Hey everyone, I have been meaning to type this up for a week or so, but just got busy house hunting.
I wanted to take a few moments to tell you about another deal I am signing at the title company in two days.
I was going thru the Craigslist postings and saw one that caught my eye about four weeks ago. The house, a 3/1 about 1000 sq ft, was posted for 17k, only a street name given and there were some pictures. The pictures were very small, but I saw some things I love to see. First, the exterior looked good, but the trees on the property totally covered the house, it was virtually invisible. Next the interior pictures showed three feet of "stuff" thru out the house. I am not exaggerating, I mean three feet throughout the entire home, all floors. The home was also listed as an inheritance with a motivated seller. My curiosity got the best of me and I sent an email to the seller to get more information. I was in the middle of looking at two other deals and realized a few days later that I had not heard back from the seller.
I got more curious and used google earth's street view to scan the entire street and I was able to find the house number. I did some Zillowing and such and also took a look at the County Auditors site to learn more about the property. The current owner held the deed free and clear.
Friends, now I was EXCITED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The 17k house was worth at 75k everyplace I looked. The comps in the area upheld the numbers. Now I wanted to know more, but I had to travel out of town for my real job. Fate took care of me, While I was sitting in the middle of Texas nowhere (long story) with no bars on my cell phone, it rang. It was an assigner who had the contract for the home. Because of poor cell reception, I could only set up a date to look at the house and not much more. When I got back to town, I went to give it a once over.
Now friends, listening to Dean was critical here, when I got to the house I actually met the owner and before I even went in, we had talked over 45 minutes about everything, BUT the house. I knew he wanted to move fast, I knew that he wanted to leave Ohio and go to Florida, I knew he had no family in Ohio, I knew he wanted nothing to do with the house, and I knew that only one other person had even looked at it in 3 weeks.
Finally I ventured into the house and had the experience of a life time. Friends, I have been a construction inspector for 20 years, I have climbed up sanitary sewers, been in the worst of the worst, with this house my standards changed, it was the worst of the worst!!
The first two things that I saw were first the "stuff" every square inch of every foot of the house was filled with useless junk, old clothes, mattresses, everything you could think of. There were paths thru the house to walk about. Second, NICOTINE, it was literally dripping from the ceiling in big brown drops. I actually told the seller I decided to take a good look at the outside first, just to give myself a chance to clear my head and think. I had driven the neighborhood an new it was very nice and also that the outside of the house was nice (thank you google earth for giving me a head start on the looking) so my walk around on the outside was only to think. I got my head on straight and went back in, looking at the mess from an investors standpoint.
After looking around I decided that the stuff was just that, and about 500 to a company would get the house cleared out just fine. The nicotine could be sealed, primed and painted for about 1k at most. The only thing left was the bathroom, just a wreck and needed to be gutted, about 2k or so. With other things I figured a rehab budget of about 6k by the time I was done.
So now I had a 17k house plus 6k rehab in front of me. 23k that would sell for 75k. A great deal in itself, but I was hoping for a better deal. I called the assigner and told him about problems I saw and that I could never invest 17k in the home. I gave him a detailed list of every single item I saw. Granted some of it was petty, but it was accurate and verifiable. He indicated that he had never heard these things were wrong and that his local bird dog had never said anything like this. I simply said that he could verify the entire list himself. He also asked what I would pay for the house, again I told him I really did not want to get into the project, and he continued to press, taking the gamble I said, I might consider half of the 17k. Talk about silence on the phone. Well he thanked me and hung up.
I figured the deal was dead, but two days later I got an email, short and to the point. "How about 12k?" Now the wording of it caught my eye "how about" not bottom line, not lowest, just "how about". I decided to go for it and emailed back 9k bottom line, cash, close anytime the seller wants. BUT I need an answer in two days. Well a few hours later I got my answer, "sold".
So now I have a 75k home for 9k plus about 6k in rehab. Yes I am grinning, because I and thinking about the profit form this one. Even if I sell it for 50-60k who could ever complain about this one.
One other point I wanted to mention, I said at the beginning that this home was an assignment deal. I found out after the deal was set that the assigner got 3k for the deal. (the 3k was paid out of the 9k I offered) Even doing just the assignment a quick 3k is a sweet deal for them also. You can make money doing assignments!
Friends, I think there were a few key factors to this deal that made it happen for me.
1) DOING IT!! not sitting back and thinking about it
2) Google Earth was a major asset to let me find the property and get some research done. So many people are only listing the street name in order for you to be forced to call them.
3) TALKING to the owner, and I mean just talking.
4) Keeping a clear head when I walked in, taking the time to see thru the mess and look at the house.
5) Not being afraid to go low on the offer, the worst case is they counter or say no, there is always another deal to be made.
Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to set forward the whole deal for you. I am happy with it to say the least and I do not think it is unique at all. I have another property right now I looked at weeks ago and decided against because the price was high, but I noticed the house is now being listed four times a day and the seller called me last night and asked me to make an offer. I will post that one if it comes to be.
Don't be afraid to act !!!