Free n Clear - Posted by Gary-NJ


Posted by David Krulac on November 20, 2006 at 06:43:14:

you might want to pursue owner who have owned their property for 20 years or more. Not sure if that is really cost beneficial. I’d be curious as to a report from you on this approach and its relative sucess.

or owners located out of state.


Free n Clear - Posted by Gary-NJ

Posted by Gary-NJ on November 19, 2006 at 20:40:12:

Has anyone out there pursued houses that are free and clear? i.e. no mortgage. If so did you go to your local courthouse and get that list? I went to my courthouse and they said there is no way for them to find that out. Our courthouse is still in the dark ages. I think there computer system is UNIVAC or something from that era.

Anyway, if anyone is working this list, let me hear your results as well as how you got the list. Courthouse or list service?



Re: Free n Clear - Posted by Don (VA)

Posted by Don (VA) on November 20, 2006 at 10:33:36:

I don’t see anything wrong with this approach, so long as you keep in mind that ultimately you’re looking for motivated sellers. So–to answer some of the implied questions from other posters here–why would someone who owns a property free ‘n’ clear be motivated? And/or why would it be a good deal? OK, that one’s obvious–there’s a lot of equity.

As for motivation:

Maybe they’re landlords–maybe out of town landlords–and are tired of landlording. The property is producing a nice cash flow, but the owners don’t need the cash flow and don’t want the landlording hassles.

Maybe they’re owner-occupants, ready to retire. And Florida is looking a lot better in November than, say, Chicago or Washington.

Maybe a spouse died and the survivor wants to downsize.

Maybe one or both has to go to a nursing home or assisted living facility. Either they don’t need the home anymore, or they need so sell to help pay for continuing care.

Maybe the neighborhood’s changed. Perhaps it’s gone so up-scale that the owner can’t afford the taxes anymore. Or maybe it’s gone the other way–not from good to bad, but from good to lower/ethnic. Still a great neighborhood for the right family, but not for the ones who moved in 25 years ago.

I’ve seen all these. In fact, I’ve seen all these in the past couple of weeks. And in a couple of cases, they involve my immediate family.

So there’s nothing magical about houses owned free and clear. But they may lead you to some motivated owners.


Re: Free n Clear - Posted by Bill H

Posted by Bill H on November 20, 2006 at 09:29:24:

I think I understand what you are trying to find a way to do.

However: I believe you have a VERY STEEP hill to climb. What I beleive you are after is now being done by every major lender in the counry…it is called a Reverse Mortgage.

I see lots and lots of ads on TV targeting seniors who have lots of equity and are retiring. They buy the property in a reverse mortgage situation simply by giving the owners an agreed upon amount each month.

If this is what you propose…you have some very stiff competetion.

If it is not and as a senior I owned my home free and clear what would be the advantage of selling below FMV and having to pay the proceeds out as rent?
Good Luck,

Bill H


Let’s Re-Think This Approach - Posted by Jimmy

Posted by Jimmy on November 20, 2006 at 08:12:32:

You are NOT looking for free & clear homes which have been owned by the same person for 20+ years.

You ARE looking for situations where you can acquire properties for less than FMV.

There are certain situations which are likely to produce a disproportionate percentage of such below-market sales. Those are the situations on which you want to concentrate. Here are a few that I like to find:

  1. seller in distress (financial/health/whatever).
  2. property in distress (in deteriorating condition and in need of capital improvements right away).
  3. a combination of 1 and 2 is PRIMO!!!
  4. retiring landlords.
  5. aging MLS listings.
  6. pre-foreclosures are better than foreclosures, but these do not announce themselves as such. you have to dig these up yourself. Once in foreclosure, lots of people will be looking at them, and that’s less desirable than being the only one looking.
  7. here’s a goofy one, but if you stumble on it, the deal can be killer. You find out about a property (or a portfolio of properties) which were seller-financed, and your owner is now in defalt on the private note. If you find this situation, you want to get chummy with the holder of the note. That guy can force the deal down the owner’s throat. The seller has no bargaining power when his “bank” is about to drop the hammer (initiate foreclosure). Again, this is not one you will find in the MLS. You have to have your detective hat on.

these aren’t the only situations, but they are the ones I have identified.

notice that I did not put probate properties here. I consider is a popular myth that probate produces a disproportionate percentage of bargain sales.


Why? - Posted by Joe Kaiser

Posted by Joe Kaiser on November 19, 2006 at 23:47:06:



Re: Free n Clear - Posted by JR_FL

Posted by JR_FL on November 19, 2006 at 21:08:15:


To find free and clear you can do some assumptions. Go for homes that have been occupied more than 15-20 years.


Re: Why? - Posted by Gary-NJ

Posted by Gary-NJ on November 20, 2006 at 06:27:31:

Granted, this seems to go against the investor’s creed of finding motivated sellers. Any house that is free and clear has most likely been owned by the same owner for a long period of time (usually meaning a senior citizen). Often times they’re thinking about retirement and relocating to wherever. I have never pursued this list personally but I’m thinking of adding to my marketing plan. I hear that investors are having some luck with this list.