question for newbie investors that haven't closed on a deal

What issues, including access to funding or lack of knowledge have been preventing you from getting started buying or selling houses? Please be specific on at least 2 or 3 items

My only problem at this point is finding property/sellers that meet buying criteria that cash flows (yes, even in this market). REO’s? WAY to much competition, offers don’t get accepted or are too high. MLS? Hard to find property that is even close, also competitive. Direct mail? Costly and response rate has been next to nothing. Bandit signs? Takes along time to put out the signs only to be harrased/called all the time about fines and litter with almost no response rate. Foreclosures? I’m in TX and there is just NOT ENOUGH TIME to get in touch with sellers, work the deal, and close. Networking? This term is so vague and broad…networking has got me nowhere really at this point. I put up my info, pass business cards, talk abotu my business and nothing. I talk with investors and rei clubs and all they ever say is “I get my deals through reo’s”. “I get my deals from pre-foreclosures”. So far, driving around looking at neighborhoods has yielded me the most leads/results and help to narrow down target areas.

When I first got started, the biggest problem I had was that I had no idea as to what it took to evaluate a property to determine whether or not it was a deal.

I was driving all over town looking at houses in areas where I didn’t know the neighborhood dynamics. I wasn’t able to tell whether or not the people that lived in the market could actually buy houses nor could I tell how much the average person there would qualify for on a home loan. Couldn’t tell if it was an up and coming area or one where investors had artificially inflated values.

I didn’t know how to reasonably estimate cash flows to make sure that the properties would make money, and I had no idea what it took to sell a house.

I would buy houses with the idea that if I fixed it up pretty enough, eventually someone would come along to buy it at the price I wanted to sell it at. Sadly that didn’t happen without me selling at a loss.

I didn’t know how to use private money to buy houses, nor did I know how to marry those funds up safely with the right types of houses.

The biggest thing that I didn’t know was the fact that I needed to consistently have enough passive income that exceeded all of my personal and business expenses before I quit my day job. I didn’t know that you have to treat this like a real business or it will pull you down by steadily draining your wallet.

Now that I know how to do all those things, my biz is in a better place.

I would have to say not being able to find deals that have equity in them.

Side note related to the bandit signs comment above, there are bandit signs all over the place now by people running for office, all over the place, rediculous, like 20 in a row from the same person. Do you think they are getting the calls to remove them and the calls about being fined?

The we buy house bandit signs have nothing on these guys, they are insane with their posting of signs.

Is that because of values dropping down so low, or lack of a good number of seller?

I guess you can say both, I mean if I had more sellers, then I guess I would have more chances of them having some equity in their house right. Most of them refinanced and now they owe more than it’s worth.