Real Estate Trades: Have I Got a Deal for You

The Mrs. once remarked, “When you and your father get together, you can talk about real estate until there’s no more oxygen left in the room.” Yep, we can get going pretty good. We’ll talk about his properties, my properties, the market, the last deal, the next deal, the tenants, the banks, and, if Rob’s in town, we’ll occasionally break for cards.

This morning, my father and I were doing our best to deplete breathable air, on this occasion, via phone. The conversation began when he called to ask if I had any interest in a Ford Expedition. It seems that he finds himself a bit vehicle-heavy as a result of his latest real estate deal. He had a double that he was looking to sell in an area that required a bit more management than my father was interested in continuing to provide and was approached by a newer investor that didn’t mind the time and effort. The newer investor was looking to buy but was shy on cash. He did, however, have this car that he was looking to sell. So, my father came down some on price, the investor came up some, and the Expedition bridged the gap.

Sometimes, real estate investors can find their best deals, buying or selling, by using a little creativity. While the Ford Expedition may not be on the lot in every deal (nor would you want it to be), considering options other than just money changing hands at the closing table opens up possibilities. As a fellow real estate investor recently considered, alternative financing may frequently provide the mechanism to make the deal work for buyer and seller. Particularly at times like these when banks seem to be forgetting that they are in the business of lending money, the real estate investor has to be open to other possibilities. Consider lending money to your buyer, borrowing from your seller, providing a purchase option for your tenant, taking a property in trade, or maybe even taking that for-sale vehicle off your buyer’s hands.

My father’s real estate dealings over the years, besides being fodder for wisecracks, certainly serve as my reminder to watch for opportunities to create the deal, and a good real estate investor sometimes has to find those opportunities for both sides. So, in the spirit of inspiring the deal and just for a little fun, I thought I’d share some of my father’s more creative side purchases over the years that made the deal. Over more years than I care to admit, here are the “side purchases” that stick out in my memory:

  • a 1974 Volkswagen beetle
  • a 1975 Buick Riviera
  • 5 acres of undeveloped land in Maine
  • a plot of desert property in New Mexico
  • some swamp land in Florida
  • an antique (here, insert “old”) desk
  • office furniture
  • labor on the rehab
  • 10 asphalt driveways

The rest is here: Real Estate Trades: Have I Got a Deal for You

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