I've been Proofed

Posted On 11:08 AM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

I don't have much to report today except I got my Generic Proof of Funds letter from Coastal Funding.

I also got my first legit response from one of my Craigslist Ads, all be it not from my buyers Ad but from my Realtor Ad I posted. Doreen seems a bit to busy to help out so I decided to hunt out some more realtor's to have in my back pocket just in case. Hopefully this one is more responsive.

Another weekend full of someone else's wedding stuff coming up...ugh, so sick of weddings!!
| | edit post

Tuesday Morning Quarterback

Posted On 6:22 AM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

Last weekend went by in a blur! Not to mention I caught a cold and was sniffling, sneezing and coughing all weekend.

I did manage to get some things done amidst my DayQuil/NyQuil malaise I was in.

Money, Money, Money....Potential Money

I contacted Coastal Funding to try and get a generic proof of funds letter. I hear the turn around is about 48 hours, so hopefully I will get it by tomorrow. Doreen sent me the brokers information so I'm going to call him over lunch today and see what he can do for me. I'm also going to contact the broker who's a vendor member of my REIA group to see what programs they have. I still have to find the time to go see the local banks I've found, I wish banks stayed open later!!!

Other Things...

Bruce, the investor I met at the last GSREIA meeting mentioned another REIA group that seems to be less "Pitch" and more "Teach" called the Metro REIA. I did some research and it meets every 3rd monday of the month. I'm gonna go to the November 17th meeting to see how they are.

Metropolitan Real Estate Investors Association

I am also going to go talk with my friends Mom who is an appraiser. Maybe she can help me out with getting MLS access some how. Maybe I can be her "apprentice" :)

I also managed to go to 5 more open houses on Sunday. There was one house that could have some motivation as the kids have all grown and moved out so the parents bought a house down in the Carolinas. The Mrs has already moved down south, while the Husband stayed up north to try and sell the place. Family separation could make for a motivated seller. The house is on a major road which breaks one of my guidelines as being to risky right now for me. I'm seeing way to many houses on major roads just sitting there.

Anyway, have a good week!

| | edit post

Baby Steps

Posted On 5:48 AM by Scott Costello | 5 comments

Yesterday ended up being a fairly productive day in terms of moving forward in my investing career.


I called up Doreen and we talked for about 30 minutes. She sounds like she knows somethings about investing, she's done a short sale for a client and has in the past attempted to rehab and flip a condo. Hopefully her experiences will be helpful and not a detriment. She is going to give me the contact information for a mortgage broker that can provide me with a mortgage commitment. Now I'm not exactly sure how much of a commitment I can get, but I guess we'll see.

REIA Meeting

This was a very interesting meeting. As I mentioned in my last entry that there was a guest speaker, Terry Hale, who was going to be pitching his Commercial Real Estate Investing courses and bootcamp. The meeting was PACKED! All of the successful, big time investors where there as well. This guy was very believable and if I wasn't concentrating on wholesaling residential property right now, I'd definitely consider buying his course.

For most of the other "GURUS" that have come and pitched there products at these meetings my BS meter would go crazy, but for this guy it only had a few blips here and there. He sounded legit and I swear i heard his name before while watching the Apprentice a few years ago. I'll have to look that up. Anyhow, he had some good ideas and gave some really good tips on what to look for and how to turn properties into profit by being creative.

Two thumbs up for Terry Hale


At the meeting last night I met Bruce_NJ, from the flipping_homes forums. He had mentioned he was going to the meeting so we took advantage and met up. He is a real nice guy and knows what he is doing. After the meeting we talked for a bit and he shared some of his experiences with a few of his most recent deals. A good learning experience. I will say, that the more investors I talk to the more I realize they are all just like me, an average person. That thought gives me a lot of confidence in moving forward.

Networking Again

The other day I got a message from another Investor (Paul) through my "The Creative Investor" account, which I had just signed up for a few weeks ago. In the few emails that we've trading back and forth, Paul has already motivated me by asking me pointed questions like...

  • Are you getting your phone ringing?
  • Have you made any offers?
  • What are you doing to move forward?
  • What is your 90 day plan?

These questions really puts the "Analysis by Paralysis" investor on the spot. Its sort of like when you just graduated college and don't have a job yet and everyone keeps asking you..."So what kind of job did you get?" That question gets very embarrassing to answer after 6 months of "just looking" for a job and it motivates!!

Another tremendous thing that Paul did was he offered to help wean me off my analysis paralysis, he offered to get me a buyer and walk me through any deal I find and need help with. That includes using his contracts, attorneys, and title agencies if needed.

Things are moving forward and I'll be writing about my first successful deal very soon, I can feel it!
| | edit post

Quick Update

Posted On 6:02 AM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

I was suppose to speak with Doreen (Realtor) last night regarding what we could do for each other, but she ended up getting stuck in an appointment till 9:30. I'll be giving her a call sometime before my REIA meeting tonight.

Tonight's REIA general meeting is going to have a guest speaker, Terry Hale "the Commercial Real Estate Expert." Never heard of the guy, but I haven't heard of many of the national gurus. The GSREIA seems to be really pushing this meeting so maybe this will be a good one and I'll learn something.

DAMN IT!!! I just remembered I forgot to bring my business cards so i could hand them out at the meeting tonight. I'd never make it home in time to pick them up. Note to self: Leave a box of business cards in my car.

| | edit post
haha...I'm just practicing my marketing headlines, did I intrigue you guys?

On my way to achieving my goal this month of sending out 10 offers, I've run into an initial road block.

Now it's not a big road block but it made me realize that I need to have Leads coming in!!! How do I submit offers on properties that I don't have knowledge of? Stupid me! I also realized I need the following...

  1. A Realtor to Submit offers to REO's or any listed property
  2. Get Pre Approved/Qualified
  3. Create my sales letter to send out to my leads

I'm working on #1....I've got two potential Realtors that seem interested in working with me. Jay, the agent I met on my open house tour and Doreen the Realtor who was involved when I bought my condo last year.

#2...I've got a few potential sources.

  • Coastal Funding
  • One of the local banks in my previous post
  • Some mortgage brokers that Doreen and Jay have used (I like the first two options better)

#3...I'm working on it while Reading Dan Kennedy's "Ultimate Sales Letter"

I hate that feeling of spinning my wheels and not getting any where. That over whelmed feeling you get when you come up to something new and you are not sure how to proceed because you could go in 100 different directions. I always tell myself to just pick one way and go with it, the rest will follow. I usually follow my advice, but until I decide which way to go...odgida sets in!!

Have a good week!

P.S. Open house Count: 37
| | edit post

Small Local Banks

Posted On 12:21 PM by Scott Costello | 1 comments

Over at Flipping Homes they pretty much preach that if you want to get lending these days it's best to go with a small local bank, those community banks that you've never heard of. Well now is the time to start learning where they are. The reason is that they....

  1. Keep there loans in house, which means they don't have to follow the big boys guide lines when it comes to lending.
  2. They are more flexible because of keeping the loans in house.
  3. They are more likely to give you a loan based on a good relationship and quality of the deal, then strictly your debt to income ratio (don't hold me to that one though)

I did a little hunting last night and came up with about a dozen local banks, at least I think they are local because I haven't heard of them before. Over the next two weekends i'm going to try and walk into a few and talk to them about what programs they have for investors. I'm going to follow Steve Cook's advice on this audio clip...

Dealing with Small Local Banks

Follow up on my last post about Realtor's...

I've been trading emails with the realtor I met last weekend and I'm going to try and give him a call this weekend in between all my cousin's wedding activities (Rehearsal dinner tonight, ceremony and reception tomorrow and then brunch on sunday morning). Jay, the Realtor, seems like a nice guy and open to helping me out so hopefully he's a good investors' realtor

have a good weekend!!
| | edit post

What to say to a Real Estate Agent

Posted On 10:23 AM by Scott Costello | 1 comments

I contacted one of the Real Estate agents I met on my open house tour and asked him if he was interested in working with a beginner investor. He said he has worked with many investors before and would be happy to talk with me and share his experiences (not sure if this means good or bad).

I'm going to try and setup an appointment to talk with him on sunday. I'm going to follow Steve Cook's advice and go about it the following way...

First I'm going to ask him about his experiences with the other investors. What types of deals he found for them. I'll then ask some follow up questions so I can gauge his knowledge of investing.

Second I'll explain to him how we can work together. That I'd like to get weekly listings of expireds, foreclosures and handyman specials. That I'll need him to submit my offers (but I will see if I can fill out the forms and just give them to him to submit, saving him extra work). I will also tell him that once in a while I'll need him to run some comps and show me a house, but this won't happen to often.

Third I'll get into the amount of offers I'll be making (hopefully) and that they will be very low offers. I expect to get most of them rejected, but am confident a few will be accepted.

If he asks me about signing a "exclusivity agreement" I will decline and tell him I have no problems giving him the commision on all properties I get through him, but if someone else brings me the property it wouldn't be fair to cut them out of the deal.

So how does all that sound? Leave me some feedback if you have other ideas.
| | edit post

2 Vacants

Posted On 11:23 AM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

There are what I believe to be 2 vacant houses right next to each other in Whippany. I can't be certain, but the places just don't seem lived in. I looked up the owners on the tax records...

County Tax Records

I then used the names from the tax records and looked up the Mortgages, deeds, etc. on the Public Records site

Public Records

This is what I found

House #1
The tax records showed that one of the properties is actually split up into 2 lots. So that is interesting to know. The owner's address is listed as the houses address so I'm not sure what this means. Maybe the person passed away.

The public records didn't show to much of anything that wasn't expected. I did however see stuck to the front door a sign about not lighting any matches or having an open flame because gas was in use. Not sure what that all means.

House #2
The tax records showed the house's owner has a different address from the actual home so this may have been an inherited property. There was a sale in 2002 that says "SALE BETWEEN IMMEDIATE FAMILY ESTATE" so that is telling.

The public records shows that the 2002 selling was a deed transfer of ownership to three separate people living at different addresses in NJ, most likely children.

If in fact these people are holding on to the house and nobody is living there for sure there would be some motivation to sell the house. So I'll send out a mailer to them.

I also want to check to see what kind of liens are on these two houses. I think I can get that on the public records site as well. I'll report back if I do.

On another note, I went to three more open houses.

Open House Count: 33
| | edit post

Goal: Make Offer by October 31st

Posted On 10:51 AM by Scott Costello | 3 comments

New Goal: Make my first 10 offer by October 31st!

Hold me to it guys!
| | edit post

Craigslist Ad

Posted On 10:47 AM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

I swear I posted this before, but when I came back to look at my blog it wasn't here. So....

Here is the ad I posted on craigslist as I promised I would in my last entry...

I know what it's like looking for investment houses, it can be very frustrating to say the least. It takes a lot of effort and time to effectively locate properties that will meet our strict criteria over and over again.

If you want to concentrate on your rehab or your rental property without having to worry about locating your next project, send me an email. I will do all the heavy searching and hand you ready made leads. All you have to do is send me an email with what you are looking for...

What part of Morris County are you interested in?
Do you handle short sales?
How quickly can you close?
Are you looking for rentals or rehabs?
Single Family Homes or Multi-plexes?

Contact me ASAP as I can only handle so many buyers.

I may already have located the property that meets your criteria. Contact me Now!

Tell me what you think...
| | edit post

Random happenings

Posted On 6:36 AM by Scott Costello | 3 comments

Business Cards

My business cards came yesterday and overall I'm fairly happy with them. Actually having them in my hand apparently turned on the "smart switch" in my head and I realized a few things I should have done differently. Instead of putting "Company Manager" I should have put "Wholesaler". Also I should have been consistent with the word "Home" and "House", use one or the other not both. The quality of the cards are ok, nothing spectacular but should do the trick for now.

Demographic Research

Reading the book "Ultimate Marketing Plan" spurred me to do a little research on my local Demographics. I used this site

Morris County Demographics

and i found out that the median age for Hanover and Morris Plains is 40, while for Morristown it is 36. Which makes sense if you know the two areas. Also I found that roughly only 1% of the houses in Hanover and Morris Plains are rentals, while in Morristown it is about 60%. One problem about rentals in Morristown is that they are all Rent Controlled. Not sure if that is a huge hindrance for an investor, but I will find out. If anyone has any input/experience with rent control please let me know.

Local Investor Hunt

I'm trying to locate other Investors who invest in Hanover, Morris Plains, Morristown and any of the surrounding areas. I want to get an idea of how they are doing it. I've posted a message on the forums I frequent and have found some helpful people who invest in Sussex, Essex, Union and Summerset counties. I thank these people for extending their help and support and I will be using there expertise in the future.

Outside of that one Builder i met on my open house tour, I haven't had any luck. So i'm going to post an add on craigslist to see if I can lore some of these people out. Wish me luck.

Till next time...
| | edit post

Market to who?

Posted On 8:31 AM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

The next question I'd like to answer is who should I market to? I've been getting some good advice from the forums, such as...

  • Centers of Influence (lawyers, Real Estate Agents, Brokers, Bankers...)
  • Landlords
  • Expired Listings

On my trip to virginia I started reading a pretty good book by Dan Kennedy called "Ultimate Marketing Plan." It has already given me some ideas on how to market. It's a really good book and I recommend it. You can get it from amazon for 10 bucks...

Ultimate Marketing Plan

I'll put together a rough idea of what I want to do and then post it here. It's pretty amazing stuff, but at the same time you have a lot of "DUH" moments. For instance, Demographics, you should focus in on those categories of people that are going to be most interested in your product/service. Don't market to people who are making payments on time and have good credit. You need to find those that are going to NEED to sell.

I'm only about 50 pages into this book, but my mind is definitely burning the midnight oil trying to come up with my marketing strategy now. If nothing else this book has gotten me to start thinking correctly.

Unfortunately I bought the book for $25 at Barnes and Noble!! I always forget they are expensive.

| | edit post

Virginia...Here I come

Posted On 11:29 AM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

My wife's sister had a baby girl this past wednesday, 6lbs 9ounces and a head full of hair! So my wife and I are going to drive down to Northern Virginia and meet Maggie for the first time. I'm excited to see her, but 5 hour car rides aren't my idea of fun. It's all about family though!

It's to bad my sister-in-law couldn't wait a week to have her baby or it would have put me in a perfect spot to go to Steve Cook's bootcamp.

Haha, I was just thinking about that conversation with my wife....

Me: Hey hun, go ahead to the hospital without me I've got other plans.

Wifey: excuse me? what other plans?

Me: Well I paid 1200 bucks to go to a real estate bootcamp, i figured you could see the baby and I could improve our future...

Wifey: ****I'm gonna kill you look*****

Me: So what time do we leave to see the baby? :)

That would be a long 5 hour drive back to Jersey for sure. Anyhow this means I'm not gonna get much done this weekend, so I'll just get a book on marketing and read it on the way down. My favorite Marketing guy has a list of recommended readings here...

Recommeneded resources

Have a good weekend all!
| | edit post