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I said it once (and I don’t like to repeat myself), but I’ll say it again – just for you. Yes, you can invest in real estate with NO money down. Remember, being broke doesn’t mean you’re a real estate joke, but you’ve got to play your cards right, and that means you’ve got to have more than 4 aces up your sleeve. Ok, I’ll stop being so cryptic and metaphoric. In short, you gotta get your head right and play the negotiation game like it’s your J-O-B.  Get creative. Use the following no-money-down tactics to your favor:

Get the Seller to Pay You to Take The House

I know, you’re sayin’ – Craig, what are you smoking? Like Bill Clinton, I never inhaled. Believe it or not, you can actually get owners (or distressed sellers) to owner finance the deals. Owner financing still works people. It doesn’t happen a lot in this over-leveraged market, but it does happen! Suppose you meet a family who are trying to sell Grandma’s free-and-clear house for $80,000 – but you only have $60,000, which you know you’ll need for the rehab. Let’s assume the house is worth $230K- solid! Maybe you could offer the owners $90,000 if they agree to a hold a note for $90,000 while you rehab with your $60,000. Once you’re done the rehab, you sell the house for $230,000 and give the owners their 90K. Starting to get the picture? You just purchased, rehabbed and sold a 90K house worth $230K for $60,000 bucks.

Am I Losing Karma Points Here? Is No-Money Investing Ethical?

Uh, no and yes. You have to stop feeling like you had to step on someone’s neck in order to get a good deal. Its called negotiation. 

Let’s say you get a response to one of your mailers or bandit signs. The person on the phone sounds a bit desperate and says, “I really need 75,000 for this old beater.” You muster up the courage to make an offer for $55,000 and crazy enough, the seller accepts. Why feel guilty at this point? The Seller accepted your offer and you didn’t even have to bring in Tony Soprano to close the deal.

You’re a problem solver. 

Should I Ride the Guilt Train All the Way to the Bank?

You may have robbed your mother’s heart, but you’re no house robber. A house thief is a person who unethically and dishonestly swindles his or her way into a property investment using deceitful and diabolical methods (insert evil laugh). Come on, that’s not you. You simply used smart, creative methods to invest in your future while quite literally solving the problems of distressed homeowners. So, in essence, you’re a freakin’ house hero, man! Ok, that may be a stretch, but consider this. If sellers could turn elsewhere and get more for their homes, wouldn’t they? Your service is needed and in most cases, welcomed, so ride the wave dude and enjoy the gnarly biz that is property investment.

You’re Down Wit OPM? Yeah You Know Me!

Naughty by Nature sang about OPP (other people’s, well…you know), but you need to get real familiar real quick with OPM – Other People’s Money. Even if you have a large wad of cash stashed away, try to  rely on a lender to purchase and rehab your property. That means the lender covers the purchase price, closing costs, holding costs, and rehab costs – the whole kitten caboodle (what the heck is a kitten caboodle, anyway?). What’s the theme here? With this form of No-Money-Down Investing….NOTHING in the process comes out of your pocket. Period.

Now getting such sweet financing might seem like a tough hurdle to cross – especially for you newbies, but once you get several deals under your belt, you’d be surprised at who comes out of the wood-work to hear about your success. Just be sure to tell everyone about what you do. I work with several private lenders and I plan to build that network to many more! Just work on building a pristine reputation for doing solid deals, and the money will find you.

Remember – Working Capital. It’s a Must!

Is that working capital in your pocket or are you just happy to see me? If you played your cards right above, you already know that your deal isn’t being funded by you, and that’s all well and good. Butlet’s suppose for a minute that you need money for earnest money deposits, up-front payments to contractors or perhaps overages in rehab budgets. Well, working capital becomes the glue that will hold your deal together. Whether it’s money from your own account or a friend who is willing to fund your holding costs, just be sure you have working capital checked off your list before you invest in a property.

There are many ways to buy, rehab and sell houses using none of your own money. From owner financing, to subject-2 purchases, to using other people’s money – you can still do crazy deals like Carlton Sheets has been teaching for all these years. That dude was out there! Starting this business with wads of cash and huge lines of credit makes you fat and lazy. I can not tell you all the rich guys I’ve seen who have been dismal failures in this business. Seriously, in this business, the more money you have, the less hungry and creative you seem to become. I guarantee that if you follow at least some of these no money down investing tactics – you’ll walk away smarter and with razor sharp real estate investing instincts.