OMAHA, Nebraska (MO.Properties) – Katy Klesitz, a 34-year old Omaha mother of two young children, wanted to earn some money while husband Frank was at the office every day. Seeing an opportunity, she decided to trade housework for house-buying and figured out how to make it profitable.
“I needed to stay at home with the kids while staying COVID-safe,” says Klesitz, “but most of the at-home jobs for people like me who’d been out of the workforce don’t pay much.” Drawing on her background as a former real estate agent, she came up with a clever solution. She began investing in Omaha real estate after forming Katy & Frank Home Buyers with her husband in 2019.
“I knew with the struggling economy that many homeowners would need to sell their home fast, and that was something I could do from my computer at home.” Her first move was to purchase a mailing list of Omaha homeowners who were in pre-foreclosure, behind on their taxes, or dealing with a divorce or bankruptcy – or who had recently inherited a home or failed to previously sell their home.
“These are homeowners who I knew would be receptive to a fast cash offer to sell now. I focus on helping the Omaha homeowner whose home might be dated or needing repairs, so they know they won’t be able to get full price on the traditional market. I’m very transparent – if they can get more money elsewhere, I tell them.”
Upon finding a willing homeowner, she borrows from a private lender (at about 10-percent annual interest) to buy the home and pay for the necessary repairs. “I then lease the newly renovated home to a tenant and work with a local bank to pay back the lender’s money within a few months while taking out a mortgage on the property,” she explains. “I make a few hundred dollars a month on each home between the rent and mortgage payment. You can buy homes without any of your own money today thanks to the current low-interest, easy-money policies.”
Klesitz spends most of her time negotiating homes to buy while working with an estimator to calculate prices to offer. The estimator sends her video inspections from his iPhone. “There’s no need for me to be at the property; I can do it all from home. It saves me a ton of time not having to drive to the homes, not to mention keeping me COVID-safe. The homeowners like it too since there are less people walking through their home.”
Klesitz purchased 24 single-family homes in Omaha from the summer of 2019 to the fall of 2020 and plans to pick up the pace in the coming months. “The Federal Reserve’s historic response to COVID made money so cheap to borrow,” she says. “With the COVID eviction moratorium expiring and rising mortgage delinquencies among homeowners struggling with unemployment and unpaid bills, there will be increased demand for we buy houses services like us in the coming months. We’re ready to write checks for homes, so to speak, but only when homeowners need us. We solve problems first, and then buy houses at terms and prices that make our sellers very happy.”