Sorting Trash from Treasure

3 Replies

Hi, Im a new investor. And im on my way to finding my first deal with my real estate listing agent..............with having access to the MLS is a HUGE help and it saves time........I still dont feel quite right smug about this. My agent gave me lists of homes that match my price range, and my area to work in. The list consists of pre-foreclosures, foreclosures, and short sales......Any real investors have some tips for me on SHIFTING through and finding the deals to focus on? Like what year its built...addons, where to see value in doing cosmetic repairs that would help raise the price. Because I am looking at these and I dont feel quite confident I know what to look for. I guarentee this question might solve ALOT of newbies issues.

My situation:

cash on hand under 10,000 for repairs. 

willing to use any type of exit strategy (im assuming ill have to go traditional on this one)

I work full time as a w-2 worker, but I feel I have time to do real estate on the side

I have a pretty good grasp on real estate investing basics

I have a team in place

I know a couple of investor buyers to flip to them if need be

@Travis Avenarius  It doesn't seem clear from your post if you're looking to flip the property or buy-and-hold. That would make a big difference in what you're looking for. Then you also need to know your financing strategy. Are you buying cash? Putting 25% down and financing? Or buying, rehabbing and refinancing? There's tons of options that would help you narrow what you're looking for. A traditional investor buying with cash or 25% down might want something in good shape and nearly ready to rent. For me I'm looking to add value, so the worse shape it is in, the better deal I'm going to get on the purchase price.

It really helped me to have a Realtor and Property Manager in my target market who owned their own investment properties. Every property we looked at, they would give me a 2nd and 3rd opinion that helped me learn and narrow my options. Lean heavily on the wisdom of your "team" as you look for your first deal.

I hope it goes well for you.


I am a W-2 buy and hold investor. I am in it for the long term cash flow. I also use a real estate agent and work full time. So here is what I do to find buy and holds

I stay away from pre-forecloures. Foreclosures are great but in my area pricy and needs work.

I like short sales! They are great little gems for many reasons.  ( here is aarticle for biggerpockets blog I wrote on this subject

I buy cookie cutter houses. So this is my process

*Define my area- I buy in "very specific areas" based on age, school districts, locations, etc. These are all terrific buy and hold areas fitting my goals if bought for the right price.

*define my house- I define the type of house I am looking for and a no higher than price for this area.

*Price per Square foot- the mls in my area has the price per square foot listed. Many people use this to compare apples to apples. After two years in my market I know what a good price per square foot and an high one. 

*MlS Automation- My realtor  is amazing and one of the bests. Therefore to not "abuse" her we have a system. Our system is she adds me to the automatic list with only my areas and house selection. This allows me to watch for 2 things. A for houses that are in my "price per square footage" and B to watch the market. I look at every house that pops up on my phone but only ask about that eons that fit into my "zone".

Zone- If it fits into my zone, I than follow up with my realtor and ask her "why". Most of the time she says, bad area, not your type of house etc. But enough of the time she says this is  a short sale. 

Once it is Perfect- we than discuss strategy, what price I should offer, etc. This is usualy all virtually and done quickly. Than we offer on the house site unseen. She send me over it electronic, we put the lowest price possible and than hit submit! We look at the house once it is approved by the bank at the price we are looking for. 

If we don't like the house at this point than we walk away.

My realtor works in a small area so most times has seen the house or knows it very well. So after working with her on  9 transactions wether mine or helping her with others. I trust her. 

A few things to note

**We have had more short sales go through than don't. You don't want to over offer and become "that" buyer. On the other hand, you need to have backup because they take 9+ months

*My houses are cookie cutter so if you have seen one you have seen them all. 

* Not only are you more efficient but you have removed all emotional attachment. 

Good luck

I love that advice! thank you

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