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New Ideas For Creative Real Estate Investing

Years ago I watched a late-night television infomercial selling some course on creative real estate investing. As I recall, the author of the course suggested – among other things – that you could use your car for a down payment and get sellers to finance everything. You could also split a home into a duplex he said. He really did have a lot of creative ideas for investing, but it wasn’t clear that any of them had ever worked for him or if they were just ideas he had. For this article, then, I want to stick to true stories – creative techniques that have actually been used.

An investor I know used to buy run-down houses, fix them up and sell them for a profit. He was always looking for new ways to buy for less or add more value to a home. In a competitive market with many investors looking at the same properties he had to take creative real estate investing very seriously to find the opportunities.

One project that I helped him with was a bi-level home with two bedrooms. Like many homes of this type, the lower level was unfinished, a basement of sorts, but with larger windows than you normally get on a basement. Other investors had passed on the property because there wasn’t enough profit to be made cleaning it up and reselling it. My friend saw the potential of that lower level.

He chose a corner with a window and had two walls built. An outlet, a ten-by-ten-foot piece of carpeting, and a door completed the bedroom. Total cost: $1,500 or so (this was more than fifteen years ago). Now it was a three bedroom home. He made repairs and improved the landscaping, but that bedroom alone probably added $10,000 to the value of the house. Few investors at the time were thinking about adding bedrooms to homes, because they assumed that doing so was a $10,000 project. They didn’t notice that the corners of basements already had two walls, a floor and ceiling – most of a bedroom.

Copyright Steve Gillman. To see a photo of the house we bought for $17,500, learn more about Creative Real Estate Investing, and to get a free real estate investing course, visit: http://www.HousesUnderFiftyThousand.com

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