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Since 1999, Kim and I have continually learned from Pete Fortunato how to creatively structure and fund our deals – without going to banks!
The BEST real estate investing meeting we attend is the weekly Real Estate Exchangers meeting in St. Petersburg, Florida. It's creative deal structuring and funding at its most pure.
Here's an example of a deal that was put together at yesterday's meeting.
Rich has a SUV that he’ll sell for $3,000 cash. Pretty straight up deal, right?
Pete offers to trade his Nissan truck for Rich's SUV. But Rich doesn't want a truck; he wants $3,000 cash! Does Pete have a hearing problem or what?
Here is a classic example of Use What You Have, To Get What You Need, To Get What You Want. Read More >>
As an agent for 35 years, I am that real estate agent that truly loves real estate. Yes, at the gym, or riding in a car on vacation, or, sunning on the beach, you will find me reading the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta Business Chronicle, Neighbor Newspapers, Realtor Magazine, and the list goes on and on. I have this keen thirst for knowledge about what is happening and where and when in my home of over 50 years, Atlanta. Therefore, I decided local investors and rehabbers would really appreciate a synopsis of events affecting value in our city. I am breaking these events into area factors or areas of town for your convenience.
Several factors in Metro Atlanta are affecting area growth: Read More >>
If you own rental property or investment property within a real estate IRA, it’s important to be careful with the money you spend making improvements. While many people make improvements and upgrades to their own homes to increase their enjoyment of their homes, not every home improvement immediately adds to the dollar value of a home, net of costs.
But some do, depending on the property and the market. This is especially true if you are bringing a home up to the standard of the surrounding neighborhood.
Except in special circumstances, or when transforming an unlivable home to a livable one, most major renovations don’t add immediate resale value once you account for the costs of professional work, licensed contractors, etc.
However, there are a few projects that have proven themselves over time, when used in the right homes – chiefly things that improve the cosmetic appearances of a home and enhance curb appeal. Read More >>
In the world of real estate investing, knowing the key elements to make your current or next deal ready to sell fast can add huge profits to your pocket. After all, time is money.
I have to stress real estate investing using REIA comps to see all the transactions in your market area is key. Quickly looking up prior sales, reviewing the previous listing can give you keys to the types of finishing touches that are most desirable for your market area. Here are the Seven Touch Ups which produce fast sales. Read More >>
Since this scenario has arisen for me in the past on a couple of really good deals with a lot of income potential, I thought I would take the time to explain to you how to deal with this kind of problem.
Sometimes you will put a property under contract with a seller, get all the way through the closing process right up to the time of closing and for some reason the seller changes their mind and decides not to sell to you. While this is not a usual occurrence if you are following through correctly with your deals, it does arise occasionally and you need to be prepared.
There are a lot of reasons this situation can occur. One main reason is that the seller may have gotten a better offer on the property after putting it under contract with you. Or maybe a relative or friend tells them they didn’t sell for enough money or maybe they just get cold feet and decide not to sell. None of these are a good reason for them not to sell to you, especially when you have a valid contract with your seller and have followed through as you are required to within the confines of the contract. Read More >>
Cash flow and equity are the two main reasons for doing a master lease option (MLO) deal. Both can be had using this creative technique to close real estate deals. Proper management will create both and make your next deal a cash cow!
Business is not about making money, it’s about keeping it. It doesn’t matter how much money you bring into your business if you lose it all in the expenses of running that same business. When discussing real estate keep this simple formula in mind.
Income – Expenses = Net Operating Income (NOI).
NOI – Mortgage Payment = Cash Flow
If we cut the cost of operations then we will increase cash flow. The two main ways to do this with a MLO is to have the property create more income and less in expenses. In this article I will be focusing on managing the deal to cut down on operational expenses. Most people will hire a management company to take care of the daily operations of their real estate. If you are not managing the property yourself you will need to work closely with the manager/management company to achieve this. Read More >>
Picture this: a man purchases a house in 2007 with a loan from a major mortgage lender who then securitizes the loan. After 9 years of making payments, the homeowner loses his job and defaults on the loan. The lender sends a foreclosure notice to the homeowner, claiming the ability to foreclose on the loan. But does the lender actually have the right to foreclose? The answer is a bit complicated, and does not look good for the major banks. To understand why, let’s take a closer look at exactly what the banks did and what it means for homeowners and real estate investors.
When a loan was securitized it was lumped together with a massive pool of loans and then sold in parts to investors around the world. The investors were then paid from the principal and interest payments on the loans based on their percentage of ownership. It sounds simple enough. If it was that simple, why did mortgage lenders begin the process by selling each loan in the massive pool of loans through a sequence of sales? And why was the last sale almost invariably to a single-purpose entity, usually a trust with a major bank as the trustee? The point of this sequence of sales was to separate the pool of loans from the assets and liabilities of the originating lender. They did this in case the lender was to file for bankruptcy or go into receivership. If the loan had not been completely separated from the lender, the lender could then claim the loan by right of redemption, effectively leaving the investors with nothing. Read More >>
Fear… the word that has the ability to conjure up all sorts of emotions in a matter of milliseconds. A natural emotion we all experience. It is quite natural to assume you may have to deal with it when working with property. After all, we are talking about assets that can have several zeroes on the end of their price tag. Fear can be a healthy thing to keep us in check!
Arguably though, the majority of us will do almost anything to avoid being in a fearful state. Oh sure, some of us embrace it but usually it takes some maturing to reach that point to ‘confront’ fear.
So how does this relate to Sellers?
Usually we will take something like fear and make it a very, very big deal. New investors deal with this all the time but so do a lot of experienced ones. When talking with a Seller, there are all sorts of things we create in our minds to be afraid of. Some examples are as follows: Read More >>
I’ve partnered with many investors and the one thing that I continue to see over and over again is the fact that the investor falls in love with the house. What I mean by that is they become attached to the property itself instead of the financials, which is not the ideal situation.
You've heard many people say in the past it's just business and that's exactly what it should be, just business. When you purchase a property to renovate and sell or rent, you should only be interested in the numbers and location. I hear many newbie investors and some seasoned investors comment that they really love an area or they really love a house but that's not what they should be focused on.
As an investor you should first say I love these numbers, I like the ROI and/or I like the potential cash flow. If the numbers work then you can start deciding whether or not you like the area, feel comfortable going there to collect rent, or if you are flipping, would you consider keeping the home as a rental if it does not sell. More or less this should be your train of thought as an investor. If it is not, you may start getting into a little bit of trouble. Read More >>
Every week, I have the pleasure of mentoring some wonderful people who are in the process of mastering the art of real estate investing. We work on the basics of marketing, making offers, talking to sellers & buyers, deal structuring, how to write up contracts, etc.
Once the essential elements and techniques are understood, a game plan has been developed, and the student knows WHAT to do & HOW to do it, the only thing left to do at that point is to...TAKE ACTION!
And this is often where the problems occur. Taking action. Why is that part so hard for so many people?
Could it be that we’re afraid of the unknown? Or maybe because we think that we have to give up something we hold dear in order to be successful? Or perhaps it’s the fear of success itself that holds so many people back?
Whatever the case, I’ve noticed that it’s a real issue that truly stands in the way of potentially massive, life-changing experiences and success. Read More >>
Will multiple employees be working with your QuickBooks company file? You’ll need to define their permission levels.
If you ever did your bookkeeping manually, you probably didn’t allow every employee to see every sales form and account register and payroll stub. Most likely, you established a system that allowed staff to work only with information that related to their jobs. Even so, there may have been times when, for example, someone pulled the wrong file folder or was sent a report that he or she shouldn’t have seen.
QuickBooks helps prevent this by setting virtual boundaries. You can specify which features of the software can be accessed by employees who work with your accounting data. Each employee receives a unique user name and password that unlocks only the areas he or she should be visiting. Read More >>
Are you an active or passive real estate investor? This is the MAGIC question that all real estate investors should ask themselves on a regular basis, rather they know it or not. Let me explain.
Many beginning investors want to focus 100% on wholesaling and rehabbing so they can make the fast cash and big checks. They don’t want the headaches of toilets, trash and tenants. After all it feels good to take a rundown house and flip it to a rehabber and make a quick $5000 or $10,000 in a few hours or better yet tear it apart, fix it up and sell it to a first time buyer who will call it home for many years to come and you can make $25,000 or $30,000 plus in just a few short months.
Active investing can be addicting and a real adrenaline rush. Ask me how I know that. My nickname is the Rehab Queen and I have been rehabbing and flipping as an active income producing investor for over 17 years. I have done over 350 properties and those quick one time paydays have been great. But... Read More >>
We know you have been thinking about Selling, Wholesaling or doing a Fix and Flip, but weren't sure when to do it, there may not be a better time than now.
To be sure, the decision to act greatly depends on your own personal circumstances. However, several factors have combined to make this a good time to think about taking action. The idea of jumping into the market, especially if you have been cautiously sitting on the sidelines, is now!
Over the past few years, the inventory of homes for sale has steadily shrunken, even as the demand from buyers has grown. Nationwide, total SFR inventory stands at just under 5 months’ supply. However, in some of our local markets, available inventory is even lower. Putting this into perspective, a balanced market should have approximately six to eight months supply. The time to use REIAComps to quickly and easily access the local markets around Hotlanta is frankly sizzling. Read More >>
“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” ~ William Arthur Ward
It is best to teach by example. Now that everything is on a digital platform it can be difficult to find the right words to explain an action step-by-step to someone. Whether it is a menial task like sorting through spam email or getting a website listing to appear on a mobile platform, it is confusing to explain something in an email or text message. I find myself to be a visual learner and the best way to show me something is a short video tutorial.
Thank goodness for app developers: Pro Recorder (Free): Record Web Screen/Video - for Dropbox and Google Driver is By the company CONG DUC TRAN is the solution to my problem. As I often do, I was browsing the app store looking for something that could capture my screen actions in a video. I am familiar with other programs but they only cover my desktop or laptop, not my iPhone or iPad. Using this is a breeze, especially since you can easily save to a Dropbox or Google Drive account. It makes sharing the video easy and since it saves on a cloud storage platform no need to eat up all your memory. Read More >>
Through the 1990s and early 2000s millions upon millions of loans were created. This created some interesting issues for the banks. In some cases, they were looking for ways to cut down on the steps in the process in order to reduce the time it took to process a loan in order to keep up with the flood of business. In some other cases, they were looking for ways to take advantage of the system to bilk homeowners, their investors, and the government out of as much money possible. Unfortunately, the solutions the banks came up with for both of these issues resulted in a system of rampant mortgage fraud that the courts are only now finally catching onto. So how can you determine if your loan or the loan on a prospective deal is fraudulent?
In order to prove that they have the right to foreclose on a property, it is becoming standard for lenders to be required to produce the original note on the property. The note is required before a court will allow a lender to sell a property. It must show that the true lender is named with a recorded economic interest in the property. The note as submitted by the lender in a foreclosure hearing may clearly be fraudulent because it was notarized after the fact with a stamp that was not even valid at the time the mortgage was taken out. Read More >>
In the last two posts, we talked about building credibility with Buyers. We have covered four steps so far. Last month, we talked about the importance of having a real deal and doing your own due diligence as key points. This month, we will talk about how to continue creating credibility and maintaining it for the lifetime of a deal.
Step 5: Maintain Open Communication
In a world where social media dominates and text messaging is overused for serious matters in my opinion, almost if not every Buyer I have met over the years prefers phone communication or in person when it’s time for real things to happen.
For most deals, we are talking about tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. Millions for the even bigger players. It is quite reasonable to assume that at some point, people want to talk to another human when doing a deal together. This is step 1 of what I call ‘real communication’. Talking to a real person on the phone achieves magic that an email or text rarely can accomplish. Read More >>
You might have heard of a Real Estate IRA. You might have even looked into it as an option in the past as you considered the retirement options that make the most sense for you and your family. But if you’re not familiar with this kind of retirement account, you might be surprised at just what kinds of investment results you can have when using it properly.
Don’t believe us? Let’s take a closer look at the Self-Directed Real Estate IRA—and how it can uniquely benefit your retirement plans:
Benefit #1: Getting More Leverage with a Real Estate IRA
One of the most fascinating concepts in real estate investing is that of leverage. By using leverage, you can make purchases you otherwise wouldn’t be able to make with the cash in your bank account. In Real Estate IRAs, you’ll be expected to use non-recourse loans, but you’ll still be able to use this concept of leverage to your advantage. In other words, you can buy real estate that you otherwise would not be able to with plain, ordinary cash. Read More >>
The number one thing that makes an Investor successful is finding, buying and selling properties from a Motivated Seller. As I have stated in previous articles, the only thing that makes Investors money is a Motivated Seller. So … how do you find motivated Sellers when it’s a Seller’s market? There are several ways to become successful and as an Investor the key to your success is having a marketing machine running all the time. A Seller’s market means that when a property is listed on the Multiple Listing Service, the Sellers receive multiple offers from Investors, homeowners and landlords. Obviously a homeowner is willing to pay list price or more for the house since they are going to live in the property and there is a personal attachment. Landlords will pay up to 75% to 80% of the market value and Investors pay 60% to 65% of market value. Yes, the repairs come into consideration for the Landlord and the Investor, however, the homeowner is more accepting of repairs needed to the home, as they are planning on making changes anyway. Therefore, submitting offers on the Multiple Listing Service is very time consuming for an Investor and the rate of acceptance is much lower than for a homeowner. Read More >>
If you are going to meet a seller you will inevitably hear objections to the first price you offer. You can be as little as $1,000.00 off the seller’s asking price and the seller will still look to get you to the asking price. It is in our human nature to try to look out for our best interest so do not get upset. All you simply have to do is prepare for the most common objections and get the seller to agree with you.
Here are the objections I run into the most and how I have been able to successfully overcome them.
You’ll be visiting QuickBooks Online’s Settings screen regularly, so it’s good to know what’s there.
You can get into a rental car and just start driving to your destination. But you soon realize that you need to know where the temperature controls and the radio tuner are. If it starts raining, you must know where the wiper controls are. And when it gets dark, you’d better know how to turn on the headlights.
The same goes for QuickBooks Online. You can create bills and start paying them or begin to invoice customers or record expenses as soon as you set up an account (though you’ll be adding a lot of data on the fly). But you’ll soon discover that those tasks would be easier if you had established all of your Settings first.
If you have multiple employees using QuickBooks Online, for example, it has probably occurred to you that not everyone needs to have access to everything in your company file. You’ll want to connect the site to your financial accounts, build a budget, and specify payment terms and types. Read More >>
This article was not easy to write. In fact, it was one of the more challenging articles I’ve written in a while. Why? Because it deals with something that’s not easy for us to talk about: The reason why most people don’t take the action they know they should so that they can have the success they say they want to have.
The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary. It’s an old-school, classic, tried-and-true principle: If you want to have success, you’ve got to work hard to make it happen. And hard work means taking action.
Why do you think most people don’t take the action that needs to be taken? I believe it comes down to two things: 1. Lack of Knowledge, or 2. Abundance of Fear. Read More >>
Did you ever wonder why some people are really wealthy and some people barely live paycheck to paycheck? Did you ever think “Why can’t I be wealthy like them?” What do the wealthy people know that I don’t? “How did they get rich? These are all valid questions, but I would say, the reason why you are or aren’t a wealthy person is entirely between your ears. So what exactly do I mean by that?
It’s simply this. Wealth is based on a state of mind, not on how much education you have, how many hours you work, or who you know. A wealthy mindset is created by believing in who you are, who you want to be and where you want to go. It is said that our thought processes control the person we are and the person we become, and this is so true. I know a lot of people, many of whom are real estate entrepreneurs, who have become extremely wealthy and yet came from backgrounds of poverty and little or no education. Read More >>
When we think of the Fourth of July we think about fireworks, grilling, and being with friends and family in celebration. I am a very big pyrotechnics fan, I always have a supply of fireworks for any occasion. If there is any excuse to launch a mortar or rockets, then I am very excited. Yes, I have gotten my share of injuries. I still have my eyes and fingers. The injuries healed. This is just like getting involved in real estate. You must know the risk and rewards when you buy and sell real property.
When I am picking out the right explosives to use in a celebration I have certain criteria. The mortars have to have color and reports. I also have rules in real estate. I have certain types of houses which I will buy and others I will pass on. I will pass on certain areas. I need to know what is the profit/reward ratio. The process I use has four simple rules. The first rule is to know what you are buying. Are you buying a house, commercial property, apartments, or storage units? How big? Get it inspected so you know what you are getting yourself into. Read More >>
After closing the doors of North Georgia REIA forever, we have been reminiscing about the best lessons we’ve shared with our group.
With this in mind, here’s some sage advice from an old investor.
How do I know whether a deal is good or not? How do I know what I’m looking at? And if I decide to take the deal down, how do I get it funded fast without going to a bank?
When Kim and I began our investing careers in 1995, we thought all houses were pretty much the same. But over time and with experience, we’ve learned what types of houses make the best investments. Read More >>
This is an article I wrote a few years ago. Again I am hearing the rumblings of some of my students who believe they can buy 100 houses or more every year and it scares me to death. I believe what this article says is so important for every investor to know. That is why I decided to have this article republished.
Recently I was talking to several of my students who each said they wanted to buy 100 houses this year. These students had listened to one of the guru’s who had bought and sold over one hundred houses in one year and are now teaching people how to duplicate what they had done. I listened closely to these bright eyed inexperienced students tell me they wanted to do the same as the guru and it frightened me to death. Later over dinner, I mentioned what I had just heard to my wife. She encouraged me to tell my tale of woe about the years of agony we experienced because I got too big for my britches and against my wife’s better judgment I had tried to do the same thing myself. Read More >>