ITF 23 | House Hacking


Commitment and consistency—these are the words that Shawn McEnteer lives by. He stumbled upon BiggerPockets in 2008 and launched into his real estate journey—while learning on the fly! He may have made a few mistakes with his first investment (don’t we all!), but then that’s how we all learn! The experience definitely fueled his desire to do better, and now, he’s a residential real estate specialist based in New Jersey with four properties under his belt and counting!

Shawn is the quintessential DIY guy, personally doing the renovations of his properties which are earning him almost $2,000 a month. He’s also a family guy, with four kids and an equally hard-working wife—the whole family throws down on renos! 

Tune in this week to see things from this investor’s point of view—how he turned bad experiences into learning moments, put in the work, and found the balance between spending time with family and growing the business.

Listen to the podcast here


The House Hacking Fox Of New Jersey With Shawn McEnteer

I’m here with Zeona McIntyre. She’s half-human, half-dolphin because she’s been chilling out in Hawaii. That makes you a mermaid, doesn’t it?

Yeah. We extended our trip. We made three weeks into three months, but that’s cool. We’re happy about it.

Enjoy that weather while you can. It’s awesome that you’re there. We’ve got a great episode. Shawn McEnteer is a buddy of mine with eXp. He’s got a cool story because he started off and didn’t buy a good deal but kept with it. He has a family, has four kids and is still purchasing real estate properties on his way towards financial independence. It was a cool story. He’s a DIY guy too.

It’s great to hear that even with four kids, he could renovate them all himself, which is such a big feat. I’m amazed he took that on.

The one thing that drew me to Shawn is in the meetings that we have with eXp, there’s something about him. You can tell how driven he is. It’s more than money. It may even be more than his family. He probably can’t even articulate the reason why he’s doing all of this even though he says it’s his family. He’s got such the hustle. I am a big fan of this episode.

It’s all about listening to books in his sleep, which you guys will learn about.

I wonder what his wife thinks about that. With that being said, let’s get on to the show.

Shawn McEnteer, welcome to the show. How are you doing?

I’m good. How are you, guys? It’s a pleasure to be here.

We’re doing good. It’s great to have you on. Shawn, we met through eXp. We’re mutual friends, colleagues or whatever of Darren Sager. This entire show is an eXp written show. It’s our first one like that. It might be an interesting one.

Fine by me.

We want to learn about you and your story. As we ask all of our other guests, how did you first find out about financial independence?

Growing up, I always remember my dad would be in his office in the house. He’s working from home and doing what he wanted to do. It always intrigued me. He was heavily into the stock market. He got me on the right path in terms of savings, starting an IRA at a young age, and brought financing to play. That then parlayed into learning a little bit more about real estate because he wasn’t involved with real estate. He was all about stock markets. I’m like, “I want to have a little more control. I’ll play my future to how I want it to be instead of relying on something else.” I stumbled across BiggerPockets as many investors have in the past, and that got me on a journey thinking a little bit more about real estate.

Growing up, you learned about the stock market. What year was it when you first learned about real estate or financial dependence?

Probably about 2010, around then. I started getting into it a little bit early in 2008, 2009. I stumbled across BiggerPockets and started reading about it. I found it in terms of how can I be a millionaire overnight? It’s the young age thinking. I got into the forums and started doing a lot of reading, researching. I figured out that it’s not an overnight thing. It takes a little bit of time. I started playing around on there. Ultimately, I gravitated towards the buy-and-hold type of mentality. I love that thought process. Ironically, an overnight millionaire turned into a buy-and-hold investor. I don’t know how that happens but it does. It’s what brought me to where I am with real estate.

What was your first purchase and how old were you around that time?

Our first purchase was a single-family property with the intention that we’re going to invest but we were not thinking. We didn’t have enough education yet. We bought a property that was close to a train station. We hopefully found out that the numbers did not make any sense at all. In terms of the first purchase, we renovated the place, made a little bit of money. We ended up selling it and moving into a nice multifamily with the family.

Were you already an agent at that point?

Yes. I got my license. The realtors I was dealing with, a lot of what they’re telling me didn’t make sense. They didn’t like the relationship. Like a lot of people, they go on and get their license for a reason but that wasn’t mine. I wanted to get new properties quicker and see things more. I ended up getting my license. Still, I found ourselves in a property that did not make sense. It was a single-family. We ended up selling that property, moving back to my parents, then going over to multifamily.

Can we dive a little bit into that first property? It sounds like you bought it uneducated. What were the numbers on it? A deal is a deal. Let’s dive in.

We bought the place for $260,000.

What market are you in, to give people a frame of reference?

North Jersey. For them, that was a fair price. The property, you couldn’t do anything with it. You couldn’t expand. You couldn’t build up. It was legally zoned as a single-family. We bought it with the intention of, “We’re close to a train station. You can’t beat that. It’s going to rank crazy.” All to find out, you run the numbers on it, maybe you’d be lucky to get $2,500 or so a month. We barely even covered the mortgage. All in all, we did a lot of renovating to it. We ended up selling the property and made a little bit of money. It was a mistake of a property.

How much did you learn from that?

Learning-wise, we learned to replace the heating system. We learned to renovate the kitchen. We did some bathroom renovations. The experience, we’re ultimately grateful for. We didn’t stop. We made sure to keep chugging away. Looking back at it, I would never recommend it to a client or myself to go and say, “Go buy a single-family in North Jersey. It’s smart.” No. Fortunately enough, I ran into a gentleman, Darren Sager. He helped educate me a lot more on the multifamily process and why it makes sense to purchase one.

When you said that you ended up selling it and doing all this renovation, did you guys at least make a profit on selling it? Was it still like, “Let’s get out with our heads held high?”

If you're doing a renovation, just commit to that little bit every day, and you're going to learn something. Click To Tweet

This is how uneducated we were at the time. On paper, we had money in our pockets. Did we make a profit from it? I don’t know because we weren’t tracking anything. We did come back with some liquid cash that we put into our next deal, whether it was profitable or not and probably not. I don’t think it was profitable.

You didn’t go bankrupt. You went to the School of Hard Knocks here. Maybe you paid a little bit. Who knows? You came out with an education, which is worth more than anything. That has likely propelled you to tackle real estate even more. This property comes and goes. What year are we in after you sell this one?

This was 2015.

2015 is when you started to get serious. Let’s take it from there.

At that point, we had our first son. He’s great. Very family-oriented as you’ll see, hopefully. He was born and we moved back into my parents’ house. That wasn’t fun but we had to do what we had to do. At that time, my wife was pregnant with our second child but we were determined. We knew we had to get into multifamily for things to make sense. We stayed with my parents for a little bit and got into a place in Summit, New Jersey, which ended up being a duplex with an illegal quad when we purchased it.

Can you expand on that?

Every level had a kitchen. The basement had a kitchen and a bedroom. The first-floor kitchen, 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, so on all the way up. They had an attic with a kitchen and a bedroom. It was illegal. It should have been a duplex.

My eyes are lighting up with the Airbnb potential. I’m like, “I love those illegal kitchens.”

ITF 23 | House Hacking
House Hacking: My father got me on the right path in terms of savings, starting an IRA at a young age, and he brought finance into play that then parlayed into learning a little bit more about real estate.


What worked out great about it though is when you ran the numbers on paper, you could turn it into a luxury rental and get the same rent that you would if you had it as an illegal quad. That’s what we ended up doing. We converted each unit so the attic and the second level became a unit and the first floor and the basement became a unit. Both are 4-bedroom, 2-bath renting for the same prices that they’re individually rented. We were like, “That’s cool. Now we have  tenants to worry about when we move up.”

Is that back to being considered a legal duplex? It’s two people living there. To be clear, maybe you can articulate what’s the difference between a legal duplex and an illegal duplex? The kitchens are what makes it illegal, but why?

It’s only zoned for two-family. That liability aspect, we didn’t know all of it. The worst scenario happened. If there’s a fire or something, you don’t want that liability or do anything illegal like that. That was the main hold-up right there. In terms of what it was, it was a quad. On paper, it’s a duplex.

Can you expand on the numbers a little bit so that we understand what it looked like?

What numbers are we going to start on?

The purchase price, what you were getting for rent, what your mortgage was, and what you spent on the renovation to make it a duplex from a quad.

What we did is we purchased it with a 10% down conventional mortgage, which worked out great. I always recommend it. They’re a little more difficult to find but they are out there. At the time, what we did was we had $100,000 liquid cash. $50,000 went to the down payment. We purchased it for $495,000. The other $50,000 covered the closing costs and renovations. A lot of the renovations, I did myself. That was great.

I wanted to do it myself, by the way. The comments on forums and whatnot are like, “Why did you do it all by yourself?” I wanted to do the renovations myself because I wanted to learn and I did learn. When I do have subs come in and do other work on some other properties, I can watch and have an opinion and say, “Why are we doing it like this? Maybe we should do it this way.” I wanted to learn a lot about the renovation aspect of things. Which direction do you want me to go? I can go deep into the whole process or go over the overview of numbers.

Let’s get a couple more numbers. At $495,000, what was your mortgage there? That’s 10% down.

With taxes, $3,400.

Were you guys living in one of the units while you’re renovating the other?


That’s how you were able to get the 10%. What were your potential rents? What made you want to switch it? Did you want it to be legal? Did you also think, “I’m seeing four bedrooms get rented. Let’s go with that.”

We wanted it to be legal. At the end of the day, if the town came in, that would stick. We’ll make everything look fancy and then have to switch it back for whatever reason. We want it on the legal side of things. Running the numbers, we could probably get $1,200 to $1,500 per unit as a quad. Now we’re getting $2,800 to $3,000 per unit as a duplex. We like the idea of having two fewer tenants to deal with. If one were to vacate, there’s enough there to cover the mortgage. If there are two vacancies, it’s not so nice. That doesn’t happen too frequently. We have that comfort range and this is a good spot to be in. One unit should always be rented.

If you're looking to be a buy and hold investor, non-market, you really want to gravitate toward some multi-families. It makes the most sense. Click To Tweet

I’m impressed with that. If you’ve got to rent it for $3,000, that’s a huge return.

We’re not at the $3,000 marker yet. We’re hoping we’ll be there. The upper unit is $2,800. The lower unit is $2,600.

You’re making $5,400 a month on about $3,400. Those are incredible numbers. $2,000 a month cashflow on one deal is huge, especially in northern New Jersey. It’s not that I know Jersey too well. Rumor has it that it’s expensive and hard to get good cashflow and properties there.

That’s the rumor. Don’t ask me.

Shawn got the secret here. You’ve got that property, that sounds like a great success. What year did you buy that property in?

We bought that in 2015. We stayed there for about three years. The day before we closed, my second son was born. While we were living there, my daughter was born. She lived there for about a year. Would you like to get into the next property?

Yeah. We’re in 2018 and it sounds like you have a kid and a house.

It worked out well. Why I love conventional mortgage is because I could get the PMI taken off right away once we appraise. We’re somewhere in 2018, 2017. I got the appraisal. I forget what year it was. I always tell this story. I almost crashed my car. It’s like, “What? That’s what we priced for it.” It was in a good way. We got a lot of equity put into it. We’re talking $800,000 but we purchased it for $495,000. The way the market has been, it’s up there. That worked out well for us. Took the PMI away and with that, we replaced it with a HELOC. That money we took out for the next purchase ended up being a duplex. It’s about 25 minutes away in a town called Caldwell.

I have a quick question. I’m curious. When you were living in that first duplex and you were renovating it, how long did it take you guys to do the renovations? Was it the whole three years? Since it was four units, did you temporarily rent out the other units while you were working on one? How did you guys navigate that?

ITF 23 | House Hacking
House Hacking: What happened across the street and diagonal to us? Awesome renovations, nothing like we were expecting when we moved in, but they ended up making luxury loss across the street.


When we first moved in, our first tenant was a gentleman that was renting the basement. He’s a nice guy. He texted me and wished me a happy New Year. He’s a nice gentleman. I still stay in contact with him. He moved in. He was renting it because he was working around the corner for $900 a month. That was awesome. That was our first tenant experience. We were renovating the second level and the attic, the third level, while he was living down there. I was helping out.

We took some walls down. It’s funny. As we are taking down things, we would take down a wall and we’d see a doorway already carved out because they converted what was a legal duplex into an illegal quad. If you take a wall out, you’d see a framed-out door. I’m like, “This is perfect. I don’t have to do anything.” It was a cool process going through it all.

We got the second level done. We didn’t touch our unit until we had the 2nd and 3rd levels rented. We knew we had to get that place rented. That was our goal. Within about a year, we needed new electric, new flooring. We put a washer and dryer into the unit, new heating system. We went through it all. It’s a luxury unit. We’ve got that rented for about a year or so, which was a huge relief for us because we have a mortgage to pay for. With our income, we’re able to save a little bit more and accelerate things in our unit.

That’s incredible. That’s what sweat equity does for you, is to add that. I’ve got another question. A lot of real estate investors that do their own rehabs say they do their own rehabs. They say what they did and they move on. There had to have been some struggles. There had to have been some pain going through that renovation. For me, replacing a damn door handle is painful. Even if you’re handy, there’s got to be something.

If there’s one recommendation I could make, it would be a book called The Obstacle Is the Way. It got me through it. It’s a great book. I would listen to it on repeat. There would be nights where I’m like, “I don’t know what the hell I’m going to do. I don’t know what’s going on.” I listen to it and start sweeping the floor or something. I committed fifteen minutes every day, no matter what. I had to do fifteen minutes of something every day. That would always expand. It could never be fifteen minutes. It could turn into 30 minutes, then it turned into an hour.

Before I get into the bed, I have the Walkman off. It’s something I’ve no idea how to do prior. Because I sweep the floor, you learn how to do something. It’s to get your mind a release. You think you’re around it. Maybe I got lucky. There are some struggles along the way. I would recommend that to anyone out there. If you’re doing a renovation, commit to that little bit every day and you’re going to learn something. If you’re in a spot where you can’t figure it out, fifteen minutes almost would solve the problem. Something sparked in my head and sometimes it would be as simple as, “Why am I not YouTubing this?” I’d YouTube it, meditation-wise.

I’m a huge proponent of a little bit of action every day. The compounding effect, there are one million ways to say it. Consistency trumps intensity any day. We’ve got your first deal. We understand that pretty well. The duplex was an illegal quad. You turned it into a traditional duplex. You did the whole renovation. $50,000 down, $50,000 renovation. You’re renting it out for $2,000 over the mortgage. You still hold that property because it’s such a cash cow for you. We’re in the year 2018. Why don’t you take us to what you guys did next?

We started looking for properties again. At this point, I’m with eXp. It transferred over.

Where were you before?

Keller Williams. We started a property search up again. We’re looking all over the place. For this next deal, I have reached out to my parents. I made a track record. They saw a proven success. They liked what they saw. I reached out to them for help with financing and purchasing. I knew the importance of having the leverage of buying cash in the market and the way it was moving. My dad was able to loan some money and we used that for our next purchase. It ended up being the duplex in Caldwell. We found that in December of 2018. We closed on it between Christmas and New Year. I always love saying between Christmas and New Year because we went to work. It wasn’t a holiday.

It’s December 2018 and you are purchasing your third property. Tell us a little bit more about that one.

It’s the 3rd property and the 2nd of what we owned. This is our second multifamily. We purchased it for $525,000. We love using cash with my father, financing the deal, and how we made a loan agreement within the payback. We use the HELOC from our previous rental property that we’re moving out of to finance the renovations on our property.

What is a HELOC?

Home Equity Line of Credit. What was great about this is that we removed the PMI on our first rental of the property we’re previously living in by appraising. We replaced it with a home equity line of credit. The mortgage didn’t change. It’s a good trade-off. We gained money by appraising the property if that makes sense. That money there is what we use to renovate our newly acquired multifamily. We got it and we went right to work on this one. We closed on December 27th, 2018, right between the holidays.

We went right to work making sure this place was livable for us. We wanted to get it in a good enough condition where we could move out and move into the new unit and rent fully our first investment property. That was our goal. That was our drive. That was our big why. We wanted to get in there right away. We’re right between the holidays.

When I say we got in there and started working, my wife was nine months pregnant. She’s sweeping the floor and I’m taking down walls. It was a family experience. We still have three little ones running around. They would play upstairs on the third level. My wife would babysit and I’d be downstairs taking things down, renovating and sanding the floors. I’d be there with my electrician and getting this place ready.

We worked quickly. I’d say it’s about a two-month renovation with a new kitchen, new bathroom, new paint, and stuff like that. I put some headers in. It opened up the apartment a little bit. New appliances as well. We got it going nice and quick. Quartz countertops. We always love quartz. That’s a little tidbit that I always like to recommend. You might spend a little bit more money but they last. We’ve got all that ready to go.

We moved to the third level and renovated that. At this time, it was still an illegal third unit. We had my brother-in-law moving up there. No one was going to rat us out on that. We let him have his little bachelor pad. The trade-off there was he’d babysit when we’d like to go out and things like that. He’d help around the house. We gave him a good deal.

That sounds good. How much was that HELOC that you took out? I can’t remember if you told us how much it was and how much you used and how much of that was used for the renovation.

$80,000. We didn’t use the full amount for the renovation. It’s probably about $60,000 or so. We ended up using the rest of it for the property that we’re in now. The bulk of it was spent on the kitchens. We had two kitchen renovations. The bathrooms weren’t too bad. The tiles were surprisingly in good shape. They weren’t dated. It was replacing the tub, replacing some of the fixtures. The doors were all solid wood throughout the property. We lucked out there and updated them. Fortunately, a lot of things came to play on this property.

New Jersey is definitely not the best state for being landlord-friendly. Click To Tweet

You said that you started with $1,600 in rent. You kicked that guy out probably and you guys moved in. You then had your brother upstairs. How did those numbers work out rent-wise?

I didn’t get to the first floor yet. We still had a tenant down there but we gave them the notice to vacate within two months. I had a good lawyer. They weren’t bad people, by all means. I’ve always been in close connection with my attorney. From day one, he said, “You’ve got to give them the paperwork to get going and ask them to leave.” They’re way undervalued for what Zillow was estimating. It’s not that I use Zillow but in terms of everything, the cost makes no sense. They had to go.

ITF 23 | House Hacking
The Compound Effect (10th Anniversary Edition): Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success

They ended up getting out and we renovated that right away. We got in there and did the same concept. We did the kitchen. We pretty much made a mirror image of our upper unit. We got everything ready. The one exception is this first-floor unit. There’s a huge pantry. It was the biggest pantry you’ve ever seen. It’s like some luxury pantry. It made no sense. It worked out great because we ended up adding a washer and dryer in there and converting it to a half bath.

I was going to say that you put one of your kids in there. I’m like, “Make it a Harry Potter closet. There you go.”

It’s a cool wall and everything. It was this random hole in the wall that had a window. It’s weird. We made it a half bath. We ended up renting that unit out for substantially more, $2,450.

That’s crazy. What is the total rent for that unit? You bought it for $525,000. What did it appraise for when you refinance it? What’s that monthly payment and what’s your total rent?

The appraisal came at around $650,000. The money, I don’t have it fully cashed out yet. I’m in the process of doing that. We have a loan for $450,000, which equates to about $3,400 in a monthly mortgage. We still have a little bit more to go. $100,000 might be out of there for my dad to pay back. We’re in the process of doing that. With the mortgages, it’s rented at $2,800 for the upper unit. At this point, we converted the third floor into a luxurious master suite. It has its own private bathroom, own bedroom, work desk area and living room. It’s a nice luxury lot that is part of the second floor. That’s $2,800. The first floor is $2,450.

You’re still cashflowing well over $1,000 a month, almost $2,000 a month.

That will come down a little bit once they get the remaining money out. With that property, we’re a little undervalued. It is a miracle what happened across the street diagonally to us. Awesome renovations. Nothing like we were expecting when we moved in. They end up making luxury lots across the street, which is renting for $3,200. Once we saw that, we’re like, “This is great.” We’re expecting a little increase there as well.

You put yourself in a position to be lucky and you got lucky. Good on you. This is the present day, right?

Yes. We only stayed there for a year. We got the system down pretty quick. A year later, we moved into our third property, which is a single-family in Morris County, New Jersey. It’s our forever home. I do those in parentheses. We can’t stick around. We love hopping house to house. It’s been fun.

I imagine you had another kid at this house.

No. We had three in our first one and four in our second one.

Four out of four kids. That’s what’s up.

One for each kid, that’s the way to do it. That’s their college fund right there.

We do want to keep investing because we have two more kids we have to put through college if they so choose to.

Do you have six kids?

No. We have two more kids, two houses each. You’re looking at per unit.

I was going to say, this is the Brady Bunch. Otherwise, I’m going to start bringing in Alice and whatever else that’s on this. You got a cool story. It sounds interesting how you messed up on your first one, 2010 and 2015. You learned a whole lot though. You picked up three properties that are cashflowing you a lot. You’ve got your forever home, which I’m sure the properties helped you by. You briefly mentioned that you had your real estate license. You went from Keller Williams to eXp. How has your license helped with all this? Do you think people should get their license if they’re an investor?

Absolutely. I was on a call with a buddy from high school prior to this and he was looking to invest. I’m still handing out some numbers for him and I’m like, “I’m more than happy to work with you, but you’re leaving a lot of money on the table here if you’re going to buy properties in the next couple of years.” For me, at the end of the day, the closing costs get paid for via commission and then some. It’s what you have on the side. Friends and family along the way helped me find properties. To me, it’s a no-brainer. It made so much sense.

There’s an age-old debate, should you get your license or not for real estate investors? My personal experience is if you’re going to do one deal a year, you get your license because it’s worth doing one deal a year even for yourself. If you want to be a real estate investor, a big-time real estate investor, having people find deals, using wholesalers, other people’s money, and building an absolute empire at a crazy fast rate, your best use of time may not be in having your license. You have to figure out what path you want to go down. Personally, if you’re a beginner and you plan to house hack or get a property for the next 2 or 3 years, it’s worth having a license for 2 or 3 years. When you jump to that point of big-time, big-shot investor, hire an agent. There’s no shortage of them.

You could be the smartest person in the world, but if you're not doing what you need to be doing on a consistent basis, it doesn't make a difference. Click To Tweet

That makes perfect sense.

When he first bought his first property, he was like, “I would never recommend a single-family in North Jersey.” Now you’re in a single-family, maybe it’s not North Jersey. How was this a different deal for you?

We have four kids. Our oldest was starting first grade. We wanted to be in a spot where they can go to school and everything. We always had our eyes on moving to locations that we’re in as our forever home. With that being said, we didn’t buy this thing turnkey. We bought a property that needed some work, which we’ve been doing. This has been a family project. I’m doing a lot of work myself for this one. We did enough to get in. I had my crew come in and get the place ready so we’re ready for the holidays. We’ve been doing a lot of work here. It’s a single-family that we’re going to put a lot of equity into. That’s our play on this.

You found the location you wanted that was going to appreciate. It’s something that you could add to your sales. That’s how you’re doing the numbers that are aligned this time. That’s great for people to see. You could still buy a single-family. There’s a good way to go about it and a not-so-good way.

At the end of the day, in North Jersey, by all means, single-family is possible. I have a couple of friends that have them but they bought them many years ago when there’s a lot of foreclosures happening. The numbers work. It’s tough to come across it now. If you’re looking to be a buy-and-hold investor in our market, you want to gravitate towards multifamilies. It makes the most sense. You’re going to get a return. Bank on the appreciation but it’s not real estate as well. If you’re looking for appreciation and cashflow, I recommend the multifamily and staying away from those single-families.

Denver is also a pretty expensive market. A couple of things we do to make the single-families look a little bit more attractive to a point we’re single-family looks better here than multifamily is that you can rent by the room. I’m not sure if New Jersey has those laws. I’m not sure if you’ve got basements, in-law suites or whatever. If you’ve got a basement and you can make it into that illegal duplex and rent out one unit on Airbnb or regularly and all that, what are your thoughts there?

New Jersey is not the best state in terms of being landlord-friendly. I have a buddy that I was speaking with and that’s exactly what he’s doing. He’s house hacking single-family, renting out bedrooms, living rent-free, and making a little bit every month. There are people doing it. Whether that’s legal or not, to be honest, I don’t know. It’s something that I’m not into per se.

My focus is more so the multifamilies because I know it works and I know it’s a great avenue where it’s safe. We don’t have to worry about the town stepping in. There’s something about New Jersey. Every town is different. Some are lax. Some are dealing with things and others are strict. For example, Morris County, the county I live in, is probably the size of some of the towns that are in the Midwest and maybe even Colorado. For me, I’m within a five-mile radius. I go across two towns almost.

I won’t go into the dirty Jersey jokes.

That’s all right. We’ve got amazing food.

You’ve got some good food. New York is a pretty sweet place as well. That wraps up this part of the show unless there’s anything else you’d want to share. Otherwise, we can get into the final segment.

That’s fine by me. I’m an open book. I have plenty to share but we went through it all. I appreciate it.

I was hoping we could share the little story you told us about your logo. If you guys are reading the show, he’s got this cute fox that’s holding a key, and that’s their real estate logo for their team at eXp. Can you tell us a little bit about where the fox came from?

As we’re doing house hacking from property to property with the kids, we also have two Shiba Inus, Yoshi and Shiva. They both look like a fox. When my first son was born, everyone would say, “Your dogs look like a fox.” Sure enough, at his baby shower, everyone comes with fox gifts. We had the reputation of being the fox family because of our dogs. That expanded a little bit. We moved into our residence. Sure enough, every single night, a fox runs up our driveway. We have it on the ring camera. We’re always constantly sharing fox videos. They’re all over our town. They made perfect sense, the fox with the key. I’ll find your home.

Thank you for sharing that. That’s cute and funny. It’s a cool logo. You can google ‘McEnteer real estate’ and it will pop up. Let’s move into the final part of the show, The Final Four.

What are you reading? You already told us about The Obstacle Is the Way. I’m going to look that up. Is there anything that you’re reading that you can tell the readers about?

ITF 23 | House Hacking
House Hacking: Be committed, be consistent, don’t give up.


I’m reading The Compound Effect. I read it frequently. This is probably the 7th or 8th time. I read The Compound Effect and The 1% Rule. I love them both. They both go hand-in-hand. A lot of the books I read, I read on repeat or I listen to on Audible on repeat. That’s where I’m at. I love it. It’s a great book. I highly recommend it.

Why on repeat? Do you feel like you’re getting more each time?

Yeah, big time.

You’re compounding The Compound Effect.

Yes, for real. Well said. There’s a lot with the subconscious mind. There are many things that you pick up on when you hear it for a second time. I’ve been challenged by one of my real estate coaches. I want to bring my level to the next. I want to keep raising it. I have real estate coaches and one of them told me, “Listen to your Audible books at night when you go to sleep.” I’ve been doing that. That is astounding. You can go pick up the book and read it. There’s a lot going on in the subconscious mind while listening to books on repeat. I’ll listen to it at sleep, while driving or working out.

What about The Compound Effect do you like? Can you tell us a little bit about what the book is talking about? Is it about investing and how it compounds over time?

It’s more so your mindset and where you want to be. Consistent efforts every day leads you to where you want to be. You don’t just wake up and there’s a $1 million on your plate. If you do whatever it is from sales, real estate and business, if you do the same set of tools on a daily basis, you’re going to eventually compound and it’s going to be something great. That’s the basis of it.

Thanks so much.

Great book. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Commitment and consistency. This is a newer one. One of my coaches engraved it in my head. I’ve done it in the past. That’s who I was. When you see it and it’s installed in your mind, be committed, be consistent. Don’t give up mentality. You can’t beat it. You could be the smartest person in the world but if you’re not doing what you need to be doing on a consistent basis, it doesn’t make a difference. You can answer every question while in jeopardy but if you can’t perform, you can’t master your craft.

That’s great. I love that.

What is your why for getting into real estate and for financial independence working towards that?

It’s my family. That was huge for me. My wife couldn’t even describe it. It’s this mental state I was in where I had to do something. I could not pay a mortgage myself for the rest of my life in the single-family that we were living in, our first property. When my son was born, I went into overdrive. We did everything and anything necessary to get out of that place and make things work financially. It comes down to my family, big time. That’s huge for us. You want to make sure that they’re great.

I love that it lit a fire for you. Having a bad first go, it sounds like that was all the fuel you needed to kick butt on the next. It seems like it was a good investment.

It was. I played it off as this bad thing. We were tough all the time. We’re grateful for it. It put us in a good perspective to learn and grow from. It might be a mistake if I did it now. Back then, it was a learning part of the process.

There’s one thing I wanted to add to that. You mentioned your family a lot. I don’t think we got into it too much. Being a realtor and real estate investor, it’s one of those jobs that are always on and always off. It’s certainly not 9:00 to 5:00. There’s always something to be doing. How do you budget your time and give that uninterrupted time your family deserves with also growing your business?

I incorporate the family and the kids love it. That’s my niche of things. At the end of the day, my kids are involved with what we’re doing. I was in the woods. We live next to a county park. We go to the woods a lot. As we’re walking through the woods, I explained to my son why we have these properties, why we can live in the house we live in right now. We’re an open book with them, that’s number one. We incorporate them as much as we can. They were part of the process.

That’s why I love multifamilies. That’s my big reason. I like to make the analogy, my commute home every night was walking up the steps or walking down the steps. I’ve worked in the first-floor unit. I commute by walking up a flight of stairs to get to my family. When we were renovating, my family was always close by. It’s a matter of planning things out. I do family events first. I go to soccer practices. It gets scheduled. I don’t budge.

If a client calls me and they need me on a Saturday at 10:00 AM, sorry. If you’re going to drop me for those reasons, I don’t want you as a client. At the end of the day, I’m going to respect your time. I’m not going to make you get up on the holiday or your birthday to go see properties because that’s the only time I’m available. That’s what it is. Put your standards in place where you have your designated family time and you don’t budge from it. It doesn’t become a decision. I don’t have to think about it.

Thank you for explaining that. The fourth question is what would be the worst buy one and get one free sale of all time?

Does it have to be real estate-related?

No, anything. It’s a random question.

Sushi. That weirds me out. I don’t know why. I thought it is great. It’s what popped into my head first. It’s like buying sushi from a gas station, you don’t know it.

That’s enough of this show. Any sushi lovers are probably going to give you a call and give you a piece of their mind. He’s got a point. If you’re going to give one away, it probably means it sucks. Bad sushi is not good. Fair enough. I get where you’re coming from but we had to make fun of you for it.

Please do. I’m thinking in my head, “Where am I going with this one?”

That’s good. Last unofficial question, where can people find out more about you?

Facebook, for sure, Shawn McEnteer. I have Instagram, @ShawnSellsNJRE.

Thanks again for coming to the show. I appreciate you. This was a fun episode, for sure. It’s great that people are able to see how you can get started. You can mess up and you can still provide wealth for your family, provide wealth for yourself even with four kids. Thanks again for coming on. We will see you next time.

Thank you, guys.

That was Shawn McEnteer. Z, what do you think?

He might be a brother from another mother because I’m a McIntyre. I was like, “I love that.”

I didn’t even know that connection.

I thought it was a cute episode. It’s inspiring to see how someone can take a negative and turn it into a positive. He used a lot of that first deal going south to fire him up into the next deals. It seemed like he knocked it out of the park, even the very next one. I’m amazed to see $2,000 cashflow pretty much on each of those duplexes. That’s a lot for a long-term rental, especially up in North New Jersey.

Let’s be real, he put in a lot of work and also got a little lucky. When you put those two things together, it creates tremendous results. I say it all the time but you have to invest and put your money somewhere to have the opportunity to get lucky. You’ve got to buy a lottery ticket to win the lottery. Put yourself in the position and you’ll do good. It’s great what he’s doing. He’s got the hustle. He’s got four kids. He incorporates his kids so that they’re all growing. I’ll be damned. It’ll be fun to see where his kids are in twenty years, probably hustling as much as he is. Any other parting thoughts of wisdom for you, Z?

Mermaids and dolphins.

I’ve got to start calling you Ariel.

I like it. I’ll dye my hair red.

You have to sing a song for us next time.

I don’t think that will happen.

Enjoy your time in Hawaii. We’ll keep Colorado here above water. We’ll see you next time.

Bye, guys.


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About Shawn McEnteer

ITF 23 | House HackingOver seven years of real estate experience working closely with investors has provided me with an in-depth look at properties and their true potential. With excessive knowledge in a family construction business and years of Investing in real estate in North Jersey, I have gained top-notch property analysis that I shared with my amazing clients. My background in real estate investing and construction makes navigating the ins and out of a home a breeze. My work as a Project Manager, managing multi-million dollar contracts, has positioned me with top-class negotiating skills. If you are open to winning on your next home purchase or sale it would be my pleasure to make the process as stress-free as possible.


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