Leaving Atlanta…

July 14, 2013 · 31 comments

It seems like just yesterday that I was posting about arriving here in Atlanta after a long drive from our old home in California. Turns out that was more than 5 years (and a wedding and two kids) ago!

And now we’re on the move again. I’d like to say it was a calculated decision based on some heavy analysis of the business and the real estate markets, but in reality, it was pretty much just a spontaneous decision that will get us closer to where both my wife and I grew up. We’ll likely settle in Maryland at some point in the next couple months, but still haven’t found a new house, so we don’t know exactly where or when. We close on the sale of our personal residence tomorrow (Monday), and will be spending the next little while looking for a place to call home, visiting some friends/family around the country, and keeping an eye on our investments in several different cities.

I’m sure I’ll be getting back to Atlanta plenty, as we plan to continue investing here. And we’ll probably start investing in Maryland as well, once we settle in.

I’m not going to do a final analysis post on my personal residence (since it was never intended to be an investment), but I’m happy to say that we sold it for more than we bought it for, though after all commissions and closing costs, we’ll net less than what we paid. Not to mention the $10,000 or so we did in upgrades the past few months while preparing for the sale.

I’ll post more once we get settled…somewhere… πŸ™‚

31 responses to “Leaving Atlanta…”

  1. Devon says:

    I’m sad to see you go. I have been following your blog since day one..I have plans on moving to ATL (to be closer to family not to stalk you) in the next year or so and had dreams of buying you lunch one day. so maybe we can partner on some deals or just point me to the best agents,contractors you worked with. Be Blessed Im a subscriber for life.

  2. J Scott says:

    Thanks Devon! Shoot me an email when you get to Atlanta…I’ll be back here plenty, I’m pretty sure… πŸ™‚

  3. Ivan Jouikov says:

    Hi J Scott,

    It seems like just yesterday you bought that first property, that took soooo long to sell. I can only imagine if someone didn’t have your cash backing, that could’ve been the end of that venture!

    I’ve followed your blog since it started and it’s been a great inspiration for me, and one of the main reason for why I moved to California 6 months ago.

    I’m in the Bay Area, but wherever you’re at – I’d love to come out and meet you in person; dinner’s on me!

  4. Hey J,

    I have to concur what Devon said. I had every intention of coming to visit and taking you and your wife to dinner for all the wonderful blogs you’ve shared. I too have been along since the beginning (sorry for not commenting more. If you blog again, I promise to be a better follower :-).

    I wish the very best for you and your family, you’ve been a wonderful inspiration to (may I say all? – I’m going to take the liberty) ALL of the rehabbers on BP. In every blog you have put all your cards on the table with regard to cost, profit and loss. No pulling punches, everything straight up and honest, and for that, I truly thank you many times over. Yes, cost for things are different in different markets, but you’ve provided time and time again the ACTUAL cost of taking an ugly house, making it pretty and the actual cost for EVERYTHING it takes to get it sold, the right way. The information has been invaluable to me as I constantly check your numbers against mine to check where I should be. Without it, I wouldn’t have a clue how far off or on I am. No one else out there is putting it all out there like you have and with such consistency I might add, so again J, I thank you and sincerely wish the best for you and all your family!

    You’ve done so well, you should really be able to enjoy this new adventure for a while! Let us all know how you’re doing once you’ve settled back into working to ease your boredom. πŸ˜‰ Best wishes! ~Candyce Blodgett

  5. Michelle says:

    Wow, exciting news! Congratulations to you and your family! Can’t wait to see what Maryland brings you!

  6. Jessica Sala says:

    Good luck wherever your road may leave you πŸ™‚

  7. KimG says:

    All of the best to you and your future endeavors! Thank you so much for putting together this awesome and informative blog πŸ™‚

  8. Thomas says:

    New to the site just found it from BiggerPockets. Time does seem to get away from you and 5 years goes by fast. Good luck with the move and hope you enjoy the new location in Maryland. Looking forward to learning more from this site as I am new to the world of real estate investing and hope that 2013 brings in a few deals.

  9. Alison says:

    Hi J. I’ve followed you on BiggerPockets for a while but just now visited this blog for the first time. Excited to hear you’re heading to the DMV and I’d love to meet up with you and tell you what I know about the real estate community here after you arrive and get settled. Any idea what area of Maryland you’re considering? Best of luck! Alison

  10. Main Line Photos says:

    Move to Philly, so much cooler

  11. Frank says:

    Good luck J. I am a New Yorker who just purchased your book and am reading all the blog posts with the intention of beginning to invest in one or more of the smaller coastal cities in Georgia and/or South Carolina. My wife has family in the area. Your detailed analyses provides a wonderful roadmap. Just one question re. financing. I am fairly well situated with unencumbered cash and a good credit score but would like to minimize cash investment for the first transaction(s) by borrowing the funds to purchase properties and using my savings primarily for rehab costs. Are there bank mortgage products that provide for early prepayment with no penalties? In lieu of that option, can you point me to any good resources that detail borrowing from retirement funds? Thank you and all the best in your new adventure in Maryland.

  12. Grandma Gail says:

    πŸ™‚ your mom in Maryland

  13. Wow, congratulations on the upcoming move. You’re making your way up my way. How do you think the market/competition will compare to Atlanta?

  14. Congrats on the move!

    I was just about to try and schedule a visit with you in Atlanta! My wife and I go down there frequently for shopping.

    Can’t wait to see what you get into in Maryland.

    Again, congrats!

  15. Jude Nugara says:

    Well, we’re here… After several long days of driving through snow (yes, snow!) and thunder storms, sleeping in our car (everyone else was smart enough to get out of the storm and the hotels were booked), and one 27 hour stretch of driving, we made it to Atlanta. Our stuff arrived on Tuesday, and the […]

    It is very sad you are leaving. You did a great job by inspiring us….I am your follower….
    God bless you & your family

  16. Sandy says:

    JScott, best wishes on all of your present and future endeavors. For about six years, I have followed you from the sidelines and I know you have all the necessary tools to succeed anywhere. You have certainly proven this.

    Since your Bay Area days, I have admired your wit. While my gut once felt that you were a little nuts to leave your well paying job and move across the country to follow your RE dream, you have proven that success is to be had when due diligence is performed. Your passion and desire to enrich your life and those of others through good deeds (i.e. sharing knowledge) is incredibly admirable. Now, as you prepare for another chapter in your life, may your road be blessed.

    – Sandy R. in CA

  17. J Scott says:

    Hey Justin,

    Like Atlanta, I think the Baltimore area has a LOT of investors. Hopefully, like Atlanta, we can carve out a niche where we’re not competing with the bulk of them and hopefully find an area that is both profitable and not too competitive. In Atlanta, we did that by focusing on slightly higher price points than the low-end; perhaps we can do the same in Maryland?

  18. J Scott says:

    Hi Frank,

    I would definitely try to find your local banks who lend their own money (Portfolio Lenders). Most investment products they provide would be perfect for someone with good credit and enough cash to cover much/all of the rehab costs. And typically portfolio loans are 6-12 months in duration, with no pre-payment penalty.

  19. J Scott says:

    Hey Alison,

    We’ll likely be living in Howard County. We typically invest where we live, but who knows, we may branch out. Where do you live?

  20. Danielle says:

    Hi J Scott,

    I’m wondering if you’ve written here or elsewhere about the process of doing flips and rehabs long-distance…you mention doing properties in other states. Any tips on managing projects from out of state? Is it a completely different beast than living nearby? (We’re temporarily out of state with work, but would like to start in our home state where we know the areas and property climate intimately).

    Thanks for all the resources you provide! We’re soaking everything up like a sponge.

  21. Mark Lopez says:

    J Scott,

    Good luck to you and your family, you have inspired my wife and I. One question i would like to ask, we have an investment property my wife ( new realtor) located with a great criteria for flipping, wholesaling or hold. Can we use a standard purchase agreement with an assignment clause to make this deal? She did disclosed she was a realtor, however her broker said she needed a promulgated contract. Im not a realtor, therefore i can do this deal with giving her broker a commision?

  22. Kelsey Uh says:

    Hi J Scoot good luck to your new move! Honestly this is my first time reading your blog and I really loved it. And I’m looking forward to see more of your success!

  23. Dawn says:

    Glad to hear you are coming up north! So excited to see what Maryland holds for you. I’ve been following you on and off for the past six months and you are a true inspiration! My husband and I have been doing about a deal per year starting in 2011 and are learning a lot from our experiences and from you as well! We are at the southern part of PA. If you’re looking for anyone to join your team, let me know! πŸ™‚ Always willing to learn!

  24. Will says:

    Hey J Scott, good luck to you and your family. Been following you blog for quite some time now. Much success.


  25. Tracey says:

    Good luck on your move to Maryland, I pray to find lots of deals for business there!

  26. Bo Wagner says:

    Susie and I miss y’all!

    xo, your favorite closing attorney ; )

  27. J Scott says:

    Hi Mark,

    Unfortunately, I don’t know the answer to your question…sorry…

  28. J Scott says:

    Hi Danielle,

    I’m actually just starting an entire book on this topic. Though I’m not sure if I can fit all the information into a single book… πŸ™‚

  29. P DIxon says:

    JScott, did you move to Maryland and if so, do you have an office in Maryland?

  30. J Scott says:

    Hi P Dixon,

    Yes, I moved to Maryland a few months ago. I’ve never had an office outside of my home, and in Maryland, I’m also working out of my home.

  31. Jerry says:

    Hi J Scott
    Heard a lot about you a on the BP podcast and I always thought it would be nice to meet you since I’m from So California and working on my 1st flip here in Atlanta (Jonesboro to be exact) your business and level of quality you put into your homes is the type of business that I would like to have at some point.
    Good luck to you and your family on your new location


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