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At Fortris we have several levels of Mentoring and in the past one of these levels was the Generals Club. That club has now been retired. But several years ago we opened it up to 8 investors. The concept was total immersion into the tax sale business and working through an entire deal utilizing the General’s capital while teaching them the entire process of construction management, sales, the associated legalities, and the basics on how to become a very successful real estate investor. At the end of the project we gave the General back all their investment, as well as their mentoring fee plus half the profit on the project they had been tasked with. Currently we still maintain partnership investments with five of the original eight members.
Ann S., one of our Generals, invests in the city of Baltimore which is a very tough market. Baltimore doesn’t allow any scraping of tax sale data from their site, so we needed to pull all the enhanced lists manually. The bidding process is different than any other I've ever seen. First the interest rate is bid down which means that you can offer to take a lower rate of interest payment to win the lien. It is also a sealed bid including a premium offer you are willing to pay, over and above the interest, added in. The county processes all the submissions and the best combination of bid and premium gets the lien. If the property does not redeem, the bid will be packaged according to the best offer combination. For example, if the lien is $5000 and the interest rate is 24%, the bidder may structure their offer to take 7% interest on the $5,000 certificate and then pay a premium of an additional $6,000 above the lien cost if the lien does not redeem. A fairly complicated structure. All the premium bids are sealed and no re-bids are possible. You only get one crack at getting it so you have to use your opportunity to make your best offer possible. Read More >>
Like most investors, I too send out yellow letters to distressed homeowners. Obviously, the intention is to find a property that can be acquired below market in order to make a profit. In most cases the properties that are contracted are either sold as a wholesale deal or are purchased to be renovated and sold. In a few instances the opportunity to contract a property subject-to presents itself but this situation is not usually what you expect it to be. Let me describe my most recent experience with a potential subject-to situation.
Most investors already know what a subject-to is but for those that do not let me give you a simple explanation. A subject-to is when a homeowner deeds the property to the buyer but the mortgage that the homeowner has remains in place. When the buyer is deeded the property he/she now owns the home “subject-to” the existing mortgage. In other words, the buyer will begin to make the mortgage payment or find a renter or new homeowner to do so in order for the buyer to one day own the home free and clear. 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 7 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.
If the homeowner continues to make their payments, this is the end of the process for them until they have paid off the loan. If the homeowner misses payments and the foreclosure process begins on their loan, that's when things get hairy. Read More >>
One of my favorite business books is Good To Great by Jim Collins. In this book Mr. Collins gives a great example that I realized applied to me when I was building my real estate business and will apply to you too. The author gives us an example of a great big fly wheel. He describes this as a giant metal disk on a thin pole. Imagine this disk weighs thousands of pounds and is currently stationary. Your job is to get this disk spinning.
It is easy to imagine that it will take time and effort to get the giant, heavy wheel to spin. You will begin with a single shove on the wheel. Very little will occur with this initial input from you. The wheel may move very slightly. You will push and push and the wheel will slowly start to move. Your effort will be great and the results will be minimal. Shove and shove and shove…the giant wheel begins to spin slightly faster and faster.
At a certain magical point the wheel will become much easier to spin. The weight of the wheel is now working for you. Its own momentum will keep it spinning with very little effort on your part. You can now give small gentle pushes and the wheel will keep spinning on its own. Read More >>
As investors we have to be mindful of some basic principles. While knowing the value of a property is extremely important, real estate investment itself can prove to be particularly challenging.
Knowing the true value of real estate is critical, try to do a deal without it and see. The guidance and data within REIAComps.com has consistently shown investors how to determine both solid acquisition value and after repair value to earn lasting profits.
Use the following six things to get a handle on your business before you start pouring money into a real estate investment.
1. You must be honest and realistic when working with others.
If you want to separate yourself from the competition, tell the truth.
There are a handful of opportunities where you can make a large amount of money in a relatively small amount of time. Real estate is one of them. However, it seems these types of businesses also tend to attract the less than desirable. Read More >>
Plan for retirement
What should you do with your Real Estate IRA? If you are a Baby Boomer, you may want to consider using a Real Estate IRA to purchase that dream home before you hit retirement. Then, when you reach age 59 ½, you can take the home as a distribution and begin enjoying your new retirement home. Remember, you may not use this home for your own personal use until you reach 59 ½ and take the home as a distribution.
One important point that people forget when talking about taking a home as a distribution is the taxes due on distributions. If the home was held in a Traditional IRA, then taxes will be due on the amount of the distribution (the appraised value of the home) in accordance with the individual’s tax bracket. That’s why most people recommend using a Roth IRA for this strategy. With a Roth IRA, taxes are due at the time contributions are made, after that all profits grow tax-free and since you paid the taxes at the time the contributions were made, distributions are tax-free as long as you have reached age 59 ½ and the account has been open for at least 5 years. Read More >>
There are times when we are going to purchase a short sale and then rehab the property for a higher profit. During the rehab on the property, I take my partners shopping. We go to Home Depot and look at all the items I normally put in my cookie cutter houses and I show them why I have chosen each and every product. Then they get to pick their own products and we discuss the price differences to analyze the affect on our profit. It is really fun shopping for an entire house in Home Depot, but the bottom line is to save money. After our trip to Home Depot, we will head over to the cabinet shop if it is a higher end property and we will pick the cabinets and handles. Then we are off to the granite company with a piece of floor tile and a cabinet door so that we can match our granite throughout the house. I call this program my Mentor Program as I bring everything I have learned and taught through my Real Estate Junkie course to my students. By the time we are done, it’s been a “power-shoppin’ day!”
I always recommend that you have a Pro Account at Home Depot which gives me an automatic 10% off everything and if you are a member of a REIA group, you can save another 2% so … working with me already has saved you the cost of a new kitchen on the rehab or more. Read More >>
“Americans spend 3 billion hours per year filling out tax forms and keeping tax records.” ~ Jim Ramstad
There are two things I’ll never do again: first, teach one of my own kids how to drive; and second, help my Aunt May file her tax returns. I’m pretty sure you know Aunt May, or someone just like her. She’s a really sweet lady whose house looks spotlessly organized until you open a drawer or a closet. When she hints that she needs help with her taxes, you volunteer. I mean, she needs you, and she’s so nice! How hard could it be?
Anyway, that’s what I thought. But a day before taxes were due, Aunt May came over with six boxes full of paper. Six boxes! Each contained every manner of paper from receipts to bank statements to movie tickets to Christmas cards. Everything under the sun – except the things I needed. It took sixteen hours, eight aspirins, and three pots of coffee to figure out that she was getting a refund of $1.47. Nope. I adore my Aunt May, but I’m not going through that again.
I’ve never been quite as disorganized as Aunt May, but I’ve certainly had my moments. I discovered pretty quickly that I had better organize my business so I could find what I needed, when I needed it. When you’re trying to convince a potential seller that you run an organized, professional operation, it’s best if you can find the contract they signed. Read More >>
As an active investor, I get a ton of deals regularly from other wholesalers especially with springtime rolling in. They come in all sorts of shapes, forms, fonts, graphics and so forth. While they all have a variety of information, it is rare that ads come with enough information to make a decision on whether it is worth spending time on them. So as a Buyer as well as a wholesaler, I thought I would share some do’s and don’ts to apply when you put ads out to your Buyers to set yourself up for success.
DO put the address – I am amazed at why anyone would think I would look at a deal without an address but it happens.
DO think like a homeowner wanting a perfect house to describe repairs – This is what your Buyer is going to be aiming for. As an example, you may be ‘ok’ with the minor carpet stain however that won’t cut it when your Buyer’s Buyer will want new carpet. Description trumps number estimates since each Buyer has their own contractor with their own pricing.
DO give comparable sales that make sense – radically mixing styles of homes, comps that are too far away for the geographic area, large square footage differences, ignoring unique features such as lakefront, acreage and many more considerations can radically affect what are the best comps. Read More >>
It is the goal of this column to answer questions about QuickBooks and how it is used in the REI arena. Know how to record transactions in the proper way and have your set of books in good shape when it comes time for taxes. It is our intention to do this by you the members submitting questions to Karen@smallbusinessadvisor.biz, and getting answers here in this column.
Q: From time to time I have an entry that I really don’t know how to enter properly. It may be a deposit or a check and I don’t know where to either show the income or the expense. Where can I put this until I can find out from my CPA how to handle it?
A: Create an account named ‘SUSPENSE” and make the type of account a “Bank”. It will live on the balance sheet and will immediately get the attention of your CPA. If you use only this account for these types of entries you can eliminate the Miscellaneous, Uncategorized and Ask my Accountant accounts. Too often these types of accounts get used and the information is scattered across them instead of being in one single account. I usually delete these accounts after I have moved all the transactions to their proper place and then only have Suspense to work with. Read More >>
I actually added this to our lease after a tenant called us at 6:30 one evening to tell us her kitchen sink was stopped up. It turned out that her small child had stuck a cup down into the garbage disposal. It just needed to be removed. The way my lease reads now, that tenant would be charged a fee of $65.00 to have my repair guy go out for something that wasn’t a repair. This one clause will save you from a lot of unnecessary trips to your units for repairs.
I also have someone who checks my rental units every sixty days or so to make sure they are being cared for properly and that the tenant has not added animals that are not on the lease. We also make sure they have not moved in any more people who are not on the lease. This is grounds for immediate eviction. Within the body of our lease, we also cover how long visitors can stay as well so there is a clear definition as to what a visitor is and what an extra tenant is. You can also hire a property management company to handle your units, but I just feel like our units are better handled by my staff. I also send letters to the neighbors surrounding my rental units letting them know that we are interested in any input they may have about my units and my tenants. The neighbors become kind of a watchdog for me to let me know if there are any problems I should know about. Read More >>
Well, it’s been over three years now since ACTS came into the world, and so much has changed since its origination in October of 2011. If you’re not aware of what ACTS means, it stands for Assignments of Contracts and Terms System. It has changed the business of a lot of my students throughout the country and added a lot of additional revenue into their lives, including my own.
However, some people think ACTS is all about over leveraged houses, which is not correct. In fact, ACTS pertains to any kind of terms deals with the seller that can be assigned to an owner occupant tenant buyer, thus the term Assignments of Contracts and Terms System.
Today, I rarely do an overleveraged property because it seems like the number of them is continually declining. In fact, the last time I looked, about 17% of the properties in America were over leveraged according to USA Today. Today, I deal more with free and clear properties and those who have a mortgage with some equity on them. I buy these properties either through owner financing or on a lease purchase. Then, I either install a tenant buyer in them or sell them with owner financing. You will have to decide which one you should do, but I’ll show you how to determine what’s right for you in your area and your personal business objectives. Read More >>
Welcome back! In our last article, we talked about how trends come & go in all things, but we specifically discussed the fact that there are two tried & true strategies that have seemed to stand the test of time in Real Estate Investing. Those strategies are: Wholesaling and Lease Options.
Wholesaling was discussed last time - it’s mainly done in the “Ugly” house business (houses that need a lot of work). And Lease Options are typically understood to be done in the “Pretty” house business (houses that don’t need much work).
Thanks for hanging in with me so far, veteran investors. Keep reading. It gets better.
Lease Options have been around for a good, long time. Certainly as long as any of the well-known, current ‘Gurus’ have been teaching. The way they work is basically like this:
A homeowner/seller wants to sell their house, but a typical wholesale-style deal (usually with a lowball price offer) doesn’t work, or they just don’t like the offer… or the offer doesn’t make sense. I mean, why would any sane seller sell their house that doesn’t need much work that they have a ton of equity in for a deeply-discounted price? Read More >>
You’re out working foreclosures and see an obviously vacant house. There is a sign in the window saying the home has been abandoned and winterized. You look through the window and confirm that it is vacant. Do you open the door with your “investor key” (a credit card) and go inside to look around?
Over the years, real estate investors have hotly debated this topic. Some investors would never go in the home, while others think nothing of slipping the lock so they can inspect the interior before bidding on the property.
I know investors who regularly go into vacant homes. The popular thought is that there’s nothing wrong with that. The investor is not there to steal or vandalize anything, he’s there to estimate the rehab cost so he can accurately determine his maximum purchase price. What can possibly be wrong with this?
There are a lot of funny stories told by seasoned investors about things they found in abandoned properties; things you can’t believe a homeowner would leave behind – like artificial limbs, stuffed (taxidermy) animals, porno magazines, etc. After hearing these stories, many new investors come away thinking that it’s OK to break into vacant homes. But I’m here to tell you – think again! Read More >>
Because money has been easy to get over the past 15 years I wanted to show you how leverage can truly maximize your profits regardless of your credit history. If you can think about the conservation of cash idea borrowing money from banks can definitely be a thing of the past. Leverage is one way how you can use the limited money you have in the most effective way to maximize your profit potential on every property you buy. If you have less than good credit or if you simply don’t want to use your credit you may want to learn how to use less money and with leverage maximize your profits. If you already have limited money you can use what money you currently have to buy one house but you will only profit or grow your money from that one house and nothing more when you rent or sell the property you bought. Leverage can accelerate how you build wealth if done correctly.
Here is a simple example of what I am talking about. For this example let’s say you have $100,000 you have worked hard to acquire over several months or years or you have the ability to borrow $100,000. One day you decide to buy a rental property. You quickly find a house you believe will be a good rental. The sellers of that house are asking $100,000 for their property. During your face-to-face discussions with the sellers you find they would be willing to allow you to make payments to them every month until the property is eventually paid for over the longest period of time you can get the sellers to agree to. Read More >>
How can you get not only what you want but MORE than what you have ever wished for?
Nothing is Unreachable
Your success depends on your vision.
When you expand your thinking, you can expand your success. Expect more and work knowing that you can have it. From the start, know how big you want your business to be and work as though it is already there.
Big business owners keep good analytical data on sales, acquisitions, expenses, and growth. With good analytical data, you can prove that you are a good business person, and people will want to loan/give you money. Read More >>
Savannah REIA is excited to announce that Tom DiAgostino will be our special guest speaker this month at our Main Monthly Meeting on Tuesday, March 10th at 6PM at the Savannah Board or Realtors located at 7015 Hodgson Memorial Drive in Savannah, GA. Tom will be teaching us how to buy houses cheap, many times for as little as 10 cents on the dollar, with with Tax Sales, a real estate niche that most investors know little if anything about.
Join us at the meeting and you will learn...
Regardless of your experience or location, you can earn unbelievable interest, or find unbelievable deals to wholesale, flip, or partner on. Anyone can do this. Tom means deals at 10-30% of repaired value!
Tom has been investing for over two decades and done it all. Tom's training will change your financial life, forever. Tom and his team are not just trainers... they're your investment partners. Come spend 90 minutes with Tom at the Savannah REIA Meeting on March 10th where he will explain the best deal source on the planet for every type of investor.
Also, Tom will be back in Savannah on Saturday, March 28th for a full day Elite Tax Sale Workshop, so be sure to clear your calendar and join us at the training!
Elite Tax Sale Training
A Full Day Workshop with Tom DiAgostino
Saturday, March 28th from 9AM-5PM
Keller Williams, 329 Commercial Dr, Ste 100, Savannah, GA
Join Real Estate Investor and Tax Sale Expert Tom DiAgostino at the Elite Tax Sale Training Workshop on Saturday, March 28th at Keller Williams located at 329 Commercial Dr, Suite 100 in Savannah, GA where he will teach you how to create generational wealth for you and your family with Tax Liens & Deeds so you can get out of the rat race forever!
At this Full Day Training Event, Tom will teach you...
Tom says this about the workshop...
"I've been around the block for 21+ years and have seen and done it all. This investment strategy is not the flavor of the week. This training will change your financial life forever if you implement the strategies I will teach you. Stop trying to ride the next wave, only to find you're on the back end, left high and dry. At Fortris, we're not just trainers, we're your investment partners. Trust us and come spend Saturday, March 28th, 2015 with us, where I'll explain why this is the best deal source on the planet for every type of investor and show you how to do it each step of the way. I hope to see you at the event!"
You've probably heard it said that trading real estate has created more millionaires than any other investment vehicle on the planet.
...And you probably have noticed that the real estate market is coming back and that there are a lot of people out there making big money fast by skillfully investing in real estate.
But did you know that most of them do it without using or putting a lot of their own personal cash or credit at risk?
Yes, it's true... you can be one of the next real estate millionaires without needing a lot of your own cash or credit to make it happen!
Even if you don't become an overnight millionaire, you can still easily make an additional $20,000 to $100,000 dollars or more per year, even on a part time basis.
All You Need Is the Drive, Determination, Skills
& Knowledge to Make It Happen!
If you would like to be the next Real Estate Millionaire or your own definition of an Overnight Real Estate Success, you should consider attending our upcoming 3 day Pretty House Buying Boot Camp on December 12 – 14, 2014 with Don DeRosa & Dustin Griffin in Buford, GA to help you acquire the skills, knowledge and connections you need to become successful in the Pretty Home Buying Business.
At this 3 day, hands-on, Pretty House Buying Boot Camp, we will teach you How to Buy, Sell and Trade all the Gorgeous Homes You Want with Little or None of Your Own Cash or Credit while helping others get what they want... a fast, fair, friendly and flexible sale of their unwanted house.
You will learn how to turn an unwanted house into a gorgeous home for any individual, couple or family with less than perfect credit for fair price, a reasonable down payment or assignment fee and a monthly payment they can afford.
We will teach you everything you need to know to create a successful real estate investment business offering the American Dream of Home Ownership that will allow you and your family to Live The Life Of Your Dreams.
On Tuesday, November 18th at 8PM ET, Russ Hiner, an active investor, coach and mentor in the areas of real estate and creative financing will be hosting a webinar to discuss "Investing in Pretty Houses vs Ugly Houses" and which is right for you. Click here to Register Now!
This Pretty House vs Ugly House Webinar will be a study of why your business model should be centered around the ugly house model or the pretty house model. Or should you split it and invest in both pretty houses and the ugly houses? Get you your questions answered in this exciting analysis of the pretty and ugly houses real estate business.
We look forward to seeing you on the webinar!Read More >>
Be part of the first ever Island REIA Winter Retreat on January 18th - 24th, 2015 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. There will be 7 days of luxury accommodations, fun and exciting excursions and advanced real estate investor training you won't get anywhere else on the planet from experts like Russ Hiner, Rock Shukoor, Linda Dana, Dustin Griffin, Chris Littleton, Donna Littleton, jim Hitt, Duncan Wierman, Gordan Catts, Leslie Mathis, Don DeRosa and many others!
The Hard Rock Hotel & Casio Punta Cana is situated on a perfect 30 mile stretch of palm lined coastline and is famous for its stunning beaches that rank among the world's very best. The Hard Rock offers a mind blowing all-inclusive experience with thrilling gaming action in one of the biggest and best casinos in the Caribbean featuring exhilarating nightlife, tantalizing culinary options, state-of-the-art meeting facilities and luxurious rooms worth tweeting about, all infused with a legendary rock and roll vibe.
The Hard Rock has 13 pools, 9 restaurants, a Nicklaus designed golf course, and an astonishing Spa all surrounded by the most pristine beaches in the Caribbean. This is the perfect setting for our first retreat. Come see what it really means to get away from it all with a group of your favorite real estate investors and friends at a world class, all-inclusive luxury resort in paradise!
Come join us at the Island REIA Winter Retreat and learn real estate investing topics you won't hear anywhere else from some of the best minds in the business. It's going to be a full week of fun, sun, great food, good times, educational opportunities, social gatherings and exciting excursions with other like-minded investors and much more!
*Membership has its advantages. January is peak travel season for the Caribbean and the Hard Rock normally charges at least $547.44/night or $3,284.64/week based on double occupancy in the Caribbean Suite with King or Double Beds. This amount includes taxes and fees, but does not include airfare or transfer to and from the resort. However, Our Special Price via World Ventures is only $350/night or $2100/week based on double occupancy, a savings of over $1,280! You can join us for Only $1050/person! Our special price includes your all-inclusive visit, taxes, fees and transport to and from the resort, as well as $1500 resort credits per room that can be spent at the resort on spa visits, golf, excursions, etc. Airfare is NOT included. Certain terms and conditions do apply. Also, you can bring your kids under 17 year old for only $219/each for the week!
Because January is peak travel season and we have a very limited number of rooms available, get your passport and reserve your room now before all the rooms are booked!
Call now and don't miss out! See You in Paradise!
Join us at the Savannah REIA Monthly Meeting on Tuesday, November 11th at 6:30PM at Barnes Restaurant located at 5320 Waters Avenue in Savannah, GA with Russ Hiner who will discuss "Investing in Pretty Houses vs Ugly Houses" and which is right for you. This will be a study of why your business model should be centered around the ugly house model or the pretty house model. Or should you split it and invest in both pretty houses and the ugly houses? Get you your questions answered in this exciting analysis of the pretty and ugly houses real estate business.
Here's a little of what you will learn at the meeting:
The purpose of this meeting and Russ's reason for coming is to make you wealthy and to get you over the fear of buying houses with little or no money! If you are down with that, please join us at the meeting. We hope to see you there!
Like Savannah REIA on Facebook
Also, be sure to Like Savannah REIA on Facebook where we will also be posting any upcoming meetings, events and other useful information. You can also interact with our Facebook page and post your have's and wants as well.
Join Savannah REIA on Meetup.
If you are interested in being a part of the Savannah Real Estate Investors Alliance, investing in real estate or just want more information on our new REIA, be sure to Join Savannah REIA's New Meetup Group so you can stay informed on any upcoming meetings and events.
Learn to Buy Ugly Houses with...
The Wholesale Technique for doing Real Estate Deals is Simple, Fun and Highly Profitable! You can learn to Apply this Strategy in ANY Real Estate Market and can complete many of these deals, from start to finish in a few days or weeks. This means you can often Get Paid in 30 Days or Less and start to Create the Financial Freedom You Deserve by getting started in buying and selling real estate today.
Join us at the event and learn from two experts, Russ Hiner and Rock Shukoor, who have done hundreds of these deals over the past few years. Russ and Rock will teach you everything you need to know about Wholesaling Houses for Huge Profits. There will be two amd 1/2 days of classroom time as well as a property tour where you will be learning how to evaluate a property, make and offer and buy it.
Register for this Boot Camp if you want to learn how to:
What you'll Get at Part 1 of The Ugly House Boot Camp
Join us at the Savannah REIA Monthly Meeting on Tuesday, September 9th at 6:30PM at the Savannah Board or Realtors located at 7015 Hodgson Memorial Drive in Savannah, GA with Tony Stanford and Aislee Jackson who will be showing you how to use Sagis, a free mapping system with tons of data about property such as comprable sales data. Tony and Aislee will also tak about the "90 Day Flip Rule" created by the government to prevent quick flips at inflated prices.. They will also tak about financing tips for new investors, how to negotiate terms and more! Read More >>