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Posted by Ken Sheppard on April 2, 2011 at 5:45 PM


My name is Ken Sheppard. I live in Los Angeles with my beautiful wife. Many years ago, I decided I wanted to learn about investing in real estate. When I started, I did not even know how a sign ended up on a house for sale!

Being an entrepreneurial type of person with a background in sales, I purchased my first real estate course. When it arrived, I was overwhelmed with the amount of available information. The books and tapes were numerous and had no no idea where to begin! So, I did what I always have. I started to study the course. Once I began, I listened to every tape and read every book over a weekend. Believe me when I tell you, I was very tired when I finished! However, I did learn a lot and was ready to get started.

Then I realized something. Where do I begin? There were so many options and I knew nothing and had no mentors!

I decided to start with something very easy. I called people with ads in the paper and offered them 70% of the asking price for all cash! However, what if someone said "yes" to my proposal. What would I do? I certainly did not have the money to buy a house!

Anyway, I began my quest for my first deal. I will tell you I was quite uncertain what to say, but, I made some calls anyway. What I did find is that each call became easier and I slowly became more comfortable with the process. I also met some very nice (and not so nice) people on this initial journey! You do meet all kinds in real estate, that is for sure!

After I made about 50 telephone calls, I began to wonder what it would be like to go out and see some properties. I had met an agent that wanted to show me some houses! I couldn't believe it! I was actually looking at houses and had no money!

The agent was very nice and taught me what to look for. I would never have met him had I not made those telephone calls! We did not find anything right away, but I kept in touch with him.

Because I did not have any money, I could not send out mailers because they were expensive! So, I started calling people in foreclosure and offered to help them with their homes. I will tell you that many of them were not very pleasant and probably afraid, as I did not sound like an investor (even to myself}!)

I kept making calls and eventually I met a lady that was willing to listen to me! I was not sure what to do next because I did not want to make any mistakes. So, I called up the agent I met (who I mentioned earlier) and he said just make an offer on the house. Wow! How could I do this when I had no money and did not want to cause any more problems for the lady in foreclosure? Anyway, I made her a very low offer and she accepted!

Now I really had a problem! What should I do next and where in the world was I going to find the money for the deal?

So, I read the books and took out the forms that made sense for the deal, filled them out and gave them to her. She looked at me and then at the forms and then at me. I wondered what is going to happen now?

So, she then reached for her pen and signed the offer! I was stunned and excited all at the same time! Here I was, with my first offer, with no money down and $30,000 in equity!

I thanked her for signing and she said she looked forward to hearing from me. Wow! Now what?

Well, this is what I did.

Since I had an and/or assigns clause in the deal, I had the right to give it to another investor. I also put in a statement than I could cancel the deal in five days (I think) without losing anything. I then looked in the local newspaper for people who buy property. I started calling them and boy, was I scared! Anyway, I found this investor who was very nice. I told him my story and he said he wanted to see the house.

Wow! So, I met him at the house and he walked around the property as well as went under the house and inside. I told the lady in the house he was my partner, which he agreed to let me do. When he was done , we said goodbye to her and went to a local coffee shop.

I had no idea what to expect next! He said he liked the house and would partner with me and put up all the money! I was not sure I heard him right, so I asked him to repeat his statement. He smiled and said it again. He know this was my very first deal!

Anyway, we bought the house and started to fix it up. I watched the documentation through title and escrow. What an amazing experience. I had my name on a house as one of the owners!

Once it was fixed up, we put it on the market. This was when I learned about problems! We had purchased a property with the wrong kind of zoning and it became a very big problem to get financing for a Buyer. I also learned that the investor had money, but not a lot of experience! He had only bought a few homes himself!

We finally realized we might lose money on the house because of the zoning. I was very unhappy and concerned the investor would blame me and maybe ask me for the loss back! What was I going to do then?

This is what happened next. I had continued on calling owners in foreclosure and had two other deals tied up. I also started calling the holders of the loans behind the ones in foreclosure and offering the loan holders next to nothing for their loans! Most of them scoffed at me and hung up on me. This happened many times!

During this time, one of the folks holding a lien behind the foreclosure lien had a $11,000 loan against the property. I offered him $1,000 for his loan! I thought he would hang up on me like a lot of others had done. Instead, he asked me to come over to his house to discuss the loan offer!

Unbelievable to me, he was actually willing to meet with me. So, I went to his very expensive house here in Los Angeles and sat down with him in his office! I was not sure what to expect next. He looked at me for a few minutes and then asked me if I knew what he did for a living. I said no and he proceeded to tell me he was an investor in loans against houses and had millions of dollars invested in these loans!

So, I asked him if he would accept my offer. He looked at me, smiled and said no, he did not want to accept my offer. Instead, he wanted to be my partner on deals and would make $500,000 available to me on the spot!

Oh, my goodness! I said I was flattered and we then went on to discuss the deals I had in progress. I asked him why he wanted to invest with me. His answer was "I want to be in business with you because if you would ask me what you have, I want to fund those others that agree with your offer". He and I then went and looked at the deals. He funded all of them. I believe we had four at the time. So, even though we ended up taking a Los on the first one, we made way more than the loss on others! The investor and I then went on to do many more deals before he moved away and retired.

This is the story of my first deal. I will write more articles. Please feel free to contact me at my below contacts.

Kind regards,

Creative Flips, Inc.

Ken Sheppard

22704 Ventura Blvd. #417

Woodland Hills, CA 91364

(office) 310-358-7087

(cell) 818-585-9706

(fax) 818-783-8819

Email [email protected]

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Reply Bruce stinney
7:19 PM on May 6, 2011 
thank you and will you help me whith all of my deals and be my partner
Reply Ken Sheppard
11:58 AM on May 7, 2011 
Sure. I will call you on your telephone number that I have.
Reply Danny Engram
12:53 AM on May 29, 2011 
Thanks for the background bud. I dont think we ever discussed this b4. This sounds exactly how I started out myself-- my agent found me a deal, I found a funder,we bought it,fixed it and sold. The only difference was he shafted me and took advantage of my rookie status. The good thing is that I learned a ton and try to constantly learn.
Talk soon Ken,
Reply Ken Sheppard
11:03 AM on May 30, 2011 
Thank you, Danny. We will endeavor to insure you succeed. You can make alot of money in this business without being dishonest or taking advantage of anybody.
Reply Dana Leigh
11:44 AM on May 7, 2012 
It's always nice to know that the people you admire have felt the same things you did. Thanks for sharing, Ken.