Being In Control of Your Investments

In the financial markets you can buy stocks, bonds, mutual funds, options and more. With each of them you make an investment of money for a return on that investment of interest, dividends or appreciation of value or a combination of two or more. You can even buy on margin so you can basically get in for no money down. The only problem is if the investment you made goes down in value then you receive a margin call and if you have never had one it’s not a good feeling. You have made an investment, financed it and because the value has decreased you must now sell some of your investment to decrease the amount financed.

The last time I bought stock in a company (and I used to be a stock broker) that was suppose to be the next Boston Chicken, Wal-Mart or Food Lion and it didn’t work out that way, I decided right then that I would never again put my money into something that I wasn’t in control of. I have never bought stock since.

Have you ever bought stock in a company? Did you visit the company and meet with the management? Did you also visit the company’s competition? Did you look at the break up value of the company? Most people don’t do any of these things when investing in a company but they do look at the numbers…the P E ratio, dividends, etc. We need to look at the importance of being in control of our investments.

When you buy real estate you visit the property and tenants if any, look at past performance or at least study the competition to see what you can rent or sell the property for. You also get an appraisal so you know the true value. You also get a rehabber or contractor to estimate the necessary repairs. You then get a loan and buy the property if everything checks out.

Many of you know that I rarely look at the properties that we buy. I don’t have to as long as I have qualified people that do. I don’t recommend this if you are just starting out as you need to learn the markets you are buying in. Buying real estate is all about the numbers just like buying stocks or bonds except YOU are in control. YOU determine how much you are going to pay and YOU will be managing the investment. The only difference is that when you buy right and structure your financing right YOU will not need any of your own cash. I have often said that you don’t invest cash in real estate you invest your knowledge and real estate gives YOU cash or cash flow. We have designed a property analysis form that we use to analyze potential deals.

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Learn a Lesson From The Flowers

Do you ever wish your life could change? It can.

Wanting it to change is the first step.

Learn a lesson from the flowers

Taking action, moving in the direction of your dreams, is where real change begins.

Look at the image above. Watch the flowers. They open during the day and close at night. They follow the laws of the universe.

Now, look at the cars in the background. Rushing around 24-7. Inside, people frantic to get to their destination, whether it’s home, work, or an appointment.

Doesn’t that tell you something?

Think about it.

Take a look at the following verses from The Bible.

Matthew 6:28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

Matthew 6:29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

Matthew 6:30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

Read The Bible. Have faith in God. Learn a lesson from the flowers.

Taking action is where real change begins

Challenge yourself. Take the first step. Momentum will bring people into your life who will help you on your way. But, you must take the first step in order for this to happen.

Sometimes the the smallest decisions, such as moving to a new place, or talking to that stranger, can turn your whole life around.

My life has changed for the better. And so can yours.

If you want it to change, though, you have to do things differently. Step outside yourself.

The only difference between you and a millionaire is what they know. Think about it. Always continue to learn. Always continue to grow. Educate yourself. Ask questions.

Look at your friends

Look at your friends. If they are not who you want to be, then find new friends.

The rule I use for friendship is this: someone that motivates and inspires me.

Borrow this rule. Make your own rule.

Maybe you need someone that challenges you instead of someone that accepts you. Friends who are too nice won’t help shape you in any way. Find a friend who is honest with you, even if it hurts. Because that friend is the one who will help you grow.

Whatever you do, take action. Action eliminates fear.

Action eliminates fear

I took action and my life has changed drastically because of it. Yours can, too.

Here’s a few steps you can take to change your life for the better.


1) Ask your friends and family to write down a list of your strengths and weaknesses. You will be surprised to see how the lists resemble each other.

2) Ask yourself: Out of this list, what would I enjoy doing for free? Now ask yourself, how can I make money by doing that?

If you really enjoy watching reality shows, and like writing, write a blog about reality shows. On your blog page, add affiliate links. (You receive a percentage of the profits when people purchase affiliate link products.)

Advertise your blog by adding social URL’s to it. With your reality show blog, you could register an e-mail at yahoo for Then, using that e-mail, create a myspace page and name it Then, open a forum on myspace or join someone elses.

The bottom line? Get going. The universe rewards action. It even rewards bad action and bad behaviour. You’ll see that when watching ‘Cops’. So take good action and move in the direction of your dreams. When you do, people, places, and events will line up to reward you.

3) Read. Continue educating yourself. Read The Bible. Read books by people who have gotten to where you want to go. There’s a plethora of reading material at the library. Spend a few hours at the library. Read magazine articles that will help you get to where you are going.

4) Keep your body in a state of health. Get moving. Swim. Walk. Hike. Dance. Drink lots of water. Eat plenty of raw fruits and vegetables. Healthy body=healthy mind.


By reading this article, you are proving to yourself that you can change your life for the better. Now, put it into action and follow the steps.

Let me know your progress.

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Creating Marketable Notes

Creating Marketable Notes
The day has come when savvy entrepreneurs, investors, rehabbers, FSBO’s, Realtors, and other
Real Property owners have come to the realization that they can sell their properties faster by
offering owner financing and still get to a cash position. The advent and acceptance of what often
is referred to as a ‘simultaneous closings” where a property is sold and the private seller financed
note is also simultaneously sold to coincide with the sale of the property has become an integral
way that many note deals get done these days.
I am often asked how can I structure these types of deals to provide for two things; #1, a saleable
note that can be easily converted into cash? and #2, a minimal note discount from the balance
The following circumstances surrounding a potential note deal will come into play when a note
investor, including ourselves, is looking to purchase these newly created notes.
Type of property, occupancy, new sale or one with a payment history, buyers down payment,
buyers credit profile, buyers credit scores, buyers employment, stability, and finally the
repayment terms of the note.
Let’s briefly explore each of these variables:
1) Type of Property
As far as the collateral securing repayment of the note is concerned, clearly a vacant land parcel
that has no improvements attributed to it would be considered far riskier than a mortgage lien on
a single family dwelling which is generally considered to be the easiest type of real estate to
finance, sell, or dispose of. Different types of collateral warrant different levels of exposure from
a funder. Residential type properties are far more acceptable than commercial properties or land.
Within the residential sector there are varying degrees of acceptance over the actual type of
residential property. A mortgage lien on a single family detached home is far more desirable than
one on a condominium, town home, or mobile home, etc. For purposes of this article we will
focus on the most desirable type of collateral for an investor in paper and that is the “bread and
butter” single family home. If you are creating paper and you are wanting to maximize the
amount of cash you can receive, then a properly structured 1st lien mortgage on a single family,
owner occupied, detached dwelling is by far the type most note funders can price aggressively.
Meaning; maximizing the funding exposure and minimizing the discount on the note sale.

2) Occupancy
Statistically speaking, a payor who lives in his /her home as their primary residence is going to
keep up the condition of their property better and pay more timely on a note than an investor
owner who may be struggling to collect rents, keep up with repairs, or other bills, etc. This
translates into more conservative exposure levels that are going to have to be adhered to for a
non-owner occupant investor type payor. It is wiser to sell to prospective buyers who are going to
live in the home, feel that they have some emotional attachment to the home, and are more
willing to pay a full “retail” sales price for the home than an investor.
3) New Sale or Seasoned Note
A note that has been newly created where there is no discernable payment history established
creates an aura of uncertainty and risk associated with this burning question; how will the note be
repaid? Often even good credit payors overextend themselves when purchasing a home and all
the extraneous expenses that go along with home ownership (taxes, insurance, repairs, upgrades,
furnishings, utilities, etc.) A note that has even a few months of documentable payments
associated with it can often lessen many issues surrounding the burning question. With lesser
credit payors, the note may have no alternative but to be seasoned in order to mitigate the risk and
uncertainty and make it marketable for sale. If you have marginal payors that are going to be
paying you, make sure you have the ability to clearly document their payment history to you.
After a period of time the risk and concern over their credit background becomes offset to a large
degree by their performance on the note.
4) Buyers Down Payment
If you are presented with two identical notes that are secured by two identical homes located in
the same neighborhood, with the exception that the purchasers of one home put down 10% of the
purchase price of their home in cash, and the other home purchaser put down little or no cash,
everything else being equal, in which note would you prefer to invest? A down payment of a
buyer’s hard earned dollars creates more stability for a buyer. They often will fight, claw, and
scratch their way out of a problem before jeopardizing their initial down payment they have made
into a property. Although most note funders want a minimum of 5% cash down, 10% is
preferable on residential properties. Also make sure any initial earnest money deposited or down
payment money is clearly and conclusively documented.

5) Buyers Credit Profile
Prospective buyers of a property that have demonstrated that they can pay their creditor
obligations timely are going to be inherently a better risk and command more aggressive pricing
for a note that they are paying on than those individuals with a blemished credit past or present.
This is not to say that a so-called “scratch and dent” borrower cannot still be a good choice. One
must look carefully at the overall credit profile and history to see where the problems lie. Are
there major credit issues like a prior or more recent bankruptcy, repossession, foreclosure,
judgement, etc.? or are the credit problems possibly related to past medical payment problems?
How long ago were these problems present? Has there been any re-establishment of positive
credit? There is a tremendous amount of increased risk associated with buying a note that has no
established payment history attributed to it. If you want to sell a newly created note it is advisable
to seek better credit quality buyers. As an alternative as stated above be prepared to accept a
larger discount for the note and a lower level of funding exposure or consider seasoning the note
to establish a track record of timely payments.
6) Credit Scores
Credit scoring is often referred to as a “FICO”, “BEACON”, or “EMPERICA” score. It is
generated by analyzing the data in the major credit repositories for an individual and affixing a
score that illustrates their pattern of credit use. The higher the score the lower the risk associated
with that prospective borrower, the lower the score the greater degree of risk. Although far from
perfect more and more funders are relying on these credit scores to ferret out potentially
problematic borrowers.
As of this articles writing when dealing with newly created notes or real estate mortgages one
should try to look for prospective buyers who have credit scores in excess of 600. Sure you can
sell one of your properties to a lower credit score buyer, however you will have to sacrifice a
lower tolerance level for any funding for that particular note or will have to “age” or season the
note obligation for a period of time to offset the lower credit scores and perceptions of risk.
7) Buyers Employment & Stability
What someone does for a living and for how long often illustrates how stable a prospective buyer
may be. If an individual has been going from job to job over short time periods or has relocated
several times over the recent years there is an aura of extra risk associated with that type of
borrower. However individuals who have some longer-term stability either in working for
themselves or an employer are considered less risky.
8) Repayment Terms of the Obligation
After carefully scrutinizing the above variables one should have a good feel for where their
prospective buyer / borrower might fit in from a risk standpoint. Those candidates with less risk
should allow you to finance them at a higher starting (LTV) loan to value threshold for the
mortgage which typically will be in the 85% LTV to perhaps as high as a 95% LTV range as
opposed to the riskier candidates who you might wish to limit to somewhere in the 75% LTV –
80% LTV range. The same is true with the actual note interest rate or “coupon” rate. Higher risk
means the note should be drafted with a higher interest rate, typically in the 10 % -11 % range.
Lower risk can allow for a lower note coupon rate perhaps in the 8.5% – 9.50 % range. The
mortgage and note should typically contain a 30-day default clause, have acceleration remedies,
contain no prepayment penalty, have a late fee provision a due on sale clause, and nonassumability
It is the dynamic interrelationship of all of these variables that will dictate how you can “tweak”
the proposed structure for a deal so that it will allow you to maximize the amount of cash you can
realize along with minimizing the note discount.
It makes little sense for you to try to sell a newly created 90% LTV note that is written @ a 9.5%
interest rate to a note funder where the note payor has credit that is not deserving of that favorable
interest rate or higher loan to value exposure. You will be the one that suffers a greater discount
on the sale of this type of note since its structure was not optimized.
Additionally experienced funding source personnel or a competent master broker can save you
tons of frustration, heartache, and headache in putting your deals quickly together in an optimum
fashion. Pay attention to the above variables and above all, be realistic.

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The Ten Most Frequent House Problems

The Ten Most Frequent House Problems
It’s a good idea to hire a home inspector before purchasing your new
House. A qualified inspector can help you see beyond a pretty
Facade by doing a thorough examination of the home’s structural and
mechanical condition. In addition, their discovery of hidden
problems can save you thousands of dollars, as well as the shock of
unpleasant surprises in the future.
In a recent survey of its members, the American Society of Home
Inspectors (ASHI) compiled a list of the ten most frequently found
problems in homes:
1. Improper Surface Grading/Drainage—this causes the most common
household problem, water penetration of the basement or crawlspace,
and can be fixed by re-grading or installing a new system of gutters
and downspouts.
2. Improper Electrical Wiring—insufficient electrical service to the
house, inadequate overload protection, and do-it-yourself wiring
connections all can be serious safety hazards.
3. Roof Damage—old or damaged shingles, or improper flashing, can
cause roof leakage. Shingle repairs can be easily and inexpensively
done, but shingles near the end of their life span may mean you’ll
need a new roof soon.
4. Heating Systems—broken or malfunctioning operation controls,
blocked chimneys, and unsafe exhaust disposal can cause inefficient
heating and are health and safety hazards.
5. Poor Overall Maintenance—cracked, peeling, or dirty painted
surfaces, crumbling masonry and broken fixtures may seem
inconsequential, but they reflect the overall lack of care that has
been given to the home.
6. Structural Problems— as a result of problems in any the other
categories, many houses sustain some damage to structural components
such as foundation walls, floor joists, or rafters.
7. Plumbing—plumbing defects include old or incompatible piping
materials, as well as faulty fixtures and waste lines.
8. Exteriors—exterior flaws, including windows, doors, and wall
surfaces, are often caused by inadequate caulking or
weather-stripping, and can cause water and air penetration.
9. Poor Ventilation—many homeowners have “over-sealed” their homes
in an effort to save energy, resulting in excessive interior
moisture. This can cause rotting of both structural and
non-structural elements, as well as tremendous mold accumulation.
10. Miscellaneous—this category includes various interior
components, such as sticky windows or dripping faucets, as well as
environmental concerns, such as lead-based paint and asbestos.
While an inspection won’t guarantee a perfect home, it will greatly
reduce your risk of developing problems in the future, and will
provide a valuable education in the process.

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Having rehabbed over 470 properties in the last seven years and collected over 600 apartment units I’m often asked, how can I become wealthier faster investing in real estate?

While most investors concentrate on some aspect of single family houses, I was always interested in multi-units (apartments) first, and then single family homes as a means of getting more multi-units .

From the very beginning of my investing in real estate, I liked the idea that a group of people (the tenants in a building) would get together and pool their money to pay down the mortgage on a property, and I liked the idea that they would also pool their money together to pay for all of the maintenance work for a building.

I especially liked the idea that they would give an owner so much money that the owner would have a bunch of money left over at the end of every month that could be used to either re-invest, save or to go out and have a good time with.

Essentially, I like the idea that other people were willing to help make me wealthy. I liked it even more when I started using management companies to manage my properties and no longer had to have contact with my tenants.

I soon came to realize that I could also wholesale, retail, pre-foreclosure, rehab, subject to and lease option apartment houses as well.

I also realized that there were certain advantages that investing in multi-units buildings had over single families.

  • The first was cash flow. Cash flow on a multi-family is always greater than that of a single family. Simply because you have more rents coming in.

    The more units you have under one roof, the less risk you have. If you have a single family house and you lose your tenant, you’ve lost 100% of your income. In some instances, this could be your entire profit for the year. If you had a three family and lost a tenant, you still have two rent coming in to pay your expenses.

  • Economies of scale are in mulit-unit buildings. If you have six single family houses opposed to one six family, you have six roofs to be replaced or repaired, six lawns to be maintain, six tenants spread out through out your city or town.

    In your six family you have one roof, one lawn and your tenants are centrally located. Economies of scale are in your favor.

  • There’s a lot less competition than there are in single family houses. Why? Because no one is out there teaching how to do it and all the single family guru’s make flipping single family houses sound as easy as chewing gum in the dark. The smart investors put multi-units in their portfolios along with single family houses.
  • Because of the bigger cash flows, you can afford to hire management companies to manage your tenants, thus eliminating that hassle while you go out and do what you do best (or should do best), find and finance them.
  • Your pay days are a lot bigger when you finally sell your property. This is because an apartment complex cost more than single family homes, because of this they obtain a greater dollar amount of appreciation. For example, a $100,000 single family house will in a market that appreciates 10% will be worth $110,000 while a three family house worth $300,000 in the same market (10% appreciation) will increase to $330,000. That’s $20,000 more money in your pocket!

You’ve know a few people who have made a lot of money flipping single family houses, but if you think of the all the people you know who have become extremely wealthy through real estate, you’ll realize that they did it through owning multi-units (apartments).

These are the five biggest advantages to investing in multi-units, there are many, many more. If you are interested in creating more wealth at a faster rate, adding multi-unit to your portfolio is the way to do it!

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Protecting your assets is an important consideration for any business owner. If done in conjunction with an estate plan, your protection plan can prevent outside attacks against your personal wealth.


Oftentimes, individuals wait until they are facing litigation, loss, or some tragedy, before transferring their assets into a protection vehicle. Unfortunately, when you wait until you have actual knowledge of problems; clever lawyers can use a cause of action called the fraudulent conveyance to get at your wealth.


A conveyance is generally considered fraudulent as to a creditor when the transfer was made without fair consideration and if it renders the transferor insolvent. Actual intent must be shown in cases where there was fair consideration for the transfer, if the transferor remains solvent after the transfer, or if the creditor’s claim arose after the transfer.


It is not necessary for the creditor to prove that you intended to defraud them, but merely if the transfer was intended to hinder or delay the creditor. The courts also look at other indicia including the level of indebtedness, pendency of litigation, secret reservations of interest in the asset, or the retention of the possession to name a few. It is important to think about estate planning and asset protection early.

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How Do You Score?

So what did you do this week?….and be honest! How did you spend your time? Did you accomplish what you set out to do this week? Did you even start off the week with crystal clear definitive goals? Did you move toward your BIG goal? Did you make foreword progress, stand still…or even slide backwards?? Did you give back? Did you give back enough?


If you were being watched by the world on live TV all week, would you be happy and proud with what they saw, or ashamed and embarrassed?


On hind site, if you could live the week over again, what would you change?…(cuz next week you can)


I try to do this every Friday…..and of course it requires I start on Sunday night laying out my week. This past week was a short week that I certainly did not take into consideration when I filled in my ‘to do’ list.


So how did I do???


Well, if I look strictly at the # of items on my list vs the the # crossed off….not too well. On the bright side, I do prioritize and when i look at what is most important, I fared a tiny bit better. I have a number a projects all at different levels that Im working on…….three are absolute priority. Two out of three met there mark. The third fell short (but i still have today). My other projects were neglected and on hind site……some wasted time in the week could have easily been shifted to score better here.


As far as my give backs….I have a system to keep me strong here. I commit to coaching kids sports and i make sure i don’t miss them, period (time is one of the hardest give backs for me) This week i also bought a whole bunch of stuff at the booth in front of Starbucks supporting the D.A.R.E. program (I donate back all that i buy to be given to those who need it).


Am I happy w my overall weeks performance?? I would give my self a B-….. …….AVERAGE….. Are you satisfied with AVERAGE????? (you better NOT be)


Don’t like all your answers, don’t [complain] and don’t blame…. CHANGE IT!!!!!


It’s your life, make it rock!

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Developing your winning team

As a real estate investor, it is very important that you surround your self with a good, strong team of trustworthy individuals. You will need to develop and maintain good working relationships with professionals for each stage of the process.

As we discuss developing your winning team, we will break it down by the process. The processes we will discuss are:

Finding the Property

Funding the Property

Closing on the Property

Fixing the Property

Selling the Property

Finding the Property

As we discussed earlier, there are several ways for you to locate your properties. Established relationships can make finding the right house easier for you, especially with motivated sellers.

Once you locate a wholesaler who specializes at finding good, quality houses in your target areas, you want to develop a good relationship. In some instances, you may be able to get on an “early notification” list, or after you have purchased a property or two, the wholesaler might even look for properties specifically for you. This will be an important relationship for both of you; you will have a steady source of quality properties and the wholesaler will gain a client who they know will do what they say that they are going to do.

Another member you want to have on your team is a strong Realtor®. It is important that the Realtor® be used to working with real estate investors or at least has a basic understanding of real estate investing. At the minimum, your Realtor® must be open to learning and listening. You will be looking for atypical properties, and your Realtor® will really need to be on board with what you want. It is important that you stay in the driver’s seat and only look at properties that fit your criteria and business plan. You may find that many Realtors® want to show you the properties that they have listings for or what they think is a good investment. Remember everything that you have learned about what makes a good investment for your portfolio, and stick with it. The good thing is, there are a lot of Realtors® out there, so you should be able to find one that you can work with.

Other people who have access to motivated sellers and/or distressed sellers are good to have on your team. Probate attorneys and divorce attorneys are just two such examples. If you can find someone who can give you the scoop or the inside track on available properties, cultivate that relationship.

Funding the Property

When you locate a great property, you will need to be able to move quickly to purchase it. This is especially important if the property is one that you are competing with other investors to purchase. You will want to show the seller that you can purchase the property, just like you said that you could. Unfortunately, many real estate investors put properties under contract and never close. If the seller is one who works with a lot of real estate investors, they may be gun shy. Even if the seller has no negative experience (or no experience) with real estate investors, it is a good idea to be able to show that you have the funds to close the deal.

In order to ensure that you can close on the deal when you say you can, you need to develop strong relationships with both hard money lenders and private lenders. You will find that the terms will differ between hard money lenders and private lenders, but each type of loan has its place in your real estate investing business.

Hard money lenders typically charge between 12% and 14% for their loan. They also charge points and some have pre-payment penalties. All of the loans are interest only, most with monthly interest payments. Many new investors are taken aback when they see what the terms are, but more seasoned investors know that the terms are definitely worth it. It is basically an opportunity cost. Banks are not going to loan the money for an investment property. Even those banks that offer “rehab loans” usually do not close in a timely manner and have all sort of specifications that you will not find in a hard money loan.

There are many other benefits of working with hard money lenders. Hard money lenders know the market and specialize on working with real estate investors. They are familiar with values, areas and appraisers. And most importantly, they have the money to lend. Because they are in the business of lending, most hard money lenders have several million dollars available to lend out. As long as you and the property meet their criteria, you can usually close in as little as seven to ten days. If you have developed a relationship with the hard money lender, and have already closed several deals with them, you can probably close even more quickly.

The terms for loans with private lenders vary on the lender, and often on you, the real estate investor. In many instances the private lender is new and you can determine the terms. You always want to be fair to the lender, and make sure that the loan is worth their time. However, you will most likely pay a lower percentage rate and few to zero points.

However, you may have to educate your private lender if they are new to lending. They will rely on you to provide them with good information and a good investment. This is a really amazing responsibility. You must make sure that you put checks and balances in place to protect your lender. You will also be responsible for finding good appraisers, surveyors and closing attorneys.

Closing on the Property

In order to close on your property, you are going to need three more strong players. They are your appraiser, your surveyor (if the lender requires it) and your closing attorney.

It is important to note that, if you are funding your deal with a hard money lender, all of these team members will actually be picked (or approved by) your hard money lender. Each of these members ensures that the investment is a good one, that the values are solid and that everything closes in order. These things make sure that the lender’s investment is as secure as possible.

However, just because these team members represent your lender, this does not mean that you cannot develop a relationship with them. Developing this relationship will allow you to check on the status, schedule closings to your convenience and just make sure that everything stays on track. Also, once you get your own private lenders, you can utilize these same people with whom you have already developed a relationship.

The appraiser will be responsible for providing the After Repair Value (ARV) appraisal. Again, the appraiser should be someone who is used to the real estate investing market. If you attempt to work with an appraiser who works primarily (or only) with homeowners, you are in for a lot of headaches. I fact, don’t even go there. Use the appraiser that your lender has approved, or talk to other real estate investors and find a good, reputable appraiser.

Now, not all lenders require a survey. However, if they do, they will already have a survey company that they use. Just go with them.

The closing attorney is another important member of your team. If they are not selected by your lender, they will have to be approved by them. The closing attorney is very important to your deal. Their office makes sure that all of the details are taking care of. They make sure that title is clear and title insurance is obtained. They prepare all closing documents and wire funds. In some parts of the country, a title company handles these same tasks.

Fixing the Property

The contractor that you choose to work on your rehab can make or break your project. This is a hard fact. It is hard because many real estate investors do not choose licensed contractors to work on their jobs. They often use their brother, their cousin, their uncle or their friend. These contractors might do an excellent job, but they also might lack the experience and the business acumen necessary to complete the project in a timely and professional manner.

Regardless of your level of expertise, you have to make sure that you have checks and balances in place to protect yourself. You should have agreements in place that specifically detail the items to be completed, the prices and the timeline for completion. Find out how many members are on the contractor’s crew. Does he have his own trucks? Does he have the money to begin a job, or does he need start up money?

Finding a good contractor can be a long process. Be sure to get referrals and before and after pictures of work that the contractor has completed. When you get the referrals, call them. Find out if the clients are satisfied and if they would use their services again.

When you locate a good contractor or two, and you will, hold onto him! A contractor who does quality work at a fair price in a timely manner is worth his weight in gold. Knowing that you have someone that you can count on to will give you the confidence to put properties under contract and market them and move them quickly.

Selling the Property

When you decide to sell your retail property, there are two key members on your team, your mortgage broker and your Realtor®.

It is key that you locate a mortgage broker that will be able to finance your buyers. Your mortgage broker should have programs for all types of sellers, whether they are first time home buyers, have credit issues, or retired or any other “out of the ordinary” situation. It is crucial that your mortgage broker has experience closing loans.

You want to know that when you find a buyer with reasonable qualifications, your mortgage broker can get your buyer qualified and closed. You do not want someone who is trying out new programs or just getting started. You need to get your properties sold, and your mortgage broker can help you do this. Ideally, they will have a 100% financing program and you will be able to advertise it when you advertise your house.

The second member of your selling team is someone that we have already mentioned, your Realtor®. You want someone who can find you a buyer, quickly. Again, your Realtor® should be able to think outside of the box. There are so many financing options out there, you don’t want to look for only “traditional” buyers.

It will take a little time and effort to develop your winning team, but it is worth it. This is another reason why a turnkey system is so attractive to real estate investors. All of the keys are in place, and you can just plug in and take advantage of what is already in place.

No matter how you find your team members, putting together a strong team is crucial to your success.

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“In Debt We Trust” the movie

I just finished watching a fantastic documentary, called In Debt We Trust.

It’s about the debt problem in the United States today.

I’m primarily a PreForeclosure Investor, so I found it absolutely fascinating.  I strongly urge everyone on this board, especially if you work in the PreForeclosure arena, to check out this film ASAP.

I saw it on LINK TV, which is on Directv channel 375 or Dish network channel 9410.  I believe that it’s still playing in some theaters, and obviously you can rent the DVD as well.

To me, the most interesting part of the film was about how basically the big creditors in America are making absolutely obscene profits.  It then showed what some “lenders”, namely check cashing places and car title loan operations are making on their loans: some the APRs worked out to annual rate of over 300%.


It’s a shame that big business in America is really taking advantage of the uneducated folks in this country.  I especially find it funny when people think that PreForeclosure investors such as myself are taking advantage of people.  It couldn’t be further from the truth.  In fact, often times we are helping homeowners get out of the terrible loans that corporate America put them in.

Many of these mortgages were underwritten to set these homeowners up for failure.  It’s time that people started educating themselves about the credit process.  Let’s face it, when I went to school, no one educated me about personal finance: how paying bills late killed your credit score, or how important your credit score actually is.

I encourage everyone to see this film.  I’m also looking into how we can help our clients by providing them with an outlet to view the movie.

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Acceptance is finally settling in as homeowners are realizing the real estate market has truly shifted. The competition to sell their home is fierce as other homeowners are realizing they also owe too much to list their home competitively. Those attractive low payments that lured you to an Option A.R.M. loan earlier are coming to an end.


For many homeowners the new mortgage payment is simply too high for them to afford. Some homeowners are considering refinancing. Unfortunately they are discovering their home isn’t worth what it was last year. At this point they have to explore other alternatives.



Some homeowners think selling their home is the best solution and immediately turn to a realtor for help only to be told the unfortunate news their home won’t sell for enough to pay all of the fees, real estate commissions, and pay off the balance of the mortgage loan. Some intrepid souls may even try to sell their home on their own. Eventually, after months of effort and waiting, many are faced with inevitable foreclosure. 



All is not lost even in this 11th hour as there is a viable alternative. Banks, not wanting to be saddled with an inventory of unsold property, are willing to settle debts owed by homeowners through a process known as a “Short Sale.” 



A “Short Sale” occurs when a homeowner is upside down on their home and ends up selling their property for less than what is owed on the mortgage. The lender agrees to accept the lesser payment as satisfying the loan amount. The seller receives no money from the sale of the home and the lender does not report as a foreclosure to the credit bureau.



To qualify for a “Short Sale”, homeowners must demonstrate a hardship and be financially insolvent. The homeowner should be able to demonstrate inability to make the loan payment. Most importantly, homeowners must prove a willingness to cooperate with the process.



Some homeowners who have exercised a successful short sale have voiced concerns over receiving an IRS Form 1099 from the lender for the amount of the loan that was forgiven. The lender may not send a 1099 and instead grant a total release. Even if you do receive a 1099 consider the alternatives: a foreclosure on your credit report that stays there for 7-10 years, lowering your credit score an average of 100 points. A short sale stays on your credit for a much shorter period and may lower your score by an average of 45 points.



For the potential real estate buyer a short sale offers a great opportunity to purchase what may earlier have been an unaffordable property. Typically but the short sale listings are lower than similar properties the buyer needs to be aware the process can take much longer than usual. Lenders may take weeks to review their offer so the buyer has to be patient. For the patient buyer however, the reward may be a great home at a great price.

Want to learn how you can get started flipping houses and making money in real estate investing today Today?

Go to

And receive a FREE 7 steps to real estate riches Video course ($97 value)

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