We had found a property with about $40,000 worth of tax issues that was worth $90,000 to $100,000. At some point it was a deceased vacant property. We contacted the homeowner, and they were going to just deed the property over to us. Her and her brother had grown up in the home, and they had rented the property out for awhile but they couldn’t afford the taxes. We were glad they were willing to just deed the property over , but we told them we would give them something.
We needed to walk the property so we pulled up to the house and surprisingly the yard was well kept. The door was locked so we went to the garage door and knocked and this guy who was in his 20’s answered and asked if he could help us. We knew he was a squatter, but we didn’t call him out on it. Instead, we told him that we were going to buy that property. We knew we showed up completely out of the blue, so we didn’t ask him to leave right away. We just told him, “Look we’re buying this house and we need to get in here in the next couple of days”.
He told us that wouldn’t be a problem, so the next thing we did was ask if we could walk the property. He cooperated and went with us into the backyard, where there was a pink playground. It turned out this guy was living at the property with his wife and 5 year old daughter. At this point we really wanted to help them. We weren’t going to kick them out of the property with a 5 year old daughter living there, so we tried to owner finance the home to them but they couldn’t afford the payments. So, we paid a deposit for them to move to an apartment.
The homeowner had initially gotten angry when we told them that a squatter was living in her house, but the squatter actually improved the property. He had painted the house and done other improvements to it that made the home even more marketable. We gave each of the heirs about $250 to $500 a piece and the taxes were paid at closing. We made about $15,000 dollars on this deal, and the squatters were cooperative with us the whole time.
A key takeaway from this deal is that all we needed to do was skip trace the homeowner and get them on the phone… they were willing to just deed the property over to us. It was that easy, but there were still a few obstacles involved with moving the property. In this case it was squatters and the discomfort we had with just kicking them out of the property when they didn’t have anywhere else to go. If we had to do that, then we wouldn’t have taken the deal, so we were glad to have helped them get into a new apartment by paying their deposit.
Every property you’ll ever acquire will have its own story, and many of these stories will involve people who need help. If you make it a goal to be in the helping business as much as you’re in the business of buying houses for cash, it will do great things for both your business and the people you help along the way.
Our weekly coaching calls are peppered with stories about how specific deals were closed with their own unique set of obstacles. You can learn a lot from other investor’s stories that you couldn’t learn from conventional coaching programs. If you’re interested in skip tracing for deals and learning about how to get unstuck from stopping points that often get in the way of your assignment fees, click here to see our plans and pricing.