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Expected returns are hard to come by. Stocks are at elevated P/Es on a historical basis, and yields are near all time lows. With economic growth sluggish, at 2-3 percent per year, any major gains will have to come from multiple expansion – and who can count on that? Earnings multiples can fall as easily as rise. This is what caused many of us to gravitate to self-directed IRA strategies in the first place!
Bonds aren’t much better, in the publicly traded market. There’s some downside protection, in theory.
Fortunately, electing to use self-directed IRA strategies allows you to transcend the limited publicly-traded stock and bond world, and explore hidden opportunities that are invisible to most investors – but which still offer reasonable yields – at acceptable risk levels, or at least with some security.
One such opportunity for self-directed IRA investors: Discounted Owner-Financed Real Estate Notes.
Here’s how it works: Read More >>
As an Investor, having a Realtor to work with is important in your business if you are buying or selling houses on the Multiple Listing Services. Many new Investors rely on their Realtor to send them “good deals” to buy, hold, fix and/or flip. However, a Realtor does not know what good deal means to an Investor. A good deal for us could be the cash flow that you receive on a rental property or it could be the profit that you would receive from reselling the home. As Investors, you are taught a MAO “Maximum Allowable Offer” Formula in which you use to make offers on homes for buying, fixing and reselling. The formula varies based on your own situation. The average formula used for Investors who have to get hard money to purchase the home would be: ARV (After repaired Value) x 65% - Repairs = MAO. Let me give you an example: $100,000 (ARV) x 65% = $65,000 - $10,000 Repairs = $55,000 Maximum Allowable Offer. This formula would then leave you with $35,000 for holding costs, cost of money, closing costs of purchase and resale, and then profit. Your MAO formula would be different if you are purchasing the home as a Landlord and/or you have your own money to fund the deal. You may be willing to pay between 70-75% of the After Repaired Value for the home - Repairs = Your MAO. Read More >>
In a previous column, we talked about setting up bills in QuickBooks Online. Now it’s time to pay them.
We recently laid out the benefits of using QuickBooks Online for bill entry and payment. It’s faster than manual methods. It leaves an electronic record of your accounts payable. And it helps ensure that bills are paid accurately and on time.
As we discussed, QuickBooks Online employs a two-step process for bill payment. Once you’ve completed the first (setup), the hard part is done, and you can move on to fulfilling your financial obligations. Let’s take a look.
Warning: Because you may be “handling” a lot of your bills twice in QuickBooks Online, this system can take some getting used to. We’ll be happy to walk you through the process until you’re comfortable. Read More >>
“I live a highly scheduled life. There's absolutely no time wasted. I'm very focused. And I have a great assistant.” ~ Madonna
Amazon Echo has been a game changer at my house. I find it a great selling point for new homes I’m working on as well. I use “Alexa” to turn on my lights, my television, set the thermostat and basically anything that’s connected to the system. It’s been really helpful around the holidays too, baking with the family has been a breeze while “Alexa” sets up the timer and converts measurements for us.
I’ve talked about other systems, like the Ring for the doorbell answering service, but Amazon comes to a new level with Echo. Technology won’t solve all our problems but it does make things a bit easier. While baking holiday cookies with the kids, I do have a bit of trouble in the kitchen. It’s just that Echo made small tasks easier like setting the timer and changing the measurements from weight to cups. Small hiccups were easier to get through when the tech was literally a voice command away. Read More >>
With the internet, fake news and social media anyone can create a persona and/or a story and have people believing it is true. With a great marketing plan, a website, paid likes, paid followers, a cheap book on Amazon written through research as a top seller and some know how you can be the next real estate guru. And who knows, maybe you end up knowing more IN THEORY than actual successful investors but it would only be in theory. Therefore, you should be cautious of who you are giving your money to and more importantly who you are learning from. Here are a few questions you should ask along with a few acceptable answers.
The number one thing to do is find referrals. I do not mean the testimonials on their website, unless you personally know of that person in your market area, but someone in your local REIA that has used that person and has hopefully had success. Ask them if the guru and/or their program provided what it advertised. However, also keep in mind that you have to ask detailed questions to find out if that person actually implemented the program. For this reason, you want to find as many referrals/users as possible. Eventually you will begin to notice a consistency that the program was not as advertised, good but lacked content, ok for a beginner, not worth buying, terrible or maybe so bad they will give you the content. Read More >>
The internet is full of hidden bargains! As many as 24% of the real estate market is composed of self-sellers, and you have a 10-23% chance of finding a property well below market value depending on the seller’s intentions.
Kinds of Properties
There are so many different types of property, its almost like a smorgasbord. It can be a fixer-upper, foreclosure or just motivated sellers. With a few online strategies and tools, you can tap into the hidden bargains available online. Investors who use the internet wisely can find 100s of real estate deals monthly.
Use the Internet
Why shy away from internet marketing, when there is massive potential and you can get more deals faster than your competitors. Many experienced real estate investors have turned to the internet to find as many real estate deals they can without leaving the office. Read More >>
In the last article, I briefly discussed the beginning of my venture into apartment investing. I encouraged people to do some self-learning before going to networking events so you have a better idea about what is going on. While attending plenty of networking events and having a handful of meetings, I realized that you may have something the person you are looking to for advice wants to learn from you. This works out great because in all my articles I discuss the importance of win-win scenarios.
Let me explain what has happened in my pursuit in learning how to invest in multi-family. First, most multi-family clubs or gurus want you to spend $5,000-$25,000 for them to teach you how to invest in multi-family. The lower end is reasonable but you don’t get much and the higher end is crazy. I’d rather take that money and be a limited partner in an actual deal. Keep in mind I am referring to multifamily with a purchase price of at least 1MM and/or 50+ units. I have participated in much smaller multifamily properties. Luckily, I found some great people that I hope will be able to teach me what I need to learn to be successful. They told me it was not worth investing that much when they were willing to do it in exchange for my time and expertise. Read More >>
When purchasing a property, the Sellers of the property should fill out a Seller Disclosure which tells you about the condition of the property, any repairs made since the date of purchase and any problems that they are aware of on the home. As an Investor, there are many times I will purchase the home without receiving a Seller Disclosure, and without a home inspection other than my own personal inspection. However, I highly recommend that Investors obtain a Seller Disclosure and have a formal home inspection even though you are replacing a lot of things inside and outside of the home.
Recently, a Partner and I were working on purchasing a property from a 4-member limited liability company who had purchased the property at a Tax Sale. Their Attorney informed us that the members would like to just sell the property and had purchased the property as a Tax Deed. They started the rehab on the property with the assistance of the Attorney but had not completed it. Our only contact was with the Attorney, who was a silent partner, and informed us of the following: That they wanted $48,000 for the property, that they have all new windows for the property that they would give us included in the purchase price, that there was an open roof permit on the property that just needed the facia to be painted to close out the permit and that all the material in the property was also included with the purchase of the property. We submitted the offer to the Attorney on October 31, 2016 and we still had not heard from him about our offer. We had called a couple of times reminding the Attorney that our offer was only valid for 2 days and now it was 7 days and still waiting on a response. Read More >>
STOP what you’re doing and read this. I promise that it’s worth it.
You have more power in you than you know. Right now, you have the ability to change someone’s life, starting with your own. And starting now - in this moment - you’re about to learn some secrets that can produce powerful results for you.
The “Big Secret” is this: The words you choose to use every day are vitally important. To you and everyone around you.
Words have power. They have the power to uplift. They have the ability to motivate, to inspire, to elicit emotion. Words can make someone laugh, cry, or smile.
For example: A horse walks into a bar. The bartender says, “Why the long face?” LOL Read More >>
“You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.” ~ Walt Disney
When I first started, I felt like I had no business designing spaces. I’m good at the big picture but putting textures and colors together that will sell the house I was not so confident. I’ve been using Pinterest and Houzz to piece together ‘dream boards’ that you would put together using ripped out magazine pages and taping them together to compose some sort of theme or color scheme.
Pinterest is known as a predominantly female geared platform. People use it to plan events, like weddings, or recipes for special occasions or holidays. It is a great tool to use to plan your decorating scheme for an interior and the exterior. You can easily gather ideas for landscaping, curb appeal, how to style your front door and entry way, from kitchen materials to flooring and bathroom tile. What I like best is that other ‘pinners’ have done most of the work for you already. Most pins that you research are already part of a larger board, and if you visit that board you can see what else that user put together already. It has been easy to use, either hit pin, send or like on the image. Once you click an image it usually leads to the website that sells the item or a blog post about how to do the project. Sometimes it’s just a source image from google, so it is still a good starting point to show a contractor to get the gist of the idea. Read More >>
One of the things I have seen a lot lately is wholesale deals banking on appreciation. And as a Buyer myself, I can tell you I love appreciation! Appreciation can cover a multitude of sins.
The problem is they are still sins and as a wholesaler, it is best to be aware of them if you want to move your deals! When running comps for your Buyer, the safest route is the tried and true MLS. Not Zillow or Trulia or some of these other online sites that can give snippits of value to the market but the good ol’ MLS.
One key piece to help avoid the appreciation challenge is to simply ensure your comps are current as of today. Not what you think it will be in three months or six months no matter how hot it is. Only today. Why? It keeps your Buyers safe. This is very important. It also keeps your numbers strong for your offers and negotiation so you can make sure you get a deal that makes sense. Nothing is worse than sitting on a deal you need to move quickly only to find it never had a chance because others did not see the value you saw. Read More >>
Despite the obviously important role information gathering plays in the art of negotiations, very few people actually spend much time analyzing their seller’s situations or needs before jumping into the negotiating process. Even logical individuals who wouldn’t jump into a dangerous sport before learning more about it often jump into a deal where they could possibly lose thousands without first getting the information they needed in order to protect themselves from a disastrous result.
I always remind my students that they need to listen, ask appropriate questions, do their due diligence and determine what the seller’s real underlying needs are. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of your sellers in order to get the information you need to make the best deal possible. If you need clarification on some part of the negotiation, ask!
So why are investors so reluctant to ask questions? Part of it is fear and part of it is the unwillingness to admit they don’t know or don’t understand something. It used to cause me a great deal of discomfort to ask certain questions of sellers such as “how much is your mortgage balance?” That one question used to really make me choke. The main reason for this was uncertainty as to how the seller would react to my question. Even when a seller refuses to answer your question, you are still gathering important information about that seller, namely that they are not particularly motivated. Usually a truly motivated seller will answer whatever questions you have. Read More >>
In my business model I need very motivated sellers. They need to be able to have a desire to sell at a reduced price and give me favorable terms. Most Realtors have been trained to only accept a cash deal (mortgage included), as there is no reason to do anything beyond this traditional method, especially if it is complicated financing that they don’t understand. So it is important to figure out how to work with a Realtor. Here are some tips that I have found to be effective when working with Realtors:
The Realtor’s sole job is to act as a fiduciary. The Realtor’s responsibility is to make the most commission for themselves, which has a benefit of making the maximum for the seller. The Realtor has no risk if either party makes a profit or loss. You see the conflict immediately between a Realtor and the investor. The goal of a Realtor is to get as much earnest money out of you as they possibly can. (Just like a wholesaler). This causes you to follow the money... your money. I was told by a mentor who was willing to walk from $5,000, if you do your due diligence and find the deal will lose more than your earnest money, then walk away. This was a big lesson for me. Read More >>
Last month, we discussed QuickBooks’ report Preferences and The Report Center. We’ll look at report customization this month.
QuickBooks makes your bookkeeping faster, safer, and more accurate than what you could do using a manual system. Still, you may occasionally tire of your daily tasks. You want to know what all of these forms and records mean in terms of your overall financial health. You want to see reports.
The actual mechanics of creating reports in QuickBooks are fairly straightforward. You can go to the Report Center, make a selection, maybe change the date range, and voila! Your company’s related data appears in neat rows and columns. Read More >>
An investor who has owned four rental properties for the past three years called me for help. He was at his wits’ end. Because he hated dealing with tenants so much, he was seriously considering dumping all of his rentals! By the way, this is not an uncommon feeling for new, inexperienced, and under educated landlords to have.
When we met to discuss his situation, he let me hear a recording of a conversation he had had with a tenant a few days prior…and I use the word “conversation” with loosely.
The tenant consistently paid his rent six to ten days late. This sent the landlord into orbit. Over the phone, the landlord screamed at the tenant, “You are a liar, an idiot and you’re totally worthless! Pack your crap and get out of my house right dang now!” And from there, the landlord’s words really turned foul. I felt sorry for the tenant and angry with the landlord for losing control. Read More >>
Like all Americans, we were deeply saddened and distressed by the recent widespread flooding here in North Carolina and elsewhere in the Southeast. We know that beyond the property and investment losses, many people lost their homes, property and heirlooms that no insurance policy can replace.
But torrential rains and flooding is an ever-present risk here in the southeast, America’s Hot Corner when it comes to hurricane and tropical storm activity and a place that certainly gets its share of ordinary thunderstorm and tornado activity as well, even apart from the tropical cyclone risk.
But according to industry sources, less than 10 percent of South Carolina homeowners carry flood insurance. That’s well below the national average of 14 percent, which is still distressingly low. Read More >>
Many years ago one of my mentors told me that you can have a perfect property, (if there is such a thing), and turn it into the most horrible property with bad financing. Getting good financing is the secret to creating wealth from real estate. Let me give you an example.
Today I am seeing all too many inexperienced investors talk about using OPM, (other people’s money). Using other people’s money can be a good strategy in certain circumstances, but not in every situation you find. For instance, using hard money loans will only work on short turn around properties, or fix and sell retail properties that can be sold in a short period of time. Over the years I’ve seen all too many inexperienced investors who bought houses in lower socio-economic areas or areas where people who can’t qualify for a loan are forced to live. These investors borrow hard money at 12% to 15% with interest only payments at 50% to 65% loan to value (50% to 65% of the after repaired value of the property) that have short payback periods from 6 months to one year. The investors fix these houses then try to rent or sell them. Read More >>
The chance to create new investments and take advantage of the real estate foreclosures in the market should be taken. These are one of the most dependable long term investments you can make. Buying properties after foreclosure using REIA comps is a method you can use to ensure you are given the best price for each and every property you review.
Buying real estate foreclosures is one of the main sources of income for many real estate investors. For starters, foreclosed properties have a high re-sale value that is guaranteed to earn you tremendous profits in the long run. Especially if you know you have made your profit when you buy. Another benefit of buying foreclosed properties is they are sold at the lowest prices, and with affordable interest rates dominating the market, those factors combined, you're buying property at discounted prices.
Those interested in investing in properties for the first time may find it difficult to make a decision on what is really right as an investment. You will want the best available in your most desired location, because purchasing properties is a big investment. That's why you want to work with REIA Comps for the most up to date information. Read More >>
This month is renovation month at Atlanta REIA and I for one am super excited. For the past 19 years I have managed to perform just about every type of real estate transaction there is. Everything from notes, wholesale deals, lease options to subject to deals. I’ve used every buying strategy known to man and every creative technique to sell my properties. But, no technique has made me more money than the good old fashioned “rehab” fix and flip. People often ask me how they can make lots of money in real estate. You would think that answer would be wholesaling because you don’t need a lot of money and it is quick and sometimes painless. Well the truth is, the fastest way to wealth in my opinion is to “Find ‘Em, Fix ‘Em and Flip ‘Em.”
When doing a rehab or renovation successfully it requires tools just like any job well done. If you have the proper tools in any job, the job goes much easier, faster and most efficiently. Rehabbing is no different. There are six steps to successfully performing any renovation of any size or shape.
The first step is PLANNING. Making sure you have the proper tools is essential to your success. Things that you should have with you at all times will make your job easier. These items include, Inspection forms, Camera, Flash Light, tape measure, graph paper, lock box and “”We Buy Houses” sign. These tools allow you to initiate the first step in any rehab. In my opinion you also want to invest in a design program so you can “Mock Up” what you want your rehab to look like. If you have an iPad my recommendation is an app called Tap Glace. It allows you to measure and create that vision on paper before you ever touch anything inside the house. Read More >>
Emotion is a tricky thing. We all have them. We experience them every day whether positive, negative or even indifference. I remember when I started investing being taught to never ever, EVER become emotionally attached to a deal. It sounded easy enough and as head knowledge it is.
But then a funny thing happens…people and or money become involved!
Oh yes, emotion can make the smartest of investors make the most let’s just say ‘bone headed of decisions’. I will have to admit, I have fallen prey to the power of emotion on a couple of emotions. Never underestimate this factor when doing deals!
Let’s examine both of these avenues in depth so you can see how powerfully they can work against you, sometimes without even realizing it.
In terms of people… Read More >>
I have been asked the same question a few times lately so I decided to answer it in this article. “Where can I get a master lease option (MLO) contract from?” The answer is easy- Google. You can search for MLO docs online. There were dozens of versions from just as many sites. I highly suggest that you have an attorney review any docs you get off line before using them. When I am asked this question I usually respond by telling the person that they aren’t really asking the right question. The real question is not “where do I find a MLO contract?” but “How do I use it?” You can print up the best master lease option document you can find but if you can’t get a seller to sign it…who cares?
Getting a seller on board with any kind of creative financing can be a challenge. You will find it a lot more difficult without the right presentation. Pitching your idea to the seller or realtor is the key to getting the deal done. Here are a few tips to make your next MLO offer a hit! Read More >>
The State of Florida and many other states were affected by Hurricane Matthew, leaving many Sellers with problem houses. I am located in Oviedo, Florida, and being a transplant from Michigan, I have never been in a Florida Hurricane. All of my houses were blessed with minor damage such as big trees down in the back yard, shingles flying off the roof, branches and trash everywhere. I am very grateful to God for these blessings. Other Sellers were not so fortunate and my heart goes out to them. They now have to deal with making a huge decision of fixing the house or selling the house. Some Sellers may not even have insurance on their house. However, if they do have insurance, let me explain the process.
An insurance claim can be long and dragged out with many Sellers becoming very frustrated with the insurance company’s findings. These are Sellers that may need your help with you buying their house. First, let me explain the process on Insurance Claims. Sellers will notify the insurance company of damage to the property along with providing them a list of items damaged. If the Insurance Company and the Sellers can come to an agreement, then a check is sent to them in their name and the names of all mortgage companies that may have a lien on the property. Pursuant to the terms of the mortgage that was signed by the Sellers, all insurance proceeds are to be used to re-build the property to make sure that the mortgage companies have an asset that is worth the amount of their loan. When there are large claims of loss to the insurance company, they normally dispute the amount of the claim and the Seller will have to hire an independent insurance adjuster to assist them in disputing the claim. Read More >>
Hey, guess what? I Want You to FAIL!
“Say what now? Fail? But failure is a bad thing, right? That’s what they taught me in school...AND in my job! And all my friends make fun of each other when we fail.”
Yes. Exactly. So what?
I’d like you to think back to when you were a kid. Everything was new to you in the world. You really had to learn things for yourself… How to eat, drink, think, walk, talk, and interact with stuff, right? If you can’t remember any of that, just watch kids.
Have you ever watched a kid learn how to walk? They fall down a lot, don’t they? But here’s the truly interesting thing: They don’t stay down. They don’t listen to their well-meaning friends who laugh at them, and they don’t care what grade they get.
No, they stand up, wobble around a bit, and fall down. Then they stand up again, wobble some more, then put one foot out and take a step! Read More >>
One of the most important aspects to a marketing campaign that is going to work is to create a solid mail piece for your business. These are key points for creating a solid direct mail piece that folks will respond to no matter what business you are in.
The first thing you’ll want to do is to “touch” your prospective customer or seller with “the dream”, or “the solution” to their problem. You’ll want to touch the basic emotions and the needs of your client or seller within the body of your letter, whether that is fear, relief, greed, pride or vanity.
Keep it simple. The grammar doesn’t necessarily have to be perfect. You want to reach this person at their comfort level. Keep your letter relaxed, personal and conversational.
Use simple language; don’t fill your letter with big words or technical words or “industry jargon” that your seller or your customer might not understand. Read More >>
The last month or so I have been looking more and more into investing in apartments. However, I did not attend local MeetUps or other groups dedicated to apartment investing until this week. I self-educated as much as possible through books, podcasts, YouTube video and articles. I did this to prepare for the meetings and it paid off.
The reason I learned as much as possible before attending these apartment investing meetings was so I can understand what was being discussed. I have led single family investment groups in the past and caught myself speaking over many of the attendees. It was not done intentionally but because I had been doing it for so long I was doing it unconsciously. I have also seen other instructors and speakers do the same thing. Read More >>