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Twenty Second Week – Finding Investment Properties From The Air

Home » Blog » 34 Weeks Flipping Houses » Twenty Second Week – Finding Investment Properties From The Air

These are the results of the Twenty Second week of opening up my house flipping business for you guys to see how my wife and I are building back up to 30 deals a year. If you missed the first post explaining what I am doing, please visit this page: See How We Are Flipping Houses.

These are the things I did this week:

Found Investment Properties From The Air

Flying for dollars. Actually, I went flying on Monday afternoon and spotted a lot of smoke close by. We flew over to see what it was (staying clear of the smoke mind you) and saw exactly what you see in the picture for this post. The house was completely engulfed and there were no firemen on site. It must have started very recently. It did not take but 30 minutes for it to completely burn to the ground.

Ultimate Guide For Finding And Working With Private Lenders Posted

I wrote an in-depth article about using private lenders to fund your house flipping deals.  This is the exact approach we use to finance our house flipping. Here is the Ultimate Guide To Finding and Approaching Private Lenders.

That one took a while to put together. 🙂

Thoughts To Strive To Live By Posted

I recently found a document with a list of things that I felt were important to always remember and strive to follow. This is an awesome way to always know what direction to take in any decision and when planning. I highly recommend building a list of your own to always keep within close reach so that you can review it from time to time. Please visit the post here and add any of your own in the comments. I’m looking forward to reading yours.

Frustration House Rehab Still Progressing

The Frustration House is almost done. The tile is almost finished. The carpet will be following, hopefully Saturday. Early next week, we should have it cleaned and staged. Then, the most important part, it will be listed for sale.

Expensive House Rehab Still Progressing

The rehab on the Expensive House is pretty much done. We are just waiting for it to be scrubbed down and staged. The furniture from one of our other houses was already moved over there and just needs to be placed.

The replacement of all of the brass fixtures really made quite a difference. Now I couldn’t imagine why we even had to decide on doing it.

Closing On One Of Our Existing Houses Baffled

Strange goings on this week with regards to one of the houses we already had before starting this “follow the journey” thing. We’ve had it under contract to close for a month and everything was progressing smoothly. Then, after the inspection, we sent contractors to the house to repair items uncovered in the buyer’s inspection report. Nothing major.

All of the repairs were done immediately and we quickly informed the buyer’s agent of that fact. The closing was scheduled for Tuesday. On Monday evening, the buyers had a walk through and re-inspection of the items we repaired. It appears the electrician and roofer did not complete everything. Fine. Not a big deal. So we thought. We were waiting for a list form this agent and they decided to not give it to us until about 1 hour before the scheduled closing time. We had been begging for it all day so that we could take care of the items right away.

So it appeared we would be signing an extension and closing later this week. But…that evening, we get a call from our agent informing us that the buyer is considering backing out and might even sue because we did not have the repairs done. WHAT!!!??!?!!?!

I debated even adding this but it really makes my blood boil. That night we got a termination of contract and release of earnest money document emailed to us alluding to the fact that we really should sign “or else”. Ridiculous. If they wanted out of the contract, there are better ways to do it. So… this could end up being quite the fiasco.

At this point, it is all a matter of principle and I don’t personally like people try to push us around. We will not let them.

Decided To Try Another Absentee Owner List

One of my buyers is looking for a lot of properties in a certain area that I don’t really market in any more. I decided to get another list (one that I double-checked) of absentee owners to mail postcards to. I ended up with a list of about 990 addresses. Combining those with the driving for dollars lists that I already had that were due for another mailing, it ended up being 1123 postcards.

I used to print and mail the cards. The 6×11 cards would have been awesome but cost almost twice as much. I went with the 5×8, black ink on yellow card stock. The total ended up being $709 for printing and mailing first class.

Bandit Signs Arrived

Bandit signs arrived Monday. I am going to have some put out on Saturday so that they might stay up a little longer. Got to spread them out quite a bit for obvious reasons.

Delegated My Mailing Machine

I am already falling behind on my mailings and needed to get them off my plate. The first thing I did was create an image with my signature and inserted it into my mailing pieces so that I no longer have to sign each letter. How I hated doing that! 🙁 Then I made a list of instructions for sequence of letters and postcards and how often they get mailed. We are going to buy the family friend that is doing the work a laser printer so that she can print the mailings. She can print them when they are due, stuff them into envelopes and then hand address them.

We should have done this a long time ago. Thanks for the ideas.

New Idea Will Be Posted This Week

I tried my best to get the post up before today, but alas, I was unable. I will reveal the idea though so you won’t be angry at me for teasing you for so long.

There is going to be an “Experiments” page added to the blog. This “Experiments” page will catalog experiments that I will start so that we can all see and test which marketing pieces work better and so on and so forth. The first one will be an experiment to see which of two probate letters will perform better. The first will be a “sincere” letter that offers condolences and the other will be generic and not mention anything about the passing of the decedent.

If you have any ideas for other experiments, let them be known in the comments below.

Flipping Houses Discussion Facebook Page Accepting Members

Why not join?

flipping houses discussion facebook fan page


Total Motivated Seller Leads This Week: 10

Lead Source Leads This Week Notes
Bandit Signs 0 Some more going out this weekend.
Yellow Pages 1 For a picture of my ad, visit the ‘The First Week’ post.
Buying Website 7 For a link to my site, visit the ‘The First Week’ post.
Drive For Dollars 0 Been a month since letters were mailed.
MLS 0 Did not look at any listed properties this week.
Wholesale Deals 1 Hmmm. No good.
Absentee Owner Mailing 1 From a letter sent out months ago.
Referral 0 I love referrals.
Probates 0 Mailed about 3 weeks ago.

And A New Feature – Total Leads To Date [301]
This is the total number of leads for each source since I started posting about the leads (late March 2011).

Lead Source Total Leads To Date
Buying Website: 161
Bandit Signs: 51
Yellow Pages Ad: 36
Driving For Dollars: 16
REO Realtors: 7
Probate Letters: 6
Referrals: 6
Absentee Owners: 6
Wholesalers: 6
Realtors: 3
MLS Search: 2
For Sale By Owner: 1

Leads Analyzed

  1. Friends Transferred to Turkey[Source: Website]

    Homeowner wants to sell a 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1500 sf house in a so-so neighborhood.

    Here are the numbers:

    Asking Price: $63,000
    Amount Owed: $63,000
    Repairs: foundation problems and cosmetic (unconfirmed)
    After Repaired Value: $100,000
    Max Offer: $65,000 – repairs

    Caller has power of attorney to sell for the owners that were transferred to Turkey. The house had tenants that just recently vacated. Based on the area the house is in and the repairs mentioned, I could not make this work. I passed it on to another investor to see if he could swing it.

  2. Brother Is Ill[Source: Website]

    Homeowner wants to sell a 2 bedroom, 1 bath, 1200 sf house in a so-so neighborhood.

    Here are the numbers:

    Asking Price: $32,000
    Amount Owed: $0
    Repairs: house in poor condition (unconfirmed)
    After Repaired Value: $60,000
    Max Offer: $35,000 – repairs

    Sister of owner called. Her brother is ill and needs to sell his house. The house is in a part of town that I do not buy in. They seemed reasonable as far as what they would accept for the house so I sent the lead to another investor to work.

  3. Building New House and Need To Sell This One[Source: Website]

    Homeowner wants to sell a 2 bedroom, 1 bath, 800 sf house in a so-so neighborhood.

    Here are the numbers:

    Asking Price: $55,000
    Amount Owed: $55,000
    Repairs: cosmetic (unconfirmed)
    After Repaired Value: $55,000
    Max Offer: $30,000 – repairs

    Seller just bought this house with owner financing less than a year ago with a small down payment. They are building a new house and need to sell this one. As you can see, the numbers just will not work for me. Next.

  4. Just Want To Sell It[Source: Website]

    Homeowner wants to sell a 2 bedroom, 1 bath, 576 sf! house in a not-so-good neighborhood.

    Here are the numbers:

    Asking Price: $55,000
    Amount Owed: $0
    Repairs: cosmetic+ (unconfirmed)
    After Repaired Value: $40,000
    Max Offer: $15,000 – repairs

    Seller just said they want to sell it and that is all. We all know there is more to the story, but I don’t care because the house is for sure not something I am intersted in. It is tiny and a pretty much bad area. Next. (did pass this one on though)

  5. Manufactured Home With Land[Source: Website]

    Homeowner wants to sell a 3 bedroom, 2 bath, manufactured home in a so-so neighborhood.

    Here are the numbers:

    Asking Price: $59,000
    Amount Owed: $0
    Repairs: cosmetic (unconfirmed)
    After Repaired Value: $55,000
    Max Offer: $25,000 – repairs

    Seller is trying to sell a manufactured home on a 1/2 acre lot. She told me that it is the nicest home in the neighborhood. We as investors don’t typically like to hear that. It is currently listed with a Realtor and tenants have been trying to buy it for the last 5 months. She wants out but is not willing to consider my ballpark of low $20’s, so I am not going to waste my time. I was not interested in it, just checking motivation to try to pass the lead on. Next.

  6. Could Never Reach After Missed Call[Source: Website]

    Homeowner wants to sell a 2 bedroom, 1 bath, 1800 sf house in a so-so neighborhood.

    Here are the numbers:

    Asking Price: $,000
    Amount Owed: $0
    Repairs: ?? (unconfirmed)
    After Repaired Value: $60,000
    Max Offer: $35,000 – repairs

    Waiting for call back

  7. Tenant Not Paying Rent[Source: Absentee Owner Postcards]

    Homeowner wants to sell a 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1000 sf house in a decent neighborhood.

    Here are the numbers:

    Asking Price: Make An Offer
    Amount Owed: $0
    Repairs: house in poor condition (unconfirmed)
    After Repaired Value: $65,000
    Max Offer: $40,000 – repairs

    Landlord is just now calling me from a postcard I sent them months ago. They have a tenant that they evicted and would like to see what they could get for the house. They mentioned that the house was in very bad shape. The sellers are in their 70’s and don’t want to deal with the hassles anymore. I am going to keep in touch with them and visit the house as soon as the tenant has vacated.

  8. Might Be Accepting Job Out Of State[Source: Website]

    Homeowner wants to sell a 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1600 sf house in a good neighborhood.

    Here are the numbers:

    Asking Price: $159,000
    Amount Owed: $159,000
    Repairs: nothing (unconfirmed)
    After Repaired Value: $155,000
    Max Offer: $100,000 – repairs

    Owner wants to find out how much she can get for the house. She just bought the house 2 years ago and now is going to have trouble competing with the new houses in the neighborhood (she bought the house new). The builders are offering great incentives to move houses and it is hard to compete with them. This is the reason for my lower ARV. Next.

  9. Wholesaling House[Source: Wholesaler]

    Homeowner wants to sell a 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1000 sf house in a decent neighborhood.

    Here are the numbers:

    Asking Price: $52,000
    Amount Owed: $?
    Repairs: $20,000 (unconfirmed)
    After Repaired Value: $70,000
    Max Offer: $45,000 – repairs

    Look at those numbers. Do they make sense to anybody? I posted the details on this one to show the ones that I have not been including in my tally because they are all like this. The ARV that was given to me was $99k!!! No way. This is exactly why you cannot trust what anyone tells you a property is worth. You have to see the comparables yourself and make your own decision.

  10. Residential Lot[Source: Yellow Pages]

    Homeowner wants to sell a vacant residential lot in a so-so neighborhood.

    Here are the numbers:

    Asking Price: $7,000
    Amount Owed: $2,800
    Repairs: nothing (it’s a lot – ok maybe some paint as the grass down here is all dead from the drought)
    After Repaired Value: $7,000
    Max Offer: what is owed

    Owner cannot afford the lot as he is behind on property taxes and owes the city for them having to mow the lot every year. I would only want this lot if he sold it to me for what is owed on it. I would then try to owner finance it and receive most of what I pay for the down payment. Need to see it first to make sure there aren’t any toxic waste barrels on the property.


As you can tell, this has been a super busy week for me. I’m glad to have gotten my act back together with regards to the marketing. The leads should be picking up considerably and soon. The experiments should be fun and informative. Keep your eyes peeled.

I’ve also added the source of each deal mentioned on the blog on the first post for each one. Just click on the house category on the right side of the page and click on the first post for the house. So far 2 from bandit signs, 2 from website and 1 from probate letters.

Plans For Next Week

  • Have Expensive House and Frustration House Staged and Put On The Market.
  • Get Experiments Page Up
  • Get Some Rest

Please ReTweet and Like this post because it’s a nice thing to do and I truly appreciate it.


“The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.” -Chinese Proverb

Follow along with me on my journey though this flipping houses blog.


Comments (19)

  • Robin G. Grimes

    Hi Danny,

    Q: Since Texas is a non-disclose state, how do you find your accurate comparables to use in your deal assesments?

    THANK YOU for you blog, it is a truly intimate look at house flipping.


    • Danny Johnson

      Thanks, Robin.

      We use the MLS to research comps. The best thing to do is to try to build a good business relationship with a Realtor to try to allow usage. The MLS is the number one source for solid comps. I wish there were other accurate sources, but I am not aware of any.

      • Wade

        Would you consider using RealQuest a bad method of determining value then? I have never had access to the MLS, so are there big differences between the two?

        • Danny Johnson

          Yes. I don’t think that they can really be accurate in a non-disclosure state like Texas. If your state discloses real estate sales, they are probably accurate enough to use. Disclaimer: I have never used them but have heard that a lot of other investors in other states use them for values.

  • Erby

    So Danny, are these wholesalers that you are passing your leads on to? Also, what type of deal are you structuring with them for the leads? Thank You for the great content!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Danny Johnson


      There are some that are wholesalers and some that are rehabbers/landlords. For the leads, I inform them how much I would like for the lead if it pans out, usually $2,000. They pay me when they either buy or wholesale it.

  • Larry Chafe


    The majority of your leads seem to come from your buyer website. How do you drive so much motivated seller traffic to your website? Is it on your bandit signs? or yellow page ads?

    Thanks for making your blog, I enjoy following it, very helpful to me.


    • Danny Johnson


      The website address is on postcards that I send out and my yellow pages ad. Most of the traffic does come from organic Google searches and paid Adwords ads on Google. I get more traffic from searches than from the ads as my site is number one for the top keywords. This is something I just very recently decided to start a project about. More on that to come.

      Thank you for your compliments.

  • Merrick

    Hey Danny,

    Love the blog, I think I’ve finally caught up on reading through everything.

    Looks like the majority of your leads come from your website, just curios if you’re driving your other marketing sources there, or if this is strictly SEO and other online advertising? Do you mind sharing what you’re doing to drive those leads to your website?

    All the Best,

    • Danny Johnson


      Thanks. The leads are mostly a result of my buying website being in the first position on Google. Some of the traffic is from Adwords (pay-per-click) but the majority comes from natural search results. It’s taken me a long time to get and stay at that spot. I’m considering putting together a course for this. Would you be interested?

  • Merrick

    I would definitely be interested. I already have great ranking for my buying site, 1st position + 3 other links on the first page of Google, but plain & simple I’m just not sure if I’m targeting the right search terms. Seems like I should be getting more hits & leads than I do.

    Thanks again.

    • Danny Johnson

      It could the terms you are targeting. But it also could be a host of other things. How big is the population for the area you target?

      • Merrick

        The county I operate in has a population of about 900,000 and the main city I target is about 400,000 of that. I’m getting very good ranking on “we buy houses” within our city, and not bad ranking on “sell a house” in the same market. But just not sure if that’s what I should be targeting.

        Thanks again.

        • Danny Johnson

          If you are ranking good for those maybe the issue is somewhere else. I will email you.

  • EJ

    Hi Danny,
    Course on SEO would be interesting to me as well. Have done quite a bit of research on the topic and have started my blog, article writing, social media things and other known methods that are supposed to increase your rankings. I understand it takes time and patience to get to the top – which is fine – but more info on this would always be good.


  • Donovan

    On the topic of SEO do you try to get more than just one of your links on the top? Is it possible to get one of your content pages on your website up there as well?

    • Danny Johnson

      Yes. You should try to have separate pages that target different keywords and those can rank up there for those keywords.

  • FRED

    Hi, Denny

    990 addresses of absentie owners that is quiet a lot.Where did you get them?


    • Danny Johnson

      From REISource. You can also get them from

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