Question For Mark Saenz

If buying in a paticular area is it advantageous to find a broker within that area or will any VA knowlegeable one do?


What steps would one take to locate properties in AZ if you dont live there?
How do you safely go about finding something promising without flying back and forth every week?

These are great questions and I am glad you asked! In the discipline of Real Estate Investing there are many things that will contribute to your success.
Now, I am going to give you the long answer to this question because I believe it is so important. I hope this is ok. At the end I will give you the short answer.
Three of the biggest factors that will influence your success in the REI are education, your network, and your team.
Most of the people on this forum are serious about their future and are taking the steps necessary to get educated. If they stay disciplined and start exercising the knowledge they attain they will have success in their careers/business.
Second, network. Now is the time to start talking to everyone you can and letting them know what you are doing and who you are. Some of you are afraid to say, “I AM A REAL ESTATE INVESTOR”, because you haven’t done any deals and you’re afraid you won’t be taken seriously. Well, I am hear to tell you…START SAYING IT! If you start saying it you will start becoming it. If you are serious about being an investor then start becoming one. I don’t care if you haven’t done a deal. YOU WILL! And if you think you don’t know what you’re doing…YOU’RE LEARNING! Most of us experienced investors learn more and more on every deal. So start going to REI meetings, talking to lawyers, accountants, mortgage brokers, real estate agents, etc. EVERYONE! And tell them you are a REAL ESTATE INVESTOR! Before you know it deals will be coming your way. Here’s another thing. As you start networking you will start to see who else is doing what. So if someone brings you a 4 million dollar deal, and you’ve never done a deal before, you will probably meet someone who plays in that game. Guess what…call them up and tell them you got a deal they might be interested in. Maybe assign it to them for a fee or go along for the ride, or maybe you can split the deal and he/she will let you know where your place is…etc, but now you’re in the mix. Remember the first thing Donald Trump did when he moved to Manhattan??? He joined Le Club. The hottest and possibly most exclusive club in the city. Why??? NETWORK. He knew who he would rub shoulders with. GENIUS! I love that guy!
Third, start building your team!!! (OK, this is where the answer to your question lies) Every time you meet a lawyer, accountant, agent, broker, or even another investor you are doing an interview with them. You want to see if you would like working with them. You might meet a mortgage broker who is licenced in Cali and AZ…BINGO!! Now you have someone you can use if you buy property in Arizona. Same with RE agents. I’ve met them at seminars, on planes, on the internet, etc. I interview them and if I like them I tell them what I am looking for…for example, "A fixer in the the top school district that needs noe more than 15K worth of work that I can sell for 20K net profit. If they are an investor’s agent they will know what you mean. How do I know they are an investor’s agent??? THE INTERVIEW!

Ok, lets directly answer your questions now:

  1. Look for a broker licenced in the area you are investing and interview them to see if they are versed with VA loans.

  2. Network. Get online and try to meet agents. Network with people like me. If you are interested in AZ. I am here to help. Ask folks from that area if they can refer you to someone and then interview them. Ask for references (other investors they work with…if they don’t have any…HELLO???)

If you get involved with a deal…set your perimeters to eneter a deal. If an agent sends you a deal amke sure you get the comps too. Look at the dates the comps were sold,and look at how long it was taking them to sell. These days they send you links to the listing so you can actually see the pics of the comps to see if your’s compares. If you get one that you feel comfortable with submit an offer, site unseen, and then you can fly into see the prop or be there for the inspection. Develop a relationship with the agent to make sure you aren’t wasting your time. I did this exact thing with a property I own in Texas. Worked out well. If I had flown down there and I wasn’t comfortable with the deal you can always back out of the deal within 10 days (in most states) or write in gotch clauses or weasel clauses into your contract.

I hope this helps and please let me know if you need me to get more specific on anything:)

Successful Investing,
Mark Saenz