In our latest success story, we met with Annemarie Iorio, a Pennsylvanian new to the real estate investment industry who found success by pursuing a joint venture wholesale deal of a duplex property an hour away from her.
Being a beginner and working with a property that didn’t have the most ideal location, Annemarie experienced some setbacks in the dealmaking process. However, as is often the case with real estate investing—by sticking it out and coming up with a creative solution, Annemarie was able to secure her wholesale deal, and net $2,500.
- How to get your feet wet and start making progress, even if it wasn’t in the way you initially thought
- How joint venturing and wholesaling can be beneficial investment strategies, particularly if you’re on a tight budget
- The importance of being patient, adaptable, and flexible in your investing efforts
Here’s a quick breakdown of Annemarie’s deal:
You can listen to the audio here:
Or you can watch the video here:
You got really creative with this deal, but before we jump into that, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your investing background?
I had been doing the stay-at-home mom thing and volunteering at church for years. With the cost of living rising and raises not increasing to match those costs, it was becoming increasingly difficult to get by on just one income. I knew I needed to earn some extra cash, but I didn’t want to have to be away from my kids. That’s when I came across Dean Graziosi’s posts that led me down the real estate investing rabbit hole.
I came across this deal on MyHouseDeals and saw that it was a wholesale deal. I thought, “Let’s reach out to see if the other wholesaler would be interested in pursuing a JV (joint venture).” It was a bit challenging for me because the wholesale deals were the only ones I could really focus on. I’m not quite at the point yet where I can purchase properties and keep them. I’m really interested in just building my portfolio and getting to the point where I can attain some rentals and keep them.
That’s so awesome that you were able to just jump into this industry with no experience and figure things out! Can you tell us how long it took you to make your first deal from the time you started?
Well I started about a year and a half ago but I just had so many interruptions for the first six months that I didn’t really get things going until about a year ago. My first property came from an owner who called me and was able to get the property under contract. I was very fortunate that this gentleman was so helpful since I was so new to this and didn’t really know what I was doing. I poured my heart and soul into that property, but I still struggled to get a buyer.
Eventually an investor-friendly realtor came to a walkthrough and expressed that, while the inside was really pretty nice, the outside needed work. I ended up throwing a contract together, and making a newbie mistake. The lawyer didn’t want a realtor and me to both get paid, and I didn’t know enough to step in and say that this was a consultation contract, not a commission contract, which is what the realtor gets. I still haven’t gotten paid from that deal.
Kudos for working through such a complicated first deal and finding a creative way to make it all work. Did you feel discouraged after that deal, or did it motivate you to hit the ground running harder?
Being on such a tight budget and not getting paid after putting all that work in didn’t leave me feeling satisfied. I have faith that I will get paid eventually. I even printed out a check of the fee and put it on the wall to bring good vibes. Even so, I kept chugging along until I got my next property under contract.
It’s certainly important to start somewhere, and even if your first deal doesn’t go as smoothly as you had planned, you still learn a lot that you can apply to future deals. You say you’re focusing on wholesaling, did you choose that strategy so you could build funds for future deals?
I chose wholesaling to start building capital, and because it was the lowest barrier to entry. I enjoy wholesaling and want to continue with it, but I also want to branch out to other areas of investment. My husband and I are thinking about tapping into private money and doing a flip in August. He has some experience in construction, but that’ll be a new project that we’ll do from beginning to end.
That’s fantastic! I also want to talk about the deal you’ve found through MyHouseDeals. How many deals had you done when you started this one?
It was deal number four. I saw the deal and it looked attractive. It seemed like it would need a lot of work on the outside, but that it could make a really good house. It was a wholesale duplex, so I reached out to the property owner and we agreed on pursuing a JV. I was able to be the “boots on the ground” since I was only about an hour out and brought the buyer in.
So after speaking with the seller, you realized the potential for a JV and went with an offer to JV and co-wholesale with him to try to move the property faster. I love the creativity of that. Was that your first JV deal? What made you think about that?
Well it was a wholesaler who had it under contract. It seemed like they were open to a JV. A lot of times when another wholesaler is open to a JV, it’s because they are lacking something: buyers. Since they were out-of-state and I was local, they were willing to bring me in to try and attract buyers. They hadn’t seen the inside and when I went to look into it, it became very apparent to me the amount of work that was going to need to go into this. This combined with the fact that it was in a potential flood zone meant that investors were turning away as soon as they got the information.
We knew the rehab cost would end up being much higher than we initially thought. They were also charging minimal rent to buyers so it looked like something was wrong. After gathering feedback, the owner came down and the other wholesaler and I went down on our fee. We were originally going to get $5,000 each and initially the property was under contract for $50,000. We decided to put it out to buyers at $60,000. However, the numbers we were getting were in the high thirties, which is low for a duplex. The highest came from a close friend of mine was in the low forties. Luckily, I was able to convince the seller to make it a steal price rather than a deal. He agreed after understanding the flood potential, meaning that buyers would also have to get flood insurance, which would up the cost there.
I really want to highlight the dialogue that you had here. Being transparent like you were doing is super important when it comes to wholesaling because you’re building a relationship on trust. People tend to be very attached to their homes because it’s typically the biggest asset that they own. Do you agree that you were probably able to negotiate that price down because you had been so open with the seller?
Absolutely, it wouldn’t have seemed fair if it hadn’t been explained to him.
Can you walk us through the numbers a bit? What was the ARV for the property?
The ARV was $120,000, we brought the buyer in at $36,000, and the seller got $31,000. We netted $5,000. Sometimes you’re happy just to get it done and move on to the next deal. The repair estimate was $35,000 to $40,000. We were looking at about a $75,000 to $80,000 total investment from the buyer. Both of the units in the duplex were renting, one for $400 and the other for $410, $810 in total. I’m not sure what they’re planning to rent it at but the average for that area is $725 for one. Both tenants ended up staying even after the transaction was complete.
Now the big question. How much time between when you joined the game to when you actually found a buyer? Did you have a buyer in mind?
We went under JV contract on February 18th, got the buyer on March 16th, and closed on April 16th. I didn’t have a buyer in mind when I started; I used Craigslist, Facebook, and Facebook Marketplace, but when I would send out the link to the property report and pictures, it would just drop off. My post was getting inundated with responses, but then nothing. Ultimately, I tried reaching out to buyers on buyer lists and got one person to come out and look at it, but they weren’t interested.
So where did the buyer end up coming from?
The buyer came from the Facebook Marketplace. The seller didn’t want to have walkthroughs to not inconvenience the tenants, but it was necessary. Eventually, he just realized it was going to be necessary if we were going to make a sale. We ended up hearing from a gentleman on Facebook Marketplace who came out to see the duplex. I didn’t think he was even actually interested, but he ended up putting in an offer. I ended up getting into a bit of a bidding war between this gentleman and another woman. She put an offer in at a low price, but it was only going up by about a thousand dollars. Eventually, the woman backed out and we went with the gentleman.
So much of this business is about being adaptable, flexible, and being able to spot the opportunity. Can you tell us what’s next for you? What types of deals are you looking for going forward now that you’ve gained experience?
Each deal has been a really big learning experience. I’m always on MyHouseDeals. It’s mostly in Philadelphia. Sometimes one will pop up, I saw a deal under contract in North Dakota recently from a Facebook ad. That gentleman had some issues with the law and nobody wanted to touch that house. Buyers kept dropping off there also.
I had another person working with me, we ended up JV’ing. That area was challenging because the population was low and the main plant was closing in two years.
You mentioned earlier that your plan is for your husband to join you and you want to get into flips. Do you have a timeline for how you’re going to be able to scale the sizes and volume of your transactions?
I don’t have a particular plan just yet. I also want to bring my children into it. My oldest is 19 and she’s a photographer; she’s going to start helping me with some pictures. My next oldest is 16, and he’s helped me get my second property under contract by texting out my vacant list. He’s interested in entrepreneurship.
Annemarie was a stay-at-home mom who decided to get into the real estate investment industry due to the rising cost of living in her area. She tried out a few different types of deals, and learned a lot along the way, before pursuing her most recent deal in a joint venture wholesale.
Annemarie’s story shows the importance of transparency in dealmaking as well as sticking with a deal even when it gets tough. Annemarie eventually found a buyer on Facebook Marketplace and ended up netting $2,500. She is happy to have been able to learn so much about the industry in making this deal and looks forward to trying other investing strategies in the future as she continues to build her portfolio.
We would like to thank Annemarie for her time and wish her the best of luck in her future investing pursuits!