The Two Little Known Secrets of Successful Real Estate Investing

If you’re new to investing in real estate, it may seem confusing and complicated. With all those contracts, property titles, and legal forms, it can tend to look like rocket science, but it’s not. I believe the main reason people get so confused about real estate investing is simply because it’s new to them. I think that as we get older, trying something new becomes harder because we get stuck in our old ways. The good news is I have a solution for you. I’m going to suggest that if you are trying to make a go of it in real estate investing, you develop a childlike attitude. Now let me explain what I mean by that, and I’ll need to use some “science talk” for a minute to make my point clear.

Research shows that before preschoolers enter kindergarten; their brains are more active and more flexible. They actually have more connections per brain cell than us adults. By age three, the child’s brain is actually twice as active as an adult’s, and the child’s brain consumes twice-as-much energy. It has some 15,000 synapses or connections per neuron, compared to the average 7,500 per adult brain. There’s more. At about age 10, the brain begins mercilessly eliminating the less-used synapses. This physiological fact may explain why remediation of learning disabilities, which usually starts in the fourth grade, is such hard work and why it is so rarely completely successful. By the time we’re 18 we have the brain we will have for the rest of our lives. The shape of our brain’s internal pathways is, at that point, carved out. For better or worse, our unique physiology and personality is set. That seems to indicate that as we “grow-up” we use only what “brain-power” we need to and dump the unused portion of ours brains capabilities. So, getting stuck in our ways is really nothing more than our brains being hard wired to move us in the same “direction” over and over again.

So, getting back to my suggestion of developing a childlike attitude, as an experiment, I want you to read this article with childlike enthusiasm. Think of no option except this “real estate investing can work for you” because it can – if you apply some proven principles and strategies. As we “grow-up” we tend to lose that childlike sense of awe and wonder, the sense that anything is possible. We start over analyzing and thinking too much and we label that as maturity. In my opinion taking action always outweighs overanalyzing. The right combination of knowledge and action can deliver tremendous results for you no matter what it is you’re trying to achieve. On that note, I want to tell you about my first real estate deal, and I’ll say right upfront that one of the reasons it worked was because I never thought that it wasn’t going to. My youth and inexperience allowed me to keep focused on winning and nothing else. If I’d been older and overanalyze the situation, I may never have done it.

Here’s the story.

I was in my late teens and I was flat broke. There was an apartment house in my town that had once been a decent place, but the owners and let the wrong tenants in and the place began to deteriorate. Soon there were broken down cars in the yard, garbage piled in the hallways, a broken front door, and some busted windows. This apartment house was for sale, but its horrible appearance meant that no bank was going to give anyone a loan to buy it. The worst of its features was an eight-foot tall front porch that was about ready to collapse! It wouldn’t have been able to get a certificate of occupancy, and in most cases, you can close on a piece of property unless a certificate of occupancy exists. In case you’re unfamiliar with the term, a certificate of occupancy ensures that the property is livable…and this place wasn’t!

After some negotiations with the sellers on the price, I told them that I’d like 45 days to clean the place up, but then they would have to sell it to me. To keep them from selling it to anybody else, I told him I was going to give them a tiny little down payment. I also said that in 45 days I would start pursuing a bank loan, and then I wanted 60 days from that point to close on the property. I asked for a lot. I didn’t know any better. Guess what? The seller agreed! But here’s the scary part that I wouldn’t suggest anyone else do. Once the seller and I had a deal, I immediately went to work on the place before even knowing whether I could get a bank loan. I figured cleaning the place up was my first priority because I thought “the bank will look at the place before make it pretty, and I will never get the loan.” So I blindly put my heart, and soul, and sweat equity, into cleaning that place up. I got creative too, remember I was broke! I got rid of the junk in the front yard by calling a guy who would agree to take everything away for free so he could sell it for scrap. Then I got together with some friends and hired the cheapest laborer’s I could find. Together, we fixed all the broken windows, the front door – – and the porch.

A contract with the owners allowed me to evict some of the worst tenants, so I got rid of the ones who are unwilling to be part of the massive cleanup. We planted flowers across the front, mowed the lawn, trimmed the hedges, and painted the front of the building.

Then we went inside and painted the hallway and cleaned up couple of the apartments that we evicted people from. They were nice apartments; they just needed to be cleaned. In 45 days, the building looked gorgeous. Then I went to the bank and was fortunate enough to get a loan. In fact, I get a loan for 100% of the money I needed because the property appraised for much more money than I was buying it for. Wow! Success!

I kept that apartment house for many years and each month I enjoyed great positive cash flow from it. Then I sold it during the peak cycle and made a wonderful profit. What a great learning experience and what a great sense of accomplishment I felt. To this day, I can remember standing on the front lawn, looking at the apartment house after I purchased the property, and feeling a sense of accomplishment that came from knowing I did everything I said it was going to do.

Now I don’t suggest you rush into your first deal like I did. But looking back, I was so aggressive, because I knew what I wanted and I wasn’t going to let anything stand in my way. There was no “what if” option only a “when”. Hey, if a naïve kid who came from no money, had no mentors and never went to college can do it. You can to. You just have to get the right knowledge take the right action. Those are the two little known secrets that will allow you to realize your dreams. Your first deal could just be weeks away!

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