Friday, August 13, 2010

Real Homes of Genius

One of the blogs I frequent is Dr Housing Bubble in LA County.  (  ).  Great commentary on the state of So Cal real estate.  Besides his personal pet-peeve for garbage cans and Realtor cars in listing photos on the MLS (which I share,) he regularly posts about "Real Homes of Genius".

A real home of genius is one where a bank and buyer broke all rules of sanity in overvaluing a property to the point of ridiculousness.  We've got one here in my area this week, and I think I"ll keep them coming.

Real Home of Genius - Santa Maria Style...

The original sales info.  Purchased in 1/2003 for $320,000

Second, Purchased in 11/2005 for $450,000!!

Third, Notice of Default, Notice of Trustee Sale 4/22/2009

Fourth, Trustee Sale on 1/14/2010

Finally, onto the market in 5/23/2010 for $165,500 and reduced on 6/17/2010

Here's the video I shot this morning. A true gem.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Bank Repairs Property Without Asking!

I know it sounds crazy.  I didn't believe it myself when it happened, but I have video to prove it.  Check it out.

Here's the backstory.

I have a client that made an all-cash, as-is offer on a bank-owned (REO) condo.  It was in pretty good shape and she loved the unit so she offered close to retail.  In fact, all the unit needed was carpet, paint and install some hand-rails and it would be good to go.

Offer was accepted in a day and we moved into escrow.

Yesterday, the listing agent called me in a huff because there were contractors in the condo tearing out carpet and it looked like a painter had already come and gone....

I called my client and she didn't know a thing about it.  No answers...

Until later that afternoon when the listing agent called me to apologize.  The bank had hired and scheduled to have the contractors paint and carpet the unit and didn't let the agent know.  (weird.)

So, my client gets carpet and paint.  On an AS-IS bank REO.  Gratis.

Gotta love these banks... Never the same thing twice.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

You're Nobody 'til Somebody Loves You

I made it on a list!

Best Blogs on Real Estate ranked my blog as on of the top 50 real estate blogs!  

Very Cool.  

Thanks everybody!  

(Click link below to check out the list.)


Friday, July 9, 2010

Been Gone So Long

Missed you guys.

I started this blog as an effort to share my experiences as I grew my real estate investing business. However, things didn't really go as I had hoped.

After some initial success in early '08 in Virginia Beach/Tidewater, we sold (lease option that went south and ended up as a short-sale) our Virginia Beach house and moved home to CA.

Turns out that I couldn't have picked a worse time to move and try the wholesaling method of the real estate business in California. The whole financial world was on a tilt after the collapse of Lehman and the 300+ lenders that melted down in 2008-09 and I was trying to wholesale properties in a free-falling market. It sucked. I won't even tell you about how bad, just trust me. It sucked.

After just one successful wholesale flip in March of 2009, and after encouragement of my lovely bride, I decided to get my license and continue moving forward in real estate as an agent/Realtor rather than return to my previous career in the insurance industry.

I got my CA real estate salesperson license Aug 2nd, 2009 and continued to try and manage my 'investor' leads as well as build a clientele as an agent. I ended up getting many of my initial listings from those leads, but as the market has continued to slide downward, getting 65 cents on the dollar minus repairs to use as a wholesale deal became more and more unlikely. I shut down 11 Day Sale on 12/31/10 and have focused all my efforts on building a career in real estate as a Realtor.

Since I was no longer attempting to be an investor/wholesaler, it didn't seem that I had much to write about on the blog. But as time has gone along, I have come to realize how much I have learned about investing in real estate, and about my market and there are a lot of things that I would have liked to share, but didn't because they weren't 'investor' topics. Plus, writing is good therapy, it's free and I like it.

But, like I said, I missed you guys. So I've decided to change the content of the blog and keep writing about the crazy stuff that happens to me as I wander along on this new career path.

Sound good to you?

Nice to be back.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tommy and the Christmas Train House

Cool story.

I got a call just before Thanksgiving from a seller who's father in law's (88yrs) (Mr 88) health was to the point that he couldn't live alone in the house and the family was looking for options and responded to my mailer. The son in law actually said that it was uncanny that the mailer came when it did as they had just talked about selling the house the day before.

My son Tommy and I went to the appointment together and after a side-trip to McDonalds for a happy meal and toy, we showed up right on time.

The nurse/caretaker took to Tommy right away and asked if she could play with him with the toy train around the tree while I toured the house. So after shaking hands with the owner, I headed off on the tour with the son in law.

About half way through the tour, the caretaker called out for the son in law to come quickly and he hustled off to help her. I was just behind him and saw that Mr 88 had slumped back into the couch and was extremely pale. She was dialing 911 when I grabbed Tommy and turned off the train controller. The son in law escorted me to the door and said that Mr 88 didn't have much time left. We chatted for a bit on the porch and I took Tommy to the car.

We could hear the siren of the ambulance as we got into the car and passed them as they came up the hill as we drove away.

As I drove away, I realized that I was the last person to shake hands with Mr 88 in this life. Kind of weird. It still seems a little surreal for me. I was a little shaken up by it. And, since I was out of the room, I hoped that Tommy hadn't gotten in the way or made any troubles.

I have been watching the paper for the last couple of days and the Obituary came out in the paper today so I called the son in law to offer condolences.

He told me the rest of the story.

Mr 88 was a bit senile and it turned out to be a bit of a Godsend that I had Tommy with me when we came to the house. See, his son had died in Viet Nam and Mr 88 was prone to having visions of his son and deceased wife.

It turned out that while I was touring the house, Mr 88 was watching Tommy and the nurse play with the Christmas train. Mr 88 was clapping and hollering for him to make it go faster! faster! and having a great time. His vision was of his son and wife playing with the train around the Christmas tree (Tommy and the nurse). He was laughing and having a good time. The nurse was watching him closely and said that he was smiling as he sat back into the couch. He sat back, sighed, got a tear in his eye and then was gone. Just like that. Total heart failure.

I got teary as the son in law told me the story. It's uncanny how things work out sometimes. I felt that it was the right thing to do, bringing Tommy to work with me that Friday. It just seemed correct. I am glad I listened to that little voice inside because it is good that my little guy could make an old man's last few minutes on the planet a little better, a little happier and a little less lonely, and I feel great about that.

Happy holidays everybody.

This life is short & we only go around once, so let's enjoy each other while we're all here.


Friday, November 6, 2009

Back in the Saddle

You'll remember that a year ago I put on my first CA open bid sale.

And, while it didn't go as planned (plan being that i make another sweet 5 figure paycheck,) we were able to secure a buyer for the property and I eventually got some $$ (4 figure paycheck) for my efforts.

Still a big fan of the open bid sale concept.

Another year gone and as it turns out, exactly 1 year to the weekend from my last open bid sale...

It's a nice little condo/townhome in Grover Beach with views of the Pismo Beach hills and some nice amenities.

As another little reminder of how much things can change in a year, I'm licensed and running this open bid sale as an agent! No chance of 5 fig paycheck this time, however... I am hoping to make up in volume for what each potential sale lacks in potential profit compared to an investor deal.

Lots and lots and lots going on in my little real estate world right now.

  • I've started a consulting project for a company that works with real estate investors as a success advisor, which allows me to spend more time at home and less weekend nights working at the restaurant (which is nice.)

  • Plus, I have two buyers in escrow and the condo listing. Not bad.

  • I just finished a submission for a free quarterly newspaper that will be mailed out to every household in town in about 3 weeks. Should be a nice little promo piece.

  • I partnered with one of my investment property buyers in Virginia Beach (she bought Jeanne St in VB. Remember that one from May 08?), and we are going to update and re-vamp and She'll help build the site and we'll both submit 'free special reports' and videos. And, if leads come in from different areas in the country, I'll be able to use my connections from my RE consulting gig to get them taken care of and hopefully make a little referral $$.

California fall weather is just spectacular and we are LOVING it here. Thanks to my wife's family for support on that one. I will say that it is truly refreshing to have your in-laws be your biggest fan/support. Not everybody can say that.

I hope to post more often, but as you can imagine, my days are full and I love being busy.

Pray for a quick sale and 2 quick escrows!

More next week.

All the best,

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Buying REO's - Market for the Insane

First off, thanks to TampaSteph and also Shae for the following video.

Are you thinking about getting into the REO market? Maybe you don't like dealing directly with homeowners and think that it would be much easier to buy directly from banks?

It isn't my favorite method of doing real estate, and the following video has a familiar ring to it if you've ever dealt with a bank 0wned or short-sale property.

Enjoy & good luck with your own REO adventures...