unit residential properties. We have a buyers market in two to four unit residential properties and because of the bad taste of tenants from COVID from COVID not having to pay. You know, presumably something like that's not gonna happen again in the next 10 or 20 years, but people are avoiding those properties and in my business, the opportunity is looking where everybody else isn't. So there's a lot of opportunity there.Speaker 1:
I hear this correctly, you said you have a 12 month supply of two to four units and here right now, holy smokes. That is an opportunity. It is.Speaker 2:
There's plenty of properties sitting on the market waiting for somebody to come in and negotiate, but nobody wants to. They want the ideal without setting the proper foundation for being able to achieve the ideal.Speaker 1:
So, in conclusion, what would you say?Speaker 2:
the market is like the important thing to note is Los Angeles is very wide so it's almost segmented into directions. If I were to say the most affordable homes on the wet side are between one and 1.4 million, but then I could tell you the most affordable homes in South Los Angeles or South Central Los Angeles are between seven and 900. And then if you went to somewhere far out in Palmdale you could get a home for four to 600. But it depends on what kind of lifestyle you're looking for and what kind of single family home, condo, et cetera. But the bare minimum they're gonna need to buy anything. You've got a condo out here is 400,000. And you're gonna work your way up from there. We are still seeing multiple offers and a lot of activity on the few homes that are available. Because most people are looking in that affordable range of each city, the least amount of money that it takes to possibly live there. There's less pressure at the more luxury price points. So if a property is a minimum of 1.1 million in that neighborhood, the 1.5 million range in that neighborhood might have less pressure. You might have more time to buy it, but that's not the range that most people need. So that's why we're still seeing multiple offers and bidding on properties.Speaker 1:
You know, california is a beautiful state. I love that state. I love the weather. I don't love what's happening there with homeless situation based on what I see yeah, your tent cities. I see what's the beach there outside of LA Long Beach, venice, venice. I've been to both Venice and Long Beach. Where are the best opportunities, in your opinion, for an investor to deploy capital and get good returns on their investment?Speaker 2:
So I would believe there's a section of the valley that's heavily being developed near North Hollywood, what's called North Hollywood, and there's a section of neighborhoods getting developed near LAX, on the way to LAX, so that they can build a monorail for the Olympics when they come. And naturally, when they build a light rail line, the density bonus is around the property increase and then values increase because more people can travel from there to work in more expensive cities and mostly these areas. If you look at any area in Los Angeles or Orange County that has some sort of development and transportation and business coming to it, it's almost certain that you're gonna see a market rise and appreciation over the next 10 years and we've seen it happen for the last 40 years. We've seen cities like Calver City Dublin Value. We've seen cities like Brentwood, los Angeles, dublin Value. We've seen Englewood Dublin Value, which historically people have not considered an incredibly nice place to live, but it doesn't matter. When a city that almost everyone wants to be at, with good weather, with reasonable location to the ocean, starts increasing development in commerce and travel, that's a city you wanna be invested in for the next 10 years 100%.Speaker 1:
What do you find are the biggest challenges in today's market with the buyers? I wanna ask buyers first, and what are some of the things, what are some of the steps that they can take, that someone can take in today's market before they go out and they reach out to a realtor to buy a home?Speaker 2:
Honestly, one of the biggest challenges is the lack of preparation and to that point, I'd recommend finding a realtor or a real estate professional that you trust to help with the long-term planning. Because if you go out and you say, oh, we need to buy a house now and we've got some money saved up and you get a pre-approval and you go through all the steps, well, right now there's not a lot of hope, or right now you might not be ready to write an offer within 24 hours and seeing the property, but the reality is these are the things you need to be ready to do. So you need somebody there to help coach you and keep your expectations in line with the market and all do accountable. The second thing is that people's mindsets limit them. They see the price tags in California and they just assume they know they go like, oh, I need 20% down, there's no way I could ever afford anything, and it causes them to compartmentalize or procrastinate on that idea of home ownership. But because of the nature of our areas, there's down payment assistance programs. There's closing cost assistance programs. There's credit programs for people that have more challenges, except you might have to wait to qualify for them for six months to a year, year and a half, depending on how many people are in line. So if you just believe you can and get contact with somebody who can help you with the long-term plan, you might not have a hard time at all buying a place. But the lack of preparation pre-buying a home, pre-talking to a real estate agent, is that you don't know about these programs, that you don't know about all these tools that have been established to help people like you, because you were busy, because you didn't wanna reach out, because you didn't want the calls from agents who know that you're looking. Well, those are things you just have to deal with. But if I do a program that's gonna save me $120,000 on my own purchase, you better believe I would be in line for it because that makes sense.Speaker 1:
Yeah, that makes a ton of sense. Oh, 20 grand, that's a lot of money, man.Speaker 2:
And that's for low-income people, which is, since low-income here is under $77,000. Wow, okay.Speaker 1:
Per person. Yeah, it's an expensive state to live in, right California, it's very expensive to live in. Tell me, what value do you bring to investors an investor that might be looking to buy in your area? We have. I've had a number of investors from California here, and here's the thing, as an investor myself. Not all agents are created equal. When we look for agents, we want agents to give us projected value. So if I'm flipping a property, I want to know projected values. How are you providing values to the real estate investor community?Speaker 2:
Okay, that's a well. That's perhaps the number one question. So what you said is all correct, depending on the investor's needs. If they buy and they're going to flip, they need to know what the projected market's going to be like, what the range of prices that are most likely are going to be there when they finish, not when they start. They need to know the values in the neighborhood and what's coming up. If you're looking at buying and holding investors, they need to know what the cash on cash return is for their money. If the rates are higher, that might not be very good right now. They also need to know development that's coming into the area. They need to know that, what price they got this at versus other recent investment in that area, to know the cap rate, to know if they've even gotten a good quote unquote deal. All of this information is the minimum your real estate professional should be providing for you, and then the maximum goes above and beyond recommending areas that have new developments coming in, looking at neighborhoods that are being ignored right now in cities that are going to be the first to bounce back when the economy is performing again. You need somebody who actually knows and has done it and has helped other people do it in these areas so that they can help you with all of the in the middle details, all of the emotional details, all of the numbers, yet, but knowing that this person's also here doing it with many other clients so you can build a little bit of trust too and form a relationship and you can find off market properties. You can achieve those goals together, knowing that when you achieve a goal, I achieve a goal. When you win, I win. I'm invested in your success. I'm not just throwing properties at you, saying buy this, buy this, buy this, because that wouldn't help. The Zillow could do that. Your real estate professional has to be an advisor and a guide in this day and age 100%.Speaker 1:
I'm glad you said that, because a lot of people and let's talk about that right why don't you give an investor that's listening one, two, three or four things that they should be looking for, because maybe they're listening to us. So?Speaker 2:
I guess we'll recap some of the things and we'll expand on it. First of all, if your advisor is going to point you to an area, the bare minimum has to be well, why that area? Tell me a story about how that area is going to increase in value and be recession resistant and be resistant to short term drops in the market. Tell me why my money is going to be good spent there. And then show me. The data is number two. So can you show me the value of the last neighborhood that was set up like this and the value of it 10 years ago and the value of it now? Show me why this is your style and this is what you're recommending. Or even if it's your first property and you wanna buy into a duplex and rent the other half out to start building equity so that you can invest in more properties, well then, show me what I could rent a room out for. Show me the least amount of money I would need to maintain ownership and maintenance of this property so that I can start budgeting, how much I can save every month from my job above that, and how much money I will most likely have, based on historical averages, in 10 years to leverage and buy two properties with, based on the historical appreciation of this neighborhood. Because if you look at the 39-year historical average, most likely it's going to be somewhat similar to that. If you look at the 10-year average, los Angeles alone went up 9% year over year. So anybody that bought made if you put 20% down even on a median value home back then 450,000, you'd have made a 312% return on that $100,000 plus that you put down, even after adjusting for inflation. So the vehicle is there, the vehicle can help you buy and then you can decide. After you've taken the first few years to make the property self-sufficient, you can now use that property as a bank. So I would also ask them for number four what's your plan? How would you use this property to build wealth For me? A lot of my clients are coming and trying to buy their first home and then use it. So I explain a longer term plan. That's a much lower rate so that people don't end up losing their homes like they did in 2008. So that worst case scenario they have a plan of what they can do to keep it. If you do better and you make more money and you have more resources, we can get there faster. We can get multiple properties. We can get a property that's more expensive but in a better neighborhood and in work you can do that value add, flip it through restoration. But you have to have a plan. You have to know what you're talking about, you have to know the area and you have to make an educated guess on the city that's going to advance the most. Because they're all going. There's plenty of people coming in to buy in California, regardless of how high you think the prices are. But if you make all of these smart decisions, you're not only making your money work for you, you're making it work smarter for you Really good point you bring up brother.Speaker 1:
Thank you so much, man, thank you so much, really really appreciate you. I like that I really appreciate you coming on and sharing your insights. Those are really good pointers that one should consider when hiring a. I mean, look, it's clear, right when you're talking to an agent and they're talking to you in the form and they're giving you the content that Dave here just shared with us, right like this is higher level stuff. This is someone that's a professional in their business. This is the people I, as an investor, I'm just sharing. I'm sharing with my audience here, with you, dave, as an investor. That is the type of realtor I want to be associated with, someone that can sit down, challenge my thinking, open up my mind and show me other ways and maybe there's things that that you're seeing, that I haven't considered that will allow me to make better decisions for myself, my family, my company and the future. And that's what a good realtor is supposed to do. I think any good professional and any service industry or professional Industry is supposed to do, is supposed to be challenging their customers, is supposed to be guiding, is supposed to be an advisor, and I think that's what you're pointing out to that it seems that you do really, really well, my friend. So I'm grateful that you came on here and you shared and you shared, though. You shared those things with us. I'm really, really grateful for that. Let's go into the untitled round, where we're gonna ask you a series of questions. You don't have to think you could justify if you want there. There you could give one word answers whatever you want to do, and are you ready to play my friend?Speaker 2:
Sure, let's do it excited. Real estate is a A very important Vehicle. It's a necessity that every order that every person needs at least one of.Speaker 1:
I've always wanted to travel to.Speaker 2:
Japan. Love the food, love the culture, super far away the best thing about living in California is Honestly the sunshine that we pay that sunshine tax. For them, a million dollars is a great place to start.Speaker 1:
That's a good answer. That's a good one. My advice to young people is.Speaker 2:
Time is your most important resource. Start now, even if you don't think you can.Speaker 1:
I think the president right now is oh More time, or?Speaker 2:
more money, more time, because time is money, wine or beer why definitely words or action, actions, passion or stability. I'll do you one better consistency angry client or angry co-worker. Client, because at least you got something in the game. Book smart or street smart, oh man, street smart and lastly, billy the pit or business, oh. Billy the pit, for sure, my sweet baby.Speaker 1:
By the way. By the way, billy the pit is Dave's dog. That's his. He's a pit bull. I take it and that's his. That's his dog. So thank you, dave, for coming on and being such a great sport sharing with us, sharing with my audience. So now there's an investor or there's a person that wants to buy a house in California. That's the market you serve. How do they find you? Where do they connect with you? How can they connect with you on social?Speaker 2:
Okay, so I have my website, which is the pong real estate calm. Di pp Ong real estate calm. I'm also easy to find out in social tick tock Instagram, youtube, at dipong real estate, la. So once you get the spelling right, once you can, you can find any of my about. I'm also at David Dipong, at compass calm, which is my work email. Please reach out. I'd love to chat. I love setting up long-term plans with my clients so that I could help you Achieve your goals without the stress of you having to run around a different agent and sort of gamble on who knows what and who has your best interest in. At heart, real estate is an outcome based business, so your outcomes are my outcomes. You get what you want, or I don't get anything at all, and that's what I'm here to do. I'm here to help you.Speaker 1:
I love it. I love it. I love it. One thing he said, guys, real clear, is Long term right. Whenever I, whatever, I hear someone talk about long term, whatever I'm interviewing someone, I'm in a meeting with someone first time, whatever, I'm always long term. That's music to my ears because I'm building a team, I'm building something long term, I'm building something generational. As I think about real estate, my business, my business dealings, is this is Legacy, generational for me and my kids, my, my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandkids, right, that's how I think in terms of hundreds, a hundred years. And when I hear long term, it just turns me on because that's what I'm looking for partnerships, but long term. So, guys, when you hear long term, if you really are serious about business and you're really serious about Doing something and partnering up with someone, that should be music to your ears, because all you need is a small circle of Good players on your team for you to create well, I'm really mean that you needed just a few people that are with you in the long term. And Remember, real estate is not a get rich quick scheme, is a get rich for sure. So, thank you, dave, appreciate you my brother, thank you for coming on insurance.Speaker 2:
Thank you, sir. Anytime I can be out, I'd love to yes, sir.Speaker 1:
Thank you very much. Appreciate you, you, you.