Doug’s Day Out

Like I mentioned last week, I’m moving into a new house that I bought a few months ago. I’ve done a major rehab on it, and it’s SUPPOSED to be ready for move-in here in a week or so. We’ll see!

But until it’s ready, I’m homeless, so I’m staying in my good friend, Robert Hamlin’s house. But don’t feel too sorry for me. After all, it is a $1.5 million house! I keep joking with Robert that I’m just going to rent my house after it’s done and move into his extra bedroom. I think he’s starting to get nervous. 🙂

Living with Robert for a few days has had more perks than just hanging out in a nice house. You see, Robert’s a top Realtor here in Houston. #1 in gross sales at his company for the last 2 years running and #8 in the entire Houston metro area for 2 years running. And his success has afforded him another luxury that I’ve recently taken a liking to. It’s a nice ’59 Cadillac in mint condition.

Unfortunately for me, Robert’s really picky about who he lets drive it, so I’ve never even asked him if I could take it for a spin. Frankly, I don’t think he’d let me. But on Sunday of this past weekend, an opportunity arose for a little devious behavior on my part. Robert happened to be working. I wasn’t. This is my story.

Since Robert was out working and another good friend, Tim Mai, was hanging out with his wife and son … I was bored! Here’s me sitting at Robert’s dining room table.

me bored

Then I got an idea. Maybe, just maybe, I could take the Caddy for a little innocent “test drive”. I could satisfy my desire to drive the car, and Robert would never know about it… No harm, no foul. Here’s a pic of me plotting my drive in the car.

me getting ideas

I drove around town for a couple hours, careful not to dent or scratch it. Things were going really well, so my confidence grew. And I thought … Let’s make a day of this. So I went golfing. Fore!…

 me golfing

After shooting well over a 100 in golf (as usual), I was frustrated. Oh, and hungry and thirsty too. So my best friend Shirley (by this point, I have named the car Shirley), went to my favorite hangout, Starbucks to relax…

car at starbucks

And I had some coffee and an apple fritter. Ahhh, what a life!…

me at starbucks

Then I said to myself, “Hey Doug. Why don’t you call a couple of members from to see what they’re up to?” So I did. One of those guys was Wendel Jones. Turns out, he was checking on a house that he just fixed and sold. So Wendel and I agreed to meet up at the house. When I arrived, Wendel was proudly counting his money …

wendel money

Yes, those are all $20’s … totaling $2,000. But Wendel told me that he made much more than $2,000 on the house. He actually made $31,800 in profits. So Wendel and I posed for a nice picture to show off his profits…

me, wendel, car

And then Wendel said, “This house looked awful before I rehabbed it. Do you want to see a before picture?” I said, “Sure! Why not?” So he showed me…

house before pic 

Wow! Talk about a MAJOR rehab! And talk about finding huge profits from a property that most people would walk away from in disgust. This just goes to show you that no matter how ugly a property looks, there’s a good chance that you can make huge profits from it when you buy it at the right price. Choose to be the guy or gal who makes enormous profits from an ugly house, not the one who tells all of his friends how “there aren’t any good deals out there”. 

After I caught my breath, Wendel proceeded to tell me. “Hey Doug, do you realize that I’ve bought many more properties from your website than just this one?” “Great!”, I exclaimed. “Tell me more.” And Wendel informed me that he’s bought 34 properties (both single family and commercial) from over the last 2 or 3 years. And the profits from these properties add up to $607,500. So I said, “Heck! We’ve gotta get a pic of that!” So we did…

me, wendel, big check

And no, Wendel’s not grabbing up all of the deals. In most markets, we deliver 30 wholesale deals and 15 motivated seller leads to you each WEEK.  That’s 2,340 deals per year. So Wendel has bought just .49% of the available properties in the Houston area over the last 3 years.

Then I said, “Congratulations again Wendel. Keep it up! But I’ve gotta get back to my friend’s house to return the car and take a nap. Wendel, I’m exausted!” So I drove home (fender bender free), and took a nap…

me resting

As I dozed off to sleep, I thought. Wow! What a day! I enjoyed the Caddy, the open road, a relaxing round of golf, goodies from Starbucks, and witnessed some huge real estate profits from a member of All this, and Robert would never know that I was even gone!

But unfortunately, luck wasn’t on my side.

Robert came home while I was sleeping on the sofa. And guess what! Inside the Cadillac, Robert found one of the $20 bills that Wendel was holding! It must’ve fallen into the car. Robert confronted me, “Doug where the heck did you go in my Caddy?!!!!” as he held up the $20. And I said, “I didn’t go anywhere. And how’d that get in there?” Here’s a pic of Robert confronting me…

me in trouble

But Robert wasn’t playing those games. He said, “I know you took it for a spin, Doug. Admit it!” And I stuttered, “Uhhhh. Ok, maybe I did. Uhhh. But Wendel Jones put me up to it!”

And it’s crazy, but Robert actually believed me and let me off the hook. (I may not be so lucky next time.) But Robert didn’t go so easy on Wendel. In fact, Robert exclaimed, “Doug, Tell Wendel that if he wants his $20 bill, he’ll have to pry it out of my right fist!” I said, “Ok, I’ll relay the message.”

Hey Wendel! My suggestion to you … go flip another house. It’s much safer — and much more lucrative –than coming to get this $20!

That’s all for now. Hopefully, next time you read this blog I won’t be living under the freeway!

Happy (and profitable) investing! 

Doug Smith

P.S. While this story is more for fun and entertainment, the part about Wendel Jones making such large sums of money from the deals on the website is 100% true. And it’s possible for anyone with a “can do” attitude and a will to succeed. It’s your turn to be the next Wendel Jones. Get your start today by signing up for a 30-day free trial at See you there!

Posted on May 23, 2007

Author: Doug Smith

MyHouseDeals was founded in April of 2005 and has since provided information on thousands of bargain-priced properties with over $7 Billion in equity (and growing!) In addition to property lists, we help investors succeed by providing valuable tools, resources and education. Most of the properties on MyHouseDeals are single-family houses. Many of these properties are wholesale deals, which are for sale by other investors. Others are motivated seller leads, which are for sale by homeowners who are often in a bad situation. These properties are typically discounted by far greater amounts than bank foreclosures.

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