"52 Homes in 52 Weeks" by Dolf De Roos and Gene Burns

The title of this book caught my eye. "52 Homes in 52 weeks!" If they can do that then it should be easy for me to do 10 in a year I thought. After reading the book I'm not sure their method could be replicated today, but it did lead to to some new insights.


Written in 2006 (before the real estate crash), the authors attempted this experiment in Las Vegas.. They boast about Vegas' great metrics which I found entertaining since we all know what happened in Vegas a few short months after this book was published. However, their location selection factors are worth nothing.



* Population Growth

* Climate

* Sustainable Work


I would add to this list:

* Low Cost of Living

* Cheap Real Estate

* Low Property Taxes


Dolf De Roos and his partner Gene Burns bought these 52 homes from motivated sellers over a 9 month period using a Buy/Hold strategy. Most of the deals involved the assumption of a current loan. They recommend creating a plan before investing. It should include the plan of action, target zip codes, hour criteria (example - 3 bedroom 2 bath), financing, price range, search terms, items you are not interested in/deal killers, and your needs.


On particularly interesting technique they used to find buyers was handing out cards to average Americans offering $500 for information on a house. Another was using pizza flyer delivery services to blanket neighborhoods. They also used classified ads.


Once they found a seller, they worked out very creative methods to get the home using either lease options or land trusts. This made their out-of-pocket costs nearly nothing (their limit was $5000 per house), but the deals were clearly a lot of work and very stressful.


After securing the deal, they would put a tenant in place on a lease option. The idea was to be cash flow positive by collecting larger rants than the payment and lock in a higher sales price than that of their option. The option fee would also help them to replenish their cash reserves for buying more properties.


Biggest Takeaway: Land Trusts can be used to assume mortgages without activating the due on sale clause.


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