Monday, July 18, 2005

My First Bird Dogging Fee

I passed a lead onto another investor about 2 months ago. As it turns out, he put the place under contract and I earned a cool $500 for 2 hours work...not bad.

Keep those internet leads coming!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

PMI or Re-Fi?

In order to improve my townhouse cash flow I am looking at decreasing my monthly payments. I got hit with PMI on the loan because I only put 10% down, even though I bought more than 10% below value! Stupid banks...
Anyway - if I pay for appraisal fees I can show that I now have more than 20% equity in the place and get my PMI removed.

But I am wondering if I should just refinance in the first place and get a better loan. The fee would be more to do so, and the rate will be much higher (I got a 4% ARM), but it may be better in the long run. My other choice is to see what I can get in a 15-year loan to pay down the principal even faster.

Mortgage brokers please dont call :-) I already have my contacts!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Sent Letter to Possible Motivated Seller

I noticed a beat up house in my neighborhood that has been rented out is now vacant. I looked up the owner in the county records (online) and saw that he lives several states away (in Md). Great!

Sent him two letters/flyers in the past month. Have not gotten a response yet.
He has owned it for 15 years so there is a LOT of equity...
Wonder if I should call?

Thursday, July 07, 2005

New TV Show on Discovery

Have you seen Property Ladder on Discovery Network yet?
It's about first time rehabbers who try and make money flipping houses. It's fun to watch because you can learn what not to do - and laugh at the "obvious" mistakes some of these people make....The sad part is that they are all making decent dough! Very depressing, because when you watch this you always say to yourself - 'I can do better than that!"

Critiques: Only problems are they dont really show all the expenses and costs incurred. They show rehab costs and holding costs, but not initial funding or selling costs, nor any ROI for the labor people put in. One team put in 4 months of hard work and got $17K. I make more than that sitting on my butt... Not worth it. Also, they dont show how the people chose the house or how they found the deal - one of the more crucial parts I think...but of course, Discovery wants to focus on the home project part not the REI part. I assume this may start another push of Newbies into the rehab business.

Still fun to watch though!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Equity Goes up by $40k!

I just took a peek at and saw that townhouses in the complex where mine is, are now going for $40K more than what I paid! Very nice for less than one year!

Friday, July 01, 2005

New Insurance Helps Cash Flow

When I purchased the townhouse I had trouble getting insurance since the unit is within a mile of a river - which I guess they were concerned with flooding...even thought the policy doesn't cover floods -- go figure out insurance companies and I'll bet you win a Nobel...anyway --

It's all about finding the right agent! My original annual cost was $596...I now found a new policy that is better coverage (includes $10K for loss of use) and is only $279 per annum!

This improves my cash flow by $26/month! (I'll take it!)