They say that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. This old saying applies to real estate as well as personal property. I have found over the years that if you study the real estate market and know where to look there are always some real estate investment gems to be found. This reminds me of the story Acres of Diamonds, which is about a man who sells his farm to travel the world and look for riches. A number of years later he returns home exhausted and broke to find that diamonds have been discovered on the farm he sold. The moral of the story is that there are bargains right in your own back yard if you just take the time to search them out.

When I first entered the real estate business 40 years ago, my mentor, Frank, schooled me on where to look for single-family home real estate bargains. Frank was interested in making offers on properties where the seller needed quick cash. He instructed me to look for properties that were for sale by estates, couples getting divorced, and owners headed toward foreclosure. Through this search criteria I was able to assist Frank in acquiring many properties at bargain prices.  

There are still real estate investment opportunities available today in both up and down real estate markets. Yes, there are definitely more distressed sellers in a real estate recession, but there are always real estate bargains if you put in the time and effort to search for them.

The real estate investors I know who consistently find the great deals do the following. First, they have the cash or financing available to act quickly when they find a potential property. Second, they have studied the market and know the property values so they know what to pay. And third, like my lovely wife, they are great shoppers. They know how to search and hunt for the best deals in the market. All of these steps take time and effort.  

The successful real estate investors I know work very hard to find, analyze, and purchase properties that end up being great deals. They are quick to act when a potential property comes along.  They are good decision makers.  Most of these investors also have a close working relationship with a knowledgeable real estate broker who knows what they are looking for and who is always on the watch for the type of properties he knows they want to purchase.

Real estate bargains are found through market knowledge, hard work, connections with a knowledgeable real estate broker, and sometimes just a little bit of good luck.  I wish you the best as you search for a few of those real estate investment gems.  They are out there!  


Jeff K Johnson is the author of the real estate investing book “Cash Flow Forever”.

Jeff K. Johnson is the President of Black Commercial, Inc., one of Spokane’s largest property management and commercial real estate companies. Jeff is a licensed REALTOR® and has worked in the real estate profession since 1975.

Jeff specializes in the sale, leasing, and development of office buildings. Much of Jeff’s work includes assisting Fortune 500 companies with the acquisition and disposition of corporate real estate. Jeff is also the managing general partner in numerous real estate investment partnerships. Prior to moving to Spokane, Jeff grew up in Iowa and attended Waldorf College in Forest City. Jeff has consistently been one of the top producing commercial real estate brokers in Spokane.