100 % Call back rate!

Posted On 7:33 AM by Scott Costello | 1 comments

Well that makes 2 for 2, I got a call from a nice lady over the weekend regarding my letter I sent out to her about the vacant house I found. She is the daughter of the woman who had died and along with her brother have inherited the house. She said that her brother is handling the sale of the house and gave me his name and number. I'm going to attempt to call him tonight after I get home from work.


I talked with the guy from NJQuickSell last Thursday and it looks like I'm going to bird dog for them. They understand that I'm just starting out and are willing to help me get my foot into the business. They also understand that in time I'll start wholesaling myself and will no longer be sending them my leads. This could be a big step for me as it will allow me to get experience with talking to sellers and also help me learn the process and see how a lead becomes a deal and the deal turns into a sale. I don't even care if I earn money right now, but they will pay about 10% of the profits if one of my leads becomes a deal.

Open Houses and...

I didn't get a chance to go to open houses this weekend as I had to do some other needed things around the house that were building up. I know I had more to say in this blog entry, but I can't think of anything else at the moment. I'll post when I remember.

have a good short week!
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Woof woof

Posted On 10:37 AM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

I forgot to mention that on my open house tour I saw my first "We buy houses" sign stuck to a telephone poll. Took me like 5 trips through the intersection before I finally hit a red light so i could see and write down the number. It also had a webpage...


...so I looked them up and sent out an email. I said that I saw there sign and was wondering if they were looking for any birddogs. I figured it would be a good way to get "trained".

Well during lunch I had a message on my cell phone (didn't hear/feel the ring) and it was those guys and they sounded very interested in possibly having me for a birddog. I have to call them back, but my cell phone is about dead so I'll have to wait till I get home and can charge it.

Oh the joys of technology. I had a Stephanie Davis (if you read her blog you know she and electronics don't mix well) moment and accidentally flung my blackberry pearl into the air and it crashed onto the tile kitchen floor, breaking the screen. YES!?!?!?!

So now i'm using my old Razr which I hate with a passion and I'm not eligible for an upgrade until march. I'm gonna have to take the abuse from my wife and spend some money on a phone. Maybe I can find a decent one on ebay.

REIA Meeting

I'm not sure if this meeting is any representation of how all the other monthly meetings are, but it was great! Very informative and they have a great philosophy of not having speakers who pitch products. They only have speakers for purely educational reasons. I loved it. Thanks Bruce for recommending it! I'm going to be joining next month.

That's it for today....I'm getting there!
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Posted On 10:42 AM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

As with every weekend, this one went by way to quickly! Here is the round up of what I did..

Mailers to Vacants

SHOCKINGLY, I received a phone call from one of the 2 letters I sent out on Friday. It turned out that the house wasn't vacant, whoops. The 85 year old man who lived in the house called. He was nice, and I apologized for the mistake. He did however confirm that the other house (the one next door) was vacant and gave me the family name to contact. That name was the same name I sent my other letter to, so we'll see what happens. If I don't hear anything in a few weeks I'll send out another letter.

Open Houses

I went to only 5 of them, half of my goal. I didn't have time to plan out my route, so I played the back and forth across town game again. I actually went to 7 open houses but one was a condo. I thought it was a house from the paper, it was selling for 216k and I wanted to go see why it was so cheap. I found out! haha. The other open house was that same house i went to in September where I met the builder and his realtor wife.

Chat with Builder's wife

His wife is really nice and we talked for about 30 minutes about what was going on in and around the town concerning the RE market. She was throwing out some homes in the area that could be in trouble. I knew where two of the homes are, so I'm going to find out the names and send mailers to them and see what happens.

I also found out that the builder and his wife spend the winters in california, so they aren't currently looking for anything new right now. If they come back to NJ for the spring and summer they will be. I gave her a few of my cards and told her if she hears about anything to let me know.

Metro REIA Meeting

The Metro REIA meeting is tonight. It will be the first one from that group that I will be attending. I'm sure it will be good, but I'll let you all know how it goes in my next blog entry.

Open House Count: 55
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Sent out Letters

Posted On 11:32 AM by Scott Costello | 3 comments

This week wasn't my most productive weeks. I'm not sure what happened, I just think I didn't prioritize my time to well. Last night I did manage to finalize the letters for the vacant homes, re-found the owner's addresses and dropped the letters off in the mail today. They should be calling me by Tuesday at the latest ready to hand me the keys for cheap!!

I was going to write it out by hand, but then I thought of just getting a script font from online and using that. I'll post the font when I get home. I also fed some regular lined note paper into the print and printed the letter onto that. I then hand wrote the mailing addresses and dropped it into the mail.

Here is the letter that I sent out...


I’m sorry to contact you like this, but I wasn’t sure how else to reach you. This letter is in regards to the house you may own at 123 Main Pl, in Whippany. I enjoy taking my dog Jack for walks around different neighborhoods and on one of my walks I noticed this house and it appeared to be vacant.

I am looking to purchase a house in the area with in the next two months and would love to be able to talk with you about purchasing the property. I'm not sure if you tried to sell it in the past or the circumstances in which you become responsible for this house, but it must be a burden to maintain it. It's hard enough to keep up with the chores of your own house let alone one you don't live in. My friends have owned second houses down the shore and every other month they are traveling 2+ hours just to check on the pipes in the winter, air the place out or just make sure nothing was stolen. They would much rather be spending time with their family then keeping tabs on their second house.

When a house is vacant, it is very susceptible to looters who can steal the copper wires as well as the furniture and appliances. Worse yet is that the pipes could freeze over the winter and cause thousands of dollars of damage and make the house harder to sell, losing you money. A little know fact is that homeowners' insurance policies typically require that the owner live in the house.

I would like the chance to talk with you about buying this property. If we agree to a fair price, I can purchase your house in as-is condition and in a matter of weeks.

So please contact me as soon as possible.

Best Regards,

Scott Costello

Cell: 973-476-0684

Home: 973-206-1430

Email: sjcostello@gmail.com

P.S. I've identified a few other houses I am interested in and expect to hear back from them shortly so my interest in the house is short term

P.P.S Even if you are not interested in selling now, I've included my business card for you to hold on to in case you change your mind.

P.P.P.S If you know of anyone else who needs to sell a house quickly, I will pay a referal fee of $1000 if I buy it.
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Expanding Network

Posted On 10:20 AM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

Besides celebrating my birthday this past weekend at the Melting Pot (mmmm goood) I got a few things accomplished.

Open Houses

I took my wife with me this time and went to 6 open houses. Which actually puts me at the half way point to achieving my goal of 100. It sucks that there is only really a 3 hour window (1pm to 4pm) to see open houses. To see more in that time frame I'm going to have to plan my routes out better. When you have to drive back and forth across town it really eats up time. I'm going to try and hit 10 of them next sunday.

Possible New Investor Friends

There was a thread at ReiClub.com about NJ Investors, so I took the opportunity to send a message to a few of the respondents and may have stumbled upon a few investors right in my area. One of the investors, Ryan, runs a great webpage called...


...where you can get all the Lis Pendens listed in the NJ Public records. It is in an easy to search format. His site also allows you to track them and keep tabs on which ones you've mailed to and also allows you to create a mail merge. It's a very clean site and could be of great benefit for an investor as it is all web based. Good Job Ryan.

Another thing that came out of talking with Ryan is that he told me a few of the people from that thread are planning on meeting up sometime in the next week or so. Would be a great opportunity to get to know the area investors for sure. So I'm in if they figure out a time and place.

Vacant House Sales Letter

I got a chance to make a second version of the sales letter that I think is better, but I didn't get a chance to send it out as my wife kept me busy all weekend. Since I only get to see her on weekends, my time is with her first and foremost. So I'll do a quick run through of it tonight and then send them out tomorrow.

Business Cards

I also need to come up with some basic business cards to give to sellers, you know the "I Buy Houses" type cards that are simple and colorful. I want to send them with my letters.

Anyhow, that's it for today. Hope everyone had a good weekend.

Open House Count: 50
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Posted On 8:04 AM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

Tomorrow is my Birthday, I will be turning 32!
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Vacant House Sales Letter

Posted On 7:52 AM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

I finally got fed up with myself for putting off writing the sales letter to those vacant houses I mentioned a while back that I wrote my first draft last night. Gonna re read it tonight and then send it out on saturday. If it's any good I don't know but at least I'll have sent it out and made first contact. Here is the first draft of the letter...

Hi Owner

I’m sorry to contact you like this, but I wasn’t sure how else to reach you. This letter is in regards to the house you may own at 123 Vacant House Pl, in Whippany. It looks to be vacant and if so I can only imagine it being a drain on your family’s finances.

I am looking to purchase a house in the area with in the next two months and would love to be able to take the burden of a vacant home from you and ease your minds as you are probably wondering how you will sell in such a down market.

I can purchase your house in as is condition and relieve you of your stress in a matter of weeks.

When a house is vacant, it is very susceptible to looters who can steal the copper wires as well as the furniture and appliances. Worse yet is that the pipes could freeze over the winter and cause thousands of dollars of damage and make the house harder to sell, losing you money. A little know fact is that homeowners' insurance policies typically require that the owner live in the house.

Please contact me immediately in order to sell your property at 123 Vacant House Pl before the winter months come.

Once I find a house to buy this opportunity to rid yourself of this financial burden will be gone. Call now.

I don't think it's bad. I will probably have to change the wording around a little bit as it is a bit jumbled.

I tried to..

  • Act like it was a conversation
  • Make them feel like I understand what they are going through
  • Make them think they could get rid of there problem quickly
  • make them worry about the house and problems a vacant can cause

Did I succeed? who knows
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Failed Goal

Posted On 6:08 AM by Scott Costello | 2 comments

As you probably are aware I didn't make any offers before Halloween. I'm pretty pissed about that. I have no excuses, but I will be making those 10 offers by the end of this month.
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Talking to People

Posted On 7:00 AM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

Over the past few weeks I've made a concerted effort to try and talk with people in the Real Estate business instead of just reading posts and material on Investing. In doing so I can feel myself moving to the next step, at least mentally.

Last Friday I stopped by my friend's Parents house to say hello because I haven't seen them in a few months. His mom is an appraiser and runs her own business. What I didn't know is that she is also a broker and would be happy to hold my license (for a fee, but that is only fair) if I were to ever get it. I'm definitely leaning that way because I am already getting impatient with waiting on Realtors to send me listings. To keep myself sane I'm gonna have to be able to do that myself. Mrs Z, also said that I could come by her office anytime I wanted and use the MLS there. YES!

The one thing that does come with talking to people is the ney-saying. I'm learning to block all that out, but I wish my wife wasn't there to hear it sometimes. The last thing I need is for my wife to get REALLY scared about investing.

As for the rest of the weekend goes I didn't get much accomplished because of my brothers Engagement dinner on Saturday and my friends Carl and Tracy's wedding on Sunday. Both were a lot of fun, and it was great to be around family and friends all weekend celebrating. I'm truly happy for both couples!

Those obligations meant I only managed to go to two open houses this weekend, both actually condos. Surprising though there were very few open houses this weekend and none close by.

Rent Control Crap!

The more I learn about the rent control in Morristown, the less I'm wanting to invest there. It really puts a cap on potential earnings for landlords. This is the law in Motown

Morristown has Rent Control. Landlords are not allowed to raise rent
without first contacting the Rent Leveling Office, then on approval giving
tenant 60 days notice.

Barbara "The Realtor"

Barbara sent me four listings last friday that I took a look at this weekend. This was my take on them.

Parsippany Rd Homes (2 for $500k)

I am not a fan of the location. That is a very busy part of Parsippany rd with Rt 10 being right there, the post office and Billy's Red Room. One question I have, and maybe you know, how hard is it to combine two lots? In any event I'll pass on this, as all the homes I've seen that are in similar locations sit on the market for a long time and I can't take that chance right now.

18 Harrison St and 18 Cutler St

These multi's where ok, definately in need of some work which isn't a bad thing. I heard over the weekend that Morristown is rent controlled (surprised I didn't know this before, I guess I just never asked). So I have to do some research on that to see what the extent of the rent control is and how it would affect a future landlord.

Now, for anyone reading this would you make offers on any of these?
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