"Action and Inaction are Conscious Decisions."
Updated: Jul 25, 2022
We had completed our first three day real estate investing education and were ready to find our first deal. There are common themes you will hear across REI education, guru courses, books and podcasts about how to land off market deals (i.e. no realtor commission fees, finding burnt out landlords, pre-foreclosures, etc.). Sure you can find a diamond in the rough MLS listing that can work, but typically by the time you find it in a Zillow search, it's already been passed over by other investors. A key component that was pushed was joining local meetup groups to network (still do that to this day and it is a must for anyone who is ready to do deals).
I searched Meetup.com for "Real Estate Investing" locally and found one scheduled for the following week. We showed up at Perkins and entered a room of other local investors and wanna-be investors (hey, that was us that night). We started handing out our Vistaprint business cards I had shipped overnight (lesson learned on those for another day, our first round wasn't the best). One guy stood at the front of the room saying how he currently owned 22 units and was starting to loan money to other people who may have a good deal he could partner with. I remember looking at him in awe, thinking it was a pipedream to get to 22 units in several years (spoiler alert, we ended up doing it in the first 1.5 years).
He said that he had two single family homes that he wanted to sell and would give them to the highest bidder in the room. He said he wasn't joking and that by the end of the week someone could have them. What he did in hindsight was create a sense of urgency to a bunch of naive investors. Well, that was me. For the next few days I sent texts and called him, saying we would buy the homes sight unseen. I knew the area (Shenandoah, PA - anyone I grew up with knows this is not a place you're going to think of as a glamourous town to say the least haha) and negotiated a price.
A day later we met with him at our house to sign the contract and deed over. $2,500 for row home #1. And $2,500 for row home #2. He told us there had been a tenant in one home whom he had "gotten rid of," but left it at that. Again, naive me was so excited to have bought our first two investment properties for next to nothing that I didn't ask too many (any?) questions. Keys in hand, Michael and I set off to check out our new acquisitions in real life and not just Google Maps... pics of what we entered into for tomorrow. It's not pretty!
Below: actual pic of the combined check we handed over buying investment properties #1 and #2.
Lesson for the day: Meetups CAN and ARE a great place to network. This story aside, there are great deals to be found at meetups. We have met some absolutely amazing people through these events. You get to know your market, show your face and create a lot of connections. Get out there and network!