Real Estate Reference Buying and Selling Distressed Houses for Maximum Profit
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  by Jeanette Joy Fisher

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  If you want to become a real estate investor, find a "fixer-upper" owned by an anxious seller. Finding distressed houses at bargain prices, fixing them up, and then selling them on a consistent basis can make you a millionaire.

Why Sellers Sell At a Discount

Homeowners' problems often prevent them from staying on top of their home's upkeep, and factors such as job loss, divorce, serious illness, various addictions, or other personal problems quickly overwhelm them. These sellers can't make the needed repairs because of financial or physical limitations, and when that happens, their home becomes a low priority and sometimes will go into foreclosure.

Look for the "Triple D"

Home sellers with three problems give beginning investors a great opportunity. A "Triple D" is a Doghouse, involved in a Divorce, and in Default. The label "doghouse" comes from Southern California Realtors who used this term to describe the worst fixers. These houses maybe "tired" and need only cosmetic work in order to favorably compare with other homes in the area.

What to Look for in a Doghouse

The hardest house for a homeowner to sell is a "doghouse," "dump," or "fixer-upper." These run-down houses scare off most buyers, who don't have the money to cover the down payment, closing costs, new furniture, carpeting, appliances, roof repairs, and other deferred maintenance required to bring the home back into top condition.

As you look through the classified ads or at realtor listings, keep an eye out for terms like "handyman special," "as is," "fixer," or other tell-tale words. Also have your agent use similar terms when scanning the Multiple Listing Service for your target area.
 
     
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