Saturday, March 25, 2017

Guru Admits to Fraud

A well known real estate guru from the early 2000s who once boasted he did "100 Deals a Month" and made "Millions of Dollars While He Sleeps" from his wholesaling and flipping property courses now admits it was all a lie.

The circumstances could not be simpler.

For nearly a decade this well known real estate guru was a regular on the creative real estate circuit, selling a variety of get-rich-quick schemes including an "asset protection" course which could "hide property so even God could not find out what you own."

From at least 1999 to 2007, this guru was one of the most famous in the United States, literally everywhere including a hotel ballroom near you pitching home study courses, seminars, workshops, bootcamps, you name it.

Fast forward ten years.

This guru is now involved in a bitter divorce with his wife of nineteen years.

The judge ordered him to pay child and spousal support of $11,500 per month until a property settlement could be reached.

He then claimed in official court documents he is "without the resources to pay (name deleted) the amounts ordered by the court."

When deposed by the wife's legal counsel, he claimed to be broke, a product of the Great Recession and the real estate crash.

What happened next is stunning.

The wife's lawyers cross-examined him with excerpts of text from the guru's own asset protection course and advertising materials where this man claimed to be making millions of dollars a year.

Excerpt after excerpt taken directly from his advertisements, books, and courses of him boasting of great wealth and the supernatural ability to hide it.

After forty-four questions, the guru admitted, and this is an exact quote:

"Okay, I admit it.  I lied.  Who cares?  There was no property.  No houses, whatever, nothing.  We sold lots of courses and whatever and that's the money we lived on.  She (the wife) knew this and didn't mind spending this cash.  Everyone was doing it so I did it too.  Big deal."

For the record, I have seen the transcript of the deposition but do not have permission to post it here.  Also, out of respect for the guru's long suffering wife I am not naming him in this blog.  He no longer sells any products online or in stores and has exited from the business, making any exposure of his name gratuitously cruel and unnecessary.

If you ever bought or thought about buying a get-rich-quick real estate course in the early 2000s, you likely considered buying his stuff.

If you did, I'm sorry.  If you didn't, you dodged a bullet.

I always suspected his outlandish claims of incredible wealth were false.  At one point he was claiming "100 flips a month."  More than three properties a day?

Now we know for sure.  The sad fact this guru is not the only fraud out there.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Mr. Blandings Dream House Locations


One of my favorite posts ever in this blog is about the 1948 Cary Grant film Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House.

As noted in the post, the producers of the film literally built 73 Blandings homes all across the United States to promote the film.  A great number of these houses still stand.


A reader of this website generously sent me a list of all the Blandings dream homes they have found.  It is very cool to look up the addresses on Google Maps and literally see these nearly forgotten historical relics from Hollywood's Golden Age.  Would movie producers today build more than six dozen homes to promote a film?

When I received this email from my reader, I watched Mr. Blandings again and still love the film.  It is wonderful to know so many others still do as well.



Here is the email received below.  Thanks to Eric for sending it.

****************************

I saw your post about "Mr Blanding's Builds His Dream House" and thought I'd send you the list of the houses I have found. Still looking for some. Google street view should find most of the houses but the Baltimore one is off a few blocks so here's that link-https://www.google.com/maps/@39.3842339,-76.6302355,3a,75y,52.99h,92.13t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sCh7Oh3uTkWSHplox92Db_w!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1
If you have any info on the missing houses I'd love to have it. Some of the small Midwestern town "Dream Houses" aren't very Dreamy.

I had this posted at the IMDb but they are closing their message boards.
As a publicity gimmick a number of houses (73) were built using the design & plans from the movie, although designs varied greatly. Details about some problems with building the houses here:
http://web.archive.org/web/20071025070416/http://www.borkowski.co.uk/archives/liquidsoap/2006_07.html
The real Blandings house is located at 240 Indian Trail Road in New Milford, Connecticut. The one built for the movie is at 3800 Solstice Canyon Rd in Malibu Creek State Park.
List of houses built
Alabama
Birmingham (?-built by Jackson Securities & Investment Co.-furnished by Pizitz)
Arizona
Phoenix (4322 N 16th Av)
Arkansas
Camden (Clifton Heights), Little Rock (?-built by Little Rock Builders-furnished by Gus Blass)
California
Bakersfield (2500 Beech St), Bel Air (913 Chantilly Road) Cary Grant & Myrna Loy made an appearance at the opening of the Bel Air house, Fresno (244 E Terrace Av), Oakland (11000 Cameron Av) a teardown, Sacramento (2167 Irvin Way), San Diego, San Mateo/San Francisco area (3426 Alameda de las Pulgas "a green and white California version of a Cape Cod cottage," and "is built for 'indoor-outdoor' living")
Colorado
Bow Mar/Denver area (5200 Lakeshore Dr)
Connecticut
Trumbull (30 Windy Ridge), Hartford (?-built by Joseph A. DePaolo-furnished by Brown Thomson & Co.)
Florida
Jacksonville (?-built by Stockton, Whatley & Davin-furnished by Cunningham Furniture)
Georgia
Atlanta (?-built by B.A, Martin-furnished by Davison-Paxton Co.)
Illinois
Skokie/Evanston-Chicago area (7 Williamsburg Rd) Evanston zip code & schools but Skokie police and street plowing - locals call it Skevanston
Indiana
Indianapolis (6416 Dean Rd), Terre Haute (2400 Ohio Blvd) and South Bend (522 N Greenlawn Av)
Iowa
Des Monies (4921 Woodland Av)
Kentucky
Louisville
Maryland
Baltimore (7111 Bellona Av)
Massachusetts
Worcester (495 Chandler St), Natick/Boston area (4? MacArthur Rd) Myrna Loy attended the opening of the Natick house, Springfield
Michigan
Detroit (20000 Whitcomb St), Grand Rapids (1401 Breton Rd SE)
Minnesota
Minneapolis (?-built by L.Z. Carlson Home Building Corp.), St. Paul (2303 Burma Ln)
Missouri
Chillicothe (1706 Jennings Pl), Joplin (2921 E 14th St), Kansas City (1035 W 65th St), Clayton/St. Louis area (337 N Forsyth)
Nebraska
Omaha (502 N 72nd Av)
New Jersey
Tenafly
New Mexico
Albuquerque (4001 Mesa Verde Av)
New York
Albany (338 S Manning Blvd), Buffalo, Rochester (41 Orchard Park Blvd), Manhattan (5th Av & 48th St) a prefab house that was raffled off and moved, Syracuse, Tarrytown (142 Altamont Av), Utica
North Carolina
Greensboro (3924 Starmount Dr), Rocky Mount (1515 Lafayette Av)
Ohio
Cleveland, Columbus, Ottawa Hills/Toldeo area (3766 Edgeville Rd)
Oklahoma
Oklahoma City (2723 NW 32nd St) Melvyn Douglas visited the Oklahoma City house, Tulsa
Oregon
Beaverton/Portland area (2715 SW Mayfield Av - NW corner of S.W. Walker Rd and Mayfield Av)
Pennsylvania
Huntingdon Valley/Philadelphia area (Huntingdon Pike & Dale Road), Philadelphia (This house may have been built in John Wanamaker's Store. Newspaper ads include "Mr. Blanding's Dream House is on the 7th Floor, Central" and "10 room settings"), Mt. Lebanon/Pittsburgh area (410 Salem Dr)
Rhode Island
Providence
Tennessee
Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville (4435 E Brookfield Dr)
Texas
Amarillo (2813 Parker St), Austin (?), Corpus Christi (?-built by Jack Grant), Dallas (5423 Walnut Hill Lane) Melvyn Douglas made an appearance at the Dallas house - an empty lot in 2015, Fort Worth (3801 Arundel Av), Harlingen (905 E Pierce Av), Houston (3702 Glen Haven Blvd), San Antonio (2505 W Gramercy Pl)
Utah
Salt Lake City (2260 E Country Club Dr)
Virginia
Richmond (?-built by Alfred L. Blake & Sons-furnished by Miller & Rhodes)
Washington
Seattle (? -built by First Mortgage Co.-furnished by Bon Marché), Spokane (15 E High Dr)
Washington, D.C. (?-built by W.C. & A.N. Miller Development Corp.-furnished by P.J. Nee)
Wisconsin
Milwaukee
Canada

Monday, February 6, 2017

The Real Book of Real Estate by Robert Kiyosaki


I have never been a fan of "Rich Dad" Robert Kiyosaki and his books.  His "Rich Dad" never existed despite his forceful claims to the contrary.  Plus much of his real estate and financial advice sounds like it came from a fortune cookie like "When People are Lame, They Love to Blame" and "Education is What You Learn After You Leave School."

But his new book, The Real Book of Real Estate, is actually quite good.

Filled with chapters written by "His Trusted Real Estate Experts" that range from Carleton Sheets to Eric Trump, the advice offered in this book is actually free of much of the get-rich-quick hype which predominates in this area.

Of great importance to me, Kiyosaki actually addresses many of the myths and mistakes taught by real estate gurus, for example, how stupid it truly is to hold real estate title in a C corporation.  (Use an LLC instead.)

This book is an excellent primer for anyone wanting to learn more about investing.  If you own a rental property or two, you probably don't need this book.  But until then it is a great guide for someone wanting to get into the business.

Monday, January 9, 2017

State of Utah Contact

To the person from the State of Utah:

Your contact information is not valid.  Likely a transposed digit.  I have no way to reach you but here.

Please use the same method of communication or email me from an official .gov address.  I will be happy to tell you what I know.


Saturday, November 5, 2016

Zurixx


I am requesting information from readers on Zurixx, LLC, an information company with offices in Salt Lake City and Dorado, Puerto Rico.

Zurixx is a legitimate information provider but they have lately become the one stop shopping source for real estate gurus wanting to outsource their seminar programs.  An example of the gurus who work with them are Christina and Tarek El Moussa of the television programs "Flip or Flop" on HGTV.

Zurixx is most definitely a legitimate company, in fact, it is ranked as one of the best employers to work for in the United States by Fortune magazine.




But their real estate guru programs have been taking fire nationally as fraudulent.  It is clear to me as an attendee at their events what Zurixx has been offering is classic bait-and-switch advertising coupled with all the traditional real estate guru scams.  This business, however lucrative, is beneath a company like Zurixx.

Again, I am seeking information on Zurixx related to their real estate guru seminars.  Zurixx, LLC is a genuine and legitimate company providing great information services but why they choose to be involved with the sleaze of real estate gurus is beyond me.