August 26 2007

Armando Montelongo

Armando MontelongoA while back I was going through my Google Anayltics stats and noticed a lot of people surfing in here searching on information about Armando Montelongo. I had done an entry on him back in December of 2006, but it wasn’t what people were looking for.

I saw they were being a bit more specific were looking for stories about an episode of Flip This House they were calling “The Cathouse”. As I missed the episode when it originally aired, I finally hunted it down and discovered it was really called “Little House of Horrors“. Everyone had discussed how this was like the must see episode when it came to the Montelongos. Eh.

All the hoopla was over the fact that it seemed the Montelongo brothers finally called it quits with David, the “nice” one of the two, saying he didn’t want his name associated with this particular house.

See, Armando, in his usual fashion, was going for the cheapest way to flip the house he had purchased, the problem was, this time it was a bio-hazard. No, I am not exaggerating, it truly was a hazard. Who ever owned the house before him had not exactly kept it, honestly, I won’t even tell you the details, they were disturbing enough to watch. The house was a disaster, and unsafe for people to enter, let alone live in it.

After learning what would would need to be done, he tried skimp out on the clean-up since he only had $3,000 left in the budget. He got a quote for $18,000, talked them down to $13,500, and went with it. Even after five dumpsters were taken away, the house still had damaged walls, roach excrement, and a foul smell. Instead of pulling out the dry wall, he wanted to paint over it, and that’s when David and his wife walked out. Eventually Armando did have to rip out everything, but only when he learned the walls were filled with rat nests.

Here’s the thing that got me, according to everything I can find, this really was the end of their partnership, but talk about going out with a whimper. “I don’t want my name on this project and I’m walking away.” Um… okay… really… that’s it? That was the WHOLE “fight” to dissolve the partnership? And apparently the brothers don’t even talk now. Over… one house. Okay, that makes PERFECT sense.

Anyone else thinking there’s a bunch of stuff we didn’t see? Yeah… I thought so too.

Since then, Armando has gone on to start, where for ONLY $997 he will teach you his “secrets” to flipping houses without even using your own money! Yes… it’s called “kiting” loans and it’s about as dangerous as can be if you have no clue what you’re doing. Oh… and low morals about people’s health safety helps too.

As I said back in December, I have no clue how anyone could buy a house from these people after seeing them on the show.  They do shoddy work (to my untrained eye), have no concern for the quality of work, and generally treat everyone like they’re there to serve at their pleasure.

Oh, and that brings me to another point: How does any contractor end up working with them?   How did the bio clean-up people afford to cut their estimate (which they swore they couldn’t do it for less then $18,000) by 25%?  I mean, I’m in business, I understand negotiation, but 25%?  Yeah, sure the fact the folks getting advertising on a national cable channel doesn’t help with that at all.

UPDATE 04/13/09 – Read about the email I got from Armando’s “legal team

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December 10 2006


  • rasty

    Great blog . I really liked it. I have also created a lens in same niche. This is my first time , hope u guys like it.Here’s a brief intro We’ve all probably heard before how real estate holds one of the surest keys to financial independence and wealth. These days however, it’s not just about agents selling houses and real estate properties. Now, we also have the flippers. Flipping houses is one of the best ways to enter the real estate scene.more detail visit here

  • I’m going to leave this, but any other “Try my real estate plan!” folks come through, I’m nuking your comment.

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  • I have never seen this specific episode, but can tell you from experience we have dealt with our fair shair of shady characters/situations in our own market, quite similar to what is written here. In my opion, it is vital that any new investor take the time to build quality relationships through investing clubs, business organizations, etc, where they can first meet people with strong integrity. People of similar ideals and values tend to gravitate to each other, so be extremely cautious when working with, or considering starting a partnership with another investor. We have all heard stories of partnerships gone bad, and this can be a very agonizing experience.

  • John

    Part 1 (reply was a bit too long …)
    @Jeff Logue: Yes Jeff, you surely are the real thing … only one big difference. Your politically correct way has brought you nothing since your site is offline and Armando's still running :)

    As a foreign constructor and real-estate investor i'm stunned to see that in America most houses seem to be built very poorly. All wood (cheap to buy, cheap to flip :) ), shingles on the roof, nothing is really built to last.

    Some people are complaining about the lack of quality Armando is delivering, but i've seen several episodes in which his work is inspected with government officials, so he must comply to the standards. So if there's any concern about the lack of quality you should go to the government. It's exactly the same overhere :)

    I've seen the episode recently, and i would have done it exactly the same. I'm sorry Sean obviously isn't able to see the 'show'-part of the episode.

    What you call 'skimp-out' is just a way to do business. When i need to get something done, i always get more contractors to make an offer and in most cases the cheapest one gets the contract. Simple, plain business. We mostly take offers on email or letter, and sometimes the differences are shocking. We once had two offers on the same project to replace some windows. The most expensive and the cheapest both offered the same windows, same brand, same type, same guarantee, same … everything. The most expensive one calculated 24.000,- while the cheapest one calculated only 8.000,-!

    We have the same with cleaning up. All companies need to apply to the same rules, controlled by the government, so the only issue to select a company that remains is the price. And here there are also big differences. When we get the most expensive for a small container we pay about 750,-, while the cheapest one needs to apply the same rules and only charges 325,-

    The house was a real horror. I can imagine that Armando tried to keep the walls. We try to do the same overhere. The less you need to get out of a building the cheapest it is to rebuild … in most cases. We don't have wooden houses, so we don't have as many bug-problems too … luckely.

    "And apparently the brothers don’t even talk now. Over… one house. Okay, that makes PERFECT sense."
    As i recall the episode there was a bit more to it than just one house, and at the end of the episode Armando went over to talk it out with his brother. His brother decided to go into another direction and Armando accepted that, but what we saw overhere they made up :)

    "Yes… it’s called “kiting” loans and it’s about as dangerous as can be if you have no clue what you’re doing."
    LOL, that is the case for anything you do and have no clue what you're doing. How many bungeejumpers died because they did things they shouldn't have done? We had a case overhere of a guy who took a bungeecord without knowing what he was taking, probably thinking they are all the same, jumped and at the end realised for a very short time that his cord was way too long …

    Loaning money when you have no clue what you are doing with it ALWAYS stupid! Not just in this case. I'm willing to take it even a step further. Loaning is always stupid! It's better to save money and buy what you want on the moment you have enough savings!

  • John

    Part 2 :)
    "low morals about people’s health safety helps too."
    I think i know what you try to accuse Armando of, but you are way out of line here! He was the only one eating a sandwich in the house (they sure know how to make a show ;) ). All the workers had protective clothing!

    "They do shoddy work (to my untrained eye), have no concern for the quality of work, and generally treat everyone like they’re there to serve at their pleasure."
    I would have expected an American to be more able to see understand the show part :) The work they do is to an acceptable standard (according to the American government!) and not shoddy to my trained eye ;)

    There are some things we do quite different overhere, but i guess that's more cultural. As a European i am shocked by the poor quality of housing anyway. On Orange County Choppers it's the same: All houses are built of wood! Cheap to built, but expensive to maintain.

    "How did the bio clean-up people afford to cut their estimate (which they swore they couldn’t do it for less then $18,000) by 25%?"
    Sorry to ask, but how naive are you? You simplye believe a contractor that swears they con't do it for less? i don't know how holy the American contractors are, but if a contractor swears that he can't do it for less that makes me more motivated to get a lower price :)
    And i'm sure there's a good showelement to it, so the price was probably agreed to before the recording of the episode (you might try to visit a studio. You'll be shocked about the way TV-shows are not completely showing the truth :) ) and 'negotiated' just for the sake of the show.

    25% should be no problem for a normal company. That's what they normally need as profit. So it might have helped that they get worldwide exposure to make a better price too :)

    May be i should get my own camerateam too, might save me a lot of money in the longrun ;)

    I have a tradingcompany too, and choose not to be the cheapest. Yeah maybe i'm lazy, but i'd rather take a bigger profit on an item and sell 100 than sell 1000 for less profit per item and ending up earning the same. At least i have the time to give some aftersale-service to my customers. Better yet, i end up earning money the easy way by complaining customers from outlets and 'guaranteed lowest price'-shops because they aren't able to provide service.

    So if you ask me if i can take of 25% of my prices in most cases i actually can without any problem. If i choose to do it is another question :)

  • dave

    armando montelongo has found a legal way 2 scam people out of money with his seminars . his associates get u excited and tell u they r giving u a discont from 3000 dollars 2 1495 dollars . this 2 go 2 the next seminar. then in next seminar they get u going on raising your credit cards 2 the max . having u think this is to get money to by flips. but its not its 2 get u to by into his levels of 2 go on a bus wih him 4 4 days 4 40000 dollars . he has deffitly found a way 2 scam people out of money. if u dont have money of your own the sales people will not talk 2 u . if u talk with them the turn aroud ad walk away. what a scam.