CONCORD – On Sunday, Oct. 25th, Porcupine Real Estate offered its first investment seminar, focusing on real estate as an investment tool. The seminar was specifically targeted to New Hampshire libertarians who wish to learn how to earn a second income via real estate investment. The event was held at Area 23, a Concord, NH restaurant/bar owned and operated by libertarians.
Porcupine Real Estate (PRE) was founded by Free State Project early mover Mark Warden. Warden is a high profile New Hampshire liberty activist. He served two terms in the State House of Representatives. He is also one of only two people ever to win the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance’s Legislator of the Year award twice.
Warden’s business now contracts with half a dozen real estate agents, all of whom identify as libertarian. PRE specializes in properties in the most heavily populated portion of New Hampshire, in the Merrimack Valley corridor of Manchester, Concord and Nashua. It also has representatives covering the Keene area.
The seminar, which lasted over two hours, was attended by over a dozen people, almost all of whom were Free State Project early movers or friends. Some attendees relocated to New Hampshire from as far away as Alaska and the Ukraine. Participants ran the gamut from those who have never owned property, to those who own their own home, to those currently renting out a few units. One attendee owns over 20 rental units in the Manchester area.
Presenters included PRE owner Mark Warden; Chris Nadeau, a mortgage loan specialist; and Matthew Ping, a property management professional. Other experts on hand included an insurance agent and several PRE real estate agents.
Real Estate Investment Seminar Agenda
Some of the topics that were covered included the following:
• Multi-family vs. single family rental property
• Financing for 2-4 units, Owner-occupant vs. investor mortgages
• Commercial financing (5+ units)
• Opportunities and challenges of multiple-investor ownership
• The current state of the New Hampshire real estate market
• Pitfalls of rental property ownership
• Rental rates and occupancy rates around NH
• Pros & cons of hiring a property manager
• How to analyze the financials on multi-family properties
Attendees were given sample rental listings, which Warden took them through step by step, teaching them how to assess the ROI on potential purchases.
A disproportionate number of libertarians store their wealth in hard assets such as gold and silver. Others were early adopters of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Nadeau stressed the importance of liquidating these assets at least two months prior to purchasing property and consolidating the funds in a single checking or savings account. This greatly simplifies the paperwork involved when seeking financing from the FHA and/or mainstream banks.
Libertarians share a common worldview based on voluntary interactions, nonaggression, property rights, and personal responsibility. Given the choice, many prefer to socialize, and even do business, with other liberty lovers. During the extensive Q&A period, the question was raised as to whether or not those in attendance prefer to rent to fellow libertarians, or “Porcupines” as they are commonly referred to. Ping stated that he definitely prefers to rent to fellow Porcupines and always reaches out to the local Porcupine community to fill vacancies before utilizing more mainstream methods such as Craigslist. An attendee with several rental properties also said that she prefers to rent to Porcupines, and that in her experience, they tend to make better tenants than non-libertarians. PRE works heavily with FSP early movers. Not only was the seminar offered free of charge, but attendees were treated to snacks, including Area 23’s house speciality: bowls of bacon. They were also served freshly baked empanadas and the first round at the bar, which features a rotating selection of local craft brews.
The seminar was very well received by attendees, some of whom have already worked with PRE to purchase property. (Full disclosure: I bought my house through Porcupine Real Estate. I wasn’t compensated to write this article (unless you count the empanadas)).