Real Estate Investing Basics

How to Find Deals When There Is No Inventory

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
232 Articles Written
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You’re ready to buy. You’re searching for deals—but can’t seem to find any! What now?

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Well, I’m sorry to say that you’re out of luck—there is no available inventory in the U.S. right now. I’m kidding, guys!

Try Looking Elsewhere

I’ve always said that there is no bad piece of real estate as long as the price is right. So, if for whatever reason you can’t find a deal in the market that you’re currently in, it’s simple: look in another market.

I mean you have 50 states to work with! And not only are there a lot of other markets, there are also a lot of micro-markets.

I’m based in Toledo, and I still feel like a kid in a candy store. There are deals falling off trees. I encourage you to look into the Midwest as the East Coast and West Coast recover. The Midwest is always a few steps behind, so it doesn’t go up in value nearly as much as the coasts. Plus, there are still a lot of foreclosures hitting the market in the Midwest.

And if there’s nothing available in the U.S., go to Europe! Go to Australia! The Australian market has tanked for the last year and a half.

Go to the Bahamas! I own a lot of real estate in the Bahamas.

What I’m trying to say is the world is your oyster. For instance, you can get to Europe in eight hours. It’s pretty amazing to live in the times that we do now.

Related: How to Invest in a New Real Estate Market

Try Doubling Down

A few other alternative strategies if you can’t find a deal, I think you should double down on your acquisition efforts. You can spend more time knocking on doors, spend more time prospecting, and submit more offers. You can send more yellow letters, work with more real estate agents—leave no stone unturned.

You have to remember that real estate is a numbers game. You have to commit to the numbers daily by submitting offers, knocking on doors, shaking hands, and kissing babies. You have to meet with real estate agents and submit offers, submit offers, submit offers. Keep submitting offers and eventually you will pick up that deal!

Related: Real Estate Investing: A Numbers Game

Try Something New

Now, something I don’t recommend but is a possibility is getting into new construction. I see that happening a lot right now. Investors start getting into subdivisions or structural renovations that are going to require a lot of capital and a lot of effort just to make a small profit. Me? I wouldn’t touch it.

I like to be the master of my fate and the captain of my soul. I don’t want to allow any outside influences to affect my potential profit. Those outside influences could be an architect, a structural engineer, or the city mandating how high you can go and how wide you can build.

I want to keep everything in-house. That’s why I prefer buying properties that just need minor cosmetic rehabs or a bigger rehab where I don’t have to go out of my way to do a full-blown reconstruction. So, try and keep as much in-house as you can. Again, I wouldn’t go down that path, but you can if you know what you’re doing.

man looking out over river at cityscape and sunset

Try Taking a Break

Another solution is to sit on cash. Cash is king, always has been, and always will be.

You want to be able to go to town and buy every single property if there is a market decline. So, I don’t think there is anything wrong with sitting on cash for six months, 12 months, even two years.

I know it sucks when inflation goes up. You lose money, and you feel like it’s burning a hole in your pocket. But guys, if you make a mistake with that capital, it’s going to cost you a lot more than letting it sit there and do nothing.

My dad—love him to death—he said, “Son, if you’re going to go broke, you might as well go broke on the beach than go broke by doing a job—or investing in real estate, in this instance—and not making any money.”

Conclusion

Well, that’s pretty much it. To summarize, the world is your oyster. Be flexible, be mobile, and if the numbers don’t make sense in your market, look elsewhere.

There’s always a depressed market somewhere, where there are so many deals that it’s absolutely mind-boggling. And do not cry over missed opportunity! There is always going to be one around the corner. Another one will come around.

Are you stashing cash right now? Are you finding deals and investing?

Let me know in a comment. 

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 all over the world and has bought, renovated, and sold over 500 properties. He runs runs Ohio Cashflow, a turnkey real estate investment company in the country (Inc 5000 2017 & 2018) and is currently in the process of launching a real estate brokerage called List’n Sell Realty. He is also known for giving houses away to people in need and his crazy videos on YouTube. His mission in life is to be remembered as someone that gave it his all and gave it all away.

    Jeff Brown
    Replied over 9 years ago
    Add to your numbers some planning expertise, and the right vehicle, i.e., whatever self-directed plan makes better sense for a particular investor, and you have the recipe for a much improved retirement income. Great stuff, Brian.
    Ryan Hinricher
    Replied over 9 years ago
    Brian, is the investor allowed to take deductions for interest and tax expense when purchased and leveraged through the IRA? I’m curious. Seems these non-recourse IRA loans are getting more popular. Thanks for the article.
    MikeKlenner
    Replied about 9 years ago
    Real estate IRA investments are worthwhile for the reason that they have a tendency to go up in price. Of course there are causes that could bring down the value of land but overall it decrease in value less than any other commodity since there is always a demand for land.
    Bill Humphrey
    Replied almost 9 years ago
    Great article Brian. My firm prepares income tax returns for IRAs that have used leverage. Called a 990-T, it is a return than many people are unfamiliar with but is a required filing for IRAs that make a profit from debt leverage. Bill
    John S Lewis from Jackson, NJ
    Replied 6 months ago
    @ENGELO RUMORA What do you know about Columbus Ohio? NJ is super tight and fast. I am getting outbid on every offer I make.
    Andrew Syrios Residential Real Estate Investor from Kansas City, Missouri
    Replied 6 months ago
    An important topic given how tight the market is right now. (Although that will probably change sometime in next year!)
    Andrew Syrios Residential Real Estate Investor from Kansas City, Missouri
    Replied 6 months ago
    An important topic given how tight the market is right now. (Although that will probably change sometime in next year!)
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied 6 months ago
    Thanks Andrew, My gun powder is dry lol I’m buying but also waiting 🙂 Much success
    Dominic Dilello from Beverly Hills, California
    Replied 6 months ago
    Looking at a 17 rehab in the Georgia market looking for a JV money guy, reply to discuss, Dominic
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied 6 months ago
    Thanks Dominic, Maybe being more specific with the numbers in the deal will give you a better chance of someone replying. Much success
    Ken Bailey Contractor from yucca valley, ca
    Replied 6 months ago
    Thank You for much needed advice these days
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied 6 months ago
    My pleasure Ken, Much success
    Shaun Stephens from Chillicothe, OH
    Replied 6 months ago
    So much opportunity not covered in the article. Try working probates Driving for dollars Look ten minutes out of town Mail people who have recent judgements Check craigslist daily Check obscure foreclosure websites Check Facebook marketplace Contact bankruptcy attorneys Buy lunch for top agents for pocket listings Attend every foreclosure auction with a number on every property, that way if there’s a deal, then you’re prepared. I could go on and on. It boils down to working harder than everyone else to get the best deals. Working all of these strategies i’m very actively buying in a competitive market.
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied 6 months ago
    Thanks Shaun, Or you can also work smarter and find another market where the numbers make sense 🙂 Much success
    Andy Palmer Investor from Denver, Colorado
    Replied 6 months ago
    A well-timed topic for sure. Thanks Dingo. Personally, I’m still finding the odd flip that works here in Denver but being ever more conservative. I’m also sitting on cash for the bigger fish. I was recently in OH, learning Columbus and meeting local brokers in ther flesh. I’ll need to look at Toledo more closely. Lastly, if you’ve ever got a few spare minutes, I’d love to pick your brain about the Bahamas. Thanks again for the post.