About Rick the Probate Guy
How in earth did I ever get started working probate deals, you ask? Well, it certainly wasn’t part of any plan that I envisioned. Frankly, like many good things, it started out with a question that I couldn’t answer!
In 1978 I took several foreclosure real estate investment seminars and I was hooked on the idea that I could buy properties for bargain prices and make big profits. I fumbled around for several years, ultimately buying my first real foreclosure property in the early 1980’s. Along the way I also became a private money lender and slowly learned that business, too. However, by 1990, property values were tumbling and equity was getting hard to find to either buy at a discount or lend on safely.
At about this same time I was asked to speak at a local attorney Bar association about ways to use mortgage financing to resolve legal disputes when afterward, two attorneys asked how I might be able to make a loan while a property was in probate. I didn’t know the answer but I told them both that I’d get back to them with answers.
In the meantime, I discovered that probate estates often had lots of equity, as the typical deceased owner had lived in the property and either paid the mortgage down to nothing or next to nothing. This mean that there was lots of equity to base transactions on. But that didn’t wasn’t the whole picture
I learned that there was an incredible number of situations that were created by deceased owners and that called for creative solutions…many, many different kinds of creative solutions.
Also, this business wasn’t going to drop in my lap (at least not initially) and so I had to find a way to find the types of deals that I could provide perceived added value. This would require a great deal of study, experimentation, capital building, experience, trial-and-error mistakes, bruised egos, a few losses, a few back-to-the-drawing-board episodes, but it has always provided my a good income with interesting work.
The real test of any career is if you can answer the question as to whether or not you look forward to Monday mornings. I can say, with absolute certainty, yes, I do!