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They found one that barely needed work.

“We bought it for $70,000, we wiped it down with Windex and vacuumed it, and we had a tenant in there within a week,” she says.

The couple liked doing their own rehabbing, to a point. They still had to find contractors and to learn more about the financial ins and outs of investing.

She accompanied her husband to Real Estate Investors Association meetings and eventually quit her job as a Jenny Craig consultant to run their investment venture full time. When Edward Rushing was deployed to Afghanistan, Kimberly Rushing says, “I just took the reins and learned everything I could.

“The (clubs) aren’t just about education. It’s about the networking. Not just, ‘Here’s information; good luck,’ ” she says.

Rushing credited the clubs with teaching her how to use her IRA to finance real estate investments. Kaaren Hall, founder of the Orange County Real Estate Investors Association, also is president of uDirect IRA Services, a separate business that helps people finance real estate ventures with retirement funds.

Rushing recently gave a presentation to an audience of nearly 80 people attending an investors association meeting in Costa Mesa, detailing how the housing crash sparked her career.

“I look like I’m 12,” the petite blonde says later. “People don’t tend to take me seriously, which is tough for me. When I’m dealing with contractors, Realtors or agents or a seller even, they’re like ‘Who’s this kid?’ ”

“I’m showing them that I do know what I’m doing.”

Rushing wasn’t compensated for speaking that night. But after her appearance, a man approached her for advice on selling properties in Yucca Valley, Calif.

“Maybe he wants to sell them to me, who knows?” she told a reporter. “Those are things you work out down the road.”

SOURCES:; Federal Trade Commission

©2014 The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.)
Distributed by MCT Information Services