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Re: Seeking More Knowledge

(Post by LJ to the Foreclosure Board on 05-02-01)

: Hi everyone. I would like to begin by saying that this board has been a great source for learning more about foreclosures. The postings of everyone and especially people like Ward and NJDave have taught me a lot.

: I am at the very beginning stages of learning about real estate investing and would love to learn more. Are there any other sources of information on the net that anyone would like to recommend? What about specific books? Are there any training programs or part time occupations that I can take up to speed up my progress? Thanks again!


Reply Post by Ward Hanigan


If I were in your shoes, I think I would approach your quest to become an effective, prosperous real estate investor/operator by first deciding what type of real estate specialty or niche you want to become proficient in-and then separating the various skills that particular niche regularly relies upon into three broad groups. For example, let me apply the skill analysis to the foreclosure business as follows:

  1. Those basic, core skills you MUST have:
    1. Mastering an amortizing calculator like the HP 12C;
    2. Knowing all your state's foreclosure codes and keeping up as changes occur;
    3. Knowing how to attract lots of other people's money and the techniques of keeping your investors happy with you;
    4. Having the skill level of a quick and accurate title searcher who can determine all liens of record against any parcel of real estate in your county via the recorder's property records; and
    5. Developing and using a comprehensive bid computation formula that will always tell you how much actual cash a foreclosure will need and the maximum amount to bid for it, given the particular return on investment you and your investors require.
  2. Those additional skills you SHOULD have:
    1. Knowing the extent of rehab work required and estimating what it will cost;
    2. Dealing with ex-owners and tenants on a non-cash method to get them to promptly vacate without causing any vandalism; and
    3. Having the skills to prosper in foreclosures, in a seller's market, neutral market or buyer's market, regardless of which one is prevalent. That means knowing when, in which market, to buy from owners, trustees, lenders and doing junior bene buyouts.
  3. Those final skills it would be NICE to have:
    1. Having the polish, skill and knowledge to sell your own properties as fast or faster than full-time agents;
    2. Being a price leader in any neighborhood you buy in because of your use of glitter, knowing how to defend your price and knowing where the best financing is for your particular buyer and leading her to it; and
    3. Knowing how to write effective ads and flyers, hold open houses, negotiating the deal, writing it up and walking it through escrow to a quick and successful closing.

Now with such a detailed road map, you would know which experts to approach, which book topics to seek, and which training programs would be applicable. The closer any one of these is to your specific state and your specific skill interest the more meaningful it will be to you.

Locally I would join a real estate investment club to hear their parade of different speakers on different real estate topics. Typically the club will also have a lending library of books and tapes on many different titles in the real estate field. Finally, such clubs often have seasoned investors who've made it to the top who won't mind showing a newbie the way up.

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