Zen and the Art of Real Estate Investing with Jonathan Greene

111: Retiring Early with Small Investments in Passive Assets with Ian Horowitz


While flashy real estate investors dominate the social media scene, the investors starting with limited assets are making waves in their communities.

On this episode of Zen and the Art of Real Estate Investing, former firefighter Ian Horowitz sits down with Jonathan to share how he went from $15,000 in the bank and bad credit to retiring before age 40. Ian and his partner Dan are the managing partners of Equity Warehouse based in the Baltimore, Maryland, area. Making just $65,000 as a firefighter and with a wife ready to start a family, Ian knew there had to be a better way to make extra money than side work on his days off. He discovered real estate, got his wife on board with the plan, and the rest is history.

Ian’s primary investments today are self-storage and multifamily assets, but he started with just one single-family home. Ian explains to Jonathan how he began, why he had to ignore the firefighters who thought he couldn’t make it in real estate, and the importance of the meetups and masterminds in his real estate education. He outlines why your household finances should be in order before investing, betting on yourself instead of going with the status quo, and identifying your tribe both online and in real life. Ian shares why he shifted into self-storage and multifamily properties, the competitive advantages knowing your local market provides, and the reason he purchased less desirable properties in the beginning.

Ian Horowitz didn’t have a large salary or even a college education. Still, his tenacity and desire to learn anything and everything he could about real estate are the elements in his story that stand out.

In this episode, you will hear:

  • Why wanting to leave a legacy for his family led Ian Horowitz to real estate

  • Side work as a firefighter, the reason it just wasn’t enough, and what led Ian to use his last $15,000 to invest in a house

  • Tuning out the noise from other firefighters who told him real estate investing was a bad idea

  • The meetups and masterminds that influenced Ian as he learned about real estate

  • The importance of education and knowing when to pounce on an opportunity

  • Ian’s advice to become financially sound and have stability in your own household before pursuing real estate investing

  • Getting your spouse on board with investing and understanding the goal

  • Betting on yourself to pursue success instead of going with the status quo

  • Identifying your tribe and hanging out with people who are more like you, who aren’t necessarily flashy

  • Why Ian concentrates on self-storage and multifamily properties at this point in his investing career

  • The competitive advantage knowing your real estate market gives you

  • Starting with less desirable assets to trade up in asset class later

  • The advantages of being able to defuse a bad situation

  • Ian’s thoughts on the benefits of self-storage

  • His advice for new investors

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If you enjoyed this episode, we’ve created a PDF that has all of the key information for you from the episode. Just go to the episode page at to download it.

Supporting Resources:

Visit Equity Warehouse’s website –

Find Equity Warehouse on YouTube –

Equity Warehouse on Facebook –

Equity Warehouse’s Instagram –

Connect with Ian Horowtiz on LinkedIn –

Join the Collective Circle Monthly Group –

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