Always Be on The Lookout for Property
Always Be on The Lookout for Property
By Pete Youngs
Full-time real estate investors are always looking at any and all possibilities no matter where they go. Keep in mind that you will never go anywhere in the world that real estate is not the biggest product for investment you will find. Done properly, every trip you take is a potential deal just waiting to happen.
On one of our cruise voyages with Carl and Vicky Fischer we, as always, looked at properties. With all the newest ways you can profit from real property and the fact that we are associated with many real estate investment groups nationwide, our buyer base is literally unlimited. Even if it is not something you would want to do personally, make sure you don’t pass up potential money-making situations.
We know people and groups that love the idea of Airbnb as this has become a world-wide opportunity. During our recent cruise, we went to Oahu and Maui in Hawaii. Wouldn’t it be great to own a place in paradise to rent out when you weren’t using it? But, think about this; I don’t always have to be the prime investor. Maybe it is not your dream to have property in Hawaii. But to a lot of people this would be very appealing and profitable. So, at one of our stops to eat lunch at a place recommended to us, we found that it was part hotel and part condominium. After our meal, we inquired with the sales department about 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom units. We gathered some written materials on price and layout and the views from each of the sizes available (very important). Then, the next step was getting comparable sales, days on the market and a background of what the rise or decline of sales prices have been over the past year or two. Now, even if it doesn’t appeal to us, we have a network of buyers to pass this information onto and treat it as a possible wholesale deal where we can profit by selling the contract to an interested investor.
Yes, it’s true. You don’t always need to be the end-buyer. You can have multiple income streams by being the bird dog! Keep in mind that the extra time it took to check out the condos where we had lunch anyway only took about 30 extra minutes. Even if we don’t profit from a deal, we at least have the ability to possibly take the trip and the cost of lunch as a business expense. How would you like to lower you travel costs considerably by using common investment strategies that qualify as a tax deduction? Your real estate attorney can quickly fill you in on what you can and cannot do. Be sure to consult him or her before acting on this advice.
Our next stop was at a group of islands in Fiji. If you didn’t already know it, Fiji is a beautiful country and I always think of Tony Robbins and his motivational expertise as this area has memories of his of trainings. While on an excursion from our cruise ship, we bypassed the onboard vendors and chose to hire our own private van & driver to take us to where we wanted to go. I have found that when I get a tour from the boat, we end up at tourist- and many times later find out that the driver received a cash kick back before leaving (I actually saw this) for taking the group there. I have also been told by independent drivers that most of the time, the contract drivers are related by family to some of the “STORES” where we stopped.
As we headed to some of our requested places we wanted to see, our driver told us of a place that had been damaged by a storm but since it was not a boat sponsored location, it was slowly rebuilding back to being a local favorite. I have found that cruise sponsored places receive help and money for repairs a lot faster so boats can resume making money from the excursions. The place where we went had no such help. The main attraction were small to giant sea turtles that you could feed from the shore as well as swim with them in a lagoon. It was a very nice area but you could easily tell that it was damaged from strong winds. It also had some huts that were used for offering BBQ buffet as part of the experience. There were three buffet huts but only one was open. Then we saw the area had several shower huts and bathrooms along the 100-foot-wide lagoon, but only one hut was open. A little further walk revealed several varieties of sharks swimming in a protected area where visitors were allowed to feed them. This was exiting being able to feed, film and watch the sharks up close. We also talked to the locals working there and got a lot of background information about the area.
As I have been trying to point out, real estate deals pop up everywhere without warning. You never know when an opportunity will present itself, especially when you least expect it. None of us paid too much attention as we first entered the lengthy dirt road leading to the venue, but there was a “for sale” sign just outside three or four mediocre houses that were shrouded with line-strung laundry about a quarter mile before we arrived. As it turns out, the people selling the houses were also the ones who owned the property that operated the venue with the turtle and shark experience. The bad storm had knocked down the other for sale signs showing that the whole venue was actually for sale, as the owners did not have the resources to rebuild. They got the place up and running just enough to buy food and pay bills but were overwhelmed with the longer term prospect of fixing it back up. Now their option was just to sell it all!
Obviously, sirens and light bulbs were going off in our heads trying to figure out exactly what these people needed in order for there to be a winning situation for both buyer and seller. Investor mode had kicked in and ideas started running through our heads. So, we now know to get a plat of the land to see just how much there was. There were at least 100 acres or more. We also needed to find out if you can own property outright, lease it and/or what other restrictions there are for acquirng real estate in Fiji.
Now keep in mind that there are so many ways this can be investigated for different uses. Would this be something where investors just fix the venue and use it for a wildlife attraction? Most people don’t automatically think this, but it is potentially something to get under contract and maybe offer to a hotel chain, for example. Do you get interested people to come in and build luxury houses or even a subdivision? There are many options – hotels, condos, restaurants, shopping, retail, even mixed use. Do you think that the distressed owners would see “the win” for both sides if they walked away from a tough situation with a life-changing amount of money that would take care them for the rest of their lives?
Now let me ask you this…Have I changed even just a little bit about how you may look at things on your next trip or vacation? Do you see that opportunity is everywhere and most people walk or drive right by it never knowing your life could be changed in a glance of a hidden sign on a tree? Remember, this was a chance-sighting based on the fact that we decided not to use a cruise ship excursion and went with hiring a lower cost local – who took us to places that were really exotic and not tourist traps. I am writing this as we are still doing our due diligence, but I will definitely keep anyone updated who follows my writings and real estate techniques. Though my primary expertise has always been in the fix & flip scenario, I have over three decades of real estate experience and it just keeps growing! Remember, never stop learning and always keep an open mind – especially when traveling.
Pete Youngs also known as “Mr. Rehab,” is a national speaker on rehabbing homes for up to 50% off. He does seminars and bus trips promoting his training system called SWAT (Simple Ways And Techniques). He has been a contractor/investor for over 25 years. Learn more about him at PeteYoungs.com.