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:

Intro to Real Estate

Read time: 2 minutes

I wanted to take the time to write a little about my experiences with real estate. As you can see on the sidebar to the left, I own a few houses and have another in the works. I actually closed on my third house today. If you have read The Millionaire Fastlane, one of the paths to wealth is through intentional iteration, and more specifically, through real estate. Basically you build yourself a stream of income through the rents you will collect. You can refinance and pull out the equity you build in the houses in order to get more houses. Wash, rinse, repeat. You can also “flip” houses, but I am following the buy, hold, rent strategy for now.

While I eventually plan on getting into a business of some sort, I plan to buy enough houses to sustain myself without having to get a “job” per se. My goal is 10 houses by 2016, and I am well on my way thus far.

If you are thinking about getting into real estate, I highly recommend the book, The Weekend Millionaire’s Secrets to Investing in Real Estate by Mike Summey and Roger Dawson. The title sounds cheesy, but it has very good advice, and even an action plan so you get out there and do something. The NOI spreadsheet I use is basically identical to the one in the book.

Also, I had literally ZERO construction experience before purchasing my first house. You learn things pretty quickly and if you can even work alongside the people you hire, you will learn so much and become quite handy.

I hope to write many more articles on RE with tips, tricks, and advice in a simple format and get you to take action if you are serious about getting into it. One of the tips in The Weekend Millionaire that I haven’t been following is to hire a property manager. It emphasizes the fact that you should not be doing the little things like unclog a toilet because your time can be better spent elsewhere. I am using somewhat of a hybrid approach; I get the properties rented myself, but have a maintenance guy I can call to take care of all the little things. I like this approach so far as it still saves me a significant sum of money (10% of the gross rents!) while freeing me up so I don’t have to do every single little thing. Once I get many more houses, I may have to hire a property manager, but for now this system is working out since I am on a budget.

Why Most Workouts Don’t Work Out


Read time: 90 seconds

I am a health nut. I care about my diet way more than I should. I have never really been overweight. Yet I obsess over my health and my weight more than most personal trainers. I attribute it mostly to my wrestling days (starving myself and wearing sweats to bed to make weight) but I am concerned about my health in my later years, and know that by taking care of it now, I will have less issues to deal with in the future.

Most workouts don’t work out for one reason, they are not fun! An example in my life has been my constantly trying to enjoy running. I have even joined a running club for accountability, but the fact still remains, I hate running! The only way you will ever get in the habit of regular exercise is if you enjoy what you are doing. Whether that be a sport, workout videos, zumba, or whatever suits your fancy, I guarantee you won’t stick with it for long unless you enjoy it.

For me personally, I have found the workouts on very enjoyable. It doesn’t hurt that Zuzana is smoking hot too…;) I also love to play DDR, which can be quite a “workout” in itself. I enjoy playing sports and I enjoy riding my bike.

You have to find a type of exercise you will enjoy or you won’t stick with it. Period.

Unconventional exercise also helps, especially on the road as my friend, Kevin, has discovered with his “mobile fitness” videos. You must get creative and above all else enjoy your workouts. Even if you just like walking in your local park; if you do it regularly, I guarantee you will see results. As long as you aren’t eating like total crap.

Take action now: Think of how many times you have told yourself you will exercise/run more/finally get to working out this year, and how many failed new year’s resolutions have followed. Now think about what kinds of exercise you truly enjoy. It could be any kind of sport, yoga, kettleballs, even sex! Find an exercise you enjoy doing, and stick with it! It’ll do wonders for your health and overall well-being.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nor claim to offer any advice on health or medical issues. This is just my opinion so take it or leave it!

Do you TAN?

Read time: 2 minutes

TAN = take action now, or TANgible action.

You may have noticed that I try to get my readers to take immediate action after reading my posts. Knowledge without action is useless. If you read a personal development blog or book, and do not take any action, you are reading for entertainment, not for self improvement. I find myself doing this from time to time and do my best to turn what I read into tangible action which positively affects my life.

One of the best ways to achieve this, is to have a journal or at least have your goals written down. There’s something magical about having your thoughts and goals down on paper that transforms them into action that achieves positive, tangible change in your life. There is also a therapeutic nature of writing down your issues in life. Studies (here, here p270-87, here p21-41, here) have shown that journaling is a more effective form of therapy than talking to someone about your issues, whether that be a friend or therapist. Save money, don’t see a shrink or talk to your friends about your issues, write about them! Also, when it comes to books, I will oftentimes write down the biggest points I want to remember in a word processor, so I can review it later. I have found this has helped me reinforce the main ideas of a book and ensures that I get the most from each book I read.

Another way I like to achieve tangible results from reading is to have affirmations of what I am currently achieving in my life. I truly believe that your thoughts can be very powerful and what you send into your subconscious can manifest in physical form in your life. Through positive affirmations, you can influence your subconscious mind for your benefit and well-being and see the tangible results happen in your life.

I have also achieved positive results through the use of 30 day trials. If you want to take immediate action in any area of your life you wish to improve, I definitely recommend this method and have achieved many positive, tangible results in my life through the use of various trials. You can search through my old blog as I have written in depth of several successful trials on there.

Take Action Now: Think about some of the things you read: blogs, books, the newspaper, magazines, etc. Are you reading these things for growth or pleasure? Try and take steps toward achieving your goals and avoid mental masturbation. While it is fine to read books or other things for pleasure, make sure you aren’t mistaking true growth for pleasure. Start a journal, read more non-fiction books, start a 30 day trial. Do something! Take that first babystep towards improving yourself; you won’t be disappointed!

No Excuses

Read time: 90 seconds

Don’t ever* complain about your life circumstances. Why? Because essentially, you are where you are in life because of the the choices you have made up until now. Every single little and big decision you have chosen has all contributed and led up to your current life situation in this very moment.

Are you currently happy with your life? Do you wish you were richer/skinnier/more popular/more successful/have more loving relationships/etc? Then you must change your actions, your everyday choices, to achieve different results.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Do you sit around watching tv/playing video games/surfing the internet for hours and hours? Go out drinking/partying every weekend? You MUST put in the work now to reap the benefits later.

You have NO excuses.

You can literally learn ANYTHING these days for FREE on the internet or at the library. You want more money? Read some books on personal finance and start a side hustle to bring in some more dough. Learn graphic design/how to program/web design/photography/a foreign language/seo/cooking/gardening – the list goes on and on ad infinitum. You can easily monetize any of these skills and more.

If you wish to have better health, you can’t sit around eating junk food and expect for it to get better. Do some people have it easy? Of course. And it sucks. But if you aren’t one of those people blessed with a high metabolism, you are just going to have to put in more work to get the results you want. Don’t worry, it WILL eventually catch up to the “lucky ones” if they really do eat like crap and don’t exercise.

Take action now: Choose an area in your life that you are unhappy with. Think about all the choices you have made regarding this area up until this point. Do your choices reflect where you stand at this point? If you wish to improve in whatever area you have chosen, try a 30 day trial to improve this area. You must change your choices if you wish to see different results!

*I put an asterisk by ever because in rare circumstances, you can literally be “screwed” by your life circumstances. If you are born with a certain defect, are in chronic pain, have some sort of extreme disorder then my heart goes out to you. I still think you can make the best of your situation, however, and my advice still would be not to complain about it…;)