Before the bursting of the bubble, my wife and I bought houses, fixed them up and either rented or flipped them. We got in to it accidentally like a lot of people. We were interested mostly older homes with all of that character that seems to be harder and harder to find nowadays. It was only a handful of properties and we had literally no idea what we were doing, but we loved it.
After the market started spiraling down the drain, our renters seemed to vanish and the ones on the market just sat there. Thankfully, after some time we were able to unload everything but our own residence and escaped for the most part unscathed. Something like that happening can make a person gun shy, which it did. It's taken a long time to get back to this point.
So in late 2013, when I found BiggerPockets I was amazed. The desire to be a real estate investor hadn't waned in the years since, so I started listening to all the podcasts and reading as much as I could. Then I would read some more.... and listen to another podcast. I'm not sure I would call it textbook analysis paralysis, but it was close.
This went on until just a few weeks ago, when I accidentally got a lead on someone wanting to sell their home. They knew their house needed a lot of work and thought someone like myself, an "investor", might be their only option. Somehow, I got up the nerve to speak with her and then go look at her house. She laid it all out there for me; how much she owed, the amount of her payments, what her plans were... we ended up just having a great conversation about the whole process and how we might try to make a win/win deal out of it all.
So after speaking with her, experiencing an incredible high from it all, I went home and immediately went to biggerpockets to find answers to my questions. When I started looking through the forums I immediately found other folks asking the same questions I had in similar situations. It was very comforting. I used the handy and ever so dandy Rental Properties Calculator to further solidify my thoughts, and in the process of figuring out what solution might best fit her needs I started talking with a local BP member about what he was looking for since I thought this might turn into a good wholesale deal. After talking a bit more, it seemed like our goals were aligned. We also found out our different skill sets were actually a great match so a beneficial partnership started to form. He would bring the money and more experience to the table and I would take care of the renovations and property management.
I brought him out to meet this nice home owner and after a few more meetings over the next week or so, we had developed what we thought would be a good deal for all involved. I went to her just a couple of days ago to give her our offer. She told me no. Well, really it was more of a "I think I'd like to try selling it with an agent first to see if I could get a better deal but I might end up coming back to you guys in the end if that doesn't work" kind of answer.
The funniest thing happened when she said that. I was totally cool with it. I realized that I honestly wanted her to be happy with the deal and if she wasn't happy and we couldn't find a middle ground that would make her happy, then I didn't want to buy her house. I realized that in all the time spent learning, and studying, and watching webinars, and listening to podcasts so that I could potentially make money as a real estate investor, it wasn't all about the money anymore. Don't get my wrong, it's a lot about the money, but I don't want to make money at the expense of someone else. If someone comes to me in a dire real estate situation, I genuinely want to help them get out of it. And if for whatever reason if my solution isn't the solution for them then that's ok. And that's awesome.
This particular deal might not have worked out, but I got more out of it than I anticipated. I got the experience for one, more than just a little confidence, and the owner said that she liked working with me so much that she would tell anyone she knew who might be in the same kind of situation to contact me. That's a testimonial for the website folks!
I wrote the short novel above to say this... my first deal back in the game was a no, and I couldn't be more excited about the possibilities. Like many posts have said before me it was getting over the fear of doing something wrong that got the ball rolling. Once I was out there speaking with the owner and looking at the property, my research here just kind of kicked in without me realizing it. I felt that I knew what I was doing even if I didn't know exactly what I was going to do. The fact that I found a second reason for doing all of this was just icing on the cake.
So, for everyone stuck in the "analysis paralysis" of it all, I just want to say some pretty great things lie on the other side of fear. I really really really really wish I had found this place sooner, taken a chance and been more proactive. Take the loads of information and advice you can get from BiggerPockets and run with it. You never know what your're capable of until you decide to try.
@Matt Looney - Wow, that's a great story to share. The fact of the matter is that you had mixed feelings bordered on fear initially, then grew more confident, even when offer was rejected.
As a result of your presentation and with the seller having that level of trust with your pitch, mannerism, style, patience and confidence she decided to revisit your offer and make the deal.
Frankly, this shows how a relationship can unfold and be built upon. Now, you have gotten a great referral partner without any advertising and yes, it's a win/win for everyone.
Unless she has sold the house, the deal is not dead. Keep the communication line open and she may be back. We had a call-back come 15-months after our initial offer and had watched the property sit on MLS for almost a year in-between.
That is a really awesome attitude to have! Like others have mentioned....keep the lines of communication open with her. Even if nothing comes of her particular deal, she might refer you on to other people that you might be more able to help!
@Matt Looney thanks for sharing and welcome back to the real estate game!
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