Monthly Archives: February 2011

Using AZ Bidder to Buy Homes at Trustee’s Sales: Videos 5-7

“The one thing I learned in jail is that money is not the prime asset in our lives.  Time is.”

–       Gordon Gekko, Wall Street:  Money Never Sleeps, 2010

A sequel is rarely as good as the original film.  Wall Street:  Money Never Sleeps probably won’t have the shelf life the original movie had.  Shia LaBeouf?  Please.  He’s no Charlie Sheen.

I hope you will find my sequel, Using AZ Bidder to Buy Homes at Trustee’s Sales:  Videos 5-7 as good as the original post, Using AZ Bidder to Buy Homes at Trustee’s Sales:  Videos 1-4 .  I guess my collection of videos are less like a sequel and more like a full season of Sopranos episodes – by themselves they don’t make much sense but when viewed together the message is clear.

One disclaimer before you watch this next set – I’m not paid by AZ Bidder to endorse their company.  I put these videos together on my own as a service to my readers.  Buying homes at trustee’s sales (courthouse steps) is very risky.  But armed with the right information you can minimize this risk, save time and capitalize on some incredible opportunities in the market.

*For the best resolution I recommend you view these videos in full screen mode with the 720p HD option selected at the bottom right corner of the video box.

Video 5 – Placing a Bid

Video 6 – Watching the Bid Cast

Video 7 – Final Results

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Using AZ Bidder to Buy Homes at Trustee’s Sales: Videos 1-4

“The most valuable commodity I know of is information.”

–       Gordon Gekko in Wall Street, 1987

I was 15 years old when the film Wall Street was released.  I had no interest in business back then.  I was too busy popping pimples and chasing girls – on my bike.  By the time I got around to caring about business, about 15 years later, the movie was off my radar.  That is, until Wall Street:  Money Never Sleeps came out in 2010.  I finally watched Wall Street and I wasn’t disappointed.

Last December, I was introduced to AZ Bidder by Tom Ruff of the Information Market.  This powerful web-based program allows me to bid on homes sold at trustee’s sales (auction) here in Maricopa County, Arizona, online.  With this service I can search for homes in foreclosure by city, zip code or file number.  It allows me to build in my own assumptions for holding costs and repairs.  I can order and view title and drive reports.  The market analysis information comes directly from the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service.  Once I finish my due diligence I can place my bid and watch the auction unfold live on my computer screen.

That’s a lot of stuff and I’m sure I left a few things out.  Whenever I log into the system I think of Gordon Gekko.  With all of this information at my fingertips I can make better buying decisions.  It makes we want to go around quoting him.  This line is one of my favorites –  “I don’t throw darts at a board. I bet on sure things.  Read Sun-tzu, The Art of War. Every battle is won before it is ever fought.”

I posted 4 videos here today.  On Monday I will post the other three.  Here’s the order:

  1. Property search
  2. Identification and research
  3. Market analysis
  4. Marking for bid (title and drive report)
  5. Placing the bid
  6. Watching the bidcast
  7. Final Results

*For the best resolution I recommend you view these videos in full screen mode with the 720p HD option selected at the bottom right corner of the video box.

Video 1 – Property Search

Video 2 – Identification and Research

Video 3 – Market Analysis

Video 4 – Marking for Bid


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You Can’t Snow the Snowman

John and Jim

John Page could make my Dad laugh.  I mean really laugh.  You know the type of laugh that comes from deep inside your belly?  That’s the kind of laughter I’m talking about.  When the two of them got together the beer would flow.  Stories were told and new memories created.

That’s the two of them pictured – John to the left, my Dad to the right – smiles bright and faces flush from a night full of laughter and wine.

They met in the first grade and grew up together in Belvidere, Illinois – friends for almost 60 years.  John served in the Air Force during Vietnam, my Dad in the Army.  Although they were separated at times they never lost touch.  After my Dad moved our family to Arizona in 1977 John would bring his family here from Illinois to visit us.  Likewise, my Dad would take me, my Mom and brother back to Illinois every summer to visit our relatives – and of course, the Page family.

John’s oldest son, Brian and I are the same age.  And like our Dads we have also been lifetime friends.  Growing up not a summer went by that Brian and I didn’t see each other.  I remember one year in particular.  We had been up all night screwing around like teenagers do.  John wondered why we had slept in so late.  Brian and I gave him a less than honest answer and John quickly replied “you can’t snow the snowman!”

John was the life of the party and he had the funniest lines – so many in fact that his daughter, Jennifer, began compiling a list of them a few years ago.  If he was a guest at my home and I didn’t offer him a cocktail promptly I could be sure to hear “it’s dryer than a Baptist picnic around here!”

That’s why it breaks my heart to be writing about John in the past tense. On January 22nd, 2011 he died after an eight month battle with esophageal cancer.  Not a day has gone by since that I don’t think about, and pray, for him and his family.

John was a loving husband to his wife Mary.  He was a proud father of Brian, Andy, and Jennifer.  He was a doting grandfather to Wyatt.  And he was one of my Dad’s closest friends.  I’m blessed to have known John and his family all these years.

Me, John, Mary, Renee (Brian's wife), Brian, Ally (my daughter), Jim, my Mom (Brenda)

John’s passing has helped me focus on what’s important; creating memories with family and friends.  He’s even helped me out with my real estate business.  These days when someone presents me with a less than honest evaluation of a property I like to say “you can’t snow the snowman!”

At his memorial service a few weeks ago I spoke with one of John’s neighbors.  She told me that she was in the happy hour club with John.  She then paused for a moment and said, “Actually John WAS the happy hour club!”

I can’t help thinking that things must have been getting a little dull in Heaven.  John was needed to get the ultimate happy hour started.  I bet he even used one of his famous lines when he got there, “let’s party like rock stars!”

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Where Do You Do Your Best Thinking?

Yesterday morning I woke up at 5a.  That’s what time my alarm goes off in the morning.  I usually do my P90x workout – Thursday is my yoga day.  But that’s a 90 minute routine and I had a lot of work to do.  So I decided to skip it and get my day started even earlier.

I hopped in the shower and about 15 minutes later my wife, Linda, strolled by.  She wanted to know when I would be done.  Apparently my bride was anxious to get her day started too.  Our daughters would be awake very soon and she needed to get ready.  She pointed out to me that I take very long showers.  I couldn’t disagree.  I told her I find long hot showers to be very meditating.  I do my best thinking in there.

Linda then brought to my attention that several celebrities, including Jennifer Aniston, take 3 minute showers to conserve water.  As a matter of fact, Jennifer Aniston even brushes her teeth in the shower (that is, of course, if you believe the celebrity gossip magazines).

Now I’m all for conservation.  Our back yard has fake grass and we recycle everything.  But I draw the line at short showers.  Besides, I told my wife, Jennifer Aniston is a hypocrite.  She lives in a huge house in Beverly Hills that overlooks the ocean.  According to People magazine the master bathroom has a spa bath with soaking tub.  Her water and electric bill is higher than my entire neighborhood.

I had to laugh this morning when I came across a piece in the New York Times titled, Do Nothing (Impossible?).  The writer, Matt Richtel, discusses the benefits of doing nothing.  There’s even a website you can go to, do nothing for 2 minutes.  The idea is to clear your mind.  I tried it as soon as I got to my office today and it seems to be working.  How else can you explain my extra creative wittiness in this post?

Bob Proctor, one of my favorite personal development coaches, likes to say that 2% of people think – 3% of people think they think – and 95% of people would rather die than think.   I don’t know if he did a real survey to come up with these numbers but my guess is he’s pretty accurate.

So where do you do your best thinking?  In the shower?  At the gym?  In your car?  Do you ever turn everything off and clear your mind?  If you do so on a regular basis you’ll be in rare company.  According to Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, some of the most successful people in this country, from Thomas Edison to Henry Ford, devoted time everyday to thinking.

I recommend you start out by devoting 5 minutes a day to this exercise.  Over time, see if you can increase it to 30 minutes.  You’ll be amazed at the results you get – in both your personal and business life.  But if you’re like me and do your best thinking in the shower then you may want to set aside some extra money each month to pay the water bill.

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