I got started in real estate in 2008, after the market had collapsed and the foreclosure crisis took off. I obtained my general contractor’s license and started my own company that specialized in working with the lenders on those distressed properties. My firm would secure these often abandoned homes, boarding up broken windows, maintaining the lawns, and removing debris that was left behind by the previous owners or tenants. It wasn’t glamorous work, but I had a handful of employees and subcontractors that I kept busy and I managed to pay my bills. More importantly, it taught me a ton about the real estate market in the Portland Metro. I was inside working on hundreds of homes, from Longview, WA all the way out to the Oregon coast. For a non-native, it was a fabulous education in the many neighborhoods and pockets around the city. It also led me to obtaining by real estate license, where I soon joined a firm that specialized in a niche avenue of real estate; buying foreclosed homes at auction. Over the next few years I helped dozens of investors buy hundreds of foreclosed homes on the courthouse steps, eventually purchasing and remodeling several of my own properties. I’ve had my real estate license for nearly a decade now, and I’ve worked with everyone from first time home buyers to hedge funds buying dozens of homes at one time. My passion is working with investors and helping them find “diamonds in the rough”. Don’t consider yourself a “real estate investor”? You should still work with an agent that can help explain and evaluate a property, because your home will usually be the most expensive purchase you ever make. Any old agent can unlock a door and point you towards the kitchen, but only a seasoned professional can help you unlock the potential in your home.