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Step-By-Step Methods – Tailored for Everyone at Every Level of Experience

You’ve heard that real estate is all about: location, location, location. Does it hold true for real estate investing? You bet it does. You need to pay attention to your location and the condition of the market in your location. If you live in the Midwest, it does no good to watch how the market is doing in Florida.

Get Local!

Pay attention to the market you’ll be investing in. Create a target market… get to know the neighborhoods around you. Know the home prices and do your research.

This is what I teach my students about finding their target market:

  • Get a map, put a pin in the map where your house is,
  • Draw a circle approximately 5 miles around your house,
  • Now travel inside that circle,
  • Find the neighborhoods where you can discover the “sweet spot” for deals.

The sweet spot of an area is where the prices of the homes are what “real people” can afford to live in. “Real people” is my term for the everyday working family… plumbers, electricians, dental hygienists, hair stylists, store clerks, local government workers, etc.

Once you’ve found at least a couple of target neighborhoods then drive them regularly and look for opportunities.

  • Vacant houses
  • Houses needing repair
  • Houses that have been on the market a long time
  • Ask the neighbors if they know anyone who wants to sell their house.

Your goal is to buy the properties at the lowest possible cost. What you’re looking for is that magic combination of the desperate seller, sluggish market, and a house that’s in a good neighborhood but is rundown.

Besides going local, you can also look at foreclosures. This buzzword seems to be tossed around every time someone talks about the current real estate market. Using foreclosures as part of your overall strategy will help you find some good deals that will boost your profits.

There are three types of foreclosures:

  • Foreclosures – When a person stops making payments on their home, the lender has the right to sell the property to get their money back. Oftentimes, the bank will try to sell the house at auction “at the courthouse steps”. I don’t recommend this option, especially for beginners.
  • Pre-Foreclosures – These deals are much safer because you can work directly with the owner. There are many options when dealing with pre-foreclosures and it offers the most flexibility, the least cost, and the greatest safety.
  • Post-Foreclosures – These are simple! Generally, these deals are better than “at-the-steps” because you can inspect the properties, make an offer and still get a second chance to inspect closer after your offer has been accepted.

Foreclosures are an ideal place for you to begin obtaining property—because you can help the homeowner get out from under a loan they can no longer afford.

I just sold my first foreclosure property using Lou’s paperwork and took home over $27,000 in cash! The entire transaction went off without a single hitch.

D.G., Cash Homebuyers, Inc.

By looking locally for houses and finding foreclosures, you should be to find the right properties to help get your real estate investment business off the ground. Along with foreclosures, come properties that need to get sold but the owners may not have a clear cut way to sell them because they are under duress.

Properties under duress are:

  • Bankruptcy – This is a public record and some courts have this information online.
  • Foreclosure- Open your local newspaper or go to your county clerk.
  • Death – By visiting your county’s probate office, you can find a list of deceased persons whose estates are in probate.
  • Relocation – Talk with your local Real Estate Agent and find out if they have any clients that have been relocated and need to sell their house quickly.
  • Divorce – There are several online databases that can help get you information for your area.

By combining all these methods, you shouldn’t have a hard time finding the right properties to get your real estate investment business off the ground.

OK, we’ve found the funding and we’ve found the properties we want, check out the next article that will talk about how to find the right buyers.

Here’s to your success!

Lou Brown
The Street Smart Investor