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It’s been almost a year since I completed my last home renovation. Overall I’ve been very happy with the results. It was a lot of work, but I learned a lot and in the end I’ll be able to sell the property for much more than I’ve put into it. It is time to do another. However, this time I decide to bring in some help. My girlfriend, Carri, and I formed a company Cord Renovation to continue with renovating foreclosures.

The process for finding a property went just about the same as the last. The Sheriff’s sales are posted a month in advance so there is plenty of time to research a property. Once I had a copy of the list, I could do drive by inspections for the next 4 weeks of sales in an afternoon. Once prospective properties were identified, I would look at the recent comparable sales come up with a figure I would bid up to. From that point, it was just a matter of waiting. Waiting for the weekly auction, and then the for the buying opportunity. One big change this go around involved using cell phones to participate in the auction. The Tulsa auctions allow proxies to bid, so it is possible to sit at home or in the office and follow each auction on an assistants cell phone. I could hear everything and give instructions if necessary, but mainly I just listened. This method worked fine, but I happened to attend the auction for the property I ended up with.

Out of the hundreds of listing over a 10 to 12 week period, a mere dozen or so looked promising. Out of those few, about half of them were recalled the morning of the auction. The few that I was able to bid on went far past my bidding target, usually by the mortgage company. However, during one auction a property I had overlooked came up NO/Bid No/Sale, which meant it would come back up again in six weeks or so. I would be ready when it did.

I went the the No Bid property immediately after the action. It looked very promising. It was a 3 bedroom, 2 car garage, brick house in a nice neighborhood in East Tulsa. It was definitely the worst house on the block but it had potential. I could easily see that it needed a new roof, new driveway, paint and massive clean up, but the structure appeared to be in good shape, with the added bonus of a large two story barn shaped out building. I took a few pictures and went back to my office to gather more information.

A property that no one would bid on should have raised some major red flags, but the more data I gathered the better and better it looked. On paper it looked like the deal of the century. The foreclosure appraisal was $75,000, with an opening bid of $50,000. A comparable sale just 4 doors down recently sold for $92,000 and another a half block away was on the market for $102,000. My preliminary cost analysis for what it would take to renovate seemed a bit high but I believed I could do well with this project if I could get it near 52K.

The bidding was uneventful. The mortgage company opened at 50k, I countered with 50,100 and got the property. No one else bid. At this point I would normally leave but there happened to be another property later in the auction that I would have bid on if I was unsuccessful on the first. It was an equally promising opportunity. It was a nice small house in an older but trendy neighborhood. Only one person bid on it and got it for 47k. It is my guess that they would have continued to bid if I had countered so no telling what it would have gone for, but I may have let a very nice prospect slip away from me. I will never know.

Any way, We had our next property barring the chance that the current owner would get his account up to date or some other unforeseen complication

Another fixer upper, but all-in-all a nice starter home for some young coupleAnother fixer upper, but all-in-all a nice starter home for some young couple

Looking past the rubbish I saw great potential for a very nice shop.

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