Category Archives: Real Estate

How to Get an Immediate 50% Discount off of a House, Guaranteed!

No this is not one of those late night infomercial scams!

If you are a law enforcement officer, firefighter, EMT,  or teacher listen up!  You can get a guaranteed 50% off a home if you live in it as a primary residence for 36 months!  Guaranteed by the US government!  50 freaking percent!  You can’t own any other property, though, so we are unable to do it.

The ONLY drawbacks I see are limited selection of homes and being locked in living there for 36 months.  For the right person, this is the chance to get a HUGE discount on a home though.

Go here for more details: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/housing/sfh/reo/goodn/gnndabot

My One Year Anniversary in Real Estate: Lessons Learned

Read Time: < 60 seconds

It has been one year since I started investing in RE. As you can see to the left, I currently have 4 houses, 3 are rented out and I am in the process of flipping the 4th. Overall I would say it was a very successful year. I am planning on getting at least a couple more houses this year if the right deals come along.

As for some of the big lessons, a big win was getting the rent up front from the college kids by offering a small discount. I also learned the importance of good relationships and building a team. If I hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t have even had the opportunity to get the college house or get a next day loan from my banker. I also wouldn’t have gotten the hook up on my taxes from the county appraiser. I learned the importance of being a good landlord when it comes to tenant retention and satisfaction. I also was able to work out with a consistently late tenant a twice monthly payment structure, and he hasn’t been late since then. The construction knowledge I have learned has been invaluable and will help when we decide to get our own house and settle down.

I see real estate as being my path to freedom. Even if I am barely making enough to get by, the freedom from not having a traditional 9-5 job is invaluable to me. Here’s to a successful 2012! 🙂

Results of the “Not-so” Haunted House

Read time: 2 minutes

For the last month and a half or so, I have been putting my blood, sweat, and tears into fixing up this house. Here are the results of my efforts:

Photos: Before and After

Here’s a spreadsheet of every cost I have incurred.

All this info will be in the left sidebar for future reference. Since this was my first “major” rehab, I learned a lot during the process of fixing this house up as compared to the first two, which were relatively easier. Besides new skills such as laying laminate flooring and tile work (and dealing with mold!), I learned a lot about the management side of this business. I know I can’t do all the work myself, and shouldn’t. Ideally, I would do very little of the work, and hire most of it out and still be in the green. Eventually I am going to want my properties to be managed to make this whole thing even more passive.

Besides stuff related to construction and business, I learned a lot about relationships as well. A friend who has been helping me had to suddenly cut back on his hours due to his significant other and personal situation. It helped me realize that I am in an amazing relationship with an amazing woman and have it way better than most married guys. Heck I’m even going back to Vegas in December without her. Whether you’re married or not, enjoy the personal freedoms you’ve been given and appreciate the time you have with your loved ones. Being away from my wife for nearly 2 months has helped me learn to appreciate the time we have together even more.

Kind of went off on a tangent there, but I have learned a lot about many different aspects of business and life through this house. I am hoping it goes well with renting it out and I’m ready to move on to the next adventure. Every house has been a unique experience and I look forward to what the future holds! 🙂

Mold infestation! Dealing with mold on the cheap

Read time: 90 seconds

The Haunted House had a decent amount of mold in the sheet rock, as you can see.  We cut out two foot tall sections of the entire infested walls.  I have read a lot of conflicting information out there, but would like to document my process and will see if it ends up working in the end.

First some basic facts on mold.  Almost every house has mold in it.  It’s just when the humidity gets above 60% for extending periods of time or there is some source of constant water, does the mold proliferate profusely.  The key to controlling mold is controlling the humidity/water.  This may be obvious, but I wanted to throw it out there.  This is also why it is very important to let your tenants know the importance of telling you if there is a water leak, whether from a pipe, drain, or the roof, immediately so your little problem doesn’t become a big one!

Also, not all black mold is the really bad kind.  In fact, the chances are in your favor that you don’t have the bad kind.  I have read conflicting information on whether bleach kills mold.  After reading about it, I am still unsure of its effectiveness, although I did use it to deal with the mold this time.

Basically what we did first was remove all the mold-covered sheet rock.  Before that I sprayed down the sheet rock with 100% bleach I put in a spray bottle (didn’t dilute it as recommended!).  We found out the mold was on the studs as well, so I did my best to clean it up.  I basically went to town on spraying everything and wiping up all the visible mold with paper towels.  I also got a “mold control” spray from Lowe’s and drenched all suspected areas with that solution as well.  After multiple rounds of spraying both solutions on all the suspected areas, we used a paint sprayer and sprayed oil-based kilz to seal in the mold in the studs.

I’m sure this is not the “correct” or recommended method by far.  I just wanted to document my findings and actions, and will update this post, perhaps years later, if the mold returns or doesn’t.  As I said before, the key is moisture control.  I am actually going to get a dehumidifier as well to make sure everything is nice and dry.  We need to do some landscaping outside, also, to prevent water from coming into the house from runoff from a nearby hill.

If any of you have experience with mold and have either removed it successfully or unsuccessfully, feel free to share your experience for everyone’s benefit! :smile: