When I first started investing in real estate, I focused on cheap old houses in NJ that could be easily renovated and flipped quickly. I was able to keep my up-front investment low by focusing on properties that had been neglected for a long time. I also chose homes in up-and-coming neighborhoods so they’d sell fast. Renovating old fixer-uppers was hard work, but it ultimately paid off by allowing me to gain valuable experience in the field and build a full-time real estate investment business.
Finding leads on cheap houses that would make good investments can be tricky, though. It took me a long time to land my first deal because I had no idea where to start looking. To avoid making some of the same mistakes I did, here are a few tips for finding leads on cheap old houses in NJ.
How to Find Leads on Cheap Old Houses in NJ
The kinds of real estate deals you’re looking for probably won’t be found on the MLS. Your best bet for leads on cheap houses is to find the hidden gems that many may shy away from because they require some extra TLC. There are a few ways to generate this kind of lead.
One popular way to find cheap investment properties is through auctions. Individual cities and townships will typically hold auctions for homes that are tax-delinquent or in the last stage of foreclosure. These properties are usually priced very low, as the goal is to get as many properties back on the tax roll as possible and help lenders recoup some of their costs. There are also private real estate auctions, many of which are held online and work sort of like eBay.
The issue with purchasing cheap houses at an auction is that it can be extremely risky. First, you generally have to pay in cash within hours or days of winning a bid, which means you don’t have time to conduct a thorough inspection of the home and might end up with a money pit that costs more to renovate than its worth. You’ll also need to compete with many other amateur and professional real estate investors to get the best deals, with bidding wars frequently driving up the prices of all the worthwhile properties.
Whenever a home enters pre-foreclosure, the state is required to post a public notice that lists the address and the name of the property owner. Many real estate investors scour these public notices in hopes that some of these homeowners would rather sell their properties for pennies on the dollar than lose them to the bank. New Jersey has an excellent website where you can search and browse public notices for free.
While you could potentially find a motivated seller of a cheap old house this way, many homeowners resent having their private financial troubles made public on the internet and will probably not appreciate a cold call from an investor. Also, many of the homeowners on these types of sites often end up getting current on their mortgage before foreclosure proceedings begin, so you could waste a lot of time chasing down bad leads.
Lead lists collect information on homeowners who may be interested in selling for a variety of reasons but haven’t listed their property on the market yet. They’ll generally include properties in pre-foreclosure, just like public notices, as well abandoned homes and those with unpaid taxes or other liens. You can customize and filter lead lists to target specific demographics and neighborhoods, and there are many different lead lists you can purchase to increase your chances of finding a deal on a cheap old house in NJ.
However, lead lists are one of the most popular tools for finding real estate deals, so you can all but guarantee that your local competition is working with the same information as you. The homeowners on these lists tend to receive a lot of cold calls and emails, so the ones who are motivated to sell tend to move quickly, and the rest are going to resent hearing from yet another investor. You may get lucky and snap up a deal before anyone else finds it, but you’ll likely have to spend a lot of time and money on lead lists before that happens.
A Better Lead Generation Resource
Working on my own, I was able to find a few hidden gems among the cheap old houses in NJ, but it wasn’t easy. The secret to my success as a real estate investor is HomeVestors®. As an independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchise, I gained access to some of the best marketing and lead generation tools in the industry, including the nationally recognized We Buy Ugly Houses® marketing campaign.
As a HomeVestors® independently owned and operated franchise, I also have the resources of a streamlined listing portal, the one-on-one mentorship of a HomeVestors® Development Agent, and a huge, national network of fellow franchisees. Joining the HomeVestors® network helped me find the best cheap old houses in NJ for investment and take my business to the next level.
Are you ready to take advantage of the HomeVestors® lead generation tools and grow your NJ real estate business? Contact us today to join our national network of independent real estate investment franchises.
Each franchise office is independently owned and operated.