Kyle Bergthold
Founder of Life Hacks Marketing
I Help Local Business Owners Crush their Competition with Clever Marketing and World Class Copywriting!

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From the Desk of Kyle Bergthold
Written on September 19th, 2019
I got the call.

It was finally over.

The contract was terminated and I felt this sweet relief sweep over my body. My Real Estate Agent had just helped me back out of a terrible deal with the owner of a property we had under contract. 

Why was it a terrible deal? Because....

It came back in a high risk flood zone and required expensive flood insurance; flood insurance I couldn't afford if I were forced to go through with the deal.

This was week 24 of our search for an investment property I had been desperately looking for and the excitement I felt at the beginning was starting to turn into anxiety. It's slim pickings when you're searching for properties in a seller's market. There's not much to choose from and any property worth looking at gets gobbled up fast by the fierce competetion from other buyers.

And this was my first one.

No experience with Brokers.
No experience with Title Companies.
No experience with Inspectors.

Just a dream of owning my own duplex and becoming a landlord.

I thought I had done my due diligence. I had gone through the whole process from start to finish. The multiple calls with different lenders searching for the best rates. The long waits for insurance quotes that were always too high. The back and forth of endless paperwork. And right before the finish line, the whole thing fell through.

All for Nothing.

Back to square one.

Then I got another call. You know, you always hear the saying, "Everything happens for a reason," and it's moments like this that make me truly believe it. You see...

My wife had just told me she was pregnant.

That's right. Exactly one day after we signed the termination agreement on our 2 bedroom 1 bath duplex we learned that it would have been too small.

Talk about a blessing in disguise...

I informed my Real Estate Agent of the good news and let him know we would now be searching for a 3 bedroom 2 bath duplex. He congratulated me and said he'd let me know if he found anything meeting my criteria. 

3 more months went by and nothing. And then...

I got a call. 

It was my Real Estate Agent to tell me he had just found a new duplex that had been listed a week before, and he had missed it at first because it was listed under Townhomes instead of Duplex or Multi-Family.

We immediately went to look at it. It was exactly what we were looking for. Spacious on both sides. Perfect tenant living in A, and B was vacant and ready for us to move in. It even had a huge shop out back.

A perfect turn-key investment.

But I was going to make sure I did my due diligence properly this time, since this time, wasn't my first time.

I started the whole qualification process over. I got approved, again, and then made sure that I got my insurance quote, first, before I even considered making an offer.

This time, I didn't try to force the deal just because it was one of the few duplex's to choose from. This time, I did everything right. I did all of the math I could. I listed out all of my expected expenses. I calculated Cap Rate. I calculated Cash on Cash return. And I discovered something interesting...

This property was actually priced about 10% below fair market value.

I called my Real Estate Agent to let him know what I'd found and that I was ready to make an offer. I was willing to pay the asking price but he suggested that I make a lower offer and see what happens and guess what...?

It worked. 

They accepted my offer! 

Now, on to the next step: Getting it inspected and appraised. 

I asked my Real Estate Agent if he knew of any good inspectors and he recommended someone he had known and used for years, named Chad. Chad inspected it and it faired way better than the last one. It passed with flying colors; minus some rotting wood along one of the outside base boards and a pillar that needed to be replaced.

Then, the appraisal came back from the bank. Good news and bad news...

The good news was that I had done my math well and the property did indeed appraise for about 12% more than what I was paying for it.

The bad news was that the bank wanted the base boards and pillar fixed and painted before they would lend the money. 

Normally, that would be no problem except...

The Seller was mad that he was selling below market value and refused to put any money into fixing it. He was under contract to sell it to me for that price and was kicking himself for accepting my low offer.

Oh, how the tables had turned.

Last time, I was the one who was locked into a contract I wished desperately to get out of. Last time, I was the one searching frantically for any loop hole that would allow me to back out of the deal. I knew exactly how he felt...

So, I asked my Real Estate Agent for a solution. And he had one.

He recommended that we just pay for the repairs ourselves with some of the money we had saved by making a lower offer. He said he could organize the whole thing and even role the cost of repairs into the closing costs so that I wouldn't have to pay any money out of pocket. 

And that's what we did.

And it worked.

This is my wife and I the day we closed on our new duplex.
It was an amazing experience that taught me many valuable lessons that I will keep with me for the rest of my life. It is truly empowering to set a goal, work persistently at it and then feel that great feeling of success when you finally achieve it.

But looking back, I realize that one person was there guiding me through the whole process...

My Real Estate Agent.

He recommended a lender when I couldn't find a better rate. He recommended the Title Company when I had no clue what that even was. He recommended an Inspector when I was going to over pay for someone else. 

He helped me find a way out of the gut-wrenching situation I found myself in the first time, and helped me find my dream duplex when it was obscurely listed the second time.

He saved me over $500 when he recommended Chad to inspect my home. 
He saved me over $5,000 when he recommended I make a lower offer than the asking price.

He even brought his truck over and helped me move all of my furniture and stuff from my apartment to my new home!

He was there the whole time to guide me through the murky waters of the home buying proccess, and looking back, I am grateful.

Could I have done it without him? Sure. Any Realtor would have gotten me through the process. 

But who knows? I may have ended up locked into that terrible deal, forced to close on a property that was way over priced. I might have found out my wife was pregnant and immediately began to stress over what we would do about space. I might have had to sell it for a loss to find something bigger and have the entire process leave a bitter taste in my mouth that would last a life time; and ruin my dreams of becoming a landlord.

I might have.

But thanks to my Real Estate Agent, I came out on top.

Thanks to my Real Estate Agent, I'm looking forward to a bright future ahead full of many more investment properties.

I made my dream come true. I am a landlord.

And my Real Estate Agent helped me every step of the way to make that dream become a reality.

So why is a world class marketer and copywriter sharing his story of purchasing his first duplex? Why did he take the time out of his busy schedule to share this with everyone in Cabot?


To say thank you. 

Thank You, Jason Mayfield.
Kyle Bergthold
Founder of Life Hacks Marketing
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