Where it all began…

My wife, 1 year old daughter, and I were living in Los Angeles back in 2001. The townhouse we were renting was haunted. No joke. Saw shadows moving, sounds, noises all the time. What bugged me most was that I was paying rent and the spirits were squatting rent free.

On top of that, the neighborhood where we resided was prone to crime. So just about every night, police surveillance helicopters whomped above us and blared their high beam search lights right into our bedroom window.

My daughter was having breathing issues due to the poor air quality. Couple that with the choppers and apparitions, I’m pretty sure the universe was sending my wife and me a message to get out of Dodge.

Well, I’m not one to mess with the universe, so I listened.

I was in LA because of my work. I was in the entertainment industry, freelancing at various production houses and studios in town: E!, Fox, Saban, NBC, writing and producing for film and television. Enjoyed my work, but had to do find a way to improve my daughter’s health and preserve our sanity.

In short, we needed a better quality of life.

Our goal was to get to Sedona, AZ. In fact, this was our goal for years. How to get there and what to do for work once I did get there were the answers I was looking for.

Well, as fate would have it, I was led to real estate. Don’t ask me why or how. I didn’t know the first thing about real estate investing. Didn’t know the language, how to get started, or even how to spell the word “howse.”

In a very short 3 months, between Feb and April of ’01, my life changed. With my wife’s insight to the world…my world… she said real estate ‘is it.’ She knew, I didn’t. But I listened.

We had very little money. I worked paycheck to paycheck. When I mentioned to her that I met a couple–who were very successful real estate investors who learned what they know at a ‘big shot guru’ real estate bookcamp–she said, “Go! This is it. This is our ticket out of here. I know it.”

I charged the $5k we didn’t have to our credit card and spent 5 days at a real estate seminar, feeling totally lost and depressed.

But something happened. I followed the “Action Guide” the guru gave us. The guide said that if I followed the steps outlined, I’d make $10k within 90 days. I never made $10k in one shot in my life.

45 days after leaving the bootcamp, my heart skipped a beat when one of the many offers I put in on houses in AZ got accepted. Needless to say, I was scared to death. Now what? Well, within 3 weeks we lease optioned the house for a $15,000 profit and $311 a month cashflow. I was floored.

Within 6 months, we bought 5 more rental properties in Northern AZ with none of our own money and moved out of LA and to Sedona in November 2001.

Today, my company specializes in short sales. We’ve been negotiating short sales for the past 6 years. Hundreds and hundreds of them.

I love to negotiate.

Stick around for some great insight and secrets on how to effectively negotiate mortgage and lien discounts with loss mitigators, creditors, the IRS, and any lienholder.

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