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Renting vs. BuyingAs real estate investors – a lot of us have this pre-conceived bias towards buying real estate rather than renting it. We see everything through the lens of investment, cash flow, appreciation, etc. (as if these things are somehow “guaranteed” if you buy a property instead of renting it).

I had this bias back in 2006 when I was fresh out of college and determined to become a real estate investor. I bought my first house at the height of what turned out to be a massive real estate bubble (I figured real estate was a bullet-proof investment). I ended up dumping $20K of improvements into the house and selling it 3 years later for a collective loss of over $30K (and I was actually relieved I didn’t lose more). I got suckered into the erroneous belief that buying is always better than renting and I certainly paid the price for my error. [click to continue…]

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Depreciation of the dollarI don’t care what kind of real estate investor you are – we all want to maximize the returns from our investment properties. 

This week, I wanted to give the stage to Bradley Beer – one of foremost tax depreciation experts in our industry.

Whether you’re an investor in the U.S., the U.K., Canada or Australia – if you’ve been around the block a few times, you probably know that depreciation is a major factor that can determine how much (or how little) you have to pay the government each year. If you’re interested in keeping more of your money, you’ll want to tune into this one… [click to continue…]

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Today’s Best Real Estate Blogs

Today's Best Real Estate BlogsAs with any specialized topic on the internet, there is a lot of noise in the blogosphere. It goes without saying that the vast majority of blogs are not “permanent fixtures” on the internet.

With this in mind, the aim of this post is to acknowledge a list of the best real estate blogs on the internet today – websites with a solid reputation for putting out consistent, helpful & reliable content.

Given the ever-changing nature of real estate blogs, this post will be re-visited on a semi-annual basis and kept up-to-date with newer blogs that show promise and to eliminate the blogs that are collecting dust and no longer bringing substantial value to the table. [click to continue…]

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real estate calculatorWhen I graduated from high school, one of the first things my dad did was take me to a Dave Ramsey seminar.

Being an 18-year-old “man” with my entire adult life ahead of me, I wasn’t crazy about the idea of spending an entire Saturday listening to someone yell at me about getting out of debt and saving for retirement. Nevertheless – my dad seemed to think it was important, so I went along.

At the end of the day, my mind was blown – I walked away from that seminar with a radically different outlook on my financial future. It was one of those rare, life-changing experiences where all the information instantly resonated with me – simply because I knew it was true.

One of the biggest “aha moments” I took away from that day was an illustration about the power of compound interest. I tore the page out of my program (over a decade ago now) and I still have it: [click to continue…]

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cash envelopeEvery now and then I hear talk about a “secret new opportunity” in the business of tax sale overages (aka – “excess proceeds”, “overbids”, “tax sale surpluses”, etc).

If you’re completely unfamiliar with this concept - I’d like to give you a quick overview of what’s going on here…

Quick Overview

When a property owner stops paying their property taxes, the local municipality (i.e. - the county) will wait for a period of time before they seize the property in foreclosure and sell it at their annual tax sale auction. Every county in the U.S. uses a similar model to recoup their lost tax revenue by selling properties (either tax deeds or tax liens) at an annual tax sale. 

Let’s illustrate this with an example:

Suppose you own a property worth $100,000. [click to continue…]

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