2 largest issues that new investors say they have…


  Good day investors!  I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season.  In 2017 we saw alot of changes.  2018 has given us a promising start!  Here is to everyone’s success and for a prosperous 2018.  

People opt in to Boston AREIA everyday.  And one of the questions asked on the form is what do you feel is your greatest struggle in real estate investing?  Invariably, I get 2 responses. 

  1. Prospecting/Marketing
  2. Finding the money to do the deal

I always tell people, whether you are wholesaling, rehabbing or focused on buy and hold, finding the deal is the most important part of the equation.  Then you are in the driver’s seat and you can cherry pick the properties that you want to rehab or hold and you can wholesale the rest.  There are many ways to find deals.  You can prospect on Craigslist, network at meetings, go to auctions and auction sites, run direct mail campaigns and more.  The key is you need to be consistent with your marketing efforts. 

It’s important to have a strong presence online as well. It’s not the be all end all to finding deals.  But, it’s important that you have a presence online when people are researching you.  Perhaps you run a direct mail campaign or you meet someone at a networking event, many people are going to look you up online before they call you or work with you.  Therefore, it’s important to have a website, a strong FB page and preferably some reviews from folks you have worked with in the past.  This brings credibility to your business.  And, that is the one thing most new investors are lacking in real estate.  If you can build some credibility for a low cost monthly, it’s worth it. 

Finding money is easy as long as you have a real deal.  As long as you’ve done your numbers correctly, you used a good project estimate worksheet to run your rehab numbers, remembered everyone who is supposed to get paid from the lawyers to brokers, then finding the money is easy.  There are tons of lenders out there who want to lend their money, over and over again.  I don’t market specific ones on my website because I value my relationship with all of them.  But, if you are looking for a lender, be sure to reach out to me and I will make a connection. Bernadette@BostonAREIA.com

Remember, as long as you have systems in place online marketing is simple and be sure to run your numbers properly and the money will never be the problem.  

I look forward to seeing you on January 18th at Loss Mitigation Services of MA.  Read all details here!


5 most important steps for flipping homes in and around Boston

IMG_6048  Good morning folks,

Sorry that you haven’t seen a blog post or much from me since the beginning of July when we posted the newest Diary of a Newbie Real Estate Investor.  It has been a rough month for me.  Those of you who know me well, know that my wonderful mother Ursula Sasso lived with me for the past several years.  She was my room mate, companion, my best friend, my biggest cheerleader, helped me tremendously as I’m a single mother and so much more.  Everyone loved my mother and called her Oma.  She was wildly creative, had a special “touch” with children and with her German ingenuity, she would fix just about anything that was broken from vacuum cleaners to toilets.  Oma’s health had been failing over the last 6 months and on July 13th, my beautiful mother left this world.  I’m grateful that she is in a place where she is no longer in pain, however, I miss her daily.  Her greatest gift to me was to teach me compassion and forgiveness and to live and even die on your own terms.  She believed that we are all the masters of our own destiny and that we should do everything we can to live life to the fullest.  If you want something, you have to take action and go get it!  Thank you all for your patience over the last month.  I look forward to getting back in the proverbial saddle. Yours in Success!  Desire, Commit, Succeed!  Bernadette Trafton, Boston AREIA Chief Connector!

Now…on to flipping homes in Boston…

Flipping homes in and around Boston? Everyone thinks they can do it and get rich quickly, but is it really all that easy? The short answer is yes, but then why do so many investors fail? The true answer lies in laying the groundwork. The actual process of selling a home once the rehab work has been completed is easy. The difficult part is in the preparation as if you fail, your business venture will most certainly not succeed. If you put in the hard work and follow these 5 steps your business will have the best opportunity to grow.

  1. Assess Goals

This is more of a brainstorming session. What is your aim? What is your budget? What is your risk appetite? Are you looking short term or long term? What type of homes are you looking into: multi-family homes, condos, commercial or single family? Are you looking to fix and flip? Are you looking to wholesale the property? What is your investment strategy? What are your revenue goals per deal and for years 1, 2, and 3? This step can take place in two hours with a notepad, pen, and a few good critiques.

  1. Research

This is the most important step! The internet has become the most effective and most powerful tool when it comes to researching. However, it’s easy to get lost in the data deluge. Obviously ideal neighborhoods would be ones with high performing schools, in close proximity to major transportation systems, and in areas with low crime rates. However, the market already knows this and adjusts accordingly. Keep an eye on the market update through Boston AREIA to get a good idea about foreclosures, pre-foreclosures and what has been sold in any particular area. So as an investor you need to forecast which areas will have those statistics in the next year or the next 5 years if you are looking more long term. For instance, maybe you have some inside information that there is going to be a new school being built, or maybe Boston will be cracking down on crime in a certain area, or per chance a new city park is being built. These are all factors which could drive the demand and increase the overall livability in certain areas. It’s your job both as an investor and a speculator to drive revenue.

  1. Set a Target

Set targets for each month! Especially in the beginning when aspects are more controllable. Set performance goals for each person you have working for you. What is your target for fix-flip projects, 3 months? Make sure to have strict, but flexible deadlines. When dealing with a volatile market, it’s important to be able to roll with the punches and to have many contingency plans. Maybe you need a reserve account that you may rely on if you have a few slow months.

  1. Build Relationships

Flipping homes is a process. You will most likely have to involve a few outside intermediaries, for instance title agencies, realtors, banks, general contractors, junk removal agencies, painting establishments, roofers, and maybe even moving companies. By building successful relationships with these aforementioned industry players you will streamline the business process with increased flow and also increase the revenue of these other companies. Therefore you will most likely get excellent service, maybe even at a discount. The best place to network and meet these people is to become a member of Boston AREIA and come to the meetings on a regular basis.

  1. Execution

Execution is key. Real estate is one of the most volatile as well as competitive industries. Failure to act decisively could result in failure. Account for all your expenditures wisely as the IRS will have their records in order, so should you. I keep in close contact with my favorite real estate accountant Joe Craft, CPA. Just contact me for and introduction. If real estate is your only gig, prepare for financial duress by having an operating budget that can account for consecutive months of $0.00 in revenue or create multiple streams of income that will get you through dry months.

Diary of a Newbie Real Estate Investor 7/1/2014

So…after about 4 months of mentoring….listening to me (Bernadette) drone on about the website, Bernadette Trafton, Chief Connectormarketing, branding and social media and listening to Peg (JEM Property Group) on deal structuring, writing contracts and more…I just got this blog post!  I can’t tell you how proud of Mike and Jacqui I am for actually listening to us, taking it in and then, above all, taking action!  This is WAY BEYOND COOL!

mike and jacquiThe Deal & Advice for Our Fellow Newbies

We finally have some exciting news!  We have an offer accepted for our first rehab deal and will be closing by the end of the month.  I have to say, we were starting to get discouraged.  We had been marketing with door hangers, direct mail, driving for dollars and attending as many networking meetings as our free time would allow.  But so far, no deal.  Weeks turned in to months and we just felt like nothing was going to happen.  Then one day we suddenly had a house and we are overwhelmed (in a good way) with the amount of work to do.

How did we get the deal?  Mike and I spent a lot of time working on our website with the help of Thrivehive and wanted to make sure that if someone did come across our webpage it would be easy to navigate and easy to get in touch with us.  We have received leads through our website about potential deals before but this is the first lead where we were like “Wow! We NEED this.” (*note from Bernadette, the tracking that Thrivehive provides is awesome, and they build the website using your ideas, so glad they listened on this one and their website – www.FitzProperty.com looks awesome!)

A seller was calling local investors to quickly sell his home.  When we returned the call the seller stated he had accepted another offer with a national rehabbing company.  Mike asked “Did you sign anything??” (He didn’t!) We told him we would view the property that night and get him an offer by 8am the next morning.  So we grabbed our flashlight and ladder and snuck around in the dark peeking through every window and door.  We were able to see the heating system, water and electricity through the basement windows.  The upstairs was UGLY which is perfect for us.  We went to bed confident and excited that we could get this house.  This was exactly what we were looking for.

The next morning at 7:30am Mike gets a call from the seller who says he is sorry but he is only accepting the first offer.  WHAT!? Even though we hadn’t even been inside the property we decided to take action. We made an offer during that phone call…. rejected.  We made an offer over text message…. rejected.  We tried to call again… ignored. Finally Mike decided he was going to email the seller an official offer with a copy of our check to purchase.  A few hours later we received a call from the seller’s attorney. After a conversation between our attorney and the seller’s attorney we had a signed and accepted offer.  Talk about a roller coaster of highs and lows.  Peg was very helpful giving tips on how to pursue this deal and then walking us through the financing process.  We may not have been able to seal this deal without her!

Now that we have an accepted offer how are we going to pay for this? They say the money will come when you have a great deal.  True and false.  The money comes with a price.

What we learned so far:

1. The quote “It takes money to make money.” is true.  With this deal we had no issues with finding lenders, the problem is they can come with a big cost. We are looking at putting out a minimum of $35k with the private money and bank options we have considered so far. Do your research and be prepared to go all in, if you don’t believe in your investment who will?

2. Set up your business legally.  The week we got the deal under contract we had to scramble to get our LLC registered.  We had no idea that the majority of lenders only loan when you have a business.

3. Get all your ducks in a row.  Be prepared and have your key group of people readily available. Lawyers, contractors, plumbers, electricians, real estate brokers, lenders. Mike and I needed some help here. Thank you to our mentor, Peg, of JEM Property Group for being available 24/7!

 4. Be prepared to make a very detailed list of what you plan on doing with the property.  Exit strategy, marketing plans, comps, rehab plans. You will need to present this to potential lenders and investors. It is also just good to have a business plan for your own reference.

We plan on having 2 open houses (one during construction and one at completion) for Boston AREIA members and Fitz Property followers.  We look forward to seeing everyone and answering questions and hearing your advice.  In the meantime we are continuing to market and look for future rehab deals. Keep reading the blog in to hear about our progress.

Also please check out www.fitzproperty.com where we will be posting pictures of our recent major remodel of an apartment in one of our rental properties.

Mike & Jacqui


How should you choose your IRA Custodian for your investing deals?

Choosing an IRA custodian is as important as choosing investments. Some custodians do not allow alternative investments to be acquired as assets using your IRA. Some self-directed IRA administrators that allow alternative investments (such as real estate investing) may restrict the types of investments they allow as holdings. Additionally, there are strict rules and regulations one must follow when purchasing assets. If you make the mistake of acquiring an asset your custodian does not allow, you and your IRA may suffer harsh penalties handed down by the IRS. The same is so if you perform a transaction that falls outside the boundaries set forth in the rules that govern retirement funds.  Access the Advanta IRA ppt that Kevin Collins presented at our meeting in June –  Retirement Revolution Presentation

If you want to control your own investment funds in your IRA, you must first make sure you open an account with an administrator that facilitates self-directed IRAs. These accounts allow a myriad of alternative investments in them, such as real estate, private lending opportunities, precious metals, oil and gas options…and much more. As the account owner, you have the freedom to choose your own investments to build wealth toward retirement. The custodian acts only at your direction to acquire assets in your account.

Even though laws governing IRAs allow real estate and other non-traditional investments in your account, not all custodians allow those assets. A recent example of this was illustrated by the tax court in a proceeding filed by Guy Dabney. Although Dabney familiarized himself with IRS allowances of assets in IRAs, he failed to comply with the rules of his IRA custodian, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., who does not allow real estate in the IRAs they administrate. Even so, Dabney performed an action to acquire the real estate that he thought would constitute a permissible trustee-to-trustee transaction. He had Charles Schwab wire $114,000 directly from his IRA to the company selling the property and asked the property be titled “Guy M. Dabney Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. Cust. IRA Contributory.” The purchase was made, however, the property was accidentally titled in his name. Dabney was able to have that clerical error officially fixed, but Schwab still sent Dabney a 1099-R form, declaring he had taken an early distribution which was taxable to him as he was not yet of the age of 59 1/2. Dabney did not report the withdrawal on his income tax that year, stating the real estate purchase was made by the IRA and / or should be considered a trustee-to-trustee transfer because of the way the property was acquired.

In considering the case, the IRS made several determinations. First, Schwab does not permit real estate investment purchases or holdings in their accounts; second, the title company to which the $114,00 was transferred was not, in fact, an IRA trustee and therefore, no trustee-to-trustee transaction was performed. There were a few other reasons the tax court based their decision on, which can be read in full in an article published by Parker Tax Publishing, and the withdrawal was considered an early distribution—and taxable for Dabney under IRS regulations.

The main takeaway here is that even though self-directed IRAs give you control of your investment decisions—you are responsible for adhering to your IRA custodian’s own set of rules regarding investments they will allow your account to hold. Not all custodians are created equal! Due diligence in researching a custodian that is a good fit for your investment endeavors is critically important. Dabney could have avoided his unfortunate complications had he decided to roll funds from his Schwab IRA into a self-directed IRA administered by a custodian that allows real estate assets and made the purchase from that account. Be sure to select a firm that is accessible, willing to discuss your transaction, assist you in completing the required forms, and ensures you provide the proper documentation. Most importantly, a firm that give you and your retirement portfolio the personalized service you deserve.

With Boston AREIA’s vendor, Kevin Collins of AdvantaIRA, you will get the personalized service you are looking for when doing your real estate investing deals in and around the Boston area.  If you would like to learn more about how self-directed IRAs can build wealth toward retirement, please contact Kevin Collins at AdvantaIRA Trust by calling 617-830-1070 or emailing Kevin@AdvantaIRATrust.com

Attention Boston Flippers – Deals are flowing

Bernadette Trafton, Chief Connector   Attention Boston Flippers, Real Estate Investors and Rehabbers in Boston, Buy and Hold investors and more!!!

Deals are flowing in and around Boston!  The last few weeks have been incredibly exciting!  Nothing pleases me more than when my new and seasoned Boston Real Estate Investors email and call me telling me about their deals!!!  If you were at Boston Area REIA last week, you would have heard our Mentee Mike Fitzpatrick talk about his first deal!  The exciting part is that Peg Graveline of JEM Property Group and I have been having almost weekly sessions with Mike and his partner Jacqui Pietrzak.  We’ve been hitting hard on finding deals, contract negotiation and more.  I know that Mike and Jacqui were probably sick and tired of hearing me push marketing and getting their website set up and more.  But, in the end that paid off!!!  Last week, a lead came in through their website that was created by our friends at Thrivehive!  Yes, I will personally connect you with them, if you’d like me to!  After the website being up for 2 months and actually live for only a month, a lead came through.  Mike and Jacqui will tell the whole story in their blog “Diary of a Newbie Real Estate Investor”, but, they got Peg on the phone and after following her guidance, put the property under contract and are working through the deal right now!

Right before the meeting, I got another email, from one of my newest investors saying that he had a property under contract in Mattapan!  He wants to wholesale this folks, so, if you are interested, contact me.  This may be an awesome opportunity for those looking to buy and hold and could be great for those Boston contractors out there who are looking to get in the game and will do the rehab themselves.

I got another phone call right before the meeting from an investor who had a deal under contract and they were looking for hard money lenders.  I saw them at the meeting and they let me know they were working with a lender and the deal was in progress!

Then I got an email from another Boston Real Estate Investor, letting me know that he had a deal.  We are still vetting everything so, I won’t get into the where’s and the what’s of it all.

I’m getting so excited about all the activity, that I’m setting up a member specific email list to send the wholesale, buy and hold and other deals that are flowing through the group!  Become a member today, to be the first to receive news of these deals!  If you need another reason to become a member, be sure to check out all of the member benefits that can save members hundreds and thousands year.  I’ve always said that it costs more NOT to be a member of BostonAREIA!  My brother, who is a contractor saved 70% on paint through the Sherwin Williams paint discount alone! It was definitely more than the $175 it costs to be an individual member!  Oh, and if you were at our last meeting and you didn’t become a member, expect an email from me with a coupon thanking you for being a visitor in June!

My life has been crazy the last few months.  My mother has been ill and in and out of the hospital, I’ve been having tenant issues, family craziness and more.  We all have this type of stuff going on in our lives.  So, do me a favor and before you let anything get to you, stop, breathe and know, as my friend Bruce Decker says, “Remember that crap is just fertilizer for future growth!”

Happy investing!


Bernadette Trafton, Boston AREIA Chief Connector


5 reasons real estate investors may want to exchange your property

Bernadette Trafton, Chief Connector   Good afternoon investors,

PFlowers594e_s Picture 2-07

Vice President Certified Exchange Specialist New England Region (877) 781-1031 Toll Free patricia.flowers@ipx1031.com

I was talking to Patty Flowers from IPX 1031           Exchange Services the other day.  I asked her what the main reason there were for real estate investors to exchange properties and why it’s important to know about this even as a beginning investor.  She shared this article with me about the five reasons to exchange your properties.

FIVE REASONS TO EXCHANGE – A story about Appreciation, Depreciation, Cash Flow, Diversification  and Tax Deferral

If a real estate investor bought an apartment building for $100,000 in 1975 and it is now valued at $1.8M dollars, the property has appreciated significantly and is now worth eighteen times what it was in 1975. Clearly, this was a great investment. But, like all investments, one should analyze whether it is now better to hold or to divest the asset.  The apartment building is currently owned free and clear of debt. It has been owned for more than 27.5 years so it is fully depreciated and no longer eligible for annual depreciation deductions on the investor’s tax return. Reviewing the cash-flow, after property taxes, maintenance, and insurance, it produces net rental income of about $3,000 per month.

$36,000 per year on an investment property worth $1.8M amounts to 2% annual income on the investment. However, the original $100,000 investment has grown by 1800% and there is now $1.8 million dollars’ worth of equity tied up in one asset. Since interest rates are at historic lows, what better time than now, when property values are lower than they were a few years ago, to unlock some of that equity and exchange, tax deferred, into one or more properties with greater income and long-term appreciation potential?

Through an I.R.C. §1031 exchange, this real estate investor can sell his investment property and accomplish a number of tax and investment goals. A 1031 tax deferred exchange permits the investor to defer federal and state capital gains and depreciation recapture taxes. The investor can buy property with improved cash-flow, and if encumbered, with an interest deduction to be claimed. If the replacement property is greater in value than the
relinquished apartment building, then depreciation deductions will also be available for the increased basis (the difference between the purchase cost of the new property, less the gain deferred on the exchange of the old property). Additionally, because multiple properties can be acquired through a single exchange, the investor can diversify the real estate portfolio, thereby hedging the investment risk inherent in a single property.

Appreciation, depreciation, cash-flow, diversification and tax deferral are important drivers for doing a §1031 exchange. Investors should examine their real estate holdings and do the 5 point analysis suggested in this article. If repositioning a real estate portfolio is in order, the valuable tax benefits of a 1031 exchange should be considered. Investment Property Exchange Services, Inc. (IPX1031®) is a Qualified Intermediary providing a full range of tax
deferred exchange services across the country including forward, reverse and build-to-suit transactions. We look forward to helping you and/or your clients maximize qualifying investments through a §1031 exchange strategy.

Be sure to join us on June 19th when Patty breaks down the process of 1031 exchanges. 

Is Flip (Flipping) a 4 letter word that starts with F?

Bernadette Trafton, Chief Connector So, I was talking to my friend, business partner and seasoned investor Ken Olson the other day.  He said that he had a bone to pick with me.   He noticed that I use the words “flip” and “flipping” when talking about rehabbing and reselling properties in our adventures in real estate investing.

He said, “Give me a minute to explain, I know “flip” or “flipping” is nomenclature and widely accepted, but, trust me, any seasoned seller (Banker, REO Broker, Auctioneer) won’t listen to someone using that language and will not take them serious – it is too cavalier and wreaks of inexperience – if you want your investors that you are teaching to separate themselves, they will figure out a way to take “flip” or “flipping” out of their vocabulary.”    

OK, point taken…, “But, Ken, Do you know that FLIP and FLIPPING are among the HIGHEST ranking words on google for real estate investing?  More people search the term fix and flip or flipping real estate than invest in properties.  Since the “flip this house” phenomenon, it’s much more accepted…and does amazing things for my SEO and google rankings…. :-)”

To which Ken replied, “Flip and flipping is a widely accepted nomenclature and so is “doing it” – both have cavalier attachments and in “my opinion” are unprofessional and wreak of inexperience.”

“Ok, Ken, we are NOT going to present using the word FLIP” or “FLIPPING” to any banks.  However, you and I can have this conversation 30 times and I will still market using the words FLIP or FLIPPING because new investors and folks looking for places to network type in “flipping houses” “flip houses in Boston”, etc…about 20 plus times more than they look for rehabbing and reselling. 

It is what it is and the use of the word means different things dependent on the application.  In marketing it is a golden word that can help rank a webpage high in SEO.  It will, however, be a great lesson to the group – DON’T use the words FLIP or FLIPPING when talking to banks, brokers and others because it’s pretty much a “dirty” word and shows inexperience.  However,  when it comes to SEO please continue to use it in marketing.  :-)”

See you at our upcoming meeting on Thursday 6/19/2014


Bernadette Trafton, Boston AREIA Chief Connector

Are you able to leverage your credit or is it holding you back?

WHEN:  Thu 5/15, 2014credit pic

WHERE:  Hyatt Place, 116 Riverside Ave, Medford, MA

Thursday 5/15; 5pm – 5:30 pm for Members of Boston AREIA ONLY before the May monthly meeting!

Members join us for a special coaching session focused on Credit!  Are you able to leverage your credit or is it holding you back?  Veteran Mortgage Pro Ric Beaudoin of Sage Mortgage.  This is not a Credit Repair session, however, Ric will cover:

• The basic facts of credit reports
• What is and is not included in the credit report or credit score
• Why use credit scores
• Components of a credit score
• Statistical weights
• Consumer rights
• Correcting and improving credit scores

P4178105Followed by OPEN NETWORKING from 5:30pm – 6:30pm, the energy has been building every month!  Make sure you bring tons off business cards and save some for the forced networking section!

Thursday’s topic is all about exit strategies…you’ve got the property under contract, NOW WHAT???

Click here for all of the meeting details!




Diary of a Newbie Real Estate Investor

Bernadette Trafton, Chief ConnectorGood morning folks, Well Mike and Jacqui have been moving forward with their real estate business.  Their website is almost complete, they’ve been doing direct mail marketing and Mike was able to go to a property with Peg and a few others with the agent he’s working with.  A little over a month ago, I got a call about a property in Newton center.  I figured that this would be a great learning opportunity for Mike.  I called my co-mentor Peg Graveline of JEM Property Group and set up a time for them to go view the property.  Mike took all the pictures and got to watch Peg negotiate and sign the contract.  In the Wednesday night mentoring sessions that we do every week, we’ve covered how to put together a package for exit strategies for a property.  This is essential when pulling together funding partners or presenting to investors you may want to wholesale the property to.  We’ve covered the importance of consistent marketing and developing relationships with Realtors.  I introduced them to my favorite account Joe Craft, CPA and in our most recent session introduced them to John Syron of Aurelian Lending to go over the possibility of using their Unsecured Lines of Credit program.  We will be doing a new webinar on this service in May.  Stay tuned.  I also sent them a property in Dorchester that came across my desk this past week.  Not sure if they went to view it, that’s for the next post.  For, now….what have Mike and Jacqui been up to over the past week? mike and jacquiUpdate: Evaluating Potential Rehab Deals Since our last post we have been working with local real estate agents to learn more about the market for single family rehab investments. Last weekend, we went out with Matt Heisler, an investor friendly real estate agent who specializes in the central and metro-west markets.  Matt understands we are looking at properties from an investment point of view and has been a great resource.  With Matt we looked at properties inside the 495 belt, but about 30 minutes away from our target market of Framingham. The first house we saw, the Cat House, was a small 900 sq ft ranch in your average working class neighborhood. We immediately noticed the smell of cat urine and that the house was pretty much a mess. Our hunch is the house is currently rented to tenants and the seller may be motivated due to the extensive deferred maintenance inside and outside of the property. To expand the house, we could potentially add value by finishing the basement and adding a garage. However, we are unsure if the addition of a garage provides a significant enough return on investment to make it worthwhile. Our research suggests you may only get a 1:1 return on the money you invest to build the garage, however you will attract a larger market of potential buyers. Kitchens and bathrooms all need to be gutted and the exterior of the house needs some cleaning up.  House has original hardwoods throughout but the current tenants have let their cat wild and don’t seem to care about cleaning up therefore flooring needs to be replaced.  We are thinking of offering $160k. Estimated rehab costs: $45-60k depending if we add a garage) Potential sale price: $250-275k. House number two, the Old Folks House, seemed much more promising and we will admit, it was a breath of fresh air walking in. No cat urine! This was a much larger ranch in a quiet hill top neighborhood.  Real estate owned property that has been on and off the market for the last year. Needs new kitchen, paint and possibly updating the basement.  The basement was finished probably 25-30 years ago and although it is large and bright with a full bath, it is outdated. We would want to refinish the basement, but are concerned about return on investment. The house is located in a beautiful neighborhood, however across the street is a large Victorian that has been converted to a nursing home.  Not really an eyesore, but definitely out of place in a neighborhood of single family homes.  Is this a deal breaker for buyers? To be on the safe side of the budget we are reducing the estimated after repair value by 5-10%.  We are thinking of offering: $200k. Estimated rehab costs: $50k. Potential sale price: $315k. As we move forward we are still refining our investment criteria for a rehab property, however we are current looking for: 3-4 bedrooms with the potential for 2 full bathrooms, hopefully a master bath or space to add one in.  If the layout is not ideal, is it easy enough to manipulate? After that we don’t really care what the inside looks like because we will probably be replacing most of it, so the uglier the better. We also look outside and at the curb appeal, is there enough yard? How is the neighborhood? Spy on the neighbors, would you buy a house here?  From a numbers perspective we are targeting a minimum of $30k profit and for houses over $300k we are targeting a profit of at least 10% of the purchase price. Stay tuned to hear about any offers we put in and if accepted, how we were able to finance the deal as new investors.  In the meantime we are sending out our next batch of direct mail letters.  With our last mailing we got one response “Please take me off your mailing list”.  Hey, at least we know the letters were read! If you want to get in touch with us please contact us at jacqui@fitzpropery.com or mike@fitzproperty.com.

How does "forced networking" help you flip properties

P4178105 I have people ask me all the time, “What is ‘forced’ networking and how exactly does it help me flip properties in the Boston area?”

Forced networking is for everyone.  Originally we started doing it at Boston AREIA for the wall flowers of the group.  You know the people who are uncomfortable walking up to someone and saying, “Hi, my name is ……………….. and I’m a new investor and I want to meet…”   I wanted to give those folks a way to get business cards from people so they could call them up later and meet with them.  But, it’s turned out to be one of the favorite sections of our meetings.  For the wall flowers and everyone else as well!  During our forced networking section, we bring different groups of people to the front of the room…for example, “Can all the wholesalers come up to the front of the room…now, everyone who wants someone else to find them deals, come up and exchange business cards, don’t talk for 5 minutes, exchange business cards and move to the next person…”  This is the fastest form of speed networking that you will find.  We don’t give you 5 minutes, we give you 5 seconds to exchange business cards so that you can connect with the people you want to after the meeting in a one on one setting.  Wholesalers love it because they are able to increase their buyers list quickly.  Rehabbers/Flippers love it because they get a whole new group of people looking for properties for them.  Realtors and lenders love it because they get a whole new group of people that they can connect with where real estate is concerned.  And, you know what happens when you connect an entire group of people focused on flipping properties in some form or another?  Deals get done!  So, forced networking most definitely helps you to flip properties.   Check out some of our pictures from our last meeting…we began with a coaching session, then went to regular networking, then forced networking, then speakers for education.  If used properly, your Boston AREIA meetings will help you build your power team and help you make connections, business partners and friends that you will work with the rest of your life!

Yours in success, Bernadette Trafton, Boston AREIA Chief Connector

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