After being outbid on several properties working with a "regular" realtor - nice girl, but doesn't understand what I need - I found the PERFECT realtor. He specializes in REO homes, and has the contacts to know what numbers will get the deals done. Within 2 weeks of meeting him, I now have a 3/1 house under contract in a nice suburb south of Chicago. Paid $57K cash by using my home equity line of credit, cashing in on some 0% credit card deals (from having very good credit scores) and having a good friend agree to come in for $10K for the rehab. The realtor has all the contacts I need, and can arrange for crews he knows to do the rehab quickly to get it back on the market for the spring. The work in mainly cosmetic. His deal is that he will relist to sell for no commission as the listing agent. We are on the same page, and working towards a long term business relationship. I've done rehabs before, so I know the numbers he has given me for the rehab are solid. Other homes in the area have sold for $117K, so with $10K for the rehab, there's a potential profit of $50K. Even if I get half of that, it would make SUCH a difference in my life! Well, don't even know when the closing will be, but my ducks are all lined up and ready to go. Will keep everybody informed as I progress. Yippee!!!!!