Long post of my plan, need input

I am going to put my short term plan here in this forum. I have spent the last few days listing my goals, short term, mid term and long term. I have also listed what I have to do to accomplish them. I am educated enough to start, but I have some things to do. I am hoping to accomplish all of this in 2-4 weeks. This depends on how much I am home. I have been away a lot of late. 4 weeks is the maximum it should take me. I have wasted too much time. Now that I have put things on paper, I feel I finally have some direction.

Short term goals. I am hoping to do at least one deal by the end of this year. This is a very modest goal, but the first deal is the hardest, and once I do one, it will certainly help my confidence. I can sit here and tell myself I can do it, and hear others say it, but until I actually do a deal, I don’t know if I can. To accomplish this, this is what I need to do.

  1. Get into my market and learn values, beginning with looking at 100 properties. I have already seen 20, and will look at more. This should be done in the next 2 weeks. I haven’t been home more than one day a week for the last 2 months, or I would have already completed this. I don’t expect to be an expert before I start marketing, but I want a little bit of knowledge of my market. I need to drive neighborhoods as much as possible, to not only learn values, but spot vacant houses. I also want to research how long properties are on the market.

  2. Visit my Tax assessors office and recorders office. I know I can research online, but I want to learn how to research properly, and I think going there will be a great benefit to me. Long term, I plan to get someone to work the courthouse for me, but for now, I want to learn how to find out info.

  3. Go to my local REIA meeting the first Tuesday of November. Aside from networking, I want to get references to some professionals.

  4. Meet with, or get references for some of the following: a real estate attorney, mortgage broker, realtor, title company, appraiser, building inspector, and an accountant. Mainly, I want to make sure my paperwork is state specific, and know which title companies are investor friendly.

  5. Begin the process of improving my credit. There are not a lot of bad things on it, but there are no payments of any kind on it, because I have not had any income for over half of the last 7 years. I am ordering copies of my report, and will go from there. Until then, I will look for deals to wholesale, or do sub 2 deals. I will improve my credit, but I will do deals that don’t require credit while I am reparing it.

  6. A marketing plan:

A. Get business cards made ASAP. Get magnetic car signs. Order bandit signs, and determine where to place them. One place that I will place them is near the unemployment office.

B. Run ads in 2 newspapers, a biweekly paper that runs in most of the cities near me, and the Detroit papers. I have to find out costs before I determine exactly what I will do here.

C. Postcards or letters to potential sub 2 sellers. I know what targets I want to mail to, I just have to research it better, and also research the cost. Basically, I have some money to work with, I have to make a marketing budget. I also have to determine which areas I will concentrate my efforts on. This will be the thing that will be the hardest for me.

I am hoping to have all of the above done within 2-4 weeks, although the mailing may be a bit longer. I have the advantage of time, and not having to pay bills. The key for me short term is to get my name in my market, and get motivated sellers to call me. Other things will follow. I know once I can improve my credit, I will have more opportunities. For now, I will concentrate on sub 2 deals, and some wholesaling. I do have some money to spend on marketing. I just want to spend it wisely. Mailings will cost some, but the rest is relatively inexpensive.

Any input is appreciated. If I left anything out, I would like to know. Thanks to any experienced investors who take time to help newer investors. Without you, this site would be nothing.

I realize this is a long post, but I didn’t know how to make it shorter.

Regards, Tony.

Howdy Bobo;

Sounds good. LOL

One caveat: When hiring an appraiser make sure the lender you plan to use actually hires the appraiser. A lot of new rules here lately because of fraud.

I like you goal planning especially the writing of the goals. Without a plan I too would be lost and spinning my wheels or going in circles.


EXCELLENT PLAN! This is extremely well thought out and should be successful. I think that it is entirely possible to do this within 2-4 weeks as per your plan.

My only other comments are:

  1. I don’t see a real advantage to researching information at the auditor’s office or tax department office. Don’t get me wrong, it could be an educational experience to do it once, but if you can get the same information on your computer, then it might be time better spent just getting it at home. I look up all the auditor, recorder, and tax info from home.

  2. Depending on your specific market, you might find it difficult and time consuming to find subject 2 and wholesale deals. In my experience, only a VERY small percentage of deals can be taken subject 2 and wholesale deals can be relatively difficult to find also. I’m not saying this to discourage you, but rather to let you know that it might be difficult to do one of these deals by the end of the year. If you can arrange financing somewhere (maybe a relative or friend), it will open up a lot more deals to you. You might even try putting together a business plan and talking to some local banks. Remember that there’s a bank on every corner. It never hurts to try.

Congratulations on a great plan!


More input.

It’s a plan all-right and props to you for efforts! I got a few suggestions.

  1. Change the order of things a little.
    Take care of the credit first. You can’t do most deals without it.

  2. Learn to cash flow a property.

  3. Don’t view 100 properties. Waste of time. View only the ones that cash flow positively. If you find one that cash flows, attempt to view a few similar properties for sale in the area for comparison purposes.

  4. Building your network of professionals is a great idea! A Realtor can start you in that direction. They usually have contact with all those people you need to know every time they do a transaction.

  5. The signs and newspaper ads can really eat up a chunk of change. Consider trying to find a property without them first.

Just a few suggestions… do with as you will.

I would just love to say to people:

It’s not that hard, just takes awhile. FIX THE CREDIT.

Jumping into investing with credit that can be improved upon is like trying to unlock a door by sticking the key in the lock and turning the house to unlock it.

If everyone went to fix they’re credit first we’d hear crickets chirping at this forum.

I want to invest now, I’ll fix my credit later.
He’s a good husband, he don’t beat his wife.
He’s a good Dad, he don’t beat his kids with the buckle end of the belt.

See the irony.
Someone found one of my pet peeves, huh?


Ted and Mike,

Thanks for the responses. The written goals and steps needed did make a big difference. I compare it to wanting to drive a car, but the car isn’t put together yet. In other words, I wasn’t going anywhere.

As for the courthouse, I am only going for the experience and education. I will be downtown for other business this week and one day next week, so I figure I will go there for the learning experience. It’s not something I am going to do all the time, but I think it will be helpful in the long run to go there.

The last point you made, I know it will be more difficult. This market, with the loss of higher paying manufacturing jobs, and the general crappy economy, I think I can find potential sub 2 deals here. I know that, and wholesaling are not going to be as plentiful. And I appreciate the straight to the point opinions. And I agree with you that it could be tough. But for now, that is what I am going to do.

I will be ordering my credit reports and going from there. I already have one, from transunion. I have some bad things from the past, because I have only worked 3 of the past 7 years. After March, there will only be one negative thing on my report, and that will be gone in June. I can’t work, and haven’t for over 2 years. I do have 4 accounts listed under “satisfactory accounts”, which all are paid in full, and show no adverse comments. After I get all 3, I will proceed from there, but I have to think it will be hard to get financing. But I am going to find out for sure…like you said, I won’t know the facts sitting here, I am going to ask and find out the things I can do to improve my score.

Again, I appreciate the comments, and even more, I am glad to hear the honesty. If there are negatives, or things I may not want to hear, I am glad to hear them anyways. I realize this isn’t going to be a walk in the park, but I am not going to let it stop me. I will get where I want to be. I know with my past history, lack of a job and poor credit, it will be harder, and it may take longer…but that’s ok. I made my past…plenty bad, some I couldn’t control. But if I put full effort into this and do the necessary things, I will be successful.

I will add this last comment as advice to people who may see potential problems paying bills…do NOT just ignore them, as I did. Many of the problems I had came from just ignoring the problems. I had a couple of things that I could have done, and didn’t. Try to work with the creditors, and at the very least, let them know what is happening. Some of them will work with you.

Regards, Tony.

Jeff, thanks for responding.

My credit will be fixed, but it won’t happen overnight. I can’t explain the problems in detail enough right now, but it will take some time. However, it is a priority. My comments didn’t mean I was putting it on the back burner, it just meant I wasn’t going to wait until it is fixed to get started. I realize my opportunies will be fewer, but that’s ok. But I understand what you meant. I am not putting my credit on the back burner, but at the same time, I’m not going to just sit here while I improve it. I will do both at the same time.

I am looking at 100 houses for only one reason…to get familiar with the market values, and also to experience looking through a house for problems. I feel this step is the most important of all of the ones I listed. I looked at 20 last week…with no intention of making any offers…and the experience was invaluable to me. We can agree to disagree here, because it was definitely not a waste of my time.

And while some will disagree with the following, I will not buy a rental until I have some cash reserves, and until I am more educated with regards to managing a property. I also have a sheets course from a few years ago, and the cash flow part of it was pretty good. I have a fair knowledge of figuring out cash flow, but I want to know more. But no matter how much I know, I won’t own a rental without some cash reserves. I think that is too risky and irresponsible. I know some won’t agree with this, but that is my feelings about it.

Again, thanks for the comments, they are much appreciated.

Regards, Tony.


Not to belabor the point, but here’s a good article from MSN that reiterates Jeff’s point of “Fix the Credit” among other big mortgage mistakes.



Good choice of articles Keith,

Definitely makes my point. They used the phrase “lenders are confounded by the number of people who apply with their fingers crossed”. I have to agree with ‘Confounded’.

I don’t say this stuff to belittle the new guys and gals. I am trying to spare them the same grief I brought on myself.

I read some of the Carleton Sheets stuff, jumped on to realtor.com and spun my wheels for two months.

Then I really read the materials and took a coaching course. Although it didn’t ‘seem’ right to me I did what was laid out for me. AFTER I did it their way and my first deal materialized, it made perfect sense.

Just as Bobo predicted in his original post. That first deal gave me a lot of confidence.

People say “Help me”. I say OK, 3 bureau credit report for starters and I WILL FIX YOUR CREDIT WITH YOU. Do you think they take me up on the offer? NOPE.

Where are they 6 months later? Complaining about how everyone they dealt with failed them or screwed up.


Thanks to everyone for the detailed responses. I do need to clarify a couple of things.

First, the list I gave is numbered, but just to separate everything. It is not listed in order of priority.

Second, believe me, I know that for my long term success, I have to get my credit in order. It is a top priority. I didn’t mean to imply in previous posts that it isn’t. What I meant was while I am getting it in order, I am still going to seek deals that do not require me to have good credit, and that do not require bank financing, such as wholesale deals and sub 2 deals. I realize that this limits me. I will have a plan once I get my credit reports and find out what I have to do.

I have ordered copies of my reports today from Trans Union, Equifax and Experian. I will post more when I get the reports. I have no idea of my FICO score.

Regards, Tony


I posted the link, not to point out your issues per se, but to validate with you and (more importantly) the less experienced folks here that we are not making this stuff up but are tracking with what noted experts are saying!



Thanks for the article, it was very enlightening. When I post and ask for advice or need questions answered, I always appreciate honest opinions. I don’t question the knowledge of the people who have already done the things that I want to do, but haven’t. I know for me to meet my long term goals, I have to address my credit problems. I also lack knowledge with regards to almost everything that was in that article. It was a great article.

I have seen a lot of new investors who take things personal. I don’t ever take any honest response personal. I know the answers are meant to help. Regardless of what my responses look like, I don’t question the knowledge and responses of the experienced investors, nor do I take anything personal. It is to my benefit to get honest and blunt answers to any issues or problems I have. I don’t ask questions so I can get sugarcoated answers. If I ask for advice, I want honest advice. If I am ever doing something that appears to be wrong, I want to know what it is. One thing I can’t stand that is to hear what I want to hear instead of what I need to hear. Thanks again for any advice you and others give.

Regards, Tony.

The one thing I have noticed about you, Tony, is that you appear to have realtively thick skin (and don’t take things personally)…perhaps instead of “Bobo” we should call you “Rhino-hide”!


Hi bobo

I hope you know. you won,t get your fico score with your credit report,s unless you request it and pay a small fee. you can get
it from there website,s or myfico.com again for a small fee. good
luck with your plan. it sound,s good.