Wealth Explosion Event !

Posted On 10:18 AM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

I've always wanted to go to one of Steve Cook's events and I finally pulled the trigger and signed up for the 2009 Wealth Explosion Event. It's down in Baltimore which is pretty close to where my sister-in-law lives which is good because my wife can come along and visit with her sister. Also another added bonus is that there is a Texas de Brazil down there and I could go for some of that!!

Here is the link to the Event if you want to look into it..
Weath Explosion

Also here is the link to Texas de Brazil if you never heard of it...

Texas De Brazil


I'm still working on my webpage. I've installed a developing tool called...


...To help quickly build the webpage. I can design it myself as I know HTML, some javascipt and ASP.Net but for speed sake I'm going to try Joomla. It's free so why not right? It's just slow going right off the bat because you have to figure out how to use the interface, but I'm getting there.


I haven't gotten any call backs from last week's mailing, but I only sent out 24 so not a surprise. If I get 1 call out of 30 mailings that will be considered good, so far I'm not quite on that pace though. Next month I'm going to adjust my postcard a little bit a see what happens.

That's it for today.
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Great list

Posted On 6:37 AM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

Great post by Nate-WI over at Flipping Homes about what you can do to drive leads your way...

1. Business cards

2. Magnets on your car or wrapped with vinyl

3. Bandit Signs

4. Calling for rent signs to get possible buyers

5. Knocking on doors for pre-foreclosures

6. Creating a website

7. Daily Craigslist ads - other free website advertising

8. Direct mailers - USPS postcard mailers to target area is usually reasonable

9. Hanging flyers in places (Laundromats, anywhere locally that will let you.)

10. If you are a real estate agent or know one - hand out flyers or knock on the doors of expired listings or houses that have been listed for a while and the owner is motivated (i.e. repairs, estate, etc.)

11. Talk, talk, talk! Just remember to always tell folks what you do; what you're looking for and that you pay referral fees.

12. Calling ads in your local throw away paper. Call fsbo's, for rents, and anything that mentions in need of repairs.

13. Call attorneys that deal with probates, divorce, bankruptcies, etc. See if you can get them to send you leads. Follow up with a nice letter. Perhaps take 'em to lunch. (Get their names for free online or in your local paper.)

14. Place an ad in a nickel& dime paper.

15. Pass out fliers and business cards at your local REIA club.

16. MLS- Networking with Realtors.

17. Use an email signature line appended to your general correspondence, explaining what you do and what you're after.

18. Handwritten, yellow pad letters: "I was passing by your house and I noticed that..."

19. Get your name known to local officials and local bankers.

20. Most importantly……..Take ACTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

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Long weekend

Posted On 6:17 AM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

This past weekend was a long one! I was almost looking forward to Monday coming. My Sister-in-Law was up for the weekend with her 3 year old and new born baby and was staying with us. That alone isn't that bad as the kids are both pretty good, it only gets interesting when they rile up our dog and then there is barking, screaming, barking, screaming and me having to chase the dog around because he got one of the kids socks or toys. I was mentally prepared for that this weekend, but what I wasn't prepared for is my brother-in-law's wife having their child 2 weeks early and us getting stuck with their 2 year old as well. As cute as she is, she is a little devil and stirs up the 3 year old and the dog. All this started on Thursday night and ended Sunday afternoon around 3pm. With all that said I love them all and would do it again...but not to soon...haha

One question for all the parents out there, how do you hand the chaos all the time? My wife and I can't imagine how we are going to handle it or even if we want to.

I told you all of that as a way of saying I didn't have much time to do Real Estate investing stuff this weekend. But what time I did have I took advantage of...

Call Back...
I called back the guy who responded to my postcard last week. I was nervous but I just forced my fingers to dial the number. I had listened to an audio recording, of Bill Guerra (highly recommended), about screening sellers on the phone for about 2 days straight. So I was prepared.

This guy was a bit of a mess and all disheveled. He wanted more information so I told him,

I buy houses when I can. I pay all cash and can usually close in 7 to 14 days if we can come to an agreement on price that works for both of us.

I then asked if he was interested in selling his house. He said he wasn't, but the way he said it you could tell that he might have to sell in the near future. He was open to having me come out to the house to take a look and give him an offer though.

At this point I took the opportunity to tell him that I will talk with my partner (NjQuickSell) and one of us would call him back and discuss seeing his place as well as a few other options he may have.

All in all it was pretty easy to talk to this seller. As I talk to more sellers I will try to get more information out of them and get more into their house. To follow advice that Steve Cook gives...Learn from each phone call, after the call think about what you said and how you can handle the situation better next time. If you keep doing that you will get better and better!

More Mailers
Keeping up with my Sunday evening ritual, I sent out 25 more postcards. Once I reach about 500 postcards I will analyze my results and see how I can make changes.

I also plan on sending out a yellow letter type mailer as my second contact with these leads. I also want to send a follow up letter to anyone who responds to my postcards, that didn't want to sell at the time, with a "Thankyou/Keep me in mind" letter.

I started to modify my webpage again in an effort to make it more up to speed with what I'm trying to accomplish right now. Before I had set it up as more of an official about my business site. When I finish it I will post a link to get any feed back from you guys that you wish to share.

Open Houses
This was unfortunately squashed because of the kids. Count still stands at 57
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Posted On 11:30 AM by Scott Costello | 2 comments

ahhhh....a guy just left a message on my cell about one of the postcards I sent out.

Now I've got to psych myself up to call him back...breeeeaaaaattthhhhhheee.....

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Great Post at Reiclub.com

Posted On 11:51 AM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

hassansr over at Reiclub.com forum post this as part of a log for finding a deal...

In my little corner of the Atlanta market a good number of the middle class home buyers want and can qualify for homes in the $100 - $200k range, which for the most part are your garden variety, modern 3-5 bedroom room homes with 2 -3 baths, less than 1/4 an acre and a two car garage. That being the case I'll target houses in the mid-range of that, about $150k in value after all the repairs are done (ARV). From that amount i want to subtract all my costs to get my desired purchase price, which includes repairs, closing costs, early profits, marketing expenses, holding expenses and or interest.

As I mentioned in the last post, I only want to do cosmetic to moderate repairs on a house, so the max I'll put into repairs is $15K

Closing costs will run me about $1,500

I aways give myself a guaranteed bit of profits early of at least $10k.

Marketing expense is the one item that most investors screw up on (besides repairs). That being the case we have to factor that in as well. When reselling I always plan for the process to take at least 6 months using a combination of ads ($250 a month x 6 = $1,500), signs (15 per week x $4 each sign x 26 weeks = $1,560), direct mail (500 post cards a month to renters x .31 cents per card x 6 months = $930) and a flat fee listing on the realtors' multiple listing service (MLS) at $400. Total cost of six months of marketing to sell a house estimated at $4,390

Misc. expense cause things always pop up that you didn't anticipate

My numbers for a $150k house will look like this:

ARV $150,000
X 60% = 90,000 (search the forum as to why people use 60%-65%)
Less project costs:
Rehab = $15,000
Closing cost = $1,500
Early profit = $10,000
Marketing = $4,390
Misc = $3,000
Total Costs = $33,890
MAX Allowable Offer pay for the house (Gross MAO) = $90,000-$33,890= $56,110

I plan on using a private lender to fund this so I'll have to factor in my interest expense. Lets assume that it'll be 12% annualized based on the 60% of the ARV ($90k x 12% =$10,800). Subtract the interest expense from the MAO to get the net MAO ($56,110-10,800=$45,310).

Again the net MAO is the max I'm willing to pay for the house; that being the case I can't pay the MAO. So I'll multiply the net MAO by 85% to get my starting point for making offers ($45,310 x 85%=$38,514).

BTW, just in case you're wondering, the difference between the 60% of the ARV and the ARV will be used to cover the expenses of closing out the deal once I have found a qualified buyer. Those expenses include realtor expenses (in the case where the BUYER is brought by a realtor), Closing costs and other concessions to the buyer (such as decorator allowances or fixing the stupid stuff their home inspector finds to scare them with). It also includes the cushion that i have for lowering my sales price to account for the fact that some buyers may not qualify for a $150k purchase, but may for lets say a $135k one. Anything left over after all of those costs are covered are considered "gravy" on top of my early profit of $10k that I already took.

Now that I know my numbers, all i need to do now is to go out and find some deals. In todays market it's going to be really hard finding private sellers with that much equity, so I'll have to deal with bank owned properties, HUD and VA homes, probates and other investors. So we'll look at MLS, REO realtor sites, HUD's website, other wholesalers websites and do a little networking.

I'll show how that works tomorrow. In the mean time I got to start working on finding a couple of potential private lenders (cash or credit). Please let me know if anything i mentioned so far was unclear.

If you want to follow the entire post go here...

I am going to buy a house this month, here's how
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Corzine Foreclosure Help

Posted On 8:09 AM by Scott Costello | 1 comments

I happened upon an article today stating that NJ Gov Corzine signed a law to benefit homeowners in New Jersey. The law basically says this....

New Jerseyans risking foreclosure now have access to millions of dollars — plus an army of no-charge counselors and lawyers — to help keep their homes.

Governor Corzine said thousands of homeowners can expect relief in loan and lease programs, funded with $40 million from a law he signed Friday. He also launched a first-in-the-country mediation service in which borrowers and negotiators will try to reduce late fees, mortgage rates — even lower monthly payments.

If you want to read the full article click here...

Corzine signs law benefiting homeowners

My take on this is that it won't really do much good, only prolong the agony of the economy as well as just use up more tax payer money. Can you say Bandaid?

On to me now...

Open House Tour

The open house tour opened up it's 2009 campaign with 3 houses. At the first house the realtor was talking to some other people so I told her I'd just walk through myself. As I was looking at the bedrooms, one of the doors was closed so I opened it..as one might do...and to my shocking surprise there was a lady in bed sleeping with a mask on. I never closed a door faster!! whoops

That realtor also gave me a number to a mortgage broker that is suppose to offer really good rates with no points. Since I'm trying to refinance my mortgage I'm going to give her a call. I will post her name and number when I get home tonight for anyone else who wants to see what she is all about (note: this is not a recommendation, but just a passing of information).

At the second house the realtor was very nice and really seemed to know what she was doing. She has been one of the top Realtors in the area the last few years. We talked for about 45 minutes and I gave out my very first "Short Sale" business card to her. I was excited..haha

I think that brings my Open House Count up to 58


I also sent out another 37 postcards sunday night. Hopefully I will get some calls with this batch. I realize they are small batches, but every week there will be another 30+ postcards out there with my name and number on them.

Return To Sender

For those that send out Mailers and get "Return to Senders", that can be valuable info for some people. For me I'm sending the addresses to the guys at NJQuicksell. They are skiptracers and can hunt these people down. If the person is hard to find, then competition for their homes will be scarce :)

Nada Else (Spanglish)
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phone fixed!

Posted On 10:06 AM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

I think I fixed my phone! There is this standby/mute button on top of my phone that I've never really noticed before. I put the phone into standby mode and then took it out and it magically blasted sound into my ears once again. YES!!

Ok, I promise I won't complain about my phone anymore.

Business Cards

Yesterday I got my Short Sale business cards that I'll be handing out to Realtors at open houses this weekend. They look pretty good and I like the simple look they have. If you have a short sale and don't want to deal with it, call me and I'll do it for you and you will still get paid. Simple, straight forward and easy.

Bandit Signs

I'm trying to figure out where to get my bandit signs from now. I always get stuck trying to find the best deal and that causes me to waste time. So i'm gonna stop looking and decide between one of these 3 options.

  1. BanditSigns.com
  2. SuperCheapSigns.com
  3. buy some corrugated Cardboard and hand right them all out

I'm leaning towards buying them if I can fit them in my 200 per month marketing budget that I setup.

I wanted to put a number to my marketing budget so I can keep track of it better. Over the next few months we will see how far 200 bucks gets me and then I will adjust it. Or I'll just make it work!! haha

anyway, sorry again for the phone rant and have a good weekend!
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of course!?!?!

Posted On 7:23 AM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

Sometimes you just have to laugh...

the day after my post cards get sent out, my phone decides that it no longer wanted to let me hear anything!! It rings when someone calls, yes, almost as if teasing me...go ahead pick up the phone...it might be a seller...But it does no good, cause I CAN'T HEAR ANYTHING!?!?!

When I try and call someone I can't even hear the other phone ring through my phone, it's just silent.

To top it all off this phone is the phone I bought used off of ebay to replace my original phone that felt the wrath of my kitchen floor back in November.

I'd buy a new phone but retail prices for blackberries are 500+. So I have to make it till May when my T-mobile contract ends and I can buy a subsidized phone. This is gonna be fun!

On a brighter note...

I did find out that I can connect a bluetooth earpiece up to my phone and then I can hear. At least I can use my phone now, but it's annoying because I've have to keep something else charged now...grrrrrr

Sorry for the rant and have a good weekend
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Goals for the year

Posted On 7:02 AM by Scott Costello | 2 comments

The successful people in this business always say one of the keys is to set goals for yourself. Short term goals, long term goals, goals for the year, month, week, day, etc... As you can see on the right side of my blog I listed 5 or so goals I have for the next two months. I tried to be specific, as it helps to measure progress. If you set a goal of "doing 1 deal by the end of the month" you may get overwhelmed because there are A LOT of small details that go into getting that deal. I say that you should break that "goal" up into smaller parts. What I mean is, what are the steps necessary in order to get 1 deal?

  • Get a list of 1000 leads
  • Send out 250 mailers per week for 4 weeks.
  • Send out Second round of mailers (250 per week for 4 weeks)
  • Go to Real Estate Meeting on mm/dd/yyyy and pass out a buyer signup form
  • Call 10 for rent signs and talk with the landlords
  • Talk with sellers who call and practice with them
  • Put out 10 bandit signs to test an area
  • etc...

I would say those goals are much more achievable, and can be done quickly and routinely. And for everyone of these you can check off, you are that much closer to your ultimate goal of a deal!

For me, staying on track is a constant battle. There are so many things that you can do to get that first deal that I end up scattering my efforts all over the place. All this does is cause nothing to get accomplished, but a lot of things started and unfinished. You have to be organized, relentless and always moving forward.

In 2009 I will do that!

Happy Investing!
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Sent Postcards, Craigslist Ad and Giants

Posted On 6:16 AM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

Last weekend wasn't as productive as I would like it to have been. The holidays broke me out of my routine of getting things done and now I'm struggling to get the ball rolling again. On Sunday my wife and I had enough of our dog eating all the Christmas tree ornaments so we decided to just take down all the Christmas stuff. Well wouldn't you know it, I lost track of time and it was 2:30 before I knew it! Still some time to view an open house or two right? Wrong because I then made the mistake that doomed my open house day, i turned on the boob tube

and got sucked into the Giants game. What a terrible waste of time that was, let me tell you!!

Being pissed that I wasted the afternoon I was determined to do something related to Real Estate on Sunday. I decided to download the list of foreclosures from...


...actually when I say download, I mean retype the addresses into excel because it would have cost me an extra $10 to be able to download labels from them. I think not!

I then made some tweaks to my postcard and uploaded everything to click2mail and sent them out. I tried using black and white postcards this time as it was a bit cheaper. In all I sent out only 31 PCs, but I'll be sending more out next Sunday as well. I figure that will be one of my Sunday tasks for now.

I also posted an ad on Craigslist looking for Short Sales that I could pass along to other people. Here is the ad I created...

If you fall into one of the following categories below you must call us.

> Short Sale is taking to long?
> You are losing buyers because they don't want to wait
> You can't get the banks to accept your offers
> You are tired of calling the banks everyday trying to get an answer
> You don't understand short sales
> You have to many short sales and don't have the time
> You would like some one else to deal with the banks while still getting your commission...

If you say yes to any of the above, contact me now! I can help.


Scott Costello

****If I can't help you, I know someone who can******

What do you think? I'm going to repost it again today and every two days until I get a response or two.

Today my plan is to browse around Realquest and just see what it is all about.

Have a good week!
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A few more business cards

Posted On 11:34 AM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

The other day I was thinking that I needed more specific business cards depending on who I was giving the card to. So I went to...

Vista Prints

...and created some simple cards.

I'm going to give this one to realtors, on my open house tour, so they will call me with any Short Sales they have. I can then pass those leads on to my friends at NJQuickSell.Com

This next one I'm going to include in mailings I'm going to send out.

and this last one will be a generic card that I can give out to anyone.

I've only ordered the short sale ones at the moment because I might want to modify the other two slightly in order to get the right message out.

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Still Here

Posted On 8:44 AM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

Sorry I haven't posted in about a week, I'm reorganizing my priorities now that the holidays are over. I managed to sell my car, which is good, and now it's time to sell my car computer and to see if I can get any money back from my 100k warranty that was on my car.

As far as investing goes...

I've been getting a good amount of "Return to Sender" from the postcards that I sent out before Christmas. Not sure what to do with those yet, but I'm saving them. Out of the 150 I sent out I'm guess I got back around 15 so far. So 10% with no recipient makes for a bad list in my book, but it's a very short book so if anyone knows better please inform ;)

I signed up for another list service, this time one that specifically gives me lists of foreclosures on a daily basis...


...They update the site every day with the most recent filings for a given county. You have the option of 1 to All counties and also how many weeks you'd like to signup for. I chose 4 as a test run. It cost $50 for 1 county for 4 weeks. I'll start sending my post cards to these people at the end of the week as the list grows.

That's about it for today, I'm going to restart my open house tour this coming sunday. And this time I'll be asking the listing agents for any Short Sales they have so I can refer them to the guys at NjQuickSell.

Have a good one
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