Author’s note: Isn’t the above title the best name you have ever heard for an article?
To be successful in creative real estate or for that matter, anything else, you have to learn to
take advantage of opportunities with little notice. Sometimes these opportunities are hidden as
problems, but the creative mind can usually find a way to make money in these situations.
Such was the case when a Tenant/Buyer of mine decided to prematurely (and without notice) vacate
a 2 bedroom condo one week before Thanksgiving. To many landlords, this would become a monumental
pain, but remember I don’t rent, I always Lease Purchase my properties. In a Lease with Option to
Purchase, I receive a minimum of 2 to 5 months rent in advance as option consideration and usually
over-market rent. Typically I do a one year contract which is either renewed, exercised (purchased)
or allowed to expire.
We found out that the home was abandoned when the next door neighbor(thankfully) notified me.
This particular condo was left a little messy, butt here was no malicious damage. My clean up crew
went to work and with their usual magic the place became a palace again.
Now my only problem was trying to move this home between Thanksgiving and New Year. That night while
I was watching the news with CJ and the kids there was a story about the Super Duper Bowl coming to
San Diego. The reporter exclaimed how all the hotels were filling up and that private homes
would have to accommodate the housing gap. All of a sudden a little light bulb lit up over my head
and I thought ‘why not just rent out the condo for the SuperBowl’ (January 25th) ‘recoup some lost
rent and make a quickie short termprofit’?
All the place needed were a couple of beds from a furniture rental place and some towels courtesy of
K-Mart. I thought that I would place a case of the Bronco’s favorite beer (of Coors) and a couple
sticks of pepperoni in the fridge and I’d have instant accommodations.
I discovered that there were specialty rental agencies available which would find me a quick guest,
but they wanted 20% of the rent and a finder’s fee. I figured between the local newspaper and the
Internet I would not have any trouble doing this all by myself.
I checked to see what the rental agencies were charging for same or similar units and I found they
were only doing one week rentals as a minimum. Some of the houses in really nice neighborhoods were
getting as much as $5,000.00 perday! (They must have had imported beer in the fridge!) The middle
class size homes were getting $1000.00 to $1500.00 per day. I figured that a 1200 square foot condo
in a good working class neighborhood was worth at least $2500.00 for the week and that is just what
I asked for. (Tickets not included.)
No sooner did I run the ad when the calls began coming in from nudniks all over the U.S. I required
$2500.00 security deposit and half the rent upfront. The first couple of calls were from folks who
were shopping around for a bargain. One guy asked me if the place came with a view. I replied ‘yes,
a view of the wall next door!’ Another fellow called and asked me if I would take a note. I figured
he just came from one of those goofy get rich quick paper seminars. (At least he was creative!) I
asked him if he would ask the Embassy Suites the same question. Another call was from a college
fraternity who swore they would only let a FEW FRIENDS stay. We passed on this group!
One nice lady from Oshkosh, Wisconsin (a cheese head) who was interested in the home for her family
came pretty close to getting the place, but on investor instinct I checked her credit before I did
the deal. She had a history of BADDDDD credit, foreclosures, evictions, bankruptcies, etc. I didn’t
want or need the hassle that might occur.
Finally the call I was waiting for came from a man in Milwaukee. (Sounds likea Hanson Brothers song).
He needed the place NOW as he was already in town (one week before kickoff) and wanted to keep it
for three weeks. He asked me how much I wanted for the additional two weeks after the game. He
suggested a price of $4500.00 (an extra $1000.00 per week) which was paid entirely inadvance.
Claude Rule: I probably would have let him have the place for an additional $850.00 per week, but
the first to mention price always loses. Guess who spoke first!
I now recouped the $1600.00 I lost from the condo being empty December & part of January
($800 X 2 months), the cost of the furniture rental, $300.00 and cleaning service, $100.00 and made a
tidy profit of $2500.00 net.
Claude Tip: You might consider this strategy on your own properties that become available during sport
spectaculars, clogging reunions (or anything else) in your area!
SuperBowl Time !!
Oh yes, now for the best part, I almost forgot to tell you about the SuperDuper Bowl ‘98. After I made
the above money I figured ‘why not use the loot, surprise the family and take everyone to the game
itself.’ (Whatta’ guy!) The only problem was that all the LEGITIMATE tickets were adios amigo
(gone-history). I decided to bravely do what any ex-New Yorker who has transported himself to La La
Land (AKA: Southern California) would do. I figured that I would take the kids to the stadium, do the
tour and The NFL Experience (a large football fanatic county fair) and find my friendly neighborhood
We arrived at the parking lot entrance and I had to shell out $5.00 to park the Ford Expedition. (Best
4 wheel drive vehicle ever made.) We walked to the NFL county fair and I had to fork over $44.00 buckos
for the entrance fee. We then had to purchase the requisite T-shirts, football caps and paraphernalia,
$182.00 (ouch!). We waited in unbelievably long lines just so Rebecca and David could get a turn to try
to kick a field goal in NFL KidsLand. Of course, we needed nourishment and lo and behold, there were
all the chicken, ribs and fast-food franchises that you could imagine. We ordered the kids up a bunch
of happy lunches. I think they call them happy lunches because they get to charge $3.99 for a 30¢ Taiwan
toy, a paper thin burger and greasy fries. Ah, the joys of American cuisine, total $15.00. (Where’s
my Peptobismol™? Burp!) We had to have pictures taken and I kissed away another $25.00 smackers.
Is this a great country or what?
When it was all said and done the little field trip to the pre wonders of Super Bowl ‘98 cost me well
over $250.00 and I still couldn’t find my nefarious scalper. In NYC, these guys are all around Madison
Square Garden, but around here they were in hiding.
Up to this point we hadn’t even been in the stadium, so I figured we had to take the Qualcomm (formerly
Jack Murphy) Stadium tour ($1.00 per person) and see the newly laid Super Bowl sod.
While the kids were running around the stadium, I wandered around looking for my fish taco stand (they’re
really delicious and contain a lot less fat than the mystery meat types), when lo and behold a stranger
Dark And Foreboding Ticket Scalper: Hey Pal you want zum tickets fer da game?
Me: Sure, how much? (I figured if I got 4 tickets for around $500.00 to$600.00 each, I would have some
change left over from my rental deal for hot-dogs, sushi and beer.
Note: Yes, in Southern California they sell sushi at ballparks, go figure!
Dark And Foreboding Ticket Scalper: I can let you have four seats (not together) fer $7500.00 firm. This
is when I found out that Super Bowl tickets were starting at $1500.00 (cheap seats) and going as high
as $5000.00 each, if you could find them.
Me: I thanked Mr. Scalper and humbly walked away. I wondered how I was going to go to the game, get four
seats together and not have to sell one of my notes or Lease Purchase properties to finance this
extravaganza! It was at this point that I had one of those monumental periods of enlightenment and
decided that I would do what most of you will do on Super Bowl Sunday.
Heck, I’m going to watch the game on the TV. Clean bathrooms, great munchies, I have the most
comfortable seat in the house and best of all it’s FREE.
Diamond Consulting Group
Success, One Person at a Time !
Claude W. Diamond J.D.