Why Do You Invest? The Heart of the Real Estate Deal

by | BiggerPockets.com

Making money in business is the primary goal whether you are a real estate investor, a note buyer, a realtor, or in any other related field.  After all, we all need funds to put food on the table, keep a roof over our heads, and buy all of the goodies that our lifestyles desire.  An individual making money and a company making a profit are clear ways to measure performance, and we should never feel the need to apologize for those.

But beyond the cash, it is nice to also feel like we are making a difference and actually helping people.  At least for me, the job becomes more special when clients send me thank-you cards or small gifts as an acknowledgement of me going the extra mile for them.  Selling a note is usually a smooth process for clients, but it can get bumpy if there are issues with documents or with the properties.  It is my job to do the grunt work and make the transaction as stress-free as possible for the mortgage note holder.

Related: Nine Exit Strategies When Dealing With Defaulted Notes

Why They Sell Notes

People sell mortgage notes for a variety of reasons.  Sometimes, they don’t want to bother with the note and the hassle of chasing down the payer for issues like late payments or not keeping current on property taxes.  Elderly clients often contact me to simplify their estates so that their heirs do not have to split up payments each month.  By far the most frequent reason that customers call is that they need cash right away.  The money is needed for major medical expenses, paying off credit card debt, or just paying ongoing monthly bills.

One gentleman contacted me recently about selling his mortgage note on a property in the northwestern part of the U.S.  His father was going through treatments for an advanced stage of cancer, and his V.A. and Medicare benefits were not providing satisfactory treatment.  By me buying part of that note, the quality of life for the client’s father was vastly improved.  Even though I am making a profit on the note and don’t pretend that I bought it for altruistic purposes, it is still satisfying to know that I helped another person in a small way.  The client was certainly quite grateful.

While I recognize that, for some people, business is solely about making money.  Their source of job satisfaction results from just closing a deal or getting a salary raise at work, and that’s fine.  At least for me, something deeper is needed in the job even if I also do separate volunteer work.  After all, when you’re on your death bed, what memories do you and those close to you most want to cherish?  Money is not the only or even the best measuring stick for success.
Photo: Jeff Kubina

About Author

Alan Noblitt

Alan Noblitt is a nationwide note buyer and a licensed real estate broker in California. His business, Seascape Capital Inc., started in 2002.


  1. I hold 2 notes and have come to the conclusion that holding notes is not what I want to do. Do note buyers buy performing notes with low rates (e.g. 5%)? I have searched on Bigger Pockets and found that many people talk about NPN or performing notes with high rates, but have not found anything about the former.

    • Alan Noblitt

      Yes, note buyers will absolutely buy notes with low rates, as I see and buy those all the time. All else being equal, a note with a low rate will get discounted more (less paid to the note holder) than a note with a higher rate, but the differences are sometimes small. I’d be happy to discuss your two notes with you. I may be reached by phone (1-800-643-4697) or via e-mail at [email protected].

  2. karen rittenhouse

    Hi Alan:

    It has been scientifically proven that doing for others brings more and longer lasting satisfaction than doing for ourselves.

    In real estate, we help buyers, sellers and tenants. The bonus is that we’re paid for it. Doesn’t get any better, in my opinion, than real estate.

  3. Hi Alan,
    Very nice post.
    I particularly like your last paragraph. It’s not just about the money. If you can help others whilst making a decent living then it’s win-win…..and win for the spirit.

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