Section 8 Secrets Review (Tom Cruz) | Higher Profits With Federal Assisted Housing?

November 25, 2022

Section 8 Secrets is a real estate video training course and mentorship by Tom Cruz. The course specializes in investing in Section 8 long-term rentals. In this Section 8 Secrets review, you'll find everything you need to know to decide if this course is for you.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of investing in Section 8 real estate? What are the pros and cons of Tom's course? Who is Tom Cruz and what do people say about him? What do you actually get with the course and how effective is it? These are the questions we'll be tackling in this review.

Overall, real estate investment is a risky business. Local lead generation is a type of digital real estate business model. You, the landlord, earn rental income by creating and ranking a site on Google and renting it out to local businesses. This comes without the hassles of rental property, such as dealing with regulations, tenants, maintenance, etc. It's worth checking out local lead generation for a less risky passive income business.

Pros and Cons of Section 8 Investment

Thanks to Section 8 of the Housing Act of 1937, low income families can now rent affordable housing with federal government housing assistance. As a Section 8 real estate investor and landlord, this program has its own pros and cons compared to the traditional real estate market.

Pros

Rent is guaranteed - The federal government provides rental assistance by covering part of the tenant's share. Tenants are highly motivated to pay their share of the rent or lose their Section 8 voucher.

Huge demand - A Section 8 landlord will always have a tenant waiting because of the high demand. Section 8 has a low turnover rate, with tenants saying an average of 7 years.

Free marketing - Your Section 8 property will be posted on the Section 8 rental board, so there is no need to spend time or money on marketing.

Above market rent - To incentivize more landlords to apply for the Section 8 program, Section 8 rent is typically 15-25% above the market rate.

Cons

Annual and unannounced inspections - Local housing authorities will inspect your property to ensure it complies with the standards. While tenants are motivated to take care of the property or lose their Section 8 voucher, any infraction will earn you a fine.

Capped rent based on FMR - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will determine your property's fair market rent (FMR). If the rent in the area increases dramatically, you aren't allowed to increase your rent.

Delayed income  - There is delayed payment processing of up to 60 days when the property is rented out to new Section 8 tenants. Also, there is no security deposit.

Complicated eviction process  - In case you need to evict a tenant under the Section 8 program, you need to follow the 29-page procedure outlined by HUD.

Pros and Cons of Section 8 Secrets Course

Pros

Tom has been investing in Section 8 real estate since 2014 and his success shows his skills. He is also in many real estate podcast interviews where he proves his knowledge of investing in Section 8.

Access to a private Discord group. It is reported that Tom's partner, Jonah, is very responsive to questions, with Tom chiming in the discussions occasionally.

Cons

Tom has a questionable personal and business reputation.

Several students claim the training instruction on the course isn't worth the $5K price.

No refund policy. Tom has a long running problem with refunding customers.

Price

$5,000

Refund Policy

No refund policy

Origin

2021

Reputation

Tom Cruz has a negative reputation, especially from around Wilmington, North Carolina. He has several scandals regarding himself and 2 previous failed businesses.

Who Is Tom Cruz?

tom cruz review

Tom Cruz is a real estate investor and mentor from Wilmington, North Carolina. Originally from Brazil, Tom grew up with entrepreneurial parents. He sold Pokemon cards and paintball guns in middle school and high school. In 2012, he started investing in real estate by renting out condos and wholesaling houses, and since 2014, he has invested in Section 8 long term rentals. Aside from real estate investing, Tom had 2 website design and marketing businesses.

Today, Tom owns over 500 properties, mostly in the Southeastern United States, under his company, Cruz Properties. Most of these are Section 8 single family homes. While most of these properties are in North Carolina, he also buys properties in Ohio, Tennessee, and South Carolina. He makes $450K/month with properties that he put under Section 8 and has built a $30M debt financing with credit unions, community banks, and large landing institutions.

Tom Cruz's Controversies

In October, 2022, a YouTube video was posted claiming to expose Tom Cruz as a scam. The Australian, under the name Lock2.0, who made the video, did a lot of research on Tom's past and uncovered a lot of evidence of his questionable practices. On October 14, Tom posted a video in response. Here are some highlights:

AptoHQ

AptoHQ, a web marketing company, was Tom's first business. The video claimed that the customer reviews on the site were fake after finding out that the photos of these "customers" were taken from dental ads. One testimonial was by Tom's own mother. Lock2.0 also posted a concerning review outside the AptoHQ site by one of Tom's customers.

tom cruz section 8 review

Tom responded by saying that his mom was one of his first clients, so her review was one of the first he put up. He did not address the other review issues.

EtailPro

EtailPro was Tom's second business that offered a similar service. Lock2.0 showed several customer complaints that claimed the services did not deliver as expected and asked for refunds, to which Tom sent fake refund emails. Mark Ferguson of InvestFourMore made a TikTok video on March 20, 2021, that shows screenshots of his conversations with Tom after he hired him for web marketing services. The service provided was bad, and the refund was never granted; instead, he was charged more.

tom cruz section 8 review

Tom responded by saying, "These reviews were true. I mishandled the refunds and received the appropriate negative review." He mentioned nothing about settling any customer issues.

Discord

Tom ran a wholesaling real estate course that ran on Discord. He abandoned the Discord group after focusing more on Section 8, but continued to charge his students $50/month for the membership. The Discord group was full of messages of people trying to enter the supposed command to cancel their membership.

tom cruz section 8 review

Tom responded by claiming that the issue has been addressed already and gave no further comments.

TikTok

One of Tom's TikTok posts, where he surprised his dad with a new car for Christmas, went viral. He then posted several videos of him giving away money to people who ask for help and their replies. However, when color settings were changed on the blacked out part that would show their email, Tom is seen to be emailing himself these fake stories.

tom cruz section 8 review

Tom responded by saying he added those fake stories for comic relief.

Property Maintenance, Parking, and Other Issues

There have been claims that Tom is a slumlord in that his properties are rundown and in serious disrepair. Tom responded to these allegations by saying that this is not true, as he would lose the Section 8 status of those properties if he did not comply with regulations and pass the inspections.

Tom has also been accused of driving up rent prices in Wilmington as he keeps purchasing property in the area to turn into Section 8 rentals which rent higher than market rate. 

tom cruz section 8 review

Tom posted on TikTok that he was purchasing 100 properties in Jacksonville, North Carolina. In the video, he said that the unoccupied ones will be immediately turned into Section 8 rentals, while he will kick out the tenants in the already-occupied units in order to turn them into Section 8 rentals. In a separate video, he even called the common folk "the unwashed masses".

tom cruz section 8 review

A Reddit user posted on the Wilmington thread a picture of Tom's car parked illegally and claimed that he does this all the time.

tom cruz section 8 review

Tom did not deny this but said it was 100% true. He said he parks illegally all the time as he likes to watch his expensive cars from wherever he is to ensure they don't get any scratches or issues.

Here are more reviews regarding Tom's business ethics:

There are also many comments about "Wilmington's most hated rich person" from the locals:

Who Is Section 8 Secrets For?

Section 8 Secrets teaches Tom's methods to create a shortcut for new Section 8 investors that can save time and money. The Section 8 Secrets course is a video format training course created for 2 types of people.

  1. Beginners to real estate who don't have the money to put down payments on market real estate properties. The course teaches you how to get low down payment loans to get your first Section 8 property.
  2. Experienced real estate investors who want to invest in Section 8 properties. The course teaches advanced Section 8 negotiation tactics, property selection, and streamlining management operations by using software and creating teams.

What Do You Get With Section 8 Secrets?

Section 8 Secrets' main training course is a step-by-step video compilation that teaches you the ins and outs of investing in Section 8 real estate. The materials are divided into 8 sections.

  1. What Is Section 8 and How To Invest In Section 8
    A complete rundown on what Section 8 is, why and how to invest in the Section 8 housing program
  2. Choosing a Property
    How to find properties that can be great for Section 8 rentals. Learn how to find these properties like Tom.
  3. Financing
    Learn where and how to find financing to acquire your Section 8 property.
  4. Tenant Selection
    One mistake new Section 8 investors make is that they don't screen their tenants thinking that it has already been done for them. You still need to do background checks on the prospective tenant or it may hurt your business in the long run.
  5. Tenant Onboarding
    Step-by-step process on how to properly onboard your new Section 8 tenant.
  6. Inspections
    Learn all about Section 8 inspections, common mistakes, what to look out for, and tips on how to avoid failing the inspections.
  7. Management
    Having a property manager will allow you to free up your time and scale your business. Tom himself doesn't use management companies but has 10 full time property managers.
  8. Documents for your LLC
    All documents you'll need for your new real estate investment company.

Additionally, you get 12 months of access to the live mentorship. You will also get Tom's wholesaling course for free.

Are Students of Section 8 Secrets Successful?

Tom mentions that you'll find a lot of good reviews about his course just by Googling it. What I found was mostly negative reviews about his $5K course.

Is Investing in Section 8 Worth It in 2022?

The demand for Section 8 housing has only gone higher. As inflation peaks and the rising prices of houses have cooled down a bit, it's the best time as any to invest in Section 8 real estate. You do, however, have to consider a certain number of things before deciding if this will be profitable for you.

Investing in Section 8 has a high learning curve. Without the proper skills and knowledge, it may cost you time and money learning the hard way. Inspections are one big factor in Section 8 investment. The standards and processes are more rigid and complex compared to traditional real estate.

Location is always an important aspect of real estate investing. Tom suggests doing what he did and investing first in your local area. The problem would depend on your area. Finding 2-3 bedroom houses under $100K may be easier in some areas and close to impossible in others. For example, you may find it easier to find properties in North Carolina that would give you a high ROI than in California. Check out Antoine Martel who specializes in out-of-state Section 8 investing.

There are also many additional charges you need to account for. You need to factor in the renovations and repairs, regular and unforeseen maintenance, manager fees, insurance, etc. Keep in mind that real estate investment remains a high risk business.

Best Passive Income Business Model in 2022

Investing in real estate can give you high returns, but it also holds the highest risks. Local lead generation remains my number one business model, as it gives predictable passive income without the risks of negative cash flow or the hassles of property management.

It basically works by creating a website and ranking it on Google using free tactics such as SEO, then renting out to local businesses. The businesses pay you for the leads they receive from people visiting your ranked site. Compared to real estate, where you have to be an employer in order to automate your business, you don't have to hire anyone to earn passive income with local lead generation.

You don't have to worry about competition as you are targeting local businesses in local areas. There are hundreds of niches and thousands of locations throughout the United States where you can find your market. It's also very easy to scale. All you have to do is repeat the process.

These attributes make Local Lead Generation the best passive income model that can create time and financial freedom for you.

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