Property You Drive By Every Day - Posted by Sandy FL

Posted by Darla on December 11, 1998 at 07:26:11:

That was a good one Sandy.

Property You Drive By Every Day - Posted by Sandy FL

Posted by Sandy FL on December 10, 1998 at 09:14:38:

There is a couple of things I have noticed, driving around looking for property at different times of the day or night.

One, if you go into neighborhoods at night, you can often tell which properties are truly vacant. Sometimes a run down property that looks vacant during the day has lights on inside at night. Maybe its just an elderly person there who can’t maintain the property. Sometimes a well-kept property that you think a big family lives in, is dark as a tomb in the evenings. Motivated sellers come in all income brackets.

Another thing… have you ever seen in your own neighborhood, a house where the car out front is for sale, the truck out front is for sale, and even the family dog has a “For Sale” sign around his its neck…well, they may just be in foreclosure. They could possibly be moving from the area too, but either way here is a person that needs CASH. If they have all this stuff for sale, you have an easy excuse to stop by, ask them about their items for sale,(even if you do not want to buy a car or truck), and learn what their situation is. If they say they are moving, but they have no “for sale” sign on the property, be sure to ask if it is for sale. Sometimes as you listen and are polite they will pour out the whole story.

Or, if you keep going by every day, instead, driving by their property, eventually you will see it vacated and abandoned or a Realtors’ “For Sale” sign outside eventually, as it becomes a Bank REO. I betcha.

Another thing- ever seen those heaps of trash outside on the curb, maybe some abandoned furniture? Did you ever wonder why people threw that stuff away? Well it is usually the result of an eviction or a middle-of-the-night move-out, and the landlord is trying to clear out the house. In fact, he or she may be a very tired and discouraged landlord. If they are on the property at the moment, stop by and ask them if the house if for sale or rent. Or send a letter to the owner later. Maybe they will sell you the property or agree to a rent-to-own with you, if they are tired enough.

(I tried this recently, but I also found out quickly that while this landlord might be frustrated, he may not be motivated, since he said he would sell the house for a price which is about 30k over market. Right. How much time do I want to spend educating him? … I also noticed even though he griped to me about the amount of money he would have to pay to haul away the trash, he got it done immediately. So he was probably not hurting for cash.)

Anyway, these are just a couple things. Thanks to people like Joe Kaiser for helping me become more observant in my own backyard. Please add your own observations and ideas.

Sandy Fl :slight_smile:

Here’s the ticket . . . - Posted by Joe Kaiser

Posted by Joe Kaiser on December 10, 1998 at 18:11:50:

You have to commit to stopping the car and getting the address down every single time. Me, I actually get out of the car and put a note under the door as well. But that’s just step one.

With that info, you can pull up your tax info and begin your tracking down strategies.

A few years back our town instituted a “free pickup day” where you cound get rid of your old couch or bunk bed just by piling your stuff on the curb. Naturally, I assumed it was an eviction in the works and I nearly got whiplash driving through town seeing all those “evictions” taking place. No such luck.

Abandoned properties are a great way to make things happen . . . but you have to commit and you have to hustle like crazy. It’s one of the more “fun” ways to work this business.


Re: Property You Drive By Every Day - Posted by Bud Branstetter

Posted by Bud Branstetter on December 10, 1998 at 09:31:23:


I stopped by one of those houses the other day that had trash and furniture out front. I had seen it for several days but was always past it before I remembered. This time there was a truck out front with a plumbers sign on it. So, I stopped. Knocked on the door but got no immediate response. Thinking that the plumber was probably busy in a back bathroom. I opened the door and yell’d “Anyone home”. You’ve probably guessed it by now, the plumber had just rented the house and was moving in. Out in rural area you may not wait till they come to the door but closer in anything could have resulted. I looked up the owner on the tax records. Owns a dozen or more in the area. Added him to the list to send a letter to.

On your observation of lights on at night as an older person. You can get an option to purchase in exchange for keeping the grass mowed or a litle fix-up. No reason not to stop and talk with them too.

Re: Here’s the ticket . . . - Posted by MS

Posted by MS on December 11, 1998 at 10:55:21:


Re: Property You Drive By Every Day - Posted by SCook85

Posted by SCook85 on December 10, 1998 at 15:52:06:

There are a number of properties that I drive by all the time that are vacant. For some reason or another I never do anything to track down the owners of those properties. I don’t have a clue why. I guess I have my hands full.

But I did want to ad something to your list. Whenever I am in a neighborhood looking at a home or if I have just bought one, I talk to every neighbor that I can. They tell you everything about the home you just bought and who else may be willing to sell, or who was just divorced, laid off from work, etc… The last time I did this, the guy said come on over to my house, he offered me a home that was worth about 60k in its present condition for 45k. Was a little tight for me but I’m sure a lot of people would have like that one. I think that talking to people about what you do, being proud of it, and asking questions is one of the best ways to grow in this business.


Re: Property You Drive By Every Day - Posted by Sandy FL

Posted by Sandy FL on December 10, 1998 at 09:56:41:

Bud, that option thing is a GREAT IDEA! That would work great in Fla.

OK everyone has a “the one that got away” story (or two) so here is mine. Hubby and I noticed a really rundown house (ex: house numbers painted on with magic marker) in a elegant neighborhood of 200k-250k homes.
It had a ton of equity, too - over 100k of equity! (exciting thing number 2) We thought it was vacant and I sent a letter to the owners who were OUT OF TOWN (exciting thing #3). No response. Unlisted phone number. Another letter sent. More driving by.

So one night after the movies we drive by the house, to see if it is for sale yet or what, and there are lights on. Grey head of hair showing through the window. Ohhh… okay. Sent a letter to the house to ask the lady to think of us when she decided to sell. We forgot about the house for awhile.

Months later – drive by, there is a FOR SALE sign in the grass and a DUMPSTER out front! Grrr! Another rehabber or flipper already got it! Man that made me crazy. I had been sending letters to the people up north paying the taxes months before this!

I called the guy whose phone number was on the sign, went over to look it over out of curiosity … and it had cracked foundation and bad roof and eau de cat urine like you wouldn’t believe! He wanted something like 200k for it “as is”. Yeah right! (I found out later he bought it for 110k)

But, as a matter of curiosity… we still drive by. The guy had the swoopy roof repaired and the jungle in the yard ripped out, and maybe he fixed the foundation, can’t tell. However every room has a different color of tile or carpet in it, and he has used cheap fixtures. The bedrooms wood floors were refinished and you can see swirl marks in the varnish. He has a flyer that he is asking 220k. I think it is still a work in progress, but what irks me the most is I didnt get a chance to buy it!

How did the other investor get it? Well I have an idea. His MOTHER is a realtor who was listing the house next door… Augghh! And maybe if I had been more forward in the earlier part of the year, and knocked on this elderly ladies door, and TALKED TO HER instead of just sending letters, MAYBE it would be MINE! I might have had an option to buy the property in hand when she passed. Who knows.

Geez, life lessons. Thanks for the idea Bud!

Sandy FL

Re: Property You Drive By Every Day - Posted by Bud Branstetter

Posted by Bud Branstetter on December 10, 1998 at 16:05:00:

So why was it tight for you? At 60K for 45K it sounds like a L/O or note deal if thay could wait a little.

Re: Property You Drive By Every Day - Posted by Rob FL

Posted by Rob FL on December 10, 1998 at 20:32:45:

About 3 years ago, the duplex next door to me went into foreclosure. I spoke with the landlord and he told me he would be glad to just give me the property, however it had a 2nd mtg that had a balloon already 6 months overdue. At that time, I didn’t have the income to refi it with a bank and didn’t have the creative knowledge to do anything else.

The 2nd mtg ended up foreclosing and wiped out a 3rd mortgage. The lender then resold the property for a 20K profit.

I still feel miserable to this day. (Like they say, if I only knew then what I know now.)

Re: Property You Drive By Every Day - Posted by Sonia(VA)

Posted by Sonia(VA) on December 10, 1998 at 19:03:11:

This may sound stupid, but…
About this ‘letter’ that you send to the owner…
exactly what does it say?

Thanks in advance.

This one hurt - Posted by The Baze

Posted by The Baze on December 10, 1998 at 17:07:01:

About 8 or 9 months ago I went and looked at a property in a higher priced neighborhood. The house was vacant and needed about $25,000 in repairs. Its ARV was in the $230K-$250K range. I told the Realtor I would offer $115K cash. She told me that the seller had already turned down an offer of $160K and would not present the offer. Yes, I know I should have reminded her of her legal obligation to present the offer, but since I had other things going on and the seller had turned down a higher offer, I just let it go. I found out about 6 weeks ago that an investor that I’ve dealt w/ in the past bought the house for $108K. He’s fixing it up and is going to try to sell it for $245K. Live and learn.

Tom Bazley

Re: Property You Drive By Every Day - Posted by SCook85

Posted by SCook85 on December 10, 1998 at 22:31:46:

The deal is probably a good lease option deal. As far as a note deal goes it is a Baltimore City rowhome. No one will buy the note. The only 2 people in the country that I have come across that will buy the note will discount it so much that I am doing the deal for them.
I am guilty of not exhausting all avenues. I am in a groove with acquisitions, rehabs and flips and am riding that for awhile. I have considered doing lease options but as I speak it would disrupt everything that I am building on right now. I am not that educated in lease options to really know how to put the deal together in a way that minimizes my risk. I will add that to my arsenal in time but right now I am noat ready.


Re: Property You Drive By Every Day - Posted by Sandy FL

Posted by Sandy FL on December 11, 1998 at 06:13:45:

There are probably alot of different versions, but I just basically say that my husband and I have been looking for property in that neighborhood (true) and we’re writing to see if they were considering selling?
If so please call blah blah blah voice mail number.
I have found this approach usually works very well with out of town owners.

Only one time,… this was funny, I wrote a letter to a guy who was listed as living here in Fla. I wrote it basically because the grass was 4 feet high and the property looked vacant. The mail got forwarded from Fla to NJ and the guy called my Fla voicemail while I was at the St Louis CREOL seminar in August. He is a seasonal resident and usually leaves every summer to go back north. As we talked he happenned to ask why I chose to mail him a letter about his house. So I was honest! I told him from the looks of things I thought the property had been abandoned. At this point he became very concerned! Turned out his neighbor had promised to take care of the grass for him, and when he heard about how high it was, he got very anxious to get off the phone and call his Fla neighbor. The night I got back from the seminar, and drove by the property, the lawn (which had to have been let go for months) was already neatly cut and trimmed.

[Maybe the guy should have paid Me for letting him know what was happenning! Otherwise the city may have cut the grass for him and put a lien on his house, ha ha!]

:slight_smile: Sandy

P.S. Check the Money Making Ideas Page and read JP’s
article on “One Postcard, Seven Deals”.