I have just moved from the beautiful New Zealand to America 4 months ago (October 2011) so I could pursue this greatest wealth transfer opportunity in the history.
In short my plan is:
Buy 5 cash flow properties. Each property will give me just over $300 a month in cash flow (after paying all expenses and mortgage payment). This will boost my income by $1,500 per month. I have discussed with my mortgage broker and the rule of thumb is for every $460 (or just round up to $500) extra income per month, I can service another $100,000 of mortgage.
Hence, following this plan, I will boost my borrowing ability by another $300,000 by 2013. I have to do this early to establish proven rental history. After filing tax return next year, I will get a loan of $400-500K to buy an apartment complex (4-6 units). This extra income will boost my borrowing ability even further and the next investmetn would be a 12-20 units apartment. At that point, I will be out of the rat race.
And for some people who asked about CF vs CG. My opinion is this. I don't invest in real estate for the land (because it costs money) or the house (because it depreciates). I invest in real estate because of the income producing ability AND more importantly because it allows myself to get into more Good Debt. We will soon face a very high inflationary economic conditions (with the amount of money supply injected into the world economy by ALL major central banks). When that happens, my debt will still be the same as well as the interest on it (I am fixing my mortgage for 30 years), but yet the home values will sky rocket (real estate is a natural hedge to inflation risk, so as gold and silver. But gold and silver cost money to hold, while real estate gives me money to hold).
So that's my gameplan.
Happy Investing Everyone!
International Real Estate Professional
PS I have co-founded Property4Prosperity to help oversea investors (mainly in Australia, New Zealand, and Asian countries) to get in on this incredible America real estate opportunity. To find out more, please check out http://www.property4prosperity.com Good luck!