When I returned home from the war, I was not sure what I was going to do to provide for my family. We had to sell off our home and ranch when I left for the war and we were basically starting from scratch.
My grandfather suggested I consider real estate investing and gave me a couple courses he had purchased. It was like a whole world I had not even imagined opened up for me. The possibilities were endless and I jumped into the world of real estate investing.
The first thing my wife and I did, was to begin learning as much as possible, reading everything we could get our hands on about the subject. We set up an auto pilot type program by getting a website and answering service. We started marketing to the website and toll free number and leads started coming in like magic.
Our very first deal was a little cottage needing some work, on 2 acres on the edge of a little town. Not only did we buy it, but we moved into it, and the seller paid the next 3 months mortgage payment for us. It was like magic and we could not believe it really worked.
I found a teaching job that would pay the bills and still give me some time to work on our new real estate business and we continued to purchase properties, using no money down. Some deals did not work out so good, but they were good learning experiences.
One particular property we purchased had been on the market for 6 months the listing had just expired, and the seller's new house was ready for them to move in. They were already packed and ready to move, so their motivation was high. The house was worth about 110k and they owed 105k, so they had very little equity in the property.
I offered to purchase the property by taking over the existing financing (subject to) and they paid me $5000.00 to take the house. Within a week, I had a tenant/buyer put another $5000.00 in my hand as an option fee and leased/optioned the house for $115K, giving me $150 per month in cash flow as well. One year later, the tenant/buyers moved out, and I again lease/optioned the property for another $5000 fee, but this time for $120K.
Another deal that stands out in my mind was a property we purchased for $29K, again with no money down. The after repair value was $65K and it needed some work. I sold the house on an agreement for deed to someone with construction experience at a discount, and they did all the work on the property over the next year. After one year, the house looked amazing, and I had it appraised. It came out at $75K, so I refinanced the property, and got a check for $27,000.
After a year and a half of real estate investing, I quit teaching high school, and my wife and I, are full time real estate investors. My son even amazes his teachers at school with his knowledge of the real estate market and his understanding of the current mortgage crisis.