Category "Fixing"

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.


- - 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!


Blue Tape Inspections

- - Fixing, Flipping

You’re so close to the finish line…don’t stop now!

Just like with new construction, when you’re renovating a house, you need to do a final walk through. Regardless of the size of the project–whether you only needed fresh paint and new appliances or whether it was a complete overhaul–you need to throw your fine-toothed comb in there and pick out all the nicks, splits, and smudges before paying your contractor’s final bill.

Even the best contractors miss things. A final walk through is part of the job. But if you don’t know what to look for, you can end up missing the same things they missed, you run the risk of the potential home buyers pointing it out (or their inspector), and can spend more money when you thought the job was done.

There still may be things you didn’t notice–a bathroom vent dead-ending in the attic instead of going through the roof, for instance–but you can arm yourself for success with a quality walk. To avoid frustration and wasted time and money, review the items you’re looking for before you go in with a roll of blue tape.

First, let’s talk about your tool kit: 

Bring a level, measuring tape, notepad/pen, these checklists, a flashlight, mirror, and your camera phone or a camera to take pictures of problem areas (even if you take notes, you should have a visual on anything larger than a golf ball).

Before you start, keep these tips in mind:

Take your time. Schedule more than enough time for this processes. A quick 30 minutes isn’t going to cut it. If you don’t want your contractors short cutting you, don’t shortcut yourself.

Assure that work is complete before the final paycheck is issued. They want to get paid, so this not only it protects you for the resale value of the home, it motivates them to complete the job.

Stand your ground. If you’ve hired a trusted contractor who’s done their job on time and budget without unnecessary complications or stress (of what THEY can manage), then you should be able to trust their professional opinion at this point. But, don’t let them pressure you into disregarding something that you know needs to be handled. If you have a laundry list of outstanding issues, they should be gracious and eager to fix them. Again, this is a standard practice for them, too. They know it’s part of the job.

Double check it after they’ve gone back in for completion. Keep your notes, pull up photographs, and make sure you have all your questions answered on the spot.



  • Walk the perimeter of the house to check for cosmetic deficiencies.
  • Check all exterior doors, insuring frames are secured and painted on all angles
  • Walk in and out of each door, looking at the home from every angle to assure everything is painted or stained uniformly and on all sides.
  • Check all windows, insuring frames are secured and painted on all angles
  • Assure the steps, sidewalks, and driveway are free of debris
  • Check that patios, decks, and balconies are accessible, safe, painted, free of lose nails or screws, and free of debris
  • Check window wells on egress windows, assuring they are free of debris, and if covered, that the cover can be removed in the event of an emergency.
  • Check the gutters and downspouts, checking that they are free of debris, in working order, and deposit water into to the ground and not onto another part of the house that can cause rot or damage.
  • Be sure the garage door opens and closes and is sealed securely on all four sides.
  • Open the garage door, especially if it was painted, and check all angles for uniformity.


  • Open and close all doors. See that doors are well-fitted and operate as intended.
  • Make sure all six sides are painted – front, back, top, bottom, and both ends.
  • Check all locks, including deadbolts, operate properly without binding, and that thresholds are adjusted correctly.
  • Look for warping.
  • Hinges should be clean and free of paint.
  • Sometimes doors must be trimmed to fit. Make sure the cut is at the bottom, that it’s straight, and that so much hasn’t been cut off that the door is now hollow at the bottom.
  • Check that locks are well-installed and do not rattle when the door is closed.
  • Check that the exterior doors have been sealed with weather-stripping.
  • Make sure all closet doors are secure and open and close easily.
  • Make sure all closet door knobs are secure.


  • Open all windows.
  • Determine that locks operate properly.
  • Tracks should be lubricated to prevent binding.
  • Make sure screens are in place and not torn.
  • Look for broken panes.
  • Check that any glossing was done properly.


  • Walk the perimeter of each room.
  • Check all floor and ceiling moldings for uniformity, paint/stain, and security.
  • Search for gaps that need caulking, protruding nail heads that need repair, and for proper
  • Scrutinize all wall and ceiling surfaces under natural light and under artificial illumination (close blinds or do so at night if possible). Poorly done drywall work tends to show most when the lights are on.
  • Check for visible seams, nail heads that have popped out and other irregularities.
  • Assure the walls are square, and consequently that it matches the angles in the flooring.
  • Inspect the wall finishes for uneven paint coverage, holidays (or spots with missing paint), and that texture has been applied evenly.


  • Check all wall outlets and switches, assuring they operate correctly.
  • Test light fixtures; are they attached securely and contain the correct-wattage bulbs?


  • Assure that flooring on stairs is secure, especially carpet. Check the corners.
  • Check handrails for stability and proper height. Most states require the top and bottom to run back into the wall to avoid catching.


  • Tile and vinyl flooring should be clean and free of chips and cracks.
  • Check for missing grout, and be sure molding is installed and painted or stained.
  • Walk all carpeted areas, checking for loose fits at the edges, ripples in the middle or squeaks in the subfloor.
  • Walk across all floors in different patterns. You should have minimum squeaks spring when under pressure. Wood floor systems will have some unevenness, this shouldn’t be severe.
  • All flooring types should have a relatively flat surface.
  • Examine seams in carpets and vinyl to ensure they are tight and meet the edges of the room securely.
  • Inspect ceramic tiles for surface cracks. Joints between ceramic tiles should be well-filled with grout. Grout should be in good shape and free of chipping.
  • Inspect flooring for damage.
  • Examine carpeting for stains or shade variations, assuring the correct carpet and pad were used.


  • Check countertops for scratches and abrasions. Counters are a magnet for toolboxes.
  • Make sure the cabinets and appliances are level and properly anchored to the wall or secured to the countertops.
  • Check all doors and drawers. They should open fully and close easily.
  • Assure that every appliance works, is level, and free of debris.
  • Check faucets, outlets, and lightbulbs.
  • Check under the sink for any obvious signs of damage, leakage, or debris.
  • Test the range hood fan and light.
  • Make sure there are electrical outlets above the counter.
  • Check garbage disposal.


  • Look for scratches and nicks in the sink as well as the shower enclosure and tub. Toolboxes often collect there, too.
  • Check that the sink and tub stoppers hold water.
  • Assure the shower strainer is fastened securely.
  • Flush all toilets.
  • Check that the toilet is securely fastened to the floor by sitting on it. (Don’t test the commode by trying to rock the fixture back and forth as it can break a seal that’s correctly installed.)
  • While sitting there, close the door and closely examine the walls and other surfaces to make sure they are acceptable.
  • While sitting there, check that the toilet-paper dispenser is at the right distance and height to avoid contorting to reach the roll.
  • Check for chips in bathtubs, toilets, and sinks. Check all grout, calking, and seals in the tub, sink, and around the backsplash.
  • Ensure that all faucets work properly, and check under the sinks.
  • Check that cabinets are securely fixed to the wall, all doors open and close easily, and all drawers work properly.
  • Assure that all installed towel racks are done right and will hold the weight of their intended product.


  • Test for cold A/C.
  • Check the furnace and hot water heater.
  • Locate the furnace filters and assure there is one in there.
  • Be sure the heat registers are not located below a thermostat.
  • Check the location and number of cold air returns and make sure they are unobstructed.

You should now feel armed and ready to tackle that “blue tape” inspection. If any of this was new information for you, or you still feel overwhelmed with the process, take a breath and rest assure that we have your best interest at heart. In fact, if this is an area with which you struggle, don’t let the fear of making a mistake stop you. Join us for a Project Management Home Study Course where you’ll learn in vivid detail what you need to know from the very start of a rehab project to the finish line.

If you would benefit from this course, call us at 800-533-1622 to speak with a business consultant to get enrolled. Not only is the return on your investment a wise move for any rehabber, you’ll save time, energy, and frustration by easily learning what TO do instead of difficultly learning what NOT to do.

It’s always easier when the experts help you.

Happy inspecting!

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!

Contractors: to lead or not to lead?

- - Fixing, Flipping

There is no question.

If you aren’t leading your contractors, they are going to “lead” you. The #1 snag investors experience with house flipping has to do with contractors in one way or another. And though I’ve discussed it at length on the Lee Arnold System Blog, it’s worth another lesson.

If you invest in a property that needs work, you are likely going to be involved with a contractor in one or more of the following areas:

The relationships between investor and contractor is vital to the success of any project, but can become trying when any of the following problems creep in:

  • Lack of communication
  • Poor communication
  • No communication
  • Misunderstood communication
  • Conveniently “forgotten” communication.

(Notice a trend?)

You must to be in continual and efficient communication with your contractors. No news is bad news.

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!

To Your Success;

Lee A. Arnold


The Lee Arnold System of Real Estate Investing


If you want to learn more about working with contractors, finding the right deal, writing offers, and so much more, join me for a FUNDING TOUR. Not only are these 3 day events chock full of user-ready information, but if you book now, your $497 ticket will be paid for by one of the hedge funds I manage.

If you’re interested in learning more about the education you can receive with the Lee Arnold System of Real Estate, call us at 800-533-1622. If you have a deal and would like to get a quote from a private money, visit

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER: @LeeArnoldSystem and @CogoCapital



Do you know how to find a good real estate investment deal?

Do you know what to do to acquire it?

Do you know how to be involved in the decision making process of how loans are funded?

Have you actually seen, in person, the local real estate in your own back yard?

Do you know how the closing process works?

Do you have money to acquire these properties? What about the money to fix them up and sell with none of your own money down?


I’m using this week’s #TestimonyTuesday to drive home the point that testimonies can come from anywhere and anyone, even Funding Tours and even people who are just starting out on their journey. Sometimes you look at people who’ve made tens of thousands of dollars on a fix and flip, and it seems too far off for you to even fathom.

But what if you were challenged to just take ONE STEP, and that one step showed you how to make the next and gave you confidence and knowledge to keep plowing forward, one step at a time. What if your spend 3 days advancing your dream into something that was tangible. What if you made your that ONE STEP and it changed everything?

I’m challenging you to take that one step now.


But, don’t take my word for it…

“I enjoyed to bus tour today. It was eye opening to see the houses and to listen to all the input that was given, and how they would rehab the houses. It was a really good experience and I would recommend it to anyone.” David Parker- Oklahoma

“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

“I recommend this training to everyone who can get this chance. We learned a lot, how to go over the numbers and how to use other people’s money to make money. It has been a great opportunity for me.” Annet Natukunda- Aurora, CO (originally from Uganda Africa)

“I learned how we can get and use private money in our business and make money by helping others get private money. It’s a great business model and a great training. The instructions are fun and they answer a lot of questions. You don’t get pushed to decide and they’re there when you need additional information.” Ken Gandy- Katy, TX

“You see multiple income streams in that which most of us want to do anyhow; invest in real estate. You need to be here!” David Kunselman

“After coming out to the Funding Tour in Oklahoma City from Golden, Colorado, I gained a serious appreciation for the fineries of the underwriting process and realized what it’s like to be in a hedge fund. The event was fun and informative, and I can’t wait to learn more about rehabbing.” Rob Katona- Golden, CO


Back to Basics

If you’re new the world of house flipping, if you’re curious about it, or if you’ve done it before but don’t think you did it right because your profits didn’t match your projections, then I’ve broken down the basics for you in 5 basic steps.

  1. Plan

If you don’t know what you’re doing, the best place to start is by cozying up to someone who does. Not only will a good education, mentor, or coach save you a lot of unnecessary time, cost, and headache, you will learn faster and turn a profit sooner. I recommend attending a Lee Arnold System Funding Tour to start with, and with several fast approaching, this event could be coming to a town near you. Tickets are $497 at the door, unless you claim your paid ticket now.

For more choices of what type of education would best fit your needs, visit or call 800-533-1622


  1. Finance Your Flip

Most banks won’t finance a distressed property, nor will they fund the renovation costs without collateral (like a second mortgage on your house). I wouldn’t recommend that; READ HERE to learn why.

You could use your own capital, if you have it. Or, if you’re like most people who don’t have that kind of cash lying around, you could get approved for a private money loan. Like us here at Cogo Capital, private money lenders base a loan on the property itself, and not solely on you.

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!


  1. Buy Smart

You don’t make money when you sell a flipped property, you make money when you buy it. You need to purchase a property right, or you’re already on the wrong foot. So, how do you determine how much to off on a property in order to make money on it? The formula is easy!

Take the ARV (after repair value of the property, i.e. the retail value), multiply it by 70%, and subtract the cost of repairs. Whatever is left is your MAO (maximum allowable offer).

Let’s say you want to put an offer in on a property that has an ARV of $200,000. Take $200,000 x 70% = $140,000. If the renovations will cost $40,000 (get several estimates by licensed and bonded contractors), that’s $140,000 – $40,000, which = $100,000. The maximum amount of money you should offer on this property is $100,000, and if you can get it for less, you’ll make more!

So, $200,000 (ARV) x 70% = $140,000

$140,000 – $40,000 (rehab cost) = $100,00 (MAO)



  1. Remodel Right

There are so many mistakes you could make in a rehab project. Mistakes are easy to make, but it’s just as easy NOT to make them if you know what you’re doing! Here are 3 comprehensive guides to get you started on managing your project from start to finish:


  1. Sell Fast

Time is money in real estate investing. If you overprice a house, you run the risk of having it sit on the market too long. You’ll pay in holding costs and tie up your funds on the next potential project.

Part of selling fast is staging the house right, for my simple steps on how to stage your house to sell, CLICK HERE

You’ll also want to hire a professional photographer, create a quality online listing.


Want to become a pro? Get started now by getting off the couch and getting involved! If you need an event to attend, we have a hedge fund that will pay for your $497 for your seat to the next Funding Tour. That’s how important we believe networking and education are. CLICK HERE for details or call us at 800-533-1622 to secure your seat, of show up and pay $497 at the door.


To Your Success;

Lee A. Arnold


The Lee Arnold System of Real Estate Investing

To read more articles click here.

To see our latest success story, visit