November 30, 2009
Growing up in Montana, you could always identify a hunter's truck by two things; a gun rack mounted on the rear window and an "Ask First!" sticker on the bumper. The bumper sticker was a reminder to always ask the property owner before attempting to hunt on private land. Not only was it the right thing to do, but trespassers in many parts of Montana might find themselves with a backside full of buckshot courtesy of the landowner: "Shoot first, ask questions later" was NOT just a funny saying.
In the past month, I've been contacted by no less than five close friends who let the euphoria of the real estate bubble conquer their sensibilities. In every scenario, the intention (remember, the road to hell is paved with the good ones) was to flip the property and cash in on the real estate orgy. In every scenario, the reality was a house bought at the height of a bubble which has now burst, leaving all these people in one big, sticky mess.
Please keep in mind these are not unintelligent people. After all, who among us hasn't jumped on the bandwagon, whether it be for a winning sports team, a popular politician, or a hot stock? Yet for every situation where someone opines "everyone is doing it" and decides to do it themselves, there is someone like my mom (a lone voice in the wilderness, more often than not) who asks "if so-and-so told you to jump off a cliff, would you do it?"
That's what I want to be to the people who are close to me. The voice in the wilderness that is consulted before making a bad real estate-related decision, regardless of the 'can't lose' mindset. In every scenario I've encountered in the past month, it's too late for me to help in a meaningful way. In other words, the mistakes were made, and my friends are running to me with buckshot peppered all over their backsides. I can console them and caution them about their future decisions, but the damage is done. They didn't "Ask First", and their bad investment decisions have negatively affected their credit histories, their personal lives, and their financial futures.
Personally, whether I'm attempting plumbing repairs I've never done before or deciding which computer best meets my needs, I always Ask First! before committing to anything. I have friends and relatives who specialize in all kinds of things - why wouldn't I utilize their expertise when I have little (or none) of it myself?
If you hold a real estate note and are considering selling it, Ask (Proficient Note Buyers) First! We call ourselves The Pros because there is an enormous chasm between people like us (who have worked in the privately-held note business our entire careers) and the late-night infomercial trainee who is gaining experience with your financial future on the line. Just like you wouldn't trust a first-year medical student to perform major surgery on you or a loved one, don't settle for inexperience when it comes to dealing with one of your most significant assets...your real estate note.
You want references? We got 'em. You want experience? How about a combined 40 years between the two principals of the company? You want cash for your note? Give us a call. We're here to help. But you've got to Ask First!
Make it a great week,
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