About Than Merrill

Than Merrill is a real estate investor and author who oversees CT Homes LLC and is the founder of FortuneBuilders, a high-priced program that teaches students everything they need to know about making real estate investment a career. He’s also a star of the HGTV series “Flip This House”.

Than’s website is ThanMerrill.com, a resource where you can learn more about him and his various business ventures (more on that in a few minutes).

Than is pretty well-known in the real-estate investment world – his company conducts seminars across the United States. In that sense, Merrill’s programs are similar to other real estate investors we’ve reviewed, including Nick Vertucci, Peter Souhleris and Dave Seymor, Tarek El Moussa and Armando Montelongo.

However, understanding a businessperson goes beyond just their business or businesses. It’s important to know things like:

  • How did they get into real estate?
  • How legitimate is their expertise?
  • What businesses or programs do they offer?

To get answers to these questions we did some research and also interviewed Than.

Who is Than Merrill?

Than was born in Fresno, Calif., and attended college at Yale University. Than was a strong safety for Yale’s football team.

Than went on to play two seasons in the NFL: one with the Chicago Bears and one with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He also played two seasons in Amsterdam and Barcelona with NFL Europe.

Than’s football career ended when he suffered a knee injury in 2003.

At that point, Than realized he was “just as passionate about real estate as he was about football,” his website says.

Than told us that, around the time he transitioned from football to real estate, he read a book called “The E-Myth: Why Most Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It” by Michael E. Gerber.

“The book was about designing franchise-like systems that can be replicated and utilized,” Than said.

In the context of real estate, this meant creating systems of purchasing, contracting and managing properties that could be replicated and given to others to do the same thing.

That replication of Than’s system didn’t come until later in his career. He launched his real-estate investment venture in the early 2000’s with colleagues Paul Esajian and Konrad Sopielnikow.

They named their business CT Homes LLC, a moniker that they still use today.

Over the next few years Than and his partners learned the ups and downs of real estate. They made mistakes and scored success.

Eventually, Than was able to create a systems-focused approach to the way his company handled investment properties and other areas of real estate.

Inspired by Gerber’s E-Myth book, Than launched FortuneBuilders, his avenue for sharing the systems and methodologies that brought him success at CT Homes LLC.

“My business partner and I have been in the trenches for 14 years. We took a very systematic approach to developing a business,” Than said. “Today our real estate business has 15 people working our office and 30 or more projects at one time.”

Than Merrill’s Expertise and Experience

One of the questions you should always have about a particular business personality or reality-TV star is, “How legit are they?”

FortuneBuilders in Inc.’s Top 5000

As we’ll talk about in a few minutes, FortuneBuilders is one of the companies that Than started. FortuneBuilders made two appearances in the Inc. 5000, a list of the 5,000 fastest growing companies in the United States.

In 2010, FortuneBuilders was #62 on the list. In 2011, it was #104 and in 2012 it maintained its top-500 standing at #457.

Revenue-wise, FortuneBuilders has done pretty well based on Inc.com’s rankings.

CT Real Estate, LLC

We’ll cover this business in a few minutes, but we want to take a moment here to note that FortuneBuilders isn’t Than’s only business. He also founded CT Real Estate LLC, a San Diego-based company involved in many different aspects of real estate.

Here are a few of their specialties:

  • Foreclosure avoidance
  • Solving title issues
  • First-time homebuyer programs
  • Credit repair
  • Vacant properties
  • Bank-owned properties

As Than told us, he’s been in the business and bought/sold many properties. So, based on these facts and our own research, we believe that Than Merrill is a legitimate real estate expert.

Than Merrill’s Books and Businesses

Than has either written or helped with several real estate books and has launched several real estate companies.

Than’s Books

Based on what we found at Amazon.com, Than has one book he wrote himself and a book he wrote with Michael Gerber.

Than’s title is “The Real Estate Wholesaling Bible: The Fastest, Easiest Way to Get Started in Real Estate Investing.”

According to the book’s description on its Amazon page, it will help you “learn how to make money wholesaling real estate without having to swing a hammer or deal with tenants.”

The description basically sums up wholesaling – you find a home you think you can sell quickly and, at the same time, you find a seller who wants to buy the home you’ve got your eyes on. The transaction, in theory, is quicker and more risk-free than a flip.

At the time of publishing, “The Real Estate Wholesaling Bible” had an average of 4.4 stars from more than 85 reviews.

Than also helped co-write a real estate version of Gerber’s E-Myth book called, “The E-Myth Real Estate Investor: Why Most Real Estate Investment Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It”.

The book touches on what Than mentioned earlier – creating systems and protocol that lead to a successful real estate investment business.

At the time of publishing, the book had an average of 4.3 stars from more than 50 reviews on Amazon.

Than’s Businesses

As we mentioned earlier, Than’s first business venture was CT Homes LLC. It started on the East Coast and then expanded to San Diego.

Since we’ve already mentioned that business a couple times, we’ll skip ahead to his other businesses: FortuneBuilders and Grand Coast Capital.

FortuneBuilders

FortuneBuilders is the realization of Chad’s many years in the real estate business, he told us. Along the way, he’s come up with systems and software that greatly reduce (although do not eliminate) the risk of wholesaling and rehabbing properties.

Those systems and software are at the core of FortuneBuilders, Than’s “college” of sorts for individuals interested in making a career out of real estate.

While individuals can attend two-hour or weekend-long seminars on real estate investment, they get the most in-depth information, Than told us, when they sign up for FortuneBuilders’ Mastery program.

This program is designed to make you an expert – if you’re willing to put in study time – in nine crucial aspects of real estate investment:

  • Real estate appraisal/due diligence
  • Marketing
  • Escrow
  • Financing
  • Construction management
  • Property management
  • Property disposition
  • Business management
  • People management

“I love investing and I’m an educator; that’s always been my calling,” he said. “My parents were teachers: dad was a university professor and my mom was a dance teacher.”

But, just like a college education, the FortuneBuilders Master isn’t cheap. Based on some reviews we’ve read from Highya.com and real estate investing sites, you can expect to pay in the neighborhood of $15,000-$25,000 to get started.

From there, the education begins. Workshops, software and one-on-one coaching sessions groom you to be an expert in the nine areas we mentioned.

If you want to learn more about FortuneBuilders, head to our review of the program.

Grand Coast Capital Group

While FortuneBuilders is an educational program and CT Homes LLC is an all-purpose real estate company, Grand Coast is strictly an investment firm specializing in specific loans for real-estate investors:

  • Renovation loans: For house flips
  • Bridge loans: For wholesale deals
  • Construction/development loans: For builders and developers
  • Small-balance commercial loans: An alternative to bank and bridge loans

FortuneBuilders Gives

FortuneBuilders Gives is the charitable wing of Merrill’s businesses.

According to the program’s website, FortuneBuilders Gives “provides opportunities for children of all ages and backgrounds to lead active and healthy lifestyles through involvement in sports and activities.”

FortuneBuilders Gives has worked with the Equal Footing Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, the Red Cross and other organizations, its website says.

Future FortuneBuilders

Merrill’s Future FortuneBuilders is a literacy program designed to set kids up for success through a solid education.

“Our goal with FFB is to help our society break from the vicious cycle caused by lack of financial literacy and to provide teens with the financial knowledge and resources necessary to succeed,” the group’s website says.

Our Final Thoughts About Than Merrill

Than Merrill’s portfolio of real estate companies and charitable organizations is pretty impressive and certainly unique among the real estate investment experts we’ve reviewed on this site.

Merrill’s most famous business, FortuneBuilders, was featured in Inc.com’s top-5,000 fastest growing business in the United States three years in a row. Than’s website offers a real-estate seminar that, upon further investigation, funnels you to his FortuneBuilders program.

His original business, CT Homes LLC, has a small staff but, according to Merrill, has around 30 transactions happening at once.

We weren’t able to gather much information about Grand Coast Capital Group, but we do know via at least one source – blogger Frugal Vagabond – that Grand Coast is the group that FortuneBuilders seminar presenters say is the lending group who finances the deals FortuneBuilders students transact.

Based on our conversations with Than, this makes sense. His business is based on systems he’s built over the past few years – having an “in-house” lending group makes things much easier for his FortuneBuilder students.

FortuneBuilder’s two children’s programs are, in our opinion, what set the company apart from other competitors.

Now, the real question here is whether or not Than Merrill is someone you’d trust to go into business with. To answer that, we suggest reading your review of FortuneBuilders, as you probably won’t have a need for CT Homes or Grand Coast.

If you don’t want to take the time to read through our review, don’t worry. We’ll condense it down to a few sentences.

FortuneBuilders’ Mastery program is what you’ll need to enroll in so that you can get a comprehensive education in real estate investment. If you think you can become an expert by attending a weekend seminar, you’ll be disappointed.

The Mastery program comes at a cost, so keep that in mind. Than told us on numerous occasions that those who succeed in the program are people who enjoy routine, are comfortable with risk and are willing to dedicate themselves to daily learning about real estate investment.

Sign Up for HighYa Newsletter

Sign up for HighYa newsletter and get our best content delivered in your inbox as well as 3 free eBooks to help you save money and shop smarter. Enter your email below to get started!

51 Consumer Reviews for Than Merrill

Average Consumer Rating: 4.5
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 41 4 star: 2 3 star: 2 2 star: 2 1 star:  4
Bottom Line: 86% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 51
Sort reviews by:

  • 8 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Life changing experience!

    • Georgia,
    • Sep 9, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Truth be told, we came into this with skepticism. We did not know what to think or expect from it. The free class alone was eye-opening, and created a curiosity of the possibilities that this journey could give us! At that point, we had to try the 3-day workshop; we always like to give ourselves a chance. Honestly, the personal financial education alone was worth the money we had invested! We now understand our budgets at a deeper level and how our income and expenses are actually functioning. And I'll tell you something, that truth can hurt the worst. LOL. We've already started making changes in our current everyday lives to make a better future for ourselves and our children because that has always been our main goal. Amen! This has been a lot fun so far, and I cannot wait to see where our path takes us!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 6 out 6 people found this review helpful

    One word...AWESOME!

    • Texas,
    • Sep 6, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I attended the 3-day workshop this past weekend. It was jammed packed with information to assist you in being successful and changing your mindset. If you have the opportunity to attend it’s a game (Life) changer!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Amazing

    • The Woodlands, TX,
    • Sep 6, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I loved every minute of it and can’t wait to start the experience of actually doing it. And even though we didn’t get into mastery this time, I’m hoping one day we can make it into mastery because I plan on making this not only my job but also my hobby. Thank you for the 3-day course, I will definitely take it again.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Acquisitions and Wholesaling Bootcamp

    • St. Louis, MO,
    • Jul 24, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Quite honestly I was unsure what I got myself into when we became Mastery students in June. This is a big paradigm shift for me. The presentation of FortuneBuilders systems by Than Merrill has given me the confidence to find/follow leads then perform quick evaluations through my understanding of the Leadsheet and Repair Estimator. I am also growing in confidence to make offer and approach lenders using scripts and suggestions Than has offered. Look out KCMO! We are getting anxious and educated...

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Life-changing

    • Newark, NJ,
    • Jul 22, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    This event was a life-changing event for me mentally. It truly opened my eyes to the opportunities that are there for me and my family to take full advantage of. I’m truly looking forward to securing my space in the Fortune Building Family for years to comes. Can’t wait to get started!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Great learning experience

    • Fort Wayne, IN,
    • Jul 22, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I first attended the two-hour free workshop which opened my eyes to areas of real estate investing that I had not known about. I couldn’t wait until the end to sign up for the three-day workshop. It covers general details of every aspect of investing in real estate. It was a great experience for someone like me who had no experience and very little knowledge of how it works.

    We went through several examples of deals, raising capital, rehabbing and wholesaling contracts. They talked about the master's program for guidance and learning. Cody and the team were friendly and experienced and knowledgeable. We even had fun moments as well. I learned a great deal. The three-day workshop is well worth the money. The jump start and Master programs cost a lot of money and make it tough for some people to get in. It is in those programs where you will learn the details of how to do the deals. I’m hoping I can find a way to do it.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Very positive experiance.

    • Pennsylvania,
    • Jul 16, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I do not have the time to go into every thing I learned. Generally, I do not endorse things because everyone's experience is difference but for overall education and information on building wealth in Real estate, it was incredibly informative. I would do it again knowing what I know now, having gone through the experience it was very valuable to me. I have not worked so hard learning and I enjoyed it.

    Bring your spouse if you attend this, the learning opportunity is amazing.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 24 out 26 people found this review helpful

    2 hour "free" seminar a total waste of time

    • Cedar Rapids, Iowa,
    • Jul 15, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Pretty much everything that was said during this 2 hour free seminar was stuff that is common knowledge. I couldn't believe the number of people that actually signed up for the 3 day seminar. All they are doing is handing their hard earned money over to these people. The only thing I got out of the free seminar is that everyday I receive at least 300 spam emails now. Wish I never would have signed up for this.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Wonderful experience

    • Raleigh, NC,
    • Jul 11, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I enjoy the 3-day workshop Than and his team put together. I was looking for a way to get everything started up, a blueprint, and I got just that. Of course, I wish I would have gotten into Mastery, but a little challenge wouldn’t hurt anybody. The teachers, mentors even, were detailed, and thorough, a little fast, in my opinion, he was going in and out of topics fast with the loads of wonderful info we received. I appreciate what you did to me and hope this notebook won’t be a book on the shelf collecting dust.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 2 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Charlotte Bootcamp Summit

    • North Carolina,
    • Jul 8, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    The first Charlotte Bootcamp Summit was a great event. Attendance was strong, updated content on Rehab Bootcamp and Money Academy (Scott) was great. The Marketing Academy with Linda Pederson was inspirational.

    I brought on a new partner, Ernie Cavasinni, who attended the Rehab Bootcamp and was blown away.

    The experience was a much-needed reset, and Fortune Builders continues to overdeliver!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Charlotte bootcamp

    • North Carolina,
    • Jul 3, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I attended the Marketing Systems Bootcamp and the Acquisition & Wholesale Bootcamp. Both boot camps were very informative, but most of all, they were exhilarating and energizing. I will be attending more boot camps.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


Showing 1-11 of 51

Write a Review for Than Merrill!

Share your experience to help others shop smarter & discover great products.

Write a Review