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  • Avatar of Langport16Langport16
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    @Langport16
    Post count: 1

    Has anyone used this company US Invest for purchasing properties in Dallas and Atlanta?

    Avatar of speedy gonzalesspeedy gonzales
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    @speedy-gonzales
    Post count: 149

    Hi Langport16

    There have been some posts about this group before on this forums if you search past forum topics. Don’t think it was favourable due to their membership fee’s or something along those lines. How far have you progressed with them ? I have a few homes in Dallas now but didn’t buy through this group. I tried to send you a personal message but it says your not accepting emails.

    Avatar of Ziv MagenZiv Magen
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    @zmagen
    Post count: 498

    They claim their properties are "unique" and only available to the exclusive club members who pay them $1K to join.
    Personally, I prefer a far more transparent process, and don't like the idea of paying someone to look at their website, but maybe that's just me.

    Avatar of LilianWALilianWA
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    @LilianWA
    Post count: 14

    Are there any sites that list properties in Dallas or Atlanta?

    Avatar of speedy gonzalesspeedy gonzales
    Member
    @speedy-gonzales
    Post count: 149
    LilianWA wrote:
    Are there any sites that list properties in Dallas or Atlanta?

    What sorts of sites are you referring to ? Realtors ?? You can search Trulia or Zillow but you would need to narrow the search down to a specific area or city to get best results.

    Avatar of Joel.MacdonaldJoel.Macdonald
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    @Joel.Macdonald
    Post count: 52

    We see this time and time again… brokers who charge $5,000+ fees to access the system created by someone else and classify the membership as exclusive…

    Those homes look very familiar to Texas Cash Cow homes… Looks like US Invest is just leveraging off Texas Cash Cow's system and charging a fee for it!

    TCCI look to be the direct source for those Dallas properties, I'm sure Peter from TCCI may or may not be able to comment. Thank me later Peter ; )

    Avatar of Texas Cash Cow Investments AustraliaTexas Cash Cow Investments Australia
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    @Texas-Cash-Cow-Investments-Australia
    Post count: 71

    Hi Joel,

    Very observant of you smiley!!

    Yes you are correct. These are Texas Cash Cow homes that we own and have been refurbished by us.

    Avatar of Ziv MagenZiv Magen
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    @zmagen
    Post count: 498

    Wow. That's bordering on criminal, isn't it? Gotta be some way to call them up on  it, even in the USA???

    Avatar of markosharkmarkoshark
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    @markoshark
    Post count: 2

    US invest:

    I just joined US invest paying $995 upfront to access to properties that are turn-key style. Basically this is an all inclusive package and with these as always you are paying a significant premium to whats on the market. Yes they have been refurbed but i compared a property that is up for sale in Fort Worth won the US invest site with another i found on an agent realtor site 2kms away and for what is the same house essentially your paying $25K more upfront, plus US Invest want a $5995 commission…of course there might be some small differences but both are less then 10yrs old , both refurbed and same bdr/bath and home/land size. I noticed the same home on texas cash cow homes for sale for the same price, so maybe buy there if you want to save $5995 in commission and want the turn key/one-stop shop and dont mind paying extra….

    Avatar of LozandPaulLozandPaul
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    @LozandPaul
    Post count: 2

    Hi All

    I am currently looking into US Invest to buy US investment property and apart from the upfront fees etc I have found that their addresses do not seem to be real at all.  I did see a post on this here and did a little extra digging myself and it is pretty dodgy, even their head office address does not seem to house them.  The explanation that US Invest gave for the property address in Pompano Beach is pretty pathetic.  Does anyone know of a company we can use who is honest and will not rip us.  We would like to buy one property now but build a portfolio over the next few years.  Please inbox me if you would like to. I have also seen that their prices are quite inflated in doing some independent research

    thanks

    Avatar of LozandPaulLozandPaul
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    @LozandPaul
    Post count: 2

    Hi All

    I am currently looking into US Invest to buy US investment property and apart from the upfront fees etc I have found that their addresses do not seem to be real at all.  I did see a post on this here and did a little extra digging myself and it is pretty dodgy, even their head office address does not seem to house them.  The explanation that US Invest gave for the property address in Pompano Beach is pretty pathetic.  Does anyone know of a company we can use who is honest and will not rip us.  We would like to buy one property now but build a portfolio over the next few years.  Please inbox me if you would like to. I have also seen that their prices are quite inflated in doing some independent research

    thanks

    Avatar of worldinvestorworldinvestor
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    @worldinvestor
    Post count: 297

    I think this may be one of their properties……………… buyer beware

    http://www.propertyinvesting.com/forums/overseas-deals/4345831

    Avatar of speedy gonzalesspeedy gonzales
    Member
    @speedy-gonzales
    Post count: 149

    markoshark,

    Thanks for your posting. I just wanted to bring some clarity to this topic for the benefit of all readers.

    markoshark wrote:
    US invest:

    I just joined US invest paying $995 upfront to access to properties that are turn-key style. Basically this is an all inclusive package and with these as always you are paying a significant premium to whats on the market.

    When you joined US Invest and handed over your $995 you would have fully appreciated that they offered turn key style properties so what you are saying is that you happily paid $995 expecting to pay a significant premium from the word go ? That doesn't make sense !! I'm sorry but I am so tired of these companies that you have to pay membership fee's too  to get information and then added money on top of that if/when you buy. It's obvious that US Invest run off the shirt tales of Texas Cash Cow in Dallas….it just costs you an extra $7000 on top using US Invest.

    You say you compared a property from Texas Cash Cow to another one in Fort Worth ? I'll put it on record that I have purchased 3 homes through Texas Cash Cow in Dallas. Every one I did my own due diligence on the ground for 3 months. Part of this involved also seeing a realtor so I could compare apples to apples. What I found and confirmed was that the product they offered was well priced and backed up by comparable sales from the MLS or in Dallas NTREIS. Sitting here in Australia and doing due diligence on the computer in a city or country you have never visited before is NOT a fair way to compare properties. Unlike in Australia….in the US and in a city of over 6.5 million….2 klms away can be a huge difference in prices and area's. Add to this fact that I can get finance from a local Dallas bank for 70% of the purchase price so only 30% of MY money is invested into the home. I get a copy of the banks independent appraisal report which gives me 6 comparable sales within the immediate and local vicinity.

    But did Texas Cash Cow make a profit ? Of course they did…I'm not a fool. But if they can offer me a property that is priced at or below a normal market value that is not overpriced, that has been refurbished already and has a tenant in place when I close, that I can get a proper 20 year bank loan on from a local US bank….where is the problem with that ?

    Just thought I needed to clarify this

    Avatar of Texas Cash Cow Investments AustraliaTexas Cash Cow Investments Australia
    Member
    @Texas-Cash-Cow-Investments-Australia
    Post count: 71

    Thanks speedy gonzales (Byron),

    Your spot on. All of our homes are sold at or below a normal market value and we can show anyone interested plenty of comparable sales (not sold by TCCI) to back up the prices asked. We are not a fly by night company and have operated for over 12 years and pride ourselves on our honesty and intregrity.

    I have many clients just like Byron who have purchased multiple homes through us after starting out with just one….that to me speaks millions.

    Avatar of USInvest-RyanUSInvest-Ryan
    Member
    @USInvest-Ryan
    Post count: 13

    Thanks LozandPaul, World Investor, Markoshark and all other contributors in this post thus far. I would like to address a few points on this topic raised in regards to US Invest and our operations on the ground in America, most of all, to reinforce our business strategy which is to assist international buyers in building a quality US Investment portfolio through our on the ground experience, expertise and relationships.

    There are a few key points which separate US Invest from Australian property providers (and in many cases what you could call spruikers) . We have a large operation which is active upon many levels of the US foreclosure market. A large majority of our dealings are with large funds throughout America and the bulk purchase and acquisition process. The other part of our business, which we will discuss today, is focused on providing actual experience and expertise to the Australian and international retail market. There are very few companies in Australia which can actually say they are heavily involved in the US property market and the acquisition process of foreclosed homes, particularly as they are not even based in America.

    To address the concern regarding our office and presence in America. We are a business based on the ground in the US with our head office being in Princeton, New Jersey. Our Princeton office alone is 7,400 Sqft. It has a 42 seater call centre with 16 perimeter offices bordering the centre sales floor which houses Depts like our in-house accountants, economic research team hired straight out of Princeton University, our transaction co-ordination team, a dedicated LLC dept, legal team, IT and web department to name but a few. We have a well appointed boardroom to meet and greet clients which happens daily as they fly into New York, and we have a 12 seater training room that aids in our future growth and training of our growing staff base. I only write this not to impress anyone reading, but to hopefully let you understand were not a company professing to be on the ground in the US, but actually only have some dodgy virtual or serviced office. The office is  ours with a 10 year lease agreement. US Invest currently has over 50 employees and is the fastest growing International US property firm in Australia, New Zealand and the UK right now. We deal in 5 markets in America and aside from our head office in Princeton, we have offices throughout those markets that house depts such as analysts and marketing, right through to acquisitions, brokers and administration.

    I’ll do my best to keep this post short and satisfy any questions posters may have. I will also try to refrain from self-promotion as I see so regularly by posters on this site. I would like to make it very clear, US Invest prides itself on our services and over 70% of our growth is by word of mouth, not frivolous self-promotion through forums and we do try to keep our presence in this area to a minimum, however we must also address incorrect information regarding our business.

    US Invest and TCCI: US Invest entered the Texas market some time ago. Texas is a great market, has a great economy and huge growth potential moving forward. After operating on the ground and conducting more than 6 months of due-diligence in this market, it very quickly became clear who the key players were and who was providing real, below market quality investments to suppliers. The team at TCCI do this extremely well and we realized very quickly the quality of their product combined with the volume and access to bank direct foreclosures, we would be much better off working with TCCI rather than reinventing the wheel in the same market. We actually have an office in Texas, dealing solely with the administration side of our client’s investments. Now, Markoshark, you mentioned you found a ‘similar’ property to what US Invest/TCCI was offering in Fort Worth for 25k less. If this was the case, I do hope you bought it. TCCI properties offered through US Invest are priced extremely competitively and include expansive refurbishments.

    To clarify another issue raised, US Invest offers TCCI homes at exactly the same price as what TCCI offer to their investors. This is an extremely transparent process to avoid issues/questions such as this from arising. Absorbed in our fee, is the loan origination cost, as well as in most cases, LLC set-up which those who have bought and applied for finance will be aware comes at a significant cost. There is also an extra level of due diligence applied to US Invest/TCCI homes. It is essential our investors have a growing and profitable portfolio. After all, that is the basis of our business. We actually select and conduct our own due diligence on all TCCI homes and areas before offering them to US Invest clientele. So we actually do not present ALL TCCI homes to our members.

    With repeat business being our main source of growth, thorough due diligence is essential to achieve the satisfaction of our members and to substantiate the costs which go into qualifying and the best few investment properties from literally hundreds which reach the desks of our acquisitions team each and every week.

    Speedy Gonzalez also makes a great point: All TCCI homes are of an excellent quality and standard. This is why we are the main seller of their homes to international buyers. We prefer to use our brand rather then become a sales person for TCCI using their brand. Texas is only one market for us and diversity is the key to a successful portfolio for our members. That being said, TCCI have expressed to us many times that they would love nothing more then to do what they are good at which is buying and renovating quality homes, and the rest of the paperwork, sales, finance, LLC set up etc is something they would prefer is handled by a large and equipped operation like ours.

    And Speedy, you mentioned to buy from us vs TCCI is a 7k difference. This is simply not accurate. Yes we have fee's like any company with our size and strength, but we offer so much more as a company then what your making out. The true difference is closer to 3k, when you add in the things we cover in our fee's that you would have to pay direct with TCCI. We also have things in-house like legal, tax experts, property experts to hold your hand and of course the research we do on every property. We do our own research in our economic dept with further research by our analysts on each of those properties before we put that property into our Property Investment Report format. By that I mean, you actually get a full report on each home explaining everything from the demographics of the area right down to rental demand, schooling, our proprietary health charts and future growth algorithms to name but a few. Its a full detailed report that you DO NOT get from TCCI. Its strictly for our members, and for a couple of thousand more coupled with our list of extensive services, its worth its weight in gold. It's why people become members of US Invest in the first place. Because were experts that build the right relationships and back it up with research and due-dilligence. TCCI homes are a small part of our business, but were proud to be associated with them.   At no point do we try to hide our relationship with TCCI as there is no reason other than supplying an excellent quality product. The US Invest Texas office is actually located within the same building as the TCCI lawyers. Handling loan origination, operating agreement, finance qualification, contracting and LLC set-up is all part of the service we provide to our members. (Just to clarify, Speedy Gonzalez, our original $995 membership cost is actually refunded to our members.)

    We don't sell everything TCCI bring to market and to be quite honest, the majority of their business is also done directly with major domestic funds and investment houses like us. But they do bring quality homes to market which makes our job a lot easier, however we still have the US Invest standards we maintain on everything we do.

    Lastly, LozandPaul, I would like to address your query in regards to mark-ups/prices you have seen online for many of our homes and also your query on our corporate address. Without dragging out an already long winded post, I think I explained pretty clearly above how we house our operation. Our HQ is in Princeton, NJ. The FL address is a property we are also situated in and operate our FL acquisitions out of. I can gladly ask an acquisition staff member to take a video today from the waterfront home to prove so. As you know Hurricane Issac going through that area as I type so it would be pretty hard to fake. We also have offices in other states as I wrote above. Were an honest company that takes quality product and customer service so seriously its by far our #1 priority.

    With regards to your query on inflated home prices, unfortunately this is an issue we see come up fairly often and one which I will address now so it will hopefully put your mind at ease when you view our homes. Often, you will see our properties inflated by as much as $30,000 from the last sale price of the property. Now, at first glance, this may seem like a lot, however, a little due diligence and common sense and one can see how these costs are easily incurred throughout the refurbishment and acquisition process. Firstly, there is an acquisition cost to purchase the property. Like most businesses, we are not a cash business and investment capital comes at a cost. Not only this, we then have eviction costs, title costs and numerous legal hurdles before we can even begin to get our renovation team in there. Then the renovation starts. Have you ever renovated a bathroom or kitchen? Very quickly you will see how fast $15,000-$30,000 can be spent. When you think about new kitchens, several bathrooms, living rooms, bedrooms, paint, new carpet, external repairs, Roofs, electrical, plumbing and air conditioning it doesn’t take long before a renovation budget is diminished to a net loss (as has happened many times in the past). So next time you do see a home for $80,000 which previously sold for $48,000, I’m sure you will be able to appreciate the significant costs that go into this process to create a consistent finished product. After all, we need to make sure that our homes are of a quality standard and won’t be costing our members money down the line, therefore eating into their net returns. It is possible to try and trim $10,000 in renovation costs but the end buyer is the one who ends up paying the price and cutting corners does not feature in our operation.

    I do urge you to do full research on what it would cost to buy a home thats advertised at $48,000 in a distressed situation. Add in all the other costs associated that I mentioned before like eviction, bad debt, tax liens etc, then of course doing the renovation to bring it to a level that a property inspector will approve, but most importantly a tenant will rent and live in comfortably, because after all it doesn't matter if the home is 40k or 400k, the home needs to be a home that someone will live in and pay the right amount of rent to make you a healthy return, otherwise its not an investment.. I know from years of experience that you cannot acquire a property and renovate anywhere near the price we can retail it at. Not to mention the heartache you will have trying to do all this with limited resources and experience in this market. Were fully aware that homes we bring to market have been purchased by either us or our partners for significantly less then the retail, we also can use google and know where these properties are advertised. But we educate all our members on this through our Property Mastery Course so they can fully understand what is done to each property. We supply a full turn-key product, not dilapidated homes that will never get a tenant. We also offer things like a scope of work to show our members what was actually done to each house (in fact we offer a service that teaches members exactly how to do what we do from start to finish). We then have EVERY home inspected by a third party property inspector to make sure everything is up to code and our clients satisfaction long before closing.

    We do things right and have an extremely proud business, one that has been built on tremendous hard work and grown to over 3000 members on our solid reputation. I make no apologies for our costs or our extremely competitive margins as we, like any others are in business too. What is important is that we provide a quality product, value and assistance to our members to make the right investment decisions which I’m sure nearly everyone is aware is full of spruikers and sharks. We haven’t grown our operation to over 50 staff to be anything of the sort, which is exacatly the reason we are located in America, where we can have a true hand in bringing on board the best, below market investments.

    If anyone would prefer not to use our services and navigate the US property market on their own, that is their choice, but our experience has shown that our members see tremendous value in this service and our growth rates speak for themselves.

    I haven’t written this post to provoke argument in any way shape or form. If you do have any further queries, please feel free to contact me directly at r.mcfarland@usinvest.com.au

    <moderator: delete advertising>

    I hope this has brought some clarity to the situation and I wish all of you a profitable and  successful investment future.

    Kind Regards,

    Ryan McFarland

    US Invest

    Avatar of speedy gonzalesspeedy gonzales
    Member
    @speedy-gonzales
    Post count: 149

    Thanks Ryan,

    So what your saying is that the US HQ for US Invest is located at 600 Alexander Road, Princeton NJ ?? I see on your website that's backed up by a picture of a US Invest sign on the building….so you guys have naming rights by the looks of it ?? And the lease must be in the name of US Invest I would imagine for such a large organisation ??

    Well I'm curious….what's the telephone number for the business in Princeton and what's the suite number ?

    Avatar of USInvest-RyanUSInvest-Ryan
    Member
    @USInvest-Ryan
    Post count: 13

    The telephone number for our office in Princeton is 609-454-5480, were on the 3rd floor suite 3. There is only our company on the 3rd floor and one other. Gaia Investments is part of our company. Regarding naming rights to a building, no one has naming rights to this building. We actually had a race to see who would get their sign up quicker, ourselves or the guys down at Wells Fargo Home Mortgages on the 1st floor, and they beat us. They have there sign on the right hand side of the front section and we have the space on the left hand side, however the truth be told, the current image you see on our website is actually computer generated while we get our sign finished and mounted.

    If your ever coming into NYC, we would love you to come in and visit and check out our operation. Were about an hour south on the train. Jump on at Penn Station and one of our staff members will pick you up from Princeton junction. Were based right in the banking section of Princeton, with Blackrock directly across the road and Sovereign Bank next door.

    I have had numerous conversations with the heads of our company and I have convinced them that it would be a good thing if we were to come on here and contribute with advice in areas where we feel we can help. Obviously we still hold a structure that is exclusive to our members, So we could never give all our advice away, but if we can help some of you make safer decisions by not making the same mistakes we made, I hope its perceived as a good thing. We wont be touting for new members as this is not in our business model, we purely want to help out and get active amongst this community.

    Hope Everyone on here is cool with that.

    Regarding a recent question you had Speedy about home warranty. We have a company we have used in the past with no issues, however the majority of these company's are all the same, they never want to pay out if they don't have to.The company we used in the past was Landmark Home Warranty. If you want an awesome home insurance company, we have what I reckon is easily the best in America price wise and coverage wise. We went through a lot of companies to find them, but they are the best we have worked with to date. let me know

    Avatar of CheevesFinancialCheevesFinancial
    Member
    @CheevesFinancial
    Post count: 201

    Ryan,

    Where on earth do you make enough to cover all that overhead?  I am part owner of Weichert in Hoboken, NJ.  We are only a franchise, but our Weichert corporate office owned by Jim Weichert himself is barely this big!  Do you do real estate deals in NJ? 

    CheevesFinancial | Cushman & Wakefield - Commercial Property SW FL
    http://www.CommercialRealEstateVoice.com
    Email Me | Phone Me

    Avatar of USInvest-RyanUSInvest-Ryan
    Member
    @USInvest-Ryan
    Post count: 13

    Cheeves,

    Thanks for you comment. We dont do deals in NJ, however its great to know your a local company near us. Perhaps you would like to come and visit us in the next week or so and give the forumites your un-biased view of our operation?

    With overheads, I could go on for days explaining how we have managed to keep them so low cause it really is a fine art that we work very hard at, but just to mention some quick points without long winded details.

    We got our office for a song during a time of low occupancy. So we actually have this space for less then $17sqft! I can imagine yours is substantially higher on Newark St in Hoboken right?

    Plus we also do not have any franchise fee's to pay and our model is totally different to yours. I'll explain in a minute.

    Our salaries are very low, even though we have a very strong talent pool. We do this through a few methods, but the most important one is we dont hire for money. We hire people looking for a better education and a fun place to work… the salary needs to come 3rd to the first 2 or they dont get hired, we conduct many tests to un-cover this. We built an awesome culture here that keeps us all happy and excited turning up to work. To fully grasp it, I think you should look at Tony Hsieh from Zappos. They have it right and were trying to model them in some ways. I also recommend reading "Good to Great" by Jim Collins.

    We hire a lot of staff in their final year of Princeton so we get the brightest minds in the country at a fraction of what you would pay them a few years from now. 60% of our staff work the shift from 6pm till 1am to deal with Australia, so those hours are perfect for Princeton students looking to make a difference and getting a stronger resume. As you know Princeton is the #1 academic college in the United States and some say the world. So opening our HQ here was a very strategic decision. As I typed earlier we dont do business in NJ, we only opened the office here for 1 reason.The talent pool. This comes directly from the book "good to great" where he stresses the need to get the right people on the bus first before setting off on the journey.

    With our model, the set up of how we do business means we can move a lot of property. We get criticized on here for the membership model, but this is something that allows us to really understand our members and deliver what they need. We get better and stronger everyday at this. Ask yourself how long the average property sits on your books once you become the listing agent? The average property that sits on our books is for 48 hours to give you an idea.

    Let me try to explain why it only lasts 48 hours. Imagine a suit salesman. You can walk into any suit shop from Calvin Klein to brooks brothers etc. They all do the same thing. A little measuring, 3-4 options of suits and then try to close you on a suit you don't even know you like.  I honestly hate that. Now imagine a suit salesman, that actually took an hour or two to measure every inch of a mans arm, legs, shoulders etc for his files. Took note of every suit the person already owns, colors, shoes, belts and so on. This guy now totally understands what the end user wants and needs. So when a new suit comes in that he knows will be a perfect fit for his client he can be smart and tailor it right away and send it to him.

    This guy is actually a real guy and is the highest paid suit salesman in America. He actually calls himself a wardrobe consultant now and earns over $20,000 a week in comm's. Why I tell you this is because he took a service to the next level. The guys who sell property at USinvest are not just brokers or salesman. They are advisors. They fully understand what our member wants and needs and provide that service. This is why our model is so successful for us. It doesn't suit everyone, but for the person who wants the extra attention and hasn't got all the time in the world to DIY as a lot of people on here recommend, our model becomes a perfect fit. It's not for everyone, but then again neither is becoming a member of a something like a country club. Yet the people who see value in that type of thing sign up in droves to the point where most have waiting lists.

    Each to their own I suppose.

    Hope to see you soon Cheeves. Love to sit down with you to talk Real Estate some time soon at our office. 

    Avatar of jayhinrichsjayhinrichs
    Member
    @jayhinrichs
    Post count: 1,143

    Not to be negative but a boiler room full of college students who have little to no practical r e al estate experience just sound like a high pressure sales organization. And the only way you can cover that overhead is with healthy margins and volume

    What are your 5 markets?   This is really the crux or acid test  of your company.. 

    Also since you  you admit to selling properties for other owners to your clients your clearly selling RE  and as such all your college kids have RE license,s correct?

     

    Ryan are you a licensed re broker?

    Thanks

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