Finding Potential Investment Properties

When investor-specialthe real estate market crashed beginning around 2008 finding properties to invest in was fairly easy. But as the market started to turned around it became a sellers market in many locations around the country  and it has gotten a lot harder to find the good deals.

It has gone from just putting your name out there and waiving a wad of cash around to have properties pushed at you to begging for opportunities to bid on.

The MLS with its low and fast disappearing inventory is no longer the a great source it was.  A good real estate agent that is motivated can still find hidden gems but all of them have multiple investors they are working with.  To get on a experienced agents list is like interviewing for a job where they want to see your money and check your buying history to checking references.

So what to do?

Well according to Brandon Turner’s article on BiggerPockets.com he says “If you want what no one else can get, you’ll have to do what no one else is will do to get it.”

For the self employed that statement is so true. To be succesful you have to go out and find your gold. In the article Turners has 7 ways to find great real estate deals and they are all good ones.

  1. Driving For Dollars – Gas is cheap again and once you start thinking about investing you will be surprised how many homes you see that are potential targets.
  2. Direct Mail – People have really slowed down on the mail marketing and the smart people are turning to it again because it has started becoming effective again.
  3. Eviction Records – Yuck .. but many absentee owners have become reluctant landlords and with values going up they just may be ready to get rid of a headache. Have a good agent you work with? Ask then to also put together a list of absentee owners in your target area to use in number 2 above.
  4. BiggerPockets Marketplace – The blatant plug for the publishers service they sell but hey .. to find the gold you need to pan in many creeks to find your nuget.
  5. Craigslist – Not one of my favorites but recently I used their service and I was pleasantly surprised how effective it still was at helping me accomplish my goal of finding a some I need to get a job done.
  6. Wholesalers – Hard to find a good one but once found they can be a consistent source of potential properties.
  7. Passion – With out this one you might as well give up now. Passion is what others feed off and what makes them want to work with you.  Nothing like having a pack of bird dogs looking for you.

For the complete article called Forget the MLS… Here Are 7 Clever Ways to Find Great Real Estate Deals! by Brandon Turner click HERE.

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Children And Music Help Make A Home

Buffalo 2What makes a home .. many things. But for sure music, the arts and children are an important part.  The Buffalo River Theater located In Jasper Arkansas is one of those places that helps a community be a home for all.

The theater is a central gathering place for all ages to come together to enjoy the performing arts. One of the theaters main goals is to help children have access to the arts; bring them classroom studies in numerous subjects to enhance their lives and to inspire them.

Through their free after school program they provide children something positive to do to helpBuffalo them achieve positive goals, achieve higher grades, have happier attitudes in life, and know that the center is where they can come to interact with Positive Role Models. This is something all communities can support especially in Newton County one of those poor areas with almost non-existent after school programs.

Fortunately for you they currently they have a Kickstarter program running through April 20th. It’s goal is to help them raise funds to complete a major renovation, Covering all costs like mortgage, heating, and all expenses including a remodel is a big task for volunteers so any help you can provide will help ensure the theater continues to be thrive with a minimum amount of overhanging debt.

The Kickstarter program can be found at http://kck.st/1G8eq4N

Find A Rainbow Day

Arkansas RainbowApril 3rd is Find a Rainbow Day and appropriately it is during the time of spring showers.

Rainbows appear almost by magic but in reality they are a dance between sunlight and water. Finding one can be a challenge but all it takes is a bit of rain with the sun behind you and the chance of seeing a rainbow is huge. Sunlight passes through the raindrops which act as a prism and separates the colors that make up light. Resulting in a beautiful and colorful arch.

To many Native American Indians and other cultures, the rainbow is a bridge that links the earth to the heavens.  To some a rainbow is the path souls travel or even a communication from the gods.

In the Bible, Genesis 9:12 thru 14 the rainbow was given as a sign after the flood that God would not destroy the earth with a flood again, a sign of hope and a promise.

Finding a rainbow is not as easy as it sounds and if you are lucky enough see one make sure you take a picture ..  it will probably be one of your favorites.

Can’t find one then how about making one? The simplest way to make a rainbow is to spray water into the air. Remember, the sun must be to your back. Another simple rainbow-maker is a glass prism. If you don’t have a prism, do you have mirrors or glass with beveled edges?

If you like to cook then to help celebrate the day you could make some colorful foods; treats such as layered jello http://www.foodlibrarian.com/2011/08/7-layer-finger-jello.html and rainbow cookies http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rainbow-cookies-recipe.html.

I really like the photo because it brings back many good memories of when I was surveying the boundary for the Upper Buffalo Wilderness Area.  Photo is by Tim Ernst at Whitaker Point, Upper Buffalo Wilderness Area http://goo.gl/8PSKTY.

Under All Is The Land

??????????????????????????????????????????????? When one talks about the home it must begin with the land. It comes first and when the home reaches the end of it’s useful life you are still left with the land.

There are many myths in religions and ancient peoples of the earth that tell a story about the creation of the world with many talking about how the land is separated from the oceans and the air. For many the Earth itself has often been represented as a deity, in particular a goddess or a fertility deity.

To the Aztecs the world was built on the back of the sea monster Cipactli killed by the gods and now the earth is called Tonantzin—”our mother”. For the Cherokee Dayuni’si is the Water Beetle who dove deep and brought up mud that spread quickly, turning it into the land. And in the first book of the bible God created the land on the second day after a day of creating the universe, light, and water.

Since the beginning of man we have eaten from the lands bounty, farmed it, mined it, fought over it, polluted it, covered it over, been buried in it, and built in and on it our homes.

Our governments regulate our use of it, tax it, and at times even take it away from us.

We write songs about it, pray over it, brag about it and politicians make speeches about it.

Land is bought, sold, inherited, loaned, leased, stolen and even given away.

There are many quotes and sayings about the land but my 3 favorites are:

Buy land. They ain’t making any more of the stuff — By Will Rogers

Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. — Genesis 2:15

Under All Is The Land — These 5 words are first found in a early version of the Preamble to the Realtor Code of Ethics. And today for most of us in America it’s words still ring true .. Under all is the land. Upon its wise utilization and widely allocated ownership depend the survival and growth of free institutions and of our civilization. A history of this can be found at http://goo.gl/aKqBgU.

So it looks like land means a lot to us so I will just have to keep talking about it in the future.

The Earth We Tread On: An Interview with Scott Strazzante

What a great story on two different uses of the same piece of land.

the literate lens

Scott Strazzante Scott Strazzante

Back in 2008, I interviewed photographer Scott Strazzante for Photo District News when his project Common Ground was—if you’ll pardon the pun—getting off the ground. Interviewing photographers can be hit-or-miss: not everyone who produces great visual work is capable of talking about it well. So it was a plus when Strazzante turned out to be not only a great visual communicator but also thoughtful and articulate.

It had been a good year for Strazzante. He’d won the Community Awareness award at the Pictures of the Year International (PoYI) contest, and was discussing having a documentary video made by the acclaimed company MediaStorm. Previously, his Common Ground work had been published in National Geographic and in Mother Jones, where it was accompanied by an essay by acclaimed novelist Jane Smiley. All pretty good for a project that owed its life to pure serendipity.

Recently published in book…

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Painted Buntings Return

Painted Bunting 3Its spring and time that the Painted Bunting migrates back to their summer breeding grounds in Arkansas from southern Mexico and Central America.  Birds in the Arkansas region ( south-central U.S. breeding population ) use farms, strips of woodland between overgrown fields, brushy roadsides or stream sides, and patches of grasses, weeds, and wildflowers. During the breeding season they catch grasshoppers, weevils and other beetles, caterpillars, bugs, spiders, snails, wasps, and flies.  Painted Buntings eat seeds, particularly after the breeding season is over, starting in midsummer. Bird feeders in a over grown yards with low and dense vegetation are the best to attract them.

They are very popular as a subject for photography and many great pictures can be found on the internet.  This one is by Howard Cheek.

Roads Go Ever On Yet Turn At Last To Home

This feels like a good beginning for my trip to explore our home.

Roads go ever ever on,
Over rock and under tree,Road Turns To Home
By caves where never sun has shone,
By streams that never find the sea;
Over snow by winter sown,
And through the merry flowers of June,
Over grass and over stone,
And under mountains in the moon.

Roads go ever ever on
Under cloud and under star,
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
Eyes that fire and sword have seen
And horror in the halls of stone
Look at last on meadows green
And trees and hills they long have known.

This is from The Old Walking Song also known as The Road Goes Ever On, a song by Bilbo Baggins while he would be on the road.