I felt that I'd start a new thread here just to let people know how they can go about finding homes starting TODAY! This was already posted but I wanted others to see it so please read and ENJOY!
RE: FINDING HOMES
Who has them? Where are they? How do I find them? What do I do? Homes are like oxygen on land - they're ubiquitous <<< meaning they're EVERYWHERE. I find houses by doing 4 things and 4 things only. Keep reading because you'll be happy you DID!
Unless you live in the mojave desert, you can find a home. They are out there and some of the homes have people living in them that NEED your help to get them out of their "sticky" situation. You will soon learn that I use the term "sticky situation" often because that encompasses many areas such as loss of a loved one, job loss, divorce, medical issues, just retired and wants to move to a warmer state etc. and some of the homes are empty and need to be brought back to life ( rehab houses) and some just need a user. ( an end buyer) And yes, then there are those for sale by owner and for rent properties that Elixbrown often mentions. The truth behind for sale by owners from my experience involves one of two things:
A) FSBO properties:
1. Often times these homes are paid off and have no mortgage so the seller figures "I'm not going to give an agent 6% to sell a house I can sell on my own!" So they just stick a for rent sign in the yard or a for sale by owner sign in the yard and hope someone just happens to drive by, see the sign, like the house, and either knock on the door, or call the number. But the odd part about the whole process here is that you can offer them far less than a 6% discount if you present your offer appropriately and inform them that you can close in 30 days. If they haven't received any hits on the house and you come into the picture willing to buy their house ( your end buyer will obviously buy the house) they will often accept your offer. If they decline, follow up two - three weeks later if you still see their sign in their yard. Always keep it positive and wish them luck in getting their house sold. So the first take away here is that for rent signs and FSBO signs more than likely have a seller that has no mortgage on the house and has opted to sell it themself to avoid paying a measely 6% realtor's fee.
2. For rent houses and FSBOs often are owned by landlords or people that have several homes. So if you ask them about their house and find out that they have several in the area and you are able to negotiate a deal with them, make them a proposal to buy their other homes too. ( I HAVE NOT DONE THIS YET SO I'M JUST MAKING A SUGGESTION HERE THAT'S ALL) A proposal would be something like this, "If I'm able to negotiate a purchase price with you after I due my due diligence and run some numbers on my end and then I bring in my partner ( your end buyer) to close on the property in 30 days or so, would you consider showing me some additional properties I can buy from you? This may work or it may not but again, it's just an option and an idea I have that I intend to use should this situation present itself for me. So the second take away with these homes is that it may lead to more homes. FSBO Properties is complete, lets move on to the next chapter of knowledge. Take action!
B) Driving for Dollars:
My favorite thing to do as a private real estate investor is to grab my notebook and a couple of ink pens and get in my truck and drive neighborhoods to canvass new areas. I would suggest using a GPS so you can see on the screen if a road deadends or leads to additional side streets and it will help you figure out where you are so that you don't get lost. Another reason I like using my GPS while doing this is because it helps me get the name of the street so if I see a vacant house with an address number of 82, I look to see the name of the street I'm on from my GPS screen and I write the street name and the number and a few notes about the property. i.e. "possible vacant house, electric meter not spinning, blue tarp on roof - possible roof leak, no major signs of vandalism, on a quiet street, one car detached car garage that needs paint, Took four pictures ( red brick home w/ blue tarp on roof) FIND OWNER!!" That's what my notebook is full of - full of homes and full of notes. Also, bring a digital camera and take some photos too to help remind you what the home at 82 Grand Ave looks like. I do this constantly. When I get home I go onto my county website ( google your city then tax assessor, auditor's office, real property records, parcel map data or some type of variation. Ex: Google box "Dallas, TX tax assessor's office" and then search the property section. Every town is different. I work with six right now, 3 in NY (where I live currently) and 3 in OH (where I grew up) and they are all different so it will take some time getting use to finding the information you need so just go to yours and find out the owner's information to include where they live now. OR you can just call you real property tax office or tax assessor's office and ask if they have a website and tell them you are trying to find out information about a certain home in your area. These people are usually friendly and are willing to help you out. It's their job to do this and always thank them for their time. Once you find this information out, I begin my marketing campaign. I get my pen in my southpaw and grab a post card and write them a friendly message and include BOTH my phone number and email. ALWAYS include both because some people will respond via email and the others will respond via emails. I have found that the people responding via email are usually the ones involved in a "sticky situation" and the callers are the ones that are either curious as to what you do are my want to sell but aren't quite sure or they are cash buyers looking to see if you have any homes for sale. You may be thinking to yourself "but wait, Goldbar-Gary has advertized that he sell houses in this post?" That's correct but once you read section C, you'll see that I get calls from buyers from a sign I use that advertizes that I buy houses. People will call you to see if you are selling any of the homes you bought so from there get their information and put them on your buyer's list. Okay so that's your class on "Driving for Dollars" Take action!
FYI: I don't bother asking the neighbors anything about vacant houses because I don't like doing that but one time a person approached me while I was writing down some property info on a vacant home and she asked me if I wanted the house. I said yes, and she told me great information about the house. She told me it was an estate property and that the daughter has been trying to sell it for 18 months and that there hasn't been any interested buyers from what she could. At another location, a guy asked me what I was doing on his street and just told him I'm a private real estate investor and that I was interested in buying the home I was looking at. He too provided great info about the house such as, "that thing has been empty for 5 years, the lady died years ago and I don't know if she has any relatives in the area to do anything with it. I'm waiting for it to go back to the bank so I can buy it and then level it so my kids can have more room to run and play." He lived next door to this green little eye soar of a house. I'm currently working this deal to find out if I can just buy it from the county because there are no hiers to the house.
C) What's you Sign?
( I'm a capricorn by the way.. LOL, Yes, I write my own jokes too :-)~)
I like working harder not smarter so another thing I do is order yellow signs and write, "DON'T FORGET! We buy HOUSES for ANY reason! xxx-xxx-xxxx. I put them by freeway off ramps, next to stop signs, and on telephone poles. The trick to having your sign last on telephone poles is to put it up high! I have a step stool I use so that it's more difficult for the "sign police" to get them or even my competition to remove them for that matter. 18x24 works the best. When you make money with this then you can spend a little extra and help the company professional put your message on your sign. FYI: YOU MAY feel odd or akward putting up signs on telephone poles ( don't put them up everywhere, just put up may 4-6 on a Thursday afternoon because you will make someone mad if they see your sign on every telephone phone) or you may feel odd or akward putting your sign in grass by a stop sign or at on off ramp. I did at first but then I had to tell myself, "Wait, why am I nervous about doing this? I want people to see these signs so why do I care if they SEE me putting up these signs? If they see me and see the sign at the same time and want their house sold, then I've accomplished my intent!!!" After thinking that way, I am at the point now where I just point my signs up as if I'm supposed to be doing it and then get in my truck and go about my business. This will have houses find YOU!!! Doing a little leg work up front will be dividends on the backend. I get calls from my signs often so I know they work!!! If you want to order signs just let me know and I'll send you some information on who I use. Your class on "What's you sign" is officially over! Take action!
D) Invest in an Agent!
For those of you who don't know me and my strategies I will tell you that I'm the guy that probably is doing things you never considered even doing until NOW. The things I'm doing right now LITERALLY right NOW, are things I've just started putting into action and they are WORKING!! Sorry for the side bar there. My orginal thought I wanted to convey to all the DGers here is that I'm the guy that does not look at the MLS. I know this may seem crazy to many but I literally don't even bother personally looking at the MLS for homes. There's too much competition out there in my opinion because you're fighting to try to find great buys with other investors, desperate buyers, first time home buyers, newlyweds, cash buyers, landlords, your mom and second cousin, Joe the plumber etc.... So I don't bother with it, but in NO WAY AM I SAYING DON'T use it. The multiple listing service (MLS) has proven to work wonders for many people so I assume it works based off what others have said but for me, I simply pass on it. Here's where my agent comes into place... Okay, so if you are currently paying for a "free foreclosure" website, after reading this you my want to consider cancelling your membership because what I'm about to reveal to you should have you excited to the point that you are going to want to tackle your agent and hold him/her hostage until they provide the data you're looking for. Warning! The following section is only intended for HUNGRY investors that want to EARN massive paychecks! All others, need not read.....
This evening seek out REO agents. These are agents that deal with foreclosed properties. They have the same list you're paying a monthly fee for right at their finger tips! Pretty cool right! Okay, so you are going to want to get in contact with him/her and explain that you're a real estate investor and that you invest in shortsales ( properties that a bank is willing to accept less than what's owed on it), and foreclosures and that you would like to work closely with them and buy great deals so that you can achieve your business goals and so they can sell some of the homes in their inventory. Also mention that you want to build a long term business relationship with them and that you value their time. You are going to want to make your request specific instead of saying, "send me everything you have TOM!" They may not take you seriously so I would say that you choose no more than 8-10 towns in your county that you are interested in and send him/her the names of those towns and ask if they can send you a list of all of the short sales and foreclosures throughout those towns! You will be provided with great information and thank them for their time. Again, they will send you the list because they are in business to get them sold so you're providing an outlet for them to do so. Please do this! Oh yeah I forget to remind you to, PLEASE DO THIS... Get the point. Then go through the houses and look them up to see what they sold for and what they are worth. type in the addresses into www.totalviewrealestate.com ( AN amazing website that DEAN and his CREW were so generous to allow us to use FOR FREE)to see additional info about the property and the imagery will allow you to get a bird's eye view of the neighborhood too. Run some numbers and then make some aggressive and firm offers through him/her and wait and see what happens. Get with a CASH buyer that will buy from you if you can bring them a GREAT DEAL and you will not FAIL. JUST do these things and you'll be successful!!! And let them know that when you close on your first deal, offer to take them out to a nice steak dinner, or send them a $50 gift card to Longhorn steakhouse or something just to let them know you are greatful for their willingness to provide the data you have request. It's always best to give back to those that gave so much for you! I give back so much of my time on here because Dean has provided a new life for me and I am now changing my family tree financially because of what I'm doing as a real estate investor. This post alone has taken me nearly 90 minutes to put together. Not because I type with two fingers like Dean.. ( Sorry Dean, but hey you said it.LOL) but because I value each and everyone of you taking the time to read what I post so I continue to answer my countless emails and try to reply when I have time because I hope I can influence many people out there.
Overall recap on finding homes: A) FSBO and For rent properties B) driving for dollars C) placing signs telling people what I do D) Working with a great real estate agent
Please cut and paste this post somewhere so you'll always have it. Hopefully you see the value in this post! Put this in a binder or in a folder and refer back to it and add your notes to it. I'm a firm believer that something can always be better and improved upon so here's a good templete for success that you can run with.
Best of luck! "Building Weatlh by the Numbers"
Certified Cash Flow Consultant
Founder & President of Gold Bar Funding Group L.L.C.
Private Real Estate Investor
"Building Wealth by the Numbers"