RG 114 – Successfully Transitioning from Single-Family to Multi-Family Investing with James Kandasamy

About James

  • James was born in Malaysia
  • James was trained as an electrical engineer
  • James runs the Achieve Investment Group

Nuts and Bolts

James is the founder of the Achieve Investment Group, which is an award winning multifamily investment, company based in Austin Texas. Since 2015 James has acquired three large apartment communities, which is 340 units in Central Texas. His wife and him do all the rehabbing themselves in-house. James earned his first dollar writing physics homework and selling it to friends when he was at school. After school he got a degree in electrical engineer and then an MBA in Adelaide and he worked in engineering for 20 years. James was born in Malaysia and started work as an engineer there for 15 years but moved with the company to the US and started work in Portland Oregon.

James had his “ah ha” moment when he was at work and his boss said he’d be there for at least another 16 years in order to put his kids through college. He and his wife were always doing small side-hustle jobs so they started to look into real estate. They started with single family investments and bought 13 houses which equated to 11 rental and 2 flips but he really hated doing the flipping. He did double closing on the 11 rentals which reduced his cash out of pocket but then he realized he could do even better with improved economies of scale with multifamily. He refinanced the other houses to gather capital and invested in his first multifamily in 2015

To do double closing you have to buy cheap houses as it only works below a certain percentage of repayed value. In San Antonio this is 66% under ARV and you get zero out of pocket after double closing. He found it difficult to get into multifamily because it’s where everyone wants to be and as demand it high there aren’t as many available properties and a broker won’t risk their commission on a new investor. He started marketing directly to sellers of multifamily and after 3 months he got a bite which gave him his first shot. The first thing he did was look at the P&L for value adds, James recommends that as a newbie investor you learn to read a P&L sheet as it’s so important. He bought the place for $3500 a door and had a mentor help him first what to look for and create a developed expense report. He went to a small community bank for the loan and got 4.25% for 3 years fixed 80% loan to cost. After purchase occupancy dropped to 70% as he “trained the tenants” but after rehabbing vacancy was back up to 90% and the property was valued at $5300 a door.

Top Tips:

  • Most important habit – Meditate and visualise goals
  • More influential person – His wife
  • Most important tool – Excel
  • Most significant failure – Everything he did wrong wih single family properties when working with contractors



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