I failed to grab my first real estate investment property… so what?! Just keep moving forward!

Updated on May 5, 2015 by 31 Comments

Feeling frustrated when things don’t turn out the way they are supposed to? Do you feel like a total failure? You don’t have to, failing is totally different from being a failure, and failing is part of life, we just need to learn how to “Keep moving forward!”.

I have often spoken of the time when I was unable to get a foreclosed property from a Buena Mano Green Tag listing a few years back and I just realized that it would be better if I created a post about this. It turns out, however, that I already wrote about this in my old site so I am just re-posting that article here, with some minor updates to make things clearer…

This happened way back  August 2007 after just 2 weeks of attending the weekly Cashflow group sessions at The Charter House in Makati. For those who have no idea what the Cashflow group was, it’s a weekly meeting of people who are interested in real estate investing as described in Larry Gamboa’s book “Think Rich Pinoy” (Page 142).

Anyway, as an offshoot of attending those meetings, I was able to get a copy of BPI’s Buena Mano Green Tag listing and I highlighted promising properties on the list. When I showed the list to my mentor then (Dinna Revilla, who I contacted because Larry Gamboa said in his book that she was his mentor), she pointed out this one property in Makati that was probably worth looking into because of its good location.

This was a condo unit at the BSA Mansions in Makati with a floor area of 34sqm. The intention was to make an offer to buy it for 2M. The day before (which was a Tuesday as the weekly cashflow group meetings are held Wednesdays), I called BPI to check if the unit was still available. They said yes and that I could visit the unit anytime. During the cashflow meeting, we decided to visit the unit on Saturday. Come Saturday, fellow Cashflow attendees Karen, Glenn, Earth and myself visited the property and found the unit as a great deal mainly because of the good location and relatively good condition of the property as it only needed minimal repairs.

The numbers looked good as comparable condo units were selling at about 2.5M to 3.0M (take note that this was August 2007), meaning I could get at least P500,000 in gross profit if I flipped the property. If I were to go for a cashflow strategy, I could get at least Php6,000 monthly positive cashflow (Php6,000 would be the difference between the monthly rent and the monthly amortizations). I could even get more if I were to rent it out to an expat. Take note that this condo was just a stone’s throw away from Asian Institute of Management (AIM) and Greenbelt 3.

Come Monday, I had a proposal ready and called BPI to check on the property. I was shocked to find out that the property was already sold last Friday, the day before we visited it.

I guess it was a really good deal as the bank officer told me the buyer bought it in cash. Oh well, no need to feel bad as I am sure that there are other properties out there… I just have to keep finding those great deals.

Lessons learned:

  1. Great properties are sold quickly, and being able to decide quickly and take action is key. Had we inspected the property sooner, that might have been our first real estate investment. We had waited until Saturday when we knew about the property since Tuesday. What a difference a few days made!  Of course, ready cash on hand for investment purposes would have helped as well!
  2. Do the numbers fast! Back then, I created a simple excel sheet to help me do this, I will share this here soon when I finish making it fool-proof.
  3. It’s all about location, location, location! I am constantly on the lookout for bargain properties  in great locations. I am more confident that I will be making my money when I buy, not when I sell — meaning, I’m not doing any speculation as this is based on the present market value of comparable properties.
  4. I found out that this bank sold properties through mortgage loans, which meant I must be able to meet their financial requirements which are very stringent. Although I was confident on this, it would still take more time as compared to banks that sell properties through a contract-to-sell.

Take note that the above article was written way back in 2007.


Do you think my failure to acquire what could have been my first investment property made me lose interest in pursuing my goal of becoming a successful real estate investor? Of course not!

If it had, you wouldn’t be reading this right now. Failures like this happened to me lots of times but persistence, patience, and passion helped me sustain my pursuit.

If I remember correctly, similar failures happened to me at least  5 more times but I decided to suspend the disbelief and kept moving forward. I got the “Keep moving forward!” attitude from the movie “Meet The Robinsons”. This movie is highly recommended for anyone who has experienced failing in life and you will understand once you have watched it. Trust me on this!

There was a memorable conversation in that movie, where the family was having dinner and Lewis fixed the peanut butter and jelly contraption but failed. Lewis was sad and felt sorry for himself. He was surprised when the family was so happy that he failed!  They were jubilant because they knew that from failure, he had learned a lot and not much from success. And then they told him the magic words “Keep moving forward!”

"Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”                                            – Walt Disney

“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney

My wife and I really believe in this. How many times have we heard of stories of successful people who had a failure that could have made them give up forever? What made the difference is how they carefully dissected their failure, learned from it, and moved forward.

Many times, if successful persons hadn’t encountered failure (or failures), they would not have been forced to move forward. In short, failure can be a turning point in one’s life. It can either propel you to work harder in order to succeed, or bring you to the throes of depression. You have the power to choose which path to take.

I remember that during those times two years ago, I would often hear people around me say that “real estate investing is hard”, “real estate investing needs big capital”, “you need to have connections”, “investing in real estate is risky”, etc. and all those things that beginning real estate investors hear from so called “well-meaning” people around us. I’m just glad I didn’t listen to all that crap!

Learning from failure is such a tremendous, life-changing thing that it deserves a separate post. In the meantime, watch the video below and just “Keep moving forward!”


To our financial freedom!

Jay (and Cherry) Castillo
Real Estate Investor
REBL#: 20056
Blog: http://www.foreclosurephilippines.com

Text by Jay and Cherry Castillo.Copyright © 2009 All rights reserved.

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  • http://www.learmonts.co.uk/ Flats To Let Glasgow

    Wow awesome post. I will add you in my googlereader to see you more on the days ahead.

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  • http://propertyinvestment.blogebay.com/2009/10/08/how-to-make-successful-property-investment/ Jonathan Paul

    Thanks a lot blogger for such a nice and informative blogging about property investment .A successful property investor makes money both in a rising and in a declining market. For example, during a rising market, property investors can release some of the equity built up over time to either purchase additional properties or to keep some money aside to be used at a later date. During a declining market, they buy lower-priced bargain properties I appreciate this blog .


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  • http://mediaconvergenceinc.com/bikereviews clutch

    Thanks for this post… Keep moving forward…

    It touches me again..

    i’m an avid follower of your blog..

    Keep it up..sana mahanap ko na ang dream house ko thru foreclosed property.

    • http://www.foreclosurephilippines.com Jay Castillo

      Hi Clutch, you’re welcome!

      Thanks a lot for following my blog… you’re dream house is very achievable, persistence is key, and keep moving forward towards your first deal which will open doors not just for your dream house but also to financial freedom!

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  • http://www.millionaireacts.com Tyrone

    Failures are part of every success story. I do think that without failures and challenges, success won’t be complete. :)

    • http://www.foreclosurephilippines.com Jay Castillo

      Hi Tyrone, you’re absolutely right! Thanks for the comment!

  • http://businessaccent.com Vic of BusinessAccent

    Hi Jay,

    This is a great insight and a nice story which readers can put some valuable lessons in life – that will make them achieve their permanent goals. I always believe that no matter what, as long as you feel that you are doing the right things…never quit.

    • http://www.foreclosurephilippines.com Jay Castillo

      Hi Vic, thanks! Yes I totally agree, as the saying goes “winners never quit, quitters never win”.

  • http://dearbloggery.com Snow

    It’s okay Jay to fail at the first time. Try and try until you succeed di ba? Ganyan naman talaga sa real estate. 😀

    • http://www.foreclosurephilippines.com Jay Castillo

      Hi Snow, yes you are correct. What’s important is to keep moving forward. Had I let this discourage me 2 years ago, I probably would not have acquired new investment properties this year. =)

  • Shaun

    The same thing happened to me with Buena Mano, but for me its two in a row…missed the properties by 1 day…just hope the 3rd one would be my lucky one! :)

    • http://www.foreclosurephilippines.com Jay Castillo

      Hi Shaun, I do hope the third will be it, persistence will surely lead to success! Goodluck!

  • Reggie

    Wow! You’re really honest with you’re readers! Thanks for sharing this to all of us.

    You said here about getting a positive cash flows of 6,000 if you had the property and supposing you will rent it out. How many years do you usually put the property in mortgage? Do you go for the maximum years of of 20-30?

    Also, if you buy a property in mortgage, there additional costs like mortgage fees, bank fees etc? Do you account these as part of your cost?


  • http://realtywebsigns.blogspot.com Toti Patrimonio

    Experience still the best teacher…

    Thanks for the post… new insights for some 2 year old post.

    • http://www.foreclosurephilippines.com Jay Castillo

      Hi Toti, you’re welcome and thanks for the comment. Just wanted to let those who experience setbacks to move on and keep moving forward like I did.

  • Ian

    Great post Jay!

    “”I remember that during those times two years ago, I would often hear people around me say that “real estate investing is hard”, “real estate investing needs big capital”, “you need to have connections”, “investing in real estate is risky”, etc. and all those things that beginning real estate investors hear from so called “”well-meaning” people around us. “”

    It’s a way of “well-meaning” people to keep competition low 😉

    Yes! Keep Moving Forward!


    – Ian Penalosa

    • http://www.foreclosurephilippines.com Jay Castillo

      You’re welcome Ian, thanks for the comment. Actually, competition is still very low or even lower these days. Either I see the same faces during auctions or none at all. =)

      • http://www.birmingham-properties.com/ Birmingham investment homes

        Exactly! The quest doesn’t end up there. Go on and look for another one. Keep on moving bro!

  • Emmeline

    Nice post, Sir! Thanks.

    • http://www.foreclosurephilippines.com Jay Castillo

      Thanks Emiline, welcome to ForeclosurePhilippines.com!

  • tayomilyonaryo

    Good pm., Sir Jay, .ok na po ba ang Accreditation nyo sa BPI now??

    • http://www.foreclosurephilippines.com Jay Castillo

      hi tayomilyonaryo, it is still under process. I will let you know when my accreditation has been completed! I also look forward to it. =)

      • http://www.investingpinoy.blogspot.com Investing Pinoy

        Hi Jay!

        I like what you said about “…similar failures happened to me at least 5 more times but I decided to suspend the disbelief and KEPT MOVING FORWARD.”
        I totally agree with it. In fact, man becomes famous not because of his failures but because he stood up even after many failures. Check out this site: http://www.beyondprofit.blogspot.com.

        Thank again bro!

        Investment Opportunities for Pinoys

        • http://www.foreclosurephilippines.com Jay Castillo

          You’re welcome Bryan, thanks for dropping by!