Category "Flipping"

Planning Your Project


Planning Your Project


With each passing day, your loan costs you a little more.

Don’t get discouraged…get organized!

The best way to assure that you’re maximizing your profits on any given project is to make sure you’re maximizing your time. Well, okay. The BEST way is to buy the property at the right price–we make money when we BUY, after all, and we realize that money when we sell. But I digress…

Time is money, but unlike money, you can’t get your time back.


Even the experienced investor may need his or her loan for the full term (6-12+ months). Even though an investor can get a project done in the recommended 45 days of renovation, there are many factors that could extend the project. Sometimes a home doesn’t sell right away once complete, sometimes you can’t predict that there will be mold that will need to be addressed or you could be stalled out on the process of permitting.

But besides the schedule crushers that you can’t control, there are steps you can take to assure that you’re making the most of your TIME investment.

If you’d like to read more about making the most of your time
and how time “management” is a myth, <CLICK HERE>



You need a deal before you can get funding. But, if you want to make the most of your time on a project, find a few funding options before you stack and offer and write that contract.

First, you must understand more about what makes private lenders different from conventional bank loans, (For a comprehensive breakdown, <CLICK HERE>).

Then, shop around for what you need. When you have the right funding and understand the process (if you don’t, talk to your friendly loan officer today by calling (800) 473-6051. We’ll answer all your questions!), you can still expedite the process to assure fast funding and a more stably funded project by following a few guidelines.

Get the right funding, and get it when you need it! We’re happy to help.



You can’t get everything done alone.

For each project, get bids from at least three contractors. Look for any discrepancies between the proposals and address them.  Look for someone both competent and honest.  When flipping multiple times, you can work with the same contractors, earning both discounts and loyalty.

But why delegate when you can do the work yourself?

If you’re a handy person, you may be tempted to lay the flooring on a project to save some money, paint the walls, or weed the backyard. Easy fixes, right? Why pay someone else to do them?

This is an object that comes up on the regular. I’m not going to tell you not to help out on your projects–we all need to roll up our sleeves sometimes and get in there to get it done right–but you need to look at the cost. If you can hire someone to come pull weeds and throw down a basic landscape for $14/hour, and you believe you’re worth more than $14/hour, then by doing the work, you’re giving yourself a massive pay cut.

It behooves you to hire out the elements of a project so you can spend your time focusing on managing the current project well and getting another deal under contract. If you can’t find another house to flip because you were too busy painting the basement, then you’re out more money than you saved.

You can hire people to do small jobs, you can’t hire people to run your business for you.



Follow up- the most important part of delegating is following up. Following up isn’t just for acquisitions and contracts, you must follow up with your contractors and stay on top of their work and schedule, especially as it pertains to the schedules of others. If your electrician is running behind schedule, your drywall guy isn’t going to be able to get until the wiring is redone. And if your drywall guy is only available during a short window, you may have to hire someone else. If it takes you three days to find someone else, and they’re not available for another week, you could have to reschedule your painting and finishing.

You can prevent most of the headaches that arise by following up, confirming, and communicating with your contractors.


Key #1 – Communicate with Your Contractor.

You need to know what is happening, when it’s happening, what the costs and projections are, what the deadlines are, how closely the schedule is being adhered to, etc. If you don’t know, they don’t know, so start the conversation.

Key #2 – Be Seen by Your Contractor.

Be a constant face on the job site. Show the contractor that you are hands on, that you will be there when you say you will and pop in unannounced to keep them on the job.

Key #3 – Don’t Bulldoze.

If you don’t want to get bulldozed by a contractor, return the favor and maintain a professional relationship. You can assert your stance as a professional AND be flexible to their advice regarding the project. That doesn’t mean you take every suggestion they make, but you should’ve accounted for appropriate changes in the budget and schedule when applicable.

Key #4 – Be Honest.

This is especially necessary to set up at the beginning! For instance, if you’re going to use a draw schedule, make sure your contractor understands up front how it’s going to work, when they will receive draws, how much, and what you are expecting. Then, don’t deviate from your word once the work begins. Don’t promise to give more than you can, and don’t give less unjustifiably. Remember, this relationship goes both ways.

Key #5 – Make Sure They Complete the Job!

There is little you can do to persuade a crooked contractor to finish a job—and you probably don’t want them to! If you’ve had a contractor abandon a job, your best move is to hire someone reliable to finish the job.

But, that’s not what I’m talking about. I’ve seen people make the mistake of paying the contractors when they’re “done” without doing a final punch list.

This is your job.

Do a final walkthrough with a roll of blue tape and a notepad. Mark up things like chipped paint, unhung towel bars, poorly done calking, or missing trim. Even the best contractors miss things, so get in there, create a punch list, and get the items knocked out as quickly as possible. Don’t pay the contractor’s final payment until this is all done!

Key #6 – Incentivize.

Time is money. You know this. I know this. Contractors know this. If you want a job done on or ahead of schedule, offer them an incentive.

It is possible to build lasting, cooperative, mutually beneficial relationships with contractors that last for the duration of your investing career. Don’t get discouraged if you find a dud. Network with other investors and with multiple contractors. Connect with a mentor or coach when things get sticky. And, most importantly, keep going!



Things come up.

Maybe the chimney needs repair and your regular mason broke his foot and can’t work. If he’s the only mason you know, it’s naturally going to take you longer to find, vet out, meet with, get estimates on, and decide upon a replacement.

Keep your rolodex  (or you cell phone directory) full of reasonable and reliable contractors of all varieties.


Well, the more projects you do, the more people’s numbers you’ll have handy. You’ll also be able to live and learn, kicking the duds who aren’t doing their jobs to the curb. All of this takes time, thought.

The fastest way to fill your back pocket with good contractors is to network with other people who are doing what you’re doing. This is why I have the RULE OF 56. Just be aware that if you get the name of a good contractor,

No contractors available for smaller things? Take a page out of Deepa Quadir-Alam’s handbook and have a good handyman to fall back on. To read more of Deepa’s latest success story, <CLICK HERE>



Have a strong exit strategy. I can’t emphasize enough how much a good exit strategy WILL change your investing career.

If there’s any one thing that stalls a process more than anything else in the world, it’s a project that isn’t working out the way you planned and now you can’t get out.

If you don’t have an exit strategy, a project that takes a turn for the worst could become a money pit and fast. If you’d like to learn more about how to create an exit strategy for each stage of your project, join me on Monday, March 5th for my CEO Fireside where I’ll discuss this and much more. <CLICK HERE> to register!

By anticipating the needs of a potential project, you can assure that your project is scheduled properly, that your funding ducks are in a row, and that you have a plan for anything that could happen.

And when you effectively and efficiently manage projects, you can do multiple ones, do them quicker, and snowball your investing career.

If you’d like to dive deeper into becoming the best project manager you can be and how that will impact your investing career, talk to one of our Business Development Professionals about taking the Project Management Specialty Class. If you’re going to invest in fix and flip properties, it doesn’t make any sense not to learn how to best manage your projects. Call us at (800) 473-6051

To Your Planning;

Lee A. Arnold


The Lee Arnold System of Real Estate Investing

Follow me on Twitter: @CogoCapital  and @LeeArnoldSystem 

Have a deal? Visit us at to fill out your fast and easy quote. Want to learn more about COGO first? CLICK HERE to get to know all the ins and out!

A Decade Since the Housing Crash

It’s been a decade since it happened.

Is there still a glutton of inventory in the marketplace after the real estate fall out of 2008?

Last week we talked about how flipping houses affects the economy and visa versa (to read more <CLICK HERE>). This week, let’s take a look through a different lens.

The effects of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression still impact our world a decade later. An article put out by USA Today stated, “By one Federal Reserve estimate, the country lost almost an entire year’s worth of economic activity – nearly $14 trillion – during the recession from 2007 to 2009.”

In many ways, the country is still struggling to recover.

On February 2nd, 2018, “The Dow closed down 666 points, or 2.5%, its biggest percentage decline since the Brexit turmoil in June 2016 and steepest point decline since the 2008 financial crisis,” according to CNN Money.

Additionally, Economy and Markets made a strong argument that another upset is coming, and with it, more single family residences will return to the investor market.

But what does this mean for you and the inventory of distressed and abandoned homes left on the market today?

After all this time, are there really enough properties left for every real estate investor to make money on with buy, fix, and resell opportunities?

Each market is different. Some have fully bounced back while others are recovering slowly with a large number of distressed homes existing as a residual from those events. But the key is to realize that the current amount of investor properties is not based solely on the remnants of the housing crisis, but rather an ongoing depletion of care given to individual properties by a wide variety of owners in a multitude of situations.

Essentially, we’ll never have a shortage of potential investment properties as long as rentals aren’t being uncared for, family homes go neglected, owners that move out of state can’t sell their old homes, and folks fall victim to foreclosure.

Sure, a decade later, we could still have properties on the market that have investor potential left over from the deep persistence of the financial crisis of 2008, but if you’re banking on the lingering effects, you’re not looking hard enough at your own neighborhoods.



Finding prime investor real estate usually comes with a preconceived notion that it has to be done at auction and you must be loaded down with cash in order to get in the game.


While auctions can be great a place to find properties, even auctions come with predetermined biases that can be largely untrue. If you’re interested in learning how to make the most of your auction experience, <CLICK HERE>

And to learn more about good auction practices, <CLICK HERE>



What happens if no one bids on a property at auction? What happens to the house and how can you benefit? If you’re unfamiliar with the process of REOs, <CLICK HERE> to read more.


Short Sales

This is not a new strategy. It’s been a buzz word since the recession of 2008, but many investors are beginning to shy away it thinking that it’s an outdated strategy. They’re wrong!

To read more about what a Short Sale is and how you can find homes using this strategy, <CLICK HERE>


Equity Deals

There’s a way that you can get homes before they go to foreclosure auctions, save money, put money in the homeowner’s pocket before they lose their home AND you don’t need your own cash to do it!

Sound too good to be true? <CLICK HERE> to find out more!


Buying Distressed Homes

Sometimes, finding homes to purchase is as easy as knocking on a few doors. If you’d like to bypass your competition by doing something that most people find uncomfortable, read how I do it with ease, <CLICK HERE>

But don’t work with distressed home owners blindly. To maximize your chances, <CLICK HERE> to read the Dos and Don’ts of working with these homeowners.


Buying Vacant Homes

You can also find the owners of vacant properties without having to break the bank or pretend to be Sherlock Holmes. We’ve got the steps for you, <CLICK HERE> to learn them all.


Nuisance Homes

I’ve saved the best for last.

A nuisance house is a condition of use of a property that interferes with neighbors’ use or enjoyment of their property, endangers life, health, or safety, or is offensive to others.

Under the Abandoned Property Rehabilitation Act, abandoned properties are presumed to be nuisances because of their “negative effects on nearby properties and the residents or users of those properties.”

More important than what a nuisance home is, is the opportunity such homes create for investors like you. As a newly developed strategy to unlock your buying potential of these properties, the Lee Arnold System of Real Estate has begun teaching the acquisitions strategies that are pulling investors to the top of their markets in a single bound.

To read more, <CLICK HERE> or call us at (800) 473-6051 to sign up for the next Master Lein Abatement Specialty Lab to find out how you can be the “go to” investor in your area to get these properties for pennies on the dollar.



So the real question remains: how do you fund these deals when you find them?

Banks won’t lend on these properties–they don’t want to lend on properties that are in disrepair and are typically looking to lend to the owner-occupant. Most people don’t have enough liquid capital lying around to pay for the property and renovations. I’ve certainly seen people try to fork all the bills on their own, only to tap out in frustration and never see the project fully complete.

That’s where we come in.

If you’re an investor who needs to get money for a property, your answer is Cogo Capital where we provide the funding solution for investors like you.

We identify what a good deal is, we vet out the loan, order the appraisal and the title of the property. Then, we make the loan available to our investors, and they get to put their money into your deal. It’s the quintessential peer-to-peer lending platform, which, in the ever-calming (hopefully) wake of the banking crisis has become mainstream.

Now, some companies lend this way from a consumer lending standpoint – think credit consolidation and the like – but the trouble with using lending like this for real estate is that it’s unsecured.

Lending through Cogo Capital is secured against first position on real property, which has proven successful for not only the investors lending the money (it’s the CIRCLE OF WEALTH) but also for the real estate investor like you who are borrowing money to purchase and fix more properties.

We also don’t care about your credit score and past financial history as much as banks do because we do what’s called “Asset-Based Lending,” where we look at the value of the property and the amount your paying for it. Then we determine if this is a safe loan and if you’re going to make money. We want to help you buy 8, 10, or even 12+ properties this year.

We want to help you get in and out with money in your pocket so you’ll come back and do it again and again.

Your risk timeline is also reduced compared to a traditional bank loan. We essentially loan you enough money and give you enough time to fix up the property, market it for sale, and sell it, at which point our loan is paid off, the investor gets their money back, and you make a profit.

The best part? You now have money to do it again, and we’re going to give you better rates as a returning borrower.

“But what if I can’t sell the property in the time frame of the loan?” you ask?

Well, that’s a great part! We’re not in the business of owning real estate; we’re in the business of facilitating resources to those who want to invest in real estate.

So if we provide a loan to an investor who isn’t moving a piece of property on the market as quickly as they expected, then we do our due diligence. We assure that the investor has done well with their payments and have improved the value of the property, and reevaluate the terms of the loan based on that. At the Lee Arnold System of Real Estate, we also teach and strongly encourage various exit strategies.

To learn more about the Circle of Wealth, <CLICK HERE>

Yours in Success;

Lee A. Arnold


The Lee Arnold System of Real Estate Investing

Follow me on Twitter: @CogoCapital  and @LeeArnoldSystem 

Have a deal? Visit us at to fill out your fast and easy quote. Want to learn more about COGO first? CLICK HERE to get to know all the ins and out!

Are Flipped Houses Bad for the Housing Market?

Do Flipped Homes Dramatically Change the Housing Market?

When it comes to investing in distressed homes, I’ve heard it all.

You probably have, too, especially if you’ve been in the industry long enough and have explained what you do to enough of your friends and family.

Most recently, I had the opportunity to tackle a concern from an upset buyer who claimed that the rise in renovated houses was ruining the housing market. Coming to Spokane, Washington from a larger market where home prices had risen steadily over recent years, he noticed a correlation between the higher number of area investors and associated the two. According to him, flipped properties forced surrounding housing prices up so high that he could no longer afford to live in his desired neighborhood.

But does his concern hold water?

Do increased home values affect the economy?

Or is this a chicken vs. egg argument?

The economy is cyclical, with natural periods of expansion and recession. As such, one can assume the housing market is, too, and that anything that drives up the housing market—such as increasing home values—affects the economy. But does it?

In this business, we work off percentages and margins. In a volatile economy, those margins shrink, and when the economy is good, we have more opportunity to profit.

If the economy is doing well and unemployment is low, the demand for housing increases, and in turn, so does the cost of housing. Conversely, when the economy drops, and budgets tighten, the money allocated by the average American family for general upkeep on a property is shortened to cover the basics, like the mortgage, and housing values decline. Stretch this out long enough and extreme enough, and neighborhoods values reflect the dropping home values.

It is fair to say that the economy influences the housing market more than the housing market influences the economy.

Regardless of how simplified we’ve made the economic cycle here or how many details we’ve left out, the real issue is why anyone would believe flipped houses in any neighborhood would affect their buying power. It sounds to me like we’re dealing with a potential homeowner who would rather avoid bringing value and motivation to his market rather than live among distressed homes.

Instead, flipping breathes new life into communities by giving qualified buyers a chance to live in their dream home and adds value to the hardworking homeowners in the area who don’t want to live among run-down properties.

For investor lending, Cogo Capital offers quick turnaround, excellent terms, and millions to lend. Cogo Capital serves both local and national real estate investors, real estate agents, and private money lenders in quality, multiple loans.

Let’s make our communities stronger, increase values, and make real change in this oscillating world.

If you want to make a difference in your area’s communities, join us at the Lee Arnold System of Real Estate’s Master Lien Abatement specialty lab. To learn more about acquiring houses for pennies on the dollar, becoming the go-to investor in your town for nuisance properties, and flipping for huge profit, <CLICK HERE> or call NOW at (800) 473-6051. 

Your Neighbor;

Lee A. Arnold


The Lee Arnold System of Real Estate Investing

Follow me on Twitter: @CogoCapital  and @LeeArnoldSystem 

Have a deal? Visit us at to fill out your fast and easy quote. Want to learn more about COGO first? CLICK HERE to get to know all the ins and out!

Small House, Big Payoff

Nathan Brown had always watched the flipping shows on TV and talked about one day doing a project, but it wasn’t until he returned from a vacation when he realized it was time to do something about it. With instruction and guidance from Lee Arnold of the Lee Arnold System for Real Estate Investing, Nathan took the plunge.

“After so many HGTV, DIY Network and Do It Yourself home shows, we knew it was time to take the plunge. Calling COGO capital was the first step in a great decision. Talking with Lee and his staff, they helped me choose a property, line up financing, establish remodel goals, stage the finished rooms, list and ultimately sale the house. Our first real adventure out in the house flipping world was a little scary, but they put at ease with some guidance and direction from Lee. It was just the shoulder we needed to lean on. I have to say, we went over budget, but still made 6-months of income in 6 weeks. Thanks again COGO Team!”

After finding a small property to start on—540 square feet to be exact—Nathan purchased the property at the wholesale price of $50,000.

Construction took about 7 weeks and $14,000—a little higher than he originally budgeted, but with the project done in plenty of time, the experience went smooth. Other than having to jack the floor up a few inches in the bathroom and raise the height of the roof, the only major rehab cost went into rewiring the entire electrical system in the house. Big ticket items aside, the rest of the repairs were cosmetic, and none of the rehab went over schedule.

He was able to get the house on the market in the 3rd week of October. By December 3rd, he received an offer, and they closed on January 4th for a total of $99,900.00.

After all the holding and closing costs, Nathan pocketed a net profit of $25,031.

When asked if he had any “Aha!” moments, Nathan replied by explaining how he’d never do a house with one tiny bedroom again! He realized it was too small for his big dreams (540sq. feet, remember?), but with the total profit he earned, Nathan admitted, “I’d take those projects all day long!”

After taking a small break, Nathan plans to do more projects and implement what he learned in a larger property.

Nathan raved about Cogo, saying the loan process was “easy and seamless.”

His experience with the Lee Arnold team was instrumental in his success, too. “It was nice to have staging help and to bounce rehab ideas off the team. Any questions I had I was able to pose them and get real-time answers. I’d always wanted to do a flip, but when the rubber met the road, I still had a lot of things to learn and was grateful for my support.”

We can’t wait to see what Nathan Brown does next!

Have a deal under contract that you would like a quote on? Let us know. You can fill out a quick questionnaire at to receive a rate quote via email or you can call us anytime at (800) 747-1104 to talk to a loan officer. With millions deployed and millions to deploy, we want you to get the capital you need for your real estate investing.

To Your Success;

Lee A. Arnold


The Lee Arnold System of Real Estate Investing

Follow me on Twitter: @CogoCapital  and @LeeArnoldSystem 

Have a deal? Visit us at to fill out your fast and easy quote. Want to learn more about COGO first? CLICK HERE to get to know all the ins and out!

*definition provided by our friendly and comprehensive friends at Wikipedia


To learn more about attending a Funding Tour near you,


10 Questions Your Potential Buyers Are Asking

Do you know what potential buyers are asking themselves when they look at your property?

We can anticipate the basics: Will they like the kitchen? Are there enough bathrooms? But what about the underlying questions every homeowner wants to know?

By now, we know that you make money when you buy and you realize that money when you sell. Easy. If you want to fully actualize all the money you can, consider some of the questions your potential buyers will have in mind when touring all the hard work you’ve made happen.

The more you can anticipate a buyer’s needs, the better you can work those into your repair plans.

But with so many various needs and demographics to consider, how do you cater to the desires of others in a way that helps you sell a house faster without going over budget and cutting into profit margin?

Can you have your cake and eat it too?

There are a handful of questions that most buyers will consider regardless of the neighborhood, ideal buyer, and price point.

Let’s count them down!

10. What about the seller’s disclosure?

Despite how a house looks, many buyers will want to know if there’s anything they need to watch out for. An inspection will show off all the properties flaws, but you may run into a buyer who wants to know what you know as soon as you know it. For instance, if there was an old septic system buried in the backyard that doesn’t affect the house’s current operation but may impact the buyer’s decision on putting in a pool someday, they may want to know.

9.What inspections do we need?

Speaking of inspections, many buyers will do multiple checks on a property; anything that the original inspector recommends. If there’s an issue in the fireplace, an inspector will recommend a professional opinion. Any problems could result in a delayed closing and further inspections. Though these things happen, and you can’t anticipate every problem, it’s worth considering what could result in future repairs for the home buyer before you put the property on the market.

This is especially true if your home buyers are using a picky lender (such as a VA loan) who requires certain items to be fixed before securing the mortgage. Have a basic understanding of codes–what height should porch steps be? Where do you need handrails? Does the bathroom vent go through the roof or stop in the attic creating possible mold problems in the future? It never hurts to know.

8. Has the home ever had mold?

There are some states where the question won’t even cross the home buyer’s mind. But in areas of heavy moisture or storm history, people will want to know. It’s assumed that a real estate investor who has flipped a property will know better than anyone whether there is mold or not. After all, very few people see behind the drywall. But what if the job requires only a few lipstick patches like new carpet and fresh paint? You may not know if there’s a problem.

It is also assumed–because there’s a rotten apple in every bunch–that some investors cut corners. Though you and I would never dream of doing unsafe, less-than-quality work, some people have been burned and word gets around. If a potential buyer asks for an inspection or the home’s history, be prepared. Buyers may also ask about radon, so be prepared if with any applicable reports you may have.

7. Why is this house for sale?

There are so many ways a potential buyer will know the house they’re viewing looked different before. It’s possible they know the neighborhood and saw the house in its distressed condition, or perhaps they’ve pulled buyer history. And usually, the beautifully staged home gives away that the property isn’t lived in at the time of sale. But buyers often want to know a little about the house’s history and why it’s for sale. This will often work in your favor as the desire for fresh upgrades is always on the rise.

6. Have all the safety features been installed?

With new builds and gutted properties, you or the contractor could overlook small details like working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in all recommended places. Though this should never make or break a sale, you should catch the missing devices in the BLUE TAPE INSPECTION.


Want a checklist of all the Blue Tape Inspection points to look for before paying your contractor’s final bill?

CLICK HERE for a detailed list!


5. What are the zoning guidelines?

Although this may be more clear in some neighborhoods than others, buyers will often want to know if it’s possible to split the property into a multi-family home in the future or whether other houses down the street have been turned into insurance offices. Although this won’t be as important to some as to others, it could be a factor in the purchasing decisions of others. Because this effects other aspects–such as the home value and comps–you should already know the zoning and be prepared to answer any questions that arise.

4. Who are the neighbors?

This is one of the most important non-home related questions a potential buyer will ask. It’s also a question they won’t likely ask YOU directly (or the real estate agent); they’ll observe. Although you can’t control who lives next door or behind your investment property, you can make improvements to the property to compensate. If the neighbors breed dogs that are thought to be aggressive, you may consider putting in a privacy fence.

3. Does this house have everything I need?

It’s true that you can’t anticipate the needs of every buyer; that’s why houses vary so vastly. What a young couple just starting out in life needs is different than what a large family with an aging parent to care for does. You don’t have a magic ball, but you can look at trending desires; wider hallways to support both strollers and wheelchairs, a master suite on the same level as the living space on to avoid regular stair use, outdoor space in warm areas and additional parking for boats in lake towns. But how do you know what demographic will purchase your property?…

2. What neighborhood factors should we consider before making an offer?

If the neighborhood is nice but has mediocre schools, you can assume the street draws an older demographic and can plan your design and features accordingly. If the community has a plethora of trendy shops and startup tech companies, you’ll likely be selling to millennials buying their first or second home. There isn’t much you can do about the whole area, but you can make the property work for those who are most likely to purchase the property.

Understanding factors such as where the nearest stores are, if there’s public transportation or highways nearby, and what the local parks are like can help you understand what your ideal buyers look like. Though we live in blended societies, buyers will want to know what the area has to offer, who lives down the street, what the noise levels will be, and most importantly…

1. What’s the crime level?

Safety is vital! An interested buyer will look this up online or have their agent pull reports. Finding out the crime rate, area registered offenders, and more is just a click away. Although you can’t control these factors at the time of sale, you can consider them at the time of purchase and decide if the current quality of the area crime rate will affect your selling potential.

Remember the cliche that “crime has no zip code.” Anything can happen anywhere. Fortunately, most buyers won’t look at a house in a neighborhood they wouldn’t want to live in, so it’s safe to assume most of the leads you have touring the home will already be okay with the community in which it resides, but it’s always a factor to consider.

When you can anticipate the needs of the buyer and work any plans you have for the house around the most important ones, you have a better chance of selling a property fast.

However, none of these factors will matter as much as doing a quality job without cutting corners, hitting all the safety requirements, and pricing the property right. When you do your best to create a house that anyone could call home and provide a neutral slate upon which anyone could build their life, you’ll sell as well as the market allows.

Want to increase your odds of selling faster? We can help! Call us at (800) 473-6051 to learn what program will best fit your needs. Not everyone is ready for a coach or one-on-one training, but with events, home study courses, and certifications at your finger tips, why struggle along on your own?

Lee A. Arnold


The Lee Arnold System of Real Estate Investing

Follow me on Twitter: @CogoCapital  and @LeeArnoldSystem 

Have a deal? Visit us at to fill out your fast and easy quote. Want to learn more about COGO first? CLICK HERE to get to know all the ins and out!

For our latest success stories, click HERE to read how others are finding, funding, and making money on their deals.


Attend a FUNDING TOUR to receive a $250,000 pre-approval letter for your next property. To learn more and claim your seat today, visit or call us at (800) 473-6051.

2018 Predicted Real Estate Trends

2018 Predicted Real Estate Trends; and How it Impacts You

As we roll through Christmas and prepare for the New Year, let’s spend a few minutes discussing the real estate trends you should prepare for.


Each year, the market looks different. As much as you can, you should spend some time evaluating the professional predictions, looking at your local market, and working the trends into your annual goals to see faster, more effective growth.

According to Zillow, inventory shortages will drive the housing market. With 12% fewer homes on the market nationwide than a year ago, 51% of them are in the top 1/3 of home values. Not only are these properties out of reach for first-time homebuyers, but the average buyers looking to upgrade won’t likely move to get them.

Because of this trend in real estate, it is expected that builders will focus on building entry-level homes, giving more inventory to first-time and lower- to middle-income buyers. According to, housing starts are predicted to rise 3% over the year, but single-family home starts will increase 7%. This increase in residential housing on the starter-home level, according to economists, is the key to leveling out and bringing down home prices. Home prices will still climb, and even with new construction on the rise, economists call this increase nearly “unstoppable.” Home prices are expected to rise 4.1% in 2018, 1.1 percentage points higher than the average appreciation of 3%, but slower than the current annual pace of 6.9%.

The millennial generation is also expected to move further out from urban centers where many of them rent, giving up their preferred ’round-the-corner entertainment and shopping options in favor of affordable housing. As these 25-34-year-old homebuyers have families, they will also look for wider halls to accommodate strollers, as well as larger communal spaces. Homeownership rate will stabalize at 63.9% (according to after having hit bottom in the second quarter of 2016.

Another Zillow predictions for 2018 shows that instead of buying new homes, existing homeowners will invest in remodeling to make their current home feel and look brand new. The baby boomer generation will also drive home design as the need for wheelchair accessibility, step-in bathtubs, extra handrails, and stair mobility access is needed.


Since housing prices are still on the rise, the current methods you are using to acquire properties may not be as effective in 2018. You would be wise to have more than one strategy to find cheap properties in which to invest.

While working with the city to improve neighborhoods by doing what we do best, I’ve discovered a way to acquire properties that are hidden in plain sight. These houses have highly motivated sellers and offer a huge profit. And I’m teaching it to you in the Master Lien Abatement Certification.

With our first class under our belt, here’s what attendees had to say:

To read more about what this program is, what we’ll teach, and how to take advantage of this wildly untapped market in your area before the competition takes it over, CLICK HERE TO READ MORE. And then READ THIS ONE. This is not the kind of stuff you want to just skim over. This new strategy can change your business!

Why are we teaching this new method at the Lee Arnold System of Real Estate? In 2018, Cogo Capital is deploying more money than ever. We need that money to go somewhere, and we’d like that money to go to you.

If you’d like to get involved in the Master Lien Abatement, call is now at (800) 473-6051. Space for the next available class is very limited.

UPDATE!: Demand for the new Master Lien Abatement Course is very high. Our first 2018 class has already filled and is closed. Please be advised that the next available class is scheduled for April 16-19, 2018.

To Your Success;

Lee A. Arnold


The Lee Arnold System of Real Estate Investing

Follow me on Twitter: @CogoCapital  and @LeeArnoldSystem 

Have a deal? Visit us at to fill out your fast and easy quote. Want to learn more about COGO first? CLICK HERE to get to know all the ins and out!

For our latest success stories, click HERE to read how others are finding, funding, and making money on their deals.

To learn more about how to get $497 tickets for FREE, go to FUNDINGTOUR.COM or call (800) 473-6051.

My Secret, Exposed

- - Borrowing, Flipping


Want to know a secret? Something that’s resulted in putting together more deals than I can count?


I have a client in San Francisco who I worked with back in April 2012. I’d been working with my client since the November of the previous year, teaching him how to find, work, and secure leads by using the Rule of 56. While in California visiting, my client told me he had a beautiful home (that’s code for completely trashed) in a nice neighborhood that he had gone “out of his way” to track down the owner.

So, I ask him what he’d done to find the owner. He said he went to Craigslist, searched on Google, tried People Finders, and even paid to $25 for a report. He’d contacted the owner’s nephews, nieces, cousins, and nobody knew where this guy was!

Clearly, at this point, I’m intrigued. So, while I’m out there doing business, I ask my client to show me the property.

He took me out to the property near UC Berkeley, behind the beautiful Clarion Hotel. This property sits right below the Clarion. The piece of land the house sits on is worth a million alone. Fix up the house, and the property value was $1.5 million without blinking an eye. And this was back when Facebook, just 20 minutes away, was turning out thousands of millionaires in the bay area via the IPO.

To get to the front of the house, we literally walked over trash, tumbleweeds, boards, and piles of garbage. Under it all, I could sort of see a house, but it was quite a trek to get there.

Now, I did something at that moment that if you will employ this one strategy into your business, you will make more money than you could possibly imagine.

This is my secret, but I’ll share it with you. I need you to pay attention and write this down.

Are you ready for it?

Here it is.

I knocked on the door.

It opened. “Can I help you?”

“Good evening, Sir,” I said. “My name is Lee Arnold. We’re real estate investors who love this neighborhood, and we’re looking to buy property in the area, and I’m curious if you knew of anyone willing to sell.”

What do you suppose he said?

“Well, I might be willing to sell,” he said.

Really?! Shocking, right? I mean, this guy had a proverbial billboard in front of his property saying, “I hate this home, come buy it from me.” No one trashes a house they love. (I wasn’t surprised by his answer, in case my sarcasm didn’t properly translate.)

So, my client continues to go back to this property, building a relationship with the owner. A few weeks later, he sends me a message stating that he has another appointment with the homeowner. So, I told him, “Do not leave that house without getting a signed offer.”

“But,” my client protested, “he hasn’t accepted an offer I’ve made him.”

I told him it didn’t matter and to print off a purchase and sales agreement with his name on it and the homeowner’s name on it, and to GO!

So, he went.

If you haven’t read my article about never leaving a property without making an offer, CLICK HERE.

Then, I got an email from my client later that day saying the man accepted the offer and signed the agreement.

“Great!” I said. “What’s the price?”

Want to guess what my client paid for that $1.5 million property?


All because my client followed the Rule of 56, created leads, and then followed up with them until he got an offer accepted.

I cannot tell you how many clients I have through the Lee Arnold System of Real Estate who spend all this money and energy producing and creating leads, and then they don’t mail, they don’t call, they don’t follow up, and they don’t write offers. Then, they wonder why they’re not succeeding.

It’s not too difficult.

If we sat down together and I asked just three questions, I could find out the status of your business.

  1. How often are you mailing?
  2. How often are you calling?
  3. How many offers have you written?

If you’d like to have a six-figure business in the next twelve months, all you have to do is follow this simple rule. To read more about what the Rule of 56 is and how to use it in your business, CLICK HERE.

Do you want to have a good problem to have? Be UNABLE to call all your leads because you have too many. But, until you’re overflowing with people wanting to sell you their house, you need to follow this simple formula to success. Then, once you have your pick of the deals, where do you go to get them funded? (I’ll help you out; the question is rhetorical).

If you’re ready to start working with private money lender that puts you first,  COGO Capital, call us at (800) 473-6051 to discuss your deal or go to to receive a rate quote. For our latest success stories, click HERE and HERE to read how others are finding, funding, and making money on their deals.

We can teach you what to say in your letters to yield results.

We can instruct you on what to say on your phone calls.

We can help you find events.

We can show you how to make offers.

Let us help. Call 800-533-1622 to talk to a business developer or attend an upcoming Funding Tour to learn how to solve the riddle of your journey to success.

To Your Success;

Lee A. Arnold


The Lee Arnold System of Real Estate Investing

Follow me on Twitter: @CogoCapital  and @LeeArnoldSystem 

Have a deal? Visit us at to fill out your fast and easy quote. Want to learn more about COGO first? CLICK HERE to get to know all the ins and out!

Guessing Game

- - Flipping, Property Evaluation

It may not occur often, but if a home auction is happening with, Marshall & Swift, or another auction group, you may be allowed access to the property before the auction takes place. This can be a true advantage, especially since most trustee sale and sheriff’s auctions will not let you into the house unless you have a realtor key–or if the house just happens to be left unlocked. (Even if that is the case, if someone is living there, do not go on the property!)

If you get to see inside, you can better judge the ballpark rehab costs, watch for red flags, and better estimate your time and investment for that property. But it’s more likely that you won’t get to see inside.

So what do you do if you’re interested in purchasing a property at auction, but you have no idea what you’re getting into?

You can try to look through the windows from the sidewalk, sure, but the easier and more efficient strategy is to understand the type of people who occupy the home.

Go across the street, knock on the neighbor’s door, and say, “Hey, what can you tell me about the people who currently live there?”

Chances are they will unload on you! They’ll tell you everything you never wanted to know, and you’ll have a good idea what condition the home is in.

If you can’t get a neighbor to answer the door, the next best way to estimate the house’s condition is by analyzing the exterior. Generally, the inside will match the outside. So, if you’re staring down a forest of weeds with a cracked walkway and a car without tires in the drive, you can estimate your rehab costs on the high end. If the grass is trimmed and the paint is a little worn, but things seem alright, you’re probably looking at less work inside.

Houses can be like the prize in a cracker jack box–hard to tell from a little shaking. But, even though there is no true science to predicting the interior of auction homes, you will find that you develop a keen, instinctual eye the more you view, bid on, and purchase. Some may surprise you, but understanding the signs of neglect from the outside and knowing who occupies the property can save you a lot of guess work.

To Your Success;

Lee A. Arnold


The Lee Arnold System of Real Estate Investing

Follow me on Twitter: @CogoCapital  and @LeeArnoldSystem 

Have a deal? Visit us at to fill out your fast and easy quote. Want to learn more about COGO first? CLICK HERE to get to know all the ins and out!


- - Fixing, Flipping

I heard about a conversation recently with a client who was out to lunch with a team of other rehabbers. The server said something the effect of, “Looks like you’re having a work lunch” to which our client said, “We’re taking a break from a workshop. We’re real estate investors who rehab homes.” The server, with the understanding that I see from so many, said, “Oh, I’ve always wanted to do that, but I’m not handy at all.”

I know where this preconceived notion came from…TV programs that show people getting their hands dirty on a job site. And I’ll never tell you not to help out on your projects, but you don’t have to make the mistake I made early in my career by believing you have to do the work yourself!

Even if you don’t know a wrench from a pair of pliers, you don’t have to let that stop you. You have the same opportunity and potential to make good money in this industry.


Stick to your strengths and follow a direction based on your skill level. I recommend that everyone gets a little education before you start building. In fact, I believe this so strongly that I will pay for your ticket to my next Funding Tour–a 3 day, intensive study with on-site training and more information than you can shake a finger at!

And once you’ve had your training on the basics, you can hire your contractor (the professional to do the handy work you can’t do) and jumpstart your rehabbing business without being a contracting expert.

For each project, get bids from at least three contractors. Look for any discrepancies between the proposals and address them.  Look for someone both competent and honest.  When flipping multiple times, you can work with the same contractors, earning both discounts and loyalty.

If you’re still hesitant, convinced that you don’t even know enough to lead a contractor, I recommend one of 2 things (in this order):

  1. Get a mentor. A coach. A leader. Walk alongside someone who has done this successfully dozens of times over. Need help finding a mentor, give us a call. 800-533-1622


  1. Work with a partner. I won’t always recommend this, but if you find a partner who has successfully completed several profitable rehabs, consider yoking yourself with them for a single project. Once you have one under your belt and know the process start to finish, you’ll not only see that it is possible, but that you could have done it yourself! Just be careful; research and understand your partnership before signing on the dotted lines.

No matter your skill level, there are things you can do to save more cash.  Know the cost of items: dishwashers, toilets, molding, sinks, paint, ceiling fans, etc.  This will help you budget, and know what you are talking about when working with someone. Have and stick to a budget and schedule.

You can still participate in real estate–the number one millionaire producing industry–even if you have limitations. I’ve seen people who have never picked up a hammer become highly successful.

It takes 2 things: consistency and the decision to start.

If you want to start today but don’t know where to begin, give us a call (800-533-1622).

We can help.

Lee A. Arnold


The Lee Arnold System of Real Estate Investing

Follow me on Twitter: @CogoCapital  and @LeeArnoldSystem 

Have a deal? Visit us at to fill out your fast and easy quote. Want to learn more about COGO first? CLICK HERE to get to know all the ins and out!

7 Mistakes to Avoid When Fixing and Retailing Houses

- - Fixing, Flipping, Uncategorized

Fixing and retailing houses can be an extremely lucrative business. I should know. I’ve spent almost my entire professional life using this avenue to create wealth. Not only am I an expert on the topic, but have created a comprehensive system for you to use that takes out the guess work, the headache, and the trial and error so you can set yourself on a path to success.

And my system of education doesn’t stop at rehabbing homes. I’m guessing that flipping is your main real estate focus, but we have something for everyone who is looking to get started, improve their current career, or striving to branch out into a new channel of real estate investing.

I’ve been there on every side, in every part from being an agent to contracting work to brokering to buying houses with cash.

I can promise you one thing; regardless of where you are in your career and what hurdles you are facing, I’ve been there. If I can help you to avoid some of the mistakes I’ve made and see others make consistently, then I will. After all, our company motto (and my PERSONAL motto) is “We get more of what we want by helping you get more of what you want.”

So, I want to steer you away from these expensive mistakes that could leave you disenchanted with an industry that could otherwise change your life!

1. Thinking this is an easy, “Get Rich Quick” model.

Yes, I can teach you exactly what to do and how to do it. But it’s still a lot of work, a lot of time, a lot of offers, a lot of rejection. This is no “get rich quick scheme.” I will never promise you instant riches.

You must make the phone calls, market yourself, stay the course, and continue to learn. If you follow the Lee Arnold System of Real Estate, you will reach your goals quicker and with less frustration and financial growing pains. It’s a proven system, and you’re in good hands if you implement what we teach. It’s important that you understand you aren’t 2 weeks away from your first paycheck yet.

This is an investment, and although I’ve seen great success happen to people in short periods of time, you’re likely looking at four months of full time, dedicated work from the start to the payoff. But you must be ready for the work!

2. Jumping in with only minor research.

90% of your time will be spent researching, viewing, negotiating, and then doing more research before you acquire the property. Why? Because the most direct and least expensive way to avoid mistakes is by understanding the market, the contractors, the fine print, and expectations.

Knowledge is power. You can do all this research yourself (good luck, I can tell you from experience that the internet is a black hole of information!) or you can follow a system that is proven. Let us show you exactly what to look for, how to do each task and in what order, and where to find the vital information you need to put together a successful deal.

3. Doing all the work yourself to “save money.”

I’ve been there. I’ve done this. I’ve ripped drywall out of basement walls with my buddies only to get covered in roaches—ask Gary Myers who likes to tell the story on the road! Don’t do what I did and assume that if you can do the work yourself that you should.

You should hire and outsource almost every single task related to property ownership and instead qualify the contractors to do the job for you. Once a property rehab is underway, your priority is to manage the workmanship to assure maximum profit in the resale of the house, keep things on schedule, and properly manage the draw system and budget. You can’t do these things if you’re busy installing tile.

If you chose to do a task that you could otherwise hire out for $35 an hour, you are proving to yourself that your time is only worth $35 an hour. You can do a contractor’s job for $35 an hour, or you can go out there and find another house that has the potential to make you thousands. See what I mean?

4. Quitting your day job too soon.

I do a lot of private consulting, and my clients always come to me with interesting goals. They want to make a million dollars in a year and quit their job. It’s a noble goal, but aside from not being realistic, most people wouldn’t be able to wrap their brains around that drastic and rapid of change.

What I tell people is to stay at their current job and build their business in tandem with their work. It’s a lot of late nights and weekends, yes. It involves sacrifices, but here’s why it’s good: You need stability in your income so you can make rational, smart decisions in real estate. If you quit your job and rely solely on real estate as a source of income before your business is stable enough, you’ll end up making poor decisions just to put food on the table.

Keep your job and let me help you build wealth so you can walk away from the 9-to-5 with confidence.

5. Not having a real exit strategy.

If your main goal is to rehab a home that will be purchased with conventional or FHA financing, are you considering the standards in which conventional financing or FHA standards dictate? If you aren’t building according to these standards, you are essentially playing a game of craps. What happens if the house doesn’t sell?

If your strategy is to then purchase the home with conventional financing at the end of your private money term, can you qualify for conventional bank financing? If not, you need to rethink your exit strategy. Understanding each scenario is vital to your future success.

Remember how I said I’ve seen it all? I promise you, if you sell every house you ever rehab without having to use a different exit strategy, you’re a lucky investor. Things come up, and if you need help developing new exit strategies, give us a call, and we’ll plug you into the right source of information for that. 800-533-1622.

6. Paying too much when you buy.

You make your money when you buy, not when you sell. That’s why 90% of your research goes into the acquisitions part of the process and not the sales aspect. Start with the final selling price and work backward to deduct the selling cost, profit margin, renovation cost, and buying costs. Don’t forget to factor in holding costs and margin for error. You figure out your MAO (maximum allowed offer) by first determining the ARV (after repair value) of a house. $80,000 for a house means something different in every single market, so do your research!

7. Paying too much for the rehab.

I can’t tell you how many people get into this business and treat the renovation as if they are designing their dream home. This is an expensive, unnecessary, headache-inducing mistake and should be avoided! Your main objectives in renovating a house is to address every safety issue, update and clean the house to current market standards, and design it to appeal to the masses. This isn’t a luxury rehab.

Want to implement the “wow factor?” That’s where a few strategically placed designs can come in such as a small backsplash or a cool sink faucet. (And STAGING! Click here for more about this vital step). Don’t go all out on cabinets that are 300% more than you budgeted. By overdesigning a house, you run the risk of going over budget, turning the right buyers away, or having someone purchase the house only to redo what you thought was a good idea. Your budget should dictate your choice. Otherwise, the style choice comes straight out of your profit.

If you’re still having trouble creating and managing a project that yields you the highest investment, let us help you.

You can spend money 2 ways. The first, by investing it in your continued real estate education which will foster the right environment for you to see a return on your investment with higher profits. Or second, by making your own (possibly expensive) mistakes and losing money. You can learn a lot that way, yes. But you had better have thick skin and a whole lot of fortitude.

Don’t take my word for it. Listen to what several of our valued clients have to say.

The education I received gave me an added layer of understanding of how to work in this real estate market, the integrity used in developing and processing a loan, and how to become a better business oriented individual. Before this education, I thought that I knew what I wanted to do, but I didn’t understand what I needed to do until I went through the program.” Anita Cothran, Master Broker.

As a visionary from Chicago, I’ve been to many events, but have never had an experience like the Lee Arnold VIP session. I’m blown away by how powerful and impactful it was to have Lee Arnold sit with us and breakdown every fear and hindrance. He helped me think of the big picture, and take bite-sized portions in order to get the first deal done. There’s no stopping you if you’re backed with Lee’s education and COGO Capital’s financing!” Ray Colon, Chicago, IL.

Through an intensive training with a coach received one-on-one attention. I went out marketing, got agents and investors excited, got some applications back, and learned how to present myself in a better way. I learned how to develop different scripts, what to say and how to say it, how to originate loans, where I can go if I have questions. I’m confident that I can get clients excited and in turn close more loans.” Sherry Falk- Jacksonville, FL

I’ll see you out there!

Lee A. Arnold


The Lee Arnold System of Real Estate Investing

Follow me on Twitter: @CogoCapital  and @LeeArnoldSystem 

Have a deal? Visit us at to fill out your fast and easy quote. Want to learn more about COGO first? CLICK HERE to get to know all the ins and out!