Bogus Real Estate Offers

Dear Dave,

I’ve been seeing a lot of hand-made signs along the road here in Dallas lately. They say “Seeking real estate investor apprentice –$20,000 a month.” It also has a phone number listed. Do you know what this is about? It sounds too good to be true.

Jerry

Dear Jerry,

Of course it’s too good to be true! If someone’s offering a legitimate job making $20,000 a month do you really think they’re going to post it on a hand-made sign next to the road? I think your advertising budget will involve a little more than poster board and a stick if there’s really $20,000 a month involved. Give me a break!

It sounds to me like they’re trying to sell a questionable real estate seminar. A lot of these things are marketed as “real estate boot camps.” The premise is that over the course of a weekend they’ll teach you to buy and sell foreclosure properties. Some of them charge anywhere from $3,000 to $8,000, with the promise that if you follow the “guru” and his advice, then the “guru” will help you by buying the house with you. They’ll furnish the capital! Of course, seldom if ever do they even buy any houses, and if they do it’s the best possible deal that you might not want to share, anyway.

Anything that sounds too good to be true is too good to be true. It’s not any harder than that. Beverly Sills had it right when she said, “There are no shortcuts to anyplace worth going.” Becoming wealthy isn’t easy. It takes lots of hard work, sacrifice and the willingness to live on less than you make.

Even the Bible talks about this kind of thing. Proverbs 28:20 says, “A faithful man will abound with blessings, but he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.” Remember that, Jerry!

— Dave

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