My Cortland NY Duplex

Updated: Mar 25

As you may know, I am a bit daring, and buy real estate remotely, without ever seeing the property. This may sound weird if you've never done it before, but it's something I'm very comfortable with.

A few years ago, I was contacted by the new owner of several rental properties in upstate New York. He had just bought the properties as a package deal. There was one in the package that he did not want, and he sold it to me for $10,000 cash. This was a deeply discounted price, so I figured there was something wrong with the place, but at that price, why not buy it and see what I could do with it. One thing that was wrong with it was that it had burned and the top floor was gutted. But the fire did not affect the two units below.

The tenants were low income tenants, and one of the tenants, the female, told me on the phone that the tenant in the other unit, the male, had people in and out of the house at all hours. She was basically saying that he was dealing drugs. That did not sound good. For the first time ever, I hired a property manager. I had always managed my own properties, and after my experience with that property manager, I will probably never use one again. I had also never owned a fixer-upper duplex with low-income tenants. This was all new to me. They were not Section-8, but did get assistance through a similar organization.

As soon as I hired the property manager, he said that I should no longer have contact with the tenants. The female tenant still had my number, though, and called me once late at night, bombed out of her mind. I ended up hanging up on her.

I did not keep this property very long. Instead, I had the property manager, also a real estate agent, list and sell the house. We listed it pretty low for the value, but still with plenty of room for profit. The reason it sold so fast is because it was a great price AND I was offering to sell it with seller financing. I think it sold in a week.

It sold quickly with seller financing to a Cortland-area real estate investor/rehabber. Soon after closing, I reached out to Donna Bauer, who buys real estate notes, and asked her if she was interested in making me an offer on my note. We came to an agreement on price, and Donna began doing her due diligence. We closed not long after that, and all parties were pleased. Donna was awesome, by the way. If you have a real estate note that you want to cash out, you should definitely reach out to Donna. She can be contacted through her website

The Cortland duplex was definitely a great learning experience. One thing I love about being a nationwide homebuyer is that I get to know areas of the country that I otherwise may not have ever known. Even though I may not go there, I get to know it through my purchase and possible renovation.




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