As longtime readers know, I’ve been buying fix-up single-family houses and writing about earning profits from these homes for many years. In this three-part series I will share my tips on how to find the perfect flipper properties. (See Part 1: Fast fix to make a real estate buck and Part 3: Being nosey may snag real estate bargains.)

OPPORTUNITY #2 – 26 SOURCES OF BARGAIN-PURCHASE-PRICE FLIPPERS. Whether you want to “buy and flip” or you are a long-term investor, bargain-purchase-price properties are a great source of flippers. By bargain-purchase-price property, I’m talking about property that can be bought at least 25 percent below full market value.

Purchase Bob Bruss reports online.

If the property needs extensive fix-up work, then discount the purchase price further to compensate. Although I refer to single-family houses, please be aware there many additional types of bargain properties.

Here are the 26 key sources that work best for finding flipper properties:

1. Drive around neighborhoods that interest you and check the property tax records to contact owners of dumpy houses (most of these properties won’t be listed for sale);

2. Contact real estate agents (they often know about unlisted open “pocket” listings of owners who will sell but who won’t list their property for sale with an agent;

3. Mail letters and postcards, especially to out-of-town absentee owners who might be having trouble maintaining or renting their property;

4. Purchase “I buy houses” signs and advertise on bus-stop benches (I saw a billboard in Houston a few months ago that said, “I buy houses others won’t buy”);

5. Buy pre-foreclosures before the foreclosure auction (please see my foreclosures report for more details);

6. Purchase at foreclosure auctions;

7. Buy REO (real estate owned) from foreclosing lenders, often with easy financing;

8. Divorce sales;

9. Bankruptcy sales;

10. Read the “for sale by owner” (FSBO) newspaper ads (these sellers can be very tough because many of these individuals think they can get top dollar by saving the commission and not listing with a professional realty agent);

11. Distribute door hangars in neighborhoods where you want to buy (also a great way to walk around a neighborhood to get the feel of the area);

12. Advertise in direct mail co-op mailing packs (such as Val-Pak and others), which are mailed to homes inexpensively;

13. Place “Property Wanted” newspaper ads, especially in the inexpensive weekly papers;

14. Place ads on “for sale by owner” Internet Web sites and in local FSBO magazines;

15. Attend local real estate investor club meetings;

16. Buy vacant properties (such as an abandoned house);

17. Inspect tired listings that have been on the local MLS (multiple listing service) longer than 90 days;

18. Offer to buy partially completed, remodeled homes;

19. Purchase at probate and estate property sales;

20. Make offers on tired for-sale listings that have become teardown houses;

21. Make below-market purchase offers on overpriced MLS listings (most retail home buyers and their realty agents won’t waste time on these listings);

22. Offer to purchase advertised rental houses where the landlord might welcome your lease-option or purchase offer;

23.Phone month-old newspapers to ask if the property has sold yet;

24. Buy model homes whose builders will sell and then lease back for 30 days;

25. Check local tax records for properties with unpaid property taxes;

26. Give everyone you meet your business card and let them know you buy properties.

(For more information on Bob Bruss publications, visit his
Real Estate Center


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