20 Top Real Estate Investors Reveal Their Secrets for House Flipping and Wholesaling Success!

20 Top Real Estate Investors Reveal Their Secrets for House Flipping and Wholesaling Success!

Learn from their experience and what they wish they had known when first getting started so you can avoid their same mistakes and REALLY accelerate your learning curve!

To set the tone, and foundation for the rest of this website, I thought I would start out by asking 20 well known and respected house flipping pros for their advice to help you as you get started on your house flipping career. After all, who better to ask than those who gone from where you are to where you want to be?

I intentionally asked from a mix of “old timers” who have been in the business for 25 years or more, as well as those who, although only starting a few years ago, and are now achieving an incredible amount of success flipping houses.  My intention is to expose you to a number of different people who are having incredible success in this business so you can see that it is within your reach.

Collectively their advice is priceless.  It can set you on the right path for your future house flipping education and career!

You may know or at least heard of many of them, and if you have not I’m sure you soon will.  On occasion I will be asking for other expert house flippers to give give us their insights when it comes to house flipping.  (Hearing these perspectives will help you develop your own.)  But I can guarantee you that this is going to be the Expert Round Up Post of All Round Up Posts!

Use this post as a reference guide.  Bookmark it and refer to it whenever you need some advice, inspiration or a push in the right direction. All of these people, with their individual struggles, challenges and obstacles, have been able to make it, and you can too! 🙂

The three questions we asked them were specifically chosen to help those who are new to house flipping.  As you get started in this business then these are the questions you probably want to ask:

  1. What is your number one piece of advice for someone who is looking to get into flipping or wholesaling houses?
  2. What is the most important mindset shift that needs to happen for someone to become a successful house flipper or wholesaler?
  3. What is the one thing you wish you had known about house flipping or wholesaling when you first started?

Some of the answers are short and some are long, but they all provide a valuable look into the mind of a professional house flipper.  I hope that you gain some inspiration, knowledge and ideas from these answers and it helps you realize that you, regardless of your past experiences or setbacks, can be successful in this business.  It just takes getting off on the right foot.

I also invite you to check out the links for each of their websites and check out their pictures and biographies.  These people really know their stuff and as you become involved in the house flipping community, you’re going to come across their names again and again.

If you’d like to jump straight to someone’s answers, just click on their name here:

Mike Cantu  | Robert Fragoso  | Sharon Vornholt  | Nick Manfredi  | Bruce Norris  | Ward Hanigan  | Roger Faulkner  | Brian Daly and Patrick Clark  | Danny Johnson  | Tucker Merrihew  | Ginger Macias  | Glenn and Amber Schworm  | Doug and Andrea Van Soest  | Shawn Watkins  | Tony Alvarez  | Darrell Kucan and Irman Clark  | Kristi Cirtwill and Evan Younger  | Jason and Katherine Grote  | Larry and Janet French  | Kurtis and Cindy Squyres  |

Without further delay, let’s get started!


Mike Cantu

Mike Cantu

Mike Cantu

Mike’s Answers

1. What is your number one piece of advice for someone who is looking to get into flipping or wholesaling houses?

Educate yourself. Learn everything you can about the real estate business, with the emphasis on single family houses. Make it a goal to read everyday. For an hour. Every day. Go to local real estate clubs and continue your education. Find a good teacher. Someone who’s already accomplished what you’ve set out to do. Study them. Seeing is believing. What did they do right? Be willing to pay for good advice. Digest the new info, make a plan, and take lots of action. Everyday.

2. What is the most important mindset shift that needs to happen for someone to become a successful house flipper or wholesaler?

You gotta believe that it’s possible. Strong belief and faith in yourself. For a wholesaler, you gotta get over all the equity left on the table. You have to leave some meat on the bone for the next guy. A lot of people have a real problem with this. It’s a business decision. Take the check and don’t look back.

For a retailer you gotta have a team. You might do the first few by yourself, but for the long haul you need a good team. Escrow, title, attorney, contractor, handyman, etc. Your team can make or break you in this business.

3. What is the one thing you wish you had known about house flipping or wholesaling when you first started?

With the right business model this business is sustainable. It’s all a math equation. The numbers have to work. There’s new opportunities every day. Every single day. Your job is to become a master at finding them.

Who is Mike Cantu?

Mike Cantu

Mike Cantu at MikeCantu.com

Mike Cantu of Upland, Ca. has been a fulltime real estate investor and real estate entrepreneur for over 30 years. Mike runs a buy/sell business as well as managing a portfolio of rental houses. Mike occasionally teaches and has two popular real estate courses: ‘Don’t Get Voted Off Real Estate Island’ and ‘Rental Properties and Management From A to Z.’ Check them out at MikeCantu.com. Prior to real estate Mike was a professional skateboarder on the Pepsi Skateboard team from 16 to 21 years old.

 

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Robert Fragoso

Robert Fragoso

Robert Fragoso

Robert’s Answers

1. What is your number one piece of advice for someone who is looking to get into flipping or wholesaling houses?

Do it.  It is a fantastic way to learn the business while making some money. However, I would strongly recommend that you network with as many people as possible who are already doing it as this will give you much of the experience that you will be lacking.  Read the purchase contract and understand it fully as well as hone your skills on valuation. Much like a contractor must have his skill set and tools to do his job so must you in this business.  Don’t rely on the agent trying to get you to purchase and the property comparable sales they provide but rather have your own tools in which you can double check the comparables.  Network with others to see what is working today and also what pitfalls to stay away from. You don’t have to do it alone.

2. What is the most important mindset shift that needs to happen for someone to become a successful house flipper or wholesaler?

I think one of the things that an investor needs to have is an open mind, while also paying close attention to the downside risk of a transaction (versus focusing only on the potential profit). Often times what happens with house flippers is they are so blinded by the amount of profit on a transaction that they miss key red flags on a deal in hopes that they will just make the profit and sometimes those red flags eliminate all of the profit. It is important to be able to analyze risk versus reward accurately.

3. What is the one thing you wish you had known about house flipping or wholesaling when you first started?

That it is a cyclical business and timing is often everything. I got started in this business at a very young age and really wish that I would have listened more to some of the elders in this business and save more money early on.  While right now the time is good for real estate there will come a time where it is slow again. additionally, this business is always changing and the types of transactions that you do will also change. You will have to change along with them if you want to remain effective.  This like any other business is continually maturing and becoming more and more efficient. If you are not prepared to adjust your business model and the types of rehabs or construction that you are willing to do then eventually you will find yourself doing less and less business as the market matures and changes around you until finally one day you will wonder “why aren’t things working for me any longer?”.  House flipping is a lot like surfing, it’s a lot more fun when you’re writing the top of the wave then when the wave is crashing on you.

Who is Robert Fragoso?

Robert Fragoso

Robert Fragoso and his daughter

Robert Fragoso is the Executive Vice President of Anchor Loans, a private financier for real estate investors based in Cerritos, CA. Robert’s experience in real estate spans over 20 years. He has been pivotal in the funding of over $1.5 Billion to private flip investors and has overseen the purchase of over 1,300 properties in the past 2 years. While analyzing over 5,000 properties a year, Anchor Loans prides itself on the ability to spot new the formation of new trends prior to their publication by media, and assisting its clients in this ever evolving market.

Anchor Loans continues to expand its stronghold in California as Robert is tasked with leading the growth and business development.  The ability to be flexible in criteria has been essential in helping create and fit the needs of each client.  Anchor Loans has created tremendous value for its clients by analyzing, identifying and providing unique investment opportunities.

To learn more about Robert or Anchor Loans, please visit their website at AnchorLoans.com.
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Sharon Vernholt

Sharon Vernholt

Sharon Vornholt

Sharon’s Answers

1. What is your number one piece of advice for someone who is looking to get into flipping or wholesaling houses?

The most important piece of advice I could give someone is to join your local REIA and find a mentor.  Learning from other experienced investors, having folks to bounce ideas off of and look at your deals will save you a lot of time, money and keep you from making costly mistakes that could be avoided.

2. What is the most important mindset shift that needs to happen for someone to become a successful house flipper or wholesaler?

When making low offers to sellers, you have to get comfortable with this process. Real estate investing is a business, and it’s always just about the “numbers”.  You’ve probably heard the saying, “If you aren’t a little embarrassed by your low offer then you just offered too much”, and I have found this to be true.

3. What is the one thing you wish you had known about house flipping or wholesaling when you first started?

The one thing everyone needs to get really clear on is that your number one job is marketing.  Without a steady stream of leads, you will be out of business before you ever get started. Buy a great big wall calendar and write down all of your marketing activities whether it is direct mail, bandit signs, or one of the other marketing strategies and commit to doing these things every week no matter what.

Who is Sharon Vornholt?

Louisville Gals Real Estate Blog

Louisville Gals Real Estate Blog

Sharon Vornholt has been investing in real estate since 1998, and has been a full time real estate investor since January of 2008. She also owned and operated a successful home inspection company for 17 years.

In addition to being a full time real estate investor she is also a blogger, coach, online marketer, and is a regular contributor of articles to several national sites for real estate investors as well as an Apple Newsstand publication called “REIA Wealth Magazine”.

For a copy of her FREE REPORT “Probates and Absentee Owners: Your Fast Track to Real Estate Riches” visit Sharon’s blog at: http://LouisvilleGalsRealEstateBlog.com.
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Nick Manfredi

Nick Manfredi

Nick Manfredi

Nick’s Answers

1. What is your number one piece of advice for someone who is looking to get into flipping or wholesaling houses?

Joint venture with someone who knows the business: it decreases risk, increases likelihood of earning a profit and should increase the time a beginner can focus on the art of buying property at a discount.

2. What is the most important mindset shift that needs to happen for someone to become a successful house flipper or wholesaler?

The skill of repetitively buying property at a discount, can become more valuable than $5M, $10M or even $20M. The skill is power, not the wallet.

3. What is the one thing you wish you had known about house flipping or wholesaling when you first started?

I wish i would have held everything that cash flowed, and not flipped it…

Who is Nick Manfredi?

Nick Manfredi

Nick Manfredi

Nick Manfredi is a buy, fix & flip expert that focus’s on development of joint venture relationships. He’s President & Founder of the IE Investors Forum located in Southern California and CEO of The Manfredi Group.

Nick has acquired and sold homes using a wide variety of strategies. He’s bought bank REO’s, short sales and courthouse auctions. One-in-four private sellers give Nick carry-back or “subject to” financing. Private investors supply funds for The Manfredi Group’s acquisitions in return for profit partner participation or trust deed investments.

In 2007 Nick founded California’s first short sale processing company (TheShortSaleProcessor.com). He’s purchased non-performing notes in-bulk and individually. He holds a portfolio of rentals in California and Texas.

Nick has been featured in Fortune Magazine and The Los Angeles Times, and has contributed articles in the news media, includingCNN Money Magazine, THE PRESS-ENTERPRISE, and more.
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Bruce Norris

Bruce Norris

Bruce Norris

Bruce’s Answers

1. What is your number one piece of advice for someone who is looking to get into flipping or wholesaling houses?

Every time you buy a wholesale deal, use the comp to get more deals. I call it “walking the comp.” I once bought a four plex out of the MLS for $60,000 worth $135,000. I took that comp and mailed all of the owners in the area a $60,000 offer; bought three more. Used those four comps to make offers to over-priced four-plexes in the MLS; bought two more. Used those six comps to buy 6 four plexes out of the Los Angeles Times. The man was a wholesaler who wanted $90,000 each, but took $60,000 when I showed him my comps. When I closed that deal, he was very happy and introduced me to a guy who sold notes at a discount. I bought a $240,000 note for $80,000 on an 8-unit building and a house. One comp turned into a lot of money very quickly. P.S. The comp doesn’t even have to be yours.

2. What is the most important mindset shift that needs to happen for someone to become a successful house flipper or wholesaler?

They have to believe that they (the buyer) provide a service. If you don’t understand the benefits of selling to a cash buyer, you are going to have a tough time convincing someone else your offer has merit.

3. What is the one thing you wish you had known about house flipping or wholesaling when you first started?

It helps to educate yourself as fast as possible. If I had to do it over again I wouldn’t learn it all from hard knocks. The first seminar I ever attended was one I taught. Dumb mistake.

Who is Bruce Norris?

The Norris Group

The Norris Group

Bruce Norris is an active investor, hard money lender, and real estate educator with over 30 years experience. Bruce has been involved in more than 2,000 real estate transactions as a buyer, seller, builder, and money partner.

Renowned for his ability to forecast long-term real estate market trends and timing, the release of The California Comeback report in 1997 gained him much notoriety. The accuracy of the extensive report led many California investors to financial freedom. His January 2006 release, The California Crash, was an in-depth look into the California market correction and the statistics behind Bruce’s predictions. Bruce has released subsequent follow up research including Category 5, All In or Fold, and his most recent Fast, Furious and Dangerous!

For a comprehensive look at Bruce’s many accomplishments and experience, please visit his full bio here. You can also learn more about Bruce and The Norris Group at their website, TheNorrisGroup.com

 

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Ward Hanigan

Ward Hanigan

Ward Hannigan

Ward’s Answers

1. What is your number one piece of advice for someone who is looking to get into flipping or wholesaling houses?

You must develop an effective, comprehensive formula that calculates the most you’d be willing to pay for a property that meets your criteria, and will generate at least a minimally acceptable profit. For years my BEST BID formula was calculated manually, but nowadays it’s totally computerized.

2. What is the most important mindset shift that needs to happen for someone to become a successful house flipper or wholesaler?

I tried to treat my flipping business as a sideline on my first two feeble attempts. It didn’t work at all until I did it full-time, and then it paid off big time.

3. What is the one thing you wish you had known about house flipping or wholesaling when you first started?

I wish I had not limited my “buy/wholesale sell/retail” turnarounds to “nice” neighborhoods when I first got started. It took a few years for me to realize that I could profitably work ALL neighborhoods. Since then I’ve made a lot of money in depressed areas.

Final Thoughts

There’s no such thing as perpetual perfection. So do not beat yourself up whenever you make “beginner” mistakes. Treat every mistake that costs you money as a seminar on what not to do the next time around.

Who is Ward Hanigan?

Ward Hanigan and Grandkids

Ward Hanigan with Grandkids, Elsa and Helen

Ward Hanigan is a full-time foreclosure specialist and trainer, located in San Diego County. He brings you over 30 years of real estate experience, with a degree in Economics and a Doctorate in Law.

He has worked in California’s foreclosure market exclusively since 1982, and as a consequence he has extensive experience finding cash, researching title, handling evictions, rehabbing, reselling, working as a foreclosure consultant for lenders (handling their REO turnarounds and rollovers) and as a”one-on-one” trainer and mentor to some of the most successful foreclosure practitioners in the Western United States.

You can get more information about Ward Hanigan at his website Foreclosure Forum located here: http://foreclosureforum.com/

 

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Roger Faulkner - RBD Ventures

Roger (right) with his partners, Brian and Dustin

Roger Faulkner

Roger’s Answers

1. What is your number one piece of advice for someone who is looking to get into flipping or wholesaling houses?

Number one, get educated. I definitely recommend learning to wholesale something before trying a flip. If you can get the numbers correct for a wholesale and someone buys it then you will be able to do it for yourself as long as you don’t lose control of the rehab.

2. What is the most important mindset shift that needs to happen for someone to become a successful house flipper or wholesaler?

Think of yourself as a real estate investor as fast as you can even before you do your first deal. We used to say “fake it before you make it” and that holds true as long as you have the follow thru you won’t be faking it.

3. What is the one thing you wish you had known about house flipping or wholesaling when you first started?

Too many things to list here but one is trying not to force a deal where there really is no deal. This especially will bite you on not paying attention to neighbors. Bad neighbors will make it extremely hard to sell your house.

Who is Roger Faulkner?

RBD Ventures

RBD Ventures

Roger Faulkner is the President/CEO and Co-Founder of RBD Ventures, Inc. a Redevelopment Company located in San Diego, California. RBD Ventures has bought, renovated and resold over 150 homes in the past three and half years.

After serving in the Navy, traveling extensively aboard Nuclear Powered Submarines while stationed in San Diego, Mr. Faulkner realized he wanted to live in the area and, except for a brief stint fishing on Crab Boats in Alaska has been here ever since.

After the Navy Mr. Faulkner landed in the Hospitality Industry working his way up to various management positions in large chains such as Denny’s, TGI Friday’s and Red Robin. His first foray into Entrepreneurism was to start several small tech companies from multimedia to Ecommerce. In 2009 realizing that the Real Estate Market was at the bottom Mr. Faulkner dropped everything to seize the opportunity that real estate would bring on its inevitable recovery.

Mr. Faulkner’s various experiences and knowledge have been instrumental in leading RBD Ventures from a start up with its office at Starbucks and bootstrapping its way to become one of California’s best Redevelopment Companies.  Visit RBD Ventures at RBDVentures.com.

 

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REIG and Wounded Warrior Homes

REIG and Wounded Warrior Homes

Brian Daly and Patrick Clark

Brian and Patrick’s Answers

1. What is your number one piece of advice for someone who is looking to get into flipping or wholesaling houses?

Get out there and start trying to make things happen. Your business will never be perfect, and that first deal is an eye opening experience that is worth hundreds of hours of preparation.

2. What is the most important mindset shift that needs to happen for someone to become a successful house flipper or wholesaler?

You have to have confidence. Confidence in your current abilities and more importantly, confidence that you have what it takes to master what is necessary to become a leader in your industry. “Regardless of whether you think you can or you can’t, you are right”

3. What is the one thing you wish you had known about house flipping or wholesaling when you first started?

Strategies to vet and manage contractors and construction costs.

Who are Brian Daly and Patrick Clark?

REIG

REIG

Brian Daly and Patrick Clark have a unique background within the bank foreclosure industry, servicing one of the 4 major US banks as Asset Managers. In those positions they were responsible for the management and sale of over 2,500 foreclosed properties across the country over a 4 year period.

As the REO industry began to shift, Brian and Patrick decided it was time to go out on their own and create their own destiny. In August of 2011 they completed their first wholesale transaction and collected a fee of $12,000. Using that experience and seed money to expand their business, while still working full time, they completed 4 more wholesales by the end of the year.

In February 2012, Brian left work to go full-time while Patrick roughed it out another 5 months until his 3rd child was born. By August of 2012 they had closed on another 6 wholesales, purchased another 6 properties that were under construction for resale (flips), and hired their first employee.

In 2013 Brian and Patrick decided to bring their construction process and contractor in house. As of September 2013 the REIG team is up to 8 office employees, 32 construction workers, and they are on pace to purchase, renovate and sell over 40 properties by the end of the year. REIG flips all levels and styles of homes, but specializes in larger, higher end custom single family homes with a focus on quality construction and superior design.

You can learn more about REIG by visiting them at http://www.reigrenovations.com.

 

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Danny Johnson

Danny Johnson

Danny Johnson

Danny’s Answers

1. What is your number one piece of advice for someone who is looking to get into flipping or wholesaling houses?

You don’t need to be an expert in everything before starting to take action. Take baby steps. Educate yourself and then make a plan to do some marketing for deals. You don’t have to plan out every single possibility before getting started (that’s a surefire to never do anything).

2. What is the most important mindset shift that needs to happen for someone to become a successful house flipper or wholesaler?

The most important mindset shift is that you must realize and completely believe that good deals exist and people will except low offers for houses. If you don’t honestly believe that, you will have a very hard time finding deals and instead will find yourself giving up.

3. What is the one thing you wish you had known about house flipping or wholesaling when you first started?

There are many things, but the one that comes to mind first is that there are investors interested in buying some of the houses that you may not be interested in flipping. Those investors are will to pay for the lead (if they buy the house). I cringe when I think of all of the leads that I could have made thousands of dollars from that I threw away because I wasn’t interested in the house.

Who is Danny Johnson?

Danny and his son

Danny and his son

Danny Johnson has been flipping houses in San Antonio, TX for over 10 years. His book ‘Flipping Houses Exposed‘ was a number one best seller on Amazon and is available for FREE. Read more about how to flip houses on his blog, FlippingJunkie.com (one of the most popular house flipping blogs).

Danny Buys Houses is Danny’s house buying company’s website.   His company helps people sell their house fast in San Antonio, TX.  This is especially important when people need to stop foreclosure.   He and his wife are able to do this because they pay cash for houses.   They focus on ethical house buying and stay true to their core values.

 

 

 

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Tucker Merrihew

Tucker Merrihew

Tucker Merrihew

Tucker’s Answers

1. What is your number one piece of advice for someone who is looking to get into flipping or wholesaling houses?

Take Action……most people that want to get into this great business just talk a big game and never actually take any action (or consistent action). Once you figure out what niche of real estate is a good fit for you to get started in, take action and make it happen. Remember fortune favors the bold, so get off your duff and start generating motivated seller leads and building your business.

2. What is the most important mindset shift that needs to happen for someone to become a successful house flipper or wholesaler?

You need to have thick skin and not be afraid to talk to anyone. Most people like to operate within their bubble because they are comfortable doing so. You need to start being comfortable with being uncomfortable. This is a people business, so you need to develop the skill of being able to talk to anyone anytime.

3. What is the one thing you wish you had known about house flipping or wholesaling when you first started?

I wish I understood what Direct Response Marketing was and how to use it effectively in the Real Estate Investing Business. If you become a great direct response marketer you WILL become rich in this business.

Who is Tucker Merrihew?

TTM Development Company

TTM Development Company

Tucker is the Owner and Head Acquisitions & Finance Manager for TTM Development Company. He began his career in the Real Estate business back in 2002 as a Top Producing Mortgage loan officer, and then by 2004 he built his own Mortgage Company TTM Finance, LLC & Davis Financial which is still in operation today. In 2008 Tucker began building TTM Development Company from the ground up, and presently he is in charge of daily operations, Investor Relations, project financing and all new acquisitions for the company. Currently Tucker is looking to expand his company’s brand through projects like the 2013 Street of Dreams in order to make TTM a household name for Portland homebuyers looking for exceptional homes.

You can visit the TTM Development Company Website at www.ttmdevelopmentcompany.com

 

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Ginger Macias

Ginger Macias

Ginger Macias

Ginger’s Answers

1. What is your number one piece of advice for someone who is looking to get into flipping or wholesaling houses?

If you really want to learn how to get started in real estate you just have to go out there and start making it happen! Stop taking the courses and studying and just start applying what you’ve learned. Pick up that phone and start calling sellers and making friends with agents. This business is all about making friends and helping each other out.

2. What is the most important mindset shift that needs to happen for someone to become a successful house flipper or wholesaler?

To be successful you need to let go of your fears, especially the fear of failing. Every successful person I know or have read about has failed—over and over again. As Henry Ford said, “Failure is the only opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”

3. What is the one thing you wish you had known about house flipping or wholesaling when you first started?

I wish I would have partnered with other people sooner. You can definitely make a great living flipping or wholesaling by yourself, but when you have great partners it seems like the sky’s the limit. I have 3 other partners right now and we each have our strengths and we’re doing some super exciting projects right now (land development, apartments, condo conversions…). Surround yourself with a strong team and seek mentors and advisors.

Who is Ginger Macias?

Ginger Macias

Ginger Macias

Ginger L. Macias, MPH, MS. Ginger is an active wholesaler, rehabber, landlord, and educator. She founded OCWholesalers.com in 2008 which has been supplying investment properties at a discount to rehabbers, landlords, and end-users. Her extensive marketing and referral base has enabled her to acquire properties quickly and at a huge discount. Ginger also is a popular mentor and speaker at local investment clubs where she teaches others how to get started in real estate. Check out her new membership site www.RealEstateInsiders.co for some free resources!

 

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Glenn and Amber Schworm

Glenn and Amber Schworm

Glenn and Amber Schworm

Glenn and Amber’s Answers

1. What is your number one piece of advice for someone who is looking to get into flipping or wholesaling houses?

I would tell them it is not overnight success even though the TV makes it look that way 🙂 A lot of hard work goes on behind the scenes so stay the course and plan to be in for the long haul. Longevity builds credibility if you operate with integrity and credibility can get you deals you would other wise never have access to.

2. What is the most important mindset shift that needs to happen for someone to become a successful house flipper or wholesaler?

Your mindset needs to be all about getting things done no matter what obstacle is thrown in front of you.  It is like running a race where people throw things at you the entire race, but you press on because all you see is the finish line. Keep that mindset and success is guaranteed.

3. What is the one thing you wish you had known about house flipping or wholesaling when you first started?

You have heard the saying “Time is Money”? That statement is even more true in our business than many others. Time can make you or break you, so make quick decisions. Have people working on the sites every day. Have a goal in mind and a schedule and stick to it. The longer the house sits, the more it costs you, period.

Glenn Schworm

Glenn Schworm and Amber Higgins

Who are Glenn and Amber?

Glenn and his wife Amber are the owners of Signature Home Buyers , located in upstate New York. They have bought and sold over 100 houses and counting since beginning in 2008. They are also the proud parents of 3 amazing kids and love to travel the globe, scuba dive, skydive and basically live life to the fullest!

 

 

 

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Doug and Andrea Van Soest

Doug and Andrea Van Soest

Doug and Andrea Van Soest

Doug and Andrea’s Answers

1. What is your number one piece of advice for someone who is looking to get into flipping or wholesaling houses?

If I had to narrow it down to one piece of advice for someone getting starting flipping houses, I would have to say…take action! Massive action! Your hopes and dreams are only as good as the effort you put into them to make them a reality. I’m not just talking about making an offer here or there, occasionally talking to an agent or two and then just hoping the deals just come to you. This is what most people do, and more often than not they fail. Then they wonder why they fail. Unfortunately, there’s no magic button to push to get a deal, it just takes work. Take massive action and do it consistently, over and over, every day. You will get results.

2. What is the most important mindset shift that needs to happen for someone to become a successful house flipper or wholesaler?

“Try not, do or do not, there is no try” – Yoda (The Empire Strikes Back). I love this quote because it sets the frame of mind that you will be successful, that failure is not an option. The house flipping business is not unlike any other business or goal that person has. The most important mindset shift that may need to take place is your attitude. By that I mean, believing that this business will work for you and a positive attitude that you are going to make it happen. If you don’t believe you can do this business…you’re right. If you DO believe you can do this business…you’re right!

3. What is the one thing you wish you had known about house flipping or wholesaling when you first started?

When I first started I was so focused on making sure that I knew everything I could possibly need to know about every step of the process. I was tending to look too far down the road instead of just focusing on the here and now and what is going to get us a deal today. Don’t worry about steps 4, 5 & 6 when you’ve overlooked step 1. You don’t need to have all your business cards printed, your entities in place, your mission statement worded perfectly, and your office space in the office building. Those things will come in time but they aren’t that important when you are first getting started. I would have been better off focusing on one thing, finding a deal. Complete step 1, then worry about step 2, and so on. Don’t make this business too complicated, keep it simple.

Who are Doug and Andrea Van Soest?

The Van Soest Family

The Van Soest Family

I got started in the house flipping business like many others that I know, by reading the book “Rich Dad Poor Dad” from Robert Kiyosaki. My wife Andrea and I read it while we were engaged and it truly altered the course of our lives, in terms of our careers. 3 months into our marriage we quit our jobs to open a Kettle Corn concessions business in Colorado. After 2 years of building our business and landing contracts with venues like Mile High Stadium and the World Arena, we decided to sell the company and move back to California to pursue our real passion, Real Estate. I became an appraiser and Andrea got her real estate license and we spent a few years working and learning the industry. We bought our first flip property in the fall of 2008 when the market was falling off a cliff at a rate of around 5% per month. Since that time Andrea and I have bought & sold over 150 properties and have acquired 40 rentals (and counting), all in southern California. We have 3 small children and have built our business around the mindset of “Family First.” You can connect with us on our website: http://FreedomRealEstateSolutions.com

 

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Shawn Watkins

Shawn Watkins

Shawn Watkins

Shawn’s Answers

1. What is your number one piece of advice for someone who is looking to get into flipping or wholesaling houses?

My number one piece of advice for a house flipper/wholesaler would be to set goals. I know this is said all the time by others but let me elaborate. When you set these goals they need to have a time frame attached to them. One goal I ALWAYS keep in mind is to write ONE offer each day. This is easy to keep track of because at the end of the day I either hit my goal or I did not. By writing an offer every day I am also getting feedback from sellers or my wholesale buyers list on WHAT they want and HOW MUCH they are willing to sell for or buy for.

2. What is the most important mindset shift that needs to happen for someone to become a successful house flipper or wholesaler?

In this business 24 hours can make a big difference. You have to BELIEVE that you will get your fair share of deals. Success in the business is a result of consistent action applied with the belief that you are going to get your shot at the deal.

3. What is the one thing you wish you had known about house flipping or wholesaling when you first started?

The importance of making good contacts and keeping them in good standing. If you want to shorten your learning curve in this business then it’s all about becoming well known and developing a reputation as someone that is willing to freely give help and advice to others in the business. There is always someone that knows more than you and if you can gain their respect they will often times give you the keys to their success.

Who is Shawn Watkins?

Shawn Watkins and Family

Shawn Watkins and Family

As an Orange County Deputy Sheriff for nine years until 1997, Shawn learned the value of education, training and integrity. Shawn started investing in real estate in 1990 and spent several years buying, fixing and selling properties until he decided to buy and hold as many properties as he could in 2008.

With over 15 years of real estate experience, Shawn is currently focused on buy-and-hold properties acquired using creative financing techniques. Shawn’s focus for structuring transactions is working directly with sellers thereby helping others get what they want without using large amounts of cash or obtaining new bank loans. He buys real estate in Utah and California with his partners, Angel Bronsgeest and Sarah Buonora, primarily using seller finance techniques (subject to, options, master leasing, etc).

Shawn is the founder of Investors Workshops (started 2003) in Orange County and can be found lecturing frequently on the topics of creative financing, buy and hold real estate, the art of negotiation, foreclosures, trusts, title insurance, seller financing and property management.

Shawn lives in Utah with his wife, Angelina, and his five children – Curtis, Maximus, Olivia, Shawn & Ryan.  You can learn more about Shawn at http://www.investorsworkshops.com/shawn-watkins

Find information about the Investors Workshops at www.investorsworkshops.com.

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Tony Alvarez

Tony Alvarez

Tony Alvarez

Tony’s Answers

1. What is your number one piece of advice for someone who is looking to get into flipping or wholesaling houses?

Buy something!!! 😉

 

I understand that is easier said than done… but, that one decision is the MOST crucial for someone just starting out because it cleaves YOU from the “wannabe real estate investor” existence you presently live in, into one clear distinction- YOU’RE A PLAYER! I can’t even begin to tell you the many people I have seen attend investor clubs, classes, seminars for years and have yet to buy their first deal.

 

The bottom line worst case scenario you can imagine will probably never happen, but one things for sure- Before you can do something really well, you’re going to do it wrong, but before you earn the right to do it wrong, you have to actually DO SOMETHING!

 

Now, that being said, the truth is there is so much to learn and do that boiling it down to just one piece of advice is pretty tough. I suppose I could tell you it’s all about something very practical like staying focused on BUYING; that it’s ALL about chasing & harpooning your “next deal”. Or make sure to secure your financing before you start making offers, or your Exit Strategies; so lock up your buyers and make sure you have a solid buyers list to quickly sell your stuff to, or always have more than one source for finding deals, or understand that you MUST have a specific Goal- Plan & and an underlining set of SYSTEMS; action steps you will take DAILY to feed this BUYING & SELLING machine you are about to create. Because as we all know TIME is your most valuable resource and a day gone by without actions culminating in results is a day lost, PERIOD!

 

I suppose on a deeper level, the rock bottom most vital piece of advice is something that on the surface may seem more like some esoteric teaching from the real estate Buddha… “Know thyself …” I would Tell you to be sure you understand exactly WHY you want to get into this business to begin with.

 

The truth is most everyone thinks they want “IN” for the simple reason of “I want to make more money” and that’s understandable, but behind that seemingly sensible logical reason lies something much more detailed and meaningful; a deeper reason, some longing to be free from some imagined unwanted situation or to simply reach some level of financial freedom that will provide you and those you love and care for with a safer and superior lifestyle to the one you might imagine you have at the present.

 

Knowing, having a CLEAR understanding of the “WHY” behind your decisions is vitally important to your ultimate success, because it is the only STEAM behind your commitment to KEEP going the moment you hit the first of MANY obstacles that you will encounter on this road that will surely deliver you to exactly the place you imagine it can.

2. What is the most important mindset shift that needs to happen for someone to become a successful house flipper or wholesaler?

Everything in Real Estate is constantly in flux, so learn to love change. Your life is about to become a time management nightmare-and…Oh… you’re going to working your butt off!;-)

 

Look, Real Estate is basically a GAME, and like playing any other game TO WIN it’s going to take DEDICATION & LOTS OF HARD WORK! The BEST part is… this real estate game is already in play and you just suited up and are walking onto the field- (can you hear the crowd cheering yet?) Believe it or not that is exactly what you’re about to do. However, if the game is in play you must accept a host of realities; all easily learned & mastered, but YOU have to do the heavy lifting.

 

Remember, all games have rules. The BASIC rules are already set in stone and YOU need to learn and understand them quickly; the faster you do the faster you’ll know the BEST methods for positioning yourself in this ongoing game to consistently WIN!. But that does not mean you can’t choose how you will play the game. You could choose to make it a WIN/LOOSE type of mentality, this is called the Competitive Mindset, and it will keep you in the game and you will win a few and loose occasionally; most of us start here, but get ready because most of the time you’ll be really stressed out worrying about “THE OTHER GUYS” (Your competition).

 

Then there is the Cooperative mindset- here NOBODY LOOSES, or better said, you focus all of your attention on consistently improving your abilities to play instead of focusing on anybody else’s results. The truth is Real Estate is probably the ONLY game where in order for you to win no one else has to loose, sounds foolish, but true, and the sooner you grasp that one fact and make it the basis of all your decisions the sooner you will reach real estate nirvana.

 

I guess eventually we all learn that Real estate is a TEAM sport; if you think this game is ALL about YOU and about playing by yourself you will soon be OUT OF THE GAME! So make it a point to learn to play well with others and kick your greed to the curb!

3. What is the one thing you wish you had known about house flipping or wholesaling when you first started?

That my own self-doubt and indecision would be my worst enemy and ultimately end up costing me more money in lost potential profit from deals I did NOT buy than actual losses from initially overpaying for any property I’ve ever bought.

 

Now the truth is I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my over 30 years in this business. But, keeping in mind that real estate can be extremely forgiving… Let’s just say it this way, the only deals that have ultimately cost me money, are the ones I did NOT buy. But, only a wise experienced real estate player will understand and appreciate the magnitude of what I just said. 😉

 

You see, you can THINK you know all you need to know to make good buying decisions, and believe me Wholesaling & Flipping SUCCESSFULLY is 90% about knowing when to pull the trigger ACUURATELY! But doubt will worm its way into your subconscious; it will sit there until it morphs itself into a million fear filled justifying thoughts and reasons just waiting until the worst possible moment to convince you of your ignorance; it will pounce and steal your chance to win as often as you let it.

 

Without doubt, you have to deeply understand property values in whatever Target Market you decide to play in, and NEVER second guess your logically arrived at decisions, with emotional nonsense! There is something I have read many times in many books and it goes something like this, “when a man or woman decides to start walking in the direction of their dreams they will undoubtedly meet with a host of obstacles and opposition, but the powers of the universe will always magically come together and rush to their aid” This is a universal law just like the irrefutable law of Cause & Effect.

 

Don’t give one moment of thought to your imagined fears, your “competition”, your past errors in judgment. Be prepared, be well learned, understand your Target Market better than ANYONE else (even if only in your own mind) -BE CONFIDENT in your ability to make solid buying decisions! And when you’re in that driver’s seat and that moment, that opportunity presents itself- aim carefully but- PULL THE DAMNED TRIGGER, and move on to the next deal!

Who is Tony Alvarez?

Tony Alvarez - The REO Mentor

Tony Alvarez – The REO Mentor

Tony Alvarez has been a successful Real Estate Investor and Certified General Appraiser in Southern California since 1981.

More importantly, Tony made a fortune buying and selling properties while working with professional real estate Agents that specialize in selling lender owned (REO) foreclosure properties. He did it all in seven years and in one of the lowest priced more depressed Southern California real estate markets, the Antelope Valley.

Tony has purchased, rehabbed, rented and sold hundreds of properties from vacant land to condos, single family residence, apartments and commercial properties.

To learn more about Tony and his vast experience, please visit his website at thereomentor.com.

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Darrell Kukan and Imran Clark Ph.D.

Darrell Kukan and Imran Clark Ph.D.

Darrell Kucan and Imran Clark Ph.D.

Darrell and Imran’s Answers

1. What is your number one piece of advice for someone who is looking to get into flipping or wholesaling houses?

Get a mentor for Real Estate and another mentor for Personal Development.

2. What is the most important mindset shift that needs to happen for someone to become a successful house flipper or wholesaler?

When you totally internalize instead of questioning every decision… Willing to let go of other things that get in the way.

3. What is the one thing you wish you had known about house flipping or wholesaling when you first started?

How many experienced people are already doing real estate flips that we could tap into… and how willing everyone is to help out and lead you in the right direction.

Who are Darrell and Imran?

Darrell and Imran Speaking

Darrell and Imran Speaking

Kucan & Clark Partners are well known and respected in San Diego, but few know how vastly disparaging their lives once were. While Darrell was on a career path as a maintenance supervisor in Oregon, Dr. Imran Clark was working as a Senior Scientist in the Biotech industry. As both followed their chosen professions, they married and had children. But for both of these future entrepreneurs, they wanted more. They dreamt of lives where they could do something they loved AND that allowed for them to work for themselves with people they chose. Not surprisingly, they both came up with the same idea- the wonderful world of Real Estate! It was in 2007 when their paths first crossed while both were getting the education, personal development, and networking that would allow them to partner in 2009 and become very successful real estate investors and business owners.

You can learn more about Darrell and Imran at the following websites: Kucanandclark.com and SanDiegoInvestmentClub.com.

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Kristi Cirtwill and Evan Younger

Kristi Cirtwill and Evan Younger

Kristi Cirtwill and Evan Younger

Kristi and Evan’s Answers

1. What is your number one piece of advice for someone who is looking to get into flipping or wholesaling houses?

The best piece of advice I have for someone looking to get into flipping or wholesaling is to get good at learning 2 numbers: the rehab number and the ARV (after repair value). These 2 numbers are the most critical to know when learning if a property is a good deal or not.

2. What is the most important mindset shift that needs to happen for someone to become a successful house flipper or wholesaler?

The best mindset you can have is to truly believe you can do the business. I found local investors doing exactly what I wanted to do (flip houses) and they were flipping A LOT of houses….so I knew it was possible! So I just had to learn to believe in myself and know that the business would happen for me if I stuck to it and put in the hours and effort.

3. What is the one thing you wish you had known about house flipping or wholesaling when you first started?

The one thing I wish I had known more about when getting started was how many awesome, local real estate clubs there are out there. Networking with others is so important and it took me a while to figure out that there were local clubs willing to provide support, help and networking opportunities. I think if I had attended some of these earlier it would have sped up my learning curve.

Who are Kristi Cirtwill and Evan Younger?

Kristi Cirtwill

Before and After

In 1999 Kristi purchased her first investment property, a single family home with a basement apartment that needed major remodeling. Within 4 days of owning the property, she had the basement gutted. Then she called her dad and said, “Help! How do I put this back together?!” And that began the start of her rehabbing business.

A few years ago Kristi moved from Toronto, Canada to Long Beach to start a full time rehab/re-sell business. She purchased 18 houses in 2011, 27 houses in 2012 and her goal is to purchase 50 properties this year. Kristi buys in Los Angeles and Orange Counties to rehab/re-sell and is also starting to buy/hold to rent. Her team is made up of business partner Evan Younger and full time office assistant Irene Duarte.

For more information and other amazing before and after pictures, please visit them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CirtwillInvestmentsInc

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Jason and Katherine Grote

Jason and Katherine Grote

Jason and Katherine Grote

Jason and Katherine’s Answers

1. What is your number one piece of advice for someone who is looking to get into flipping or wholesaling houses?

Get educated!! I think there is a mindset, propagated by the many gurus peddling their “systems”, that real estate investing is an easy, get rich quick program. Being an investor is just like starting any business. It takes hard work, dedication, and education. Additionally, if wholesaling properties, it is extremely important to do your own marketing and find your own leads. Do not try to make your living as a wholesaler by relying on the MLS. Develop a marketing plan to get qualified leads that you can then offer up to a flipper.

2. What is the most important mindset shift that needs to happen for someone to become a successful house flipper or wholesaler?

If a person is not already entrepreneurial minded then they must do so. You must be self motivated and self disciplined. Again this is just like starting any other business. Establish a budget, a schedule, and a realistic outlook that your first year is going be more about becoming educated as opposed to amassing wealth.

3. What is the one thing you wish you had known about house flipping or wholesaling when you first started?

I think that I wish we would have focused more on marketing early on. We became very focused on our deals and lost sight of our deal flows. We had lulls between projects that really hurt us financially. Having a solid marketing plan and allocating 20 % of your budget towards it will pay dividends down the road.

Who are Jason and Katherine?

The Grote Family

The Grote Family

Jason & Katherine Grote, are co-owners of IBuyAustinHouses.com, along with Jason’s parents. They have been involved in real estate for the past 10 years and are full time investors.

Both Katherine and Jason have written for Bigger Pockets as well as other educational blogs, sharing the knowledge that they’ve gleaned from operating a successful investment company.

In addition to being avid real estate investors, they are passionate about their family and their faith. Both Jason and Katherine are actively involved in their community and church.

They make their home in the south Austin area with their three adorable children, two dogs, Asa and Samson, and one silly cat named Mia.

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Larry and Janet French

Larry and Janet French

Larry and Janet French

Larry and Janet’s Answers

1. What is your number one piece of advice for someone who is looking to get into flipping or wholesaling houses?

Start your education about Real Estate Investing now. Avoid seminars that cost >$300 per day. There are great Real Estate Investing teachers out there that offer reasonably priced education. Attend as many local Real Estate Club meetings as you can and make a commitment to meet new people each time you attend. Ask the experienced people at the club which RE trainers they recommend.

2. What is the most important mindset shift that needs to happen for someone to become a successful house flipper or wholesaler?

You must be willing to work harder and longer than you may have ever done before. You may know hard work… if you do, great. You’ll need it at the beginning as you learn the ropes. If you haven’t been working long hours it’s time to start. Kill your TV. Work three weeknights till 10pm. The extra work will pay off in time and you’ll be scale back your hours and work smarter.

3. What is the one thing you wish you had known about house flipping or wholesaling when you first started?

Most ‘traditional’ Realtors know very little about Investing. Use caution when taking advice from a Realtor who has not personally bought and sold houses for a profit.

Who are Larry and Janet?

Larry and Janet French

Larry and Janet French

Larry and Janet French are the founders of SilverMoon Real Estate Buyers and have over 20 years of experience in the Southern California real estate industry.  They specialize in the Coachella Valley region of California and, in addition to buying property, also manage dozens of homes and provide management services to a select clientele.  Larry and Janet are also the organizers and directors of the Coachella Valley Real Estate Investors Association.

 

 

 

 

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Kurtis Squyers and Family

The Squyers Family

Kurtis and Cindy Squyers

Kurtis and Cindy’s Answers

1. What is your number one piece of advice for someone who is looking to get into flipping or wholesaling houses?

Get Your License!

 

As a licensed broker, we have made at least several hundred thousand dollars more than we would have ever made without a license in our regular course of business as investors. You have full resources like the MLS (a MUST if you are serious) without having to sneak around using other people’s log ins. You can represent your own entity, wholesale them for assignment fees, and then collect a nice commission from the seller at close! Plain and simple, it gives you a lot more flexibility and versatility in the number of ways you can make money (there are four more ways but we don’t have time here – blame Justin).

 

The biggest objection I usually hear, “I don’t want the extra liability”. Let me address that in perhaps oversimplified fashion:

 

In California, the Department of Real Estate (DRE) is the entity that rules over licensed real estate professionals. I think this is a misnomer. It should be called “Department of Real Estate Licensees” because the DRE has nothing to do with anyone that isn’t licensed. The DRE cannot sue you. They can’t get a judgment, levy, or garnish you. They can’t press charges. They can basically do ONE thing, take away your license. That’s it. (oh, that and you might not receive a Christmas card). They can suspend it, revoke it, or take it away until you pay a fine (like a ransom). So, if you break it down, YOUR BIGGEST LIABILITY OF HAVING YOUR LICENSE IS LOSING YOUR LICENSE, WHICH YOU WOULD NOT HAVE ANYWAY IF YOU CHOSE NOT TO HAVE IT BECAUSE OF THE LIABILITY, WHICH REALLY IS THAT YOU MIGHT LOSE YOUR LICENSE : )

I am a strong believer that becoming a licensed real estate professional whether or not you ever intend to work in the capacity of a Realtor has far more benefits than not to your investing career.

2. What is the most important mindset shift that needs to happen for someone to become a successful house flipper or wholesaler?

Have a negative attitude.

 

Didn’t expect that one, huh Justin? I say it kidding, but only half kidding (I just wanted to get your attention). But I do get sick of hearing gurus painting overly rosy pictures of how you are going to run out there and get showered in cash (because it sells their products) and I think it’s a setup for failure. “Push button profits!” “Software does all the work for you!” “10 deals a month your first month!” Sometimes I feel like I need to bring balance to the universe ; ) Friend, if you enter into this career believing that every single deal is going to close quickly, smoothly, or even close at all then you’re in for disappointment. The buyer who said “I’ll take it!” and couldn’t wait to close disappears off the face of the earth. You didn’t know there was a $285,000 state tax lien against the property. The seller’s sister you didn’t know was on title doesn’t feel comfortable selling…and so on and so forth. Every one of these scenarios has happened (several times) in our business. No matter how much you expect, visualize, believe, or pray not every deal is going to close. It’s an irrefutable universal law of real estate investing. The learning curve can will be bumpy sometimes.

 

HOWEVER, there is a very important corollary to this doom and gloom:

 

If you can accept that a certain percentage of your efforts won’t go as planned, you can be equally as sure that some of them eventually WILL. Becoming slightly detached from each deal means you will have a little bit less of an emotional roller coaster ride, which = staying power, which = long term success. I don’t totally agree with the speakers that say you must banish all fear or negative emotions (I don’t even know if that’s possible). I believe it’s ok to be scared. I believe it’s ok to be frustrated. I believe it’s okay to have doubts. Doubt a deal, doubt a seller, doubt a value, just DON’T DOUBT YOUR ABILITY TO OVERCOME WHATEVER GETS THROWN AT YOU AND RESOLVE TO NEVER GIVE UP. I’ve learned to take the most disappointing flops as well as the homeruns a little more in stride, and it has made for a smoother ride!

 

There is nothing wrong with “positive”, but I believe “persistent” trumps it every time. Pit bull over Pollyanna, game face over grinny face, stubborn over sanguine.

3. What is the one thing you wish you had known about house flipping or wholesaling when you first started?

I wish I would have known there was such a thing as wholesaling.

 

Cindy and I got off to killer start fixing and flipping. We had about a dozen projects going when 2006 hit. We were wiped out and were pretty much sure real estate was over for us. After a month of flailing, we regrouped and asked ourselves, “what are we good at?”…we realized that we were good at finding deals. We knew a few other investors that actually still had money, we put a deal under contract, and we wholesaled it. Keep in mind, wholesaling was not a “thing” yet, we had never heard that word, we literally figured it out on our own out of desperation. Several hundred wholesale deals later, we now do both. Since the analysis for wholesaling a deal to a rehabber is the exact same as it is to rehab a house, it allows you to get that experience with a fraction of the risk. It also primes your pump, finding deals, putting them under contract, learning repair estimates, and stabilizes your cash flow.…stay involved in the process- watch what the rehabber does. Find out as much as you can about repair costs, how long it takes to do the improvements, and when it sells track how well you did when estimated the after repair value (ARV).

 

If you have your heart set on rehabbing, then please, please, please do NOT get overextended. I’ve seen that as the number one cause for disaster, yours truly included. Keep MORE cash than you think you’ll need. If you don’t have cash I HIGHLY recommend that you wholesale a deal or two first…just my two cents.

Who are Kurtis and Cindy?

Kurtis and Cindy Squyers

Kurtis and Cindy Squyers

Kurtis and Cindy Squyres have been rehabbing/wholesaling houses over 16 years.  Kurtis walked away from a successful corporate job with UBS Painewebber to pursue real estate.  Cindy had founded and ran 5 furniture stores in Southern California prior to flipping her first house in Fontana, CA.  Kurtis and Cindy actually met through a “We Buy Houses” ad!  Together, they have rehabbed or wholesaled several hundred homes and have been featured on Inside Edition, the front page of the Los Angeles Times, Investor’s Business Daily, Fox News, MSN Money, and several other national syndications.

You can find more information about Kurtis and Cindy at http://farbelowmarket.com/

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