My wife mentioned that a coworker wanted to sell his Condo, at the time he was asking 94K and his roommate (a licensed realtor) was going to purchase it. After the owner heard how property values were increasing in the area he decided that he'd bump up the price because there was not a formal written contract between he and his roommate. The price was now 118K and his roommate was understandably upset – they had agreed on 94K and now the price was increased by 24K. He bailed because the agreement was broken and of course they're not friends anymore.
Here's where I come in, my wife told me about the situation and I told her to tell her coworker that I'd come over and take a look. I looked at the property, did my evaluation – it needed everything, paint, carpet, kitchen floor – the works. I told him I'd purchase the property. He couldn't wait until closing because he was moving to West Virginia so I was the only one at closing. He gave me the loan pay-off documents prior to closing (big mistake) I now knew how much money he would recieve in excess of the payoff and that's when I went to work.
At closing I told him over the phone that I didn't have money for closing costs could he pay it and since he smoked in the Condo for 15 years – could he provide some cash for carpeting – he agreed to all of this, around 5K. I bought the property in January 2005 @ 118K, it is now appraised at 189K. Not bad for my first deal. I now lease it for $1200 per month for a monthly cash flow of $500.00. The lesson that I learned here was to ask for anything – all they can do is say no.
Good luck investing – don't rush, you'll find your deal eventually!