If you're hoping to get your start in real estate investing, one of the first places you probably looked was mortgage foreclosures. You probably contacted (or tried to, anyway) owners of properties who were about to lose their homes due to non-payment of their mortgage. If you were lucky enough to get anyone to answer the door or phone, you tried to strike up a deal with them to buy the property and make some money on their equity.
This is a really popular technique, and some people have made good money using it, but it's a very competitive field. If you've been running in circles trying to make money this way, I would highly recommend you give a similar, but much more successful concept a try - "deedgrabbing." Instead of chasing people in mortgage forclosure, you'll be contacting owners of tax-delinquent property. And even if you are successful in the mortgage foreclosure field, you'll want to stay tuned for this- it'll be a great tool to add to your real estate investing arsenal.
The big reason I like working with tax-delinquent pre-foreclosures better than mortgage preforeclosures is that mortgage foreclosure properties all have a mortgage against them! Duh! So to begin with, you're already dealing with a large debt against the property- and probably unpaid taxes to boot! It's not easy to figure out from your mortgage list how much you'll actually need to pay off the mortgage, because there are also attorney's fees, interest, and other debts that aren't published. These charges accrue by the day. Don't learn this one the hard way like I did- my first mortgage foreclosure purchase ended up taking DOUBLE the amount published to pay off!
Also, you might be following dozens of leads that are reported active, but have already reached a settlement agreement. If you do happen to find an owner interested in working with you, they almost always end up not wanting to sell the property and asking you to loan them money or figure out another way for them to stay in the house.
Finally, and most importantly, if you DO get a deal on a mortgage preforeclosure with a lot of equity, somebody (you!) is going to have to come up with all the money to make the payments to stop the foreclosure. Then, while you're trying to deal with the whole mess, you're going to have keep making those mortgage payments!
The thing I hated the most about mortgage pre-foreclosure investing? Everyone and their brother is also working them! These poor owners have gotten so many calls from other investors- not to mention all their other creditors- how was I supposed to get my calls answered when they've been conditioned by months of calls and out-and-out harassment to avoid answering the phone at all costs? Forget sending letters- they've learned to throw those out too.
As they say, "necessity is the mother of invention." I wanted to work investing in real estate, so I had to find a better way- and boy, did I! I found a real estate investing method that eliminates ALL the problems with mortgage foreclosure investing-- investing in tax-delinquent property... ready for this? Without bidding at the auctions with all the other bidders! I'll get to that in a minute, but first- why tax delinquent property?
First of all, most tax-delinquent properties that make it all the way to the point where they're scheduled to be auctioned off don't have a mortgage- because rather than lose their interest in a property to the government, mortgage companies have paid off the taxes on properties with mortgages long ago. So most properties you'll find are free and clear! If you've been investing in mortgage foreclosures, join me in yelling "WHOOPEE!"
Secondly, you will find a much higher percentage of properties at this point have been abandoned- and these are the easiest to quickly buy and re-sell. Owners are DYING to get rid of these!
Another benefit? Very few owners will be trying to get you to be their lender or landlord. Whew!
With tax-delinquent properties, there are firm dates at which "all is said and done." When the date of the auction or the deadline to pay off the taxes comes, the owner loses their house- period. Do you think they'll want to lose their equity to the government, or make a deal with you before then?
Last, but best of all...
Almost no one is doing this. And since you save them from losing everything at the last minute... owners are overjoyed to hear from you!
Want to learn the secrets of deedgrabbing? Go to deedgrabber.info.
Olliver Kennedy is a successful entrepreneur and real estate expert.