Early Years of Real Estate Investments

So, in my early years of real estate investments (25+years ago) . My father had 30 years real estate agent experience, very successful. I purchased some rural land in an area of high-end homes. The land was cheap due to not being buildable. I found laws and loopholes, and eventually was able to build my home.
During that process, my father had mentioned many times that he had no idea what I was doing. It baffled me at the time that a real estate agent knew nothing about land law, infrastructure, public works or building codes.
Going through real estate school, these things are never taught. Real estate agents learn basic contract information, some regulatory rules, and discrimination.
In the last twelve or so years, I realized the value of this knowledge in the real estate.
Currently, in getting a real estate license you basically need a couple thousand dollars and a pulse. No knowledge of homes necessary.
I recently looked at a home for sale in my neighborhood $2.9 million. The listing mentioned radiant heat and natural gas. The home has neither. (Baseboard and propane) these are very common errors in my industry! It’s overlooked because very few agents know how systems work at all, much less built or installed them.
I have built 3 homes and remodeled over 35. Knowing what my clients are selling or buying is vital. Example: the subject home, if it did have concrete radiant heat would be about a $200,000 value. Either the buyer or seller are losing out on this value.

This is a drop in the bucket.
Looking at homes, I often find the gray water supply lines that were recalled in the early 1990’s, or the Oldac windows that were recalled, I could go on. But I’ve steered my clients from these homes, or purchased at a greatly reduced price to allow for repairs.

Yesterday I showed a home to a new client that had a major negative grade towards the home, I found not so obvious fixes in the basement due to a history of flooding. Not a good buy, however, I could use it as leverage.
I listed a home 5 years ago with a 20,000-watt photovoltaic system on the roof, that was OWNED, and would come with the home. During the open house I stressed this feature, needing to explain to buyer’s agents what it even was. I’ve listed homes with 15 degree passive solar (explained in my listing) and buyer’s agents told me they didn’t see the panels. Explained: some homes built mostly 1950’s-1980’s were positioned for southern exposure.
The south side had big windows for sunlight, and usually some type of overhang that allowed the lower hemisphere winter sun to flood in and heat the home, while the higher summer sun was shaded by the overhang. (The sun moves 15 degrees from summer to winter) Bricks and circulation were other features. Yes…I know home inspectors are supposed to find things, but they don’t.
I test drove a car about 10 years ago. I wasn’t aware that all road vehicles had anti-lock brakes at the time. I asked the salesman in the passenger seat if it had ABS? He spent the rest of the drive looking at the window sticker he had removed to answer my question. Finally, he responded “doesn’t have ABS, but it has anti-lock brakes”! I told him he would be good in real estate!
What I’ve learned about true real estate knowledge has been a benefit to my industry. Not always to my income. I won’t sell what I wouldn’t buy!

There are hidden values in mountain homes especially! And hidden reasons you should not buy one!
I’ve always helped my sellers find value in selling, and avoid lawsuits for not disclosing something that could come up after the sale.
Ignorance is bliss, and it still sells homes, anyone can do it. Until… you know what real knowledge can do for you. I didn’t get into real estate for the money, or because I like homes.
I got into this business because I have so much more to offer my clients, and every one of them gets all of it, and my personal hands-on work.

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