What would you do if you weren't afraid

“What would you do if you weren't afraid?”

-Spencer Johnson

After my father passed away when I was very young, my mother – a teacher – dreamed to see me in a steady full-time job. Climbing the corporate ladder was the gold standard. So, when I made it to a managerial position she was thrilled, and I was too – for having made her proud.

For us 9 to 5 folks this dream, the gold standard, trains us to be risk averse. It makes us comfortable in the cycle of steady paychecks – despite marginal yearly wage growth, mortgage payments, and retirement accounts. Saving for a few weeks of vacation, cars, or some other indulgences reinforces our feeling of security, though rarely satisfies our desires. This tentativeness is generally even more pronounced in women, who are conditioned to keep their head down and be grateful for what they have. A risk averse 9 to 5 job further closes women off in a society which already puts them into a box.

Entrepreneurship,...

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How to Choose your First Investment Property

Have you considered investing money into a passive rental for additional income but not sure where to start? This blog post is a peek into how I choose properties to invest in. The number one thing to remember is that picking a passive rental different than choosing a home for yourself to live in. When it comes to investing in a passive rental, it is all about numbers and not about falling in love with the property. Though the analysis is complex, I have broken my strategy down into four key components for simplicity. 

1. Location

Location is key in any real estate investment. For single family passive rentals, this is specifically important in finding tenants quickly and also for retaining tenants which in turn is helpful in reducing the vacancy rates. I look at these specific elements:

a. Access to public transport and expressways

Note that if public transport isn't available and expressway proximity is what you're considering, ease of parking becomes a factor as well.

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The Law of the Vital Few - 80/20 Rule for Reducing Workload

“It's not the notes you play, it's the notes you don't play."

~Miles Davis

 

I have mentioned the 80/20 rule in a previous blog post, so writing a proper introduction to the concept made sense. If you haven’t read about it before, you are in for a epiphany… this could potentially change your life.

What is the 80/20 Rule?

The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto principle, the law of the vital few or the principle of factor sparsity was originally observed in connection with population and wealth.  Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto noticed that 80% of Italy's land was owned by 20% of the population.  He then found a similar distribution in various other countries he surveyed. Since then, this principle has been successfully applied to sports, taxation, software, health and I have personally used it for many years when applying Six Sigma principles during my previous life as a Mechanical Engineer.  It wasn’t until I...

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Landlord Roles and Responsibilities

Contrary to popular opinion, a landlord’s roles and responsibilities comprise of much more than just collecting rent. On an ongoing basis, landlords need to stay on top of the current landlord-tenant laws - every municipality, state, and country has different laws regarding the landlord/tenant relationship. Additionally, landlords are often sales people, mediators, handymen/women, and negotiators.

 

Being a landlord can be a complicated and requires relationship management above all else. The following is a list of some of a landlord’s general duties and tasks. Of course, this is a simplified list, but should give a wholistic view of the entrepreneurial nature of the position.

1. Finding a tenant

Here are the main steps in getting a quality tenant into your investment property.

a. Get the property rent ready – this could include making sure the property is up to the local building codes, paint touch ups, etc.

b. Market the property – nowadays online...

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Speak Up, Loudly And Often

“The only real valuable thing is intuition.”

~ Albert Einstein

 

Gut feelings, intuition, subconscious... I can’t tell you how many times I’ve passed on properties that my gut said were amazing. Why would I do that? I tried to tell myself that my experience was limited at the time and I couldn’t justify my gut feelings with data. In hindsight, I should have listened to my gut, persisted until I figured out why something inside me told me to go for it. But intuition isn’t considered to be a valuable asset when performing real estate calculations. I tried to tell myself it was because my gut feelings weren’t mature enough to be trusted at the time. The clear answer to the question “Why do we still not listen to ourselves?” kept coming up as “Because we’ve been trained to be not heard.” This is survival instinct for women that has been passed on to us. The great thing about this day and age that we are...

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Five Steps to Finding the Right Contractor

For a new investor, finding a contractor can be an intimidating affair. The time and cost invested into the remodel of a property will affect profitability, while the quality of the work will be part of your reputation as either a Fix-and-Flip or Rehab-and-Rent investor. Below are five steps that can help you find the contractor you can build a long-term relationship with.

 

1. Finding Candidates

Investors are often looking for reliable contractors that don’t break the bank – or undercut the profitability of an investment. There are multiple ways to track down viable candidates:

• Ask other investors for recommendations. Don’t know other investors yet? Ask your current network – someone has likely had a kitchen or bathroom remodeled.

 

• Visit local networking events. You can meet contractors there (and those other investors!).

• If you see a house being rehabbed, well, walk over and ask for a business card!

2. Getting Quotes

As...

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Home Inspection Tips for Investors

Investors often consider skipping a home inspection when purchasing a property in need of a rehab. I’m here to argue otherwise. Home inspection for investment properties can save a great deal of money – which is good way to start an investment.

There are a lot of things to consider when choosing an investment property. With the multitude of aspects to keep in mind, there are certain hidden damages in properties that are easily overlooked by an investor. Upcoming mechanical failures, problems inside crawl spaces or behind siding, roofing, and certain structural damages are examples of valuable information that may not be so obvious to an investor. If not found early on, these can easily change the return on investment for a property. A seasoned home inspector can catch these items.

Knowing that a home inspection can have immense value to the investment, what are some key things to consider? I’ve compiled a few tips to help you.

1. Work with reputable...

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