This way to my New Blog

Posted On 7:28 PM by Scott Costello | 9 comments

As i mentioned briefly in my last few posts I have been working on a new blog in order to take advantage of a features not offered by blogger.com. If you are so kind I'd be greatful if you would follow me over to my new location. There is no doubt that I would not have gotten as far as I have without the help of everyone who has read and pushed me.

THANK YOU!

And this way to my new blog...

StrugglingInvestor.com

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I will offer on this...

Posted On 9:49 AM by Scott Costello | 9 comments


I'm not sure why exactly I picked this house, but I'm going to be making an offer on the Mt Pleasant property.

As you may recall it's an Estate property (ties in nicely with the whole probate thing I'm going after). Has been on the market for 45 days, not long but they have already dropped the price 30k from the original asking price of 369k. So that is a sign of motivation I would say. The property is a very big lot that a larger house (which tends to be the thing in my town) could be built on.

So those where the reasons. I'm going to go drive by it today on my way home from work and then I've got to sure up what the ARV would be in that area of town. My educated guess would be 360k for a 3/1. So breaking that down into an MAO...

arv(360,000) * .60 - repairs(70,000) - Profit(5,000) = MAO(141,000)

the biggest question that I have no idea about is the repair costs. That really depends on what my buyer wants to do with the house. If they want to knock it down and build a 600k house or if they just want to repair the place and maybe add a bathroom. I guess this is why it's so important to know your buyers.

Anyone have any suggestions on what to do about estimating repair costs? Houses that have had old people living there, in my area, always seem to need the bathrooms and kitchens, flooring and painting completely redone.

So that is where I'm at today. I've got to re look at my goals for this week to make sure I'm on track.

Later
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Which House?

Posted On 5:20 AM by Scott Costello | 5 comments

This week is going to be a busy one! My main goal is to pick out 1 or more of these 4 houses to make an offer on. Take a look.



3 Bedrooms
2 Bathrooms
Asking 360k
SOLD AS IS. LARGE HOME. SOLID MASONRY AND FRAME CONSTRUCTED. HW FLOORS. FRESHLY PAINTED THROUGHOUT. OVERSIZED 2 CAR GARAGE. PROPANE GAS FOR COOKING ONLY. GREAT INVESTMENT FOR HANDYMAN. REPLACEMENT WINDOWS THROUGHOUT EXCEPT LR. 1ST FLOOR DEN OR 5TH BEDROOM. DO NOT USE REAR STEPS. ABOVE GROUND OIL TANK. PROPERTY WAS SUBDIVIDED IN 08.





3 Bedrooms
1 Bathrooms
Asking 339K
HOME IS AN ESTATE.SOLD "AS IS"LARGE LOT TO EXPAND OR JUST FIX UP. GREAT TOWN TO LIVE IN.LOW TAXES!!






3 Bedrooms
2 Bathrooms
Asking 399K
CHARMING CUSTOM HOME IN EXCELLENT AREA, CLOSE TO SCHOOLS & TOWN RECREATION. HOME OFFERS 3 BEDROOMS & 2 FULL BATHS







4 Bedrooms
2 Bathrooms
Asking 359k
DELIGHTFUL RANCH LOCATED IN A VERY NICE AREA, HUGE PROPERTY W/ 3 BDRMS, LARGE ATTIC (POS. ADD''L 2 BDRMS) 2 FULLBATHS, DINING RM, HDWD FLRS, LIVING RM, ENCL. PORCH, 2 LARGE GAR, CONV. TO SHOP & HWYS. FURNACE AND WATER HEATER LESS THAN 3 YEARS OLD, LOW TAXES - SALE SUBJECT TO 3RD PARTY APPROVAL





Probates

I also mentioned I had some questions regarding probates. I looked through the probate files and according to preston ely I should be trying to find Real Estate listed in the Assets. Of the 40 files I looked at, not 1 of them had real estate listed and only 4 or 5 had any assets listed at all. 2 had cars and the others mentioned bank accounts. Is this normal? Are there really going to be that few that have any assets not to mention Real Estate? Should I worry about if it lists real estate as an asset?
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Goals for week 6/8 to 6/14

Posted On 6:50 PM by Scott Costello | 6 comments

Let's review last weeks goals.


  1. Create Facebook Page - DONE

    I managed to pull this feet off. I did catch some flack from my friends because I've told them many times over that I will not ever create a facebook page because I'm not in high school. Well they will soon find out why I created it when it's full of Real Estate Investing stuff. Not sure how it all works just yet but If anyone wants to send me a friend request the email I used is scostell AT yahoo DOT com.

  2. Post Ads on Craigslist Looking for houses - DONE

    I did this early last week and got no responses through my squeeze pages and one response through email that was just a spam response. I think I need to put more ads out there. For this coming week I'm going to put up ads on monday, wednesday and friday. We'll see if that helps the responses

  3. Go to Court House on Friday and Find Probate files - DONE

    I was really proud of myself for doing this as this is the exact type of thing that I would keep putting off. I just put my head down and went for it. I found the surrogates office no problem and with an example docket number that I pulled from the online search, I ask one of the employees where I could find it. She pulled it out for me and I was then off and running. I've got a few key questions about probate files now that I will post about tomorrow, but I'm ready to go back this friday and pull leads leads and more leads...woohooo!


  4. Find a home to make an offer on, then make an offer. - FAILED

    I found a few homes I wanted to do more research on before making an offer, but I didn't get it done. Ii will be making the offer this week. I want to do this badly as I want to find out the process and be ready to go for the next time. Shae I know you are gonna get on me for failing this one...

  5. Redo JerseyRei.com and Rei-Links.com - DONE

    This is done, but only sorta. I still need to add alot more information to the sites, but the setups are there and I'm adding new content every day.



This weeks Goals


  • Make an offer on one of the houses I picked out
  • Go to the courthouse on Friday and get Leads
  • Mail letters to Probate Leads
  • Get my new blog up and running
  • Post Ads looking for Sellers and Buyers on Monday, Wednesday and Friday



Have a productive week!
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What to work on?

Posted On 8:14 AM by Scott Costello | 2 comments

I was reading through my daily blogs and came by a post by Scott Carson that listed the 10 traits a successful investor has as opposed to the 10 traits and bad investor has. Have a read...

10 Characteristics That Make Up Good And Bad Investors

The one major characterisic that I must continue to work on is "to talk with other people". I'm a shy and quiet person by nature and it has always bugged me that the simple task of picking up the phone to call anyone, even my friends, is nerve racking.

I fear that I will not have anything to say, not be able to say what I mean (this happens all the time) or just sound stupid. Depending on who I need/want to call one of those is always the reason why I don't dial that number. I've been working on this over the past year and have gotten much better, but still have a long way to go.

For those that have similar problems, I'll share with you what works for me the best. As soon as I think of a person I want to call I just pick up the phone and call. I don't say I'll call them later, tomorrow or whenever. I call them right then and there. If I'm really nervous I just tell me self "Do it!"

Hope that can help someone.

Articles

I'm in the process of reworking my blog and moving over to a WordPress based site. The main reason is that it gives me more flexibility and I can add different pages like an about page or an articles section. This brings me to my question...would anyone like to write an article about some aspect of wholesaling for me to post on the site? It doesn't have to be long, 500 to 1000 words. I can't pay you, but it's always good to help out your fellow investors :) Just thought I'd ask. And you can put a back-link to your blog or website and gain traffic.

I've been trying to write one article a day to try and get about 20 articles before I launch the new site. I'm far from a writer and my sentence structure and grammer is about a 2 on a scale of 10, but if the info is good who cares right??

Goals

My weekly goals for this week are going ok, I've posted my ads on craigslist and placed my squeeze page links in the ads. No responses yet, but I'll keep that up for sure.

I've also identified about 4 houses I want to take a look at and possibly make offers on.


Funny Stuff

I had a dentist appointment scheduled for today. Thought I set it up for 7:00pm but apparently it was 7:00am. Got a call on my way to work asking where I was. I'm sure they weren't happy. I blame my wife...hahahaha...oh crap hope she doesn't read this.

later
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Posted On 6:11 AM by Scott Costello | 3 comments

Dave Ramsey
I've finally got'n to the point in the book where it's time to start taking action. My wife and I don't have a lot of debt, we've got student loans, two car payments and a mortgage. We don't carry any credit card debt from month to month so we are ahead of most people who would normally follow The Total Money Makeover program, but I want to get rid of ALL my debt. Dave recommends you list your debts in order from least to most. Then start paying off the lowest amount first. That is our student loan which current sits at about $2500. I'll report back on how this goes on a monthly basis. We should take care of this one quickly.

Probates
I've been trying to think of what types of leads would consistently supply me with deals and I keep coming back to probates. The average age in my farm area is 40 yrs old with a population percentage of 15% over 65 years old. Since most people who live in this area stay here, those people who are 65 bought back in the 60's and 70's and have A LOT of equity. My parents who live in town bought their house back in 1976 for 80k and the home is now worth 550k.

Many of these elderly folks are moving on in one way or another if you know what i mean (trying not to sound harsh)? Elderly people tend not to take care of their houses and thus makes it harder for their heirs to sell the place...enter me. Of the 5 phone calls I've gotten from my mailers, 3 of them have been from estate properties. This should tell me something and is why i've been trying to get to the court house for the probate leads.


Hacked Websites
As I mentioned in my weekly goals post, my two websites got hacked and some how they deleted them entirely. Just a warning for those who use Joomla to build webpages, be careful what extensions/plug-ins you use as some may have security holes that allow a hacker to break into your account. Joomla is a great tool and I will continue to use it, but I'll just be more careful and back everything up.

I've gotten the prelims of my sites back up and running. So take a look and if you have an suggestions drop me a comment.

JerseyRei.com
Rei-Links.com

Figured I'd do something new and list a few good blog posts that I've read in the past few days.

Lots of Investor Updates

Stop Work Order

Blogger tip: create a dropdown menu for your labels

Current Recession in Context
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Goals for week 6/1 to 6/7

Posted On 6:36 PM by Scott Costello | 9 comments

As the weather gets warmer so does my will to get this real estate investing career humming. This past week was a short week for me because of Memorial day last weekend so I only set myself 3 goals. While I only officially finished one of them, the other two kinda worked themselves out. Lets take a look...


  1. Create a Buyers Squeeze Page - DONE

    My biggest problem here was finding out what to put on it exactly. I posted a few question in the forums I go to and they helped out. Let me quote a response (by Fadi Zeidan) that I thought was most helpful..
    Who are your buyers? bad credit looking for owner financing, investors, or good credit average people?

    bad credit:
    give them this great talk about how your company specializes in finding affordable owner financed homes regardless of credit, the benefits, and how it works (very simple), and with time add testimonials.

    Investors:
    this is for wholesaling, a simple sign up can do with some sample deals they can find. They would get an email of all available deals as they come in and they can contact you for the one they like.

    Good credit:
    tough one, what is their inventive to buy from you vs buying from a realtor... Finding greatly discounted properties that need little to no work?


    information I would look for:
    1. area of town
    2. age of home
    3. size of home
    4. bedrooms/bath/garage
    5. condition
    6. price range
    7. how much down payment they have
    8. Employment
    9. current income (PITI shouldn't be more than 50% of their monthly income, ideally within 36%. this would prescreen some of them)
    10. Contact information
    11. How soon do they want to move

    For wholesalers of course it is a different story.

    Just some ideas


    Here is my Buyers Page. I think it stinks but I'm always my worst critic.

    Buyers Squeeze Page

  2. Ask my Realtor if my Coastal Funding PreQual is acceptable.

    I never did this, but I am going to take Steph and Shae's advice and just use it. Why raise any red flags. I've heard in the business that it's better to ask for forgiveness then for Permission. I don't agree with that completely, but in this instance it is the best tactic for sure.

  3. Figure out how to use the online information I found on Probates at my surrogates website.

    Well I don't think I'll be able to find the executors address to mail anything to unless I go to the courthouse. The list gives me up until the prior months probated cases (so aprils) and gives the docket number and the name of the executor, but not much else. So i'll go armed with that info to the courthouse this friday and see what I can dig up.

    I hate taking time away from my wife but Friday after I get out of work at noon is the absolute only time I can go. Anyone know if the Morris County courthouse has weekend hours?



This weeks goals

If I get all these done I'll make some great strides! It's a lot to take on but I want to push myself. It does suck that some of it is repeat work

  • Go to the court house on friday and find the probate files (3 week in a row for this one, COME ONE ALREADY!)
  • Find a home to make an offer on, then make the offer!
  • Redo my JerseyRei.com and Rei-Links.com websites because they were HACKED and deleted (If I get a hold of the person who did that I'm gonna most likely go to jail)
  • Post ads on Craigslist looking for houses
  • Create a Face Book page (my wife is making fun of me cause I told her I'd NEVER create one of these. Seems so High School!)
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What I Learned #1

Posted On 5:36 AM by Scott Costello | 2 comments

From reading other people's blogs, I've found that I get a lot out of reading about what others have learned from past deals. The lead that I talked about in the last few posts fell to the grave. The investor I gave the lead to gave the owners a "fair Cash Offer" that I later found out insulted them. When we tried to call them back they wanted nothing to do with us and thought we were all in cahoots. Any way I did learn some things that I would like to share..


  1. As a newbie investor, just setup an appointment to go see the house whether it's a deal or not.

    I say this because it's great practice dealing with people. You can see how their situation affects them personally which is a great learning opportunity. You learn how to deal with them, what you can say to put them at ease and what not to say. I think I did pretty well when I went out to their house. I had them walk me through the place and let them talk. My one problem was that you could tell they were attached to the house, the home they grew up in. They shared a lot of memories with me.
    They wanted to sell the place, but you could tell it wasn't going to be easy for them...which probably means they weren't going to "let it go" for cheap. At least not yet.

  2. When Bird Dogging, only deal with 1 or 2 investors.

    You don't want to be passing your leads off to different people. Work with one or two people only. This gives you the opportunity to really learn what they are looking for and how they operate. You build trust! When I passed the lead to someone I've never met I had no idea what this guy payed, what he was looking for or how he'd handle the owners. I'll never know what would have happened if I passed the lead to 1 of my 2 trusted partners, but I do know that it is not a deal now!

  3. Be more patient

    I was so worried about getting the owners their offer quickly, that I didn't wait long enough for my trusted investors to get back to me. I waited less then 24 hours before I was sending out emails looking for someone else to take the lead. This hurt me I believe.

  4. I can do this!

    Even though the deal didn't happen, I've gotten a lot more confidence in myself and my ability to handle new leads that come in. This lead forced me to talk to other investors and learn how some of them take action. All in all I'm taking away very many positives from this "failed" lead.



I hope this post helps out someone who is just starting out!

Later..
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Goals for week 5/25 to 6/1

Posted On 6:43 PM by Scott Costello | 3 comments

Last week I did ok on my goals. I set some lofty ones and got a good start on them all but with the holiday weekend I got side track towards the end of the week. So lets do a reviewsky...


  • Advertise JerseyRei.com on Craigslist 3 times - DONE

    This was easy and I finish this up last monday. I didn't get many responses at all, I got one person to sign up for the site, but that was about it. It's going to take some time to get this site going. I've added My Lis Pendens list to the site so people can save some time and pull the list right from my site. I also added a section to list properties.

    I tell you...Joomla is a wonderful tool with so many extensions/plugins that you can create any kind of site quickly and easily!

    Joomla.com

  • See if my realtor would accept Coastal Funding prequal - FAILED

    This was stupid of me not to get done. I kept putting if off for some reason and then the week was over and I failed to get it done. This will go on this weeks goals for sure.

  • Create Squeeze Page for Sellers - DONE

    I bought a template for a squeeze page and then used Wordpress to create the page. It was very easy and took me about 2 hours.

    ScottyBuys.com

  • Create Squeeze Page for Buyers - FAILED

    I know how to set the page up now, but I have no idea what to put on it. It's not like the sellers page, I've got to offer something to the buyers in order to get them to fill out the short form. Maybe a weekly Lis Pending List????

  • Go to Courthouse on friday to look for probate leads - NO NEED

    As I was preparing to go to the courthouse last friday, I was looking for directions on the surrogates webpage and what do you know!!! I found a link that listed all the Estated Properties in Morris County! Are you kidding me, has this been there the entire time? or was it just added???? Either way I was pumped.




This weeks Goals


  • Ask realtor if I can use Coastal Funding Prequal to make offers
  • Finish up Buyers Squeeze page
  • Create process to get Executors' mailing address for Probated Estates (I'll use this one for Steph's Accountability Monday)


Short week so I won't overload myself.
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Another Step Closer

Posted On 6:36 AM by Scott Costello | 4 comments

I had a good time spending my memorial weekend with family and friends. Had a bbq to go to each day and got a chance to spend extra time with my wife because she took off work on Sunday and Monday. For those who haven't followed from the beginning, my wife and I work opposite hours so weekends are the only time we really see each other.

On to Rei news....

Saturday I got to meet up with the lead that called my mailers. Went to the house and had them show me around and asked them all about the house and their situation. A nice brother and sister who were in town to clean out the house after their mother had passed away. Here is what I found out...


  • Estated Property
  • Was a complete mess, with stuff all over the house.
  • 3 bedrooms and 1 bath
  • Nothing was owed on the house
  • The siblings wanted to get rid of it to avoid having to clean it up and do repairs in order to sell it (Motivation baby!)


I told them I'd stick them on the "excelerated" plan to try and get them an offer as quick as possible because the family was in town from out of state to clean out the house and all.

I contacted the Guys at NJQuicksell first, but I didn't hear from them for about a day. They usually respond very quickly, but I later found out they were away for the holiday weekend. So I put the lead out there to my meetup group and passed the contact info along to the first person who responded.

This is risky because I don't really know any of them from adam, and I could be passing the lead to a scum bag who is going to take advantage of me. I needed to move quickly so I took my chances. I probably should have discussed my referral fee before passing the info though. That is up in the air and I don't know what he is going to give me.

Anyhow, the guy went out and looked at the house on Monday and made them a cash offer. We are waiting to hear back from them. The investor also told me that is the exact type of house he looks for.

This is the closest I've come to a pay day so far and it has increased my confidence 10 fold.

I realize I didn't post my goals for the week just yet, I'll do so shortly. The holiday weekend put me off schedule.
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House Research and Seller Questions

Posted On 6:15 AM by Scott Costello | 4 comments

I got a call back from the lady who responded to my mailer. I setup an appointment to go see the house on saturday morning. I couldn't get much out of her on the phone. I'm not sure HOW motivated they are as this seems to be the first attempt at selling the home. She said they were going to sign up with a realtor but saw my postcard and wanted to give me a call first. Not screeming motivation to me, but in order to get practice I'm going to meet her and see the house. Which reminds me I've got to do some research on the house before hand. This is what I plan on doing...


  1. Look on Realquest and Zillow to see if I can get a gadge on the house value and the area.
  2. Find the house location on MS Live to see what it looks like from a birdseye view
  3. Look the house up on the county tax records
  4. Locate the mortgage and see if I can figure out how much equity there is.
  5. not sure what else to do...


When I get to the house and talk to the owners I'm going to ask them the following to try and get some info out of them...

In no particular order

  • What has been updated
  • How much do they owe
  • What do they need to sell the house for
  • Any problems with the house
  • Is there an oil tank


If anyone has any other questions I should ask drop me a line.

Have a good holiday weekend everyone! happy BBQing
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You won't beleive this!

Posted On 1:22 PM by Scott Costello | 7 comments

Everyone better sit down, preferably in a chair that isn't to high off the ground...you ready? I just got a call from one of my mailers! Amazing I know...It's been about a month since my last call.

I didn't get much out of this lady, she is going to have her husband call back later (we'll see). She did say they are trying to sell her mother-in-laws house and that they are in florida and the house is in NJ. If they sound motivated after talking to the husband I'll setup an appointment to go see the house and meet them. If that is the case ANYONE want to come with me and take point so I can see how it's done?

I have been slowly coming around to the mind set of "who cares if I mess up, no skin off my back" I do learn quickly from my mistakes so every call is a learning experience.

Other Things

Over the past two weeks I've been sinking my teeth into online networking and learning how to promote my sites. My main goal is to attract people to my sites and by doing so I might earn a little money on the side with my adsense ads or affiliate links. I'm doing my best to offer good quality content and useful webpages as well. My plan is to have the earnings going to fund my marketing. All my sites are based off of what I've learned in REI so far (Rei-Links.com) and being able to network with others in my area (JerseyRei.com).

If anyone knows much about webpage optimization and SEO shoot me an email and we can discuss strategies.

Squeeze Pages

I've created a rough squeeze page and think its pretty good. I can't take credit for all the content as I have borrowed bits and pieces from other sites. I hope that's ok as I ain't no writer. Take a look at the page...

ScottyBuys.com

..the link is www.nnjhouses.com but I'm thinking of changing that to scottybuys.com soon. Which do you think is better? I think ScottyBuys.com is easier to remember.

That's it for today, I've got a lot more to do this week to get my goals accomplished.
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Art of Creative Deal Structuring

Posted On 11:31 AM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

Just a quick post. The other day I listened to a great phone call from Steve Cook that dealt with Creative Deal structuring. if you have a chance down load this and listen...


http://reitips.com/special/deal-structuring/replay/
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Goals for 5/18 to 5/24

Posted On 5:45 PM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

This week was a little hectic as I lost a couple days to some family emergencies. So it was good that I only assigned myself 3 goals. I did ok with all things considered but I think I could have done a better job, lets review...


  • Get pre qualified for a loan. DONE

    This I sort of cheated on cause I had a Pre-Qual letter from Coastal Funding already. Like I mentioned in a previous post I had forgotten I had this but will attempt to use it. I still would like to get pre-approved by an actual bank although I have my doubts that I can at the moment, unless I include my wife. Now I've been doing a lot of thinking about Steve Cooks no debt investing and I'd love to try and figure out how best to do that.

  • Find 2 rehabbers in my area and contact them. DONE

    I found one looking through craigslist ads and sent the guy an email just asking if he'd be intrested in any deals I may come across. The other rehabber is the father of a friend of mine. Granted it's a friend who I don't talk to much at all these days because of life, but I emailed his father as well. Maybe I'll get something back maybe not.

  • Contact the probate at 20 Wilson St. - DONE

    Because I'm a little leary of calling up a family who is grieving from the lose of a loved one I decided to send them a letter. I got this letter from Preston Ely and I hand wrote out the envelope. I think this is the best way and is good practice for next week.



This Weeks Goals


  • Create a Squeeze page for Sellers
  • Create a Squeeze page for buyers
  • Go to the courthouse on Friday to look for Probate leads
  • See if my realtor would accept the Coastal funding PreQual with an offer
  • Go to the Gym twice this week (I needed a fifth goal)



I sometimes have trouble coming up with goals for myself and thought it might be a good idea to have you guys help me sometimes. Anyone care to suggest some goals for me? Maybe we could help each other out and keep each other motivated?

Have a good week! My summer hours start this week so I work 9 hour days M-Th and get a half day on fridays. Totally makes my weekends better!
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Total Money Makeover

Posted On 8:15 AM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

I just got my copy of Dave Ramsey's The Total Money Makeover yesterday in the mail. I'm excited to get into the guts of the book and make some changes to my financial life. Granted my wife and I do a great job of limiting our debt with credit cards (we have none), but even with a decent savings out house mortgage and car payments really keep us having to work our JOBs and be fearful of loosing them. As I'm reading the book I'm sure I'll hit on some topics that I'll post about here so stay tuned!

Steve Cook

Last night Steve Cook had a call about deal structuring that was excellent! He went over different scenarios and explained how he would...


  • Structure the deal
  • What he'd sell the property for
  • What kind of lender he would try and use
  • How to handle the downpayment
  • etc...


Steve is also have what seems to be a wonderful bootcamp coming up in june. I'd love to be able to go, but my wife and I already have plans for that weekend. The price for the bootcamp is $1500, soudns like a lot but hey he gives you all his courses for free which you could easily sell for 1500 + the traveling expenses. That is assuming you already have his material because if you don't you should keep them.


Momentum

Outside of the above, what ever momentum I had a few weeks ago has died out completely. I've got to hunt down another investor who is willing to let me try and sell some of his stuff so I can keep myself in the game.

Maybe a little help...here is the post card I've been sending out and getting no responses from. What could I change? let me have it!

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Networking Attempt

Posted On 10:36 AM by Scott Costello | 1 comments

I'm starting to get the hang of creating webpages pretty quickly using joomla and random templates. Those RocketTheme.com templates are amazing! Anyhow I've always been looking for a forum or group that is really local to the area I'm investing in. The REIA's in my area have investors that are more focused on urban areas such as Newark, Jersey City, Patterson and North Bergan. This doesn't do me very good if I'm looking to network with investors in my area, so i decided instead of me trying to find them let them find me!

With that in mind I created a Forum called...

JerseyRei.com - Northern NJ Investors Forum

I'll be advertising it on craigslist and through my meetup groups to try and attract some members. It only took me about 5 hours to put together so what ever I get out of it will be a bonus.

Pre Qual

Steph's comment on my last post reminded me that I did have a prequal letter from Coastal funding that i got back in October. I'm not sure how I forgot about this, but hopefully I can use it to make offers. Has anyone ran into problems making offers through a realtor with one of these?


Mailers

I've been gotting absoultely NO response from my mailers over the last month. I've been sending out about 100 ever week. That's not a lot but I should be getting 1-3 calls per week but instead...NADA!

I've been following my 7 bucket strategy with repeat mailings and still nothing. Gets a bit frustrating shelling out money for postcards and not even getting tire kickers to call.

Next week my summer hours start at work and I'll be getting a half day on fridays so I'll be headed to the courthouse to try and dig up the Probate files. I've been looking forward to doing this for a few months now. Maybe that is the list that will give me the most response.

I'm never going to give up, so you guys don't have to worry about that. Something will work eventually!
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Goals for 5/11 to 5/17

Posted On 5:21 PM by Scott Costello | 4 comments

Review of last weeks goals

* DONE - Find owner of vacant house

I found out the the owner of the vacant house was the owner of a larger lot that included the house next to it. The house wasn't for sale but part of a future investment.

* FAILED - Get Prequalified so I can make offers

I attampted to get prequalified but was declined because of my debt to income ratio. I was attempting to get the prequal myself only, but the debt that my wife and I have together (house and cars) was counted against my salarie only and not my wife's and mine together. I'll have to try and requalify again using my wife as the coborrower.

* FAILED - Call Hard Money Lender

I didn't do this, I emailed a couple but have yet to hear back. This is an on going issue of mine. The issue of Phones and myself. I will be working on this in weeks to come in order to get more comfortable talking on the phone.

* DONE - Sign up for Realtor Pre-Licensing class

Did this early in the week and will start the class July 24th.

* FAILED - Finish Goals by Saturday

If all went smoothly I would have accomplished this but because I didn't call the hard money lender and get rejected for my prequal, I'll say I failed this.



Goals for this week...


  • Get Prequalified some how

  • Get Names and contact info for 2 builders in my area

  • Call owner of 120 Wilson Pl



...I'm knocking the number down to 3 so I can spend more time getting the Prequal.
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Night off????

Posted On 6:34 AM by Scott Costello | 7 comments

Last night I was sitting in my condo trying to think of something real estate related to do.....I came up with nothing! I was kind of mad at myself because there were 3 hours right in front of me just waiting to be taken advantage of. I looked at my weekly goals and the only thing I didn't have accomplished was calling a hard money lender. Well it was 8pm so a little late for that. I decided to look up a couple here...

Hard Money Lenders

...and sent off an email to one of them who lends in my area. Wow that took up 10 minutes of my time!!

It was just one of those frustrating, I have no idea what to do now, moments that I'm sure will hit me many more times. I just don't like that feeling of wasting time.

So I fiddled with my webpages a little bit and played with my dog.

But of course now that I'm writing this blog entry I think of the perfect way I could have spent that time...Looking over my short and long term goals. Well I'll keep that in mind for the next time I get lost in what to do.

Random Things

I bought the book Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey.

I just notified my mortgage broker to go ahead and send in the paper work for my personal refinance. Then I got this explanation (here) that changed my mind. The main reason is I didn't think about


  • The already lost money from my original loan's closing costs.
  • Restarting the term all over again.
  • Losing of 4000 in equity because we were rolling the closing costs into the new loan.


I also just didn't want to get stuck living in my current condo longer then I want to because I had to justify refinancing. That just seems ass-backwords. Am I off base in thinking this? ahh, I keep going back and forth. I've got the rate locked in so I'm just gonna take the weekend to think about it and discuss it. if anyone has any opinions drop me a comment please.

Thanks
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Pre-Qualified

Posted On 11:28 AM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

Today is my day to try and get Pre-Qualified. I talked to the broker that is working with the realtor I just found and I actually got rejected for any kind of mortgage...haha. That is basically because I was trying to pull the mortgage myself (excluding my wife) and making 80k and 800 credit score just wasn't going to cut it with my current bills (even though those bills are shared with my wife). I didn't want them to run my wife's credit before talking to her about it, but the guy was confident we could get something done if I included her. As part of being a good husband I'm not going to make that decision without my better half's say.

As I sat in my cube, after talking with the broker, I got one of those DUUHHH moments. See, I'm currently getting my own mortgage refinanced so why not just ask that guy if I could get a Pre-Qual from him?? he already has all my financial info and my wifes, so no more credit checks. Is that going back on what I said in my last paragraph? I'm not sure.

Twitter

I've gotten my iPhone3g and it's pretty cool so far. I'm going to have to get use to the size of it as it's bigger then my old blackberry pearl. Anyhow, I downloaded a twitter app and plan on tweeting when I do something or get an idea. This will serve as a reminder of what i want to write about in my blog and also give you guys a status on how my goals are going. So feel free to follow my tweets :)
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Blank Mind

Posted On 6:13 AM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

I didn't get much done yesterday. I got caught up watching the Yankees and playing with my dog. I knew I shouldn't have turned that TV on, it just saps the willpower right out from underneath you.

I did sign up for the training to get my Realtor License. It will start on July 21st and to through September 24th. Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:00 to 9:45pm. I'm looking forward to it, but it reminds me a lot of summer school in college and I hated that! haha

I also worked out some of the kinks on the new format for my blog. I'm liking it for the most part now that I understand how I can manipulate the template a little bit. The new twitter feature is pretty cool, I just have to get into the twitter world. As you can see I've tried some but I can never be consistent. Maybe it will be easier when i get my new Iphone 3g today, I here there is a nice twitter app for it.

I always think of 100 things to talk about on my blog at night, but when I sit down to write something my mind goes blank...figures. I'll write another post when they pop into my head so stay tuned...
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Bloggy Award! - Almost Forgot

Posted On 12:23 PM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

The winner of the first ever Bloggy Award for

INFO BLOG Is...

RealEstateBlackbook.com/blog




Was a close Vote.

7 - RealEstateBlackbook.com/blog
6 - Rei Tips
3 - FadiZeidan.com
2 - DavidAlexander.com/blog


The next Award will be for "Best Wholesaler Blog" Voting will begin tonight
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Productive Weekend

Posted On 11:59 AM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

I got alot of things done this past weekend. From my last post you can see I finished up all my goals for the week which is good. I finally called two For Rent signs. One I left a message to get back to me, I asked about the rent and size of the place. If the realtor calls me back I will ask if the owner is interested in selling the house or looking to buy more. The number for the other house got me to the voice mail of a lawyer?!? Does anyone know if that means anything significant or not?

Borded up House

I found this borded up house that I took down the address. I put a pen and sticky note pad in my car so I can write down anything I see. The sticky notes help as the paper doesn't slide around when I write with one hand. Anyhow I got home and tried to look up the address on the tax records and the house was not there???? how can that be? I think I'm going to go a leave a bright orange sign on the door or something. Anyone have any ideas as to how this isn't listed in the tax records?


Realtor

I just got a call from the realtor about the "Buyers MLS" account they were setting up for me was ready. I will give it a good run through tonight and report back. Seems interested to say the least. The realtor actually has the service through a brokerage that they work with which I could probably get pre qualified by. Kill two birds with one stone.

New Look to my Blog

I got tired of my blog look so I found this template and wanted to try it out. I really like the top portion with the title and the picture. The width of the blog area might be a little to small though. If anyone has any comments or a feature doesn't work let me know.

Have a good Monday!
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A little Renovation...

Posted On 7:45 AM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

...on my blog. Just trying out a new template that seems pretty cool. What do you guys/gals think? I'm liking it so far!
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Goals for 5/4 to 5/10

Posted On 7:47 PM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

I did well this week with my goals. finished all 5 of them...

1) Get the numbers for 2 For Rent houses

This wasn't easy as I think I got the only 2 houses that are For Rent in my town. I now remember back a few months a did some research of the percent of rentals in some areas and Hanover came back at less then 1 percent. The couple for rents I've seen in the past seem to have disappeared.

Call 2 Landlords

I called the two numbers, both of them where Weichert listings. I got a voice mail and left a message on one and the other was some lawyers voice mail. I didn't leave a message, should I have?

Finish Reading "The 4 Hour Work Week"

Just finished this up tonight. Great book and it dealt with a lot of what I've been thinking about over the past 6 months. Ideas I picked up from this book are the 80/20 rule (i.e. 80% of the work is done in 20% of the time. This can be applied to everything in life pretty much). The idea is to not worry about the last 20% or eliminate that from your life, thus freeing up a lot of time! I agree with this. Another concept is automation and deligation. READ THE BOOK!

Get all the information for Pre-Licensing course

Did this early in the week and posted about it in a previous post so I won't rehash.

Ask 1 Realtor if i could use their MLS access

I did this but got denied. I asked an appraiser friend of mine, but he just didn't feel comfortable giving out his user name and password. I did however talk to a realtor this weekend who is setting me up with some sort of account for their own personal webpage that will give me access to some buyers site. I will get pretty much the full MLS. Not sure what it's all about just yet but I will report back.


Goals for this week


  • Sign up for the Realtor Course
  • Get Pre-qualified so I can make offers
  • Call Hard Money Lender
  • Find owner of a vacant house (I will post about this tomorrow)
  • Finish my goals by Saturday leaving Sunday to plan for the upcoming week

How do those sound??

Have a good week everyone, Monday's are the best!
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Driving around in my automobile

Posted On 6:21 AM by Scott Costello | 1 comments

In an attempt to find the "for rent" houses in my area, I drove around my neighborhood on my way home from work yesterday. Unfortunately I couldn't find the houses that I thought were for rent, but I did see a couple of houses that were of some interest. It just hit me, that I should have taken a picture and posted it here. Anyhow, the house looks like it was going to be renovated but they only got as far as tearing off the roof and stripping down the rest of the house to just walls. Their is a big blue tarp covering the house as well. It had a Keller Williams For Sale sign in the front yard. I wrote down the number and I'm going to give them a call to see what is up.

Also I'm not sure if anyone remembers from a post back in the fall, but the house the was vacant (woman died and now the children own it) stills seems to be vacant. It's definitely in the probate process so If I can dig up the number of one of the children I had I'm gonna call them again and see how things are going :)

My Goals for this week are going ok. I've accomplished two of them

  • Asked a realtor for mls access, but got declined
  • Got the information for the Pre-Licensing realtor training
  • Got one For Rent number (need one more)
  • Have 120 pages left in the "4 hour work week". I'm a slow reader so it's going to be close!
  • Still need to call 2 Landlords - WHY DO I KEEP PUTTING THIS OFF??????

Craigslist Ads

I've been consistently getting responses from my ads. Probably 2 to 3 people every week. This week I've lined up a couple of Short Sale investors to throw leads at when I get some. Also was looking for a realtor who would submit my offers and got two good candidates that I will set up a meeting with. I also had a Hard Money lendor email me and tell me he has alot of clients who would be interested in deals. The more people you know the better!!

I've found that the simple ads work the best. One or two sentences. everytime I get to wordy I get no responses. Just food for thought to anyone reading this.


Goals Website

Biting off of what Steph is doing on her blog with Accountability Monday, I was thinking that it would be cool to have a website that strickly dealt with Goal setting and accountability. Who likes that idea?
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Realtor Pre-Licensing School

Posted On 10:30 AM by Scott Costello | 3 comments

I found a pre-licensing school that holds classes on tuesday and thursdays from 6 to 9:45pm. It runs from July to the end of September. I'm going to sign up for that course, it will cost me $345 which isn't to bad. It is a weichert sponsered training, and if anyone is interested here is the link..

www.schoolsofrealestate.com

I just missed the start of the course going on right now by 2 weeks, which sucks but that's what i get for putting this off.

Not many people voting for Best Rei Info Blog yet...come on and support ReiTips.com or any other info blog you enjoy. Takes only a few seconds.


I also go an email from a hard money lender in response to my ad looking for Short Sale Investors. He wants me to call him, but I'm not sure what I'd say. haha, I hate that feeling!!
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Blogger Award: Best Info Blog

Posted On 6:01 PM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

I've setup the voting for the first round of Rei Blogger Awards. You can vote here...

Rei Blogger Award: Best Info Blog

Voting will last until May 3rd. Reward your favorite blog!

This award will go to the best blog that provides Tips, Articles, Resource, tools and anything else an investor would need to know to be a successful investor. To give you an idea, ReiTips.com I call an Info Blog as it's not a journal like my blog is.

If you know of another deserving Info Blog, please leave a post in the message boards on the site and I will ad it.


Today I asked my appraiser friend if I could bum his MLS access off of him, but he declined. He said that he is on it all the time and if someone else tries to log in using his account it would bump him off. No hard feelings :) I'll keep asking anyone I know.

The original realtor that I asked about making offers sent me an email the other day wondering if I've found anyone that will take a copy of a check which will be deposited on the acceptance of an offer. For some reason I took that as a dig, like he didn't beleive I could find someone...I say Ha! I will find someone.

On the Mialer front, I've continued to mail out my mailers religiously on sundays. I'm sending out about 75 each sunday to absentee owners and pre-foreclosures. I know that's not alot but I'm concentrating on a small area. Remember "Hanover Scott"

For all you web developers out there I've come across an incredible tool called Firebug that shows you the CSS on any webpage. It's great to see which Style is overriding another. I've used it extensively to understand the order of CSS's in joomla.

Asta Luego
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Goals for 4/27 to 5/3

Posted On 6:52 PM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

Review of last weeks goals

  1. Get a copy of Daily Record and hunt down the legal section to find probates - DONE
  2. Find out when the next Auction is and make plans to attend - DONE
  3. Call 2 For Rent signs that are in front of houses - Failed
  4. Find a Realtor who will allow me to make offers with not putting down 1000 earnest money per offer. Allow copy of check and "money deposited on acceptance of offer" - DONE
  5. Finalize Format and content on REI-Links.com - DONE

#2 I found the auction but can't make it to one because they are on Thursday at 2pm and I'm at work. I will have to take a half day off from work to make it. I will do that after I've accumulated a few more vacation days.

#3 I planned to do this over this past weekend, but I didn't realize how much time my Nieces' Christenings where going to take of my time. So I never got around to getting the numbers of of the for rent sign. Not a good excuse as it would have taken me 5 minutes to drive by the houses. This is a BIG FAIL and a goal I will accomplish this week.

This Weeks Goals

  1. Get the numbers for 2 For Rent Signs
  2. Call 2 Landlords
  3. Finish Reading 4 hour work week
  4. Get all the information for getting my Realtor License
  5. Ask 1 Realtor if I could use their MLS access to do some research

On to another week!
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Done, Done, Not done, not done, almost done

Posted On 10:27 AM by Scott Costello | 3 comments

I've managed to get two of my goals done as of this post. I discussed the sheriff sale auctions in a previous post and yesterday I got a hold of the Daily record to hunt down the legal section. I found the section but didn't not find anything about probates or executors being appointed. Does anyone have a copy of one of the legal listings for this? I'd like to just see what it looks and sounds like. Is the best day for these sunday?

I have been working on my website a lot this week in order to get it done. While in the shower the other morning I came up with an idea to hold a REI Bloggy Awards. I'm going to set up voting on rei-links for different categories like "Best Wholesaler Blog" (we know who will win this, but it should be fun anyway). I'll open the voting next sunday. And the winner of each category will get a cool little trophy to stick on their blogs. What do you think? I think it's a good way to bring alot of people closer and get us all reading each other's blogs. The more people you know in the business the better!

I've asked a few more realtors about the Earnest Money deposit and they have come back with the same story. Although one said that at least I can write a check for each offer, but it won't get cashed until the offer is accepted. Only stipulation is that the check would have to be dated the same day as the date on the offer. I think this could work out. If I make multiple offers on the same day I only have to write one check.

My next push is to get MLS access. I need to build some relationships!

Enjoy the beautiful weekend...gonna be 80 on sunday here in Jersey!!
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My 5 Affirmations - thanks jerry

Posted On 6:20 AM by Scott Costello | 3 comments

Was reading Jerry's blog and he talked about affirmations. Now i typically find those things a bit out there (no offense to anyone), but I'm about trying different things these days so here are my 5....
  • Practice, patience and persistence assure my success.
  • I know that my greatest goals are achievable. I know that my every dream is reachable
  • My life is a positive reflection of my thoughts
  • I choose goals that reflect what I want most in my life
  • I let go and trust
...So it is.

If you want to see where I got those from go over to Jerry's blog and find the link to the page.


I looked into the Sheriff Sales for my county and they are every thursday at 2pm...of course they are when I'm at work!?!?!?! They do list the properties online at...

Morris County Sheriff Sales


I cool thing happened today from my craigslist ads, I got a response from a fellow member of Flippinghomes.com forum. I recognized her name, Terry Harrigan, and she said "Yup" it was her. So I thought that was pretty cool. She responded to my ad about finding short sale investors who'd like the upside down leads that I get. She was looking for the same so I referred her to NJQuicksell.

Have a good rest of the week.
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100!!!

Posted On 10:37 AM by Scott Costello | 6 comments

Always feels good to accomplish one of your goals, but it feels even better when you've reached a long term goal. It's taken me roughly 8 months but I finally reached my goal of going to see 100 open houses.


More like 250 days...hahaha


My next goal will be to talk to 50 sellers. My count is currently at 3, so i'm gonna have to kick my mailings up a notch.

I bought a list of absentee owners from ListSource.Com for $50, which was about 350 names. I broke that down to 50 names per list and setup my mailings in Click2Mail so I know when to send each block out. Sent out the first 50 yesterday with a new very simple Post Card i setup. Pretty much is a yellow postcard that says.

Scotty Buys Houses

Do you Need to Sell your House?
Doesn't matter the reason call me today

Scott Costello
973-476-0684


I'm going to stick with my montra of keep it simple.


Follow ups....

I didn't have any luck with the recent lead I came upon. They guy never picked up the phone so I just passed all his information on to NJquickSell.com as their wasn't enough room to wholesale the house anyway, it would most likely have to be a shortsale if anything.

As for my trying to line up the buyer with the seller, I haven't heard anything new about it since I directed my buyer to talk with the seller to discuss getting payed. I'll follow up next week.

That is it, well there is probably more but I can't remember at the moment :)
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Goals - 4/20 to 4/27

Posted On 7:21 PM by Scott Costello | 1 comments

Review of last weeks goals

  • Ask my Realtor what I need to make an offer on a house (proof of funds,etc..) - DONE
  • Email some of the wholesalers I know and see if they are selling any properties - DONE
  • Get a copy of the Daily Record and hunt down the legal section to find probates - FAILED
  • Buy the list of out of state owners for Hanover - DONE
  • Add 10 more Links to Rei-Links.com - DONE
  • Get Pre Paid cell phone - Looked into this but decided to wait for Google Voice to become available.

Goals for this week

  1. Get a copy of Daily Record and hunt down the legal section to find probates
  2. Find out when the next Auction is and make plans to attend
  3. Call 2 For Rent signs that are in front of houses
  4. Find a Realtor who will allow me to make offers with not putting down 1000 earnest money per offer. Allow copy of check and "money deposited on acceptance of offer"
  5. Finalize Format and content on REI-Links.com
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Feeling Dumb

Posted On 10:41 AM by Scott Costello | 1 comments

One of the biggest obstacles I'm finding out now that I'm starting to be involved in the deals is feeling dumb. Nobody likes to feel dumb or feel like they don't have the answers. As a beginner I run into a lot of questions from other investors or even sellers that I can't answer.

The good thing is that I'm of the mind set now that I don't care about that, I know I'm new and have a lot to learn. That uncomfortable feeling though is a hard one to over come and has caused me to not do something in the past. All about stepping outside the box!

Ok, back to the fun stuff...

I was trying hard to stay in the middle of my buyer (lets call him Frank) and the seller of the house in whippany. When it came down to how Frank was going to get paid, I honestly didn't know. I could give him half of what I might get, but Frank was talking about tacking on $10k to the deal and selling it that way to his buyer. That is fine and all, but I told him we would have to assign the contract over to him first and then he could assign it to his end buyer.

I think that is how it would work?

He was throwing some other ideas at me that I didn't understand to well (definitely not enough to try and explain it here, we might have just been he was using terms I wasn't familiar with). At this point I told him he'd have to call my partner to handle how he was going to get paid.

Right there I might have just taken myself out of a paycheck and introduced a possible buyer to a seller and might get end a rounded with the next deal that comes up. But hey I'm trying to learn from all of this, soooo......


Lead

I tried calling that lead back yesterday to find out a few things I forgot to ask him like...

  • Why he hasn't used a realtor yet?
  • If he had a second mortgage
  • If he was behind in payments (I figure he's behind because of the Lis Penden filed against him, but I could be wrong)
...he didn't answer though even though he was expecting a call from me that evening. Oh well, I'll try again.


I will say all of this is kind of fun and exciting!!

I also bought a list of absentee owners from Listsource today. $53
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Follow up

Posted On 11:58 AM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

The Call

This guy called 3 times with in a 24 hour period. The first two calls I missed while I was at work on tuesday, but he called again wednesday around lunch so I picked up. I explained what I did and then asked if I could call him back later that night at 7:30. Bill Guerra says this establishes trust because you follow through and now he has confidense in what you say.

The details...

His house is has a ARV of over a million. 6 beds 4.5 baths. He recently lost his job and was on disability and couldn't cover his mortgage. It was built in 1998 and he owes around 1 million on it still. Looks like he refinanced in 2006 to take all the equity. He is definitely motivated but doesn't really have alot of equity, maybe 100k, but that's to tight for a house worth upwords or a million.

I passed it along to the guys at NJQuicksell. They will try a short sell and maybe help the guy with a loan modification.

Buyer for Seller
Jarred got another house in Whippany so I pushed the house onto my buyers list and one of the guys has a guy who is interested. The guy wants to finance though and Jarred is looking to assign the contract. Not sure how this is going to work out, but we'll see.



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action

Posted On 5:33 PM by Scott Costello | 1 comments

Just talked to a seller who called me from my mailings and in the process of lining up a buyer (actually a buyers buyer) with a seller.

Things are slowly happening, will expound (ooo big word!) on it tomorrow.
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Explained

Posted On 9:28 AM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

I said in last nights post that I would explain how a reached a few of my goals last week. So here it is..


Organizing my mailings

I decided to go back to click2mail as I figured out how to send letters. So I setup a letter template and I'm all set there. As to how I'm going to keep track of when I should mail out what, I came up with a modified bucket strategy. It has to do with the mailing list name.

Each week I upload the new list of leads. I will call this...

1 - LT - 2009 - 04 - 12

What this means is...

1: Mailing number 1
LT: going to mail a Letter
2009-04-12: date I should mail the item.

So after I sent out the Letters, the new list name would be..

2 - PC - 2009 - 04 - 26

2: second mailing
PC: Post Card
2009-04-26: Date I should mail the Post Card

I will continue this every week. And after the 7th Mailing the list will be deleted. Now I can look at the dates and see which items I have to send out and also see what I need to send. Simple!

Unfortunately now I have 1000 envelopes and nothing to put in them...well i'll just have to randomly right letters to people or send out my business cards to people in the area. I'll think of something to use them for.

Moving On

I've already contacted my realtor asking what I would need to submit an offer and he said...

I would need a signed contract, a deposit check of $1000 that will be held in Weicherts Trust Account until closing, and a pre approval notice or proof of funds if you are paying cash or taking a line of credit


I've since asked him if I could send a copy of a check and put into the contract that a check would be deposited upon acceptance of the offer. This way I wouldn't have to outlay thousands of dollars to escrow accounts on offers that probably won't be accepted. He is going to look into it.


This goal setting stuff works!
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Goals - Wk 4/13 to 4/19

Posted On 8:03 PM by Scott Costello | 3 comments

Last Weeks Goals


  • Get organizer that can hold Letter Mailers - Done
  • Setup Click2Mail to send out postcards to match my mailer schedule - Done
  • Get More Stamps - Done
  • Modify Mailer to include info about "Right of First Refusal" - Done
  • Investigate adding a referral P.S. in my letters and postcards for information about other houses needing to be sold. - Done
  • Add 20 Links to my REI-Links.com website - Done


I will elaborate on each item tomorrow.



This Weeks Goals

  • Ask my Realtor what I need to make an offer on a house (proof of funds,etc..)
  • Email some of the wholesalers I know and see if they are selling any properties
  • Get a copy of the Daily Record and hunt down the legal section to find probates
  • Buy the list of out of state owners for Hanover
  • Add 10 more Links to Rei-Links.com
  • Get Pre Paid cell phone
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Flying by!!

Posted On 8:09 AM by Scott Costello | 2 comments

Where does the week go? it's already Wednesday for crying out loud! Today is the day I review my weekly goals to see if I'm on track. So let's see how I'm doing.

1) Get Organizer that can hold Letter Mailers.

No - I'm going to take a look in Staples tomorrow to see about this.

2) Setup Click2Mail to send out postcards to match my mailer schedule that I outlined in a previous post

No - Did not do this yet

3) Get More Stamps

YES - But going to need more for the next batch. Man this is getting crazy. This might force me to go back to strictly postcards or another click2mail option.

4) Modify Mailer to include info about "Right of First Refusal"

No - This will be done tomorrow

5) Investigate adding a referral P.S. in my letters and postcards for information
about other houses needing to be sold.

No - This will be done tomorrow as well

6) Add 20 Links to my REI-Links.com website

Half Done - should finish this tomorrow as well.



Pre Paid Cell Phone
I've also decided to get a PrePaid cell phone to handle all my calls from the mailers. I keep missing calls or freezing because I don't want to answer the phone at work and have everyone in cube land hear me. God forbid my boss walks in on me while I'm talking business.

I've got a gift card for Best Buy that I will use to by the phone. I'll then record a professional and relevant voice mail message. Also since I know I'll only be getting calls from my marketing, I can call back the numbers that don't leave messages.


DU Refi Plus Mortgage Refinance

Not exactly investing related, but I just found out from talking to my neighbor (who is a broker) that Fannie Mae just instituted the DU Refi Plus which basically says, and I quote

Along with the federal government's Making Home Affordable program, Fannie Mae has introduced "Desktop Underwriter (DU) Refi Plus™", a new program designed to reignite the mortgage industry by streamlining the refinance process for potentially millions of Americans. Fannie Mae has loosened the rules for homeowners seeking lower monthly payments. The less-stringent criteria includes lower acceptable credit scores, reduced income documentation, as well as waiving the requirement for appraisals in certain scenarios. According to Brian Faith, Managing Director of Communications regarding DU Refi Plus™, "Under DU Refi Plus™, the company will be able to identify an existing Fannie Mae loan and review the performance history. This will allow lenders, regardless of the servicer, to enjoy expanded refinancing business opportunities and streamlined processing..."


Also for more information go here...

DuRefiPlus.com
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Target Hanover

Posted On 10:08 AM by Scott Costello | 3 comments

As you can see that I've decided to start posting my weekly goals on Sunday nights. These are things I'm going to do as well as my weekly scheduled stuff. They are going to be small items, that I can accomplish relatively easily.

I believe I'm really starting to understand goal setting and how to properly set them up so you succeed. Now lets see if I'm successful.

Goals I set for this past weekend


  • Review, analyze and Rework my goals some. - CHECK
  • Post ads on craigslist advertising a new house that Jarred is selling. - FAIL
  • Create a system to organize my mailings - CHECK
  • Look at open houses on sunday (only 10 more till 100) - CHECK
  • rework my post card a little - FAIL
  • mail out more letters - CHECK


I should have completed all of these things easily but I got caught up working on my webpage a little to much. Time flies when you are developing!!

Open Houses



Went out and looked at 5 more open houses this weekend, that brings me to 95! Only five more.

I've noticed that I've been getting a lot of "You look familiar" comments from the realtors at these open houses. I'll take that as a good sign, but they still don't know my name...I'll have to change that! What did occur to me was something I've heard from Bob Norton everytime I listen to his audios, "Become the export in your area, be know as Pontiac Bob." I want to be know as "Hanover Scott", I want to be the person who other investors come to when they want a house in Hanover.

From my craigslist ads advertising houses in whippany, I've gotten at least a dozen inquiries which tells me there are investors actively looking in my area. This is going to be my focus. Before I was concentrating on a few towns, but i've learned that it was still a little to large of an area for me right now.

Mailers

Instead of hand writing all the addresses on my mailer envelopes, I found a font that looked hand written and just used that and setup a mail merge to print the addresses on the envelopes. Did it in blue as well :)

That's it for today
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Goals for Week 4/6 to 4/12

Posted On 7:18 PM by Scott Costello | 2 comments

- Get organizer that can hold Letter Mailers
- Setup Click2Mail to send out postcards to match my mailer schedule that I outlined in a previous post
- Get More Stamps
- Modify Mailer to include info about "Right of First Refusal"
- Investigate adding a referral P.S. in my letters and postcards for information about other houses needing to be sold.
- Add 20 Links to my REI-Links.com website
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Weekend Plans

Posted On 10:58 AM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

Nothing new over the past two days except for working on my REI Links webpage a little bit. If you have the time go check it out and give me some feedback. It's not nearly done and on only has 3 links so far, but the format is there and you can get a good idea of where i'm going with it.

Rei-Links.com

Weekend Plans

This weekend I'm going to do the following...


  • Review, analyze and Rework my goals some.
  • Post ads on craigslist advertising a new house that Jarred is selling
  • Create a system to organize my mailings (Read Neds comment a few posts down about the 7 bucket method).
  • Look at open houses on sunday (only 10 more till 100)
  • rework my post card a little
  • mail out more letters



I've been brain storming (pun intended cause it is POURING outside right now) lately trying to come up with ways to have passive income coming in and i'm not getting to many ideas. How are some of you getting passive income, outside of rental property? There might not be many ways, but I figured I throw that out there for discussion.
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Uuuuu Almost!

Posted On 5:40 AM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

Yesterday I had one of the people on my buyers list say he had someone who was "Really Interested" in a house I was shopping for another wholesaler I know. But wouldn't you know it, they just accepted an offer on the house. SO CLOSE! There's another house coming up in whippany that I'm going to pimp to my ever growing buyers list, maybe this time!

The craigslist ads that I've been posting to find buyers has been working pretty good. I just keep it simple and general.

70% of LTV houses in Whippany
Cash buyers prefered
Call or email for more details

I find if I get to wordy I don't get the responses. The best ad so far has been the one where I advertised the House in Whippany for Jarred. Most have been investors that have replied, but a few have been OOs.

I've gotten a total of 8 buyers on my list now. One says he is a cash buyer which is good. I don't know the quality of them, but I guess at this stage I'll get as many buyers as possible and weed out the GOOD ones later.


Got A Call!

Yesterday I got a call from my mailers...YES! Let me first say I really don't want to be taking the calls at work, cause I live in Cube Land and everyone can hear your phone conversations. Not a good idea to be talking about my real estate business at me J.O.B. Getting back to the caller....I haven't gotten a call in a while so I was off my game, he asked me "What kind of foreclosure service I was" and since I wasn't expecting that I said..."Oh I'm not a service, I buy houses, are you interested in selling?" He then mumbled an "Oh, Ok" and then thanked me and hung up.

Now what I should have said was that I offer a few services that could help him out. Then asked if I could call him back later that evening to talk about his options.

One of my weaknesses is I don't think very clearly when put on the spot, at least when I'm nervous. This will get better as I field more calls.

REI-Links.com

I've registered the domain name and have setup the framework for the website. I know what the content is going to be, but I've got to figure out how to categorize the links. Such as flippinghomes.com would be a "Education" and TampaStephs blog would be a "Blog". I will also have "Forums" and "Resources" categories. I'm going to have an "editor's Review and Rating" and also want to setup "User Reviews" as well as "Link Submissions". In the end it shouldn't really be to hard to get content, the hard part is going to be making it simple and usable. I'm thinking Web 2.0!


Have a good hump day
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2 years!

Posted On 11:25 AM by Scott Costello | 5 comments

This past weekend was dedicated to my wife as we were celebrating our 2 year anniversary! Yea us! I love my wife and hopefully she'll still love me while I'm trying to make our lives better. hehe


So with the above being said, All I did this past weekend was get more mailers ready to print out. I've got a big batch going out today (when I pick up stamps) on the way home. I've also thought of a plan for sending out mailers, here it is...

1st Mailer: Send out Letter
2nd Mailer: Send postcards (2 weeks later)
3rd Mailer: Send Postcards (1 Month later)
4th Mailer: Send Postcards (2 Months later)
5th Mailer: Send Letter & Business Card (3 Months later)
6th Mailer: Send Postcard (4 Months later)
7th Mailer: Send Postcard (6 Months Later)


I think the above sounds pretty good. Now I just need a good and easy way to track all of this. I could create some simple program to do it but I'm not sure I want to invest the time for that. Then again, a little time invested now will save me a lot of time later on. Does anyone have software that you can set this all up in and it will just spit out letters or postcard reminders with one click of a button?
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No Paper Cuts!

Posted On 5:42 AM by Scott Costello | 3 comments

Let me tell you, I don't know how anyone can consistently mail out letters to 100's of people per week unless they have help or some fancy machine that stuffs for you. Because I wanted to have the envelopes hand addressed, I created, addressed, folded, stuffed, sealed and stamped 55 mailers last night. 55 doesn't sound like a lot but it gave me a good feel for how much time it really takes to do it.

I am happy to report though that I didn't get one paper cut! Those frig'n envelopes have sharp edges...There was one close call but with my refined reflexes and callused fingers I managed to avoid injury.

And of course I came up 7 stamps short though, so I'll only be mailing out 48. figures!

Rei-Links.com

I've been think of making a website that would just have Links to REI related websites and resources. It would be broken down by category and also have user reviews of the sites. I think that could be very handy. I was also throwing around an idea of having something like a LinkShare, where people can share their Favorite links with others. Just a few ideas that came to mind in the shower this morning. Comments?


Buyer News

One of the potential buyers I found for the house in Whippany wasn't interested but said to send him anymore leads I might get. The other buyer hasn't gotten back to me after I informed him it wasn't my deal. So maybe he went around me or is just not interested because he was going to find a buyer instead of buying it himself. This was a good experience, just going back and forth with these guys.
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Another buyer

Posted On 11:38 AM by Scott Costello | 0 comments


Got another potential buyer looking at the house I'm shopping for Jarred the wholesaler. I wasn't sure I should mention up front that I'm not the person who got the house under contract, so I didn't. But the questioning quickly got to the point where I had to let him know I was shopping the deal for another person. He said he may have other buyers who may be interested in it...man where does the chain stop? How would one break down this situation....

Wholesaler -> Me -> "Buyer"(but not really) -> "Buyers" Buyer ->.....

It could go on like that forever. Someone has to be cut out of the deal, yes? What do I offer the person who found the guy who found the buyer when I was suppose to be bringing the wholesaler the buyer? That is one tangled web!!



Nate Andres Teleconference

Great call put on by Nate and Steve last night. It went on for 2 and 1/2 hours and was full of very useful information. He outlined the steps to sell to an owner occupant as well as gave tips on how to market and screen the OOs. If it comes out on an audio that can be bought, it'll be well worth it. I'm hoping I'll get a free copy of it cause I want to hear it again.


Non-Rei Note
I just spend my entire lunch break looking for a car wash near were I work. I was happy to see that my GPS had many car washes listed in the points-of-interest, but to my disgust the first 4 I zeroed in on DID NOT EXIST!! In fact the GPS lead me to houses in residential areas. I'll never get that hour back.
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3 weeks in a row

Posted On 10:21 AM by Scott Costello | 2 comments

I was running along good for a two months with getting my pre-foreclosure leads off the public records website until the last 3 weeks. The first Sunday I thought maybe it was a system problem. The second Sunday I figured it was some more maintenance going on with the site. Now for the third Sunday in a row the site was down so I'm going to change my schedule around and adapt.

Monday
9 to 10pm: Respond to Ads on Craigslist or Further my Network by contacting other investors,Realtors or anybody in the business

Tuesday:
9-10pm: Post Ads on Craigslist looking for buyers and sellers

Wednesday:
9-10pm: Organize my time, review my goals and see if i'm still on track

Thursday:
8-10pm: Download Pre-Foreclosure Leads from Public Notices and create mailer letters.

Friday: All About my Wife

Saturday: All About my Wife

Sunday:
1-4pm: View Open Houses
8-9pm: Write address on envelopes and mail out mailers.
10-11pm: Review My goals and set new goals for upcoming week.


I realized I needed wednesday to review my goals again because I was getting off track in the middle of the week. This should help keep me straight.


Buyers

I've got a total of 4 buyers on my buyers list right now. One of the guys on the list is going to look at a house that another wholesaler is trying to sell. maybe he likes the place and is willing to buy it and I get a little "buyers finder fee"? That would be nice.

Open Houses

Went to 5 more on Sunday so that brings my total up to 90! One of them actually had an indoor pool?!?! It wasn't a big house by any standards and definitely did not look like a house that should have an indoor pool. They just dropped that house by 150,000 bucks and it's an estate so I was thinking of offering something real low, but I wanted to do more research on the property first. With out the pool the house isn't any where near the asking price. The other thing I'm thinking about is that it's the Odd ball house on the block and that usually means stay away. What do you think?
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Accountability Partner Wanted

Posted On 11:15 AM by Scott Costello | 3 comments

Man what a great 4 day weekend. Outside of the 12 hours of driving I logged (well my wife did at least half) I had a really good weekend. I'm sure I'll forget some stuff to tell you guys, so I'll post again tomorrow with anything I missed.

Steve Cook's Wealth Explosion

Let me first off say I was expecting a lot out of this boot camp. I've heard so many good things about them that how could I not? It was well worth it and I'd do it again and again. I could listen to Steve talk about Real Estate Investing and his Lifaniare vision all day long.

The first day was a run through of how Steve got started and all about what it takes to become an investor. Always worth hearing, even though i've heard it all before from reading his courses and reading his posts online.

The second day was the bomb! We through out situations and discussed them as a group and also came up with some really great ideas for securing a property...Think "First Right of refusal"...and also got a much better understandings about Fractionals (or quarter interests).

Accountability Partner Wanted

I'm looking for someone who wants to team up and become each other's Accountability Partners. I've gotten a few good ideas from the bootcamp and this is one of them. We could set up our daily goals on a site called WetPaint. This way we can hold each other accountable and push each other to achieve our end goals. Great Idea!

Wet Paint


People I Met
I just wanted to give a mention to all the great people I met at the bootcamp.

TampaSteph
Was very excited to meet her, she has been a big inspiration to me and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to chat with her a bit. She left a little early so I didn't get a chance to say so but....Steph, it was great to meet you and one day I'll be in the Flip Vips with you and the others.

Steve Cook
Meeting Steve was like meeting a rock star. But I'm sure he doesn't want to be known like that at all. He is very modest and truly just wants to help make life better for everyone. I can't say enough about him!

Shane
Man, you got a very creative mind. I could see you were thinking the entire time trying to come up with a better way to do anything. Coming up with the "Right of First Refusal" idea was simple yet brilliant. I will definitely be using that. Very nice guy too

Christina
Keep up the fight and there is no doubt you will be a huge success in wholesaling and investing. If you get a chance read her blog about her struggles, it's inspiring.

Christina Eastwood

Mike and his wife from Delaware
You guys are incredibly nice and it was a pleasure to meet both of you! I apologize I never caught Mike's wife's name but hopefully we'll run into each other again as we are only a ferry ride away.


Some other people I met who could not have been nicer...Glenn from Minnesota, Brian Brian, Andrea (thanks for the directions to the mall) and Bob.


As this post is getting really long, I'll save the rest of what I have to say tomorrow.
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Seriously...Envelopes Now?

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

Last week it was stamps, now this week I don't have enough envelopes to send my mailers. I'll be running out of ink or paper next week for sure! Sometimes I don't know where my head is at.

Oh here is a stupid question for anyone reading...Has it been your experience that the length of a pre-foreclosure letter makes a difference? I've got a 3-4 pager and then a simpler one pager (Thanks Jodi). I'm going to rotate using them and see which brings more calls.

I'm also finding I need to get more organized with my mailers and keep better track of when i should send repeat mailings. I've lost track already...ugh!

Another Buyer!!

Got another buyer on my list today from my craigslist postings. I'm going to try and match him up with a wholesaler I've met and see if he has any properties in my area.

Long Drive Tonight
Tonight is going to be my long drive down to Baltimore. Gonna drop my doggy off at a friends and then pick my wife up at work at around 10:30pm and then take off for a 4 hour drive.

If anyone is going, I'll see you there!

P.S. - I forgot to mention in my monday post that I'm up to 85 open houses. 15 more to go! I then have a new goal ready to go after that.
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4 hour work week

Posted On 12:10 PM by Scott Costello | 2 comments


I just wanted to say that I started reading the 4 Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferris. Just from the first chapter I can tell he things a lot like me. I've heard this book was great and had actually bought it over the summer but never go around to reading it until now. What the heck was I waiting for??

here is the link to his sight...

4 Hour Work Week
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Down again!

Posted On 10:28 AM by Scott Costello | 0 comments


Now it's two Sunday's in a row that the public records site has been down. That kind of puts a kink in my routine for sure! Both times it seems to pop back up on monday morning, but seriously I hope that doesn't become the norm!

The letters from last week went out on Friday (finally got stamps) so we will see how these work. I bet they will work better, how could you not read a hand addressed envelope?


Open Houses
Managed to see 6 more this weekend. A couple of times I was shocked when I saw the inside. the outsides looked terrible and the inside was updated, clean, organized. Kind of shocking that the owners didn't fix up the outside some.

One problem I have been having is that most of the realtor's give me that blank stair, or the Nod of Confussion, when I mention short sales or anything to do with investing. What should I tell them? Should I be more general and say "if you come by any Junker type houses give me a call?" I feel like I'm wasting my business cards with these people.

Monday Goals: Reply to Ads on Craigslist to find buyers and other sources for leads

I will be doing this tonight after basketball.


Wealth Explosion Event is THIS WEEK!

I'm very excited that this week is finally here. I've been looking forward to Steve Cook's Wealth Explosion since I signed up over a month ago. Meeting people like TampaSteph, JerryNJ and Steve Cook is going to be great!

My wife I and plan on driving down Wednesday night after she gets out of work at 11pm. Hopefully I won't be wiped out on Thursday.
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It's really only wednesday?

Posted On 11:55 AM by Scott Costello | 1 comments

Man this week is taking forever! The only good thing is my wife is working 11am to 7pm instead of 3pm to 11pm, so I'll get to see here much more tonight and tomorrow.

I've gotten quite a few responses back from people I've emailed to off of craigslist. I think I've actually added 2 people to my buyers list. I know...I'm shocked too!! Time to start putting together a spreadsheet.

I've yet to send out my letters as I forgot one minor detail when I'm sending out my own mail....STAMPS! I'm gonna stop off on my way home and pick up a bunch.

I've also been getting back a heck of a lot of "Return to Sender" postcards. It's almost like 1/3 of them are being returned. This type of thing always makes me feel like I'm doing something wrong. Anyhow I just send these off to the guys at NjQuickSell.com who can track down these leads. One came back as being vacant and it was in my town, so I'm going to go check it out this weekend.

Weekly Schedule Check
Yesterday I posted two ads on craigslist, one for buyers the other for sellers.

Sellers Ad
Are you having trouble selling your home for any of the following reasons...

- Owe more then you can sell it for?
- Needs a lot of work?
- Just don't want to deal with realtors?

You are not alone!

Contact me and I can help. No money needed, we will just talk.

Buyers Ad
Great Investor Property!

Located in very desirable Whippany. Lots of potential!

Great Schools, Low taxes and quiet street.

Send me an email for more information.



Lets see if I get any responses!
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