5 Sticky Real Estate Situations That Offer Investment Opportunities

5 Sticky Real Estate Situations That Offer Investment Opportunities

3 min read
Kevin Perk

Kevin Perk is a full-time buy and hold and fix and flip real estate investor with over 15 years of experience. He and his wife Terron operate Kevron Properties, LLC, a boutique real estate investing company in Memphis, Tenn.

Kevin was a past president and is a current board member of the Memphis Investors Group. He’s also a blogger and writer who has authored hundreds of real estate investing articles on BiggerPockets and his own blog, SmarterLandlording.com, some of which have been featured on The Motley Fool and MONEY: Personal Finance News & Advice.

Kevin is also host of the SmarterLandlording podcast.

Originally from the Washington D.C. area, Kevin moved to Memphis to attend graduate school at The University of Memphis. After receiving his master’s degree in City and Regional Planning, Kevin climbed the planning career ladder to eventually become planning director of a county in the Memphis metro area. He “retired” from planning in 2003 to pursue real estate investing full-time.

Since “retiring,” Kevin’s main real estate investment strategy has been to buy and hold, otherwise known as landlording. Generally working in historic Midtown Memphis, Kevin is also known to fix and flip grand, historic homes when the right opportunity presents itself. He and his wife Terron (who is the principal broker at Perk Realty) have participated in dozens of real estate transactions in the Memphis metro area.

Kevin has the heart of a teacher and believes in helping others through education. An instructor of college-level geography for over 25 years, Kevin also regularly participates in seminars and panel discussions at such forums as the Memphis Investor’s Group and the Single-Family Rental Summit.

In addition, Kevin has been interviewed in publications such as the Memphis Commercial Appeal, the Memphis Daily News, and the Foreclosure News Report.

Kevin earned a master’s in City and Regional Planning from The University of Memphis.

Read More

As a Guest you have free article(s) left

Join BiggerPockets (for free!) and get access to real estate investing tips, market updates, and exclusive email content.

Sign in Already a member?

As real estate investors, we need to be ready to come to the rescue. Property owners can find themselves in some truly complicated situations with no idea how to get out. If you can be a “knight in shining armor” and solve their problem, many times you can get a pretty nice deal.

These problems can either be of their own doing or through no fault of their own. They could have popped up yesterday or have been brewing for years. Either way, being able to tackle these types of problems can give you a big advantage.

So what kinds of real estate problems am I talking about? Here are four different types.

Related: How To Find Out Your Buyer’s or Seller’s Biggest Problems Every Time

5 Real Estate Problems Investors Can Alleviate

1. Title Problems:

There are all sorts of problems that can cloud a title and thus make selling or getting cash out of a property difficult.

Liens, deaths, taxes, etc. can all make a mess of things. Learn how to clean these things up and get a clear title, and you will open yourself to deals that others will simply pass over as too difficult. Be warned, though: title issues can be time-consuming and require a lot of negotiation. So be ready to stay in for the long haul before you dive in.

2. Code Enforcement Problems:

Code enforcement can be a real bear in some jurisdictions. Their fines and bureaucratic bumbling can really make a mess of things. It can be vexing, but if you can learn to get through the bureaucratic maze and untangle the red tape, you can reap some great rewards.

3. Probate Problems:

A death can tie up a property for years. Families can and will do very strange things when other family members and money is involved. Understanding the probate process where you live and becoming a skilled listener and negotiator may set you up in this potentially lucrative area.

4. Fire Problems:

Unfortunately, fires and other disasters happen. These tragedies can be really difficult on property owners. Some will simply not know what to do — or where to turn.

Be ready to step in and solve their problem. Have the ability to buy properties “as is,” no matter what their condition. Many other investors will not touch severely damaged properties. And honestly, if you are new to real estate investing, you should not either. But if you have the experience, this can be a potentially lucrative niche.

Related: The 10 Best Real Estate Investments for Smart Real Estate Investors

5. Trash and Junk:

Some people are hoarders and just can’t throw anything away. They let it pile up for years and years. They get embarrassed and put their heads in the sand, hoping the problem will just go away. Be there to help make that problem go away. Never be judgmental; again, just be ready to take the property as is. Be warned, though — you may not be able to see all that you are getting into.


Getting people out of tricky real estate situations is often not very easy. It can require specialized knowledge and a commitment of significant amounts of time and energy. However, the gain can be spectacular. Plus, you might just be able to carve out a specialized niche for yourself and become the go-to person in particular situations.

Always remember that part of being a real estate investor means being a problem solver. To make money in this world, you have to give people what they want, and many people want a specific problem to go away. Many will pay a premium for you to come to the rescue.

So learn to become a problem solver. Become a detective if you have to. Hang out at probate court. Take code enforcement inspectors to lunch and learn the maze. As I have said, all of this may take some effort, but the rewards can be great.

What is the biggest real estate problem you helped solve?

Please share with your comments.