Flip Your Haunted House

Hey there fellow real estate investing aficionados’...

This is Dave Victor– one of your new Clever Investor Mentors.

Let me slide into the confessional booth for a few minutes and get a deep dark secret off my chest…

(No, it’s not a secret wish to become a member of Justin Bieber’s entourage. That’d just be a plain old lie. Seriously. Then I’d have to confess for that lie – and we’d be here forever!)

Here it is: I get scared.

It’s a pretty appropriate theme for me right now, given that I’m beginning my draft of this post on Halloween – with the newest Friday the Thirteenth movie playing in the background of my home office.

(I think this is the sequel where Jason Vorhees fights Justin Bieber. Can’t wait to see how it ends.)

What’s that? You don’t think my occasional fearfulness is a big confession? Well, you may be right… I mean, we all have fear from time-to-time. Except for Jason Vorhees – because he’s dead…

And there it is. Feeling fear is actually good, because it means that you are ALIVE.

(Now, how’s that for a secret surprise? Not bad, right?!)

I find that if I am fearful to do something, it’s usually because I’m feeling challenged. And it usually means I’m on the right path. It means I’m about to have a chance to grow – a breakthrough, if you will.

In fact, twelve years ago, fear could have killed the guy writing this blog post today.

Where I’m Coming From

You see, I used to be a professional loan officer. And as such, there was a time when I had closed many loans for my clients – but I had yet to purchase a home for myself.

For me, a typical day involved doing some prospecting (all amped-up on Starbucks), pounding the phones, “smiling and dialing”, and looking for my next refinance.

One day, I get a homeowner on the phone who, as it turns out, was in foreclosure. As a loan officer, there was really nothing I could do for her, and normally this is where I would just politely hang up the phone.

(I hadn’t yet learned an important lesson of “monetizing” every lead, but I’ll leave that for a future blog post.)

The lady was really nice, though, and her story touched me. So I let her finish the whole thing before politely parting ways. Then, grabbing a refill on my coffee, I began recounting her story to a coworker buddy of mine, named Mike.

Mike is what you call a “flat-liner”. This guy had no fear. (Come to think of it, he did have a collection of hockey masks in his car… Probably just a coincidence, right?)

Mike said, “Hey, why don’t we try to buy that woman’s house and flip it?” To which I replied something like this…

“Yeah right. We don’t know how to do that – and we don’t have any money. Plus, I’m pretty sure she owes just about whatever the whole house is worth.”

Fear Level: Low.

Bear in mind, this was 2001. At the time, I had never even heard of a short sale, much less how the heck to pull one off. But, to make a long story short, Mike and I essentially stumbled our way through a short sale, and we ended up getting the bank to accept our offer.

Fear Level: Rising.

So now we have this accepted offer, and we proceed to borrow some hard money from an appraiser we know (which I’m now sure violated every usury statute in existence)

…and we have no clue what we are doing.

Fear Level: Are we really doing this?!

Plot Twist

Then it was closing time.

Stuff was about to get “real”.

Fear Level: Going…down?


Well, by that time, I had already jumped off the proverbial cliff, and now it was time to either sink or swim. I put myself into “action mode”, and the fear simply disappeared.

Ever notice how your fear of something is usually a lot worse than the actual thing when it actually comes to pass (or if it actually comes to pass)? Marcus Aurelius noticed this, and it prompted him to make the following observation:

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”

(That dude had to know what he was talking about. He was in freakin’ Gladiator.)

So Mike and I got into action, and we got resourceful. We got some books, got educated, and we talked to some investors at our REIA group.

Was it perfect? Not even close. We did a ton of things wrong.

But what we did correctly was to just do it.

In the end, we went over budget and past schedule – and we ended-up making only about $12,000. But more importantly, my original fear had been replaced with a growing sense of excitement to go out and do it all over again.

The Bottom Line

That formative experience with Mike launched me into the world of real estate investing, and it sent me down a path that has greatly improved my entire financial picture. As a result, I now work for myself, doing what I want to do, when I want to do it.

And fear almost kept me from this.

The bottom line is you need to attack your fear. Don’t let the ghosts in your attic psyche you out from pursuing what could be something great – whatever that is for you.

If others have done it, you can too. Just spend time with those people, so they can help your real estate investing education, and just get into action.

Like Tony Robbins says: “If you can’t, then you must.”

Rock On,

PS - Need a mentor?

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