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Its been a while since my last post. I always feel like when I haven’t posted in a while, the blog becomes a confessional of sorts. Fact is, I LOVE WRITING THIS BLOG, but I just don’t make the time all the time to do it. My slacker-ness is about to change. You’ll see. This little blog of mine is about to blow up! So, rather than me getting into why I haven’t written in a while – let’s just move forward.

Now I’ve got a HUGE request for you.

I’ve achieved a lot. There are still more hills for me to climb, but I’ve successfully scaled many mountains and I sincerely want to help you do the same. I want to hear form you. Tell me (in a comment below):

1. What’s holding you back? Is it your head, a lack of deals, a lack of money, a lack of knowledge. Get honest and tell me the truth!
2. Tell me what your current niche is. Are you a short saler, wholesaler, rehabber, landlord, lease option’er…..WHAT do you do best?
3. Tell me what your average deal NET’s you. What is your average NET profit. Don’t be shy.

Just answer the questions above, and over the next few months I’ll write blog posts that speak directly to your replies. I wanna see my readers kick some serious ass in 2012. The new year is coming. I can help you. I know you can CRUSH IT – but you first have to comment below.

I did a Webinar with my good buddy Capt Pete Gauthier about 2 weeks ago (thanks to all 135 people on the call!!), and we’ve uploaded it for your viewing delight. The 55 minute webinar answers the #1 question I get from new and old investors alike; “Is Real Estate Investing Dead or Can You Still Make Money in This Market.” This 55 minutes is CHOCK FULL of valuable information on the state of the Maryalnd real estate market.

Also – Pete and I are hosting a Huge Announcement / INFO JAM event on July 29th and 30th, 2011. [CLICK THE PICTURE TO SIGN UP NOW] If you want to learn how to find all the deals you can handle, how make deliciosuly simple and mouth-watering offers that REO agents love, how to find the hidden deals that make big bucks, and yes – HOW TO GET RID OF THE BANKS, then you have to attend this event. And by the way, leave your checkbook at home. There will be NOTHING to buy at the event.

Just click the picture to above to sign-up then watch this webinar. If you’re thinking about making massive paydays as a RE rehabber like me, you must be at this event – because we will show you precisely how you can get in the game and how you can be on TV flipping with me.

Your cost: $39 measily bucks. Plus you can find out how to be on TV with me.

Watch and enjoy as I lay down some serious RE Investing law here – THEN TAKE ACTION and come out to see us on July 29th & 30th.


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there may not be a hotter market in the country right now for real estate investing than the DC Metro and Baltimore markets. Folks, if you’re living in the DMV, you are truly in the cat-bird seat for making money by investing in real estate.

But, the June 2011 figures below from RBI (Real Estate Business Intelligence) show that the Baltimore Metro market, while promising – is still a bit of a mixed bag.

That’s why you have to be super-careful if you’re investing. I have a tried-and-true never-fail formula for success, and I follow it as if my life depends on it. I recently did a, “now famous” Webinar called, “The State of the Market” in the Maryland metro area. You can view a free replay of the 60-minute webinar, RIGHT HERE

June 2011 RBI Pending Home Sales Index
OVERVIEW: New pending sales activity slipped 5.3% to 2,585 from May to June 2011, consistent with the 3.4% decline averaged over the same period in the prior decade. However, the June 2011 total represented the most signed contracts for June in 4 years. The 30.8% jump from the June 2010 pending sales total of 1,977 reflected the sharp decline in contract activity immediately following the April 2010 expiration of the federal homebuyer tax credit and not a recent surge in contract activity. Median sales price seasonally increased for the third consecutive month, reaching $235,500 in June but remained 5.8% below $250,000 in the same month last year.

Read the rest of the report [HERE]

 


Where the hell are the deals?

Is it me, or has there been a real dearth (look it up, people) of deals lately? Let’s start a discussion. My take, the banks and the Gov are really holding back right now, and for the everlasting life in me, I can not figure out why they would do so.

Why do you think?

I know there are still deals out there, but they’re not falling out of the trees like ripe fruit (you know, the crappy ripe that us investors like so much) like they were just a few months ago.

Here’s a 2-minute video with my take on the current Skitch-uation…

BTW – if you want to know how I’m still finding all the deals I need. If you want to know why the REO agents absolutely love my offers – and how I just keep knocken’ ‘em down, you’ve got to come out to our INFO JAM “State of the Market” event on July 29th and 30th. Plus, you’ll hear more about my TV show and how you can be a part of it.

 

Holy crap, I just watched this video and yes, because I’m a sentimental fool – I cried (just a little bit though). Can’t help it. I’m getting old and sentimental. What can I say?

Have you fallen? Have you failed? Have you tried to get to the finish line, but quit? Yeah, me too. We’ve all been there. Look, life is not about falling down, its about what you do after you get up. Very few people fall and never get up, but most get up and quit. That is what LOSERS do; they get up and quit.

If I told you all the times I failed in my real estate career I’m sure you wouldn’t be reading this blog.

But – people love me because I’m real. For better or worse, I tell the truth. And, folks – I have FAILED. A lot. I used to be very hard on myself when I failed, but now I simply take each failure truly as a learning experience. History is littered with great, highly successful men and women who have failed, and failed big. Here’s a Google search of very rich people who have declared bankruptcy.

What would this country look like if we all fell, failed and stayed down?

Now watch this video and share it with someone you love!

As you all know by now, I’m pretty obsessed with design and layout. I just can not stress the importance of a modern functional layout. Simply put, I believe all my homes sell faster and for more money because I take old houses and make them REALLY shine by giving them modern and open layouts that function exactly the way consumers want houses of today to work.

With bigger kitchens, eat-at bars, master bedrooms with private baths, big closets, family rooms equipped with wiring for media – today’s homebuyer expects these types of amenities even when they are buying houses built 100 years ago.

As I’ve said before, making such vast design changes takes great vision and knowhow. Many of you asked, how I do my drawings? Quite honestly, I don’t do drawings except for my kitchens. In almost every case, kitchens must be professionally designed so that you don’t end up with a room that won’t easily accomodate standard cabinet sizes. In all other cases, my homes come to life from my vision matched with the skill of my contractors.

Last night I came across an online and totally free tool to help you with design and layout. And, even better – you don’t have to be a rocket scientist (is any one actually a rocket scientist anymore) to use it. This thing is easy-peasey.

Its called AutoDesk HomeStyler and again, its free! The link will take you to the Google Chrome store. If you are not using Google Chrome to may be able to go directly to the AutoDesk site to find the tool. I simply added it as an App to Google Chrome and it runs perfectly in my Chrome browser.

Hope you have fun with it! Let me know you thoughts.

<——— SUPER SEXY People (Like You) Share. Click THAT SHARE BUTTON. It Feels So Good!

I used to ask the following question a lot while talking with newbie investors. Before I get to the question however, you should know that I often asked it during a time in which when money seemed to flow like crap through a goose to any investor who could simply fog a mirror.

The Question: If I could give you a 100% iron-clad guarantee that I will personally find you five deals next year that will make you $40,000 each – would you quit your job today?

Inevitably, the newbies would all answer yes. So what does that tell us? The #1 fear of investors a few years ago was DEALS. They all worried; “Can I find enough deals to satisfy my income goals?” And admittedly, I used to also worry about the same thing. Listen up ’cause I’m only gonna say this once! GREAT DEALS ARE FALLING FROM THE SKY! They are everywhere! I can not keep up with all the CRAZY good deals happening all around me. So what’s the bottle-neck in today’s market?

RE INVESTING TIP: Successful investing comes down to 4 CRITICAL variables:

  1. Education – Do you know enough to truly capitalize on an opportunity
  2. Deals – Are they out there? Do you know how to find them? Are there enough deals to sustain you?
  3. Money – Do you have money to take down the deals? Is it easy to obtain? What will it cost you?
  4. Contracting – Ugh – need I say more?

Listen up again –  Education, Deals, and Contracting…that’s the EASY part!!! Any one can master those three critical variables, but in this market if you don’t have money – YOU ARE OUT OF THE GAME, period! There are very few banks who will lend money on a investment deal – and if they do, they are gonna want a LOT of your skin in the game. And, if you can’t prove that you have experience – forget it! You won’t even get a foot in the door of the few banks that ARE lending

That’s the cold facts, people. The cold hard truth of today’s market. I am on a quest for money and I want you to come me.

CHECK OUT THE BRIEF VIDEO BELOW FOR INFO ON MY NEW QUEST!!! AND BE SURE TO COMMENT!

<—-  SUPER SEXY People LIKE YOU, Share. Please Press That SHARE BUTTON, and tell a friend!

I received an email  a week or so from Brett Neely; a reporter with National Public Radio (NPR). That was pretty astonishing given the fact that my  political views align more with Rush Limbaugh than with most every reporter on NPR.  Brett said he was doing a story on the housing market and while researching, he came across my little blog here on Al Gore’s world wide web.

After a few minutes of chat, Brett asked if he could come hang with me for a few hours.  Anyone who knows me, also knows that regardless of your political views, I “LOVES” to show off my pretty houses. I of course obliged Mr. Neely. The result of our time toegther was a news report filed for radio and for NPR’s blog. Pretty cool, stuff. I’m all tingly just thinking about it.

As a newbie (several years ago) I always dreamed of being featured in a story by the Baltimore Sun. Well, I haven’t reached that goal yet, but this is pretty close.

For those of you interested in hearing what some Americans think of us RE investors, you MUST go immediately to the blog link below and read some of the reader comments. I was fascinated to see all the venom aimed at little ole’ me. Heck, I’m just out there everyday trying to make a better life for my wife and for my kids – and the readers of NPR’s blog think I’m some fat cat who lights my cigars with hundred dollar bills, all while stepping on the necks of the tired masses.

You gotta read this:  NPR Blog Link

The link to the audio is here

The Homebuyer Tax Credit is over and with it – so it seems went the buyers. As you know, purchase contracts had to be ratified by April 30th, 2010. I just wanna talk real quick about the run up to April 30th, then the time just following April 30th – and then today. Also, I really want to get all of your feelings on what’s happening in your town.

In Maryland we got crushed in February with two huge and historic snow storms – VERY uncommon for Maryland. Following the blizzards we had record cold, so no melt and NO buyers trying to get out there in all that crap to look at houses. They turned out to be the perfect storms. The pent-up demand coupled with the looming end of the tax credit actually created a buying frenzy, the likes of which we have not seen since the mid-2000’s. We sold 5 houses in less than a week or two on market – and we had multiple offers above list. Thank you Lord, and thank you US Gov for giving us the incredible artificial market.

Following the April 30th deadline things slowed considerably, but after a couple weeks it appeared buyers came to their senses. They figured they missed the deadline, but still could take advantage of historically low rates. At just over 7% unemployment, we’ve not been affected too much by the downturn in the economy in my town, but I think we’re every bit affected as anywhere else in the country by a tremendous lack of consumer confidence. That said, the phones were ringing for showings and following the end of the credit, we got a couple deals under contract in May.

Fast forward to the last 14 days. Much like the entire east coast, we’re under the jackboot of the “dog days of summer.” Its HOT! Real HOT! And folks, I’m here to tell  ya; you can do some sweating in Baltimore when its 98 degrees coupled with 90% humidity. Talk about some “Schweddy Balls.” The result: The phones are dead! I mean, its like the calls just stopped as of about 6 days ago.

What’s going on in your town? I want to hear from you, especially if you’re on the east coast, or if you’re trying to sell houses right now. Chime in.

I received more comments on my last post than any previous post. Looks like I struck a cord, huh? I could (and should) write a book on how to not get taken by contractors, but before I do, I’ll just share all my info here. Just call me, Mr. Good Karma! So this will be the kick off post; Part One of a series of posts on How To Sucessfully Work With Contractors so that you can (one day) be a Professional FullTime-Rehabber like your old pal; Craig Fuhr.

Let’s begin our journey with what NOT to do.

As an example, let’s say you’ve just purchased a crappy house for $68,000. Because you’re smart, you did your homework and have a pretty good idea that the rehab should cost about $65,000. Comps in the area suggest a back end (ARV) of $215,000. Sounds like a sweet deal, huh? <Shyly> Yeah, its one I just did.

You close on the purchase, and like every rehabber, you’re just busting at the seams to see some dust fly. So you set up a meeting with a contractor. If you’ve been doing this as long as I have, you’ll want to to swing some hammers THAT day! Time is money, right? Hold on there, Speed Racer. First thing you need to do is, get out a fresh pad of legal paper and a shiny new pencil. As you walk through your crappy house, understand (I mean, really internalize) that EVERY rehab no matter how big or small has a rhythm and rhyme. It has a flow. And, you can never go against the flow. Like the Ten Commandments hewn into stone, so is the precise logical workflow of a rehab. Do ya’ hear me? Don’t mess with the flow! You wouldn’t start drywalling before the plumbing was done, right? So, go through each logical step of the flow – and associate each step with a precise cost.

Something like this: demo will cost $7000.00, framing will cost $5500.00, roof $4500, mechanicals $21,000.00, doors & trim; $2500.00, windows… You get the picture, right?

If you follow my directions, at the end of this process, you will have a very basic Scope of Work (SOW). Now, let’s say you’ve decided to let a General Contractor handle the whole process for you, and miraculously, he agrees that you were right – the cost of the rehab will be $65,000.00. The first thing he’ll want is money. Like most greedy penniless bastards, he’ll have the balls to demand 1/3 of that $65,000.00 up front before the first hammer is swung. Get out your calculator. Mine says, “Are You CRAZY? OUCH! Don’t do it! That’s $21,400.00!”

I have a really fancy calculator.

First things first; how about getting something in writing? I’ve never been a fan of a written contract with contractors mainly because I know you can’t take blood from a stone. 99% of these guys have no money, so even if a judge finds them in breach of even the best contract – how do you suppose he’ll make the contractor pay you if the contractor has no money! What I do do (I said, “do do”) is make the basic Scope of Work (from above) into a much more detailed document. This post is not about writing a detailed SOW, so I won’t get into all the gory details here – but know this – once the formal SOW is developed, the contractor then signs it, and it becomes the work blueprint and best contract you’ll ever have.

So you have a signed SOW, and there he is; Mr CON-tractor standing there with his hand out waiting for a super-fat $21,400.00 check. You’re ready right? You’ve got your SOW and you’re swollen checkbook is burning a hole in your pocket. Wait! Hole on! You’re still not ready to go! You can not give him a dime yet. Doing so would be a GRAVE error and would be going against the natural work flow!

Stay tuned. I’m just gettin’ started here. I’ll tell ya more in my next post!

I want to hear what you have to say about Part 1 of How to Successfully Work With Contractors.