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All Posts by Carole Ellis

About the Author

Carole Ellis is the host of Real Estate Investing Today, a popular 9-minute daily podcast focused on educating real estate investors about the important topics that will make their investing SAFER, FASTER, and MORE PROFITABLE. She's also the editor of the Bryan Ellis Investing Letter. She has more than a decade's worth of experience in and reporting on the real estate industry and, additionally, has written dozens of courses on the topic. Carole lives in Kennesaw with her husband, Bryan, and four children. She believes wholeheartedly that your best investment is always your OWN education.

Feb 22

Mega-Developer DR Horton’s Hint for Wholesaling Success in 2016 | Episode 1

By Carole Ellis | News

This Article Is Discussed In Episode #1 of the REI Today Podcast – Click Here To Listen!
If you’ve been watching mega-developer DR Horton like REI.Today has, then you know that they’re up to something. Back in 2014, the homebuilder started building large numbers of entry-level homes under their brand “Express.” These homes are exactly what their name sounds like: they are “starter-homes” for first-time homeowners who are seeking fast, easy (read: affordable) access to the home-owning population. The properties are priced between $120,000 and $140,000, a prime price tag for first-time buyers with a relatively small amount of money for a down payment and high hopes of leveraging some federal assistance in getting a favorable mortgage.

DR Horton started transitioning resources to its Express brand early, while most other builders were still focusing on high- and middle-tier homes. In fact, many are still focused there. For example, Atlanta-based Pulte Group is just now starting to investigate starter-build options as its high-end margins tighten. DR Horton, however, has some padding built in thanks to its early start now that its luxury-home brand, Emerald, is starting to falter.

So what does this mean for you and your wholesale deals?

It means that right now, in 2016, there is a shortage of “starter homes” available for first-time buyers. There is a reason that a dominant number of successful investors refer to these “little” three-bedroom, two-bathroom homes as their bread and butter: these homes are in demand, often come with easier financing than larger homes, and are proven in short supply at this time.

Lesson: If you’re looking to wholesale properties fast, then give your buyers (be they investors or homeowners) what the market wants, and what the market wants at present is entry-level homes.

Point to Ponder:

National Association of Realtors (NAR) chief economist Lawrence Yun and CNBC real estate reporter Diana Olick both think that DR Horton has set itself up for success by investing in starter homes thanks to the 2 million new households that will likely be attempting to transition to home ownership in 2016.

Would you invest in starter homes?

Thank you for reading REI.Today’s News and Networking Section!

Your comments and questions are welcomed below.

Listen to Episode 1 Now

Click Here To Join the REI Today Community!

Feb 22

WARNING — this is the BLACK HOLE of Real Estate Profits | Episode 3

By Carole Ellis | REI Today Podcast

It’s going to sound like science fiction, but it’s real-life real estate Horror!  You’re about to learn the tiny oversight that can make the profit on your latest real estate deal – and the property itself – literally vanish into oblivion without a trace.  I’m Carole Ellis.  I’ll tell you exactly where this is happening RIGHT NOW in Episode 3.

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Imagine how you would feel if a real estate EXPERT gave you information that directly led to the loss of thousands or even TENS OF THOUSANDS of dollars of your hard-earned investment money. You’d be crushed, just like a certain Florida buyer who was DELIBERATELY MISLED by the couple who sold her a “bargain home” and accidentally misled by a certain professional who plays a role in just about every single real estate transaction. Today, I’ll tell you all about this homeowner’s horror story and then we’ll discuss exactly how YOU as an investor can protect yourself from similar disasters.

Before we get to the real DIRT, though, I have to take 30 seconds to mention a DIRTY TRICK Facebook is getting ready to play on real estate investors everywhere who use the social media site to get attention for their properties. You’ve probably longed for a “dislike” button yourself from time to time, but do you really want people being able to post that your pics make them angry as easily as they can give it a thumbs up? Get all the details on how to leverage this to your ADVANTAGE instead of letting Facebook’s latest “great idea” send your listings straight into oblivion in our News and Networking section at REI.Today.

Now, to the dirt (literally):

When a certain Tennessee couple whose case is still in litigation sold their home to a young woman named Kelly, they offered her a great deal. In fact, as a savvy, money-conscious individual, Kelly really couldn’t say no to the opportunity to buy what she believed to be a great discounted property. After an inspection and a relatively quick closing, Kelly moved into the home with her family while the Tennessee couple headed for, well, Tennessee. And that’s when the trouble started…

First, door frames seemed a little askew, but you won’t believe what happened next. A huge crack appeared right in the middle of the living room, and the house began to literally sink into the ground! “We couldn’t stay in the house,” Kelly told a local news station, adding that she had to move out while her house fell victim to (you may have guessed it already) a serious SINKHOLE that threatened to engulf the entire property.

So what was Kelly to do? Well, after a little digging, it turned out that the deal she got from those Tennessee sellers was anything but a deal – they’d actually taken the loss on the house after REPORTING THE SINKHOLE TO THEIR INSURANCE COMPANY then cashing the check rather than making repairs. No wonder they were in a hurry to move! If Kelly’s inspector had caught the problem, she’d have been fine, but since they didn’t, now, Kelly is embroiled in a huge legal battle to get her original payment back and, in the meantime, has none of the money and nowhere to live. It’s a lousy situation, and it happens more often than you’d think, especially to real estate investors who tend to be EASY TARGETS for this type of thing because you’re used to dealing with motivated sellers and homes in various states of disrepair.

So what should you do to avoid literally sinking your own investment money right into a huge black hole in the ground? Take these three important tips to heart:

  1. Inspect the house yourself. Not an inspector? That’s okay. Look for danger signals like windows and doors that will not close, small cracks around windows and doors or along walls, and separated pavement in the driveway other than the seams of the concrete.
  2. Consider the local environment! For starters, there is an area of FLORIDA called SINKHOLE ALLEY. Should you buy here? Well sure, people live there, but you should certainly be very careful! In addition, you should look around the property for signs of ground instability. Did you know that leaning fence posts, circles of dead or dying grass and vegetation, and collapsed banks and fallen trees along drainage ditches are all signs that a sinkhole COULD be forming on the property? Most people don’t, and those are not places that every inspector will even look.
  3. Check the local news. Sinkholes make headlines, even when they’re not a big deal. So check out the area in which you’re considering doing a deal. If there have been several sinkholes recently, you can be pretty sure there will be more. Be extra-diligent to make sure your deal doesn’t fall into one.

So in a nutshell: Sinkholes are hard to spot, and they’re like BLACK HOLES FOR REAL ESTATE INVESTOR’S MONEY. It’s your job (no matter what you’d like to believe about your home inspector) to make sure that your money remains above ground, making more money! So don’t end up in Kelly’s situation. Keep your eyes open for this literal pitfall in your investing career, and take advantage of this picture library in our REIToday vault to identify just what types of little signs of sinkholes your inspector might be missing. How do you get access to these, quite frankly, shocking pictures? Easy! Go to our special REI Roday vault and download them! If you’re not already a member of the REITODAY Vault, text 33444 or visit REI.Today/vault  RIGHT NOW to get immediate access to these shocking and valuable pictures. Do it now, though, because these images are only available for a limited time.

When you text REITODAY to 33444, you’ll also be able to GROW YOUR NETWORK by interacting with me and your fellow listeners to REI Today… so stop by to ask questions, make comments and network with other investors across the country!  Just text the word REITODAY with no spaces or periods to 33444 or visit REI.Today/vault right now for your free membership.

Thanks for listening in.  Be sure to listen in to Episode #4, where you’ll learn about a simple picture that is currently launching DOZENS of real estate deals and how you can get your hands on it for your own business.  It’s crazy stuff and it’s available right now on iTunes, Stitcher and at REI.Today, so get it right away!

REI Nation – always remember this:  Your best investment is YOUR OWN EDUCATION!

Feb 22

how to “SMOKE OUT” High-Profit Deals… And Nobody Looks Here! | Episode 2

By Carole Ellis | REI Today Podcast

Would you like to get CRAZY-PROFITABLE DEALS that NO OTHER INVESTOR is even aware of? Here’s a great and ridiculously easy way to eliminate basically all of your competition in your local market and start raking in money doing easy, EASY real estate deals. I’m Carole Ellis. This is episode 2.

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Let’s go ahead and eliminate 80 percent of your competition for awesome, high-profit deals right off the bat, shall we? But before we do that, I want to take 30 seconds to mention something that most investors consider TOTALLY IRRELEVANT that will be scaring off a large portion of your buyers if you don’t adjust your marketing in 2016. According to a new Berkshire Hathaway HomeService survey (that’s Warren Buffet’s company, so we listen when it releases data!), nearly two-thirds of young homebuyers say that rising interest rates are likely to scare them right back off buying, something the housing market – and we as investors – simply can’t afford to let happen. Want to know how to deal with this issue? We’ve got all the details – and more importantly, the solution – in our News and Networking section at REI.today.

Now, back to eliminating 80 percent of your competition…

One of the biggest stumbling blocks most real estate investors new and old face is competition for the truly great deals in their local markets. Particularly if you are a fan of wholesaling, which is a great way to put money in your pocket in JUST DAYS with real estate (see episode 1 RIGHT NOW if that little nugget tickles your fancy), then you know that it’s tough getting to the good stuff first. Fortunately for my REI Today Listeners, I recently interviewed one of the top guys in the business when it comes to CUTTING OUT THE COMPETITION. His simple secret – and let me tell you folks, it is nearly BRAINLESSLY SIMPLE, enables him to access what he estimates to be the 80 PERCENT of motivated sellers out there that no one else even has the option of speaking to. Here’s who he is and what he does.

Our “competition-cutter” is none other than Miami’s Alex Pardo, a former high-powered General Electric guy who got into real estate so that he could backpack around the world and, frankly, make a bit more money than his graduate degree in business was earning him. Back in the early 2000s, Alex spent every dime he owned at the time (997 dollars, to be exact) on a wholesaling course that he took WHILE PARTYING IN IBIZA and never looked back. Now, he’s a wholesaling powerhouse down in Miami and he credits most of his success to one extremely simple followup-technique: I call it 24th time’s a charm meets SILENCE IS GOLDEN.

So what do I mean by that? Well, for starters, Alex has learned that roughly 80 percent of all motivated sellers will NOT leave a message when they call in off a postcard, yellow letter, or bandit sign. But let’s face it. You don’t have time to answer the phone every time it rings! The secret is to collect the numbers and call back, even if you don’t know exactly who called in the first place! Alex calls those sellers back and then he follows through with a 24-step follow-up system that is truly remarkable. If you want the details, don’t worry. They’re all in the REI Today vault, of course!

So Alex calls these sellers back, and then he keeps calling. But he doesn’t just call to say, “Hi.” He calls and says “Hey, I’m sorry I missed your call. Don’t you have a property you’d like to sell?” “How can I best help you solve YOUR real estate problem?” “What can I do for you?” And here’s the ringer, folks: Alex does this 24 TIMES for each motivated seller who gets in touch with him! Why? Because he just wants to be annoying? No, because he wants those deals, and the results speak for themselves. Alex averages 40 wholesale deals a year.

Now, as an aside, let’s talk about the idea of “calling back” for a minute. If you’re like most people, you’re thinking that this is starting to sound like a lot of time on the phone. However, take your cue from Alex (again) and take a few minutes to go high-tech. There is a special, low-cost service that you can use to handle all of your follow-up phone calls that actually sends messages straight to your sellers’ voicemails. This is HUGE, Alex told us, because most people just hang up on broadcast calls. However, because this system goes straight to voicemail, it appears that the seller has simply missed a personal call, and it dramatically ramps up your response rate without you even having to talk to sellers until they’ve already given you their information and you’ve confirmed you’ve got a live one on your hands. Want the name of this system? You know it’s in the REI vault, of course!

Think about how it would change your real estate investing business if you were working on deals that no one else in your market even knew about. Think you could use that wholesaling strategy we talked about in episode 1 and make it work? Of course you could! And if you happen to be interested in Florida specifically, I’ve got even better news for you. Alex went ahead and, just for our REI Today listeners, rattled off the “sweet spots” in Florida where the properties are hot and the wholesaling is going strong. That’s in the REI Today Vault as well just waiting for you right along with Alex’s 24-step follow-up flow chart and the service HE USES PERSONALLY to make sure that his sellers never feel like they’re just part of a system and are more likely than most motivated sellers to call him back! So how do you get access to these “Florida sweet spots?” Alex’s HUGE follow-up flow chart, and a transcription of our entire interview wherein Alex not only describes how he gets his deals, but exposes a FIVE-DOLLAR SECRET that enables him to optimize his sales and results every month no matter how to the market changes? You know it: it’s inside the REITODAY Vault, our free resource library for every listener to this show!  If you’re already a member of the REITODAY Vault, download the special resource for today’s show, “24th Time’s a Charm” And if you’re not yet a member, you can get your free membership RIGHT NOW by texting the word REITODAY to 33444 or visit REI.Today/vault and I’ll provide fast, free access to this truly powerful info that will make your real estate wholesale deals safer, faster and more profitable!  So just text the word REITODAY with no spaces or periods to 33444 or visit REI.Today/vault to get access now… but do it now, as it’s available only for a limited time.  When you do that, you’ll also be able to GROW YOUR NETWORK by interacting with me and your fellow listeners to REI Today… so stop by to ask questions, make comments and network with other investors across the country!  Just text the word REITODAY with no spaces or periods to 33444 or visit REI.Today/vault right now for your free membership.

Thanks for listening in.  Be sure to listen in to Episode #3, where you’ll learn about something that sounds like science fiction, but can turn your real estate deals into real estate horror.  It’s available right now on iTunes, Stitcher and at REI.Today, so get it right away!

REI Nation – always remember this:  Your best investment is YOUR OWN EDUCATION!

Feb 22

FAST FLIP Profits Without Cash or Credit – Using One SIMPLE Tool! | Episode 1

By Carole Ellis | REI Today Podcast

Press “Play” To Listen Now!
 

Want a great way to make money in real estate FAST?  Here’s how to put thousands in your pocket quickly, regardless of your experience… and a tip for avoiding one HUGE error that will entirely destroy your deal.  I’m Carole Ellis.  This is Episode 1.

Let’s make a quick $10,000 or more from real estate, shall we?

However, before we do that, I need to take just 30 seconds tell you about a really interesting thing that a certain developer is doing ALL OVER THE COUNTRY that you just might want to consider before you buy your next investment property. Mega-developer DR Horton started doing this back in 2014 and now they’re way ahead of the curve and selling homes no other developer can even offer at this time. If you’ve got these types of properties, you’re ahead of the curve too and just about EVERY ANALYST OUT THERE says you’re going to be in big demand in 2016 and beyond. Want to know more about what DR Horton is doing and what it has to do with you and your quick $10,000? We’ve got all the details – and, more importantly, information on how you can get in on this trend before it peaks – in our News and Networking section at REI.Today.

Now back to that $10,000. One of the very quickest ways to do that is through a strategy known as wholesaling.  You probably know what wholesaling is OUTSIDE of the real estate world.  It’s where you buy a certain something for $X and then quickly resell that certain something for a little bit more than $X… and you keep the difference.  Then you do it again enough to make a lot of money!

But the nice thing about doing that with real estate is that the difference you get to keep can be a lot of money.  Many wholesale deals will put a few thousand dollars in your pocket with very little effort.  But many wholesalers are actually able to profit by 10’s of thousands of dollars on each deal… and do this several times each month.

How would that affect YOUR life, to collect a check for $5,000 or $10,000 – and maybe do it several times a month?  Keep that in the back of your mind as I tell you how to do this… and just as importantly… I’ll tell you a HUGE land mine that you must avoid.

This wholesaling strategy is one of the simplest ways to make money in real estate, and it even works for beginners, too.  But exactly HOW does it work?

Well, first:  You find a piece of real estate you can get below what it’s really worth.  There are dozens of ways this can be done, and we’ll cover that, too.  But for now, let’s assume that you’ve found a piece of real estate worth $100,000 – but you can get it under contract for $60,000.

Yes, people.  You can find seriously deep discounts on real estate… if you just do the work to find it.  That’s how you make your money!  More about this in future episodes of this show.

So, you enter into a real estate contract to buy that property from the owner for $60,000.  Easy peasy.

Then, you find a real estate investor or other buyer who might have an interest in that property.  And rather than being greedy, and trying to keep all of the profit for yourself, you do what’s smart:  You leave some profit in the deal… you leave some “meat on the bone,” as they say….

And you sell that property to the real estate investor for $70,000!

So, let’s do the math.  You bought for $60,000 and you sold for $70,000.  You’ve made $10 grand – that’s great!

BUT… how did that actually happen?  Did you have to come up with $60,000 to buy the house first before you sold it for $70,000?  And what if you simply don’t have $60,000 to finance this deal?

Well, my friends, I have great news:  a cool strategy called “Assignment” makes it easy for you to collect your $10K without ever buying the deal yourself.

Here’s how it works:

You contract to buy the property at $60,000 just like before.  But you put some simple but important language in that contract that allows you to “assign” the deal to a third party.

What is “assignment”?  It’s when you allow a third party to take your place in the contract.  In other words, YOU currently have the right to buy that house for $60,000.  But if you “assign” your contract to that third party, at that point, the third party can buy the house for $60,000 instead of you.

But the right to buy at such a great price is valuable!  So what you’ll do is charge that third party a fee to assign the deal to them… such as $10,000.  So, what happens is that the third party pays YOU $10,000 for the right to buy that house for $60,000.  Their total investment is therefore $70,000 – which is far, far below the actual value of $100,000.  So, still a GREAT DEAL for the third party investor and a great deal for you because you get to pocket 10 Grand very quickly.

But, the devil is in the details, folks.  Many of the gurus out there will tell you that all you need to do in order to be able to assign a contract is to put the words “and/or assigns” after your name as the buyer in the original contract.  And it’s true, that can work.

BUT… it leaves huge holes open for problems that can steal away your $10,000 payday before you ever see it for the first time.  For example – do you have any lingering liability in the deal?  Do you have to get consent to perform the assignment?  Can the seller veto the assignment?  While assignment itself is really very simple as a concept, just using the words “and/or assigns” really doesn’t address any of those issues in a way that helps you.

You’ve got to be SMART… protect that $10,000 profit before anybody can take it from you!

And my friends, remember:  This isn’t just theory.  I’d like to introduce you to AC.  AC is real estate investor based in my hometown of Atlanta, Ga.  He’s been investing full-time for just a few years after spending 20 years as a computer programmer. He was able to quit his job and start investing full-time while devoting more time and energy to his family and church thanks to deals like the one I’m about to describe. He recently did a deal just like what I just described to you… got a house under contract for $127,000… found an investor just days later… assigned the deal to the investor for a fee of $8,500… and his bank account is a lot fatter and he’s repeating the process right now.  And YOU can do this too!  What would you do with an extra $8,500 like AC now has?

Well, you certainly can… but one thing you’ve got to have is the right legal clauses to make sure your deal gets done quickly, safely and for maximum profit.

How can you do that?  Well, I have a special gift for you, my friends!  It’s a collection of powerful legal clauses that are worth their weight in gold, and that you can use in your own contracts – only with your attorney’s consent, of course – to make sure that your assignment deal is air-tight and that your $10,000 profit is rock-solid!

How do you get access to those “golden clauses”?  Well, good news – it’s inside the REI TODAY Vault, our free resource library for every listener to this show!  If you’re already a member of the REITODAY Vault, download the special resource for today’s show called “REI Today Golden Legal Clauses for Assignment”.  And if you’re not yet a member, you can get your free membership RIGHT NOW by texting the word REITODAY to 33444 or visit REI.Today/vault and I’ll provide immediate, free access to this truly powerful info that will make your real estate wholesale deals safer, faster and more profitable!  So just text the word REITODAY with no spaces or periods to 33444 or visit REI.Today/vault to get access now… but do it now, as it’s available only for a limited time.

When you do that, you’ll also be able to GROW YOUR NETWORK by interacting with me and your fellow listeners to REI Today… so stop by to ask questions, make comments and network with other investors across the country!  Just text the word REITODAY with no spaces or periods to 33444 or visit REI.Today/vault right now for your free membership.

Thanks for listening in.  Be sure to listen in to Episode #2, where you’ll learn how to find the 80 PERCENT (that’s right, 80 PERCENT) of awesome wholesale deals that NEVER MAKE IT TO MARKET so that YOU can get started investing without having to compete with the “big guys” in your neck of the woods.  It’s available right now on iTunes, Stitcher and at REI.Today, so get it right away!

REI Nation – always remember this:  Your best investment is YOUR OWN EDUCATION!

Click Here To Join the REI Today Community!

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