Seeing what no one else can see

Years ago, as a budding real estate investor in Alabama, I met a woman nicknamed the "queen of the double wide". After my initial deer-in-the-headlight reaction I learned that double wide trailers provide mobility and spacious living for less. I'm about to show you an example of how the real estate investing mantra "location, location, location" can be taken to a creative extreme.

What she does is look for double wides in need of some work, located in not so nice areas. This was years ago so the numbers have likely changed, but as a rough example, she would buy one for 5K - 10K, pay 5K to have it professionally moved and hooked up in a nicer area, do some quick renovation like repaint, recarpet, etc., then turn around and sell it for 80K. She made a quarter of a million her first six months in business.

I have another friend who lived in Manhattan for 15 years and rented the entire time. She was in her late 30's, single, no kids, and made good money. She would poke her head up periodically and realize she was sitting on a good chunk of funds, buy a condo in Tokyo for cash, rent it out, and have a property management company maintain it. She'd done this three times - fourth time and she's fully retired. Yet she's free as a bird because she rents (she's bilingual so it's in her interest to stay mobile).

There are creative ways to skin that real estate investing cat. Where's your niche?