Nat Borchers now plays the real estate game - KPTV - FOX 12

Nat Borchers now plays the real estate game

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The Beard still lives. Nat Borchers may be beyond his playing days, but the former Timbers defender and two-time MLS Cup champion is now playing another game in Salem. 

The Beard behind the mic, Borchers is navigating the sidelines as a part-time TV analyst during Timbers home games on Root and FOX 12.

“I love to still be part of games and show up, and the things I see on the sidelines,” he said. 

Broadcasting is a side gig, but playing the full-time real estate game is his real gig. 

“Real estate always talked to me,” said Borchers. “It was always something that was tangible, it was fun, it's a people business and I like being around people. It was like, ‘OK, I like doing it, now where do I go?’” 

Six months away from the game, while rehabbing back to normal life after tearing his Achilles last July fast-tracked retirement from professional soccer. 

“I’ve always wanted to run my own business and I’ve always wanted to have my own space so I get to do that down here in Salem,” Borchers said. “I couldn’t be more excited to wake up in the morning and work for myself. It’s exhilarating and terrifying at the same time.” 

The married father of two, who still rents in Lake Oswego, is investing his earnings and savings into a perpetually growing housing market in Oregon. 

“I buy cash flowing real estate which basically means I am buying affordable, entry-level housing and I am finding qualified tenants to live there,” he said. “You look at Portland, and you look at that market. Well, the Portland market is like $400,000 median price for a house. Is that affordable? I don't think it is. I looked down at Salem, and I said, ‘Hey, Salem is much more affordable and it fits my model for how I like to invest.’” 

Borchers’ goal of owning properties began in 2005. 

“We put sweat equity into it,” he said. 

He invested in a Denver home with his best friend while playing for the Colorado Rapids. 

“I read a book at that point in time called, ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ and it really stuck with me,” said Borchers, who was inspired by the book’s message of building wealth through real estate. 

He added, “It is kind of like Monopoly a little bit, buying the green houses and then trading up to the red hotel.” 

Borchers passes go, bypassing any agents by scouring sites like Craigslist and Zillow to find homes for sale by owner. 

“I just always try to introduce myself and sometimes people know who I am and know what I have done in soccer and sometimes people just don't and they don't care and that's fine too,” he said.  

As a soccer lifer, the defender never used his hands, and he still doesn’t.

“In terms of swinging a hammer, I don't have a handyman skill set whatsoever,” Borchers said. “The first house I bought, I did do some of that stuff and I was still playing and I was like, ‘I shouldn’t be doing this.’” 

A property management company in Salem runs his five dwellings for NDB Real Estate, while another fifteen units are back in Salt Lake City where he spent seven seasons with Real Salt Lake. 

“A lot of people think I am in the flipping business and I’m not,” Borchers said. “What I am doing is I am making a long-term investment. I am looking at buying property to make it better and then make sure it is safe and clean for a tenant to live in there for a good five years or longer. I am not trying to get in and get out or time the market, I am really trying to make sure it is a quality investment for a long period of time.”

The end game is financial freedom. 
“If we are successful here, which I hope we are, then at the end of that five years, we make a decision. Do we keep investing in residential, single-family property or do we want to scale up and move into bigger buildings?” said Borchers. 

Those are just some of the ventures in The Beard's new adventures away from the pitch.

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