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www.realty411guide.com | Vol. 4 • No. 4 • 2013

Marco Santarelli Leads NORADA Real Estate Investments to New Heights Strategies to

SKYROCKET Your Portfolio

Plus, Where Are the TOP Markets FOR GROWTH?

Insider Secrets:

Investors Share Tips, Trials and Triumphs

411 A Resource Guide for Investors

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Questions? 805.693.1497 or 310.499.9545 Realty411 / reWealth magazine is published quarterly from Santa Barbara County, Calif. ©Copyright 2013. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited. The opinions expressed by writers/columnists are not endorsed by the publishers. IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE: Publishers and advertising staff are not responsible for performing due diligence on the opportunities offered by magazine advertisers and/or sponsors. Before investing in real estate seek the advisement of a trusted financial advisor, attorney or tax consultant. Real estate investing can be risky and may result in loss of capital.

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contents

Here’s The Key To Your Real Estate Insurance Needs . . .

07 Publisher’s note 08 Insurance myths 11 Meet Tim Herriage 13 It’s a seller’s market 14 What are tax liens? 16 Photo tips for investors 18 Mike’s mobile home parks 19 Tips for snail mail success 20 Sound advice on leverage 22 A&E’s Flipping Boston 24 Notes with Scott Carson 25 Tips on rental management 27 Questioning convention 31 Profile of Equity Trust 35 Insights by Tony Martinez 36 Sensei’s entrepreneurial life 40 The 401(K) sinking hole 42 Coast to Coast REIA 44 A secure investment? 46 Nick Vertucci always wins 48 Market selection advice 50 Q&A with IPX/AZ 52 The power of direction 54 Benefits for investors 56 Find your partners

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“I changed one thing one time and left the ‘rat race’ forever. I can show you how I did it,

Matt Theriault

Real Estate Investor Founder of EpicProAcademy.com and CashflowSavvy.com Host of the Epic Real Estate Investing Podcast on iTunes


by Linda Pliagas, publisher, investor, agent

O

ver the years, I have purchased and sold many properties around the country, from single family homes to multifamily complexes, the location and type of property may vary, but one thing that they all have in common is that they were found on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service). Most investors are taken aback when I tell them that I find my deals on the MLS. What about writing yellow letters? Don’t you use bandit signs or do any cold calls? My reply is always: “Who has time for that?!” Why should I spend money and precious time on techniques like that when all I have to do is a quick MLS search to see today’s hot pickings. Driving for dollars? Have you seen the price of gas

Realty411Guide.com

linda’s note

Why I click, not drive, for dollars

lately? No thanks, I’d rather comfortably kick back at home and click for my deals. Do you think distressed properties and motivated sellers do not exist on the MLS? Wrong! I found my three recent rehab deals on the MLS. That’s three single-family properties in distress with nearly $100,000 in equity in each one. I’ve also found my properties out of state on the MLS boards of their respective cities. I’ve purchased rentals in five states, all found on the MLS at no cost to me. The MLS has all sorts of distressed deals: REOs, short sales, probates, trustee sales, corporate-owned properties, as well as motivated

PAGE 7 • 2013

sellers. Personally, I think the public Multiple Listing Service is the most under utilized and under valued investor tool that exists today… and it’s free! Most investors simply don’t use or don’t even know how to gain access to their local MLS. Think of the MLS as our industry’s library of knowledge that holds valuable treasures, much like the real thing. (Our own public libraries are also greatly under utilized… coincidence?) The MLS in Los Angeles, www.themls.com, not only provides guests with a listing of current properties, but it also has access to what is pending, on backup, and what just sold. It’s an invaluable resource! Some investors mistakenly think that Continued on pg. 62

reWEALTHmag.com


DEBUNKED 13 Insurance Myths for RE Investors

P

by Stephanie B. Mojica

eople tend to focus more on making fast cash with real estate investments and as a result often do not properly insure their assets. Beginning investors are especially prone to treating insurance as an option rather than an essential part of their business plan, says Tim Norris, President of the National Real Estate Insurance Group (NREIG), which is headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri. “Most of us consider insurance as a ‘purchasing endeavor.’ That is, we either buy it, or it is sold to us. Therein, in my opinion, is the foundational fault

of the process. The misconception is still prevalent…insurance is mysterious, difficult to understand, and, at best we hope we can trust the person that is selling it to us,” Norris says. Norris, who is also a board member of the non-profit National Real Estate Investors Association, has garnered plenty of respect for his authorship of the PowerPoint presentation “13 Myths for the Real Estate Investor.” To create the document, Norris utilized more than 20 years of experience working closely with real estate investors to properly insure their assets. Even if people do not ultimately purchase a policy through his company, Norris hopes his advice will still help them protect their

investments. Norris’ 13 myths are as follows: 1. Insurance is exclusive of estate, tax, and financial planning. 2. Being named as an “additional insured” on the existing homeowner policy will sufficiently protect my interests in a subject-to and/or lease-option deal… 3. Buying a property in your personal name and using your homeowner’s policy liability is fine… 4. The “personal” dwelling fire policy is sufficient to cover my non-owner occupied rental… 5. I have a personal umbrella policy (PUL), so I don’t need “commercial insurance”…

Image by by Djtaylor

Continued on pg. 55

Realty411Guide.com Realty411Guide.com

PAGE 8 •8 2013 PAGE • 2013

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ET0051-10


Tim Herriage

Dallas Wholesaler & Industry Leader From local wholesaling to cross country travels for HomeVestors and the REI Expo, this former Marine represents a few, a proud select group of investors.

by Stephanie B. Mojica

R

“The last thing they want to do is sit through a weekend of sales pitches.” “Flip This House” A&E star David Montelongo was just one of the speakers at the 2012 REI Expo. When asked about his impressions of the expo Montelongo said, “This group was more on the experienced side. They had good flow, communication and energy. I did some good business and will be back.” Model My Home President Jana Uselton spoke on staging homes to attract buyers. She and her team wrote up thousands of dollars in orders at the expo itself and said many more investors committed to work with her. “We didn’t have to do any selling. Once they saw the hard numbers of the results sellers are getting by staging homes it became a no-brainer for them,” Uselton said. “Out of all the seminars, trade shows and expos we have attended, sponsored or exhibited, this was the absolute best event we have ever done.” At press time, the date for the 2013 REI Expo in Chicago was imminent. Herriage hopes to duplicate the educational value at not only the 2013 event, but also future

eal estate entrepreneur Tim Herriage has become so well-versed in the ins and outs of the business that he can buy a house from an owner just as easily as he can buy milk from a grocery store. Herriage, a native of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, spent the first five years of his professional career as an intelligence analyst in the United States Marine Corps. In 2001, he decided to return to his Texas roots and become a real estate investor. Herriage has purchased more than 1,000 single-family houses in Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio and is involved in numerous aspects of the real estate investment field. In 2011, Herriage founded the REI Expo. The 2012 expo, held in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, offered attendees the chance to learn from Texas experts in 66 classes over a two-day period. Herriage requires speakers at REI Expo to offer good content and not turn their talks into those more characteristic of a “pitch fest.” “People attend events like this because they want to learn how to get into that industry or get better at what they do,” Herriage said. Realty411Guide.com

REI conferences. Herriage, often lauded as one of the most successful investors and wholesalers in the real estate market, is president of Herriage Homes as well as a National Development Agent for HomeVestors. HomeVestors, also known as “We Buy Ugly Houses,” has purchased more

“I got my quick start in this business by meeting people that were willing to help me, and I try to do the same.”

PAGE 11 • 2013

than 50,000 American houses since the company’s birth in 1989. Herriage, who is married and has two sons, regularly gives public talks about his experience as a successful real estate entrepreneur who also has a happy family life. “I enjoy meeting new people and traveling,” Herriage said. “I got my quick start in this business by meeting people who were willing to help me, and I try to do the same.” Whether Herriage is speaking to a roomful of people or an individual, he hopes the one message they take away from their time together is that Herriage has a mission to tell only the truth. “I love buying houses, but hate the Continued on pg. 30

reWEALTHmag.com


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F

by Kathy Fettke

rom 2007 to 2012, the United States experienced one of the greatest housing recessions in history. Prices dropped over 50% in many areas, building came to a near complete stop, and foreclosures made daily headline news.  There was a glut of available homes to buy, but few people had the guts to pick them up at rock bottom prices. It was a perfect buyer’s market.  The irony is, most people are afraid to buy in a buyer’s market, even though it’s the BEST time to buy! You can name your price, negotiate terms, and pick out the best value for bargain prices. But it takes contrarian thinking, and requires a sophisticated understanding of market cycles.

Realty411Guide.com

market update

From Buyer’s to Seller’s Market Market cycles can change on a dime. Here we are in the second quarter of 2013, and today’s news is all about the terrible LACK of housing inventory, multiple offers over asking price, and people waiting in lines when a property is released to the public. We are back in a seller’s market. A seller’s market is good for sellers because there’s a lot of buyers competing for limited inventory. High demand and low supply allows the seller to negotiate, so prices tend to go up. We are seeing price increases as much as 1-3% per month in markets like Sacramento and Phoenix. What is happening? Where did all those foreclosures and short sales go?

PAGE 13 • 2013

Continued on pg. 61

reWEALTHmag.com


Taking Takingthe the

Hype Hype out outofof Tax TaxLien LienSales Sales Charles Sells Charles Sells

CC C

by Robb Magley

harles Sells doesn't like talking that surround property taxes -- and "In Illinois, what we buy is a tax lien to the property," said Sells. we about acquiring realdoesn't estate for what when property owners property," Sells. "In"In 2013, we harles navigate the seemingly endless rolls harles SellsSells doesn't likelike talking thathappens surround property taxes --of red andto the "In Illinois,said what we buy is2013, a tax lien "pennies the dollar," because it don't pay them. In their effort, they've would be buying 2012 delinquent taxes." about on acquiring real estate for what happens when property owners to the property," said Sells. "In 2013, we would be buying 2012 delinquent taxes." talking about acquiring tape that surround property taxes — and sounds too much like a carnivaldiscovered a surprisingly safe investIllinois has a redemption period, two "pennies on the dollar," because it don't pay them. In their effort, they've would be buying 2012 delinquent taxes." Illinois has a redemption period, real estate for "pennies what happens when property owners don't barker, late-night-TV, shady-charwithin a shaky market: acquiring half years, which the prop-two sounds too much like a carnival-ment discovered a surprisingly safe invest-and a Illinois hasduring a redemption period, two and a half years, during which the the dollar," because it pay them. In their effort, they've discovacter pitch.barker,onlate-night-TV, liens within and, often, deeds. owner can "redeem" taxthelien shady-char-tax ment a shaky market: acquiringertyand a half years, duringtheir which propproperty owner their tax soundsof too much like a ered surprisingly safe investment within But Sells, by"redeem" payingtheir off tax thelien acter pitch.Director tax aliens and, often, deeds. erty owner cancan "redeem" lienby bytaxes paying off thethe carnival-barker, lateAcquisitions forDirector Plati- of back plus inBut Sells, paying off num Investment Propterest; the bid interrate inAcquisitions for Platiback taxes plus back taxes plus night-TV, shady-character erties West, often finds starts at 18%, and itrate num Investment Propterest; the bid est; the bid rate starts at pitch. himself the position canstarts be bid to it ertiesin West, often of finds at down 18%, and 18%, and it can be bid But Sells, director of offering clients that of as low But, to himself in thejust position can as bezero. bid down down to as low as for Platinum --acquisitions although he'd prefer a according to Sells, offering clients just that as low as zero.zero. But, But,according according to bid Sells, Investment Properties more accounting of a whatever yourto -- sober although he'd prefer Sells, things. rate is, inyour Illinois it bid more sober accounting of whatever your whatever bid rate West, often finds him"We try to take all the doubles every six things. rate is, in Illinois is, in Illinois it doublesit self in the position of hype "We out of water," months. try the to take all the doubles every six every six months. offering clients just that saidhype Sells. "So if you bought out "We of theoffer water," months. "So if you bought although he'd"We prefer a a —said conservative, highit at 15%, ac-it Sells. offer "So ifyou're you bought at 15%, you're actually more sober accounting yield that highisof tually a net aca opportunity conservative, it atgaining 15%, you're backed government annualized return on gaining annualized things. yield by opportunity that is tuallya net gaining a net regulations." a paid-off certificate backed by government annualized return on return on a paid-off certificate of 30%," "We try to take all the hype out of the a shaky market: acquiring tax liens and, It's an opportunity of 30%," said Sells. regulations." a paid-off certificate said Sells. After the redemption period water," said Sells. "We offer a conservaoften, deeds. that just to give clients the After the redemption period ends,said if the It's happens an opportunity of 30%," Sells. ends, if the lien is not paid off, the holder tive, high-yield opportunity that is backed Here'show how itit works, on Sells' chance you know. and the Here's is notthe paid off, the holder of ends, the lien works,focusing focusing on lienAfter that to, justwell, happens to giveSells clients redemption period if the of the — you, investor — bychance government regulations." favorite markets atittheworks, moment, Illinois on-- you, partner Donto,Fullman have carved outandSells' the investor -- the can initiate favorite markets at the focusing moment, well, you know. Sells lien islien not paid off, the holderforecloof can the lien Here's how the property. a respectable corner of this niche mar- outIllinois Sells andDon partner Don Fullman have and Georgia: in both states, process and Georgia: in both states, the sureinitiate theforeclosure property. partner Fullman have carved --on you, the investoron -- can initiate forecloSells' favorite markets atthe the moment, ket, and help investors navigate the process can much asasa ayear, begins when at ainauction. tax lien auc- the That a respectable corner corner of thisofniche Illinois andatGeorgia: both states, sure onprocess the property. That cantake take as as much carved out a respectable this mar-process begins when a tax lien seemingly endless rolls of red tape tion. ket, and help investors navigate the That process can take as much process begins when at a tax lien aucaccording to Sells, and of course thereas area niche market, and they help investors "In Illinois, what we buy is a tax lien seemingly endless rolls of red tape tion.

“The reason we continue “The reason we continue to have our success is to have our success is because our clients because our clients are successful.” are successful.”

Realty411Guide.com

PAGE 14 • 2013

reWEALTHmag.com


going to be attorney and court fees, plus year, according Sells, oftocourse any additional backtotaxes willand need there are going to be attorney and court be year, paid — but at thetoend of theand process, according Sells, of course fees, plus any additional back taxes will thereacquired are going to be attorney and to court you've clean, clear, quiet title need to be paid -but at the end of the plus any additional back taxes will thatfees, property. process, you've acquired clean, clear, need to be paid -- but at the end of the "Now,title the way works, it's quiet thatGeorgia property. process, to you've acquired clean, clear, what wetitle callthe a premium bid state,works, where it's "Now, wayproperty. Georgia quiet to that we call a premium bid state, where thewhat penalty is set at 20%," said Sells. "So "Now, the way Georgia works, it's the penalty is set at 20%," said Sells. "So wetocall a premium bid state, saywhat we go a tax sale in Georgia, andwhere say we go tois asettax in Georgia, and penalty at sale 20%," saythe there's a lien being offeredsaid for Sells. sale "So say there's a lien being offered for sale say we go to a tax sale in Georgia, and forfor $5,000. WeWe could spend as much as as could spend as much say$5,000. there's a lien being offered for sale $50,000 on that tax lien, and the underly$50,000 on that lien, and as themuch underfor $5,000. We tax could spend as lying property be worth as as much ing property could be as much $50,000 on thatcould taxworth lien, and the underas $200,000. Thecould homeowner then lying property bethen worth as much $200,000. The homeowner has tohas payto pay us back 20% on top of the $50,000." $200,000. homeowner then has to us as back 20% on The top of the $50,000." That pencils outontotop a $10,000 penalty pay us back 20% of the $50,000." That pencils out$5,000 to a $10,000 penalty on on top of their tax bill that they That pencils out to a $10,000 penalty top of their $5,000 tax bill that they have have to come up $5,000 with. on top of their tax bill that they "Theto net to have come upcome with.payback up with. to our investor would bepayback $60,000 "The net toon ourthe investor "The net payback to redemption," our would investor said Sells. "So you're on the redemption," be would $60,000beon$60,000 the redemption," said Sells. getting a high said Sells. "Soareturn, you're "So you're getting high return, either on either on the getting a highredempreturn, thetion redemption of the lien of the or either on lien the itself, redempin acquiring title to the itself, or in acquiring title tion of the lien itself, or toproperty." theacquiring property."title to the in Holding property." Holding thethe tax tax lien lien is Holding an enviable the taxposilien is an enviable position; tion; you're in line even is an enviable posiyou're in line before before theeven tion; you're inmortgage line even thecompany; mortgage company; acbefore thein fact, mortgage to Sells, more incording fact, according to Sells, company; in fact, acoften thanthan clicording to not Sells, more more often nothis his ents find themselves oftenfind than not his cliclients themselves being redeemed by the ents find themselves being redeemed by banks themselves, being redeemed by bethe thecause banks themselves, taxes are escrowed banks themselves, be- as part of most mortgages. ownersasas fall behind on because are part ofof most cause taxes taxesWhen areescrowed escrowed part the mortgage, the taxes might not get most mortgages. When ownersfall fallbehind behindon mortgages. When owners covered. mortgage, the thetaxes taxes might onthe the mortgage, might not not get get "The banks have to redeem us out just covered. covered. like"The the banks homeowner Sells. have towould," redeemsaid us out just "Thehave banks havetotoforeclose redeem usonout just "We rights the mortlike the homeowner would," said Sells. gage as wesaid doonthe like thecompanies homeowner Sells. "We have rights just towould," foreclose thehomemortowner; it's a pretty safe spot to be in." "We have rights to foreclose on the mortgage companies just as we do the homeClearly a strategy Platinum owner; it'sit's a pretty be in."Ingage companies just assafe we spot do thetohomeClearly it's a strategy Platinum Inowner; it's a pretty safe spot to be in."

Clearly it's a strategy Platinum Investvestment Properties West ment Properties West has seen has sucseen success with; according cess with; according to Sells, vestment Properties West despite has tolotSells, despite a lot of talk of success with; according a seen of talk of declining inventories declining inventories delintodelinquent Sells, despite a lot of ofthey're talk of ofquent properties, properties, they're busier declining inventories of delinbusier than ever. than ever. quent properties, they're busier "Our company in "Our companyhas hasdoubled doubled than ever. in size every year for the last size every year for the last six "Our company has doubled six years," said Sells. "This in size every year for year the last years," said Sells. "This we year we performed higher six years," saidthan Sells. performed higher we "This ever than have inhigher past year we we ever performed have in There's past years. There's still years. still plenty of than we ever have in past plenty of inventory out there for inventory out there for us,of years. There's still plenty because thinkthere there's a us, becauseI Iout there's lot inventory fora us, lot that hasn't still hasn't toa because I think there's that still come come to market market There moreto lotThere thatyet. still hasn'tare come yet. are more investment investment opportunities market yet. than Therethere are more opportunities cash than there is opportunities cash to isput investment tointo putthem." into them." than there is cash to put Sells said his clients Sells said his clients are look- Dona into them." ld Fullman are looking for longer-term ing for longer-term Sells said hisinvestments clients Donald Full man are high looking with yieldsfor -- helonger-term estimates 40% of their investors are self-

clients that this is a long-term hold; clients that thisyou'll is a redemption checks get redemption long-term hold;checks you'll immediately upon inimmediately upon get redemption checks vestment, but don't eximmediately upon ininvestment, but don't pect that you're going vestment, don't exexpect thatbut you're gotopect flipthat all this stuffgoing out ing to flipyou're all this into aflip year's time andstuff do all this stuff out out a year's time itin again." a in year's time and do Sells do itadmits again."it's a itand again." challenging market, Sells admits it's Sells admits it'sa a and that there's a lot challenging market, challenging market, of road the and thatbetween there'sa alot lot and that there's initial investment and of road between the of return. road between the the initial investment and "And there certainly was ainvestment learning curve initial the return. when I got started in '96," he "But and"And the return. "And there a there certainly wascertainly alaughed. learningwas curve Ilearning think we're the best in the business that ofwhen I got started in I'96," he laughed. "But curve when got started in '96," fers thiswe're type the of opportunity now. And the I think in the business thatin ofhe laughed. "Butbest I think we're the best reason we continue to have our success is fers this type of opportunity now. And the the business that offers this type of opporbecause our clients are successful." reason we continue to have our success is tunity the are reason we continue to For now. more information, visit Sells and because ourAnd clients successful." Platinum Investment Properties West on have our success is because our clients are For more information, visit Sells and the web at Investment http://www.pipwest.com Platinum Properties West on successful." the web at http://www.pipwest.com Contact PIP-West at: 877-335-2529 or visit online @ www.PIPWest.com

“There are more investment “There are more investment opportunities than there is opportunities than there is cash to put into them.” cash to put into them.”

Realty411Guide.com

investments with high yields -- he estimates 40% theirhigh investors directed IRA of clients — and theyare know investments with yields -- self-dihe that estirected IRA clients -and they know that mates of their investors are self-dithese are40% not particularly liquid investthese are notclients particularly liquid investrected -- and they know that ments to IRA get into. ments to get into. these are not particularly liquid invest"Now, anan agent likelike us, do "Now,towith with agent us,wedohave we ments get into. more opportunity to make it liquid than have more opportunity to make it liquid "Now, with an agent like us, do we than justup up and someone whoopportunity justwho shows and buys have someone more toshows make it liquid buys these tax liens?" asked Sells. "Sure, these tax liens?" asked Sells. "Sure, of than someone who just shows up and of course. But we stillasked push on all"Sure, our buys these taxstill liens?" course. But we push on all Sells. our clients of course. But we still push on all that this is a long-term hold; you'll get our

PAGE 15 • 2013

reWEALTHmag.com


investor tools

Stamp Out Drive By Shootings! The importance of having a skilled photographer on your team

I

by Tom Wilson

never cease to be amazed at the poor quality of many real estate photographs. Are you aware that the picture for many properties for sale is literally taken from the driver’s seat of a car!? For only an extra 30 min. of your time, or $100 paid to a professional photographer, one of the most expensive products you will ever market can go from an “also available” to “schedule a showing today!” As a serious amateur photographer for 50 years, I’ve learned a few things that make a big difference. Let’s take a look at some common mistakes that are made and how to easily rectify them. Equipment For starters I recommend a DSLR (digital single reflex camera), such as an entry-level Canon Rebel ($300 used to $900 new). A point and shoot can take very fine every day shots, but this is not an every day sale. A DSLR allows for better lenses, filter attachments, an external flash, and what you see is what you get because you view the scene through the same lens and filter that shoots the picture. You can still set the camera to a point and shoot automatic mood and don’t have to know anything complicated.

works best when you are perpendicular to the angle of the sun or rays. The improvement in the picture is dramatic. External Flash ($50-$200). The built in flash is minimally acceptable, however, an external flash (attaches to the metal piece on top of the DSLR called a hot shoe) helps to fill in the shadows at the side of the scene taken with a wide angle, can fill a deeper great room with light more fully and evenly, and can be aimed up so that you don’t get harsh reflections from the bathroom mirror and other reflective surfaces. Composition Views. First of all, pretend you are the buyer. What would you want to see in addition to the typical pictures? The neighbors’ homes, the street, the back yard, the local park, the development entrance, etc? Then include them in your portfolio of pictures! Consider framing some shots with a tree or doorway, use a step ladder for an elevated view, shoot the living room from the stairs, and include artistic detail features such as a nice carriage light, flowers, garden arch, or fireplace.

A Wide Angle Zoom Lens. (can be purchased with the camera or alone for about No Dirty Laundry. $200). The lens should be at least 18mm Put away or shoot around minimum (or 28mm equivalent to the old the trash cans, close the 35mm film cameras). Wider is even better toilet seat, cut the grass, but 18mm is acceptable. It should zoom Equipment List request or pay the resident to at least 50mm. Most starter DSLRs come with to straighten up before you DSLR $300-900 arrive, angle your shot to this lens as the defacto standard, so they are readily Wide Angle Zoom Lens $200 exclude the power pole, the available. Polarizer $20-50 dead bush, etc. Ninety five percent of point and shoots simply do External Flash $50-200 not have a sufficiently wide a lens to show all of a Total Investment: ~$700-1,000 room. Period. Wide angle is the only substitute for Lighting. Time your exteAmortized over 50 houses: $20/house rior pictures with the sun when it is impossible or not practical to get farther back. I am flabbergasted at the number of ad photos and weather. Don’t shoot that only show the toilet and a corner of the tub, or an East facing home in the the nice family room with fireplace but don’t let you see that afternoon; go in the morning on a nice day when the front view it is attached to the kitchen for a wonderful “Great Room.” A is lit up. On the interior, go in the daytime, open the windows, wide angle lens solves this problem. turn on all of the lights, use your external flash and angle it to get more diffusion. You want the scene to look warm and lived in. Polarizer ($20-$50 at any camera store; the cheap one is just fine). A polarizing filter attaches to the front of the lens Staging. If the house is occupied get a stager to recommend and is used to cut glare and reflections. I rarely take a picture what to change and remove. If the house it empty, get it staged at that includes sky, water or through a window without a polarleast with accessories if not furniture. As a minimum, take along izer. The front element rotates until you see that the picture a bag of small accessories to stage the kitchen and baths just for has the least glare, and best contrast and saturation of color. It the shots. I stage almost all of my homes for owner occupant Realty411Guide.com

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Exterior Poor

Exterior better

sales. Some agents tell me not to do it because most others in that market do not. Perfect. I always want my product to look and be better that my competition. Using these techniques, you can take better marketing pictures than your competition that will make a big difference in your advertising to entice a prospect to take the next step. If you elect to farm it out to a professional you now know what to look for and what questions to ask. May your next pictures look like you could sell a thousand homes. Tom Wilson is a thirty-seven year real estate veteran who has executed over $100M and 1,800 units of real estate investments. After thirty years of managing some of the Silicon Valley’s pioneering technology companies, Mr. Wilson put his business and management experience toward full time investing. One of

INTERIOR Poor

Some people believe Photoshop is the solution to poor photography. This notion was tested with the poor exterior shot. However, it is impossible to digitally reframe a poorly composed photograph, and there is no way to recapture the saturated natural looking sky and lawn without having used a polarized filter in the first place. Conclusion: start with a good photograph and use digital tools for very minor touch ups only. interior better

his companies, Wilson Investment Properties, offers high-quality, high-cash flow, fully rehabbed, and leased properties to other investors. Mr. Wilson is also a weekly host of the Real Estate 360 Radio program on KDOW 1220 am every Wednesday at 3 pm. Catch the podcasts on iTunes or on his website, www.tomwilsonproperties.com

INVEST WITH CONFIDENCE MM ME ED D II A AT TE E C CA AS SH H F FL LO OW W II M D D

iscover the lowest-risk, highest-quality residential investment properties in the iscover lowest-risk, highest-quality residential investment properties in the country.the Using sophisticated methodology, the best investment properties are country. Using methodology, best investment properties carefully selected bysophisticated an experienced investor andthe rehabbed beautifully to secureare the carefully selected an experienced investor and rehabbed beautifully secure best tenants. Withbycompetent property management, and instant cash to flow, yourthe best tenants.pays With competent property management, investment worry-free dividends from day one. and instant cash flow, your investment pays worry-free dividends from day one.

PROFILE OF YOUR FUTURE PORTFOLIO PROFILE OFFlow YOUR FUTURE PORTFOLIO • Highest Cash

Typical Property Price $139,000 Price: $110,000, fully renovated, built 2005 Rent $1,395 Currently Rentedfully for $1,195 Price: $110,000, renovated, built 2005 Year Built 2001 Currently Rented for $1,195 Mention REI Voice Magazine and receive one-year of free Mention REI Voice Magazine andyour receive one-year free Mention Realty411 or reWEALTH and receive 1 of year property management with first purchase. premium home warrantywith withyour yourfirst firstpurchase. purchase. property management

• Highest CashProperties Flow Lowest Risk & Cities • Lowest RiskEquity Properties & Cities Immediate • Immediate Equity Quality Newer Brick Homes and Stable Neighborhoods • Quality and Stable Neighborhoods Turnkey Newer – ClearBrick Title,Homes Rehabbed, Leased, Managed • Turnkey – Clear Title, Rehabbed, Leased, Managed Home Warranty • Home Warranty

“Contact me for a “Contact me for a free cash flow analysis.” free cash flow analysis.”

TOM WILSON, President TOM WILSON, President 408-867-1867 TomKWilson@earthlink.net 408-867-1867 TomWilsonProperties.com TomKWilson@earthlink.net TomWilsonProperties.com


Making $100K Per Year with Mobile Home Communities

Many real estate investors I meet tell me they have one goal — how to make $100,000 per year in passive income. The $100K will provide them financial freedom, i.e. the ability to do what they want when they want. As I explain in my new book “Unconventional Wealth,” the lack of loyalty from the vast majority of corporations to their employees, especially those over the age of 50, makes it imperative that you start on a path to financial freedom as soon as possible because you are going to be forced out on your own sooner or later. I’ve owned and explored numerous businesses through the years and I strongly believe cash flow real estate is the best path to achieving the goal of $100K in passive income. I have chosen the real estate niche of investing in mobile home communities (MHC’s) because the cash flow is so much greater than other areas of real estate. As I have discussed in previous articles, even

in this low interest rate environment that has pushed cap rates back down to historic lows for many real estate investments, I have bought seven d i s t r e s s e d   M H C ’s (1,000+ spaces) in the last six months all at 10+ cap rates. I am confident I will have them at 15 - 20 caps within 18 months by adding some homes to vacant sites and increasing rents. I know of three primary ways to get to $100K in annual income investing in mobile home parks:

1) If you have $750,000 to invest and don’t want to do any work and take minimal risk, you can get a 12-14% annual distribution (plus a 3% to 5% additional annual return through debt pay down and appreciation) investing with a larger operator like myself who works with investors.

by Mike Conlon

2) If you have $375,000 to invest and have access to $700,000 — $1,000,000 in bank or seller financing, you can buy a distressed 100-space park that is 50-65% occupied, make the necessary repairs, add 10-20 repo homes to fill empty sites, raise rents to market levels, and manage it yourself. Owning one 100-space park and operating it yourself is all you need to make $100k/year! 3) If you don’t have any funds yourself, you can start on what I call the “3-Step Plan.” Step One is to raise $100K from people you know and buy a distressed (50-65% occupancy) 25-space park for $250,000 or less with 20% down and seller financing. Try to get interest only for the first 12 months. Use the remaining funds after the down payment to spruce up the park (mostly cosmetic repairs) and Continued on pg. 36

... how do you evaluate the myriad opportunities available to you and get to the top of the class?

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Snail Mail Success Letters Lure Motivated Sellers S Wealth avvy investors utilize many creative ways in their search for suitable properties. One of our preferred methods at Whiterock Capital includes direct mail campaigns to landlords who own single family units, including condominiums and detached single family homes. The mail campaign includes a personalized letter directed to the nonoccupant owners. Our strategy includes simple letters stating our interest in buying homes in the neighborhood for cash. Sellers are often looking for a quick close and fast cash, or they are tired of being landlords, or they may be moving into retirement out of state. Our game plan includes sending letters about every three or four months to our target areas. Many potential sellers become familiar with our letters and save them for later reference. For example, in a recent transaction, the owner seeking an offer called us from a recent letter. This owner is now a potential seller, beginning the acquisition phase. Acquisition includes a field review of the property and pulling comps, including other transactions we have completed in the area. By tracking our sales and the sales of others, we have a realistic basis for estimating property values. Based upon neighborhood values

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an offer is made to the seller, negotiations completed to a mutually agreed to price. A contract is executed placing the sale in escrow and binding the seller to the agreed to terms. With the property under contract, the next step is to market to our wholesale and retail buyers’ list. Many of our current investors have placed “orders” for a particular type of property. Matching the property to an investor’s need reduces the time required to “flip” the property out of inventory. Managing the property is straight forward as the entire process from identifying the property, through the acquisition to a wholesale flip averages thirty-three days. Many transactions are completed in about fourteen to twentyone calendar days. Select properties are chosen for rehab at the time of acquisition. A major rehab that includes a new kitchen, updated bathrooms, paint inside and out, tile floors and neighborhood appropriate landscaping typically takes less than four weeks. Rehabbed properties are priced for a quick sale, usually 5% to 15% below the value of other homes in the area. Exit strategies are chosen at acquisition based upon the property value, to “fill” an order, or the potential for a larger safe return. In this case, a wholesale flip to meet an investor’s order was determined to be the best course. In order to provide our investors solid returns on their investment, a high velocity of money through each deal is re-

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by Richard Endrosolan

Real Estate

Vol. 2 • No. 1 • 2012

RICHARD EDROSOLAN WhiteRock Capital, Inc. Discover why this veteran California investor likes to buy properties in Arizona

quired. Based upon pipeline volume of properties and an approximate 60 to 90 days per turn, the investor can expect three to five turns per year on their capital. Right now, the markets most ripe for this strategy are Phoenix, Las Vegas and several California markets. Because our strategy is so successful we, unlike other wholesalers, have more inventory than we, and our network of investors, can handle. Also, unlike most “wholesalers”, we are true wholesalers who offer properties to our investors at prices which are well below retail, leaving some meat on the table so that our investors take ownership with some equity already in place. And we’re doing this in rapidly appreciating markets. To reach Richard Edrosolan, CEO and founder of Whiterock Capital, call: 805-766-1130 or email: richard@ whiterockrei.com

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Surprising Investors With Sound Advice on Leverage

R

by Chris Clothier, co-owner of MemphisInvest.com

eal estate investors are being bombarded with advice today from every direction and it is sometimes hard to find two pieces of advice that are the same. There are so many options and so many opportunities that becoming confused is a common feeling among investors. Well get ready, because here comes one more piece of advice that may run contrary to what many are advising investors to do today. I happen to have learned my lesson when it comes to leverage and I have a special place for it in my portfolio. Smart real estate investors are learning to use leverage wisely and efficiently to put more money in their pockets. Surprising Investors With Sound Advice In the 4th Quarter of 2012, I made a presentation to a group of investors in Northern California and I surprised many in the room when I made a statement that I did not believe you should buy real estate and leverage it for cash flow.  Given that I am a partner in two companies that specialize in helping investors find properties that provide a positive cash flow after leverage, this statement caught much of the audience by surprise.  But I followed that sentence with a bit of a clarification.  I told the group that there are many ways investors can be fooled or even fool themselves today into thinking that they are making a positive cash flow on their property. I told the group that often, the biggest mistakes investors make, is sacrificing long-term stability for short-term gains.

mortgage.  The 30-year mortgage has become the staple of real estate investing and even Warren Buffet’s recent statement about the 30-year mortgage shook the real estate world.  What many people fail to recall about Warren Buffet’s assessment of investing in real estate is that he used the phrase “…if he could…” which, is very different than stating “this is what I am doing.”  This is worthy of an article all by itself as different investors and investment companies have taken his short interview and turned into the greatest marketing piece they have ever had. His five minute interview has been used thousands of times already to convince investors that they need to mortgage to the hilt all because Warren Buffet mentioned it in his interview. But they all forget two important points. 1. He is one of the wealthiest men on the earth and can afford as much leverage as he is comfortable taking on. 2. He never says that he is buying single-family homes.

“Smart real estate investors

are learning to use leverage wisely and efficiently to put

more money in their pockets.”

The Bank Wins Every Time When I purchased my first home, I was given one option by the three different finance companies I visited… a 30-year Realty411Guide.com

Continued on pg. 58

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http://meminv.es/HTPOA http:// meminv.es/HTPOA http://meminv.es/

http://meminv.es/HTPOA http:// meminv.es/HTPOA http://meminv.es/


FLIPPING BOSTON a chat with Dave & Peter from A&E’s TOP Show

by Stephanie B. Mojica

Dave Seymour and Peter Souhleris of the Boston area loved “flipping” commercial and residential properties long before they were offered the A&E television show “Flipping Boston,” which both entertains and educates audiences about the hard work and great financial rewards of real estate investing. Seymour and Souhleris, owners of CityLight Homes in Peabody, Mass. in the North Shore area of Boston, have flipped houses and taught others how to flip properties for more than 18 years. Unlike some real estate entrepreneurs, the duo places a special focus on refurbishing the properties in which they choose to invest. “From conventional real estate brokerage services through to our innovative, creative and effective out of the box home buying and selling solutions, we’re dedicated to one thing — making the sale,” Souhleris said. In Souhleris’ and Seymour’s book “The Flipping Formula,” their innovative approach to monetizing residential and commercial properties is spelled out in terms even newcomers can grasp. “Every day especially in Boston people drive by what could become tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in their pockets,” Seymour said. Ignorance of the basics of selecting, purchasing, refurbishing, and reselling a home or quality commercial property is all too common among even otherwise welleducated people, the pair noted. Continued on pg. 62 Realty411Guide.com

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point. And over time, we built a name for ourselves as the people who were closing deals.” That reputation has grown exponentially since Inverse Investments first dipped its toes in the water; Carson and his team have garnered mention in print giants like Investors Business Daily and the Wall Street Journal, and Carson himself was asked to speak at the National Association of Realtors conference in 2010. After that, things really took off; Carson said it’s in no small part

cott Carson has a message for anyone who’s on the fence about investing in bank notes: “If you’re not in notes, you’re going to wish you were 6 to 12 months from now.” Buying and selling those mortgages, either individually or in pools, is the bread and butter of Carson’s Inverse Investments

take a fraction of what’s owed right now, and get that, versus waiting for years and then having to sell it as an REO as well,” said Carson. “So they’d let this property go for $100,000 to an investor. That’s a phenomenal deal.” So the bank wins, the investor gets a great deal, and the mortgagee suddenly has a note holder who can work more creatively than any bank ever could. “The investor can do either a loan modification,” said Carson, “or get a deedin-lieu from the homeowner and let the homeowner walk.” All this, Carson points out, potentially without a deficiency judgment, bankruptcy, foreclosure or even any late pay-

Hitting the High Notes

with Scott Carson by Robb Magley

because the entire business is predicated on finding an upside in a down market — one that’s appealing to every party involved. “The banks are looking at their loans;” said Carson. “That’s where they make their money. So imagine they’ve made a half-milliondollar loan, and the property’s only worth $200,000 now. They’re on the hook for that $300,000.” Obviously, the banks have the option to foreclose; but in markets like Florida, New York, or New Jersey, where foreclosure times are measured in years, not months, many are realizing they’d rather clear out their books and get a guaranteed payout instead — even if it’s smaller. “If they know they might not get paid for years, they’re realizing they’d rather

— a company Carson founded in the middle of the first round of post-boom bank failures. “When a lot of banks started going under, I saw an opportunity there,” said Carson. “I launched my own firm six years ago, when the banks were closing like crazy.” The early days were a fever-pitched “one-man show,” according to Carson, calling 40-50 banks every day, searching the nooks and crannies of the mortgage industry for sub-performing (or non-performing) loans the holders would be willing to sell for less than the market value of the property. But it paid off; Inverse Investments is one of the best-positioned boutique firms in the secondary note market, with a reputation and record that’s hard to match. “Those days helped us build up our database from then going forward,” said Carson. “We had success buying one-offs and small pools, doing what others were talking about doing but not too many were actually doing at that Realty411Guide.com Realty411Guide.com com

• 2013 PAGEPAGE 24 • 24 2011

ments on the homeowner’s credit. It’s an attractive solution to a lot of players. “You have HUD and FHA announcing they expect to sell more notes over the next year than REOs because there’s such a glut of inventory,” said Carson. “And they’ve created an investor match program, because they know investors have much more opportunity for creative solutions for borrowers than they can offer.” Carson calls it the “perfect storm” for investors in the note business. “The banks that were saying ‘no’ just a few years ago are now saying ‘yes’ today,” said Carson. “I hear it every day, ‘Can you give us a bid?’ or ‘Can you give us an idea what you might buy this for?’ They’ve definitely Continued on pg. 49

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GREAT Property Managers >> Straight From The School of Hard Knocks Take control of your properties with these 10 tips written by Matt Theriault. This veteran California investor is an author and host of the most popular real estate investing podcast, Epic Real Estate Investing, on iTunes. He also shows people how to invest in real estate at EpicProAcademy.com, or his team does it for them at: CashflowSavvy.com.

1

Seek multiple referrals from other successful real estate investors. Success leaves clues, and a referral from a trusted and prosperous source is more than a clue, it’s evidence. Adopt the mindset of “Slow-To-Hire-Quick-To-Fire.” Regardless of how many positive answers you get from a property manager during the interview process, sometimes the only way to find a good one is to give them a trial run. If you notice a pattern of actions that conflict with their promises during the interview, cut ‘em loose. This is your livelihood, you are not obligated to someone who doesn’t fit your needs. Interview more than one. No matter how much you like the first property manager you meet, keep interviewing. Not only do multiple interviews increase the likelihood of finding a great property manager, you will learn a ton about the projected performance of your properties and the market. Test their customer service. Intentionally end your interviews with a few unanswered questions. Call back after hours and leave a message. Note how and when your call is returned. When they (if they) return your call, use the unanswered interview questions as a basis for your conversation. Ideally, you want your call returned within 24 hours in a professional and courteous way. Placing a call during business hours can also give you an indication of the company’s professionalism and accessibility. Hire investors. This tip applies to your entire team as well as your property manager. Although it’s is not essential that your property manager be an investor, I have found the communication and understanding of each other is MUCH better when they are an investor too.

2

3 4

5

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6

Read the Management Agreement. It seems obvious enough, but it is so important that I must make mention of it. As you read the agreement, remember that EVERYTHING is negotiable. Ask for more concessions than you need in order to get what you really want. Having said that, do not over-negotiate and remove the property manager’s ability to support his business and earn a living. Resentment is the last thing you want in this relationship. Drive by. Ask for a list of properties, as many as possible, that the property manager currently manages. Unkempt properties and loitering tell a lot about how much attention their properties are receiving and what type of activities are going on in the neighborhood. Dirt, debris, and rough characters are red flags as they make finding quality tenants much more difficult. Trust your gut. You know so much more than you think you do. If something doesn’t feel right, investigate. You’ll find that your hunches are not only correct most of the time, but that they’re often rather conservative. As lucrative as rental real estate can be, it has its dark side as well. Frequently refer to tip #2. Be direct in your communication and document everything. Set an example and maintain a standard of clear and honest communication with your property managers. Leave nothing open to interpretation or debate. Divide up your portfolio. Once you’ve acquired more than two or three properties in a specific region, and you intend to continue purchasing there, it’s a good idea to look for a second property manager for future acquisitions. You want to eliminate any single points of failure in your business, and by maintaining a balance of your portfolio between at least two property managers you help cover your assets. Also, keep no secrets about working with a second or third property manager. When your property managers are aware they have competition, you will find that your expenses have a tendency to drop and performance improves.

7

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Watching investors place limitations on their investing due to a few bad long-distance experiences saddens me because it is unnecessary. So, from this point forward, know that the secret to “cash flow” real estate investing is not shortening the distance you live from your investments. The secret lies in selecting great property management, and now you have some “real world” tips to help you do it successfully.

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management

10 Tips for Selecting


NORADA Marco Santarelli, CEO of

Real Estate Investments


by Robb Magley

Questioning Convention A

{ Transforming the Way We Invest in Real Estate }

nyone who’s ever even considered investing in rental properties knows one thing is never guaranteed: having a paying tenant. One real estate entrepreneur asked himself, WHY? It’s a question Norada Real Estate Investment’s Marco Santarelli loves to ask, and it’s served him well. “It’s the most important question for so many things,” said Santarelli. “Why is this property a good investment? Why does this market have potential?” Or, in this case, why not offer investors a rent guarantee? So he did. “As far as I know, we’re the only multi-market turnkey provider that offers a rent guarantee on everything we sell,” said Santarelli. “If a tenant for whatever reason never moves in, or for some reason has to move out, the investor is covered.” Santarelli said Norada has offered a 90-day rent guarantee for some time. “We’ve never had to use it,” he laughs. “But still, we said ‘How can you take a good thing and make it better?’” The answer came from additional talks with insurance underwriters: Norada Real Estate is rolling out a jaw-dropping one-year rent guarantee this year. Santarelli said he’s working with the insurers market-by-market, and currently about two-thirds of their offerings are already under the new one-year policy. “Hopefully we’ll be offering one-year rent guarantees on every property we sell by the middle of the year,” he said. “No one else is doing that.”

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Santarelli has made something of a name for himself questioning conventional thinking in the real estate market. For example, most agents tend to sell properties within their local area, or focus on becoming “experts” in a single market. It’s yet another “here’s how things usually work” scenario Santarelli asked “why?” about. While Norada is based in California, the company isn’t tied to this region — quite the opposite, in fact. Santarelli says he is “market agnostic” and has always viewed real estate in terms of, “live where you want, and invest where it makes sense.” The result, he said, is an agile and adaptive company. “We’re not locked into a specific area,” said Santarelli. “We don’t care which city a property is in, as long as it makes sense from an investment perspective.” According to Santarelli, companies that are fixed to a specific market might have a lot of product, but it’s all in one basket. “If that market ever turns, there’s nothing they can offer.” Santarelli’s “high level” approach to finding investment properties lets him focus on the fundamentals, not the fads. “I start with the metro area,” he said. “I look at the local economy: unemployment, job growth, diversity of employment, population growth. Do we have a lot of foreclosures? Are there a lot of distressed properties? Is there a high level of inventory? Are prices declining, level, or increasing?” If it looks like a city has growth and jobs, and that the housing market is stabilized or on the upswing, then before even looking at a specific property, Santarelli

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said you’ve minimized a lot of the investing risk. “But I like to look at the forest, not just the trees,” he added. “Something can look like a buyer’s market, but it could be that there are underlying problems. If people don’t have jobs, the demand disappears; if the demand disappears, prices come down, and you have increased vacancies.” Santarelli uses Detroit as an example of scratching a “buyer’s market” to uncover trouble. “A lot of investors look at just the property, they say ‘Wow, this is a great property! It’s in good condition, it’s got great cash flow.’ And I’ll say, ‘Oh, by the way, it’s in the middle of a war zone in Detroit.’ You have to consider the market, and the neighborhood, not just the property.” When it comes to properties, Norada is quite specific in what they present to investors: no commercial property, no industrial, no apartment buildings or large complexes. The only segment they offer is 1- to 4-unit residential rental property that is genuinely “turnkey.” And they really mean turnkey. “Turnkey means, in its simplest form, there’s nothing you need to do but close,” said Santarellli. “You can just walk in and start collecting a rent check the next month.” The properties Norada offers are all either new construction or newly rehabbed; they’re all leased, or are in the process of being leased (in the case of a property in the rehab process, where a tenant simply hasn’t moved in yet). And, significantly, they’re all cash flow positive. Santarelli Continued on next page >

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thinks most agents are missing the boat when they don’t emphasize the importance of positive cash flow as being part of qualifying a property as “turnkey.” “We don’t want to touch a property unless it produces a measurable rate of return for the investor,” said Santarelli. “We surveyed our investors, and over 52% of them placed cash flow as their highest priority in what they’re looking for in an investment property.” In that same poll, according to Santarelli, appreciation ranked 5th down the list. “Investors want to make sure they’re buying a property that’s paying for itself.” It’s all part of what he calls the “why” of Norada Real Estate: To make wealth creation as easy as possible. The goal was to create a place where investors could shop, invest, and start collecting cash flow, all under one roof — or, in Norada’s case, practically at one website. Bucking the trend of in-house private data, Santarelli’s company makes its powerful analytics tools available free online, to anyone who’s interested. The Norada website presents its properties by market — with exhaustive data and detail about those markets. “We put it all on the website so investors can do much of their due diligence right there,” said Santarelli. The website software also does price forecasting based on a number of economic models, updated quarterly. “Then, there’s a green button that says ‘analyze’,” said Santarelli. “If you click on that, it provides a very detailed, customizable cash flow analyzer. It’s a proprietary program I had developed just for our website.” Santarelli acknowledged that detailed analysis can seem overly complex, and investors’ eyes can glaze over when presented too much of it. His goal is present it all in a simple way, so investors can get the message of why a particular market is a good one — and move on with

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—SPECIAL REPORT—

Why Build Wealth Through Real Estate?

T

he simple answer is that it is the most powerful way to accumulate wealth, and more people have become millionaires through real estate than any other means. And despite the obvious need to save for retirement, a recent Wall Street Journal article indicated that a startling 95% of Americans will face financial difficulties by retirement! Of course, you have several options for building wealth, but most of these options pale in comparison to real estate. Consider options like savings accounts, CDs, bonds, and money market accounts. These are safe options, but you certainly won’t reach a goal of building significant wealth through these means. For the most part, these options barely keep pace with inflation. Think about it: How many millionaires do you know who became wealthy by investing in savings accounts? The stock market can bring you some interesting returns, but it can also lead to some big losses. You have very little control over the companies you invest in, and there are no significant tax advantages to owning stock. In addition to the wealth you’d create, you would also benefit from the growing annual cash flow being produced by your income properties. The income earned can help supplement your existing income, provide additional capital towards the purchase of additional income property, and eventually give you the freedom to quit your job and retire with passive income! The book details a very simple plan that will create long-term wealth and cash flow for you and your family. The plan is very scalable, which means you can do more or less in order to achieve your wealth and income goals at your own pace. Remember: “Don’t wait to invest in real estate, invest in real estate and wait.” Pre-order “Building Wealth with Real Estate” today on Amazon.com. Download the first chapter FREE at www.NoradaRealEstate.com the decision process. The exemplification of that is Santarelli’s proprietary “DealGrader” algorithm. Every property on Norada’s website has its own DealGrader score. “It’s a score from 0 to 100, measuring the investment quality of a real estate investment,” said Santarelli. “It’s a snapshot of profitability and investment risk — the higher the score, the better the investment quality. It’s unique, it’s our algorithm, and again, no one else has it. It’s just one more tool in the bigger picture to help investors.” Other tools Santarelli makes free and available include weekly newsletters,

PAGE 28 • 2013

free membership to Norada’s Real Estate Investment Group, and Norada’s Housing Market Forecast, recently updated for 2013. “That’s essentially an appreciation forecast for the industry,” said Santarelli. “It lays out the top 100 markets, with a focus on the top 15.” If that wasn’t enough, Norada offers a free report called “Building Wealth in Real Estate,” in it, he talks about a wealth accumulation plan that focuses on real estate, with enough of the basics to be useful to a novice — and enough detail to appeal to an advanced investor. “It’s actually a system to accumulate property over time Continued on pg. 30

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WEALTH CREATION MADE EASY

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Dallas Wholesaler, Industry Leader, pg. 11

fluff some put behind it,” he said. “It is hard work, but it pays off.” Herriage and his team members can help a distressed owner get out of virtually any housing situation. Herriage Homes works with some of the most challenging cases in the industry, including unwanted rentals, properties in need of major repairs, quick sales, short sales, divorce sales, pending foreclosures, and bankruptcy liquidations. “It takes me about 15 to 20 minutes to walk through your house and make you a cash offer,” Herriage said. “My offer is on an as-is basis. This means you do not have to make any repairs, or even clean out the house in some cases. I call it, ‘Take what you want, and leave what you don’t.’” In an average month, Herriage buys five to seven houses. He wholesales more than half of those properties, “flips” others, and retains some in a rental portfolio. The dramatic spike in people using the Internet for all types of matters has not changed Herriage’s basic process of buying, fixing, and selling houses. “It is still a people business.  The best way to make money in this business is to be behind a steering wheel,” he said. “There are those that teach to sell product, and those that teach to buy and sell more houses.  I teach about real world actionable information I obtain weekly by being active in what I teach about.  There are few that can claim that.” To learn more about Herriage Homes, call 972-755-1880 or visit www.timherriage.com Questioning Convention, Marco Santarelli, pg. 28

CW 274 Fiscal Hangover & Global Change with Keith Fitz-Gerald

CW 273 The Decline of the EuroZone with Alasdair MacLeod

CW 269 SWOT Analysis of Income Property, Facebook IPO & Case Study

See terms of service at: www.JasonHartman.com/terms Podcast

that can be adopted by anybody,” said Santarellli, “and tweaked whether you’re buying one property a year, two a year, or one every two years. You can adjust the pace, but if you stick to the plan you can create a lot of wealth and cash flow.” It talks about all the advantages of real estate investing — appreciation, leverage, financing, tax advantages, and of course the significance of inflation, which Santarelli thinks few investors consider. “A lot of people don’t think about inflation, and how your monthly mortgage payment is fixed in current dollars,” said Santarelli, “but with inflation you’re making those payments with cheaper and cheaper dollars every year.” All of which paints Norada as a forward-thinking, agile analytics-based real estate investment company, unburdened by specific markets, that puts every free tool imaginable in the hands of its investors. To learn more call 800-611-3060 or visit online at: www.NoradaRealEstate.com

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photo by David Gaylor

Investor Education a Top Priority for Equity Trust T by Stephanie B. Mojica

Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and is a registered financial principal. When not working closely with clients or giving workshops across the country about the flexibility and profit potential of self-directed IRAs, Desich is a guest professor at Ohio State University’s prestigious Max Fisher College of Business. “Assisting clients in achieving their financial goals is the greatest value we provide,” Desich said. Equity Trust is one of the leading firms in the rapidly growing self-directed IRA market. Despite the economic downturn that began in 2008, IRAs around the world are worth about $5.7 trillion. Equity Trust is the custodian of about $12 billion of retirement

he executives of Equity Trust, a self-directed IRA firm in Ohio, truly believe in investor education. For this reason they host a conference every year to increase awareness of basic investment fundamentals to investors. “Unfortunately, too many people these days are investing without understanding the basics,” said Jeff Desich, Chief Executive Officer. Desich and his staff members work continuously to ensure that each client understands not only his ultimate investment goals, but in which real estate properties he has invested. Desich holds multiple licenses with the Financial

Continued on pg. 59

Jeff Desich, CEO of Equity Trust

Learn about the history of Equity Trust on the next page >> Realty411Guide.com

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EQUITY TrUsT

Richard Desich Sr. starts MidOhio Securities on January 1, 1974

A Drug Mart store in Ohio becomes the company’s first non-traditional asset held within an IRA

Company founder Richard Desich realized early in his career that investing in real estate and other alternative investments in an IrA could be a valuable retirement savings tool. In 1974 he began Mid-Ohio securities (which later transferred its selfdirected IRA accounts to Equity Trust) and the company's first real estate investment in an IrA took place in 1984.

Mid-Ohio Securities moves its selfdirected accounts to Equity Trust Company

Rapidly growing Equity Trust moves into its new 16,000 square-foot facility in Blyria, Ohio

1980s

1990s

1970s

The IRS approves Mid-Ohio Securities as a non-bank, passive custodian for IRA’s

The company’s services expand to include all 50 states

Equity Trust hits the 20,000 account milestone

Equity Trust Company is founded

New Equity Trust website created, www.trustetc.com, receives 1 million unique visitors

Equity Trust holds 40,000 active accounts

2000s

Inaugural Equity University Networking Conference brings hundreds of selfdirected investors to Orlando, Florida for proven self-directed investment strategies, education and networking


Almost 40 years later, the company and demand for self-directed IrAs continue to grow. Equity Trust is the nation's leading provider of self-directed IrAs and 401(k)s with over 130,000 clients in all 50 states and $12 Billion of retirement fund assets under custody.

Company website, www.TrustETC.com educates and informs 2 million unique visitors

Jeff Desich is named CEO of Equity Trust Company

Equity Trust Company’s client base tops 130,000

Company’s South Dakota service and operations center opens - Equity Trust Company now operates from 5 facilities in 4 states

Equity Trust Company hits the milestone of $12 billion in assets under administration

Equity Trust Company opens Denver office and launches Equity Advisor Solutions

2010s Company acquires Texas-based Sterling Trust, bringing Equity Trust’s client to 115,000

Industry first online client portal, myEQUITY launches, giving clients access to 24/7 networking and education Equity Trust’s Facebook fan base surpasses 5,000 Ira the bear becomes Equity Trust’s official mascot, takes on the task of travelling to spread the word about self-directed IRA’s

Equity Trust Company hits $3 billion in assets under administration

Equity Trust debuts a new look and enhanced services


Investors helping Investors Invest in the BEST real estate market for cash flow and appreciation! “When you buy within a system, you benefit from strength in numbers!” - Nick Vertucci

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notes

The State of the Note Market by Robb Magley

Why is now the time to invest in bank notes?

F

or Asset Ventures’ Tony Martinez, the answer is as clear as writing on a wall. Martinez entered the bank note business through his earlier experiences buying and selling real estate — in particular, short sales. “I negotiated more than 300 short sales through the real estate side,” said Martinez, “and I was looking for a better way.” And for the past several years, that “better way” has been investing in notes. A mortgage note is a lien against a property, created where someone has borrowed money against it. “It’s basically an IOU, which states the terms by which the borrower has to pay back the lender,” said Martinez. “What we do is buy institutional notes that were created by a bank or mortgage company.”

The real opportunity began in 2007, according to Martinez, when the market shifted and suddenly those notes were nearly worthless to banks; the unpaid balance stayed in place, but when the loans stopped performing, the banks were in a bind. “Millions of dollars’ worth of notes were no longer of any value to the banks,” said Martinez. “Remember, they used the value of those notes in order to borrow money to lend and make their money, and now they had nowhere to go with all this collateral.” Imagine you’re a bank, said Martinez, and you have 1,000 notes, and every one is performing. “You’re sitting in a pretty good position,” he said. “If one goes bad, it’s not really a big deal, you’ll just sell it off, or foreclose, or whatever options are available. You might spend the time and work out something really attractive for the borrower, because you’ve got all those other notes working for you.” But in a major financial crisis, it’s another matter. “When there’s a huge hit, and all of a sudden you’ve got 50% of your Continued on pg. 36

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The State of the Note Market, pg. 35

inventory becoming worthless, and you’ve got to figure out a way to create some liquidity,” said Martinez. “So you’ll start selling off your bad paper at fire sale prices.” The need for that liquidity is fundamental, according to Martinez. “If I’m a big bank, the government requires me to freeze some of my good liquid assets to protect my bad debt,” he said. “That limits my lending power on the other side.” That’s because a bank is allowed to loan as much as ten times its liquid assets; for every $100,000 in liquid assets, it can loan $1 million. “Now, if I have a loan of $100,000 that’s not performing, I have to freeze the equivalent of $1 million in lending,” said Martinez. “That really affects my business in a negative way.” Now, he added, imagine if the bank can sell a non-performing loan that’s worth — on paper — $100,000 to someone for $20,000. “Suddenly I have $20,000 in liquid assets, and I can loan $200,000,” he said. “There’s a huge benefit to them to do this; the benefit to us is we can buy these notes for pennies on the dollar.” Several other factors have come into play that make this a good time to get into notes, said Martinez. Right now, he said, most of the notes that are available for investment are ones that were taken on originally by larger banks — and their time is running out in at least two ways. “Those big banks have until the end of this year to relinquish as much of the bad debt as they can, and still receive up

For more information or to receive a free informational DVD on the note market, visit: www.assetventuresllc.com

it. A quick example: A guy I bought a park from in Raleigh, NC at the end of 2009 had owned the park since 1979. He never went to college. He raised his family in the park and the cash flow allowed him to send three kids to college. After I purchased it, he netted out $3 million! I paved some of the roads, added some cosmetic repairs, and brought in 15 older repo homes to fill empty sites. I owned the park for two years and was able to net out $1 million in profit after I sold it in December of 2011.

UNCONVENTIONAL WEALTH:

Making $100,000 per year, pg. 18

to an 80% reimbursement for their loss,” said Martinez. “So that’s a huge motivating factor for the banks to get these off their books.” Also, after the TARP money runs out at the end of this year, the government is putting increasingly complicated lending regulations in place for the following year. “So the banks want to put themselves in as much of a liquid position as possible right now, to continue to be able to borrow from the government at a very low rate while there aren’t as many regulatory restrictions,” said Martinez. Finally, banks are simply tired of the resources they expend keeping up with non-performing notes. “The maintenance of a bad note costs them so much more than that of a good performing note, probably 10-15 times more,” said Martinez. “They really don’t want to deal with them. You have to think at their scale; while we’re looking at 10 or 100 of these, they’re dealing with thousands. It makes more sense to sell it off.” Martinez said the note market is probably going to remain strong for several years, particularly due to the volume of inventory. “There’s hundreds of thousands of delinquent notes,” said Martinez. “It’s going to be impossible to move them overnight. We’re probably looking at a year or two’s worth of inventory lagging behind, even if the market changes dramatically.” And, he said, no one he talks to thinks that’s less than 3-5 years away.

UNCONVENTIONAL WEALTH:

The New Main $treet Millionaires

bring in 7-8 older repo homes to increase occupancy and sell them on a lease-to-own program. Then raise the lot rents by $10-$25/month (depending on the market). After 18 months when you have increased the annual lot rent income by $30,000, sell the park for $450,000, which would be a 10 cap for a new buyer (don’t be greedy on the sale — leave a nice return for the buyer). After paying the seller back and your investors a nice profit and returning their principal, you should have at least $125,000 in your pocket.

In this book, Mike Conlon will show you an unconventional path to prosperity in this very difficult economy by providing quality, ethical, and affordable services to America’s largest and fastest growing consumer group. In order to prosper on this path, you don’t need a college degree, only the willingness to work hard and learn. Mike has the unique ability to provide Americans with a realistic, no B.S. view of the financial world today – one that comes from his years of street-wise investment success in three different businesses – financial planning, mid-sized apartment complexes, and mobile home communities that have made him a true Main $treet Millionaire.

The New Main $treet Millionaires

He has bought, rehabbed, and sold over $50 million worth of commercial multi-family (affordable apartment complexes and mobile home parks) involving 15 projects over the last ten years. He was a leader in the financial planning business in the 1990’s and early 2000’s as he grew a financial planning broker-dealer from $1.2 million in gross revenues to $40 million in six years and then sold it to a large national insurance company; he also managed over $100 million of client money in his own financial planning practice before becoming completely disillusioned with Wall Street money machine. He is a 1990 graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School.

The New Main $treet Millionaires

MIKE CONLON

Mike’s basic investing premise has brought him success over the last decade and he foresees even more opportunities over the next 10 years. Unconventional Wealth gives readers insight into the skillz they need to become Main $treet Millionaires.

Mike Conlon is a President/Owner of Affordable Communities Group, LLC, MIKE CONLON (www.acgmhc.com), which invests in distressed mobile home communities throughout the Southeast and the Midwest. He is also President/Owner of Carolina Turnkey Step Two of the plan is to get the original investors to reinvest their $100K along with your $125K and buy a Properties, LLC, which buys distressed single-family homes in the Raleigh and Charlotte markets. He has been a fulldistressed 50-space park. Use the exact same formula as Step One for the 18-month period. You should end of with time real estate investor for the last 10 years. He is based in Cary, NC. He is also an author, speaker, and educator on $250K in your pocket after that sale. real estate investing. His book, “Unconventional Wealth: The New Main Street Millionaires,” was released in August 2012. Step Three is to buy your 100-space park as notated in #2 above. This business is not rocket science. Anyone can do Mike Conlon can be reached at mike.conlon@acgmhc.com Realty411Guide.com

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Why Should You Invest In A Mobile Home Community? 3 The demand for affordable housing is skyrocketing 3 Very little, if any, affordable housing has been built in the U.S. since the mid-1990’s 3 Much higher cash flows than apartment complexes as they are less maintenance intensive, have much less resident turnover, and much lower ongoing capital expenses 3 Higher barriers to entry as the costs to build a new park are high and available land near larger metro areas is scarce and expensive 3 Much easier to manage when the majority of residents are just “leasing the dirt”

Why affordable communities group? Learn how I made over $500,000 in profit in two years by buying one distressed community

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AFFORDABLE COMMUNITIES GROUP

3 10+ years experience in buying, rehabbing and selling over 3,000 units 3 Have completed 15 full cycle deals (buy, rehab, sell) resulting in over $50 million proceeds 3 Experts in the property management business as we self-manage all our properties - very “hands-on” 3 Keep a tight geographic focus - diversified, but not too spread out 3 We put our own capital into every deal

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Entrepreneurial Life How to Control Your time & money with sensei’s secrets to an

by Stephanie Mojica

S

ensei Gilliland is a husband, father, real estate investor and entrepreneur. He has little time to spare. He runs businesses that are automated to pump out large sums of cash every day. Sensei is the founder and CEO for Black Belt Investors, a real estate company that offers investments, education and consulting. Sensei also owns a chain of martial arts schools, a marketing company and an real estate auction bid service focused in Phoenix, Arizona. Multiple Streams of Income is the most preached about rule for real estate investors, but with that systems must be placed. How can we as investors automate our real estate investing business or agency with other endeavors that we may have? Read on to find out...

Q: At what point did you realize that your real estate business was going to take off and decide to devote yourself to building a second career? A: That’s funny you ask... I knew this business was for me right after I took my first real estate workshop. I had created such a passion for flipping houses that failure was not an option for me, especially after I had to break the news to my bride that I just spent $30,000 on a package of real estate seminars. You men reading this article know what I’m talking about. After my first 5 years of flipping houses across the nation and continuing my education, I added other cash generating real estate niches such as wholesaling, purchase options and rentals. I had such a momentum that many people started

‘...my definition of wealth is having income streams to control my time without compromising my lifestyle.’

Question: When you first started your martial arts business, were you expecting that it would become a full-time business and a growing company?  Answer: At first, I started it with the idea that it would become an income stream, until I figured out what I wanted to do as a career. During college I realized that I was making just as much money working my part-time martial arts business as the professors who worked full-time careers. I received my associate’s degree and quickly exited college so I could focus my attention on building my business. Q: At what point did you venture into real estate? A: I got started in the real estate because I was looking for a business that would give me a passive income stream. First my eyes were set on coin-op car washes. I understood the car wash business model, but what I didn’t understand was how to lease or buy land. Now, I had to learn the real estate business. Here’s what I learned: He who controls the real estate, controls the business. That was a big lesson for me, so I quickly dove into the real estate investing world as I wanted that control. Q: Was there a particular real estate niche that attracted you and why? A: Yes, I was attracted to fixing and flipping houses because I wanted big paydays like I read in the books.

Realty411Guide.com

to inquire about my business and that is when I decided to expand my business to consulting, education, private money lending and asset management. Q: I see that Black Belt Investors has many spokes to its hub. Would you mind telling us which spoke is the most dominate income stream and which spoke captures your passion? A: Oh that’s easy. Buying and selling real estate is my cash machine, rentals is my wealth builder and my passion belongs to educating. Q: You’ve boot strapped your business, and as I understand, you run a lean and mean machine. What do you do yourself, what does your staff do, and what do you outsource? A: That’s a fully loaded question, but let me put it in simple form. I personally like to focus on the creative side of business. I enjoy to tweaking, testing and enhancing my products and services to stay on the cutting edge. I also love to build new businesses that compliments one of my other businesses. I have a powerful staff that I can rely on that enjoys their work. Some of my staff works in the office, some are out in the field and many are set up to work through a virtual office. They relieve me of many duties that would normally tie me down just to maintain the business. I know that if I want to

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photo by Nathan York

grow, then I must be relieved of the work that a $10 an hour employee can handle as ‘time is money’ and my time is much more valuable than to do the tasks of a $10 an hour job. I will mention a few of the duties that I outsource that most businesses can relate too, such as database managers, internet marketing, social media managing, services and product sales team and transactions coordinators. Q: I know that you own multiple companies. How do you manage and control these businesses? A: I think it is very important to focus on your strengths and hire your weakness. If you are going to own one or many businesses, then you need to learn how to develop systems that can be operated by employees. Let’s take McDonalds for an example... here you have a fast food chain that will pull in billions in revenue each and every year operated by minimum wage workers. How can that be? It works because of the powerful business branding and the systems that are in place. By having great branding and systems, it allows the owner to oversee the business and not be in the business, which ultimately allows more time for the owner to focus on business building. Q: You’re a strong advocate of “personal branding.” Could you define what that means to you? A: I had no concept what branding meant until about eight years ago. Branding to me is a name that stands for something in prospects’ minds. Google stands for “search”. Home Depot stands for “home improvement”. Redbox stands for “video rentals”. Developing a great brand and you will have what I call “positive magnet marketing”. Prospects will be drawn to you and your business. Don’t brand yourself properly and you will have “negative magnet marketing”, which means you will push your marketing to find prospects. Q: How do you define entrepreneurship? A: I define entrepreneurship as “the passionate pursuit of opportunity.” Entrepreneurship is not for the weak. One must work harder, faster and smarter than the competition. Q: How do you define wealth? A: The definition of wealth is very personal to each individual, however, my definition of wealth is “having income streams to control my time without compromising my lifestyle.” Q: What is next for Black Belt Investors? A: I am continuing my work to grow the company and to take advantage of the current market. I am excited to have a few irons in the fire that will increase the value of the company and keep me challenged. I am always working to build the brand, better our service and products and enjoy myself along the journey. Black Belt Investors is a real estate company that offers properties, education and consulting. To learn more about Sensei and Black Belt Investors or to sign up for his free newsletter, visit: www.BlackBeltInvestors.com or call 951-280-1900


The 401(K) Sink Hole… Avoid Falling In

I

from Jason Hartman’s Financial Freedom Report

t’s not much of a secret that the U.S. government is in the midst of big financial problems.

The annual structural government deficit is well in excess of $1 trillion dollars, with no end in sight. In addition to this, there are a growing number of people who are hurtling toward retirement with insufficient assets to sustain themselves during their retirement years. Reports of people making early withdrawals from their retirement accounts have caused some to proclaim the 401(k) to be a failure, and have expressed a desire to replace the current 401(k) individual retirement accounts with a universal government sponsored pension.

proposal among its proponents is that it replaces “market based” retirement plans with a government pension that is “more stable.” Of course, this is all a thinly veiled cover for confiscating multiple trillions of dollars in private wealth to bail out bankrupt government programs and union pension plans. However, it provides a very important lesson to the people who have invested their time and effort into building a financial nest egg to fund their retirement. This message is that the government has already prepared proposals to come after large amounts

Ordinarily, such a proposal would be dismissed as the pointless rants of folks from the far-left fringe. However, on October 7, 2010 Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) held a recess hearing where he heard testimony from people advocating for a “Guaranteed Retirement Account” (GRA). The fundamental feature of a GRA system is that the government would seize 401(k) accounts, set up an additional 5% payroll tax and distribute a “fair” pension to everybody. The line of reasoning that is used to advance the Realty411Guide.com

PAGE 40 • 2013

of private wealth. When the government-entitlement state eventually comes to the point of collapse, the political establishment will become desperate. This creates a tremendous degree of risk for investors, since they may end up with a situation where their hard work to save and invest is literally stolen by the government and invested into government treasuries that pay a rate of interest below the rate of inflation. In this way, there is a persistent risk that the once vaunted 401(k) could become a financial sink hole that

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... now is a prime opportunity to begin diversifying your investing activities into areas that are not concentrated in highly visible pools of capital. devastates many cal landscape to tion works in the favor of income propmillions of middle Action Item: Diversify your determine when erty investors is because laws regarding class investors just or if such actions the landlord-renter relationship are all investments into fragmented as they are nearing will be required. local. This means that a single sweepthe age where they vehicles such as income properties Furthermore, now ing change from Washington D.C. is expected to retire. that are not concentrated in large, is a prime opunlikely to completely change the landIt is important for portunity to begin scape of the income property market for highly visible financial institutions. investors to underdiversifying your the entire country. stand the true naThis will help you defend against investing activiture and gravity of the risk of the government confisties into areas that Thus, the 401(k) carries an increasthe situation. The are not concening risk of becoming a sink hole for cating retirement accounts to fund US government trated in highly investors. The government is running does not currently a universal pension system. visible pools of out of time before the full extent of their have the power capital. generational financial irresponsibility is to confiscate your brought to bear. The risk is not yet imretirement assets, One highly efminent, but is still very real. Intelligent but that power fective vehicle for investors should understand that the could be granted by congress. From achieving this goal is income property. current world is one where the rules that there, the bill would need to be signed Since rental real estate is highly fragwere originally created to help people by the President, and would almost cermented, it will be much more difficult secure a happy, prosperous retirement tainly trigger a major court challenge. and costly to confiscate than 401(k) and are poised to be pulled out from under However, the proposals have already IRA assets. In this way, fragmentation us at the most inopportune time posbeen advanced, and it seems to be only serves as a defensive mechanism for sible. a matter of time before somebody in investors. Another way that fragmentaWashington DC becomes desperate enough to come after the private wealth of the millions who have invested their earnings into a 401(k) plan. Jason Hartman has been involved in several thousand real estate transactions and This demonstrates two fundamenhas owned income properties in 11 states tal truths. The first is that desperate governments will resort to highly risky and 17 cities. His company, Platinum and unethical measures to avoid the Properties Investor Network, Inc. helps consequences of their collective fiscal people achieve The American Dream of irresponsibility. The second is that our financial resources may be at risk if financial freedom by purchasing income they are concentrated in a place such as property in prudent markets nationwide. a 401(k) where they are easily visible Jason’s Complete Solution for Real by government agencies. Estate Investors™ is a comprehensive Now is not the time to incur a system providing real estate investors penalty and withdraw all of your funds with education, research, resources and from the 401(k) or IRA plan that you have established for your retirement technology to deal with all areas of their assets. However, it is most certainly a income property investment needs. time to pay diligent attention to what is Contact Jason at www.JasonHartman.com or 714-820-4200. happening in the financial and politi-

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C2C

Pete Asmus (left) and Ivan Oberon, founders of Coast to Coast REIA Photographs by Shannon Asmus

REIA California investors begin Coast to Coast REIA clubs to encourage deal participation among members.

I

by Isaac Newkirk

t’s common knowledge that tremendous money-making opportunities exist by investing in real estate. But questions still loom large: Where are the best deals? Is my local community ripe for investments or do neighboring cities offer better opportunities? What’s the best way to determine pricing trends in any given community? And this is only the beginning: The deeper you go into the real estate investing environment, the greater the number of questions. The ever-changing market and uncertainty can be difficult even for real estate veterans to deal with. It is for this reason that many savvy investors with years of experience under their belt are increasingly turning back to their local clubs for guidance. These groups are known as REIAs (Real Estate Investor Associations). Traditionally, many have been under the National REIA umbrella, a non-profit trade organization with local chapters nationwide. However, a recent surge in industry activity has skyrocketed the number of independent associations and networking groups. The new Coast to Coast REIA™ (commonly known online as C2C REIA) is one such organization. What makes this California-based investment club organization different? “Our main focus is not selling education, but encouraging real estate deals to be done within the group’s membership,” explains Pete Asmus, CEO and co-founder. The organization is comprised nationally of localized Realty411Guide.com

groups of like-minded individuals. They meet regularly to share ideas, discuss market changes, learn new concepts and trade industry referrals, including who to stay away from in a designated market. Most importantly, the main objective is to share equity opportunities within the group. Pete got into the real estate business seven years ago and became quite skilled at flipping houses, so much so that he was constantly being asked to conduct seminars about the process. It didn’t take him long to realize that, not only did he have quite a knack for the seminar process, it was something that he also enjoyed. Last year Pete, and his longtime friend and business associate Ivan Oberon, founded Coast to Coast REIA™. Ivan handled the real estate side of the business and Pete was in charge of networking responsibilities. Today, they have over 1,100 members and 32 chapters in many states, such as Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Washington, D.C. It may seem like instant success, but the duo have been building connections in the real estate industry circuit for nearly a decade, and they were able to tap into an existing database of thousands. Coast to Coast REIA™ also merged with existing clubs already in place in some markets. Pete believes that investing in the success of club members creates a stronger organization. “The seminar companies want to make money from just training.” He adds: “When all you do is care about the money coming in from training, then you’re not going to care about the end result, which is their

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financial freedom.” Pete says if he is going to help teach someone, inevitably, he’s hoping his student will create wealth and “desire to be a partner” in future deals. Coast to Coast REIA™ was created to be a network of real estate partners. An organized group of business relations across the country, Ivan says. The core foundation of Coast to Coast REIA™ is the Regional Managing Partner (RMP), the individual that runs the clubs in the various markets. “Part of what our organization is about is bringing people together who are great at something different than what you are,” Ivan confides. The organization’s mantra is “connecting people face to face from coast to coast.” The ultimate goal of a Coast to Coast REIA™ meeting is to connect the right market with the right type of investor. “The one thing you need as an investor is a team. That’s what we provide,” Ivan says, adding “I’m all about trying to get you into a network to realize that’s where the real opportunities come from.” While education is great, Pete and Ivan say that what makes Harvard such a fantastic school is not the professors, but the

Want to Connect with Coast to Coast REIA? http://www.c2creia.com http://www.youtube.com/ peteasmus https://www.facebook.com/ C2CREIA https://www.facebook.com/groups/ C2CVirtualChapter/ http://www.ustream.tv/ channel/c2creia Or register for our weekly webinar Journey to Success http://www.anymeeting.com/ PIID=E954DD83824F3D For information email: info@c2creia.com

alumni. “When it comes to investing in real estate, you don’t have to know everything, says Pete. “You just have to be connected to people who do. Then, you can accomplish anything.”

The organization’s mantra is “connecting people face to face from coast to coast.” The ultimate goal of a Coast to Coast™ meeting is to connect the right market with the right type of investor.

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Photo by Sam Green

What Exactly is a Secured Investment? • There is risk for significant loss. • There is no limit to the investment’s upside. Some examples of unsecured investments include: stock or equities, direct ownership in real estate (flipping or holding for cash flow), ownership in partnerships or entities that own real estate, most REITs, and promissory notes. On the other hand, an investment is likely secured if: • The value of the investment does not fluctuate and is not market driven. • The investment comes with some form of guarantee. • The downside risk of the investment is very limited.

I

by Chris Gleason, MMG Capital

f you stick around the real estate investing community long enough, you’re bound to hear the term secured investment at some point. The word “security” is thrown around all over the place with the intent of meaning a lot of different things. Unfortunately, because it means so many different things to so many different people, it’s often used incorrectly. And since there’s no uniformity in the way that the word is used it logically follows that there is a general confusion or a lack of understanding of what the word is supposed to mean in the context of real estate investing. Who really cares though, right? So what if it’s used incorrectly? How does that affect anybody? The truth of the matter is that it’s extremely important. For instance, if you were asked whether or not “your investment is secured,” could you answer confidently? Or if you were asked “what is your investment secured by?” would you confidently know what to say? Knowing the difference between secured and unsecured can be the difference between profits and losses. The economic implications can have a drastic effect on your pocketbook and the way that you decide what investments are appropriate for your portfolio. Here are a few ways to tell whether an investment is secured or not. Your investment is probably unsecured if: • The value of the investment fluctuates with the market.

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Some examples of secured investments include: bonds and debt instruments, trust deed investments, real estate tax liens, or secured promissory notes and mortgages. Secured Investments are not necessarily better than nonsecured investments, and vice-versa. Each has their own set of pros and cons and each is more appropriate given certain market conditions and expectations. So again we have to ask the question, “why do we care?” To answer simply — different types of investments are better suited for different types of investors depending on their goals and risk tolerances, and different types of investments will vary significantly in their expected yields. There are plenty of different types of real estate investing strategies out there, and some will be suited for certain investors and others will be suited for the rest. What works today may not work next year, and so on and so forth. As an example of what we’re talking about, consider the common case of Real Estate Investor A that has a little money in their pocket and is trying to decide what to do with it. In most cases, this investor will go out and buy a piece of investment real estate. They may even utilize a loan to purchase the real estate, hoping to increase their return on equity. At the same time, Real Estate Investor B is in the marketplace with some money and is trying to decide what to do with it. Rather than purchase a piece of investment real estate, Investor B decides to become a secured lender and use their cash to make a loan to another real estate investor.

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Continued on pg. 47

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profile

N

by Robb Magley

ick Vertucci knows the real estate market has a bit of an image problem in the media. “Right now, when I tell people I’m a real estate investor, they generally look at me with a face that says ‘Are you doing OK?’” he laughed. But between the radio shows, the real estate seminars, and the peren-

when we had the run-up to the bubble,” said Vertucci. “But the fact of the matter is, all the savvy investors were selling their product when everyone else was buying. Those people were speculating, and they were mostly following the herd.” Vertucci said the challenge right now is explaining that right now is actually the time to buy. “We’ve never been in a better real estate market,” he said, “but most people don’t recognize that, because they

You could never really cash flow there, because the prices were too high. But after the bubble, it got to a point where you could actually cash flow at an 8% to 10% cap rate in the good areas, and then just wait for appreciation.” So a few years ago Vertucci and his investors went into Las Vegas in a big way. “We told all our investors to get in and get good cash flow, and they did,” he said. “And now that market — between the hedge funds going in there and buying, and all the investors, people from California — you can’t get product out there any more at a good price, it won’t cash flow, the prices are too high. But everyone that has purchased there made at least 2030% on their money since last year.” The key, according to Vertucci, was that they were paying attention. “Probably about 8 months before the Vegas market just stopped, we saw the writing on the wall,” said Vertucci. “Then we saw Orlando shaping up with the same type of market, just about a year and a half behind Vegas. So we went to Orlando to build the infrastructure there — and when the Vegas market puttered out, we were already up and running.” That infrastructure is the other half of the business’ success, Vertucci explains. His company doesn’t just find and sell property; they offer a rehab and management package — “Soup to nuts,” he said — that includes all the ingredients needed to make the investment pay off, leveraging the bulk buying power of the 50-70 properties they take on every month to bring down expenses — and retain control. “When my investor buys, they get a property that’s already been rehabbed, that has a renter in it, and is managed by us,” said Vertucci. “I don’t pass them on to third party management because that’s where people get hurt a lot; they get all

Nick Vertucci

WINS in ANY Market nially-active business he’s built NV Companies into, Vertucci is doing better than OK. And he forgives his new clients for wondering. “People thought that the best real estate market was five or six years ago,

only understand appreciation.” The model Vertucci and NV Companies have built their success upon doesn’t count on an investment appreciating; rather, they advise investors to “cashflow” properties — set them up with renters, and hold on through the up-and-down. That relies upon two things: getting a decent deal on the investment to begin with, and the ability to manage the property going forward. The first, according to Vertucci, has been a matter of paying close attention to markets. Until recently, NV Companies and its investors were focused almost exclusively on Las Vegas — a city with an exceptionally high run-up in appreciation headed into the bubble, followed by a precipitous 60% drop in value. “It had always been an appreciation market,” said Vertucci.

Continued on next page >

“I control the whole environment from start to finish”

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What Exactly is a Secured Investment, pg. 44

So Investor A takes a loan from Investor B and purchases a piece of investment real estate, utilizing 50% leverage and 50% cash down for example. To make the numbers simple, let’s say that the purchase price of the property was $100,000. So, we have two investors that are both investing in real estate. In fact, both have an investment that’s based on the exact same piece of real estate. They even put the exact same amount of cash into that piece of real estate. So then are their investments the same? Of course, we know that the answer is “not at all.” Investor B has made a secured investment by lending money to Investor A. Investor B’s downside risk is minimal because they have a loan that Investor A has promised to repay. The loan is secured by the property which is valued at twice the amount of the loan. Investor A is an unsecured investor. Investor A bears the full economic risk of the real estate market in this transaction and also bears the obligation of repaying Investor B’s principal plus an agreed upon amount of interest. In short, the amount of risk that Investor A is taking is much higher than that of Investor B. Suppose that the real estate market was to decline by 10% and that $100,000 property is now worth $90,000 and Investor A decides to sell. What are the economic implications? When the property is sold for $90,000 all secured invesNick Vertucci, Wins, pg. 46

their profit taken away by management companies over-billing. So I control the whole environment from start to finish, and then I manage these long-term for them.” Vertucci said it’s not just a solid business model, but also a great way to instill confidence in an investor: His reputation rides along. “I realized that’s the only way I could get folks to buy these without the fear of being 3,000 miles away,” he said. “I had to account for everything — I help them put on the right insurance, review their documents at the title company, help with putting the properties in their IRAs, help them form LLCs... everything you can think of for an investor to succeed, even one with no experience.” By cash-flowing and not being dependent upon appreciation, Vertucci’s investors can weather a lot of financial storms. “If the market gets worse, people still have to live somewhere, and their first money goes to rent,” said Vertucci. “The worse the economy gets, the stronger your asset is. Now, when the market turns, and suddenly we have appreciation again, you’re just going to get that cherry on top. You win if things go up or down. Holding that brickand-mortar asset is the safest investment you can make.”

tors must be paid first. That means that Investor B will be due to receive their entire principal balance plus any interest and fees that they’re owed. In other words, Investor B’s investment wasn’t at all affected by the market decline. They received every penny that they expected to. Investor A on the other hand is unsecured. They own the property and therefore bear the full risk of the investment. Since Investor B has already been repaid their $50,000 plus interest and fees, that only leaves $40,000 or less for Investor A (after all costs). Investor A has lost, at a minimum, about 20% of their investment from only a 10% market decline. Now consider the alternative: Say that the property is sold for $110,000 instead of $90,000. Investor B’s economics don’t change. They receive their principal plus interest and fees at closing. Investor A’s economics change drastically, however. Instead of a 20%+ loss they now have almost a 20% gain (less interest, fees and costs that were paid). Investor A makes a great turnaround and receives the benefit of the upside of the investment while Investor B’s economics didn’t change. So here’s the reason behind this simple analysis as stated previously in this article: To become a sophisticated investor, at the very least, you must be able to analyze risk and use that information to distinguish between a good deal and a bad deal. In our scenario, Investor B took far less risk than Investor A. An investor who takes less risk should expect lower returns. An investor who takes more risk should only do so if they believe that they can achieve much higher returns. So if you take one thing from this article, please take this: there are a number of different ways to invest. There are even a number of different ways to invest in real estate. Some carry more risk than others. Some carry much more risk than others, especially in certain market conditions. Get to know more than one strategy so that one day when you’re considering purchasing a piece of real estate (unsecured) and you expect it to yield a 12% annualized return you’ll know that you could have achieved the same while reducing your risk with a secured investment. If trust deed investing or secured loans are producing similar returns then you’ll know why you should think twice about buying that property. For more information, contact Chris Gleason, managing director of MMG Capital LLC: 310-295-1121 (ext. 301).

For more information about Nick Vertucci, please visit: www.nvcompanies.com or contact: 800-328-6418. Realty411Guide.com

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markets

Investor Beware! Real Estate Market Selection Advice by Lori Greymont

O

ne of the most important decisions a real estate investor can make is choosing which real estate market(s) to purchase investment properties. All too often I see investors focus on short-term high cash flow without considering the long-term outlook or high risk factors. Let’s start out by listing a few of the main criteria for buying safe real estate investments that generate passive cash flow month after month after month. •Inventory of homes for sale (current inventory, average days on market, upcoming foreclosures,...) •Pro-landlord laws and regulations •Good school systems and a focus on universities and colleges creating a skilled work force •A strong and diverse economy with multiple employment sectors, including high tech, finance and health care •Low crime •Housing affordability •Vacancy rates •Good rent ratios Now, just because you can buy an inexpensive property in a market with good rent ratios doesn’t guarantee high cash flow. Many investors purchase in areas such as Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago, Buffalo, and Pittsburgh with the expectation that the cash will be rolling in each month. Unfortunately their reality can be vastly different. With over 1,400 property transactions, I have personal experience investing in each and every one of these cities and a few battle scars to prove it! Here is just one example of a scenario that can be devastating to a real estate investor’s cash flow. In many of these cities a Certificate of Occupancy (read:

tax) is required. A COO is where a city or county official inspects your property and hands you a list of repairs that must be completed before they return. Usually there is a fee for each inspection, plus there is a fee for the COO. Unfortunately, these officials are not business people and the improvements requested can outweigh the cost of the property. I had one house in Chicago built in the early 1900s that was called out for a full “green” initiative requiring new windows, doors, and insulation in the walls and ceiling. By the time I was done with the quotes, it would have cost me over $40,000 just to complete the requests. Ouch! This was certainly not practical for an investment property so the house was sold to a homeowner who didn’t mind making that kind of an investment for their primary residence. I know that many people have lost substantial wealth in the down turn and feel like they need to “catch up”. In turn, they are taking risks by going into areas that claim to have unusually high cash flow on paper. The truth be told, year after year, any solid cash flow market will yield 6-12% cash on cash returns. Anything higher than that will usually turn out much lower after you take into account vacancy, repairs, regulation and taxes. Bottom line, when you invest to “catch up”, invest in the markets that will be strong in 5 to 10 years from now and where

“You won’t lose money in real estate as long as you aren’t forced to sell.” the monthly cash flow allows you to keep the property. One of my favorite sayings is “You won’t lose money in real estate as long as you aren’t forced to sell.” So, as long as the monthly cash flow covers the cost of holding the property (and a little more!) and you are in the right market with the right type of home, you are in the right spot to grow your wealth and catch up. Taking the time to research and make smart decisions before you purchase can save you from costly and stressful situations after you purchase. For more information on real estate market selection, download a free copy of my new Real Estate Investor Checklist on my website. Take Care,

image by Joseph Mercier

Lori Greymont

Realty411Guide.com

P.S. Our team of experienced real estate professionals can help you create a customized investment plan and find properties in the best rental markets in the country that fit your plan. To reach Summit Assets Group, please call: 408-782-9162 or visit: www.SummitAssetsGroup.com

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Hitting the High Notes, pg. 24

changed their tune dramatically over the last couple of years.” There’s obviously a method, even an art to picking up property for fifty cents on the dollar; after a few years of doing it successfully, Carson said it only made sense to start teaching. The “Note Buying for Dummies” workshop was launched in 2008, and Carson has taught hundreds since, building a network of trained investors all across the country. “I teach people who to call, what to say, how to evaluate the notes from different banks, different pools,” said Carson. “I teach them how to cherrypick, how to market the deals they find, how to find buyers for them.” Carson said he also gives ideas on how to raise private capital, to leverage what you’ve got to take advantage of the deals you find. Note buying has been around for years, Carson said; banks have been selling pools of mortgages to other banks and other entities for decades. But a lot of his students had always thought you had to have $5 to $10 million to even get in the game. “And sure, to buy from Bank of America, Chase, or Wells Fargo, yeah, you do,” said Carson. “But besides those big banks, there’s a whole lot of other banks that will sell you stuff at a smaller level. They’re not trying to close a $20 million deal, they’re saying, ‘Just buy something from us.’” Carson stressed his workshop is a hands-on four days. “It’s not a pitch festival, it’s a workshop,” he said. “I bring in real asset managers and hedge fund guys, and we get on the phone and make calls in front of everybody so they can see what to say, and how I do it. I give them scripts to start from, they get a nice 200-page manual of contracts and forms. I get online and show them how to find these phone numbers and email addresses for asset managers and mortgage bankers, and give them an idea of some of the resources that are out there.” And if you’re looking for an even more intensive learning environment, Carson offers 1-to-1 coaching. “This is for someone who’s willing to work, because it does take work,” said Carson. “You’ve got to make the calls, you’ve got to follow up. It’s not something that will just happen overnight.” But, for someone who’s motivated and ready to put in the time and effort, Carson said it again: It’s a great time to be in the note business. “There’s a lot of inventory still sitting out there, plus we have a huge commercial foreclosure wave that’s still going to hit us,” said Carson. “You can make a ton of money on this by working diligently, and when it starts going, it’s really a lot of fun, too.”

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Investment Property Experts Question & Answer with

W

by Stephanie B. Mojica

ith significant appreciation since 2010, Phoenix remains one of the strongest real estate markets in the country thanks to an influx of newcomers moving in from around the country in lure of Daniel Butterfield warmer climates and stronger job markets. To get the latest pulse on Phoenix real estate, we interviewed Daniel Butterfield, owner of IPX (Investment Property Experts). He has been investing locally for fifteen years and gave us great insight on this important market. Question: Tell us some highlights about the market. What has changed since last year? Answer: The market has changed significantly. Since the market in Phoenix has increased 44% (Monthly median sales price in Maricopa county per the Cromford Report) and inventory levels are at an all-time low, many of our purchases are coming from pre-foreclosures with equity opposed to short sales or lender-owned property. In addition, there has been a huge increase in traditional sales.

was to obtain tax write-offs to reduce my W-2 taxable income from my day job as a consultant for Andresen Consulting (Accenture). Since then I made substantial money in real estate and turned my real estate investing activities into my full-time job with my focus being helping other investors obtain the same goals I have personally created using my existing infrastructure of real estate professionals and service providers.

Q: What makes your company unique in the marketplace? A: Our company is the only company that offers turn-key real estate investment services to investors, which allows them to purchase renovated and occupied properties that cash flow. In addition, we also help investors roll over their retirement accounts, obtain conventional financing as well as lease and manage their investment properties. Finally we are able to help our clients also sell their investment properties when the time is right so they can capitalize on the appreciation in the market place, then re-invest their money again if they want. We also offer alternatives to traditional real estate investing, such as Deed of Trust Investing where you can earn a constant 12% annual return on your money while invested in a Deed of Trust.

Q: What type of opportunities are you seeing now? A: We are in a seller’s market, however we are still able to find great cash flow investment property, as long as we buy properties in distress in high demand areas and do the remodel ourselves. This is precisely the value we are able to offer our investor clients. Q: What is the best part of being an investor in your area? A: Cash flow real estate still exists and appreciation is constantly growing. For a very modest investment you can purchase an investment property, have your tenant pay-off your investment property, obtain a great cash-on-cash return, qualify for numerous tax write-offs, sell your property for a profit all while hedging against inflation and increased taxes. Q: Currently, how is the rental market doing? A: The rental market is solid and consistent. It is not growing but definitely not decreasing. We are starting to see more renters buy properties, which is good for investors as this creates higher demand and appreciation for starter home investment properties. Q: When did you start your investment career and how? A: I started investing in real estate 15 years ago, my objective Realty411Guide.com

Q: Tell us why investors should investigate your market? A: The Phoenix Metro market has the perfect balance when it comes to an attractive real estate investment: Cash flow along with an appreciating marketplace. Phoenix has been ranked in the top 20 cities across the nation for many months and will continue to be one of the best places to invest for a minimum of two more years due our economic growth. Q: Can you give our readers some sound advice that can help them in their investment careers? A: Work with professionals who have proven track record. Don’t try to do it all yourself in this marketplace. Watch out for “new” investment groups and agents who lack the investment experience to help you achieve your investment goals. To schedule a complimentary investment consultation with IPX, visit: www.ipxcompanies.com or call 602-254-6244.

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ARE YOU MAKING AT LEAST 12% ON YOUR MONEY? IPX is your true turn-key solution provider...all under one roof! Within over 15 years in the property investment industry, we are focused on maintaining margins through our proprietary acquisition model.

CALL 602.254.6244 · www.AZInvestmentPropertyExperts.com Reserve your seat at our next Investor Roundtable - Check us out for FREE! Disclaimer: All information and materials are for educational purposes only. Returns displayed are estimates only. All parties are encouraged to consult with their attorneys, accountants, and financial advisors before entering into any type of investment. All services displayed are OPTIONAL. Some of the real estate related services offered by IPX are provided by entities that are: 1) managed or controlled by or under common control with IPX or 2) Not owned, managed or under common control with IPX. Clients of IPX may utilize non-affiliated service providers for any professional services offered by IPX or its affiliates


tools

The Power of Direction (The Iron Fist Inside the Velvet Glove)

by Randy Hughes, Mr. Land Trust

as well as a majority before any directive can be issued to the Trustee. For example, you might appoint seven Directors who would only issue directives arrived at in formal meetings of at least 5 of them, with a three-fifths majority required to take any action. This would obviously take a lot of “cooperative” people to construct and might not be worth the trouble unless a lot of money is involved. One of the advantages of using a Board of Directors is that you could place younger inexperienced heirs on the Board and provide Land Trust training via the Board meetings. Eventually the heirs would “graduate” to understanding the formalities of Land Trust administration and begin

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any people (especially some attorneys) do not believe there are any benefits to using a Land Trust to hold title to your real estate investments. After 44 years of investing in Single Family Homes (and using Land Trusts for 30 of those years) I have found that the practical (and often unforeseen) benefits to using a Land Trust are not always obvious. Using a Land Trust to hold title to your investments is like using a gun to protect yourself. Your adversary must ask, “Is the gun loaded?” If the gun is not loaded there

“One of the advantages of using a Board of Directors is that you could place younger inexperienced heirs on the Board and provide Land Trust training via the Board meetings.” may or may not be much protection. But, if the gun IS loaded does your adversary really want to take you on? A smart adversary will move on to the next target. Case in point: Here is an example of how to put bullets in your Land Trusts. In my Land Trust seminars and home study courses, I talk a lot about the many benefits to creatively using the Power of Direction (POD) in a Land Trust. This article will address some specific advantages of the POD and how you might use it for privacy and asset protection benefits. The Power of Direction is the steel hand inside the velvet glove. The Director of your Land Trust (which might be you as the beneficiary or someone else who is not the beneficiary) holds all power over the Trustee. Remember, unlike many other types of trusts, the Land Trustee cannot act without specific direction (in writing) from the person or entity that holds the POD. Typically, when a Land Trust is formed the Beneficiary also holds the POD, but this is not mandatory. The POD can be designated to the Beneficiary at the inception of the trust or assigned to another (person, corporation, partnership or another trust) immediately or subsequently to forming the trust agreement. There are many strategies that you can employ when setting up your Land Trust and designating a Director. If you do not trust any one person to hold the POD, you can set up a Board of Directors and mandate what constitutes a quorum Realty411Guide.com

forming their own Land Trusts for privacy and asset protection. Oftentimes a Land Trust has multiple Beneficiaries and to designate just one to hold the POD is a matter of convenience and possibly business acumen. A Land Trust will operate much more efficiently if only one person holds the power over the Trustee (especially if that person has more business and life experience than the other beneficiaries). Occasionally, Land Trusts are established to hold income producing real estate to provide support for minor children or mentally handicap adults. In this event, the minor or incapable adult would serve as beneficiary (receiving all the proceeds and avails from the trust property) and the parent or benefactor would serve as Director making all critical decisions over the trust assets. The POD is a Property Right and as such is considered personal property. This Property Right can be assigned away from the beneficiary temporarily, permanently or conditionally. For example, if the Beneficiary currently holds the POD s/he could assign this right to another party for one day, for the life of the Trust or until Bakersfield, California receives 10 inches of rain in a twenty-four hour period. Conditional rights like this can be fun to create and a night-mare for your adversaries to penetrate. It would be prudent at this point to mention that anytime the beneficiary or holder of the POD is changed, the Trustee must be notified in writing. It also is important to always protect the personal liability of your Trustee and this can be done by written notification (to the Trustee) and acceptance (by the Trustee) of

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any and all changes to the Trust Agreement. With partnerships and corporations or other trusts as single or joint beneficiaries, the POD can be assigned to a specific individual (in each) acting as a representative of the organization, or by the organization itself upon proper resolution of the individual partners or Board of Directors. Or, the whole problem might be resolved with a Beneficiary Agreement. A Beneficiary Agreement (BA) keeps multiple beneficiaries from suing each other over the POD of a trust. The BA would set forth rules for apportioning the POD among them, provide for resolution of problems and for the broad policy pertaining to administration of the trust by the Trustee. Then the only Directives would be “as needed” exceptions rather than having every decision require a vote. It is VERY important to note that when the Beneficial Interest of a Land Trust is transferred, it has the effect of cancelling any previous assignment of the POD (unless the assignment was irrevocable) and it then belongs to the assignee. Because this POD is not based on any document other than the Trust Agreement, which is not made public or placed into the public records, it is an easy thing for lawyers and courts to overlook. By adroitly controlling the POD through contingent transfers, assignments and use of other Irrevocable Trusts (as holders of the POD) unique asset protection benefits can be obtained without public knowledge for the Primary Land Trust. For example, by designating the POD to an Irrevocable Trust any legal attack on the Primary Land Trust could trigger a contingent transfer of beneficial shares to another trust with another Trustee in another jurisdiction with another POD in another Irrevocable Trust. Further asset protection benefits can be obtained via the POD by using non-citizens as co-directors. If a US court ordered the citizen co-director to make a disposition of the trust property (which would be against the best interests of the beneficiary), the foreign non-citizen director could refuse to cooperate and no legal directive would have effect. As you can see, the sky is the limit when it comes to creative uses of the Power of Direction over a Land Trust. And, the POD is just one of the many parts of a Land Trust that will allow you to be creative in your structuring of asset protecting concepts. It is important to point out that I teach these techniques to honest law abiding real estate investors to protect themselves against contingency fee lawyers and their clients (and others who view real estate investors as easy targets for a lawsuit). If you are serious about protecting your assets, you need to learn how to form your own land trusts for privacy and asset protection now before you lose your life’s saving to the unscrupulous people in our society. For more Land Trust knowledge, please go to: www. realestateforprofit.com or call me, Mr. Land Trust, at 866696-7347. If you would like a FREE copy of my booklet, “50 Reasons to Use a Land Trust” send me an email at: randy@mrlandtrust.net

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Significant Benefits for Investors Legal Shield is a beneficial tool for landlords, brokers and real estate investors by Christy-Ann Olivares

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ithout a doubt, investors need quality attorneys that are available to answer unlimited questions on any subject matter, i.e., real estate questions, taxation, interpretations of laws and usury rates, just to name a few. If you have never needed legal representation for your investing business or for yourself, believe me it is just a matter of time. Buying property in this day and age can most certainly be a liability in every sense of the word. The word “Attorney” puts a feeling of uncertainty and fear into our very being. Not many of us like to call an attorney for advise or help of any sort, as we know up front, the charges we incur can be of an extremely large amount. This puts many of us in a difficult situation of whether we should spend the money for attorney fees or take the risk of not having council, by doing without the cost or expense, and unfortunately, without the professional assistance that we might need or require. Many of you have heard of Legal

Shield but really know very little about how it can help you in your business. Legal Shield offers a plan that is called “The Home Based Business Rider” in the United States and Canada. This Rider attaches to the “Expanded Family Plan” and in combination enables the investor and his family to have significant benefits, such as: Unlimited questions answered for business or personal matters. Three letters drafted per month on behalf of your business. Unlimited calls or letters made for you and your family, one per subject matter. Plus, up to three initial debt collection letters written per month on your behalf for your business. You can have three contracts or documents up to fifteen pages in length, per month, reviewed by your provider law firm. Also included with your Business Rider is unlimited small business consulting service through www.GoSmallBiz. com. Included in your coverage with the “Expanded Family Plan” is pre-paid trial protection that is included as part of your membership. This benefit grows each year you stay a member with Pre-Paid Legal

totaling up to 335 hours by your fifth year. It also includes automobile representation for you and your family no matter where you had the accident or the ticket occurred. You can have your Last Will and testament and your Living Will created as part of your family plan benefits. If you already have these important documents in place then they can be updated free of charge with your membership. As part of the business rider you will have consultation service for your small business. This service is provided free as part of your membership through www. gosmallbiz.com. For only $40.50 per month is there any question why an investor would not want or need this type of coverage and representation? I wish you all the best and I’m confident that you will find a tremendous asset and tool for your business in Legal Shield Services. To learn more about how Legal Shield can save you and your family money and grief, then feel free to call Christy-Ann Olivares at 415-902-8772. If you like what you are reading and you want to get signed up now then go to www.ChristyAnnOlivares. LegalShield.com

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13 Insurance Myths Debunked, pg. 8

6. A claim that occurred before I (or my entity) owned the property shouldn’t affect MY insurance rate… 7. All policies and coverages are created equally... 8. Self-insurance is too risky… 9. I need “builder’s risk” coverage for a vacant or rehab project/deal/property… 10. It is worth it to hire the “handyman” to do work on my rentals… 11. If I use my personal vehicle to Tim Norris service my properties, my personal auto policy is sufficient... 12. It’s enough to simply require renter’s insurance in my lease... 13. Cheaper is better… The National Real Estate Insurance Group covers more than 10,000 locations each year. Norris says even experienced real estate gurus tend to believe myths such as “cheaper is better” as well as “all policies and coverages are created equally.” “The attitude that insurance should be treated as a commodity can be blamed on the industry itself, who, as a knee-jerk reaction and effort to grow market share, seem to not really understand the needs of the public. Their ‘contact us to save $XXX on your cov-

erage’ advertising campaigns National Real Estate reinforce the public attitude Insurance Group offers that insurance is a ‘one size flexible services to real fits all’ industry and getting estate investors, such as: the lowest rate makes the • No minimum premiums. most sense. Unfortunately, • No required property inspecwhen you really need it, this tions. planning, or lack thereof, has • Polices appropriate for differhurt more consumers than ent types of occupancy phases, it has ever helped,” Norris including vacant, rental, or says. renovation. NREIG’s highly trained • Multiple properties can be employees work closely with covered under one policy. each client to develop unique • A monthly, pay-as-you-go insurance plans. Some invesreporting form. tors do not need liability insurance. Other property owners need liability insurance to protect contractors as well as renters. Every real estate investor is different, there is no “one size fits all” in our industry, according to Norris. To learn more about the National Real Estate Insurance Group, call 888-741-8454 or visit www.nreinsurance.com.

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Call Today for a FREE Report on Selecting Reliable Rentals! 513-275-1512 or email: JustAskMissy@aol.com

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strategy

FIND YOUR FUNDING PARTNERS Victor Menasce, author of “The Great Canadian Take Over: How Savvy Canadians are Profiting Wildly from the Meltdown in the US Real estate” shares his insights on locating your next JV partner.

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ften, I am asked how I can find raising capital to be relatively easy. There is a lot of money sitting on the sidelines. But many investors are so wary of losing money that only the most compelling projects attract their attention. It seems like people with deals are always chasing money. But it’s not actually that way. A small percentage of deals experience the opposite. These are great deals. I believe that all great deals get funded. The only question is, “Who will fund the deal? Will it be me, you, or someone else?” Great deals experience a lot of competition. Money will chase good deals. Raising capital for weak projects is difficult. An investor in New Orleans recently told me: “I had a great deal on a townhouse complex, but it fell through because I couldn’t get it funded.” My contention is that it may have looked great on paper, but probably wasn’t a great deal in the eyes of the person considering investing their own funds. That’s why it didn’t get funded. Again, all great deals get done. OK. Let’s say you have a great deal. Now what? How do you go about raising capital? I’ve raised several hundred million dollars in my career. In my experience, raising capital is based on three fundamental elements: Realty411Guide.com

•Relationship •Trust •Results RELATIONSHIP If someone you didn’t know approached you and said, “I have a great deal. There’s an opportunity to make a lot of money. All I need is $2 million to make it happen.” Would you commit $2 million of your own cash with someone you didn’t know? I know that I wouldn’t, and I believe that most people wouldn’t do it either. I raise capital from people that I’ve developed a relationship with. The relationship comes first. As part of building that relationship, I know what is important to my potential funding partner. All money has an agenda attached to it. If the agenda for the money and the goals for the project don’t align, then don’t take the money. It won’t work in the long term. Let me give two examples. I have two funding partners with vastly different goals. 1. One of them wants to make high rates of return on a short-term basis. They’d like to recycle their money into a different project every 90 to 120 days.

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“I’ve raised several hundred million dollars in my career. In my experience, raising capital is based on three fundamental elements...” 2. I have another funding partner who believes that short-term projects can make high returns, but that money will sit on the sidelines between projects earning zero. He prefers to make a more modest return, but wants his money working for him in longer-term projects. His philosophy is that he will make more money and have lower risk by keeping his money at work. I can’t say that one is right, and the other is wrong. They’re just different. I’m not going to try and convince a short-term investor to make a long-term investment, and I’m not going to convince a long-term investor to do a short-term transaction. It wouldn’t make any sense. Always take care to align the goals with the agenda associated with the money. I never ask a potential funding partner for money. I’m never desperate for cash. Instead, I offer funding partners the opportunity to collaborate on a project. That’s a completely different posture. When partners work together to create value, great things happen. I invite my funding partners to become full partners in a project. I’m never offering a passive investment for a share in the profits. This is required to be in compliance with securities laws. A promissory note with a fixed rate of return is perfectly legal and protects the funding partner. I will often secure the funding partner’s interest in the property by granting a mortgage on title, or a membership pledge in the event of default on the terms of the promissory note. TRUST Trust is at the foundation of raising capital. Trust has a lot of layers. There’s much more than “Are you an honest person?” The astute funding partner wants to know: •Can I trust you to ask the right questions about a project? •Can I trust you to put together a good plan? •Can I trust you to execute that plan? •Can I trust you to manage risk appropriately? •Can I trust you to communicate openly & transparently? •Can I trust you to communicate when there is a problem? •Can I trust you with my money? •Can I trust you to hire good people? If the answer is “no” to any of these questions, then the funding relationship will run into difficulty. If you’re interested in learning more about this aspect, I recommend a great book by the son of Stephen Covey of “7 Habits of Highly Effective Realty411Guide.com

People” fame. Stephen M.R. Covey wrote a wonderful book called “The Speed of Trust”. It is a powerful book that will change your perspective on all relationships, personal and business. RESULTS What results can you show? Show me a track record of success. Show me what you’ve done, mistakes and all. Past results can often be a predictor of future results, but not always. Will you invest with someone who has lost money on eight out of their last ten projects? I wouldn’t! E-Bay uses a rating system and enables customers to choose their seller based on their rating. This rating documents their track record. Reputation in business is part of that all-important foundation of trust. Some new investors see a dilemma in what I’m proposing. “How can I raise capital without a track record? How can I develop a track record if I can’t raise any capital?” My response to that is simple. First of all, investors prefer to invest in businesses, not the self-employed. Business is a team sport. If you’re not part of an investment business and you’re just starting, then join an established business with a track record of success. Work in that business for a period of time. You can then legitimately borrow some of their credibility and track record. While you don’t own that track record yourself, you can show that you have played a key role in successful projects. This is often enough to show a funding partner that you know what you’re doing. It’s important to be aware of securities laws and make sure that you’re in compliance with Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules. The SEC has strict rules on securities and solicitation for investment. It is illegal to solicit for investment, unless very specific criteria have been met to market a security to the public, or to accredited investors. Canada has similar legislation that is administered by the provincial securities regulators such the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) and the Alberta Securities Commission. The keys to developing funding partners for life are: relationship, trust and results. Always be mindful of these three factors. They are foundational to raising capital. Victor Menasce teaches workshops on raising capital across the United States He can be reached via email at: victor@greatcanadiantakeover.com

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Surprising Investors with Sound Advice..., pg. 20

He actually lists reasons not to. Now, the mortgage is not one of his reasons, but why would it be? Like I said...he is one of the wealthiest men on earth! The point is that a 30-year mortgage has become standard and not only standard for what companies want to show, it has become standard for what investors want to see. How Do Investment Companies Show their Numbers? Many companies, who provide investment opportunities, including mine, will show a mortgage projection based on the 30-year mortgage.  Why?  Because it is what the average, every day investor wants to see.  It is how we have been programed.  A simple search of the Internet will return article after article extolling the benefits on using a 30-year mortgage, especially for the positive effects it has on an investors’ cash flow.  When I first started investing, I was coached to use the 30-year mortgage as a tool to boost my monthly income while allowing a renter to pay down my note.  When I first started, I loved the idea of using a 30-year mortgage and putting 20% or less down as a GREAT tool to boost my cash flow. And it did. It made my cash flow go up and I had a certain level of comfort with that. The problem is, unless you have significant reserves in place, heavy leverage can

be paying more in interest payments than I was earning in cash flow.  In the first 15 years it would be substantially more! Own Property Outright And Reap The Rewards I am a big proponent of owning real estate outright. I have used leverage sparingly over the last four years and only as a tool to acquire properties and not as a tool to own properties. I have put every property that I have used leverage to purchase on a quick pay off schedule. Many homeowners and real estate investors will tell you that there is a simple strategy that makes a 30-year mortgage a good investment.  You simply place a 30-year mortgage on an investment property and pay it off like it is a 15-year mortgage.  I am neither for nor against this strategy, I just do not use it myself for the reasons I will expand on below. I know as I write this that there will be some readers who will comment that yes, this is the precise strategy that they use and that they calculate each month exactly how much

It takes tremendous self-discipline to be able to make that strategy work and I have met many investors who claim this will be their strategy only to find that they like bragging about higher cash flow more than they like bragging about owning the property. The discipline it takes to carry out this strategy is often missing from many investors. Put Your Self In Position To Own Your Property Outright As I stated earlier, the better strategy and the one that I am seeing more investors come around to is using leverage to purchase properties, but not necessarily carrying that leverage for long periods of time. In fact, many investors are choosing to structure deals so that they are paying off the properties as soon as possible.  Investors taking this route are usually financially secure and are not necessarily real estate investors.  Often times, they recognize the need to diversify into real estate, but are often passive investors looking for the security and consistent return that real estate can give them. They see real estate as a secure investment and rental properties as a product that will have continued demand in the

“...I am seeing more investors come around to using leverage to purchase properties and cash to hold them long-term.” money to pay to reduce the principle each month.  They feel that they get a lower rate since a 15-year mortgage can cost as much as .25 to a .50 point more.  To those readers that follow this strategy and actually follow through on this strategy, I will say that I believe you are in the minority and congratulations! 

come back to bite you on investment properties. Another major point that I missed when I first started investing and has been taught to me over the years from some investors much smarter than me, was that for the first 25 years of my ownership of that property, I would

Realty411Guide.com

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Continued on pg. 60

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Call us for upcoming seminar information or a personal tour of Kansas City Property!

Marck de Lautour

Building Wealth for Our Clients Since 2001

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Investor Education a Top Priority for Equity Trust, pg. 31

assets from investors in all 50 states. “People have a lot of fear about the economy, but this is truly a great time to invest especially in real estate,” Desich said. “Without a doubt, the overall economy is difficult for everyone, and with the stock market not doing so well, it brings a sense of distrust or lack of confidence in clients. But this is a benefit to us because we offer customers to take control of their retirement investments and invest in a market they know and trust, rather than just stocks.” While exact statistics vary according to the investor, even beginners regularly see “double digit” returns, according to Desich. Since Equity Trust does not charge transaction fees for normal activities such as purchasing or selling an asset, that helps its 130,000 clients see more revenues. While other brokerages typically charge $175 for the purchase, sale or re-registration of real estate interests; Equity Trust offers this service free of charge to its clients. “We don’t nickel and dime you,” Desich said. While IRAs are the bread and butter of the firm, Equity Trust handles other types of retirement vehicles including 401(k). Every client regardless of portfolio size can take advantage of a wealth of informational resources ranging from personalized account managers to virtually instant access to one of 400 highly-trained selfdirected IRA specialists. Each Equity Trust account executive team member completes at least 160 hours of rigorous training. Training of employees and clients has been instrumental to the success of the company, which Desich’s father Richard founded in 1974. “I have always been extremely proud of my father and the company he started,” Jeff Desich said. “As more people get burned by the stock market, (self-directed IRAs) becomes a way for them to take control” of their financial Randy Hughes Mr. Land Trust future.

The Choice Is Yours Do You Want the Pain of Paying More Taxes?

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Call now at 805-898-9177 • www.abwtax.com Learn from THE National Expert on how to use Land Trusts for privacy & asset protection. Visit Randy's website for FREE Land Trust information or call him now @ 866-696-7347 with your questions.

Meet Randy Hughes in Person! Attend his next Land Trust Seminar

40 Years Experience

For a complimentary consultation with a self-directed IRA specialist, call Equity Trust at 888-382-4727 or visit www.trustetc.com

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For Information, Visit Online:

RealEstateforProfit.com

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Surprising Investors with Sound Advice..., pg. 58

foreseeable future. I have a good friend here in Tennessee who is a very successful executive and he has recently made moves to acquire property as he seeks to diversify. When he and I had lunch, he explained his very reasoning and his absolute distaste for taking on credit risks and leverage.  This is a common theme among more and more affluent investors looking to diversify. They are using several different strategies to purchase the properties. 1. They are purchasing properties for cash and holding for a consistent rate of return recognizing that they can place minimal financing against the property in the future to assist with leveraging a larger portfolio. 2. They are purchasing property using a 15-year mortgage.  They then take the cash flow each month and use it to reduce the principle.  In some cases, this can reduce the term of the loan to less than eight years. 3. They are structuring the term of the loan to match the monthly note to the rental amount received.

and buying cash flow properties not for the cash flow, but to purchase more properties faster.  I want to make sure everyone caught that last sentence.  While in San Francisco, this was a big point I was trying to get across to the audience and based on their reaction, it made sense to them. How I Buy Properties As an investor, I believe in buying properties that make sense based on what I have experienced as an investor.  I have bought junk properties.  I have bought “cheap” properties.  I have bought properties and done the minimal amount of work to get them “rent ready.”  I have bought properties with creative financing such as ARM mortgages and even bought a couple with interest-only loans.  Every one of those strategies was aimed at producing Higher Monthly Cash Flow.  And every one of those strategies almost sunk me completely as an investor. Today, I buy properties where the fundamental economics make sense.  I told the crowd in San Francisco that when

4. They are purchasing using a mixed bag of options including cash purchases, refinancing existing properties at low leverage, bundling a portfolio to acquire leverage for new properties. Regardless of the scenario that investors are following, they are using leverage to increase their purchasing ability and using the cash flow produced from each investment property to reduce the principle. The idea behind affluent investors purchasing plans are to own the assets outright in the shortest amount of time. This enables them to keep as much of the return on the investment as possible. The Single Biggest Expense In A Leveraged Property They recognize that there is only one fixed expense that the investor can be in direct control of and that is interest.  Management, taxes and insurance are all fixed costs, which the investor has little to no control over.  Vacancy is a variable cost that even with the most prudent management is going to affect an investor at some point and there is nothing an investor can do to prevent.  Routine maintenance and major replacement costs are also variable costs that, while an investor can prepare for and take steps to reduce, there is still little an investor can do to limit and nothing an investor can do to eliminate these costs.  That leaves interest costs as the only major expense that an investor has control over as it relates to earnings potential on a property. Many investors that I am talking to today are choosing to do everything possible to reduce the over-all costs of interest including choosing higher interest rates to secure shorter terms Realty411Guide.com

buying properties that produce a monthly positive cash flow, they should consider using that money to reduce principle.  I cautioned them that if they were attracted to real estate and cash flow because they needed to pay bills, then, in my opinion, they really needed to be positive they were getting sound financial planning before buying.  I told them that in my opinion, real estate purchased for buy and hold is a great way to build and maintain long-term wealth, but a lousy way to earn short-term money.  I told them that real estate has the greatest pay-off when you own it outright and that as an investor, getting to that point should be your highest priority.  Using leverage to build your long-term portfolio is a great tactic.  Using leverage to build your short-term monthly cash flow is not. Am I off my rocker?  Am I spot on?  Let me know what you think… Chris D. Clothier is a Partner at MemphisInvest.com and Premier Property Management Group. He can be reached at: chris@memphisinvest.com or 901-751-7191.

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From Buyer’s to Seller’s Market, pg. 13

In a seller’s market, it’s best to be a seller. But what are the masses doing? You got it — they are buying! Be careful about following the masses. 

So how can you profit in this seller’s market?  • If you are a real estate agent, it’s more profitable to list property than to have a buyer’s list right now. • If you flip homes for profit, you will not have to do as extensive a rehab. Properties will sell no matter the condition (the key is being able to acquire the property in the first place — that’s tougher to do when there’s massive competition and prices are going up every day.) • If you’re a builder, it’s time to get back in business! If you’re not a builder, consider being a capital partner for a builder since banks are not giving out construction loans easily. This is the strategy our investment group is using to stay ahead of the masses at Real Wealth Network.   You may be wondering: “Why do we need to build more homes only one year after we had a glut of inventory?” The U.S. population is growing by 4.5 million people every year. That’s one new person every 15 minutes. We need about 1.5 million new homes every year to keep up with that kind of demand. Over the past six years only 500,000 new homes were built each year — or 6 million less than needed. Sure, we overbuilt in the early 2000’s, but only by about 3 million.  Add to that the 3 to 5 estimated people who shacked up with family during the recession but are ready to move out again. It will take builders up to 5 years to get subdivisions approved and ready to build. We are now facing a shortage of homes. But aren’t there still foreclosures out there? Yes, but many of those defaulted mortgages are now being sold to hedge funds — and those hedge funds are modifying the notes, and keeping homeowners in their homes when they can. At Real Wealth Network, we are also partnering with developers who are buying land, entitling it, and flipping it to builders. This is probably where the greatest returns can be found. The key is to only work with developers who really understand the entitlement process and have a long-standing track record of successful projects. For example, one of our developers just brought us a land deal North of Tampa. The previous owner went into bankruptcy, after putting $90 million into the project. It was in escrow for $160

million in 2006, but didn’t close because the market turned suddenly. Our group now has it tied up for just $16 million so there is obviously tremendous profit to be made. These kinds of deals are nearly impossible for individuals like you and me to pull off. But together, as a group of investors, we can tackle it. It’s very exciting and keeps us ahead of the crowds. What about smaller deals — like investing in rental property? At Real Wealth Network, we are bullish on cash flow and believe single family homes can make great rentals for long-term income. We do not like to speculate.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of speculators out there who are making big bets and creating bubbles. You’ve got to be careful right now. Low interest rates are allowing people to buy homes they normally couldn’t afford. For example, if a borrower can afford a Kathy Fettke $1,000 monthly payment, they could afford a $200,000 home if their interest rate is 3.5%. At 6% interest, they could only afford a $150,000 home. That’s a 25% difference! Interest rates will go up — but probably not for awhile. That means we could see  home prices increase for a couple of years. And then what? We will see another bubble. Please don’t be one of those people making crazy offers because you think prices will continue to rise. They won’t. We have learned this lesson already, haven’t we? Please only make offers when it makes sense for the average person in the area to afford the average home at a 6% interest rate. The way you can do this is look up the average income of an area. Then triple that income — and that should be the average price of a home. This truly is one of the greatest times to build wealth. Make sure you have access to the information you need to succeed. You can join the Real Wealth Network for free and enjoy weekly economic updates, blogs, podcasts and access to property managers and  wholesale teams around the country, visit: www.RealWealthNetwork.com or call 888-RWNETWORK Kathy Fettke is the founder and CEO of Real Wealth Network “The Real estate Investor’s Resource.” Members have access to free education, resources, group projects and referrals to turn-key rental properties around the United States. Real Wealth Network has over 12,000 members, so the shear power of numbers allows the group to acquire properties at huge discounts. Membership is free. Kathy is also host of The Real Wealth Show on iTunes and is a regular guest expert on KSFO’s Money Matter’s, ABC, CNBC, CBS Market Watch, Fox News and NPR.

“We need about 1.5 million new homes every year to keep up...” Realty411Guide.com

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Click for Dollars, pg. 7

Flipping Boston with Dave & Peter, pg. 22

if it’s on the MLS, it’s way to late to secure a deal, but that is simply not true. Granted, more competition will exist at that point, but landing a diamond in the rough is still possible for savvy, all-cash buyers. Folks, I just found, rehabbed and closed three diamonds in the past 18 months alone. Plus, every time I look on the MLS, I find a deal. I know I’m not alone on this one, in fact, a broker affiliate of ours in Alabama just sent us a “Smoking Deal” in Birmingham. It was an REO listed on their local MLS. Having been a licensed real estate agent for the past 10 years, it gives me a sense of pride to know that our industry is on the forefront of technology. So next time you’re searching for that next “Smoking Deal,” be sure to log on to your local MLS instead of driving for dollars. You’ll save gas money by simply clicking for deals online. — by Linda Pliagas, pliagas@msn.com

THE MLS 411 - Access it! Did you know that most MLS (Multiple Listing Service) Boards across the country have a free guest search, which can be tapped into by anyone? All you have to do is a basic Google search to find the link to the MLS in the city you want. For example, type in: “Kansas City MLS” or “Los Angeles MLS”. It’s that easy. Google will search the web and display either the MLS website itself or it may list a number of websites from REALTORS® and/or Brokers who can provide guest searches through their websites. If you do use an agent’s website to gain MLS access, you may also want to tell them you’re looking for a discounted property and would like to see more deals. Most savvy agents have a pulse on the market and they may know about some “pocket listings”, which may be worth knowing about.

Realty411Guide.com

“One of the biggest myths is that you need money to make money in real estate,” Seymour said. “But you really don’t.” really don’t.” He and Souhleris occasionally hear people cite a “down economy” as an excuse to not move from dreaming of investment into becoming an actual investor. “Whether it’s the mundane or the insane, we’re always looking for new ways to approach the way we do business,” Seymour said. “Some people call that ‘seeing around the corner.’ We prefer, ‘Knowing what’s coming.’ It’s been that dedication to creativity that’s led to our business being the focus of ‘Flipping Boston.’” When the show premiered in early 2012, it set a record as A&E’s highest-rated Lifestyle series launch in history. With two successful seasons in their portfolios, Seymour and Souhleris are looking forward to doing even more episodes. “It really is not that edited,” Souhleris said. “What you see is pretty much how we really act.” Seymour, who professionally markets himself as a “big picture thinker,” has a tenacity adopted from his days as a paramedic and firefighter. “A life-changing commitment to real estate investing is not a game, nor is it for the faint of heart. In this industry, success manifests itself in those who think big, believe big, and have the courage to act on both,” he said. But despite his deep commitment to the real estate market, his main priority is his family. Ready to learn how to flip like the pros from “Flipping Boston?” Then visit www.citylighthomes.com for your free copy of “The Flipping Formula.” Alternatively, you can call 800-927-1883 to find out about consulting with Dave Seymour, Peter Souhleris, or one of their trained professional associates.

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