Author: Vena Jones-Cox (57 articles found) - Clear Search


The Most Important Thing You Will Ever Read About Being a Private Lender

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Note: laws and regulations regarding the advertising, registering, and formalization of private loans vary enormously state-to-state. Generally, these rules apply to the borrower rather than the lender, but even lenders should be aware of what the laws in your state say about these transactions. Of course, this article is not intended as legal, accounting, or other professional advice. Always consult with your legal, accounting, or other professional before making any investment.  Further, nothing in this article should be construed as an offering or solicitation of security.

Private lending is a strategy in which even moderate-income investors can easily get involved.

There are plenty of real estate entrepreneurs and rehabbers who want to borrow your money; if you let it be known you have as little as $20,000 to lend in most markets, someone will be right there ready to put that cash to work.

If all goes as it’s supposed to, it’s a truly hand-off investment; you just sit back and collect checks. And the return is oh-so-much-better than other fixed-rate investments; you can expect to average around 6-8% per year total (because higher rate loans are generally also shorter term; when you loan money to a rehabber at 12% but he only uses that money 9 mon
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Where do you find great deals on Apartments?

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        I get this question a lot, especially, during or just after a presentation showing an apartment complex illustrating a ‘cash on cash’ return in excess of 20%.

        If you went to a Commercial Broker and told them you were looking for properties with a 20% COCR, they’d do one of two things; 1-They’d tell you they would buy the property themselves if they ever found one with a 20% COCR or 2-They’d hang up on you because they’d think your expectations are unrealistic.

        You probably won’t find an Apartment complex advertised with a 20% COCR. Just like the broker said, if it fell into their lap, they’d buy it. However, you can increase your chances of finding some great deals by doing a few things differently.

        First off, there’s no big secret in ‘finding’ Apartment complexes for sale. Start by using the same vehicles most investors use. For instance, you can search through Loopnet.com or go to any of the major or regional Commercial Brokerage web sites such as Marcus & Millichap (MarcusMillichap.com), CB Richard Ellis (CBRE.com) or Sperry Van Ness (SVN.com) just to name a few. There are many many more out there.

        You can also peruse local newspapers in the market you’re
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At What Kind of Real Estate Will You Be “Best”?

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Our business fascinates me.

Whether it’s creative deals or watching how REIA groups develop and maintain individual cultures or observing how different types of people react to the pressures and rewards of being real estate entrepreneurs, I find myself filing, categorizing, reorganizing, and contemplating where real estate investing fits in the bigger world, and how the people in it behave.

One of the things that I started to notice a few years back is that certain people seem to be drawn like a magnet to steel to certain strategies in the real estate business. And from what I can tell from working one on one with students, these tendencies appear to precede any actual exposure to real estate education and strategies.

Before I explain more (and potentially affect your answer to this question), let’s do a little thought experiment.

First, try to gain some neutrality about whatever money “things” are going on for you right now. If you have bills due that you can’t pay, or just saw your social security retirement statement and realized that you can’t possibly live on that, or just got a bonus at work and are feeling flush, try to chill about it for a moment. Close your e
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What’s all that Procrastination Really About?

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Many folks believe they procrastinate because they are “lazy”. As a result, they beat themselves over the head and feel bad about it.

(Maybe you do too.)

It’s not true though.

Procrastination has nothing to do with laziness.

This is just a cop-out. It’s a story you tell yourself so that you get to feel bad for a little while “punishing yourself” for not taking action and following through on the commitments you made. Trouble is, it only makes your procrastination worse and reinforces the negative cycle.

You need to break the cycle.

How?

By understanding what really causes procrastination. It’s not what most folks think. There’s something deeper at play, something unconscious, and it’s stopping you from getting into action, staying in action, and following through on the commitments you made to others and yourself.

Ultimately, it’s stopping you from building your dream.

When you don’t follow through on the promises you m
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3 Tips for Building the Relationships that Build Your Business

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If you don’t think that real estate investing is a relationship business, you haven’t been paying attention. 

It’s your connections with other investors that bring you the local knowledge, the referrals to the right professionals, the money, the partnerships, and the deals that let you prosper now, and for years to come.   

But these relationships don’t ‘just happen’ for most people. You have to be intentional about building and maintaining them, just like you’re intentional (I hope) about building a rental portfolio, or a buyer’s list, or a marketing plan.   

COREE exists, in large part, to provide a platform for you to find and interact with like-minded folks who can encourage and help you be successful, but you have to do your part, too. Here are some tips for the 95% of us who aren’t just natural ‘connectors’:  

  1. Be intentional about your professional development. There’s no job you can have or business you can be in where your value isn’t enhanced by knowing more. 

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7 Steps to Private Money

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There is a Major Flaw in Real Estate Investing that very few people want to admit, and fewer still have the answers for how to overcome it.

The major flaw with Real Estate Investing is not the education. There are a tremendous number of great educators out there, who provide really great content. It is also not that you didn’t study the courses and didn’t learn from them. I know that many of you did genuinely go through the courses and then try to follow them, giving it your full effort. I followed that path too.

I have been a Real Estate Investor for over 35 years and an educator for over 25 years. I have completed over 2,000 Deals. What I found by working with (beginning and experienced) Real Estate Investors for that long, is that for most, fear comes up and stops them from getting what they want. There is too much of a gap around lack of money to get through the fear about how you are going to invest in real estate. For many, it is just too much to overcome.

This Real Estate Investment Business is so incredible, it provides so many benefits for so many people. It can provide an incredible living for your family and a secure financial future. It provides people with home ownership and incredible opportunities for th
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What is “Wholesaling Lease Options”?

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Let me first tell you a little bit about my background. A few years ago, I was buying as many homes as I could with traditional financing. But when the banks started telling me that I couldn’t buy any more homes, I started buying homes creatively – thru “subject-to” and “sandwich lease options” methods. In the course of 18 months, I bought over 16 homes!

Yes, I owned 16 homes!!! I thought I had it made. I was making $100 - $200 net cash flow on each house. My passive income was growing, and I was steadily getting out of the rat race. I was a “Successful Real Estate Investor” now – or so I thought!

But guess what? I quickly discovered that while I might have been Equity Rich… I was seriously Cash Poor. I had lots of equity, but no cash to pay the bills!

(How many of you know - you can’t eat “equities”?)

But let’s look at my situation a little deeper… All that equity I thought I had in those 16 homes… was a HYPOTHETICAL MYTH. All the “equity” I thought I had quickly vanished when the market s
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How to Make Land Cash Flow

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Many people think and have been taught that land is risky, expensive, doesn’t have cash flow and takes a long time to convert into profits. And in this article, I want to focus on the one thing I hear mentioned about land all the time and that irks me the most when I hear people talk about it. And that is that:

“LAND DOESN’T CASH FLOW”

While it technically is correct that land itself does not cash flow the same way a rental house cash flows, there are some distinct ways to make land cash flow.

And when I am saying you can make land cash flow, I am not particularly talking about traditional income land like Farmland or land with billboards or cell phone towers on them.

Certainly, that works too, and it is absolutely possible to take a piece of land in a city and rent it out as a parking lot, a storage place, or even as a place to put a cell phone tower or billboard on. There are many land owners who have made a nice steady income by buying a piece of land in rural areas next to an interstate and then either fixed or non-fixed (trailers or old trucks with advertising surface) and renting out the surface to businesses in the area forever. Just a few of them make more income a month than mo
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9 Habits of Highly Effective Investors

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In my 25+ years in the real estate business, I bet I've met more than 100,000 investors at all levels of knowledge and experience. Some have become amazingly successful, while others have lost steam or experienced dramatic failures.

During this time, I've noticed that there are certain characteristics that come with real estate investing success. As a matter of fact, that I have come to believe that I can predict with fair accuracy whether a particular investor will be successful. All I have to do is find out a little about their attitudes and actions, and I'll know what their chances of becoming successful are.

Before I outline the specific characteristics that I've found in successful investors, I’d like to define what I mean by "successful investor".

A successful investor is NOT the person who owns the most properties or does the most deals, or who has the most zeros in his net worth.

A successful investor is simply a person who knows what he wants - financially, personally, and in terms of what he wants to contribute to the world - and successfully uses real estate investing as a way to get those things. For a successful real estate investor, real estate is a means to an end, not an end u
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