Cash Flow With Joe

Real estate investors make people cry

Real estate investors make people cry


I sometimes hear people talking about real estate investors in a poor way. They will refer to us as vultures circling around. (I guess they see us as waiting for people’s homes to die so we can swoop in and greedily make massive profits off others’ misery)


And just like with any profession, there are some investors out there who care more about increasing their margin on the deal than about the people involved. But those investors are not the norm, at least in my experience. And if you talk to the people with the vulture opinion, they really don’t have any personal experience to substantiate their claim. Instead, they either “know” someone who had a bad experience or they have formulated that opinion based on what they see on TV.


Well, my experience is that investors wind up making people cry. Let me explain.


Most investors are not greedy house predators. Instead, they are regular people, who happen to care deeply for others and are just trying to increase their retirement investments through real estate. Their goal is to make win-win deals that benefit both the buyer and seller. And they often come across people who are desperate and in nearly impossible situations. And this gets people very emotional.


But the investor’s job is not to get emotional. Their job is to stay objective and solve real estate problems. Let me give you two recent examples that happened to me.


One seller I met with was in an impossible situation — actually they didn’t want to be sellers. The house they lived in was one they had inherited from their mother. While mom was still alive, she had deeded half ownership of the property to my seller and retained the other half for herself. She had intended for her half to go to my seller once she passed. The other thing she did while she was alive was take out a HELOC (home equity line of credit) against the property.


Well, Mom passed a few years back and my seller had been living in the house until a fire destroyed half of it. They had insurance, but the problem was that since there was a HELOC, the insurance company had to make the check out to the insured as well as the lein holder. Because of this fact, the seller could not deposit the $120,000 check.


As it turns out, the HELOC had a balance of $30,000. If that was paid, the check could be deposited. But the seller had no idea how they were going to pay it off.


The seller had been displaced for nearly seven months when they came to see me. When I asked them what their intent was with the property, they said they wanted to get it fixed up and then sell while the market was hot. We offered to pay off the HELOC in return for an option to purchase the property, which we would secure at the courthouse with a security deed. They had either a year to complete the project, sell it and pay us off, or we would buy the house at an agreed upon price where we could make a profit if we did it.


After we made the offer, the seller broke down crying explaining that they couldn’t believe they were finally going to get to move forward.


The next seller was in an inherited situation, as well. They were living in a single room of their now deceased mom’s home with family members living in the remaining two rooms. The house was in  desperate need of repairs like roof replacement and HVAC replacement, and there were active water leaks just to name a few issues. And it was a hoarder house.


The reason our seller was living here was because they had recently been laid off and were on the verge of being homeless. They had no money, utilities were being turned off and they couldn’t afford to get the probate process started so they could sell the house. Needless to say, they had no idea what to do.


We offered to buy the house in as-is condition, and then advance them the funds they needed to keep the utilities on and get the probate process started until we closed. On the day we signed the agreement, the seller started crying tears of joy explaining that they were so worried they would be homeless again and that the weight of this impossible situation was being lifted off them.


You see, real estate investors make win-win deals in situations that look and feel impossible. And because of that, we tend to make people cry tears of joy and relief. And with that agenda, I’m good with making people cry.


Joe and Ashley English buy houses and mobile homes in Northwest Georgia. For more information or to ask a question, go to or call Joe at 678-986-6813.

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