What's been successful for you?

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  • Hi, after reading Real Estate Profits On Steroids, I’ve been working hard on trying to get houses with letters, door hangers, scouring Zillow, getting paid county address lists on late property taxes, and drive-bys. So far I haven’t secured a house yet. Any ideas, thoughts or tips that anyone can share? What are other creative ideas? I heard this process was easier years ago and I’m not sure why. But, I am continuing to stay positive and dedicated as I know there’s no silver bullet.
    What’s been successful for you?

    Who are you sending the letters to? Where is your marketplace? As far as late on real estate taxes is not a good idea. A good idea is to contact people who have had their taxes already sold at a tax sale. I like to target vacant houses and also probate cases that has real property in probate.

    sounds like you are looking in all the wrong places for a wholesale deal.

    Most wholesale deals are in the cheapest neighborhoods in your town. You will find them on RED TAG lists of condemned houses or houses with serious code violations, you will find them by driving neighborhoods or putting signs near those neighborhoods. Make sure you have magnets on your car when you are driving around to advertise that you buy houses.

    Sure, you find a wholesale opportunity in nice middle class or upper class neighborhoods once in awhile, but it is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

    If you want to do a volume wholesale business, you need to get in to the el cheapo neighborhoods for wholesale deals. 90% of wholesale deals are vacant houses. You can spot them because they have tall grass, mail piled up on the porch, broken windows, door missing, holes in the roof, junk cars on cement blocks, To find the owners, you’ll need to talk to neighbors to find out where the owner is or hire a skip trace company to track them down.

    You also need to make sure your message is right. What are you putting on your door hangers or flyers?

    Hi Don,

    Thanks for your reply. I live in the Bay Area and I am targeting N. Cal areas that are less expensive than where I live. I thought of targeting people who were 2+ years late on property taxes then I know they are in trouble. But, good to know that targeting properties in probate are even better. I know vacant houses are ideal- those apparently are found through driving around and bird-dogs- are those the only ways? I know I can contact houses that are sold at a tax sale through the county and online. Thanks again for the tip and advice.

    Hi Jackie,
    Thanks for your response. I’m definitely going to take your advice. I need to branch out way more to find those vacant homes. The Bay Area is like you said, “looking for a needle in a haystack.” I’m currently doing flyers and now door hangers. My message on my car magnet reads: “I BUY HOUSES 4 FULL PRICE & IN ANY CONDITION”. The letters to the houses I send say: “I would like to buy your house at 123 Main St., Please call me at xxx-xxxx. I have been doing ads on Craig’s list too. But, I think the turn-around is that I need to search in better targeted and cheaper areas. Most of the houses I’ve been targeting are not vacant.
    Keep you posted and thank you again!

    Like it says in the Flip Deals book, the biggest indicator of a wholesale opportunity is a LOT OF EQUITY.

    Just because someone is 2 years behind on taxes, it does not mean that they have any equity at all – same with probate. They may even ow more than their house is worth.

    The California real estate market took a nose dive in 2008. Prices are back to where they were before but traditionally in California homeowners use their home like an ATM machine, pulling cash out every time they have a little equity.

    Without a lot of equity, there is no deal.

    There are some great opportunities in the Bay area. CashFlowDepot members have found them. But it always always involves a house that needs a lot of work and has a lot of equity. Many times an inherited house does NOT go through probate.

    I’d run ads on Craigstlist — REWARD for information about the ugliest houses on their street. $100 reward if you buy it!
    That’s a lot cheaper than the other things you have been doing.

    Thank you Jackie. You’re right, Californians have a history of leveraging their houses too much. I will run an ad on Craig’s list as you suggest- great idea. Plus, keep looking for vacant, run down homes. They are out there.

    A follow up to my email a few weeks back…I took Jackie’s advice and put 3 CL ads saying “Reward for information on the ugliest house on your street.”
    The response was huge! I got over 15 replies within hours and a huge list of homes to go after. It was like turning on a ‘light switch”. Thank you again Jackie and to all who replied with ideas. Keep you posted on my results! -C

    What section of CL did you post under?

    Hi, I put it under Real Estate.

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