Buyer Near Baltimore

18 Replies

Hello, everyone!

I'm actually a first-time buyer who's trying to avoid getting stuck at the top of my price range with no equity. (My profile has more details about what I'm seeking.)

I'm serious about it -- have made and tried to make several offers, but keep getting beat out (just barely) in time or price by what I'm guessing are investors. It's been frustrating ... and also kind of intriguing. At least it confirms that what looks like a good deal to me looks that way to others, too.

So I'm not giving up. In fact, the more I learn, the more I want to know, and BP seems like a great place to learn.

Just in case my first (pre-coffee) post didn't make this point clear, I want to add that I'm NOT sitting here feeling resentful toward investors! On the contrary: I'm actually enjoying the house-hunting challenge more as time goes by.

It's been fascinating to learn about different neighborhoods and different strategies. I like the idea of investing in something tangible where I have some control. So my goal has evolved -- from just making a wise purchase on a personal home to making that purchase the first step toward better things.

If my strategies need adjusting to fit the realities of the local market, well, that's why I'm here. Thanks for all your expertise and willingness to share! I'm grateful to have found such good resources early on.

Welcome to BP @Julia Ward yes BP is a great place to learn. It is tough getting genuinely good REI deals. So getting beat on offers should be the norm. My guess is you are putting offers in on multiple list deals. Perhaps you could find better deals at auctions or other creative ways.

I suspect u are making offers through agents. That's your problem. Only make offers directly to sellers. 

Make offers on "for sale by owners", on expired listings, get sellers to call you, advertise using print, radio and Internet. Flip your property using public auctions.

 Review your sales contract offer, is it a skinny contract or a long contract that real estate agents use? Those types of contracts are full of contingencies. Maybe you need something very simple, one page, And one contingency. The contingency should be that this offer is subject to and contingent upon third-party assignment, if third-party is not found this offer is subject to cancellation. 

Charles

If you see any of those "We Buy Houses" signs in the area that you're looking give them a call and ask them what they have in their inventory. There was an off market one in Catonsville that was move in ready that sold a few weeks ago for $130k. They're out there.

Originally posted by Charles Parrish:

I suspect u are making offers through agents. That's your problem. Only make offers directly to sellers. 

Make offers on "for sale by owners", on expired listings, get sellers to call you, advertise using print, radio and Internet. Flip your property using public auctions............

 Did you used to (maybe you still do) have ads on the SDAT website?

Yes I did have ads on SDAT. For some reason they stopped taking advertising.  I am on WBAL and WCBM radio.

Charles Parrish

Originally posted by @Chris K. :
Originally posted by @Charles Parrish:

I suspect u are making offers through agents. That's your problem. Only make offers directly to sellers. 

Make offers on "for sale by owners", on expired listings, get sellers to call you, advertise using print, radio and Internet. Flip your property using public auctions............

 Did you used to (maybe you still do) have ads on the SDAT website?

 Sweat equity is great as long as it is someone else's sweat, I'd rather pay them to sweat  while getting the work done and do something more productive like making offers. 

Originally posted by Charles Parrish:
Originally posted by @Chris K.:
Originally posted by Charles Parrish:

I suspect u are making offers through agents. That's your problem. Only make offers directly to sellers. 

Make offers on "for sale by owners", on expired listings, get sellers to call you, advertise using print, radio and Internet. Flip your property using public auctions............

 Did you used to (maybe you still do) have ads on the SDAT website?

 Sweat equity is great as long as it is someone else's sweat, I'd rather pay them to sweat  while getting the work done and do something more productive like making offers. 

That works when you're an experienced and established investor but for people starting out, saving money doing some things yourself helps out alot.

You are right and I did lots of sweating when I started out, and I guess because of that I got lots of experience. 

Wishing you good luck. 

Charles

@Seth Sherman, all clever ideas! I'd better clarify.

First I focused on what might be called live-in flips -- needing a place to live but looking for a better neighborhood than I could otherwise afford, plus profit at resale time. But most houses in my price range in those neighborhoods need too much work to qualify for conventional loans.

So I looked into 203k loans... but my partner and I can and want to do the work ourselves without the extra paperwork, etc.

So I looked into paying cash for something that's gutted... but (for the few deals in this category visible to a newbie) prices were still a bit too high for neighborhoods where I'd be willing to live.

So I ended up where I am now: looking at lower price, working-class city neighborhoods that might have more potential for rentals than flips. Goal #1: Trade my high rent for a low mortgage! Live there for a while, maybe do smaller-scale rehab, save, and keep learning. Keep an eye out for other opportunities. (BRRRR, perhaps?)

OK, let's see if I've figured out how to tag people now...

@Ned Carey , @Charles Parrish, @Chris K. , yes, I've spent a lot of time looking at MLS listings. Did at least find an agent who's experienced with distressed properties, but yeah, there's got to be a better way. Finding some local REI meetups and then this website opened up a whole new world. I appreciate all of your suggestions!

Originally posted by @Chris K. :
Originally posted by Charles Parrish, I hear you. I can see how that makes sense, and hope to transition to more focus on the business side of things. At this point, though, DIY is more familiar than managing other workers, so there's not that learning curve at the same time I'm getting my feet wet in real estate. Fewer moving parts, plus more savings. I will absolutely keep learning and looking, though.

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