There are many non-traditional ways of finding investment properties. The MLS is not the only place you can find houses to buy. Here are three interesting ways to make money investing in real estate.
City hall has records of homes that are not in foreclosure yet, but are scheduled to foreclose by a certain date. All you have to do to find these homes is to go to the department in your local city hall that stores the public records. Ask the clerk to see the pre-foreclosure public records. Write down the addresses that are going into foreclosure.
You can then go to the house, or send a note to the owner saying that you would like to buy their house. Most of these people are desperate because they know they are going to lose their home. Tell them that because you caught them before the foreclosure, you may be able to save their credit. Negotiate to a price that is good for both of you in order to make it a win-win for both sides.
Buy Abandoned Houses
Drive around the neighborhoods where you want to invest. Look for abandoned houses and locate the owners. Contact the owners of the abandoned houses and tell them you'd like to buy their house, and you're willing to negotiate. Many times, people want to sell their abandoned houses because they are either condemned, or they had tried to sell before but couldn't get their asking price. At this point, they have all but given up and thus are more willing to accept a lower purchase price.
Become a Real Estate Wholesaler
You don't need very much money at all to be a real estate wholesaler, or a bird dog. If you can find a property that someone wants to get rid of, you don't even have to buy the house to make money. If you have desperate sellers and real estate investors who are just waiting to buy, you can be the middle man between the two. What you are doing is providing a service for people who want to sell, but don't have a buyer, and people who want to buy, but don't have a seller.
For example, when you find a property that someone wants to sell, tell the seller that you have $100 down and you'd like to buy their house. Tell them you will close in 30 days. Ask them how much they are willing to sell their house for. Ask them if that's as low as they can go. Set up a contract with an agreed upon selling price that says you will close the property in 30 days. Go to your buyers who are just sitting around waiting for properties to fall into their laps, and sell the house to them for $10,000 more than the seller sold it to you. Set up a contract with them that states they will close in 30 days.
In order to accomplish these types of investments, you should be knowledgeable in real estate as well as the local market. If you do your homework, you can make good money.
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