Archive for September, 2006

Not a Normal Day

Saturday, September 30th, 2006

It had been almost 2 years since Desiree and I had, had a good holiday. We were in Melbourne to attend Desirees daughters wedding. Karen and Ken were getting married and we were part of the bridal party.

The wedding had gone all to plan and we were going to have a break from our hectic work styles.

The Adelphi Hotel in Melbourne was where we were staying. This place was right in the centre of Melbourne and was a boutique, minimalist property. We had been there about 4 days and were doing some serious shopping, and relaxing with friends around Melbourne. Our stay had just about come to an end and we were scheduled to travel up to the Yarra Valley to sample the splenders of this gourmet region just on the outskirts of Melbourne.

Desiree woke up on the morning of our scheduled departure. “I can’t see out of my right eye, I am totally blind” she said as she drew up out of the bed. I knew that this was not good and recognised it as the possible signs of a stroke. She made it to the bathroom, where she slumped over the sink while trying to clean her teeth.

I called the Adelphi reception and ordered an ambulance. Within 10 minutes we were speeding through the streets of the city on the way to the Royal Melbourne hospital. I had a chance to call Karen and let her know what was happening. The next thing I knew I was waiting in the emergency room of Royal Melbourne Hospital. This was going to be the longest day of my life.

First Tentative Steps

Saturday, September 30th, 2006

How hard can it be to start a research program about an area where I want to buy an investment property? 
Roadblock 1
Contacted the local paper, the Merimbula News, to try and get a subscription. Guess what? They do not have a subscription program all the papers are either home delivered in the area by paperboys or available via the local newsagent. So I end up getting my dad to post the paper to me each week once he has read it. I guess this is the first example of a city versus country lifestyle. Armed with my weekly local paper I start to get an idea of the property market. 
Roadblock 2
Hey here I am, a really hot prospect, getting ready to purchase an investment property, I must be every Real Estate Agents dream. I decide to craft an introduction letter (Real Estate Agents Introductions) outlining who I am and what I am looking for and post it off to the seven real estate agents in the town. All I have to do now is to wait. So I wait, and wait, and wait some more. Nothing; not one response. What’s going on here? It can’t be this hard; after all I am the client. O.K maybe the market is slow, so there is more than one way of killing a cat, so I decide to take things into my own hands. 
I contact the local newspaper and get a quote on some display advertising. For just over $500 I can get 12 weeks 12×7 display advertising in the local paper. I craft two different adverts and book them to rotate equally for the next 12 weeks.

Advert 1
Know a deal when you see it?
Interested in real estate? 
Time to spare? 
Investor seeks local “eyes & ears” to help
assess prospective residential purchases. 

Suit retired:
Occasional work only 
For details contact: 
Alex Cochran 

Advert 2 
Thinking of selling?
Serious investor wants to buy properties. Maintenance or repairs no problems.
Quick decisions. 

Alex Cochran 

Now I can sit back and see what happens.  

How to buy a house on the internet

Saturday, September 9th, 2006

Now that Desiree and I have decided to purchase an investment property in Merimbula it was time to begin the research.

I sat down and made up a list of things that would help us buy a house over the internet.

  1. Subscribe to the local papers.
  2. Contact all of the local real estate agents and let them know we are “in the market”.
  3. Do some online research about recent prices in the area.
  4. Find some “independent” eyes and ears on the ground locally.
  5. Buy some real estate investment books.
  6. Develop a brief about what we are looking for
  7. Work out our decision criteria.
  8. Develop a standard inspection report.

There are probably a heap of other things that need to be done, but this is a start.

Our journey had begun.