Starting over, in need of help

Hello Everyone,

I’m new here so I first would like to apologize for any mistakes that I may make. This is my first post. Anyway, I’m a single mom in the Tampa Florida area. I’m currently days away from finalizing my divorce. In return from my divorce, I will be receiving my portion of the equity from the home that my husband and I had. Now, from that equity, I must pay off my auto loan as that’s one of the agreements for our divorce. That’s fine because I pay $500.00 per month for that loan. With the remaining money that’s left I do plan to payoff as much debt as possible. CC, student loans, etc.

Anyway, I will have some cash left over after doing so and I know that I will have to wait for my credit score to reflect my payoffs which in return will raise my FICO.

Once everything is said and done I would like to begin my process to becoming financially free. I would like to do that with realestate.

I currently share an apartment with my sister and once all debts are paid I shouldn’t have but maybe $600.00 per month in bills versus $1500.00 per month. So, the savings will be dramatic as per a monthly basis.

The question that I’m trying to ask without getting too drawn out is how do I do it? Where do I start? What should I get my FICO score to? (Right now, it’s really really bad, but changing for the better)

Also, if I purchase investment realestate, would it be wise to stay in my apartment since my monthly expenses are so low and purchase my own home for me to live in at a later date?

I have so many questions for all of you and I know someone has answers because they themselves have been in my particular situation. I hope you guys can help. I want to do this and have wanted this for a long time and here’s my chance. I refuse to let myself accept anything other than success. I have the can do attitude but need guidance on where to place it.

Any ideas you guys can throw at me would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your :help


Hi Tena,

Since you mentioned Florida, I would leave it to those who are familiar to comment on the market there since some parts of Forida are taking a beating right now.

As far as the FICO score is concerned, it depends on your investment strategies and your plans. There are creative investment strategies/methods that would not rely on your credit score. For example Lease Options, Subject To, Wholesaling and birddogging…etc.

As to where to start, you need to get educated on investing and what you really want to do. You need to figure out your goals, and how will you pay the bills till you reach these goals. Start by reading the posts on this forum, see some of the keywords used by the investors and research them to see if thats what you want to do.

This business is simple, but not easy. You need to be ready to take calculated risks, and work hard. Depending on your investment method, you may also need to be patient to get paid.

I have a few questions first…

Have you ever invested in real estate before? That doesn’t mean buying a home to live in, that means buying something to sell.

Do you have any construction experience?

Any kids?

EXACTLY how much money will you have left over IN CASH after your divorce? Not after you pay all your debt off, but right after you pay off the car.

Do you understand THE PROCESS of fixing up a home? I’m not trying to be a jerk here, just trying to understand your level of knowledge. Some guy’s I know don’t know when they should call the electrician during a remodeling job. Do you know how to rehab? Where do you spend your money to get the best return?

How would you find your projects. Tell us what you think would work.

Now for the best part…Some of those questions are Bullsh*t. BUT…
a lot of the answers are NOT. What I’m trying to say is this. You are about to start a VERY complicated endevour. Understanding that from the beginning will greatly increase your chances of success. The Florida real estate market is probably one of the worst in the entire country right now. You need to REALLY find an absolute steal down there if you plan on making money.

This is a very long process, you will learn a ton. The key is to get a really great deal on your first house because THAT one will be filled with your MISTAKES. It happens to all of us. The key is leaving enough fat in the first one to screw some things up but STILL MAKE MONEY. Once the first one is done just RINSE AND REPEAT.

Thanks for asking so many questions. It provides me the oppurtunity to supply information that I had not thought of before.

As far as investing in realestate, I have never done so. This would be my first venture.

Construction experience… I’ve done pretty much everything except for electrical and in debt plumbing.
I’ve painted interior and exterior, tile, hardwood, vynl, sheetrock, roofing, irrigation, crown and shoe molding, built entire rooms (except for the electric and plumbing). So I’m pretty handy in alot of fields for construction.

My parents do however have a maintenance company. So if I needed to fix up something, the knowledge would be available.

I have a 10 year old daughter that lives with me.

I’ll have $12,500.00 left over (I have to pay my attorney as well).

I’m not sure of the best return question but willing to take in knowledge to better understand it.

As far as finding my projects, I would more than likely drive around looking at particular properties that need work. Also, I’d research fixer uppers in the papers and on the internet. I’d also talk with people and just ask around. You never know what you’ll come across just by doing a little chatting with someone.

Just to add some more information. I’m thinking of obtaining my realestate license as well.

Thanks again for all of the questions. I love questions and I love to answer them if I’m able to. If not I hope you don’t mind me asking questions back so that I may become a little wiser along my journey.

I think your off to a good start Tena. Just having the knowledge you have about construction will be a HUGE advantage to you.

The reason I asked about your children was if you had 3 kids all under 5 you would obviously need to be with them during the day. That would have limited the amount of time you could spend on your projects. Since your daughter is 10, it won’t be an issue.

What I would do is take out some ads in the smaller local newspapers in your area. I get big response from town newspapers. By using these local papers you can target areas they serve. If town B is a good area then advertise there. If town C is a combat zone don’t waste a penny of your money. These ads will bring in properties. It’s not fast. You’ll need to let the ads sit in these papers for months. RUN THEM EVERY TIME THE PAPER COMES OUT. What I do is target my ad to the area by price. In other words…If area B has starter homes at $125,000 my ad would go like this…

Wanted: Single family home for $XX.XXX…NO INSPECTIONS, NO BANKS, NO REALTORS. I buy them as is, and close in 5 days. Call me with ANYTHING. 555-555-5555

The KEY to this ad is the PRICE you put in. Like I said above, if starter homes are $125,000 in that town my ad would use $70,000 as a starting price. You want DEALS. People call because they see a price. It might be below market, but to them THAT’s what they would take for their house. Tweak your ads from time to time, see what works for you, and just keep them running.

That’s it. Keep it simple. As far as the no banks, no inspections, don’t worry about that. You can ALWAYS get something inspected. I inspect the home the day I go to look at it. If your not comfortable with doing it I’m sure your parents company could do it the day you go to look at the home. The key is, you want to stress to the seller that you will make this the EASIEST sale they could ever hope to do!!!

The no banks thing is a sales job. No seller is walking away from a closing because a bank is there. As long as they have a check with them your closing on that property.

The ad let’s people know you can move QUICKLY and without the usually BS that can screw up a home sale.

If you remember only one thing from this post this should be it…
When you advertise you must think LONG TERM. Your ads should run a minimum of 6 months before you write off any newspaper as not working.
Your target needs to do three things inorder to call you…

They need to SEE the ad…

They need to REMEMBER the ad…

And finally, They need to be able to FIND IT AGAIN WHEN THEY NEED IT!

Your not going to get a ton of calls with blow out deals. A lot of people will call you with houses they are asking way too much for.
Be polite and explain that " I usually pay somewhere between $XX,XXX to $XX,XXX for that kind of house in that area. If you get tried of trying to sell it, I’ll buy it, and close fast for you. Keep my number. The money is a phone call away when you want it."

You just planted a VERY profitable seed there. They won’t all call back but SOME will!!!

Get the ads going NOW!!!

Ok, I think I’m getting the just of this. Now, of course with any new knowledge comes new questions.

Lets say someone does call me with a house and I look at it and I would like to buy it. Since I don’t have thousands of dollars in the bank and at the moment my credit is poor. Do I purchase with a loan from a bank, private invester or a hard money loan? Granted I don’t want to move in to it. I just want to fix and sell quickly.
Which method of obtaining the money would you suggest?

I’m very eager to get everything going and I know now is a wonderful time.

If I’m able to purchase the home should I lease/option or straight out sell.

I really don’t want to get hit with the taxes even though some are enevitable. But I would like to turn it around quickly so that I’m making profit, whether it’s a little or a lot.

Here’s what you need to do in my opinion. Try and get some type of financing set up BEFORE hand. Even if you have to get your parents to co-sign get it done. You want to have your money ready when these people call, That end of it is up to you.

This is important…

NEVER, NEVER, NEVER worry about paying taxes!!! If your paying taxes, your making money!! I can not stress enough how important it is to get that IMPLANTED in your head. Buy a house, fix it up, sell it, make a profit. The DAY you get your closing check go to your account and have him do your taxes RIGHT THEN AND THERE!! That’s it, DONE, no taxes to worry about, money has been sent to Uncle Sam, you can’t spend what you don’t have. It is THE BEST trip you will make after selling a home.

Just sell the homes outright. Remember that inorder to sell it you will have to price it WELL UNDER other homes in the area. Don’t forget that. You DO NOT want to get stuck with something for month after month because you need to get top dollar for it.

Then repeat!!!

Thank you so much fdjake for your help.

I’m sorry if I’m such a pain. I’m just really curious about all of this because realestate has placed a burning desire inside of me and I know and believe that I can make a success at it. I also would like my daughter to inherit all of my knowledge so that she too can do this when she gets older.

So I know the first thing I should do is to get qualified for the money.

Place ads and search for a really good deal.

Fix it up.

Sell at a price that is well under other homes in the area.

Collect a check

Then rinse and repeat.

Ok, the time has come for me to get into the arena and take the bull by the horns.

Again, thank you for all of your advice. Once everything is in motion I’ll post so that you may see my progress as it is happening.

Hopefully this time next year, I’ll be where I want to be or at least close to it. Either way I’ll still be on the road to financial freedom and always moving forward.

Wish me luck and lots of great experiences (aka learning moments).

Here I go.