Persistence Was the Key

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I recently moved to South Florida from New Jersey. Soon after I moved I found out where the Real Estate Investment Clubs meet. I became a member of all three investment clubs around October 2004. I tried my best to get a deal on my own and spent a lot on mailings to foreclosures, seminars, courses and driving the wrong neighborhoods and spun my wheels for a whole year.

I finally was able to get a property through a wholesaler for $113,500 on October 12, 2005. I had problems from the beginning when hurricane Wilma hit a week after I closed on the property, and we were out of power for about two weeks. I started the rehab with a handyman from hell and a month and a half later I was no were near completion. I asked rehabbers I met at the clubs to look at the property and asked them for advise on my project. I also started asking for referals for a contractor and one name was repeated several times. I contracted the work with him. Five weeks after completion and spending $33k on the rehab and $8k on holding cost, a total of $41,000. I put the property on the market. During all this time I kept asking the people I know in the business on how conquer the problems I was facing. There were many sleepless nights, but I was able to get a qualified buyer within two weeks on the market. I finaly closed on March 31 and netted $44,500.00 after selling the property for $210,000.00.

I was driving for dollars when I came up on a neighborhood of properties that had a lot of damage from Hurricane Wilma and started to leave my I buy Houses door hangers. A couple of days later a lady called me and she said that she wanted to sell her house and that it had a lot of wind damage.

I proceeded to find out when she wanted to sell and she said as soon as possible. I made an appointment to see the house and there was water damage to the ceiling in the kitchen and family room as it caved in. The house was in perfect condition except for that. I tried to negotiate with her to purchase at $137,000 and she said no way. I then asked her what she would be willing to sell at and she said $190,000. I made my estimates to be around $15k to $20k in repairs. I signed the property up and that same day I had a REIA meeting and I made about 15 flyers with me.

I had a problem with my gall bladder and had to get it removed. The next day I was scheduled for surgery and I had to rest 3 days. During those three days I had about 25 calls telling me that they were interested in looking at the property. On the fourth day I got the keys for the house and I had about four people stop by and three made me an offer. I assigned the contract to a cash buyer for $20,000. The property comps at $300 to $310k. I would have had it sold earlier but I needed to rest. The buyer is the Founder or my local REIA. My membership did pay for itself.

This is my second deal!

Now I'm currently rehabbing my third property which will be on the market by April 14. I have another two properties that I'm also rehabbing and I have another two under contract. It pays to have persistence and to have a plan to execute daily. It is also key to have a mentor that can answer your questions and guide you through the process. My mentor tells me he is not my mentor, but I keep calling him and I guess persistence has been my secret.

If anyone would ask me for advise about getting your first deal I would say don't ever give up trying and learning what it takes to get a property at a discount. It doesn't happen very fast in most of the cases and you have to remember that this is a business you are starting.

Good investing!

Ricardo Morales
South Florida

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Persistence Was the Key

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