How to find deals?

7 Replies

Hi, I am very new to real estate. I just wanted to know how some of you find deals and what strategies and tools do you use to evaluate the deal? 

Several people take part in several different strategies. There is wholesaling, foreclosures, listed properties, off market deals and on and on and on. At Jason Cohen Pittsburgh we implement a variety of approaches. Truth is though, the more you follow the sheep the less you will differentiate yourself. If everyone is buying on the one street, we recommend you buy on the next one. Make sense? There is no secrets. Don't follow the herd. Pound the pavement, knock on doors, look for dilapidated properties and so on. Find out who owns them and negotiate a deal. Education will be your savior. To learn more feel free to reach out to us at

There are entire classes and books written to answer this question.  One strategy is to look at foreclosures and short sales.  This is one area to find good deals.  Not all foreclosures or short sales are great deals.  If you are searching bank owned homes and short sales, you will need to find a real estate agent that understands real estate investing.  Most real estate agents have no clue when it comes to investment properties.

I have created my own spreadsheets to analyze properties, however there are lots of software and calculators to help you.  You will want to learn about cap rate, cash flow, return on investment, and cash on cash return.

@Account Closed  what type of deals are you looking for? different property types have different strategies, especially in northern nj

Since I am starting out I was looking to invest in a duplex of 3 family house. Thing is I have my own business, and I was looking for office space, but what do you think, should I move into my investment property for more hands on training? Also if I live in my new investment property, can I use some of the rent for my apartment as a tax write off. I know I could if I was just a renter, but I am unsure how it works if I own the house. 

@Account Closed I would first situate your lending. Find out what you are qualified for, I can recommend you a lender through private message. Next I recommend finding a realtor for MFR searching.

If you want to find  mixed use building and run your business in the same establishment that can work pending on your goals.  If you are occupying two of the units one as your living space and the other as your business you will likely be covering most of the cost through your pocket.  Where as if you occupy one unit you may be able to live rent free or way closer to it.  

As for the tax write offs I recommend you speak with a CPA that specializes in real estate or at least has a strong understanding.

I work with a local RE expert investor and he sends me the deals. I just need to get the cash to buy them. It works well :). If you can offer something to a local expert investor in your area, he or she might do the same for you. 

Originally posted by @Account Closed :

Hi, I am very new to real estate. I just wanted to know how some of you find deals and what strategies and tools do you use to evaluate the deal? 

Find deals- We use the MLS, wholesalers, property finders, other investors, craigs list, backpage... social networks, preservation companies, contractors, periodic mailings; hedge funds, auctions, driving for $.... (Anytime we're in the car we have our eye out).......... You get the picture. Budget ($) & time are allocated for each source. This includes other staff & Virtual Assistants.

Evaluate deals- We use to use spreadsheets.  Now our process is semi-automated.  All our deals go in to a centralized database where we can quickly analyze alternative exit strategies,  Flip, Buy & Hold, Lease Option, Rental.  Similar to the tools available on BP under the analyze tab. 

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