Atlanta Real Estate Investors Alliance Blog

Bill & Kim CookLeslie Mathis, myself and the rest of the attendees wanted to thank Bill and Kim Cook for speaking last night (3/28/11) at the Atlanta REIA West Meeting at the Cherokee Cattle Company on the fascinating topic of how to buy houses at the courthouse foreclosure auction. Bill did an excellent presentation for both new and seasoned investors. This meeting was very well attended and Bill and Kim were asked many excellent questions by the audience. Any time you see Bill and/or Kim speaking, we highly recommend you attend. They have years of experience buying and selling real estate and both specialize buying and the courthouse steps and doing short sales. Thanks again Bill and Kim!

Click here to read Bill’s articles on

Where to Find Motivated Sellers

Posted on March 28, 2011 by

Where to Find Motivated SellersLast week’s column, entitled “The Key is Finding MOTIVATED Sellers”, brought in a lot of calls and emails.  The main thing I heard was, “Bill, you ignorant boob, of course the key is to find motivated sellers.  But the hundred-dollar question is: HOW do you find motivated sellers?”

Easy answer: Work your tail off!  But I’m pretty sure this answer will get me labeled as a smart alec, so let’s dig into this question a bit.

Here’s the big picture: You must let everyone know who you are and what you do.  The goal is to have all the folks in your area call you if they are considering selling their property.  Your next task is to separate the folks who WANT to sell from the folks who NEED to sell.  And finally, when you find a motivated seller, you must be able to creatively structure a win-win deal, as well as be willing to pull the trigger quickly – ‘cause great deals don’t hang around long! Read More→

The spices and seasonings of the gourmet real estate investor

Emeril can’t figure out where he made his mistake.  He thought he was getting a great deal when he bought a house and got a 10% discount.  However, he barely turned a profit on his investment.

Julia also is completely stumped.  She bought a house with a 25% discount.  However, after selling the property, Julia lost money.

Any cook can try to cover up a bad chicken with salt, pepper, oregano, lemon, paprika and more, but what do you have?  Still a BAD CHICKEN DINNER.

In the same light, a real estate investor who starts off with too small a discount on their purchase, can try to make up for it after the purchase with hard work, fancy improvements, and eye-catching advertising.  However, what will they still have?  Usually, they will still have a BAD INVESTMENT.

So what are the right spices and seasonings (discounts) every gourmet real estate investor should know about?  How should they be applied like gourmet chefs Emeril Lagasse and Julia Child? Read More→

Even though this is the last week of the month, there is still a lot happening at We have Bill & Kim Cook speaking on how to buy foreclosures at the courthouse auction at Atlanta REIA West on Monday, Haves & Wants on Thursday, a Fuller Center Volunteer Workday on Saturday and Cashflow on Sunday. We also have a month’s worth of replays for you to catch up on if you missed any of them. Read More→

Andy HellerLocal and national REO Expert, Andy Heller, talked with Jeff Nix on Andy’s “Buy Low, Rent Smart & Sell High” strategy for investing in bank owned REO properties. Andy also talked about his upcoming speaking appearance at the Atlanta REIA Main Meeting on April 4th, 2011 as well as his upcoming Atlanta REIA REO 101 Workshop on April 30th, 2011 and much more. Read More→

Bill & Kim CookI don’t know if you’ve noticed or not yet, but Bill Cook, real estate expert and leader of the North GaREIA, has been allowing us to publish his weekly articles on  Bill writes on a wide variety of topics such as finding motivated sellers, buying properties at auction, lowering your property taxes, and more… Click here for a Full List of Bill’s Articles.

Not only is Bill buying and selling foreclosures, writing articles and running his REIA group, but he and Kim will be speaking at our Atlanta REIA West Meeting on Monday, March 28, 2011, from 6:30 to 9 PM at the Cherokee Cattle Company at 2710 Canton Road, Marietta, GA (map). Bill and Kim will be speaking about…

How to Make Money at Foreclosure Auctions!

These days, with so many BIG-PROFIT deals popping up at each month’s foreclosure auction, lots of real estate investors – both new and experienced alike – are asking how to successfully buy at the foreclosure auction. Now is your chance to learn from a couple who buys at the courthouse steps every month! Read More→

We Buy Ugly TrailersAt our March real estate investors’ meeting, I described a mobile home in a park that we had for sale. Mouths dropped open as I showed nasty pictures of the disgusting property.

How bad was it? The home was full of dog poop. The toilet bowl was so bad that a commercial-grade sandblaster couldn’t clean it. There were gaping holes where the furnace and water heater used to be. The smell made you gag and caused your eyes to water. It was plain awful!

I asked the room full of experienced real estate investors whether anyone wanted to make an offer on this cesspool of an investment property. Heads turned away and eyes were diverted.

In the back of the room, Alex Kramb, a fifteen-year-old student at Blessed Trinity High School, stood up and said, “Mr. Cook, I’ll pay you $100 for that mobile home.” I was dumbfounded. As I pointed to the screen, I asked, “Alex, you’ll pay me $100 for THAT hunk-of-junk?” He quickly answered, “Yes, sir!”

Alex proudly walked up front. We wrote up a bill of sale, I collected $100 cash money and then handed Alex the keys. With that, Alex Kramb, at 15, bought his first investment property. Investors looked on in amazement…then cheers broke out in the room! Read More→

Lenny OgburnOn March 23, 2011, Lenny Ogburn taught a FREE Workshop and Webinar on “How to Appeal Your Property Taxes & Beat the County!” On this special workshop and webcast, Lenny taught us step-by-step how to appeal our property taxes which could save us hundreds if not thousands of dollars each year on our own home as well as our investment properties. This is a workshop and webinar you definitely want to watch. Thanks for teaching this free workshop Lenny, you did a great job! Read More→

Real Estate AuctionIt never fails.  Several times each year, we shockingly watch inexperienced real estate investors come to the foreclosure auction and bid on a junior mortgage which they mistakenly think is a senior mortgage.

For example: Let’s say a $100,000 house is being sold at this month’s foreclosure auction.  The mortgage being advertised for foreclosure reads $20,000.  An inexperienced investor, who doesn’t know the difference between junior and senior mortgages or how to look them up, shows up ready to bid.  The bidding opens at $18,968.35.  The inexperienced investor confidently bids $19,000.  Slowly, all of the experienced investors back away.  They’re terrified of catching a terminal case of “stupid disease,” which has obviously infected this inexperienced investor. Read More→

Thursday, March 24th, 11:30 AM @ 5 Seasons Brewing in Sandy Springs

Atlanta REIA Commercial Real Estate GroupThe Cash Cow Commercial Real Estate Group is a new educational and networking subgroup led by Steve Brown for new, intermediate and advanced investors with a serious interest in purchasing commercial real estate. The group meets on Thursday, March 24th at 11:30 AM at 5 Seasons Brewing located at 5600 Roswell Rd (map).

Steve BrownSteve is having two great guests at this month’s meeting… SBA/USDA Lender, Melanie Brown, and Commercial Broker, Tom Hogan. Melanie is going to talk about SBA & USDA loans available for commercial properties. Tom is also going to talk about some different loan programs available for commercial properties as well as some apartment building that are currently on the market. Steve is also going to talk about how to make the transition from single family homebuyer to becoming a commercial real estate investor. He will also talk about how to option commercial properties for huge profits. Read More→

Being Rich is About More Than Money

Posted on March 21, 2011 by

Many people think that being rich is about having enough money to do whatever you want.  However, these same people miss an IMPORTANT POINT.  Having millions of dollars may make you “financially rich”.  However you will have lived a “poor life”, if you were a “slave to money” and did not have adequate time for family, friends, and the many other enjoyable things life has to offer.  The following stories illustrate this point.

Jack’s Story

Shortly after Jack turned thirty, he married his college sweetheart.  Jack was a sharp and thoughtful guy, as well as a meticulous planner.  Jack saw all the layoffs happening in the corporate world, and wanted to establish a safety net for his upcoming family beyond the fragile sanctuary of his day job.  He was determined to give his two kids a better quality of life than he had growing up.

Jack invested in rental homes.  He also bought a sandwich shop franchise.

Over the years, Jack did make money on his real estate investments.  However, he also found some very unpleasant surprises.  Tenant turnover was a big problem.  Repairs and re-renting the properties were eating up much of Jack’s time with his family.  Especially upsetting to Jack was the weekend and evening time these properties ate up.  This was time he would rather have spent coaching his son’s sports team and watching his daughter’s theatrical productions.

The sandwich shop also made money.  However, Jack was surprised at how hard it was  to find dependable employees.  Whenever an employee did not show up, Jack or his wife often had to fill in.  Several times Jack had to cancel or postpone the family vacations due to employee issues.

Yes, in the end, Jack’s investments made “good money”.  However, his investments had made a significant negative impact on his family life, as well as his ability to spend time with friends and on other things he loved to do.  There was many a time when he wondered whether all the extra money was worth the sacrifices he made.    Read More→

The Key is Finding MOTIVATED Sellers

Posted on March 21, 2011 by

The Key is Finding MOTIVATED SellersAs folks pass from their thirties into their forties, they suddenly realize that sixty-five and retirement isn’t that far away. They also realize that Social Security is a great retirement plan…if the thought of living under a bridge and eating cold beans out of a can is appealing.

These realizations are why Kim and I are asked to speak to groups around the country about real estate investing. Most folks know that more people achieve financial freedom through real estate than from any other type of investment.

There are lots of reasons why real estate is a great investment/retirement vehicle. Here are just three: 1) Rental income has a very low tax rate. Remember, how much you keep is more important than how much you make. 2) Everybody needs a place to live and about 37% of Americans rent, not own, a home. 3) In the end, the tenant pays off the property for you!

We’re often asked, “To be a successful real estate investor, what is the MOST important thing that I need to do?” Easy answer: Read More→

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