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George Skidis

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    Illinois REIA

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    Full Time


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    Buy & Hold/Landlording
    General RE investing
    Finance/Private Money

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  1. There are several tools available for your use in locating deals. Some are free and others come with a minimal cost.1. Find a Real Estate Agent that understands what you want in a property If they are hungry for business they will find it for you. We purchased our first dozen properties with the same agent.2. If you are not a member of a local Real Estate Investors Association, Join one. Go to https://nationalreia.org/ and click on find a local group.3. Your local REIA has access to RealFlow a software search engine starting as low as $7.99 a month4. Once you find a property look into House Canary here on uniting investors and get an accurate evaluation of what it can be,If you don't have a local REIA go to www.ILREIA.com and join us to access phenomenal benefits of membership.
  2. Shipping Container Homes and Tiny Houses fall into what I refer to as a niche market. It might be fun for a while but I believe resale will be difficult unless the economy is oppressed by real estate taxes. Higher real estate taxes encourage us to think small again.Shipping container homes are just that, the cargo box off of a tractor trailer that has been tricked out to live in. You see shipping containers in many ports and railroad terminals around the country.It is an interesting lifestyle choice with kits starting around $24,000 and up to how much do you want to pay. The trick as you have learned is you need a place to park it.Cities with an occupancy inspection and that require building permits will not be good choices to locate your box. That leaves counties away from big cities. Big cities are where a huge portion of the population goes to work. Are you planning on commuting or retiring?Utilities are another issue.Water: Do you want to dig a well and have a septic system? Do you know how far apart to place your septic system from your fresh water well? Do you know that the type of soil and substrata impact those distances in dramatic ways?Power: Do you want electricity? How far are you willing to pay to have it run to your property? Are you considering solar? How do you feel about a propane tank in the back yard? Have you ever seen a BLEVE? BLEVE is an acronym for “Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion”. BLEV-ee) is an explosion caused by the rupture of a vessel containing a pressurized liquid above its boiling point. If you are that far out in the country there might not be a volunteer fire department.It looks like you were caught flat footed and did not get that permission in writing. At the current time I cannot think of a municipality within 25 miles of Saint Louis that would permit this as it looks to much like a mobile home and they as well as the parks they stay in are being eradicated by the local municipalities whenever possible.However, I not only like the concept of a container home, but also manage a mobile home park. If you can get it approved by the county and the Illinois Department of Public Health I have a lot for you at $275.00 a month which includes water, sewer and trash. Only 15 minutes from downtown Saint Louis. The park retains the right of first right of refusal if you choose to sell it and move on. If the container home comes with a title you should find out if you can get it installed in a mobile home park.
  3. Spring is a great time to make the exterior easier to maintain. While going green it is also a good time to prune out the bad noxious weeds and other times.1. Spray an eco friendly plant killer along fence lines and around houses.2. Practice the original crime free guidelines by pruning back trees and shrubs which block the street view of the dwelling and provide a place for thieves and criminals to hide.3. Make sure that exterior lighting is working and adequate.
  4. Ballast Free LEDs to replace guts in a four foot florescent light fixture.We have a commercial building that is a mix of T-8 and T-12 Florescent light fixtures. Each bulb draws 40 watts. Each ballast draws a minimum of 25 watts. A four bulb 2 ballast light fixture draws a minimum of 210 watts when operating efficiently as they age that creeps up towards 250 watts. Additionally old ballasts give off lots of heat as well. T-8 ballasts don't last as long a T-12 ballast. We are in the process of converting our lights to ballast fee LED strips which draw 17 watts per bulb. Each LED bulb produces 1900 lumens so that two LED bulbs will replace 4 fluorescent bulbs. Example: Four (4 bulb & two ballast) T-12 Fluorescent light fixtures were drawing about 1000 watts when operating. They were gutted and rewired to Ballast free LEDs. Total operating draw is now 8 x 17watts or 136 watts.The existing light fixture has a line coming into it for power. We removed the 4 bulbs, the protective metal cover and two ballasts. We then hard wired the LED strip lights into the fixture, replaced the protective metal cover and turned on the light switch. Takes about 10 minutes per light. The lights lock into the old supports for the T-8 or T-12 bulbs but draw no power there. They are hard wired and the old support sockets are only holding the bulbs now.The LED strip lights cost $24.95 each and work great.Good Luck and Good Investing
  5. In my opinion House Canary in combination with RealFlow make a terrific marketing team. The new way to prospect.1. Get your leads or more leads using RealFlow.2, Use google maps to view the property and the neighborhood.3. Check Zillow or some other free app to get a feel for the property leads developed.4. Drive by your list of properties and do an exterior inspection. Look for distress, realtor signs etc.5. If it has your interest use House Canary to nail it down and get information for making a good offer.6. Contact an experienced realtor who is a member of you REIA. and get their feedback7. After getting their feedback make the offer using an experienced realtor who is a member of your REIA. The old way.1. Drive around looking for signs and properties you are interested in.2. Team up with a realtor and drive around with them looking at MLS listings.3. Check recent sales4. Make an offer.Things to look out for.1. Do groups of teenagers roam the streets.2. Ratio of boarded up houses / Vacant houses / Abandoned houses.3. Age of community4. Sales at copurthouse steps.These are all great tips but must be used in a real world scenario. Do you want to rent section 8. The boarded up houses may not be a problem. Do you want to rent to executives, buy in a better neighborhood.Everything depends on your comfort level and the niche you wish to tackle.
  6. Sites like Zillow and others like it are a Guestimate. Sometimes realistic and sometimes not. Your better bet is to try House Canary which is available to REIA members right here on Uniting Investors. It lets you answer questions that help determine the value of a property.Disclaimer: A really nice house in a really bad neighborhood will not sell for top dollar. No matter what the cost calculators say.
  7. Did I mention that he pays his rent a week or two BEFORE the due date.
  8. This was just to crazy not to share. However, It actually worries me for a couple of reasons.1. Did the applicant just admit they were not mentally competent to sign the lease?2. If not competent is the lease/contract even binding?3. What happens if eviction comes up and the lease is voided by the court due to mental capacity?What do you think?
  9. The number one thing they call about is some excuse about why the rent will be late. I promise them that the 5 day notice won't be.
  10. The fact that people call to rent a mobile home when the sign clearly says "Mobile home LOTS for rent"
  11. Step 0. Join your local REIA. REIA stands for Real Estate Investors Association. Go to https://nationalreia.org/ move your cursor over the membership tag. You will then see a drop down menu. Select Find a REIA. Then follow the map to your location. This will help you find a group in your area that is either a Chapter or affiliate of the National Real Estate Investors Association, Inc. They are phenominal in helping new investors and providing experience and benefits to experienced investors.If you are near Saint Louis, MO or Southern Illinois check out The Illinois Real Estate Investors Association, Inc. or Illinois REIA. We have at least four meetings each month. We meet in Belleville, Marion and Wood River, Illinois as well as Saint Louis, MO.Go to www.ilreai.com for more details.
  12. You have three options1. Grin and Bear it. - Not my recommendation2. Place a substantial money in escrow. - Still a hazard.3. Break the contract.The issue is that the shoddy workmanship you see makes you wonder about all the other short cuts the contractor made that you can't see.Example, the sewer cap. You can see the surface is plugged with cement. How far down does the cement go? Does it block any connecting drain lines? Was the sewer drain actually a drain for some other purpose. A lot of older homes had floor drains because of a high water table. Any history of subsurface water innundating the basement and needing a place to go. That would not be considered a back of of sewer and drains under your homeoner's policy, It is also not meet the definition of a general condition of flooding for coverage under a flood insurance policy. Ready for a wet basement?Definition of a flood under FEMA and National Flood insurance guidlines: The innundation of two or more acres or two or more properties. The source should be a lake, river, resevior or similar item. City Sewers and private cisterns and septic tanks are not included in this list.Back up of Sewer and Drains is not normally included in a homeowners policy but can be added by endorsement. Even when not covered an on premises blockage which causes liquids and solids to back up into the property not caused by the sewer system "May" be covered.: Here are two reccomendations:1. Look for a legal way to terminate the contract. Has the Seller "Breached" the contract?2. Next time perform due dilligence on the contractror. Make sure they have the knowledge to do the work.
  13. Spring is a great time to make the exterior easier to maintain. While going green it is also a good time to prune out the bad noxious weeds and other times.1. Spray an eco friendly plant killer along fence lines and around houses.2. Practice the original crime free guidelines by pruning back trees and shrubs which block the street view of the dwelling and provide a place for thieves and criminals to hide.3. Make sure that extrior lighting is working and adequate.
  14. Hello Uniting Investors, I have a couple of questions for you.Has anyone ever hired a company to divide multiple units on one water meter and sub meter them?Do you know someone who has dealt with sub-metering?Do you have any reccomendations on who to hire for sub-metering?
  15. $239,000 / 12 = $19,961.67 per unit. Not a bad price range depending on the location and condition of the properties. Unless the property is really nice, Varski Properties tries to pay about $15,000.00 per unit when purchasing a multifamily. We are in the Midwest and that would influence our price decision.A decade or so ago Florida had built way to many condos. Check to see if that has resolved itself.The answer below is based upon homes not located in a gated community or subject to condo fees that would be an immediate no. Cash only is a unique requirement by the Seller. The big question is the Seller’s motive for this requirement. What is it? Is it possible the property has already been appraised for less than the asking price? Has it been turned down for financing? Is the Seller trying to prevent the buyer from obtaining a fair market appraisal? Maybe it is just that the last four deals fell apart because the potential buyers did not qualify for loans. You need to know why the Seller is insisting on a cash deal. What is the hidden motive? The downside is that you use up all of your cash and have nothing in reserve. What happens if an even better deal surfaces? What about unforeseen emergencies? The other red flag, based upon how the question was written, is it sounds like the real estate agent is the person pushing the cash deal and also the one offering terms. Does the real estate agent have access to that kind of money? It looks like a conflict of interest for the real estate agent to offer the cash for the deal. You stated, “He says he can get private lending for 10% and 30% down, interest only payments. I've said I can do $220k at 25% down. This will leave me with decent reserves.” 10% interest sounds more like a hard money lender. Go to http://www.bankrate.com/partners/sem/mortgage-groupb.aspx?type=refinance&market=253&propertyvalue=212500&loan=170000&perc=20&prods=215,393,216,392,219,221,220&fico=740&points=Zero&cs=0&s_kwcid=AL!1325!3!105250827608!b!!g!!compare%20mortgage%20refinance%20rates&gclid=CITn7dXsmtICFR62wAodbWwH_Q&ef_id=WKjfZQAAAKgB3rfD:20170218235725:s to check out current rates and try to negotiate it down to current commercial rates. 30 Year fixed home mortgage rates are under 5% right now. Does the Seller at least agree to closing at a title company? We never close a deal without title insurance. Without a bank there may be a push to close quickly for cash and no title search. We sold a home back in 1998 and offered a 10% seller carry back. Less than a month later the buyer had a job offer in Mississippi and collected down payments from two cash buyers which he used as getaway money. Our paper work which included a recorder mortgage allowed us to take over the property and manage it to recover our seller financing. There could be a flaw in the title. Things you need to do before going any further. 1.Determine why the Seller has a cash only condition.2.Get a Real Estate Appraisal from someone you trust.3.Contact a loan officer you trust and ask them to evaluate the deal.4.Get a home inspection by the best company you can find.5.Conduct extra due diligence to make sure there are no surprises.6.Check with the listing agent’s broker to confirm that the Seller is actually requiring an all cash deal.7.Get an independent broker price opinion BPO.8.Include all of the regular buyer clauses if a contract is signed and add the ones above as well. Without a mortgage and lender involved you are on the hook if the deal goes south or they take your money and hand you worthless paper. If you choose to do this deal protect yourself against any contingency. Without more details Varski Properties would not proceed. If more favorable information was developed we might reconsider.
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