You lock down a deal. And on the day of the property sale…
Lightning strikes a tree in the yard.
Luckily, when the tree fell it missed the house by about 3 feet. It tore up the yard and the driveway, but it could have been a lot worse. This is just ONE of the surprises London faced with his most recent deal.
It’s a good thing London has been involved in real estate investing for almost 20 years. He knows he can count on the unexpected. London is part-time investor and at this point in his career, he knows exactly what kind of property he’s looking for.
It’s more about the numbers and less about the location. If the numbers fit London’s criteria, he goes for the deal.
Listen to our conversation with London to find out more about the recent deal he found on MyHouseDeals, lessons learned over the years, and his advice for new investors, plus…
- The benefits of investing today compared to 20 years ago
- How a basement helped with a plumbing issue
- Why you need to find a niche in your business
NOTE: Since London is a premium member, he received a FULL refund of his up-front membership fee for simply doing a deal! Find out more about our premium membership here.
Tell Us About Yourself…
How did you get into real estate investing?
I got into real estate investing by virtue of curiosity back in 1998, I believe.
My dad was looking at an infomercial about real estate and he contacted me and asked what I thought. That’s what piqued my interest.
How did you get your foot in the door?
My dad purchased some real estate information in the middle of the night, even though he wasn’t going to actually read the book. I was actually the one who ended up looking at the course.
From there, I started going to bookstores to access more reading material which blossomed into listening to videos, seminars and webinars. After maybe six months from the first time I looked at anything from a real estate standpoint, I went through the classifieds section in the newspaper and found my first deal.
Are you a full-time investor?
I don’t invest full-time because I prefer it as a side gig. I’m actually an entrepreneur so I don’t necessarily have to punch a clock or have a boss to answer to. I don’t know if it’s even fair to say that I have a full-time job. Entrepreneurship actually takes a little bit more time than an average full-time job. However, I am able to take time off or focus on other interests I have, so balancing it all is not too difficult.
How did you finance your first deal?
I had very little capital to begin with. The partner I was purchasing the property with had just started real estate investing about a year before I had. Back then, the no money down deal was the best way in, so I came up with about $500 of his money to write him out of the contract.
The seller and I worked out a deal where I could get a hard money loan to cover the entire financing of the property. I was shown how to properly rehab and what to do once the renovation was complete, so I had a lot of help from the seller. This ended up being essential to the success of that deal.
Tell us more about the deal you found on MyHouseDeals…
How did you find this deal?
I actually joined MyHouseDeals just to see what the market was looking like and because there was a plethora of properties. It varies by area, so I joined to see what was out there. I found a deal that fit the parameters I was looking for at the time so I put in an offer and it was accepted.
What are your parameters when searching on MyHouseDeals?
I’m specifically interested in properties with minimal rehab required. For this deal I was looking for a house that was listed for sale at no more than 50 cents on the dollar. My goal was something that could net at least $30,000 after it was completed.
What kind of rehab did you end up doing on the house?
- The entire interior and exterior was painted
- New flooring throughout home
- A complete kitchen overhaul
- All new bathroom and light fixtures
- Routine yard maintenance
How did you go about finding contractors?
For the most part, the internet has been the source of my information. When I first started, it was mostly who you know–contacts and networking. However, it has been fairly easy lately to go online and meet different contractors in the area to obtain various bids.
Is there anything different about doing deals now compared to when you first started?
Back in the 90’s, the banks were willing to assist in the renovation and rejuvenation of certain communities. At the same time, those who weren’t fully educated in real estate investing were being taken advantage of. The banks that were financing properties were virtually unseen.
The period was dominated by who you knew. Some people would even go to Home Depot and just ask around for help. It seemed as though you needed to be a part of some association or some real estate group in order to thrive. Whether it be to find a good agent, a certified roofer or to find a bank that would finance your deal. Information just wasn’t as prevalent as it is now.
Now if you look at today, you can find banks to finance deals and all types of contractors to assist with repairs. You can find real estate investors everywhere it seems.
In today’s market, you’re almost expected to come to the table with half of the money for the property. This makes you just as liable as the bank is for doing the deal. You are married to that deal and you can’t leave until that deal is done.
Then you have the same problem on the back end. Even if someone is trying to purchase the house from you, they may have the same problems getting financed. These days, banks are really scared to loan the money.
What advice do you have for people who are just getting started in this business?
Gain as much capital as possible if you are going to get in real estate. Competition is high and cash is your access into the game now because banks aren’t going to help you with as much as they used to.
Most importantly, find your niche and concentrate on what type of deal you are looking for. Try to focus on a particular type of investing. You have to be as specific as possible because the market is very, very broad and strategic.