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How to Boost Home Values on a Budget

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Earlier this month, I was featured alongside several other real estate experts in a round-up blog post from Coastal Real Estate Group about boosting home values on a budget.

I thought this was a really cool topic to discuss because (unlike almost any other type of investment), there are A LOT of ways an investor can make small changes that will have a major lasting impact on their property’s value. It also serves as a great reminder of how real estate is one of the most versatile investments in the world. After all…   can you think of any other investment that gives the investor so much control over the direction of its value?

As I was looking through everyone comments on the subject, I saw a ton of great ideas in this little collection of insights. Check it out and you’ll see what I mean! [click to continue…]

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Truth and Lies About Full-Time Real Estate Investing

Truth & Lies
There’s something that always irks me when I read other real estate blogs and forums on the web. For some reason, a lot of people just don’t take part-time real estate investors seriously.

It’s almost as if there’s this unspoken set of rules and assumption, and they usually come across something like this:

“If you’re not a FULL-TIME INVESTOR, you must not be good enough to make a living from what you do.”

“Part-time investors are just playing with a hobby. Full-time investors are the real heroes.”

“Want me to take you seriously? Stop being a coward and quit your job already.

Of course, nobody will ever say it this bluntly to your face (unless they’re just really, really mean), but the attitude is out there. Have you seen it too? I’ve definitely picked up this sentiment from a number of people and it bothers me. [click to continue…]

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10 Blogs That Made A Difference In 2014

10 blogs that made a difference

2014 was a great year for real estate blogging.

A lot of people in this online space invested some significant time in putting out phenomenal content on their respective websites this year.

It gives me a great sense of accomplishment to know that the work we’re all doing is making a lasting impression on people. This year more than ever, I’ve started to realize that this whole “content creation” thing is part of what I was born to do. This little blogging project that I started on a whim back in 2012 has grown into one of my all-time favorite hobbies (and I have YOU to thank for that).

Even with all the fun I’ve had this year, the fact is that my website hardly scratches the surface of what ALL the other real estate blogs have brought to the table. With this in mind, I wanted to use this post to highlight a few blogs that I think have made a real difference this year. [click to continue…]

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water-efficient-rental-property

Of all the rental properties I’ve ever owned, there is one utility bill I’ve always gotten stuck paying out-of-pocket. The water bill.

A lot of multi-family landlords have to deal with this issue. It’s one of those ever-present utilities that is always needed, no matter who your tenants are, what time of year it is or what region of the country you’re in.

Last year, the cost of water at one of my duplexes was approximately $800 for both units combined (I should mention that all of my properties are Michigan, where fresh water is abundant and the price of it is about the cheapest in the nation). It wasn’t the end of the world, but I certainly would’ve been okay with that bill going down to, say, $400 – $500 or lower.

It got me thinking — what if I could save a few hundred bucks on all of my rental properties each year? Would it make sense for me to invest in some new, water-efficient plumbing fixtures at this property? [click to continue on BiggerPockets…]

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How To Make An Offer In 30 Seconds

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In my first few years as an investor, there were a few things that chewed up a TON of my time each day. Those things included (but weren’t limited to):

  • Talking to prospects on the phone.
  • Researching properties so I could make offers.
  • Deciding on an offer price, writing up the contract and sending it to the seller.

Altogether, these things probably consumed about 80% of time.

The problem was, 95% of these prospects were just going to say “No” to me in the end anyway – which would leave me drained of time and mental energy (while sitting at a dead end).

After working my business this way for a couple of years, I started feeling burnt out. I had to figure out a better way to determine which of these sellers were just going to say “No” to me in the end, and I had to get to this conclusion WITHOUT wasting endless hours of my time in the process. [click to continue…]

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