Unless you are a devotee of early Saturday Night Live skits, you might be too young to remember a late-night infomercial character named Tom Vu. He was a Vietnamese immigrant with an amazing rags-to-riches story. In his infomercials, a happy, rich-looking Vu stood on a huge yacht, surrounded by babes in bikinis. (Or he was in front of a mansion with a Bentley in the driveway.) Vu’s ads promised that you, too, could learn the secret to making millions in real estate just by attending his free seminar… which was a come on for a $16,00 real estate investment course. And probably a rip-off.
While Tom Vu is no longer in the real estate business—he was sued by some former students, investigated by the government, and later reincarnated as a professional poker player—his “real estate theories” of finding and buying “distressed” properties—foreclosures, bankruptcies, divorces, tax liens—and selling them to profit off other’s miseries remains a signature Vu hallmark. (No duh.) That’s why, from time to time, we bring you a listing from the Tommy Vu files when we uncover a really good deal. (more…)