Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Latest "Lonnie" Deal

Well folks, here's my latest "Lonnie" deal. I had no idea this thing would go through. Actually, I was on my way to see a home out on a piece of land before going out to see this one. Turned out, the home on land didn't work out - the lady told me someone else came before me and put a deposit. Told her I know she has a deadline to get the home off her land - if it doesen't work out to contact me but please give me advance notice. Ah yes, many a times I've been called in desperation with someone having a home they need moved that day or the next day! Seriously, this business can be very demanding at times...

Getting back, I went out to this home. It's quite an interesting story. It was owned by a husband and wife couple - they had other properties they owned and managed. The husband wanted to sell but the wife did not - they were currently renting out the unit. After talking with them for awhile, I got on their good side and they both decided it was a good idea to sell. The crazy thing is that out of all their properties this was the one that was cash flowing for them. Why on earth would someone want to sell this?

Well, they didn't really see any value in the home. They told me "....it's a depreciating asset," and plus they told me they weren't the type to shop at Wal-Mart, if you know what I mean. Yes, many a times I get laughed at for doing this business, I think the word "ghetto" is what most people (including some of my friends) have referred to it - guess it just ain't so glamorous, eh?

In any case, I checked out the home. Everything was in pretty good condition and they even threw in a washer and dryer! Guess they really did want to sell the home.

So, we closed on it. Of course, it took the whole day to do the walkthrough inspection and the paperwork with the housing office. But, it was well worth it. Plus, I learned a few things from the sellers about taking care of animals - they used to have goats on a farm. Gotta love this business!

Now, it's in the process of getting cleaned up. Once it's cleaned up, I may have the living room and kitchen painted as the paint is coming off and the carpet shampooed. Then, it will be ready. There are already some people in the park interested - they approached the sellers and asked them if they can buy it. But, the sellers told them they are working with me. Guess they didn't want to be bothered with so many people.

It was a win/win situation for all. The sellers are now happy they don't have to deal with this home anymore. I got a deal. Win/win for everyone.

I'm working on a couple more things. Have more opportunities now with some parks to fill lots - now they are paying me to move homes in ;) Pretty cool....Gotta love this business!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Bank REOs

With the end of the year approaching, my new angle is to work the bank REOs in addition to working with individual sellers. Surprisingly, the banks have been more than helpful. Personally, I was a little apprehensive working with the banks as I've heard they are hard to deal with and have been unresponsive to most people. I don't know if it's just me and my personality, but the banks have been pretty cool to deal with. Maybe my studies with Gitomer had something to do with it. Go figure!

So, today I checked out another bank REO located in one of the parks I work with. Guess what? As soon as I drove up to the house, I could tell the home had some issues. I didn't even have to set foot in the house. What tipped me off? Check this out:

Hmmmm....What's wrong with this picture? Can somebody say roof damage? And, let's not forget about those lovely wood panels with the moisture issues. Can you see the wood breaking up? Here's a closer look:

Ok, so is it just the outside with issues? Here's what I found when I went inside:

Water damaged wall


Water damage ceiling

Door entryway water damage

Clearly, the house had some issues. As soon as I walked into the house, I could smell the mold. Surprisingly, the park manager didn't think it was that bad...until I came and pointed out these issues. But, what really confirmed my feeling about the house was not the house itself but the neighbor who lived next door.

The neighbor was a friend of the prior owners. Let's just say people talk...And, they talk a lot. Most people want to talk, talk, talk. But, I've found out that if you listen to what people say, you'll learn a heck of a lot especially in this business.

I start talking to the neighbor and asked her a couple of questions about the house. The park manager was with me and really didn't think the neighbor really had that much insight into the situation. Little did she know what the neighbor knew. The neighbor told me about all the water and moisture issues with the house. How did she know? Well, she was the prior owner's neighbor and friend, and regularly came to the house to visit. Whenever people have problems, they talk about them to their friends and people they know. Pretty logical stuff.

So, the neighbor goes on about the house and tells me how the house was always leaking, moisture was getting into the walls, how one of the water pipes burst, how the prior owners would complain water kept getting into the house, etc, etc. Wow, the list goes on and on! Then she goes on to tell me the a/c unit outside is gone - someone stole it. And, there's always been a major leak in the bathroom. Plus, the commode in one of the bathrooms doesen't work anymore. Honestly, this is very important information to know.

What I deduced from the situation was that the roof probably has not been sealed for quite some time. Somehow moisture has made its way into the house and will continue until the problem has been found. However, it's already been to the point where mold is growing and moisture has seeped into the walls. The insulation is going to need to be torn out and replaced with new insulation. Probably the roof will need to be sealed again. All of the walls with the moisture will need to be replaced. Plus, the wood paneling outside will also need to be replaced. Clearly, this house is a much bigger project than what I'm looking for. It will take more time and work to get the home ready and safely habitable. So, I decided to pass.

Lesson learned. I have learned to be humble and listen more to people when it comes to this business. Most people want to talk and think they know what they are doing even though they don't - a big mistake. I learned the hard way. Let's just say my mistakes in the past have cost me a lot of time and lot of money. Now, I have learned to listen when it comes to matters of the unknown.