Buying & Selling Houses

How To Unload A SUPER Ugly House!

Expertise: Real Estate Investing Basics, Personal Development, Landlording & Rental Properties, Real Estate News & Commentary, Business Management, Flipping Houses, Real Estate Deal Analysis & Advice, Personal Finance, Real Estate Marketing
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How To Unload A SUPER Ugly House!

In September of 2012, I officially moved from Australia to the US in pursuit of my dream of becoming a successful full time property investor.

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I touched down in Missouri and over the course of the next six months I was very busy exploring the different opportunities that the Kansas City market had to offer. This was the same time that I fell in love with a particular block on College Ave.

The Block I Wanted to Buy

The block consisted of 25 two bedroom, one bathroom homes. These simple properties were obviously constructed by the same builder and the only thing that set them apart from one another was the exterior paint. The houses sitting on the west side of College Ave.

had the back of their lots facing a park that included a bike trail as well as a basketball court. Although the street was not located in the best part of Kansas City, I still considered it very manageable and rated it as a C class neighborhood.

I pictured myself buying and holding the entire block of these cookie-cutter homes and going door to door on the 1st of the each month to collect the rents, all in one clean sweep.

Related: Why Making Big Goals Will Make You More Successful

Although I was very busy working on other projects and had most of my personal funds tied up elsewhere. The opportunity to purchase my first property on College Ave came when a local wholesaler presented the deal to me.

My First House There

I decided that it was worth the shot and reached out to my good friend and fellow investor from Europe. I offered him a joint venture as I knew that he always wanted to enter the US Real Estate market.

The wholesale property was very run down and needed a complete internal and external overhaul. The only two things in decent condition on this home where the roof and the foundation.

The property was offered at $15,000, which in my opinion was a reasonable price for the area and the condition it was in, yet wanting to make sure that there was a large enough margin of safety, I decided to test the waters with a low ball offer of $5,000. As you can imagine– the offer was not accepted.

After a few weeks, the wholesalers closing date was approaching and he was under pressure to perform and offload the deal. We exchanged two phone calls with me advising him that the best I can do is throw another $500 towards the property.

To my surprise he came back and said, “We have a deal, if you can close tomorrow”.

I closed the next day and had full intentions of completing the renovation within a couple of weeks. Unfortunately, this did not come to fruition as I had higher priority commitments on other projects that I was a partner in. I also considered it to be unfair and selfish to take the renovation crews from these deals and send them to work on my personal investment.

A lengthy three months had gone by and the “Ugly House” was still sitting vacant and un-renovated. My friend and joint venture partner had another potential deal in the works and inquired if I could sell the property.

I agreed, as my circumstances had also changed and I had bigger dreams in mind other than owning the block on College Ave. We mutually decided that the best way to move forward would be to sell the property for whatever we can get as long as it was above the price we paid.

What Ended Up Happening

I have never in my Real Estate career attempted to sell an un-renovated property, and this was definitely the first.

At the same time I wanted to sell this property, all of the marketing efforts conducted by our group were targeted only for investors that were interested in buying renovated turnkey rentals. By listing the property through our usual marketing channels and offering to existing investors, would be contradicting our brand and company values.

In my opinion, Real Estate is a numbers game and I strongly believe that if you work those numbers everyday, doors will open and you will eventually get what you want. My personal assistant and myself had no other choice but to relentlessly list this “Ugly House” on Craigslist, Postlets, Facebook groups, LinkedIn, and…. We even tried selling it to my Mum (haha).

Related: Real Estate Investing: a Numbers Game

After six weeks of being ridiculed and laughed at by other investors for advertising such an “Ugly House” and after reducing the initial listing price of $12,000. We received a call from a gentleman responding to one of our Craigslist ads, saying that he knows the area well and has seen the price reduction. He wanted to know if someone could meet him at the property right away, as he called us while standing right in front of the house.

At first I was very skeptical as ten days prior, I had a gentleman’s agreement with an individual that guaranteed to close on the property immediately, but to my misfortune, he proved to be non genuine and the deal fell through.

I decided to question the prospect buyer if he indeed was genuine and how quickly could he perform. He told me that he grew up in a street around the corner, and that his mothers long term wish was for him to become a full time Real Estate investor.

You can’t go against a mothers will I guess ?

I drove to the property and let him in, after a brief two minute walk through… He said, “I’ll take it!”.

As the saying goes “One man’s trash is another man’s gold”.

I tried to respond but was lost for words. It took me a good ten seconds to recall my trusted title companies name and contact details. After providing the details to the buyer, he immediately called the title company and arranged a time for closing the very next day at 10 a.m. Once again, to my surprise the investor showed up at closing with a certified check for $10,000 and the deal was done within ten minutes.

This was by far the most unusual buyer/deal that I have ever been involved in. But on the flip side ended up being one of my most smoothest and quickest transactions.


Put your head down, and don’t pay to much attention to the negativity that others throw your way. Work hard, work smart and be persistent when committing to the numbers.

Your time will come.

Engelo Rumora, a.k.a."the Real Estate Dingo," quit school at the age of 14 and played professional soccer at the age of 18. From there, he began to invest in real estate. He now owns real estate al...
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    Replied about 6 years ago
    Great story, Engelo! Thanks for sharing! This just goes to show you how hard work and perseverance will usually pay off! You actually almost got 100% profit on that house which is great! It’s funny how this person was emotionally attached to this property; it’s always an easy sale when you happen to find such a buyer.
    Engelo Rumora
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Hi Elena, Thanks for your comment. Without hard work it is very difficult to achieve any level of success. You have to go out and get what you want 🙂 Have a great day.
    Engelo Rumora
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Hi Elena, Thanks for your comment. Without hard work it is very difficult to achieve any level of success. You have to go out and get what you want 🙂 Have a great day.
    Martin E.
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Nice profit, Engelo! Your story shows the absolute importance of buying low and making your profit right then. Because you only paid $5500 for that house, it was pretty clear that you were going to make a profit, even with such a warn-down house. I think that if you would have waited a little more, you would have made another $2000-$3000!
    Engelo Rumora
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Hi Martin, Thanks for your comment. You make money when you buy and not sell. Its worth being patient and waiting for the right deal that can be secured at the right price. This was a pretty ugly house so not sure if we could have sold it for any higher 🙂 Thanks and have a great day.
    Brian Gibbons Investor from Sherman Oaks, CA
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Engelo, patience and persistence = success! Here is a story from one of my inspirational mentors…… I believe there are three kinds of people. There are winners, who know what they want and understand their potential and the possibilities. They take life on. Next are losers, who don’t have a clue as to who they are. They allow circumstances to shape their lives and their self-image. I believe there is a third group as well. This consists of potential winners whose lives are just slightly out of alignment. I call them wayward winners. It may be that they just need to learn how to be real winners. Perhaps they’ve hit a bump or two that has knocked them off course and they are temporarily befuddled. A failed relationship, a lost job, financial problems, unformed goals, a lack of parental support, illness…many things can send us off course temporarily. Wayward winners are not lost souls; they just need some tweaking and coaching and nudging to get them back on course. A map might be nice. Many of these wayward winners are easily identifiable because they are always searching. Right now, there are many wayward winners out there braving rain, sleet and snow because they too still believe that they have untapped talents. They attend motivational seminars and listen to inspirational tapes and they plunge onward, believing that sooner or later they will find their way again. Other wayward winners have temporarily given up. They are damaged and disoriented, their confidence badly eroded. They tend to drift through life numbly. The friends and relatives and loved ones of wayward winners see that they are out of sync and wonder why they can’t be satisfied, why they don’t settle down. They wonder how people who have such obvious abilities and great potential can be so disoriented and unsure. It is difficult for others to understand the rawness of a broken heart or the aching emptiness of an unguided spirit. You and I know. We have been there. Wayward winners know that there are possibilities out there, but too often they feel locked out from them. Some are afraid to risk any more because of what they have risked and lost already. I know now that as difficult as it may be for you wayward winners to do, it is necessary to continue to test yourselves. Even though you have been hurt before, it is the only way to grow. We all have the capacity to change, to lead meaningful and productive lives by awakening our consciousness. You know there are going to be tough times as you go about changing your life, so brace yourself and you will be able to handle them. When you get into your seat on an airplane, what is the first thing they tell you to do? Fasten your seat belt. Brace yourself for the turbulence. When you decide to move your life to the next level of accomplishment, you must fasten your mental and spiritual seat belts because it is going to be a while before you reach that comfortable level again. You will reach it, but you must endure the turbulence of change in order to grow. Try this technique to help you through the difficult times of change and growth. ***Find four reasons why you cannot succumb to your fears and your troubles. Find those deep sources of motivation that can lift you out of the turbulence and above the clouds. You must change your life because, for example: **You have not yet tapped the talents given you. **You want to leave something more for your children. **You want to live life rather than letting life live you. **You want to do what makes YOU happy. It is in these rocky early moments of bringing change to your life that you discover who you are. In the prosperous times, you build what is in your pocket. In the tough times, you strengthen what is in your heart. And that is when you gain insight into yourself, insight that leads to self-mastery and an expansion of your consciousness as a life-force in both your personal and professional lives. By Les Brown “““““““““ God Bless you Engelo, and best to you, Mate! Your friend in Cali, Brian