Archive for July, 2012

Marc HriskoWe have a special Training Opportunity Webcast scheduled with Marc Hrisko on Thursday, August 16th at 7:00 PM on “Making a Fortune in the Real Estate Recovery”.

Marc says this webcast will be “A dynamic presentation that will keep you on the edge of your seat. There is a mountain of opportunity out there if you know where to look, and more importantly, what to do when you find it.”

Register now for FREE and Marc will show you…

  • How to work with banks who are overwhelmed with foreclosures and will actually beg you to take their inventory for pennies on the dollar
  • How to structure a flip in this real estate economy to eliminate risk, increase profit and leave the rookies in the dust
  • How to find tax deed opportunities that will result in fast and easy property acquisitions and big, huge, crazy profits
  • and much more!

Register Now!

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The Profit August 2012 Edition

Posted on July 30, 2012 by
The Profit for August 2012 is Here!

The Profit - August 2012The 3rd edition of The Profit, the official newsletter of the Atlanta Real Estate Investors Alliance (Atlanta REIA), is out for the month August 2012! Read and enjoy a variety of articles on real estate investing from Robyn Thompson, Dustin Griffin, Larry Harbolt, Russ Hiner, Don DeRosa, Bob Massey, Erven Kimble, Jim Hitt, Deborah Harris, Michael Vazquez, Tony Pearl, Chris Littleton, Kathy Kennebrook and Craig Halperin and more. Don’t forget, Atlanta REIA Business Members can advertise in The Profit at discounted rates.

Download The Profit Now!

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If you’ve ever wanted to have a ‘leg up’ or an unfair advantage over the competition, there’s a secret weapon that is available now for you to use… It’s called ‘SMS Marketing,’ otherwise known as ‘Text Message Marketing.’

Those few who have it and know how to use it properly are absolutely killing it, while those who have yet to discover its power are totally missing out, and losing business to their competitors who have embraced this new way to use an old technology to promote their businesses.

It’s no secret that most people have a smartphone these days.  You can’t leave home without it.  Even those who don’t have a smartphone still have a “dumb phone” (a simple cell phone) that can send and receive Text Messages.  Everyone from teenagers to senior citizens seems to carry one, either hidden away in their pockets or firmly strapped to their hip.

And while most people still have and use email, the open rate for the messages you send out now are pathetic… and declining rapidly.

So how can you reach out to your prospects to get their attention and put your offers in front of them?  Simple: Send them a brief, well-written Text Message!  Read More→


I have become financially independent renovating houses, and you can do the same; however, if you aren’t prepared, the process can become completely overwhelming. To help you avoid the pitfalls that are out there, I have developed eight key strategies to assist you in growing your house renovation business.  If you are willing to learn from my experience, you will enjoy greater success much sooner. 

While I was able to renovate 17 homes during my second year in the business, by employing the following strategies, I have grown my business to the point that I can, in today’s environment, renovate 40-50 houses per year.  Keep in mind that I do an average of $26,000 to $50,000 worth of repairs to each of my houses, so these are not quick carpet and paint jobs. 

Here are the eight key strategies to help you take your house renovation business to the next level.

Key Strategy #1:   Develop The Ability To Take Action Quickly.

One of the most important elements of my success is my ability to take action quickly.  In my area, the competition is tough, and if I procrastinate I will lose deal after deal. 

If you want to “steal” a house, you’re going to have to be able and willing to act quickly when a good deal presents itself.  If I go and look at a house that I feel is a good deal, I write an offer immediately; get to the point where you are able to do the same. Read More→


Did Your Lender Discriminate?

Posted on July 30, 2012 by

The robo-signing fiasco has revealed the seedier side of the mortgage business to the general public.  These issues are coming back to haunt many lenders in the form of law suits and settlements with state and federal governments. 

Over the last several years, homeowners and the public in general have become increasingly familiar with some of the issues that could lead to a case of fraud against a lender stemming from the way documents were signed, notarized, or dated incorrectly for mortgages or foreclosure filings.  The issues that were included in the foreclosure settlement against Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, and Ally are just the tip of the ice berg when it comes to proving fraudulent and inappropriate actions on the part of lenders.  The more we find out about what the banks were doing, the more impossible it seems that they have been getting away with it for so long!

Sometimes the fraudulent and inappropriate behaviors that could become the basis of a lawsuit against a lender occurred when the homeowner first got the loan. Many homeowners experienced irregularities and in some cases out-and-out discrimination at the time the loan was first offered.  Read More→


Fact: Getting Bank financing this year or any year in the near future for real estate investors is no longer a reality. If you haven’t noticed the real estate investing business has had a major make-over, and in my opinion not for the better. What this means for the real estate investor is, affordable financing to buy houses just isn’t going to be in the cards for them. Some of you may think you can actually get a loan from a bank or you think it will be easy for you to find a private lender with lots of money who will fund your deals, all I can say is Good Luck. Many of you are still making offers to buy houses contingent on getting some type of financing when this could prove to be impossibility? The worst thing I see everywhere I go are investors believing they will be able to make their deals work and get the money they need to complete their transactions when I know for most it isn’t going to happen. All too many investors are finding it impossible to get affordable financing today. So let me ask you, how do those of you who depend on getting some type of financing plan to pay for the properties if you can’t get the money? Unless you can figure a way to pay for the deals you find you will slowly go broke. This isn’t a pleasant thought is it?

Many of the leading economists I follow are saying that the economy we are currently in won’t completely recover until 2023. If this is truly the case I see a ten year window of opportunity unlike any we have ever seen before if the investor is willing to learn how to make a slight adjustment in the way they are doing their deals. I will be in Atlanta us on August 18, 2012 for a special Atlanta REIA Workshop with my good friend, Robyn Thompson, that we are calling “The Wealth Blue Print to a Millionaire Mind to show everyone some simple strategies that can make a tremendous difference in all of our bottom lines over the next ten years.

Here’s what I see as another major problem for investors today… for the investors who have less than good credit and don’t have access to money having to use Hard-Money loans or some type of a bridge loan to finance their deals. This is a wonderful plan provided each deal can endure the costs of these types of loans and still give the investor the profit they need. For most investors using these types of loans may be unavailable or just too costly. Read More→


The High Price of Hope

Posted on July 30, 2012 by

On June 7, Creative Loafing did an article on “The High Price of Hope”; the article talked about a man named Angel, who put himself in a financial bind in Southwest Atlanta. This is something that happens to a lot of investors. As an investor I also took a financial hit, and this is my story.

Angel’s focus was not on the alligators but was on the ether of Adair Park, the beltline, and a cheap house. He bought this shell of a house that was in a crime-ridden area with a huge number of vacancies, and prostitution for $14,000.

Angel had a lot in his favor, he was very resourceful. He knew people who worked on the city council and the neighborhood association. The architectural plans he purchased made it through code enforcement, city planning, and the bid from the contractor to build his vision. Angel is a young man, and in the real estate business, time will solve all problems. When we tap into using our relationships that will minimize our risk and maximize our potential profit are invaluable. When we are able to weather the storm through proper planning and realistic goals we will succeed. Read More→


“Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it.”  Samuel Johnson

Homesnap AppThis looks like a great place to invest. There are decent cars in the driveways. Lawns are mowed. Flowerbeds are neat. I feel safe. Houses don’t look too expensive and would probably cash flow. I wonder what that great little Cape Cod with the white picket fence is going for?”

Well, now there’s an iPhone app that can tell you that, and more.

Homesnap is a free app that you can use on your iPhone and iPad. Just snap a picture of the house and it’ll give you an estimate of the house’s sales price, tell you how many bedrooms and baths it has, its square footage and even what schools are associated with the house. And if you know me, you know that I really care what school district a house is in – because my tenants and buyers really care about schools, too. Read More→


“A man devoid of understanding shakes hands in a pledge,
And becomes surety for his friend.”
Proverbs 17:18

The biblical terms “shakes hands in a pledge” and “becomes surety” means that a person co-signs on someone else’s debt. In the business community, this also relates to a loan guarantor who has no collateral or control. Co-signing, simply put, is a risky and unwise personal and business practice.

This bible verse is a strong words against, what seems to be, an acceptable and routine practice in our society.  However, to imply that a person lacks understanding is an accurate assessment of the level of fiscal wisdom most people don’t exercise when it comes to co-signing. In light of the complexity of this subject, the next few articles will continue our exploration into the practice of guaranteeing someone else’s debt.

I believe it is fairly safe to say, many of us have asked someone to co-sign for us on a purchase at some point in our lives.  Or perhaps, you have been asked to co-sign for a family member or friend.  Maybe you were trying to help them establish their credit for the first time or help them recover from a financial meltdown.  The intentions, both ours and theirs, were probably noble and sincere.  Frankly in our culture, most people don’t think of co-signing as being something unwise to do or something to be avoided.  Read More→


Testing the Water with Land Banking?!

Posted on July 30, 2012 by

Are You New to Self-Directed IRA Investing?

Many people are not sure if they have enough money in their IRA/401(k) account to even begin thinking about investing with it via a self-directed account. We have many clients who have taken accounts with small account balances and grown them into sizeable accounts simply by making one successful investment at a time. In this article, we will share the story of one of our clients, David G.’s 1st self-directed Roth IRA investment. David G., by the way, grew his account from $6,800 to $293,000 in 5 short years.

David G. Decides on What His First Self-Directed Roth IRA Purchase Will Be

David G. was new to self-directed IRA investing and said “I wanted to ‘test the water’ with an easy first investment. Land was a good choice because it requires very little management.”

David G. Finds a Great First Purchase

David G. wasted no time in finding the land he wanted to purchase. He found an oversized, undeveloped, 1.87 acre residential lot. This lot had a low selling price of $18,900 (in comparison to its actual market value of $31,000). The lot really had a lot of value and appeal within it as it contained: water, sewer, a great view, and an additional upside potential to split the lot into 2 parcels. Read More→


Over the past five years, the real estate market took some now obvious twists and turns. In recent months, many local markets have made a noticeable shift into seller’s market conditions.  Fear of loss is new ingredient in the buying process, especially in popular markets, and, markets under $200,000, that have seen drastic shortages of acceptable homes for sale.  No longer are buyers looking at ALL of the available inventory before deciding to make an offer. In fact, many investors are making “blind” offers on properties that they have never seen before. Most investors participate in the under $200,000 market, of which over 70% of all sales in Atlanta are below $200,000  and this activity has caused medial sales prices to fall by 9.2% in 1Q 2012 (See Chart 1).  As many federal agencies give preference to owner occupants and non-profits, many days all available inventories for investors are SOLD OUT! Most properties under $100,000 are enjoying multiple offers, and, acceptable offers are usually well above list price. 

Chart 1
Chart 1

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Inherited Property

Posted on July 30, 2012 by

When someone inherits a property there was either a will in place assigning the new owner or it went through probate. If the deceased left a will they could have either willed the property to a person or assigned an executor to their estate to do with the property and proceeds as the deceased wished. There are also properties that are inherited that went or must go through probate in order for the new owner to sell. When it comes to inherited property it can become very complicated.

When there is a will in place the new owner can do with the property as he/she wishes. Keep in mind that when a property is inherited someone passed away in order for them to become the new owner. This is always a touchy subject. When inquiring to purchase the property the tone in the seller’s voice will tell you how attached they are to the property. You will run into two extremes. The new owner wants nothing to do with the property because it reminds them too much of the deceased or they are having a hard time selling because it holds too much sentimental value. This also determines the price that they are willing to accept. You may be able to negotiate a better price with the earlier example opposed to the latter. If the new owner is under age to enter into a contract there guardian can sign for them but usually a judge is assigned to make sure it is a fair price. This is one of many examples where it can get a bit more involved. Read More→