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The Most Anxious Feeling on Earth (for a Real Estate Investor)

by Marty Boardman on December 8, 2012 · 5 comments


If you’re like me – the suspense is unbearable. Days seem like weeks, minutes like hours.

The entrance is glorious. Happy music plays in the background and the aroma of flowers extends throughout the park. Around each corner there is something new to see – a character, exhibit, attraction – or all three. Fantasy becomes reality. From pirates to puppets to Storm Troopers, this place has it all.

That’s right, I’m talking about Disneyland.

As a kid, my family would go to Disneyland 3-4 times a year (we lived four hours away in Yuma, Arizona). Both of my parents are from Illinois so as soon as the leaves began falling off the trees there we’d get an endless stream of visitors through the following spring. They all wanted to do the same thing – visit the happiest place on earth. Fortunately for me, I got to tag along.

Nowadays I get there every other year. Still, I get the same feeling deep down inside my gut. It’s a nervous kind of excitement.

The Sensation of Flipping Houses

Submitting offers on distressed properties, or bidding on them at the auction, gives me a similar sensation. You’d think after flipping more than 250 properties in 10 years I’d be immune. The truth is waiting to find out if I’ve acquired a property (and then learning I got it, or did not get it) is the most anxious feeling on earth.

Here’s the funny part – I’m not anxious or impatient by nature. I don’t get frustrated when stuck in traffic nor do I have a problem waiting an hour to eat at my favorite restaurant. I’m not emotional either. I don’t cry in sad movies. I’m the Dad that tells his daughter she should have been more careful when she falls off the swing set.

Yesterday, I submitted an offer on an REO a Realtor brought to my attention. It was about to be listed by a colleague in her broker’s office. The bank was hoping for an all cash offer prior to putting it on the multiple listing service. The house needed about 8-10K in cosmetic repairs and had an after repair value of 205K. The asking price was 167K (that was also the bank’s opening bid at the auction and no one bid). I offered $161,500.

The Results Of My Offer

Since signing the offer less than 24 hours ago I’ve had that anxious feeling. Did I offer too much? Not enough? Can I really fix the house up for 8K? Will it really sell for 205K? Can it sell for more than 205K? If it does – will I make enough money to go to Disneyland?

Alas, I just found out they rejected my offer, and a slightly higher counter I made for $163,000. Oh well, I didn’t really want to go to Disneyland anyway. I hear it’s really crowded this time of year.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Rich December 8, 2012 at 9:54 am

haha..great post. It’s nice to read an article from someone that is honest. We don’t always get the deal — We don’t always get to go to Disney Land. But when we do…it’s a nice pay day :)


Marty Boardman December 10, 2012 at 7:59 pm

Rich, a little insider tip for you – Disneyland is a great place to visit after the holidays. It’s a ghost town in January.


Brian Padgett December 10, 2012 at 9:19 am

Great article Marty! It’s that anxiety that keeps our deal analyzing honest. Its when I stop feeling that anxiety that I really need to worry. That’s when we get sloppy!

Brian Padgett


Marty Boardman December 10, 2012 at 8:00 pm

True Brian, even when I know I’m getting a good deal I get nervous. Thanks for reading.


Shaun December 16, 2012 at 11:19 am

Not to veer off the sentiment of the article too much I am curious what the anticipated profit would have been on this deal?
If you had bought it for $163K and only had to put in the $8K and sold it for $205K that is a $34K spread, but you hadn’t paid to buy it, finance it, hold it or sell it.


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