Larry Harbolt is the nation’s leading creative Seller Financing expert as well as a popular national real estate speaker and teacher whose time-tested strategies and nuts and bolts teaching style has helped thousands of aspiring real estate entrepreneurs realize their financial dreams with little or no money and without the need for credit. Larry has been successful creatively buying and selling real estate for over 30 years and has written numerous popular articles and real estate courses.
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Make Sure You Always Keep ALL Avenues of Communications Open If You Want to Keep Your Name Good In the Real Estate Business.
What an interesting thing to say. Making sure you always stay in communication with everyone you have any type of financial obligations with. This is a subject that has caused much unneeded anxiety and stress that is totally not necessary if both people involved in every financial situation continually have open communications regardless of the status of the transaction they are involved in.
Over the years having been both a private Lender and a Landlord it has been my experience when life and unforeseen situations arise and the tenant or the borrower find themselves with a shortage of money to pay the obligations they originally agreed to pay, communications often stop. Somehow the tenant or borrower finds the money to pay for personal items such as their cell phone bill, their cable television bill, their car payment and eating out periodically or going out on the town. Read More >>
Over the years I have heard every excuse you can think of why real estate investors today aren’t busy buying houses. One thing I know for sure is that the biggest reasons why most real estate investors are struggling to buy real estate are:
Let’s talk about “Fear” first. Fear is probably the biggest reason many inexperienced real estate investors don’t have more success doing deals and why many walk away and give up and look for other ways to make money. I know for myself, when I started learning to buy real estate, I had no money and poor credit, plus I had no training. This caused me to be afraid to make any kind of offer to buy real estate. Read More >>
Watch the Fix and Flip Wholesale Shows on Television Just Don’t Believe Their Numbers, Time Frames to Complete the Rehabs and Their Repair Costs
Recently while surfing channels on my television I came across two real estate fix and flip shows that caught my attention. I watched each of these shows and as I watched it took all of my strength to not turn the channel in disgust. I couldn’t believe the incompetence of the people doing the shows. One of the shows was filmed in Orlando Florida and the other was filmed in Las Vegas.
I love a good comedy show as much as the next person but these shows were just too ridiculous to watch without feeling compelled to warn every unsuspecting and untrained investor not to believe what they see on these shows. Shows that never show any real facts and details about the properties they fix and flip. If you watch these types of shows be sure to take their numbers with a grain of salt and don’t try to replicate what is being shown before you make an offer to purchase any property. Read More >>
I have talked about this subject many times before but because of a recent call from one of my students I felt it important to talk about this subject again. A few days ago one of my students called and told me she was facing a dilemma and was worried about losing her property. She told me that she had no money to pay for the annual property insurance coming due and for two years of property taxes. She didn’t have the money to pay for either. This seems to be a common problem many beginning real estate investor’s experience. This is a subject I knew all too well because years earlier I experienced this very same problem.
I guess part of this problem stems from inexperience and lack of knowledge. Although this is a problem for many, it can be solved very easily with just a little effort and discipline. I felt it very important to write this article hoping to save many newer investors the distress and sleepless nights this problem can cause. Read More >>
Know What Your Plans Are For Every Property You Look At Before You Buy?
By Larry Harbolt on March 31, 2017
One of the most important things I believe every investor should always do before ever making an offer to purchase any property is to first think about what the highest and best use for that property will be. Every day I talk to newer investors who never stop to think about the best use of the properties they look at and how this simple exercise can, and will, greatly improve their profit from every deal they do. It took me years to understand the importance of first considering what I should do with each property I was looking at before even thinking about making the offer to purchase it. This may not seem to be of much importance to those who aren’t experienced investors but one thing is for sure, if you don’t understand how to best utilize the property it will greatly affect the amount of money you make at the end of the day. It is my opinion that you should always step back and take a deep breath before making an offer to purchase a property. Determine exactly what your plans are if you are successful buying the property, while also analyzing the numbers of that property before making your offer to purchase. Read More >>
Value is subjective to each party of any real estate deal and value doesn't have to be determined in dollars. Today people have been taught that the dollar is the only way to determine value. Let me give you an example of what I mean. When you go to the grocery store and go through the checkout lane with your chosen product that costs nine dollars, you give the clerk a twenty dollar bill; you are expecting eleven dollars in change back. This is what people today have been taught how to determine value, in dollars.
Dollars don’t have to have anything to do with value, here is an example. A lady who lives in my area was struggling financially, having trouble paying her rent every month because she was unemployed and couldn't find work in her field. This lady was dealing with much stress because she owned property in New Hampshire that was vacant land that didn't make her a penny. As a matter of fact, the cause of your stress was because the property taxes for her property in New Hampshire were due and she didn't have the money to pay her property taxes. She had a real dilemma. Read More >>
What Is The Best Way to Buy Investment Real Estate?
By Larry Harbolt on January 9, 2017
Over the past few days I’ve been thinking about the different ways real estate investors can achieve their goals and dreams in the fastest way possible. I get asked this question frequently by students who are just getting started in the real estate investing business. As I thought about the different strategies of how real estate goals can be achieved, I came up with the three most common ways most investors use today.
First of all wholesaling is what I hear about the most. The problem as I see it with wholesaling is two-fold. First, wholesaling real estate is to me just like having a job. Once you get a property bought and either “pre-habbed” or if you assign your purchase agreement you are creating the Hamster On the Wheel way of doing business. You buy the property, you fix the property then you sell the property. At that time hopefully you get a check. You use some of the money you get to pay for your living expenses and if there is any money left you might use the excess to pay for a portion of the next deal you do. 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 >>
Do You Have a Burning Desire to Buy One Hundred Houses Per Year? - Part 2
By Larry Harbolt on September 6, 2016
Last month I talked about how I created a near disaster for my family because I got too big for my britches and thought I could buy 100 houses in one year when I truly was not prepared to undertake a monumental task that large that has so many tentacles I had no idea I had to deal with.
I now realize that every one of these people provide a service I desperately needed if I had any chance of buying anywhere near 100 houses in any year. Without the services of these people there would be no way I could have achieved my goal of buying 100 houses in any year
Each of the ten deals I did in that one-week period were good deals and bought at prices that would have given us a good profit. I had bought each of the ten properties with Hard Money loans from local private money lenders who knew and trusted me. Because I couldn’t get the repairs completed, I quickly ran out of the money I had borrowed in a very short period of time. To keep my name good with my lenders, I had to take out personal loans to make the individual monthly payments for each property that was sitting empty and not bringing in any money. I had to borrow money I needed quickly to make those monthly payments. It didn’t take long for me to realize I was out of money. I was scared to death I wouldn’t be able to continue to fund these empty houses and ruin my name and reputation with the lenders. 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 >>
Forget Ownership, Just Control A Property And Make Money!
By Larry Harbolt on July 10, 2016
Are You Afraid To Buy A Property Because You Can’t Qualify For A Loan Or You Have Less Than Good Credit?
Today I had an interesting conversation with one of my Advanced Life-Line students who confessed that he continues to have great anxiety and fears making an offer to buy a property even if it would be a good deal for him. He always hesitates pulling the trigger and submitting his offers because of his fears. He is really missing out on creating an income stream he really needs as well as being able to create wealth over time.
Being a new Life-Line student he has fears of buying any property where he will have to get some type of financing to pay for the properties he is making offers on. After talking to him about doing the numbers before making an offer to buy any property he felt much better but he still had fears of having to deal with the responsibilities associated with ownership he had never had to deal with. Seeing I wasn’t getting very far explaining how to buy real estate with the least amount of risk I finally decided to talk to him about a powerful way to profit from real estate without having to deal with the responsibilities of ownership, that I still use today. Read More >>
Here is a great tip for you to think about when rehabbing your houses. I have written about this subject before and I thought I would share some different ideas that will help you sell your houses faster and many times get a higher price than other houses in that same price range.
So, What Is The Secret To Getting A Higher Price For Your Houses Than Your Competition Can Get For Their Houses?
The simple answer to this question is doing what other investors won’t do!
Years ago I learned a simple but very powerful lesson that has since made a huge difference for me and those who have followed these suggestions.
Here is what I mean. When doing your rehabs always put things in your houses that would normally be found in houses located in a higher price range. It is a good idea to take some time and go to a few open house showings and take notes about what things these higher priced houses have that aren’t usually found in houses in the price range of the house you are about to rehab. Read More >>
This is a question I constantly ask my students about every offer they are thinking about making to purchase any property, and I also ask myself this question before making an offer to purchase on every deal I do. It’s a wonderful thing when you put together a profitable deal but why not take a minute before submitting your offer to a flexible seller and ask yourself, “is there any way I can make this deal better”? If you are paying cash for the property I don’t know of any way you could make the deal better unless you offered more CASH to the seller. I truly believe that would be a huge mistake. It would be a huge mistake because it would in most cases only benefit the seller and not you.
Always Ask Yourself, How Can I Make My Offer Better For Me And The Seller Before Submitting Your Offer to Purchase Any Property?
The question is how can you make a better deal for you? If you are paying all cash, good luck. If you are getting seller financing terms there are many different things you could ask the seller for that could make the deal better for you as well as for them. Here are Six creative suggestions you might offer a flexible seller. Especially to those flexible sellers who want a certain price, monthly payment or interest rate. Read More >>
The One Thing the Gurus Never Tell You Is, Wealth Is Created Over Time, Not Over-Night.
I recently had a conversation with one of my students who made a statement to me that I found very disturbing. This person asked me why I continue to try to buy houses with seller financing terms when money is so easy to get today. He asked me; why not take the fast and easy road to success instead of thinking only about long-term investments. Believe me there are many reasons.
The minute those words came out of his mouth, I knew he was an inexperienced investor who apparently had been to a seminar recently and apparently believed the rhetoric the speaker was saying about doing deals with the latest way to get rich quickly.
I have personally lived through seven different economic cycles over my 36 year real estate career. Over that period of time I have seen with my own eyes, when the economy changed every few years the methods we were using at those times drastically changed, and not always for the better. Depending on what was being done at that time, every niche method of buying eventually changed and then someone else came up with another fool-proof way to get rich quickly. This is a never-ending fact of life that will always be occurring for eternity. Read More >>
Don’t Be in a Panic Regardless of What the Experts Say!
By Larry Harbolt on March 6, 2016
Recently I read an article written by Michael Snyder, a graduate of the University of Florida law school. I found it very interesting. This article was titled “Sell Everything!”
His headline read, “Royal Bank of Scotland Tells Investors to Fear 2016 Financial Cataclysm.” The 20th largest bank in the world is predicting that 2016 will be a cataclysmic year and Investors should be afraid. This prediction of course is aimed at the stock market, but there is a connection between stocks and real estate many real estate investors aren’t thinking about.
As the stock market is currently going into a Bear Market and people fear losing all of the value in the stocks they own, many will panic and start to sell thinking they must get out NOW if they want to keep as much of their equity as possible. It is also important to realize that when the market goes down, the companies who issued the stock, many times must also lay off workers to stay profitable. This is the bad part that few real estate investors think about. Why is this important? It’s important because when this happens, many people won’t be able to pay their mortgage payments and slowly those people will start going into foreclosure and eventually lose their homes. For a period of time renting may be their only option. I believe owning rental property is a smart move for those who start buying income properties today. Read More >>
It seems that nobody today learning how to be a real estate investor wants to start at the bottom anymore. What I mean is, most beginning real estate investors want to start at the top making money like those who have spent many years learning how to buy real estate and make money every time they buy. Having been a licensed building contractor in a previous life I can tell you that I never built a house starting with the roof and then built downward to the foundation. Investors today must realize it just doesn’t work trying to get rich quick without a solid foundation of basic investor knowledge. Unless you want to build a house of cards that will easily tumble down you must forget trying to start at the top of the learning curve and understand that the only way you will ever be truly successful is if you start learning real estate investing with sound techniques and strategies that will allow you to make the very best buying decisions every time. Read More >>
Happy Prosperous New Year 2016 to You All!
I continually talk to my students about maximizing their profits on every deal they do so this month I am going to explain to you how you can do just that, get more money from the deals you do. This is a simple strategy every investor can easily accomplish once they have an understanding how to make it happen.
I’m Not Talking About Doing Any Extra Work to the Properties You Sell
I’m Talking About a Way to Get More Price for the Houses You Are Selling.
High consumer debt with high interest rates can greatly affect how big of a loan buyers can qualify for to buy a home for their family. A buyer who is trying to buy your properties can be greatly handicapped simply because they have high consumer debts they are paying every month which greatly limits how much of a loan they can qualify for.
What if you could help your buyer eliminate a portion of their consumer debt to change their debt-to-income ratio considerably? You could instruct your buyers to pay off one of their high interest consumer debts such as, (a credit card) that has a current balance of $3,000 as an example that has a monthly payment of $60.00. How would that help them qualify for a bigger loan you ask? First comes the question, how can they pay off that debt all at once with their limited income? What if you bought something from your Buyers? If you were to buy something from your buyers (an old car, a boat, a barbeque grill) for $3,000, it would give them money to pay off that one high interest $3,000.00 debt. Now let me show you how you can get more price for your property and maximize your profits by buying something from your potential buyer. Read More >>
You Must Get Your Personal Debt Under Control If You Want to Quickly Achieve Financial Freedom. This Can Be Done Much Faster Once You Eliminate All of Your Highest Interest Rate Consumer Debts First.
This month I want to start with examples of how you can eliminate your personal debts much, much faster without sacrifice or having to bring in one more penny every month. I am going to explain to you how to pay off your consumer debts much faster which will save you thousands of dollars of interest you will never have to pay. Here is an example of what I am talking about.
Let’s say the payment of your highest interest rate debt is $212.83 minimum payment. If you will add the $93.00 (a good number for a family of four at a nice restaurant) you saved by not dining out each month with your family will total $305.83 ($212.83 + $93.00 = $305.83). If you pay that amount each month for this debt until it is paid in full, it will greatly shorten the payback time of that debt saving you hundreds or even thousands of dollars of interest. Read More >>
Learning the Basics of “Paper” You Owe Can Really Change Your Financial Life
By Larry Harbolt on November 8, 2015
Over the past two months I have written about using “Paper” assets as income for your financial future. But did you know you are already using “Paper” for debts you personally owe. I am sure most of you have some type of consumer debt you pay every month. Every one of those individual consumer debts is also a form of “Paper” owed someone else. Your creditor’s hold a form of “paper” you signed and agreed to pay. Consumer debts are a drain on your monthly cash-flow and the sooner you get those debts paid off the sooner you will be able to use the money you no longer have to pay out every month for a better lifestyle or to invest and grow your financial future.
If you have never thought about your consumer debts as another form of “Paper” but as paper you owe I believe it’s time. I’ve decided to give you a very important lesson how you can use the “paper” or debt you owe for your own personal debts that are working negatively for you and show you a simple strategy that can help you become free of those high interest debts you owe in the shortest possible period of time. If you understand this simple strategy, it will make a huge difference in the quality of life you are seeking once you become debt free from the debts you personally owe. I believe this is a good place to really learn how “paper” works sitting at your own kitchen table so you better understand how to quickly eliminate the debts you owe. Read More >>
This month I will continue explaining what I believe to be one of the best ways to add additional income to your wealth building strategies investing in Paper Assets.
There are two types of promissory notes "performing" and" nonperforming". The performing promissory notes are the ones being paid by the borrower every month as agreed. The nonperforming promissory notes are not being paid as agreed and in many cases are in default and in the foreclosure process. Depending on what the asset is that has been used as the collateral for the note, if not being paid as agreed, it may be in jeopardy of being foreclosed upon and the real estate may be taken back or the borrower of non-real estate may be taken to court by the lender to get a judgment against borrower to try to reclaim the money they lent to the borrower. I believe every real estate investor needs to understand how paper assets can be a huge part of their wealth building plan.
One word of caution I want to mention, if you decide this is something you might like to participate in ALWAYS be sure to do your due diligence before ever purchasing any paper asset. The reason I say that is because I recently looked at a portfolio of defaulted notes held by a major bank. When I did my due diligence I found several properties that had a promissory note and mortgage attached to them had been bulldozed and no longer existed and all that was left was a vacant lot. A vacant lot is not worth anywhere near the amount owed on the promissory note. If I had not done my homework and I had bought those particular promissory notes and I decided to continue with the foreclosure that those properties were already involved in there would be no way I would ever get back as much as I might have paid for the promissory notes. Read More >>
Recently I was having a discussion with a friend of mine discussing some of the different ways to create wealth not only from real estate but other forms of investing that can give huge returns. We talked about the usual ways of making money buying real estate and we also talked about other ways of creating income without having to do any physical work for the money. Of course when you are a real estate investor your first thought is usually either about, buying foreclosure properties, wholesaling properties, fixing and selling houses at retail prices, and also buying long term income properties.
One subject I have never talked about before that I think is an important part of every real estate investors portfolio of investing opportunities is to also own paper assets for income. From this point forward we will refer to paper assets simply as "Paper". So what are paper assets? Paper assets come in many different forms. Some different paper assets come in the form of property tax certificates, land contract paper, contract for deed paper and promissory notes secured by a mortgage or a deed of trust paper. It is my belief that every real estate investor should be diversified and have several different income streams to help them build the wealth they desire. Read More >>
Why Does Everyone Want to Become a Wholesaler? - Part Two
By Larry Harbolt on August 1, 2015
This month I believe what I will be sharing with you can be very important to you financially as well as to build your financial freedom faster and easier. Last month I questioned why all of the so-called Guru’s are pitching how everyone should be wholesaling properties to build wealth. From my own experience as I said last month, if all you do is wholesale deals you have a job. This month I want to explain what I have experienced over the years doing this type of deal and what I have learned that keeps my buyers clamoring for more deals on a continual basis. The reason I decided to write about this subject is because without the practical knowledge of how to structure your wholesale deals, it is going to be more difficult to pass those deals along to other investors. I hope this information will open your eyes to the real world and what it takes to be more profitable.
Last month I left off by saying, if you always pay too much for the properties you wholesale, the seasoned investors aren’t going to be interested in the properties you find and you will be forced to sell or assign the purchase agreement to other people who don’t know what they should pay. This is because those people don’t really understand how to figure the numbers and once they do figure out they paid too much, it only stands to reason that they won’t want to buy more properties from you. Once word gets out you are asking too much and it will be assumed you don’t know what you are doing and investors will avoid you like the plague. Everyone wants to make an adequate profit from every deal they do or they won’t do the deal. You must realize that there are other ways to profit from real estate other than being a wholesaler. Read More >>
Why Does Everyone Want to Become a Wholesaler? - Part One
By Larry Harbolt on July 1, 2015
I have noticed over the past months that almost everyone I talk to today tell me they want to be a wholesaler. These people want to wholesale deals as a way to generate fast money to pay their living expenses each month. What in the world is going on here? Why is it that all of a sudden everyone wants to become a wholesaler when there are so many other different ways to profit from real estate other than wholesaling?
Don’t get me wrong I’m not suggesting that wholesaling isn’t a great way to get started as a real estate investor. All I am suggesting is wholesaling is only one way to make money buying real estate but it’s not necessarily the best way in my opinion. Having done many wholesale deals over the years I have come to the conclusion that if the only way you buy real estate is wholesaling where the investor either buys or gets the property under contract with the seller and then resells the property to another person or assigns their assignable purchase agreement to another investor and passes along the deal you structured with the seller for a fee. Read More >>
It’s Time to Get Your Money Machine Started TODAY!
By Larry Harbolt on May 29, 2015
Recently a friend of mine sent me a chart created by the United States census bureau showing the numbers of home ownership from 1965 until 2015. Amazingly the number of home ownership in 2015 was almost exactly the same as it was in 1965. I found this very interesting because throughout all of those years between 1965 and 2015 homeownership escalated slowly until 2006 when the real estate market crash took place because of all the defaulting loans. As house prices dramatically declined people felt their homes were worth less than what they owed so many people quit making their loan payments causing many of the defaulted loans people could no longer afford. I thought about what this chart represented for today's real estate investors and I believe this chart shows us there is great opportunity for real estate investors of all kinds everywhere.
I am starting to see more and more new construction everywhere I travel and I am also seeing more and more deals completed by my students who are savvy investors all over this country. I’m an optimist, I truly believe that we are going to see huge profits made by those who step out of the traditional box and structure their deal differently than those who only do what everyone else is doing. I believe those of us who think different than the masses will prosper far more than the status quo. I am seeing the market slowly making a comeback from the disasters of 2008 for some of us but not those who are stuck in yesterday’s methods and mindset. Read More >>
The real beauty of owning rental property when the seller will allow you to pay them directly every month allows you to collect rent from each rental property you buy to pay for those properties.
The key to make this strategy work is to buy each income property so a tenant who will be renting the property will pay enough rent each month to cover 1/12th of the annual property taxes, 1/12th of the annual property insurance cost and at least 10% to 15% of the monthly rental income to cover the cost of the maintenance for that property when needed. This money for maintenance is set aside to pay for making the property look new when a tenant moves out such as new carpet, paint and any other damage to the property the tenant did during their stay. Also money for when the roof on that property eventually wears out, when the water heater eventually goes bad or the furnace or air conditioner breaks down and also enough money remaining each month to make the monthly payment to the seller and hopefully provide extra money each month for the owner to put into their pocket. Here is an example to show what I am talking about.
For this example each rental property brings in $1,000 in rent each month. This is the formula I use to determine if enough rent collected for each potential rental property to support itself and also provide extra income for the owner each month. Read More >>