How to Get a Great Deal on Your Dream Home


Great_Deal_Dream_HomeHow would you like to find your dream home AND get a great deal on it too? Whether you are looking to rent or to own, here is your step by step plan. You're about to discover exactly how to find a true diamond in the rough; not only could it be your dream home but it also could be at the price or terms that will fit for you. So you can finally have your cake and eat it too! You may want to share this with friends and family because what is about to be unveiled in extremely valuable. Furthermore, this is the exact same formula I personally used to buy my dream home in Florida. Anyone can do this and it works everywhere equally well. It may cost a few bucks to implement but a little can go a long way. Here's how you can get a great deal on your dream home:

How to Get a Great Deal on Your Dream Home


Not only finding your dream home but also getting a great deal on it because so often it's assumed that either you get one or the other but not both. Well, in this video, I'm going to show you how to have your cake and eat it too and have both

I have a tremendous amount of experience. Furthermore, I have mastered the fine art of finding great deals. Now, primarily, that's always been focused on great investing deals, but those same techniques, those same skills, apply to finding a single-family home that you want to own or rent to move into, your "dream home."

In fact, the technique that I'm going to share with you on this video is what I did personally for my dream home that I live in right now. This video is so special because it can apply to so many people. It can apply to people that want to be renting a home but they may have bad credit, they just went through a foreclosure, and so all of the apartment complexes they've been to have been turning down their application. Maybe it's somebody who wants to be a homeowner, doesn't have the down payment, doesn't have the credit, but they still want to be homeowners. What if it's someone that just wants to get a dream home, they do have good credit, they do have a down payment, but they don't want to pay full retail price? Again, this really hits a lot of spectrum here. The goal here is for you to be able to find your dream home and get a great deal on it.


Great Deals


What I mean by great deal is different depending on the situation.


Renting Great Deals:

  •   just being able to rent because maybe the landlord doesn't do detailed background checks and credit checks and what not, so you can kind of slide through the application process.
  • Maybe it just means getting a lower rental rate than the market rate.
  • Maybe it means even finding a place to rent in a certain area because it's in such demand.

Great deal can mean different things for renting. Then for owning it could be for as well. Either, one, you want to find a deal below retail value, so you're buying it for less than it's really worth. Maybe you wouldn't be able to work out a deal because you don't have a down payment and you can work out and create financing terms with the seller.


Rent or Own?


Now, before I go any further, I want to draw your attention to a video I had put together previously called "Should you own or rent your own home?" This video right here sheds some interesting light, some statistics, some findings that we've uncovered from all of our experience in real estate, and it's pretty surprising. I want to encourage you to watch that video. It's 15, 20 minutes long. Some great information in there.

Now, also, I'll summarize it if you've seen the video and just need a refresher, or if you haven't and you want to make sure you fully grab all the wisdom in this video. That is, if your time horizon is short, you want to rent. If your time horizon is long, assuming you don't overpay, you want to own. Owning can be a great option, but you have to have the plan to be in that property for a long period of time. Otherwise, in most cases, it's better to rent.



Primarily, it depends on the part of the area of the country, but primarily if you're looking to rent, which since I advocate renting in many cases, one of the problems is you're kind of left high and dry, aren't you? Because most real estate agents, real estate professionals, they want to work with people who want to own because owning gets them a commission, whereas renting, they don't really make much money. I don't blame real estate agents. I am a licensed agent. I don't blame them for not wanting to spend hours and hours driving somebody around and searching different properties to help them find a place to rent for, say, $1,000 a month because they're not going to make much money. It's not worth their time.


How to Find Your Dream Home


Step One: Know What You Want

This is a real problem for a lot of people in life. They don't know what they want. In order for to get your dream home, you have to know what your dream home is. I know that sounds obvious, but it's a really important detail.

If you don't even know what your dream home is, that's going to be some additional research, driving around, looking at houses, looking at things online, getting an idea of what you want your dream home to be. Now, many, many years ago when I was flat broke, I literally wrote out with great detail what my dream home was, down to the bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, ceiling height, where it was located, being on the water, I mean, all of these different details. It was so vividly detailed.That's where I live now. I live in my dream home. I did have step one dialed in. I knew what I wanted.


Main Things You Need to Know


  • Know Your Area

That's huge. You need to know where you want to live. If anything, that's the biggest thing. You've got to have the geography dialed in. Now, that could literally be all the way down to one subdivision. It could be in a certain ZIP code. It could be one little area within a ZIP code. It could be anywhere within a city, but you have to be crystal clear on where you want to live. Again, if you don't know where yet, you're going to have to do some additional research.


  • Know Your Must Haves

What are your must haves for this dream home of yours? Must it have at least 4 bedrooms? Must it have a pool? Must it have a 2-car garage? You know, what are the must haves that absolutely have to be there? Must it have a fireplace? These are the things that you absolutely have to have written down.


  • Know Your Wants

Okay, so what has to be in that property, and then what are some of the things that would be nice to have. Right, so keep that on a list, the wants, but those are not as important as the must haves. You got it? Okay. When you have this dialed in, you know exactly where you want to be, you know what the must haves are, now we can move to step 2.


Step 2: Create the List of People That You Can Target


We had a very, very special tool out there. It's the only one like it. It's a system called They are the 900 pound gorilla, a data aggregator, mailing list service that exists out there, but they have a very special list-building tool. What this tool allows you to do is pick out exactly which houses fit what you want. You can develop a list, and so the concept here is you pick out the exact parameters, where you want to be, what you must have in that house, and you select those filters or parameters, and then List Source gives you the list of all the houses that fit those parameters.


Step 3: Mail the Houses on This List


You have the magical list. Then, you mail to those people. What's that mailer need to be? I think it needs to be hand-written, and I think it needs to say something like, "Hey, my wife and I," if you're married, or, "Hey, I'm looking to buy a home in your area to live in. If you're interested in selling, please give me a call," and the phone number Or, if you're looking to rent, "Hey, I'm looking for a place to rent in your area. If you or somebody you know is renting their home in your area, please give me a call." It's that simple. This is not a complicated message. You want it to be real. You want it to be hand-written, and you want it to be simple. The goal is for them to call you back.

Now, typically direct mail response rates are 1-2%. You can get up to 10% response rate with this. Let's say you sent out 100 letters. Well, 100 letters, let's say you get 10 calls back. Now, all of a sudden, you've got some potential. You've got some prospects, and you've targeted just the stuff that fits for what you must have. Here's the great thing. These are often deals that were never on the market. Nobody else knows about these. You're not competing against anybody else, so that way you can get a better deal. You can work directly with the owner. You can work out if you're renting the property a better rental rate. If you're working directly with the owner, you can work out creative owner financing terms, which brings me to this point.


Creative Financing


If you want to learn more about what I mean by this "creative financing terms," such as not having to go get a bank loan, if that's confusing at all, that's okay. I've got another video called "How to buy real estate without cash or credit." It's got almost 600,000 views at this point. It was actually a lecture that I taught at the University of Central Florida on the subject. That will give you an in-depth view of how you would structure that, but the concept is, if you are mailing to this list that you've created that you get at, then you can mail to these people.

Now, the first time you mail, you may not get what you're after. You may get some phone calls back, but none may fit. Here's the thing. You only have to buy the list once because they're probably not building that many homes in that exact section you're at, so ends up happening is you can keep mailing to the list, to the people that didn't respond to you  once a month, or once every 2 months, until you get an answer.


The Process

Ah, but you may be thinking, "Well, wait a minute, Phil. That means that may take a while." Yep. This does have a drawback. It could take a little bit for you to get what you want, but this is your dream home we're talking about. We're talking about a great deal. Being patient, that's a virtue here. This little outline right here can produce extraordinary results for you. I will, again, at the end of this video, I'm going to take us over to List Source, I'll take you inside the system, and I'll show you exactly how you create that list, but as far as mailing to them, this is not rocket science. Literally, you just ... hand-written letters are the best. Hand-written envelope, hand-written letter, simple message. "I'm looking to buy," or, "I'm looking to rent in your area. If you're interested, call me back." Boom.

Then, if they call you back, you ask them all about the house. Again, you're looking for your dream home, so you ask them, you know, how many bedrooms, how many bathrooms, does it have a fireplace, does it have a 2-car garage, all that great stuff. What's the address? These days, you can look up just an amazing amount of things just by having the address. All right, so if you are looking to buy, I'm going to give you a couple other tips.


Buying Your Dream Home


If you're looking to buy, you may be wondering why I haven't mentioned the idea of a real estate agent. Well, again, if you can find the deal on your own and work directly with the owner, that might be the way to go, but if you are a complete novice, and you are so scared about what happens after you've talked to the seller about how you do a contract and all that stuff, if you're looking to buy, you can hire an agent, a real estate agent. If you do that, you're going to have to pay a commission. If you're going to have to pay a commission, that's not going to come out of the seller in most cases. It's really going to come out of you because you're the one buying. You're the one who had to hire this person.


Handling the Paperwork

If you're buying, you may want to hire a real estate agent to deal with the paperwork, but I would argue what you could also do, get this, is the title company, or in some states, in some areas, they use closing attorneys, so whatever name you want to give it, the organization, the company that does the paperwork for the closing, you can have them do the paperwork. You can literally call them up and say, "Hey, look, I talked to the seller, and here's what we've agreed upon. They've agreed to be the bank. I'm going to give them $1,000, and then the other $99,000, I'm going to pay them back 4% interest over the course of the next 30 years. Can you draw up the paperwork for me?" Since they're closing the transaction, they're the best person to draw up the paperwork anyways. Yes, you can hire a real estate agent to help you with the paperwork and the negotiations, or you can just ... the company you're going to have to pay for anyways at the closing, just have them do it.


MLS Auto Reminder

Another benefit of real estate agents, if you're buying, if you really want to ... if you just have a complete quest, because New Year's resolution, you want to get your dream home, you could hire a real estate agent but have them do what I call a a MLS auto reminder. What this does is they plug you into their little software system, their local MLS.

They put in your parameters, what you're looking for, remember, knowing what you want. Any time a house pops up that fits your criteria, you get an email. You can be the first to respond to deals that get on the market. Now, again, if it's going to be listed on the MLS, it's going to be a traditional deal, but if you've got a down payment and you can get the loan, you may want to put that into your repertoire, into your overall arsenal of finding that dream home. Your real estate agent just sets that up and then it's on auto-pilot. Does that make sense?


My Dream House Quest


Now, I had told you at the beginning of the video that this is what I did. My wife had some stringent requirements, and you know I had all my stuff written down, so I used the, and I created a list, and there ended up being 109 matches or records.  I paid for that list. Then I just had my assistant do hand-written letters to that list. I had the exact location, exactly where I wanted to live on the beach. I had all these parameters. It had to have a pool, it had to have this, it had to have that. 109 records pulled up. Then those things were just hand-written letters were sent to them.

Now, guess what? I didn't find my dream home overnight. It didn't happen. Now, I also did have a real estate agent who was local to that area. He had the MLS set up, and he was sending me those auto reminders.  They were giving me an education on what the market value was. That was helpful. I knew what retail looked like. Retail price was going to be around this price and whatnot. I knew that when I actually got to one of these records, I would know exactly what a good deal looked like.

In this case, I was looking to buy, and if you watched my video, I'm usually a bigger fan of renting, but my wife wanted us to own, so own we did, and plus, I got an amazing deal on it. I got a just a tremendous deal on the property because it was a short sale and the person was upside down and worked out a great deal. The point is, this is what I did personally. What I'm telling you I did personally, and this is what I tell other people that ask me.


Real Life Examples


In fact, yesterday alone, two different people, one we went out to dinner with and a friend of mine had connected me with somebody he wanted me to talk to yesterday, two different people, both of them, similar situations. One of them wanted to get ready for the next school year so they could be in a better school zone. They said, "Phil, can you help me find a better place to rent?" I told him exactly what I just told you in this video." The other person was looking for another place to rent that was a lower rental rate but was also still in the same area and was a nicer home. I told him the exact same thing here. This works. You're going after and you're finding the opportunities that other people don't know about. They're not necessarily working with an agent. It's not already for rent on Craigslist or Zillow or somewhere like that. These are situations where nobody else knows about it, but you are direct mailing to that person, and they're connecting right back to you.


Pertaining to Rentals


By the way, to go a step further, if you're only doing rentals, it's kind of the same thing. If you download the app, Zillow Rentals, this app right here shows you on a map what properties are for rent for that are typically they're managed by property managers, but this gives you, again, retail value. It tells you what the market is. If the market for your area for the home you're looking for, your dream home, is say $1,800 a month, well, you know that because of Zillow Rentals, and so when you actually get to that person and they call you and you work out a deal and you say, "Well, look, is $1,500, will that look for you?" and they say yes, you know you've gotten a great deal.


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  1. Kazem Pouresmaeili says


  2. Volodymyr Sabynin says

    hi Phil
    what is the website like List source for Canada please?

  3. Jerry Smales says

    This is an informative video. Mr. Pustejovsky your work is inspirational so much that I want to stop everything that I’m doing and start investing in properties. Keep up the great work! As a consultant, I know that enthusiasm only comes from a true compassion to help others, so I will tell people it is a privilege being taught by an inspirational mentor like Mr. Pustejovsky. Thank you, Mr. Pustejovsky. I am going to share your videos because I know your information here will help many people.

  4. Christopher Berggren says

    Hi Phil, thanks for all your videos – I am a big fan.

  5. Hi Phil,

    It would be quite helpful for newbies like me if you could do a video on how to qualify for a big mortgage loan. I want to invest in an income property (housing complex) where I can live myself. The property has to be big enough to generate income which is sufficient for me and my family to live on comfortably.

  6. Harriet Wulukau says

    Thanks for the good job you are doing , I am an Real estate agent and active in the Antioch area . I enjoy watching your videos because I learned something new every time I watch you.
    Keep up the good work.


    • Phil Pustejovsky says

      Only for short term investment flips that you have purchased for a very, very good deal whereby the hard money interest costs won’t eat up all your profits

  8. Hi Phil I missed a lot of your videos but I got this one. Perfect am looking a place where we have to move out this month of March due to very high rental 2,500 a month now but I refuse to sign up for another 1 year term instead am looking for a place of our own. We live this apartment 6 years this year since we lost our 5 bedroom home in CA. It’s time to move.
    Can you help me Phil, do you have a house here in North CA East bay side that I can buy or rent to own if it’s a good idea. Through you we’ll change our life I trust

  9. Thanks very much for all the information you provide throughout the internet. Also, your desire to handle deals as if your actions are on the front page of a newspaper, shows your intent and integrity. I’d love to be part of your team.

  10. Hi Phil, I reall enjoy your videos. My husband and I need to sell our home quickly so I contacted a RE investment firm. Are there any pitfalls we should look out for?
    Keep on teaching. Thanks!

  11. Hello Phil,

    Thank you so much for the videos they are very helpful and enlighting.

  12. Roxann Thompson says

    Thank you Phil for sharing this information about finding my dream home. I have been following you for a couple of years now and you always deliver such great advice and material. I love getting new information and ways of enhancing my real estate business. I’m just getting started, and I hope I will be able to have you as my mentor in the coming months. I’m looking forward to learning more from you! Thank you for everything, Roxann

  13. Phil,

    Great stuff! I appreciate what you do. I have watched many of your videos! Keep going!!



  14. F. Blackwell says

    PO-WER-FUL info! Thank you for the valuable insight Phil I will certainly be applying this method for my next home purchase 🙂

  15. Great video Phil, I appreciate the time and effort you put into these videos, I know they help me out with my venture into investing as well as thousands of others across the United States. One quick question though, Aside from using craigslist to find “Motivated sellers” would this website be another option to look for deals to invest in as far as creative financing or does it work more for somebody that is looking for a property to be their primary residence?

    • Phil Pustejovsky says

      Direct mail to targeted lists has been the main way most investors tell people they find their deals. Yes, you can take that approach, but you really have to know exactly what you’re doing and if even one mistake is made, you could flush thousands of marketing dollars down the toilet. For us, we put that way down our priority list on ways to find the best deals.

      • Ok that makes perfect sense, thanks for the reply. Is the apprentice program always open to apply? i am very interested and eager to learn more about the program and real estate as a whole.

  16. Thanks for the enlightenment. I been searching for a way to not work with agents. Big Fan by the way.

  17. Michael Klyne says


  18. Zillow doesn’t have any thing in my Town suck

  19. Steven Carpenter says

    Phil I’m keeping ties with you as my favorite mentors you don’t even know that I exist I learned everything you have use me I’d like to aquire a license

  20. Hey Phil,

    This was an awesome video. I am one of those who would benefit from the use of this technique, especially since I’d need to use creative financing options. Thanks for the tip. You’re AWESOME!

  21. Im first time investor looking to buy a multi family home to also live in to start off my real estate investing venture. How many rentals do you suggest my first multi family home have? I have 100,000 down payment.

    • Phil Pustejovsky says

      If you remain 4 or below, you can get long term residential financing. Once you bump above 4 into 5 units or more, it will be a commercial loan and those usually balloon in 3 to 5 years.

  22. You blew the lid off. Amazing tool.

  23. David Norris says

    I want my cake and eat it too!!! I would like to be a Apprentice and be able to attend the next Event!

  24. Thanks Phil
    I am waiting to hear from you on when you are having your up coming events I will be more happy to be your next student. Thanks you so much May God bless you

    • Phil Pustejovsky says

      See the Events tab at the top of the page. I do one big event per year and only Apprentices can get in the door.

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