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The New Jersey REI Networkers: Anna and Ernie

At Rehab Financial Group, we talk a lot about the benefits of finding a strong partnership and the value of a trustworthy team. Anna and Ernie, an *all-star* flipping team with RFG, have done just that. Starting out as friends at their day jobs, they realized they both had an interest in real estate investing and that their skills and connections lined up perfectly to work together on a new real estate investment company.

Together, they decided it was time to try their hand at flipping a house while keeping their full-time jobs. Just like all new investors, they would need strong connections to real estate agents, contractors, and private money lenders. They decided to make the commitment to start building a team and flip a house using borrowed money.

To start, Anna and Ernie are both very personable and reached out to several real estate agents in the New Jersey area. They worked with the agents to clearly describe what type of property they were looking for, and what kind of return on investment they would need to consider buying the property. The real estate agents turned out to be great team members, not only looking out for new listings but also running comps ahead of time to help establish an ARV (after repair value). As an added benefit, some realtors even suggested specific features and improvements that the local market would most highly value.

The Value of a Great Agent: “Why are Similar Houses NOT Selling?”

No one has their finger on the pulse of the local buyer pool like an established real estate agent. Not only do they know what properties are available, but they also know exactly what buyers are looking for in the neighborhood and, most importantly, what they are NOT finding.

As they were planning the renovations and improvements to an investment property in New Jersey, Anna and Ernie got a valuable tip from a local realtor with whom they were working. A house just down the street was getting a lot of interest but just couldn’t sell. As it turns out, local buyers were holding out for a house with a garage. Capitalizing on this information, Anna and Ernie adjusted their renovation plan to include the addition of a garage to their property. This tip about the local buyers was priceless. As Anna said, “This put us in position to get an instant offer!”

Rounding Out the Team; Finding Trustworthy People

When it comes to getting started in the industry and building a team, Anna already had connection to a trusted contractor: her husband! Not only were they familiar with his work and knew he would be a good team member, they knew he would be just as invested in the success of the project as they were. While it can be hard to find a contractor who understands your timeline and process, Anna and Ernie got to skip this hard task and instead relied on her husband and his team to make the repairs and improvements. If you aren’t lucky enough to have a family connection like this, we have some tips on how to find a great contractor in this article.

Working like family with their contractor, Anna and Ernie are able to get projects done quickly while being flexible. Insisting that everything is done to code, they say the biggest holdup on their projects is the permitting process. In New Jersey, this can take several weeks or months. It’s a good sign that your business is running efficiently if you can get work done faster than you can get the permits!

What About Funding The Flips?

Anna says they were “lucky” to have found Rehab Financial Group at the beginning of their search for a private money lender. They were nervous about having enough capital to get started in the house flipping industry but knew it could be done with other people’s money. After searching for fix-and-flip lenders, they found Rehab Financial Group and a new partnership was born.

Working predominantly with our underwriter, Kristie Hosfeld, they found an advocate who was on top of all of the financial details and invested in their success. “She would contact us to keep us up to date with the status of our loan, and even to let us know about opportunities to save or make things easier” says Ernie. When it comes to borrowing money, “It’s absolutely do-able.”


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So Were They Successful?

With this strong of a team, it’s not surprising that Anna and Ernie have never lost money on a property. While they have kept their day jobs, they have successfully flipped 6 properties in New Jersey, including their current project which is a 2-unit duplex. They are proud of all of their investments but have shared one property’s before and after images below.

As they gain more and more experience as real estate investors Anna and Ernie have a tentative plan to transition to full time flippers over the next 5 years. They look forward to the freedom of working for themselves while building their real estate investment business in New Jersey.

Your Network is Your Net Worth

Anna and Ernie’s success reflects the effort they put into building a reliable team. From the trust they had of one another to the way they reached out to real estate agents and lenders like RFG, they knew that the more trustworthy people you have on your side, the more likely you are to be successful.


“We’re all out to make money, but at the end of the day, if you do everything right, everyone benefits.” - Ernie