I began my real estate investing education about three years ago by going to a free seminar with R. Kiyosaki. One thing he always said was to start small, so I did about a year ago.
I still hadn't started investing and was eager to start, but didn't quite believe in myself. One day in the Spring of 2010, pretty disappointed with myself, I was looking through Craigslist and saw that there were ads for Cemetery Plots for sale by owners.
I looked at one which was valued at $2900, but the owner was asking $1900. I immediately realized that the owner was motivated. I thought, what a great way to start practicing, so I researched the value and verified that it was worth $2900. I called and offered $1500. The plot was located at Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Southern California.
The owner called back and said he would take $1600 plus the transfer cost of $100. I used my own cash to purchase and the transfer & re-deeding took place at the Cemetery office.
I then immediately advertised it for sale in a local paper for $2900 with owner financing. I got at least one call every day for about a week until I got an offer for $2700. I accepted that offer and made sure that they covered the transfer fee of $100.
Two weeks after I bought the land, I sold it for all cash with an $1100 profit. At the end, I had an ROI of about 69%, and a new found belief in myself.
Both of these transactions were handled separately. I first closed with the seller and then two weeks later with my buyer.
As far as my “Owner Financing Deal” in my ad, I was asking full market value, but nobody took me up on the owner financing. They thought that by offering cash they were getting a good deal. “Owner financing” made the ad sound like I was motivated to sell.
My initial purchase was done without ever going to see the plot. Seller had a pretty good description and that made me comfortable. After closing, I later took pictures to post on the internet and it turned out to be a great spot!
I have not done any other real estate deal like this since because I found out from my attorney that I can only do this maybe once a year due to local regulation.
Necessity and the hunger to learn how to think differently about money inspired me to start real estate investing.
This first successful deal although small, helped me believe in myself and not let an ounce of doubt enter my mind. I was able to manage fear because I had to remind myself that fear was part of the game.
Now that I have built up my confidence, I've moved on to buying turn-key investment properties in TN and now have three cash flowing properties.
Monica B. Zamudio