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As a prospector looking for gold nuggets sometimes you sift out some truly unusual leads. In my many years as a real estate investor I can tell you from experience, looking at hoarder houses. But before long when you see garbage stacked ceiling high, or a crazy cat lady with 18 cats in a 900 sq ft home… you will learn to see what I see a gold nugget, a diamond in the rough a real estate DEAL. Really hoarder houses usually dont need as much work as they LOOK like they are going to need. The items piled up just obscure your vision, but its usually just cleaning. Get a permit from your city for a dumpster and get your cleaning crew to work and before long you will have the hard work behind you!

Of course there are some issues with hoarder houses that you won’t usually run into when looking at other houses. For instance its difficult to get a feel for the foundation because you can’t put a level on the floor or walk the perimeter. Another issue sometimes is mold, because the houses are abandoned usually or there sometimes is literally trash strewn about it can make for a good environment for mold to grow in, and if it gets in the vents it can be an expensive job for your cleaning crew. Also because of all the junk, it can obscure other things the seller might not be aware of. For example I bought a house up in Keller and the junk was hiding areas where there had been termite damage. OOPS! Yah we didn’t discover that one until after escrow and closing, luckily we had left enough wiggle room in our margins it wasn’t much of an issue.

Hoarder House #1

There is a kitchen somewhere in here….

Hoarder House #2
How bout that bathroom?


Come to think of it these pictures kind of give me the spooks. You have to understand when im going through houses like these, often times the utilities are turned off… so its just me walking around stumbling through junk with nothing but my flash light and a camera. Some houses its difficult for even investors to help… maybe I will make another post like this come Halloween for some truly scary houses. Nevertheless, don’t let scary looking houses like this intimidate you, now lets sift for some more real estate deals!


Read More Crazy Cat Ladies … Hoarder Houses Oh My!

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When me and my partner first purchased this property we were not sure what we were going to do it to be honest. We had picked it up very cheap, but the home owner had to sell really fast by the end of the month due to some extreme circumstances going on within their family… so either way we had some play in the numbers. I actually met Chris Feltus at a local investor mastermind over in Tarrant county, this one of the several deals that he has helped provide me with. Honestly he is one of my favorite Dallas realtors period. He really goes above and beyond to make sure he finds something that fits my criteria. But thats part of building your power team, and I will talk more about that later.

Here is a shot of the exterior2013-08-13 16.41.48

When we first checked out the home I could tell right from the get go; this home would need ALOT in foundation work. Im talking interior and exterior piers, digging up flooring the works, the scary part before the rehab was not knowing what the sewer lines would do. You see sewer lines built in the 1960s tend to be made out of cast iron and it can be common for the lines to break when you jack up a house to lift & fix the foundation. The slope grade on the house was pretty steep from the foundation I mean some parts of the house slumped down more than 2 inches! You didn’t need to put a level on the floor to verify you could just look at the doorways and see some cracks from the settling.

fnd crcks

After we checked out the foundation we checked out the roof. The roof, man you could just tell by looking at it that it was old. I grabbed my 15ft ladder and head up to the top. After taking a stroll on the roof it actually wasnt THAT bad, in fact it was serviceable! I ended up budgeting to not replace the roof, it wasn’t brand new, but it would work… at least we were confident it would; ultimately it is up to the inspectors and home buyers!

Now for the rest of the house…. the rest of the house actually wasn’t too bad, I mean it needed work but it was mostly just cosmetic, you know the drill paint here, carpet there, remodel the kitchen/bath and some new fixtures. Pretty typical for a rehab. Take a look at the living area below, it was pretty salvageable, it even had hard woods down, I planned to refurbish them.

Heres the kitchen
2013-08-13 16.23.42

This deal was sourced to us through a realtor.

You can check out the remodel of this property over on the before and after section. Check out the next post to see how we made out on the deal! Or check out this page to see the before and after on the rehab!

Read More Fix ‘n Flip #1 Dallas TX Rehab

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Marketing to me is just like sifting for Gold. It goes way back to the times of the gold rush when prospectors would spend their days wading through rivers trying to find the diamond in the rough… or in this case gold. Similar to sifting for gold, when you market, alot of things are out of your control COMPLETELY.

Real estate marketing.. and marketing in general, really is nothing more than a numbers game. You can try and go after specific zip codes or pre foreclosures all you want, but at the end of the day you need to be mailing people and mailing them hard. Just like those prospectors of the past, if you spend all day sifting for gold and come out empty handed… you show up and start sifting again the next day until you get what you desire.

Doing so will yield the deals that you seek. Just take a step back and think about it for a moment, what tools did the old prospectors need? A pick axe, something to sift with and most of all PATIENCE. Here in real estate marketing is your pick axe, the filter for your leads (preforeclosure, probate etc) is your sifting tool and just like the prospector you need to combine all these tools with patience to reap the rewards.

Here is a sneak peak of a home that I recently acquired through direct mail. Check out the bathroom on this guy… yikes! Long story short, the home owners basically abandoned the property it hasn’t been lived in for many years now. In fact, during our meeting was the first time the sellers had been there in a long time.


Check out the boards on the backside of the property, that was done to prevent people from breaking in. I guess you have to do something when your house has been vacant for more than 5 years.

Much like that prospector, this was a lead that I had been mailing for over 2 years before they even contacted me! Thats why like the successful gold prospectors that we are as real estate investors, we mail mail and then mail some more.

So the next time you feel like giving in or changing lists because you are not producing as many qualified leads as you would like, think back to the gold rush and keep on digging my friend.


photo credit by Skitter Creek Photo

Read More Marketing Its like Sifting for Gold

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This post is going to discuss the numbers from the Dallas fix ‘n flip. Like I mentioned in the initial post when we bought it… we really had no idea what we were going to do with the property. I figured that if I bought it at the right price there would be enough play in the numbers either way I would be in good shape.

The numbers below show roughly where we needed to be numbers wise in the property. PLEASE NOTE remember from our first post on this property the comps ONLY showed the house would be valued around 75k… but remember my “gut instinct” told me otherwise I had a feeling it was 90k.

Keep that in mind when you look at this offer projection sheet.

retail profit

BUT…Guess what I sold the house for? 90k! Overall my profit was much greater than this offer projection sheet showed. We also ended up spending a bit more on the repairs than we first thought. For example the foundation work came in a bit higher…. all in all we put 25k worth of rehab into the house, not bad.

Special shout out to my escrow officer Jenny over at Trinity Title of Texas LLC, she did an exceptional job of keeping the whole transaction going smoothly!

Make sure to head over to the before and after section to see the completed rehab.

Read More Fix ‘n Flip #1 Dallas Rehab The Numbers