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Old 02-25-2006, 01:05 PM
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Post Meet Thomas Ott

How long have you been involved in real estate investing?

I started in 2002 when I bought my first condo to live in. I sold the property in 2004 for a $27,000 profit and was hooked. I rolled that money into a new house which we now live in. We, my wife and I, acquired that property for 12% below asking price in a red hot NJ market.

What strategies do you use and why?

We like to find distressed properties and work out win-win deals. Our current project, which is set to close in 2 weeks, uses conventional mortgage financing. Our strategy for houses in foreclosure is to buy out the owner’s equity at a discount using subject to’s.

What types of financing do you regularly utilize?

We use conventional mortgages and a HELOC to finance our acquisitions. After our current project we’ll be looking for investors to finance all cash deals.

How did you go about finding properties?

We typically scan through MLS listings, do post card mailings to owners in foreclosure, and drive through neighborhoods. My wife does the MLS scanning and I do the postcards and drive through’s. We’re also grooming a few bird dogs that are looking for us in select areas.

What is your average purchase price?

Average purchase price ranges somewhere in the $250 to $300k. Ideally the lower the better.

What is your average net profit per deal?

Although we haven’t realized a profit from our current house, it was recently appraised for $143k above our purchase price. If all goes well we estimate a $35 to $40k profit on our rehab project.

Describe your first deal and how much you made on it?

Our first profit was $27,000 on the sale of the Condo.

Describe your biggest deal (purchase price) and how much you made on it?

See above, our biggest purchase, $396k, was for our current house. It was recently appraised at $539k.

What was your worst deal and did you loose any money on it?

I haven’t had any bad deals yet, knock on wood but I do religiously scan the bond rates, yield curve, and see what the economy is doing. Having an MBA really helps with our strategic planning

Any favorite real estate web sites, books, software, mentors etc.?

I really like Shaun’s “Real Estate Adventures” and Trisha’s “Building an Empire” blogs. Thos two are an inspiration to me! I’m also part of the Garden State Real Estate Investors Association ( which is a fantastic way to network for deals and information.
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