Author: John Marion

Why Buy Ugly Houses?

Photo of distressed, unattractive house.

Maybe you have seen the advertisements for a company that buys ugly houses.

Do you ever ask why a real estate company would buy ugly houses?

Alpha Dog Investments buys houses in any condition, so we don’t call the houses we buy ugly. Every house has some value to us.

The types of houses we buy that may be considered ugly are categorized in different ways by our company.

Your house is valuable to us! We solve real estate problems and our company is interested in each of these houses.

The Fixer Upper House

This type of house may actually look nice cosmetically, but when you look closer, it needs some repairs before it is ready to be marketed to the typical buyer for full retail price. The fixer upper may need a lot of small items repaired. Maybe a handyman tried making some improvements here and there, but didn’t do a good job.

The Outdated House

The outdated house may be properly maintained, very clean, and looks great. The house may even have a new roof, new furnace, new hot water heater and new carpet.

But it has outdated features, such as old style kitchen cabinets, undesirable bathroom tile colors, old lighting fixtures, cheap looking contractor grade door knobs, etc. In order for this house to fetch the highest retail price on the open market to the typical buyer, it must be renovated with updated features.

Distressed House in Disrepair

This is a house with neglected maintenance.

It usually has not be maintained for years and may have structural problems, missing pipes, faulty electric lines, holes in walls, broken or boarded up windows, and other issues such as fire, flooding, or foundation damage.

Some may even believe this type of house should be demolished but our company can normally salvage this type of house and bring it back to life with a full renovation.

The Financially Distressed House

This house may be in great condition but the owners are distressed financially. This house may soon suffer from lack of maintenance.

The owners may not be able to keep up with the mortgage payments. It’s possible that the house will go into foreclosure unless the owners can avoid it with a lender approved short sale.

Our company helps financially distressed homeowners, with nice homes or homes in disrepair.

Investment Real Estate

Alpha Dog Investments buys all of the types of houses listed above. We are a real estate investment company and every house has some value to us.

Please contact us today for a free consultation about your real estate problem.

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Free Real Estate Investor Consultation

John Marion - Real Estate, Canton, GA

Alpha Dog Investments LLC is a real estate investment company in Canton, GA. We buy houses in North Metro Atlanta and assist investors to locate and purchase investment property throughout the Atlanta area.

Professional Atlanta Home Buyers

Our company specializes in purchasing homes. This is the core of our business. We are professional buyers of residential real estate in the Atlanta area. Home sellers rely on us to give an assessment of what we believe are their options for selling their property.

As an investment company focused on buying and selling real estate, we are in a position to offer cash and quickly close real estate transactions that meet our buying criteria.

Atlanta Investor Real Estate Agents

We are licensed Georgia real estate agents with REMAX Town & Country. As agents, we have a duty and responsibility to offer professional real estate services to the public in accordance with Georgia real estate law. We responsible to disclose that we are licensed agents and we are also proud to be agents.

You may run into investors and investment companies that are owned and operated by unlicensed individuals. Their specialty may be marketing within the real estate industry or they may even be actual cash buyers of real estate. But they are unable to offer you the full range of options for you because they cannot practice real estate in accordance with Georgia real estate law which requires the involvement of a licensed agent and broker to conduct certain types of transactions.

Investor Friendly Realtors

In addition to being licensed agents, we are Realtors. In order to qualify as a Realtor, we are obligated to adhere to a code of ethics and be held accountable as real estate professionals. When we consult with you as a home seller, we are obligated to fully disclose our the fact that we are licensed agents and we are able to explain a wide range of options you have for selling your property.

Talk to Atlanta Real Estate Investors

Call us today to discuss your real estate situation and learn the options we can offer you for selling your real estate to investors.

You may also fill out the form below and John will contact you with more information about selling your home to investors. You may also call or text John directly at 703-371-9548.

John Marion - Real Estate, Canton, GA
John Marion – 703-371-9548

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Property Inspections for Investors and Investment Companies

Alpha Dog Investments has developed a network of home inspectors throughout the Atlanta region. We can help investors with their inspections on single properties or large portfolios of homes.

Atlanta Home Inspections for Bulk Portfolio of Houses

Investment companies performing due diligence on an upcoming portfolio of houses or wanting a comprehensive inspection review of their existing home inventory can rely on Alpha Dog Investments for their property inspections.

We can manage home inspections for hundreds of properties simultaneously and deliver the reports to you as they are completed.

Home Inspections for Investors in Atlanta

We understand what investors and investment companies expect in home inspections. And we can offer a variety of types of inspections to suit the needs of each investor.

Some investors may want a home inspection similar to what the typical retail buyer expects when purchasing their primary resident. Other investors may want a repair bid estimate included with the home inspection as well as what is needed to get the property into rent ready condition.

Rent Ready Repair List

Our inspectors can provide a repair list of items needed to get the property into rent ready condition along with their inspection report.

Real Estate Property Repair Costs Budget

Some of our investment property home inspector specialists are actually licensed contractors. Our contractors are familiar with repair costs and can develop a repair bid with the home inspection.

Atlanta Investment Property Inspection Management

Please contact John Marion to discuss your needs for home inspections of your investment property in the Atlanta area.

Call or text John Marion at 703-371-9548.


John Marion

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How to Make Blind Offers on Houses

When a buyer submits a purchase contract to buy a house without visiting the property, it is considered a blind offer.

In order to leverage time and get multiple properties under contract, real estate investors like to make blind offers on houses listed for sale on the MLS.

Find an Investor Friendly Realtor

In order to make blind offers on multiple properties, you will need an investor friendly real estate agent. Many agents will not make blind offers for investors.

Most buyer’s agents are trained to show houses to owner occupant home buyers who will usually visit about a half dozen homes before an offer to purchase is prepared and submitted to the listing agent representing the seller.

The idea of preparing purchase contracts to submit blind offers for a buyer who has never seen a property seems absurd to most Realtors.

This is why you must find an investor friendly Realtor who will work with you as an investor. And if you are out of town, you must find an agent who is comfortable representing you without ever meeting you.

The most likely agent who will understand the services you need as an investor is probably the agent who is also an active investor, or has been an investor sometime in the past.

Screen and Select Properties

Investors who are successful in getting properties under contract understand property values in their target market. And they look at hundreds of listings that may match their investment criteria to screen out the ones on which they want to make offers.

Screening and selecting houses to make offers on involves selecting the locations, looking at the pictures, and reading the property description in the listing.

The investor then gives the offer price to their agent who will prepare the purchase contract which will include other terms in the offer, such as due diligence period, closing date, and the amount of the earnest money deposit.

The time taken by the investor buyer to screen the property and decide on an offer amount makes the blind offer better than arbitrarily selecting an offer price based on a mathematical calculation of the listing price.

Sign and Send the Purchase Offer Contract

After the investor has signed the offer, which can be done with an electronic signature in most cases, the agent will send the offer to the listing agent to be presented to the seller.

Your agent should follow up with the seller’s agent to confirm that the offer has been received and presented to the seller.

Make Offers on Multiple Properties

Most investors will find that they will need to make offers on multiple properties in order to get one under contract. Depending on how many houses you plan to buy, you may have to continuously make offers daily or weekly in order to close on the number of transactions that meet your investment goals.

If you make over 100 offers you should expect to get between 8% and 15% to get under contract. If you don’t get at least 8 properties under contract after making 100 offers, you may need to revisit the numbers and housing values in your target market to see if you can increase the purchase price of your offers and still meet your investment goals.

John Marion and Sandra Watkins are investor friendly agents who make multiple blind offers for investors.

Call or text John Marion at 703-371-9548 or Sandra Watkins at 770-324-3680.

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Alpha Dog August 14 2014

Here is a photograph we took of Alpha Dog today.

Alpha Dog

Alpha Dog

Alpha Dog Investments North Metro Atlanta

Alpha Dog Investments LLC is based in Canton, GA.

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Atlanta REIA Beginners Investor Group

Today Alpha Dog Investments was one of the sponsors for the Beginners Investor Group.

Atlanta Real Estate Investors Alliance

Atlanta Real Estate Investors Alliance

Atlanta REIA

New real estate investors met in Atlanta to listen to and network with experienced investors.

The event was co-sponsored by Alpha Dog Investments.

Alpha Dog Investments at the Atlanta REIA

Alpha Dog Investments at the Atlanta REIA

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Enter the Alpha Dog Facebook Page Contest!

Alpha Dog

Alpha Dog Investments is having a dog picture posting contest throughout Feb. 2014.

Anyone who posts a picture of their dog and likes our Facebook page will be eligible for our free drawing for a $100 gift card from Home Depot.

Contest Rules

We are keeping this simple. Just follow these directions to be eligible for our free drawing.

1. Visit & Like – Visit and like our Facebook page anytime during February 2014. Our Facebook page is

2. Post Your Dog Pic – Post a picture of your dog and say something about the picture when you post it. Your post must be on or between Feb. 1-28, 2014. Please do not forget to say something about the picture you post. Pictures that are posted without you saying something are ineligible for the drawing.

3. Agreement & Permission – By posting a picture of your dog, you agree that your dog picture is your own picture and that you have the rights to use the picture. Posts of pictures of online dogs that are not your own dog are not eligible for the drawing. You further agree by posting a picture of your dog that you give Alpha Dog Investments permission to keep your dog picture on our Facebook page and also give permission for your dog picture to be posted on our website,

4. Stay tuned on Facebook – We will post a video of us drawing the name of the winner by Monday March 3 and will contact you on Facebook. You must then provide your mailing address to us privately to receive your prize or come to our office in the Canton / Ball Ground area to pick up your gift card. If we cannot contact you on Facebook or if you don’t respond to our communication to you within 7 days, you will no longer be eligible to win the prize. In the case where the winner does not claim the prize, we will re-draw another name and begin the process over again. We will continue to draw names every 7 days until we find a winner who contacts us back within the 7 day time frame of being notified on Facebook.

5. Eligibility – In order to be eligible to win, you must follow the rules above.

Alpha Dog Investments Facebook Dogs

Alpha Dog Investments Facebook Dogs

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Atlanta Investment Properties

The Atlanta market continues to be a desirable location for out-of-state and foreign investors to buy real estate.

How do investors locate and purchase Atlanta real estate long distance? Here are several ways our company helps real estate investors find Atlanta investment real estate.

The Georgia and Atlanta Multiple Listing Service

Thousands of investment real estate properties are listed for sale on the open market in the MLS. While some internet websites propagate this information online, there is usually a time lag from when listings are updated until they hit the most popular websites.

The best way to access MLS listings of investment property is to have an agent either set up a customized search with automated emails or to give you access to a Brokerage website with a user name and password.

The investor who has access to newly listed investment real estate on the MLS is one step ahead of the crowd of buyers looking for good deals.

One more note about the MLS: there are two different MLS systems used by Realtors in the Atlanta area. Be sure to use an agent who is a member of, familiar with, and willing to set up searches for you on both systems.

Double Closings Transactions

Some real estate investors specialize in getting properties under contract for the sole purpose of selling a property the same day to another investor buyer. They make a small quick profit selling it to the second investor.

The first investor flipping the property in a simultaneous transaction can often provide a steady stream of investment properties for other investors looking for deals.

Assignment of Contract

Some of the best real estate deals come from investors who assign purchase contracts to other investors. These investors are called wholesalers although their deals may not actually be wholesale prices. But assignment of contract properties can often be purchased at a good discount.

Alpha Dog Investments Atlanta Real Estate

Our company can assist you in locating Atlanta investment real estate. Please contact us today to get started buying great deals in the Atlanta market.

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How does 131% annualized return sound to you?

A Great Deal!

We recently helped one of our clients get a great deal on an investment property in North Metro Atlanta. It’s the kind of deal that we can get for you too. Let me explain the transaction and the numbers.

Buy, Repair, Rent, and Sell

Here are the details of the transaction.

We located a property for our client who secured a private money loan to finance part of the purchase. The deal required the investor to put some money down and pay for repairs to make the house rent ready.

We screened and placed a tenant in the property. The investor would have had monthly cash flow by keeping the property, but instead he decided to resell the property with the tenant in place to another investor for a quick profit.

The Numbers

Here are the numbers for this deal and how the investor secured an annualized ROI of 131% on his money.

The transaction required the investor to be out of pocket $27,900. When the house was resold with the tenant in place and all expenses paid at closing, the investor walked away with $6,226 profit in two months!

Here is the math:

$6,226 profit / $27,900 investment = 22% in only two months.

The investor reveived 11% on his money per month.

This is an annualized Return On Investment of 132%!

Get started investing in real estate.

Call us today if you would like to get started doing real estate transactions like the one described above. Although we cannot guarantee the rate of return you would get on any real estate transaction, we can explain the opportunities and risks involved when investing in today’s market. Call John Marion at 703-371-9548 or Sandra Watkins at 770-324-3680.

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Rehabbing Mistakes Made by New Investors

New real estate investors often make mistakes on their first rehab. Here are a few common errors to avoid.

Poor Due Diligence

Before being committed to making the purchase of a property you have under contract, you will have a due diligence period. The due diligence period is stated in the purchase contract. This is the period of time you have to do your homework. Some of the things you want to determine include the following:

Sales Comps – You should have had a very clear picture of what the resale value of your property before you put it under contract. Now that you have the property under contract, double check the sales comps. A new sales comp may further confirm the accuracy of your previous comps, but it may also reveal that you made a mistake running your numbers. This is your opportunity to renegotiate the purchase price or terminate the transaction if needed.

Rehab Costs – You will need to develop a scope of work (see below) for your renovation project and get written bids from qualified contractors and workers. Your rehab costs should include an extra line item budget for cost over-runs.

Closing Costs – You will have to pay some attorney or title company fees, finance charges if you borrow money, and other costs associated with the purchase. You don’t want to go to closing with a surprise that you need to bring more cash than you calculated. Ask your title company to provide an estimate of the closing costs. In most cases, you will be able to get a preliminary HUD-1 statement soon after you send the ratified contract to the attorney or title company.

Holding Costs – If you are borrowing money, you need to calculate how much your interest charges are and add them to other holding costs such as taxes and insurance. In some cases, you may have housing association costs.

Zoning and Permits – You may be required to pull permits in order to complete your home renovation project. If you are adding square footage to the structure, you should also check with the planning and zoning department to make sure your plans don’t violate the zoning code.

Investors who fail to make use of the due diligence period to do their homework prior to closing on an investment property may be in for a shock. Do your homework!

Lack of Scope of Work

It’s imperative to develop a scope of work for your home renovation project. During the due diligence period, you should develop a detailed scope of work with a line by line list of expenses for each item.

New investors who fail to develop a scope of work will muddle their way through the rehab. Guessing what you might do before you get started and then bouncing around between repairs in a haphazard way is a recipe for failure and significant cost over-runs.

New real estate investor mistakes

Home renovation mistakes and rehabbing errors.

Poor Quality Workmanship

Some new investors try to cut costs by not hiring qualified workman and licensed contractors.

Some unscrupulous investors try to cut corners and hide repairs by covering them up cosmetically. Don’t do this!

When you developed a scope of work, you determined the repairs and improvements that should be made in order to get the resale price target. Do the work well.

Make all the repairs and improvements with excellence. Then when the buyer’s home inspector visits the property, you can be confident about the report. There usually will be a few very minor things that may need to be addressed, but a rehab done right with quality workmanship will make the buyer happy and motivated to get to the closing table quickly. This helps you to meet your resale target date and avoid extra holding costs (i.e. you make more profit).

Refusing to Provide a Property Disclosure Statement

Many owner occupant buyers will expect you to provide a property disclosure statement (also known as the seller’s disclosure statement).

Since you learned about the property during the due diligence period and did a great quality rehab, you should proud to disclose the property condition and renovation performed.

The rehabber who refuses to fill out and provide a property disclosure statement will cause concerns in the minds of potential buyers. Refusing to fill out the property disclosure statement sounds like you have something to hide.

Buyers will withdraw their offer if they suspect that they are dealing with an shady investor who is deliberately concealing known problems with the property.

Ignorance of the Home Mortgage Process

If you are reselling your rehabbed property to fetch maximum resale price, you are most likely selling to the typical owner occupant retail buyer. Such buyers will rely on a traditional home mortgage.

Home mortgages can be conventional, FHA, VA or variations of these. You will want the buyer to provide a letter from a qualified lender or mortgage broker stating that the buyer is pre-qualified for a home mortgage. This is often the best you can expect with most buyers. If it’s a hot seller’s market and expect multiple offers within a few days of putting your rehab up for sale, you will have the luxury of some buyers who will provided proof of funds or a stronger lender letter.

In the real world, many buyers who are pre-qualified actually begin the loan application process with their lender when they have a fully executed purchase contract. Many lenders will not begin the processing the application until the buyers has a property under contract.

Some new investors expect to find a buyer who is better than average. Good luck.

In most cases you will have to wait through the home mortgage process as the buyer works with their lender jumping through all the hoops to satisfy the underwriters. This process should take about 30 days and should be factored into your estimated holding time for the project.

Assuming There Will Be No Glitches

Every real estate rehab project has glitches. Things may not go smoothly getting to the closing table at purchase. The closing may be delayed for one reason or the other.

You may discover new information during the due diligence period that will require you to change your scope of work or renegotiate the purchase price.

You may run into problems during the renovation project.

The contractor you lined up for the project might get delayed because of a family emergency.

The buyer may suddenly get disqualified for a home mortgage because the underwriters discover that the buyer made a last minute purchase of a high ticket item which puts their debt to income ratio out of balance.

The market may suddenly change and you may have to reduce the price to sell quickly so that you don’t lose money on the project.

Avoiding Rehabbing Mistakes

Real estate investors who plan their rehabs, do a quality renovation, and who manage the project from beginning to end are the ones who consistently make a profit with each property resale. Avoiding mistakes that are easily avoidable will help put you on the path to being a profitable real estate investor.

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