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REAL ESTATE How did you find your last deal???

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New Contributor
Sep 13, 2007
Bay area
I have found R.E.O's on the M.l.S and am feeling like I'm leaving money on the table. Am I not looking hard enough, How did you find your last deal?

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MJ DeMarco

Staff member
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 23, 2007
Fountain Hills, AZ
Although I'm not in the market anymore, I check Craigslist regularily -- if you go to the real estate section and type in "short sale" or "foreclosure" a whole boatload of stuff comes up.


Bronze Contributor
Aug 4, 2007
I'm not in the real estate market, and don't know enough about it to begin buying houses (I'm a business person first and business/paper investor), but I'm looking at turning real estate junk into something very valuable.

I worked in financial services for a while, managing a $10 million portfolio of debt. I applied knowledge from that to real estate, and despite not being a real estate person, I have a method, not yet completely designed, which will turn hundreds of millions of dollars of junk into tens of millions for me. Because I'm a business person, I can also automate this so the income is passive. It's not a deal-by-deal basis, it's a system which create a flow of deals, and someone to whom I pay "a good salary" can manage them for me.

To answer your question as to how to find a deal, I'd recommend doing what other people aren't. You might be able to fight a few guys on courthouse steps or via "we buy houses" ads, but if you can see an opportunity which doesn't yet exist, you are the only kid in the candy store. :)

Question the whole way you go about finding deals, and your assumptions. Google "triple-loop learning" and see if you can't come up with an entirely new way to find deals.



New Contributor
Aug 12, 2007
There are TONS of deals out there right now. Your best bet is networking with professionals in the business. There are some very good groups out there now that finding deals, preforming the 1st phase of research, and then passing them off to investors within their "network." You just have to be in their "network."

Getting in is not all that tough anymore, you just need to meet these people and show them that you 1. can acutally perform 2. are reasonable 3. are ethical and are willing to be a team player. Most of the guys that are making good money right now are involved in joint ventures and are willing to work with others to achieve the common goal of making money.

Your last question is probably, "Who are these professionals?" Well, they are financial services reps, RE attorneys, REPUTABLE mortgage bankers and RE agents, title companies, appraisers, etc. Most of the people that are in the buseinss that are highly regarded are known within your local community and you should not have a hard time getting references for these people.


New Contributor
Nov 27, 2007
There are just Tons of deals out there right now at least for all the US Residents there has never been a better market to find deals then right now , papers, online , and as stated above RE pros can put you on to some good deals.....make sure you find the right one


Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Aug 29, 2007
Aurora, Co
-my last deal I worked with partners I found while attending foreclosure auctions. Try REI clubs as well.


Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jul 24, 2007
SW Ohio
one friend of mine strictly buys reo's in cincinnati, uses hard money to get it into shape and refi's to cashflow for a buy/hold strategy.

another friend does a lot of marketing and has been doing a lot of wholesaling.
i know he has a website, does bandit signs, networks, etc...

a combo of both would seem to work. my plan would be to do the first part and have lending set up to get into these quickly and in areas where a rent to own option to sell it would work.

on the other hand i get leads on our real estate website for a lot of "pretty house deals" ala Ron Legrand. These types of deals I would do more marketing to and find these in good areas where I could command a higher premium therefore getting a nice monthly cashflow.

just my thoughts on how to find your next deals. i agree that networking is always an ideal way and as MJ stated Craigslist is a good resource too.



New Contributor
Jan 4, 2008
I notice you're in the Bay Area. My question to you would be, what do you plan to do with the property once you find it? If you've done this many times before than ignore that question.

To me though, a lot depends on what your plan for the property is. Most people have a plan to either rent, resell, owner finance, wholesale, etc. I would think the MLS has plenty of properties you can lowball right now for any of the above strategies.

For each strategy though I think there are different methods of marketing that work better than others. Ulitmately you're looking for a motivated seller period. It's always seemed to me that taking the shotgun approach like running a general ad in the paper is a big time waster. I like to target my prospects and reduce the time wasted on calls with people I'm not interested in talking with.


New Contributor
Aug 30, 2007
Phoenix, Az
I usually buy from wholesalers. They are the ones who advertise "we buy houses" and such. I used to do my own advertising for such leads, but my money is better spent on the deal and not finding the deal. I am ok with the wholesaler making a small profit as long as they leave enough room in the deal for me.


Bronze Contributor
Jul 24, 2007
I like Craigslist too! They tell you a bunch of stuff they'd never say in the MLS there.

- Hakrjak
I've done some basic searching on Craigslist. It seems like they only really have SFHs for sale. Rarely do they have any commercial properties. I guess I understand why, but it'd be cool if they could try and organize it a little better.

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Bronze Contributor
Aug 9, 2007
deals are to be had, but there is still a lot of downside risk, so beware...

just being devil's advocate...

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