Author Archive

Gordon CattsAtlanta Houses are not designed to handle sustained temperatures in low single digits. With low temperatures and higher winds the wind chill over the next several days will be brutal.

If you have vacant houses you might consider antifreeze in the traps, drain water lines where you can and drip faucets.

Even occupied homes with the heat on are not immune to frozen pipes.

Years ago after a severe cold spell I had a bucket full of short lengths of split copper pipes. We had cut them out of my houses when we repaired the “frozen pipes”. The problem is not when they freeze, it’s when they thaw.

Today I will be purchasing twenty five dollar portable electric space heaters and ceramic tiles to set them on. I will be making sure that cabinet doors in kitchens and baths are open. I will tape notes on the cabinets reminding folks not to close them. The note will be taped on such that in order to close the door the note will have to be moved. I will make sure that laundry rooms have adequate heat and that doors are open. I will use space heaters where necessary.

Anywhere that plumbing is in an outside wall I will be sure to drip the faucets.

Remember to be very careful with space heaters you do not want a fire. I will place space heaters on the ceramic tiles I purchase. I do not want to place a heater on carpet, vinyl or wood.


Get the Real Numbers

Posted on August 18, 2013 by
Wed, August 21st @ 6:30PM in Buford, GA
Atlanta REIA North Meeting
“Getting the Real Numbers”
With Gordon Catts & John Mangham

Gordon Catts and John MangnumJoin Gordon Catts and John Mangnum at the Atlanta REIA North Meeting on Wednesday, August 21st at 6:30PM located at 1960 Skylar Hill Dr, Suite D in Buford, GA as they discuss the “Real Numbers” on:

  • How much does a paint and carpet rehab really cost?
  • What should I set aside for holding cost?
  • Do I really need granite in the Kitchen?
  • Do I need to replace the toilets in Dekalb County?
  • They “harvested” the copper, can we just patch the electrical service.
  • The house has been vacant for 3 years, why won’t the power company turn the power back on?
  • What hidden things should I look for?
  • Does someone really have to look under the house?
  • How much does a new roof cost? Do I need one?
  • Someone stole the AC Compressor, can I buy a used one?
  • Can I put a section 8 tenant in this house?
  • Why are there long thin holes in the walls?
  • The contractor wants $10,000 up front for “materials”, should I give it to him?

Join us this Wednesday as we discuss the numbers all investors, new and seasoned, should be familiar with.

Taco MacAfter the conclusion of the Atlanta REIA North Meeting (after 9:30 PM), we will be reconvening at the Mall of Georgia located at 3250 Woodward Crossing Blvd in Buford, GA for the “Meeting after the Meeting”. We may arrive late if the Atlanta REIA Meeting runs late. So please come eat, drink, network and have fun with us as hang out late into the night! Read More→


When was the last time you got to hear from a real, in the trenches advanced investor? One who is prospering in these challenging times? Join us to hear a 14 year investing veteran shares his Tax Deed Strategies as well as his take on in-town properties. You’ll learn learn how to purchase a deed for pennies on the dollar. Learn to purchase vacant lots at fire sales. Learn to get excellent returns on your investment with no tenants and no toilets.

Michael KeefeMichael Keefe will be our speaker for this month’s Active Investor Group on Monday, October 1st at 3:00 PM at Total Wine & More located at 124 Perimeter Center W (see map), where he will be sharing information on the very lucrative investment strategy of purchasing tax deeds. He will discuss how to find, evaluate, and purchase tax deeds and explain how to avoid the common pitfalls in the bidding process . Tax sales are a special real estate investing niche utilized by advanced investors. We are lucky to have Michael share his vast experience in this little understood arena.

Michael Keefe is a specialist in buying tax deeds in Georgia. With 14 years experience in delinquent tax investing real estate business, he has been involved in over 900 tax deed purchases totaling over $26 million. As an active real estate investor, Michael has also purchased REO’s, wholesaled properties, rented, lease purchased, etc. Michael currently manages over 250 properties.


John Holman

Posted on July 16, 2012 by

John HolmanJohn Holman has been buying and selling residential real estate in the Atlanta Market for 11 years. As a franchisee of HomeVestors of America, Inc (the “We Buy Ugly Houses” company), John has consistently placed in the top ranks of the 250 offices in the U.S, earning him wide recognition including: President of the Atlanta Ad Council, Chairman of the Franchise Advisory Council, Franchise of the year as well as many individual awards for sustained performance in buying and selling houses . Since 2001, John has purchased and sold over 400 houses. Holman has had an active involvement with Habitat for Humanity for nearly 10 years helping to build houses in many economically- challenged areas of Atlanta. Read More→


Big Bucks in Bankruptcy

Posted on June 27, 2012 by

Are you tired of searching the MLS for REOs and then getting into a bidding war with other investors or having the properties sold before you can even get your offer submitted? “Stupid money” is back in the market. Are you tired of seeing properties going for 20+% over listed price because of multiple offers? Tired of no/low equity deals where you have to wrestle with the bank to do a short sale?  Tired of watching the lender sell the same property at the courthouse steps for less than your short sale offer? If so, you might want to consider other purchase options.

Mathew LettichAtlanta REIA is pleased to announce that Attorney Matthew Lettich will join us at the new Active Investors Group on July 2nd at 3:00 PM at the “meeting-before-the-meeting” to share his insider secrets of investing in bankruptcy properties. We will discuss the different types of bankruptcy as well as the various opportunities and pitfalls.  We will discuss how to locate prospects and create opportunities in this little known area of investing.

Matthew Lettich is a practicing Attorney whose area of practice is primarily involved in bankruptcy representing both debtors and creditors. Mathew is affiliated with John J. McManus & Associates, PC. Their main office is located in Tucker, however Matthew is fairly well known in Gwinnett County since he has spent most of the last three and a half years practicing in the field of bankruptcy in Lawrenceville, where they currently have a satellite office. 

 The Active Investors Group is a new educational and networking group, led by Gordon Catts, that meets once per quarter at 3:00 PM in the private meeting room at Total Wine & More located at 124 Perimeter Center W in Atlanta, GA before the Main Atlanta REIA Meeting. Gordon will be showcasing various, lesser known real estate investing niches so you locate profitable deals that have not been picked over by the hoard of investors entering or re-entering the market.

Total Wine & MoreAt 5:00 PM, Total Wine & More will be offering a complimentary wine tasting to all those who attend our meeting and wish to participate. There is NO CHARGE to attend this meeting or the wine tasting for Atlanta REIA Members and guests.


In many Metro Atlanta Counties, the tax assessments have been mailed and the deadline to file an appeal is fast approaching.  If you have not received a notice, check with the county.  You do not want to miss the opportunity to appeal if your assessment is unreasonable.   

If you are seeking information for a particular county, you can Google the County name to get the Tax assessor’s contact information.  It is important to be proactive on this. 

In many areas of the country Property values have dropped substantially over the last several years.

The rash of foreclosures, a shrinking employment and a huge number of properties in Lender inventory as well as a high level of homeowners substantially delinquent on mortgage payments has caused an erosion of values.  Depending on where you are living, it is quite conceivable that we have not reached the bottom yet. Read More→


Mountain REIAMountain REIA is a new REIA being formed by Gordon Catts and Richard Benthal that will be meeting on the first Tuesday of the month at 6:30 PM at the Golden Corral located at 2025 Market Place Blvd in Cumming, Georgia. This group is an educational and networking group that brings in local, active investors and to provide information and education in a low or no-sales environment. This group is open to everyone.  

Jim HittThe speaker for the first Mountain REIA Meeting on June 5th will be Jim Hitt, President of American IRA, LLC. Self Directed IRA’s allow an individual to manage their own retirement accounts and receive favorable treatment under the US Tax Code. Self Directed IRA’s allow individuals to fund certain real estate endeavors and make Private Mortgage Loans. Come join local real estate investors to network, share information, and interact with local and regional experts. Please be prepared to patron the restaurant, enjoy the networking, and the outstanding information!

Atlanta is Attracting a Growing Number of Foreign Buyers. How Will This Affect Local Investors?

Atlanta is Attracting a Growing Number of Foreign BuyersWe hear about all these foreign buying groups, hedge funds, big investor groups, etc. coming into Atlanta and purchasing big portfolios of properties. What’s the real story? Rumors are flying about large packages being sold off by government agencies. Who is going to purchase them, and who is going to manage them? What are they going to do with them once they purchase them? Will the “small” investor have a chance to participate or will they be locked out?

Robert LockeWe are very pleased to have Robert Locke, Broker Owner of Crown Realty and Management as our Speaker for the Movers & Shakers Meeting on Monday, March 19th at 11:00 AM who will be addressing these topics and more. Robert speaks to these folks on a regular basis and has some interesting insights to share on these trends and more.

Robert got his real estate license in 1973 and has practiced real estate sales, investing, leasing and property management ever since. He and his wife Betty started buying houses in 1978 in Atlanta and have bought over 150 houses for their own account. Robert has also sold over 500 houses to investor clients. Read More→


Landlords, Learn How to Boost Rents, Retain Tenants and Minimize Liability

John AdamsAtlanta’s real estate radio host, columnist, author, and investor John Adams will be our speaker for the Movers and Shakers Meeting on July 18th starting at 11:30 AM at the 5 Seasons Brewery  in Alpharetta. John Adams is a full-time investor, broker, and author of multiple books about real estate. He also writes a weekly column for the Sunday real estate section of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and has a weekly call-in radio program on News-Talk Radio 920am WGKA. John will be speaking on his “Top 10 Tips for Georgia Landlords” and how to boost rents, retain tenants and minimize liability.

If you plan on attending this exciting and informative lunch meeting, please be sure to RSVP on Facebook so that we know you are coming so that we can plan accordingly.

RSVP on Facebook

Read More→


Buying Unfinished Builder Houses

Posted on March 9, 2011 by

Buying Unfinished Builder HousesDon’t be fooled: all that glitters isn’t gold. There are a large number of unfinished builder house sand small subdivisions where the builder ran out of money before they finished the project. Many of these were built by reputable builders who did everything right and just got caught in a sinking economy. They may have had a construction loan with a bank that failed. Though no fault of their own, they were unable to finish their projects. They may have been unable to sell their other homes, leaving them short of the money to finish other projects. Read More→


What’s a Property Worth?

Posted on March 8, 2011 by

ForeclosureThe press is full of gloom and doom about real estate prices depending on which “report” you read. Prices have hit bottom.  Prices will fall another 10%. Prices will fall another 3%. The headlines keep coming. Different parts of the country are reacting to the current conditions in different ways. Prices are very sensitive to supply and demand. Some parts of the country have experienced substantial price reductions, while others have not.  Even within a single market area, prices will vary.  So how do you figure out what a property is worth in today’s market?

A number of experienced investors are sitting on the sidelines right now. They are sitting for a variety of reasons. One of the issues is value.  They have seen values erode and are concerned that the values will continue to erode.   How do you determine value in a static to falling market? “Very Carefully”. Read More→


Paying too much in property taxes?Did you know that from 2007 to 2009, property values declined by 50 percent in the Atlanta metro area alone? Or, during that same period in Atlanta metro, home assessed values declined by 4 percent? According to a five part series in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, 7 out of 10 properties are over assessed. Tax assessment data is coming out over the next several months, and for many, it will be a nasty surprise. Ignoring the possibilities of over assessment could be costly.  Property taxes are calculated by using the “assessed valuation”, which represents 40 percent of “fair market value”. This number is then multiplied by the “millage rate”. Millage rate is a number calculated by the tax commissioner’s office, in conjunction with the annual budget per the County Commissioners.  The assessors do not determine the “millage rate”, as commonly believed.

When purchasing a property for rental, it is important to determine the tax assessor’s valuation. If it is low, chances are high that your property taxes will also be high. I recently spoke with an investor friend who discovered that the Property taxes on an anticipated rental property were unreasonably low.   The prior owner had been in the property for a number of years and had old age exemptions as well. My friend figured out that the taxes would go up over $200 per month. What a surprise my friend would have had if he had not done his research! Read More→