"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas A. Edison

"Get off that couch and go buy that rundown duplex" - me

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Life's a Beach...

The most valuable commodity in this world is time. So why do we waste so much of it? Our brain lives in the moment, and can't really understand or comprehend the length of time available in our lives. Even if it could, who can say how long we get to walk the earth? One positive thing that happens in a life threatening situation (or old age!) is that you realize the preciousness of time.

What can you do to use your time more effectively? Focus. Focus on the things that are the best use of your time.

What part of the day is the most productive? Morning? Get up earlier. Sit around on the couch and watch TV at night? Do something more productive. Read, spend quality time with family, go for a run.

What are the things that give you the most "bang for your buck" in business? Concentrate on these! Skip or delegate the non-necessary activities.

It's kinda like when you go on a short vacation...do you sit in the hotel and watch TV? No, you pack all that you can into each day.

So live life like you are on a short vacation. Because really, that's all it is...

"Time can be an ally or an enemy. What it becomes depends entirely upon you, your goals, and your determination to use every available minute."

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Apple seeds and rundown duplexes...

Tiny events can spark huge outcomes...look at an apple seed - one tiny seed takes hold and creates a tree that produces great wasteful abundance. An idea in the head of Henry Ford or Thomas Edison eventually creates great inventions and massive wealth. The beginning of the universe for that matter, began with a single point...
It seems all events are small when they begin, easily thwarted and fragile. The key is persistence. Just hold on stubbornly and don't give up.
The success or failure in real estate investing, and just about everything else, depends on surviving those fragile first few years. If you can hold on, you will probably do OK. This is why we recommend buy and hold cash flow properties, at least as your first few investments. You might want to diversify later, but if you have gotten into the habit of eating every day you are going to need solid, cash flowing assets in the beginning.
So go ahead...plant that seed!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

There's a new sheriff in town...

We have done well buying in towns. These apartments can provide better cash flow than just about anything else out there. Yes, rents are lower than in the city, but not relative to the building purchase price. Building prices here are 1/3 the price if in the city, but rents are only 25% less...you do the math!
The key is to find good sized towns (say, ones with a Wal-Mart!) within commuting distance (say one hour) of the city you are closest to. Look for depressed home values. Not all towns are created the same! Some are bedroom type communities where property values are close to city levels. Why buy there when you could just buy in the city and reap the higher rents?
What you are looking for are towns that have depressed values for local reasons, ie the local manufacturing plant shut down. If you buy the types of units we recommend (inexpensive) this probably won't effect vacancy very much. In fact, your vacancy will probably be lower! Generally, people will stay in their town if they can, and will commute to a job in the city. Also, city people will move out to the town for better quality of life and cheaper rents.
There can be some disadvantages though. You will be considered an "out of town owner", and in the minds of some of the locals a "slum lord". You can generally avoid this by keeping your properties maintained and looking good. Also, there is a definite "old boys network" which you have to deal with, and you are considered an outsider to some. If you can find a good local real estate agent, this problem will be lessened. They are your local representatives, and can help you out with local issues, trades, etc. A good local agent is gold, treat them well!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Take a NEWS diet...

...to stay positive.

Do you really need to know who was beheaded this week? Or what mass murder happened half way around the world? Or what plane crashed?

Will knowing these things have any effect on your life, other than giving you a negative outlook and losing your faith in humanity? Is this knowledge key to your survival?

The news media makes money by manipulating a primitive part of your brain. It's the part that evolved that makes you want knowledge of danger so you can avoid it and survive. This is the same part of your brain that makes you slow down at an accident and look. News media (or rubbernecking!) will not help your survivability.

Take a NEWS diet. Try it for a week and see how much better you feel. You must control what goes in. Feed your brain negativity and you will think negatively.

Now, I'm not saying you should live with your head in the sand. Trust me, major events will filter down to you, and I still look at the weather forecast, interest rate levels, employment numbers, etc. because these things DO affect me. But do I really have to know that:

California authorities hunt albino cobra in upscale neighborhood! 

Unless of course I own some rentals there...

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

There may be no "i" in "team", but...

...there is an "i" in "rich". There's three in "millionaire". There are four "i"s in "multi Millionaire"! That's a lotta "i"'s...
I'm not saying you don't need help to be successful in real estate, because you do. But I don't agree with this whole "team" thing. Just about everyone out there says you need a team, build a team first, I don't have a team in place yet.
You don't need a team! Other people don't care about you getting rich, unless it's making them money as well. Don't leave it up to anyone else if you want to be successful in real estate or anything else for that matter! Nobody else will care as much as you do whether you succeed or not...
Now, this isn't to say you can do it all by yourself, because you can't. You need real estate agents, lawyers, accountants, plumbers, contractors, handy men, etc. Just remember these people are not teammates, they're EMPLOYEES! You should listen to their advice and recommendations, but YOU are the boss and should make all the final decisions. You gotta live with your decisions, not them! They all get paid regardless of whether you make money or not...