How I Got Hooked On Real Estate Investing

Here is my first success story and my first deal ever. This is what got me hooked!

This was an abandoned property very close to my grandparents. I had been putting in offers all over the area. I couldn’t get anything accepted because at the time I was only pre-qualified for $75,000. I live in Austin, Texas–you guys know what that means–YEAH RIGHT! Good luck finding anything in that price range! Good luck getting sellers to carry a second when the market is as hot as it is here.

This little house was in the heart of central Austin—PRIME LOCATION! Anyway, I went down to the tax office, and of course the taxes were still being sent to this house. GRRRR. We did a search of the name and came up with another address. I sent the letter off there and didn’t really think anything would happen. (Remember, this was my first deal.)

I got a letter back from a widow who’s husband had handled everything. This must have been a rental at some point. She spoke to her attorney who gave her the all clear. She wrote and told me to make her an offer. COOL!! The house was in pretty bad shape. The structure was sound and the house had a lot of character. It just needed an overhaul.

We offered her…get ready… $39,000. I felt so brave! Like I knew she’d never go for it, but I wanted to try my hand at a low-ball offer! Needless to say, she wanted to counter. Her exact words: “Well, Stephanie, would you accept a counter offer?” HECK YEAH! She countered at $39,500! I bought the place 30 days later and moved right in.

We painted inside and out, added the upstairs loft and dormers, replaced the roof, updated the electric, refinished the hardwoods, new tile in the kitchen and bath. There was no grass in the front so we put down seed. I built my first deck (okay, so it was only 12X12), and WA-LA!

We did everything ourselves except the electric and the loft addition. They added a cute spiral staircase, too. We had invested $16,000 in repairs. We were ready to sell nine months after purchase. But we loved the place! We stayed until we had been there 2 years for the tax benefit, paying our whooping $400 per month (cheap, cheap – I was renting for $800 a month before).

We sold for $105,000. CHA CHING! TAX FREE!

The rest is history. I have been buying property ever since. Since that time, I have bought nine houses. I currently have two that are, and the rest I have rehabbed or flipped.

has been a wealth of information. I just want to say that I couldn’t have done it without all of you. THANK YOU! I close on one today that will be my biggest flip yet–but hey–that’s another success story! I LOVE THIS STUFF!

By CREOnline Contributor

A content contributor to the original