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Fall in Love with the Numbers

Posted on September 7, 2016 by

I’ve partnered with many investors and the one thing that I continue to see over and over again is the fact that the investor falls in love with the house. What I mean by that is they become attached to the property itself instead of the financials, which is not the ideal situation.

You’ve heard many people say in the past it’s just business and that’s exactly what it should be, just business. When you purchase a property to renovate and sell or rent, you should only be interested in the numbers and location. I hear many newbie investors and some seasoned investors comment that they really love an area or they really love a house but that’s not what they should be focused on.

As an investor you should first say I love these numbers, I like the ROI and/or I like the potential cash flow. If the numbers work then you can start deciding whether or not you like the area, feel comfortable going there to collect rent, or if you are flipping, would you consider keeping the home as a rental if it does not sell. More or less this should be your train of thought as an investor. If it is not, you may start getting into a little bit of trouble.  Read More→

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If you are going to meet a seller you will inevitably hear objections to the first price you offer. You can be as little as $1,000.00 off the seller’s asking price and the seller will still look to get you to the asking price. It is in our human nature to try to look out for our best interest so do not get upset. All you simply have to do is prepare for the most common objections and get the seller to agree with you.

Here are the objections I run into the most and how I have been able to successfully overcome them.

  1. Your offer is too low. Usually before I make an offer I try to have them tell me their asking price. Once in a blue moon their asking price is what you can pay. Usually, however, the price is higher. Naturally, when I make the offer the seller’s response is that my offer is too low. If they have not given me a price I ask for it again. From this point you have to be good at math or pull out a calculator and explain the offer to the seller. Show the seller the closing cost, carrying cost, renovation expense, possible unknowns specific to their home, closing cost on the back end, agent commissions, marketing expenses, etc. I actually show sellers what I plan to make on their home and what it breaks down to in months and weeks. In most cases, they see I’m not trying to get rich off one house and realize my offer is a fair offer.  Read More→
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Rehab Execution Is Key

Posted on July 11, 2016 by

Real estate investing is easy once you have an idea of what you are doing but there are many moving parts. The one gear that can make or break a real estate investment project is the execution of the renovation. You could have bought the property for the right price, this is where you make your money, but not properly executing a renovation can kill all the hard work done upfront.

Before I learned how to contract properties, wholesale and/or invest, I knew the cost of construction and materials. I was into DIY before it was mainstream. At first it was by force because my father had me helping him with projects around the house. Later in life it grew on me. It pains me still today to pay for items I know I can do myself but it no longer makes business sense for me to do those items.  I remember a contractor trying to charge me above retail prices because I was young, well dressed and an investor. After I explained the process of the work he was being hired to do, the cost of the material and the time it will take, I asked for a realistic price. Not to my surprise I received an amazing price. I still do this today when contractors try to overcharge and it usually works. In fact, they respect me more for it. While you are not doing the work you want to know what goes into doing the renovation. How can you hire a contractor if you do not know what he is being hired to do? Also, do not judge a contractor only by a finished product but from start to finish. I have walked projects that looked great but once I “looked under the hood” I notice the craftsmanship was lacking. Read More→

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Details

Posted on June 6, 2016 by

Many people expect to learn how to invest in real estate from seminars, books, videos, etc. but until you actually pull the trigger and go all in you will not know how to invest in real estate. Yes, you will learn the procedure and steps involved but those usually do not go as planned either. As Mike Tyson once said, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” Well, real estate is no different.

I know you heard this a million times but if this was easy there would be more people doing it, successfully. The amount of people that attempt to invest in real estate has increased drastically in the last few years. Suddenly, overnight, everyone was able to “BUY HOUSES CASH.” It might be due to all the new television shows, new investment clubs, one year old gurus, a volatile stock market, etc. but whatever the reason more people are giving real estate investing a shot. The best thing you can do when investing in real estate is to pay attention to the details. This can be the difference between getting punched in the mouth and moving forward or giving up because it was too much.  Read More→

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Leads, leads and more leads. No matter if you plan to wholesale, fix and flip, fix and rent, subject-to, owner finance or anything else involving real estate you must have leads. Some may agree with this statement and some may disagree but any time I needed anything in real estate, it was resolved by simply finding a great lead/deal.

I have heard investors and newbies alike say that they need to find financing or private money before finding a deal. While financing is important it cannot be put to work without a deal. I would argue that it is easier to find financing than it is to find a great deal. In fact, if you think you have a real deal and can’t find financing you may not have a good enough deal. Or it is possible you may not have the experience some lenders require. If this is the case and you really do have a deal there are investors out there that will partner with you. If it is your first investment it may be wise to partner with someone. Partnering with a veteran real estate investor can be invaluable. You will be making him/her money so they will be more willing to answer the hundreds of question you have been wanting to ask. Another way to tell if you have a great deal is if investors are requesting to take the deal off your hands. Sometimes when I’m approached to partner or lend on a deal, and it is a no-brainer of a deal, I ask if they would be willing to wholesale. I’ve always said, “You don’t ask, you don’t get.” It is always worth asking. Read More→

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Knock, Knock…

Posted on April 4, 2016 by

Today, social media is the big thing many real estate professionals use to market for business, at least it should be. Everyone is Facebooking, Tweeting, Blogging, Vlogging, hash tagging, etc. but how many of you still make it a point to go out and do mass socializing face to face. When was the last time you went to a happy hour, a luncheon, and/or door knocking? Yes I said door knocking. In no way am I taking anything away from online social media but it works better when done in collaboration with face to face interactions.

Today everyone is focusing on online branding and marketing. Everyone claims to be the best in their field and some go as far as to make claims they cannot prove. So what do you do to stand out? Obviously, the number one thing to do is keep all those promises your marketing makes and collect testimonials. If you want to solidify your position in your marketing area or dominate your niche you want to get out there and let yourself be seen.

Many successful investors, real estate agents, title company reps, insurance agents, etc. have said to me they were too busy to attend a networking event. Sometimes I am caught by surprise because those same people were the ones I would see at every event in town. Admittedly, in the past, I too have gotten comfortable with socializing online and neglected the face to face interaction. When deals were a bit more difficult to locate I began attending the networking events I attended religiously in the past. And as you can imaging the number of potential investment properties I was sent increased and a few were actually worth looking into. The real investors here know what I’m talking about. I also had the opportunity to meet many newbies that were looking for assistance on how to wholesale. I was always more than happy to assist new wholesalers that are committed. I benefited by being the first person to see the deals they found. The best part is I taught them to identify real deals that I or any true investor would buy. Read More→

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Take the Bad with the Good

Posted on March 6, 2016 by

The majority of veteran real estate investors are quick to share the good but rarely share the bad and or mistakes that comes with investing in real estate. When things are going great you will feel like you can do no wrong. You’re purchasing the majority of your leads, all the renovations are coming in on budget and/or your homes are selling with very few days on market. The truth is, if you invest long enough you will encounter some of the bad experiences all investors before you and after you will experience.

My most recent mistake could have been avoided but I gave one of the sellers a bit too much trust. This one particular property took an entire year to close. There were about 33 heirs that needed to sign off on the sale of the property. Most of the heirs were cooperative but there were a few that refused to sign until the other 29 people signed, claiming they did not want to waste their time. While there were 33 heirs only one person lived in the home. He seemed like a good guy who was just down on his luck so I agreed to let him stay in the home past closing so he could use his profits to relocate. Read More→

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New Year, New Market

Posted on January 31, 2016 by

If you are a smart investor you read and stay up to date with the market. But as you read, you find that different people have different opinions as to why the real estate market has shifted, which range from the presidential election, the stock market, the price of a barrel of oil, employment reports, changing interest rates, etc. The fact is, all these are intertwined and they all have a chain reaction effect on real estate. While you cannot make a huge immediate impact on the direction of any of these factors, you can make changes in your game plan for investing in real estate in the New Year.

As we all know, the real estate market is cyclical. The majority of last year the market was at the height of its cycle. At the end of the year to present the market has begun to cool down or at least level off. Investors are no longer purchasing houses expecting one sales price and selling it for a much higher price because it “appreciated” while it was being renovated. Today investors are selling their investment properties for the original after repair value they had projected or a bit less if the renovation was not up to par. This has become the new norm. With that said, there are still a few sub markets in each of our markets that continue to sell fast and for record prices. However, those too will eventually cool down. I have mentioned many times that it is best to purchase investment real estate based on today’s values not anticipated appreciation one cannot control.

Here are a few items I would recommend when investing in real estate in today’s market. Read More→

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Find Deals with Zero Money

Posted on January 4, 2016 by

The number one question that new investors and/or wholesalers ask is, “How do you find your real estate deals?” Many times I think they are searching for some sort of magic secret that leads to an unlimited supply of investment deals, but we all know there is no such thing. However, they are surprised to know that there are many ways to find deals that take little to no money but does take time and discipline.

If you have ever been in a sales position the first thing trainers ask you to do is write down everyone you know that can help you. The great thing is that you already have multiple lists in the palm of your hand, literally. Everyone in your phone contact list can be a potential seller or know someone that is selling their home. In addition, you may have social media outlets such as Facebook, twitter, google+, LinkedIn, etc. that each has more and more people that can assist you in finding deals. By only reaching out to these lists you may come across a few real estate investment opportunities that you like. All these leads at your disposal and it did not cost you a dollar. You might think that there will not be a distressed seller in your network, and while that may be true they might know someone who is. Simply telling everyone you know you are looking for investment real estate will lead to finding a deal. Read More→

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Focused Investors

Posted on December 7, 2015 by

Entrepreneur’s minds go a hundred miles an hour in many directions. This can be great at times and at other times not so great. In the case of real estate investors, it tends to be the latter. Real estate investors have a habit of learning how to make money in one aspect of real estate investing and then another and then another etc.

Before the investor realizes it, he/she is just doing what comes easiest and not considering the most profitable exit strategy. Or worst, the investor has not fully learned one strategy and is not maximizing profit. How can you solve this issue? FOCUS!

Investors usually progress in the following order: bird dog, wholesaler, flipper, landlord, and lender. This is not mandatory but it tends to be a natural progression for many. At the beginning bird dog will usually only bird dog because it is all they know how to do. Naturally, by being in the real estate investing community, they begin to learn how to wholesale.

At this point, the wholesaler will still be pretty focused but then he/she begins to buy-fix-sell properties. This is where it gets tricky. Should the investor wholesale a property he/she finds or invest in the property himself/herself. This question comes up every time the investor puts a property under contract.

Then after a few homerun deals the investor decides it is time to begin keeping a few homes as rentals. A few months go by and now the question to wholesale, fix-sell, or fix-rent begins soon after placing a property under contract. Read More→

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Anticipate the Market

Posted on November 8, 2015 by

In many past articles I have stressed the importance of knowing the current real estate market. You should take note when property prices are rising, falling or plateauing. If you are a flipper, is your inventory selling faster or sitting on the market longer? If you are a wholesaler, are you having to work harder to find deals or have you suddenly found an abundance of deals? Are the deals you are finding getting easier or harder to sell? If you are a real estate agent or work closely with one, is his/her listing receiving multiple offers and flying off the board? Or are they sitting on the MLS with a few showings here and there? These are questions you should always be asking as a real estate investor.

One can always pick up an article or see a news report about what is going on in real estate but it is usually a report of real estate as a nation not just your market place. Most realtor associations have monthly reports that are helpful but they are not out until the middle of the following month. As an investor, even these reports may be too late in providing the information. If you are in real estate or plan on being in real estate you must keep your finger on the pulse. If you are doing plenty of business you will feel the change in the market and can begin to prepare for it immediately. However, if you only dabble in real estate, you might not know what is coming around the bend. If you dabble or are just getting started make sure to network with people that are full-timers. If you find a deal you plan on flipping or holding on to for a rental, discuss it with a veteran investor. They can mentor you on the best option and possibly keep you from making a mistake. Read More→

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Ready for Change?

Posted on September 16, 2015 by

As a real estate investor you must always adjust to new market trends, rules and regulations. Recently, as any good investor should know, the industry has been having to make some changes due to the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule. These changes have and will continue to affect any person closing a property involving an owner occupant loan.

Investors that renovate properties to sell will need to add at least an extra month or two of carrying costs. Why? Well, while not going into too much detail, all HUDs will need to be approved by the buyer and underwriter at least 3 days before closing. In reality, this will mean that the delay may be as many as 6 days because we all know how long underwriting can take. Some investors may not know this, because it is normally not enforced, but currently buyers are supposed to receive a HUD 2 days prior to closing. However, the norm for most closings is having a HUD prepared the day or evening before or the morning of the closing. I have even witnessed some buyers and sellers not receive a HUD until minutes before closing. This way of doing business will soon be gone and I for one like this part of the change. Originally the changes were to be enforced in August but the enforcement date was changed to October 3rd. Therefore, make sure your lenders and title companies are ready for these changes and do not delay your closing any more than needed. Read More→

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