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Saturday, December 31, 2016

6 Things That Won't Happen When Using Real Estate for Retirement



1. You won't be stuck relying on a Social Security check that may or may not be there. Social Security is projected to be depleted by the year 2034. Meaning that the government would pay out only 79% of benefits. So can we get a refund for the 21% difference that the government took out of our paychecks for Social Security? What about a discount on Social Security withholding? Right! Didn't think so. Owning real estate cuts the strings from government dependency because you'll have a steady flow of income, with exponential growth potential, unhindered by the economic looming woes. 

2. You Won't Have To Stop Eating Steak Because of a Fixed Income. What's on the menu Mr. or Mrs. Retiree? "Canned peas and turkey burgers...it's all I can afford." It would suck to eat something you really don't want because it's in your budget. Sometimes you just really want a steak. With real estate, the menu is whatever you want it to be every night. You'll be collecting so many rent checks from your cash flowing properties, you won't even have time to decide  which cut you want. Ribeye? Filet Mignon? NY Strip? How about a nice T-Bone? Good call.


3. You won't be forced into a 55+ community because you can't afford your home. This is a sad reality when people have to downsize because of cutting expenses. You don't want to leave your home but you can't afford to stay because your fixed income doesn't cut it. Prized possessions, family heirlooms, sentimental items and invaluable emotional attachments are all stripped away because of lack of financial freedom which translates to lack of choices. Real estate investing gives you the ability to preserve the intangible ties that bind us to our homes and most precious possessions. Everyone deserves to be happy in their own home.


4. You won't have to say goodbye to a preferred doctor because of government health insurance. According to KKF.org, although 9 out of 10 doctors accept medicare, only 72% of primary care physicians are accepting new patients with medicare. That's a nearly 10% difference from those who have private insurance. 3 out of every 10 doctors will turn you away because either they aren't taking anymore medicare patients or they or they don't accept it. Your health is paramount, and losing it diminishes your quality of life. Real estate supplies you with the funds to get the top notch healthcare you deserve, and not what others want to determine for you. 

5. You won't have your entertainment limited to watching Matlock everyday, with going grocery shopping as the highlight of the day. Life after retirement is more than just watching the news at 5 and 10 o' clock while eating tuna and saltines. Real estate makes life real interesting. You'll be able to actually live life, instead of just watching it on TV. With the income it provides, and the time retirement provides, it's bucket list time! Go golfing at Augusta National. How about saltwater fishing in the Keys? Skiing in Vail? Skydiving? Dating? Classic cars? The possibilities are endless, and as long as you're having fun, that's what really counts.

6. You won't fail to leave a legacy for your family. USA Today reports that a whopping 64% of Americans don't even have a will! It's not always the case that retirees don't want to leave an inheritance behind. The truth of the matter is they just don't have it. If you're trying to survive, barely keeping your head above water, how can you help someone else? Real Estate investments give your loved ones the financial security and foundation to keep generating wealth for generations to come. Why? Well, you won't be swimming in debt, which will allow you to estate plan and give your family what they really deserve. A brighter future.

Friday, December 30, 2016

10 Facts About the Tiny House Movement That'll Make Your Hair Stand on End


1. The average price of a tiny house is $35k if you hire a professional to build it for you, or $6k if you build your own, according to tinyhouseblog.com. There's a big difference in cost but a big trade off also, because if you don't know what you're doing your dream project can become your worst nightmare.


2. It can get stolen. Just ask Melinda Crichton in Sacramento CA, or you can just read the story like I did. Someone just literally drove off with her house! Not cool.



3. The Tiny House Movement is a counterculture movement, largely inspired by Henry David Thoreau's "Walden" against excess, consumerism, and the perception that more is better. Tiny house advocates, like Thoreau, promote simplified living.


4. The need for electricity and utilities is a concern for those tiny house owners who don't wish to go completely "off the grid." Most tiny houses have hookups for electricity and water, but that requires an outside i.e. public sewer and water, and electric power. For air conditioning you can use a wall unit and for heating you'd use a propane heater or space heater.


5. Because of the lack of space, most tiny house owners have to either downsize considerably, or become very creative with their space. Most of the items in a tiny house have multiple purposes i.e. a table that houses storage compartments and a couch that turns into a bed.


6. Tiny houses are illegal in some places because they don't meet local zoning square footage requirements. So check your local laws if you're considering a tiny house. A workaround is building your tiny house with wheels and registering it as an R-V.


7. You can rent them on Airbnb if you want to try before you buy. Or if you just want to see what it would be like to live small, this might be a good idea. Plus their relatively cheap to rent, which is also an added bonus.
Thrillist Article: AIRBNB'S COOLEST TINY HOUSES IN AMERICA                                  


8. 55% of tiny house owners are women and 45% are men. Average annual income of a tiny house owner is $42,038, which is almost $500 more than the average American. 40% of tiny house owners are 50+.
The Tiny Life: Tiny House Statistics Infographic                                                       


9. California is the most tiny house friendly state in the US. Oregon, Texas, North Carolina, and Florida round out the rest of top 5 states for tiny houses.



10. Tiny Houses are a great investment opportunity. You can build them and rent them out. If you own land you can parcel it out and rent the land to tiny house owners. If you're handy or a contractor, you can build tiny houses and sell them for a profit.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

3 Reasons Why Living Check To Check Sucks


Seasons Greetings Pennies! The holidays are upon us yet again, and I'm thinking more about paying bills than actually enjoying the holidays. I could be the only one but I'm sick of just existing to build up someone else's dream and being content to live with the meager scraps that come with a J-O-B. So here are my top 3 reasons why living check to check sucks.

1. Constantly having to check your account balance

I hate having to check my account 30,000 times a day to check what comes out when. Payday is the worst because I literally get out of bed and check my account to see if the check is in, because if it's not, I'm cooked. 

It's also so annoying to go, after every purchase and check it just to make sure the money is right, even for fast food. "Like dude, I just want some french fries without having to look at this doggone balance." What a drag...


2.  Any emergency is a BIG deal

Emergencies suck when you live paycheck to paycheck. The main reason is because you have your bills setup a certain way around your pay schedule and it becomes a systematic thing. This is especially the case if you have your bills on auto-pay. So you and your systematic bills are in a good groove, you have chemistry and everything is gravy, until a flat tire happens. Or what if you or one of your kids gets sick and you have to go to the ER or urgent care? How about your car takes a crap on you and breaks down? I'm imagining being in a grocery store, and my kid smashes a carton of eggs in the checkout, and the cashier looks at me and says "Um...Sir, you have to pay for that." Not my fault but I have to pay for it.
Here comes the aha moment in a Forest Gump analogy. "Emergencies are like a carton of eggs someone else broke yet you have to pay for it." Usually these things are charged to a credit card with magical things like points and rewards that make you feel good, until you snap out of it and look at the interest you're paying and want to hurl. Emergency funds don't exist because of holiday shopping, birthdays, I work hard so I'm going to "treat myself" stuff, we swipe because we got it stuff, Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, Spotify Premium and all of those other subscriptions you DON'T use half the time and forgot to cancel like 9 months ago, and, oh yeah, previous emergencies.


3. You can't afford to miss work


Some people couldn't afford to live without OT. Overtime is literally paying some bills, which drags because, what happens when overtime goes bye bye? Get a second job? Sell stuff on eBay? More credit cards? It's literally a shame that we can't take a mental day or vacation because the 8 hrs of personal time isn't enough. There might be days when you're about to kill over because you're so sick but you have bills to pay. What's more important, paying your mortgage or nursing a head cold? Reality is such a jerk sometimes.


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Saturday, December 17, 2016

How I Passed My Real Estate Exam on the 1st Try!




Hello Pennies! It's certainly been awhile, hasn't it? Now before you get get mad and quit the blog, please know that I haven't been ignoring you guys and I definitely haven't forgotten about you either. I've found that focusing on a single task is super productive for me, so studying for my real estate exam became my primary focus. I studied at work, home, and pretty much everywhere I went for countless hours. I watched YouTube videos, made flash cards with the help of my wife, downloaded practice test apps, whipped out the calculator, a pencil and good ol' scratch paper for the math. 

I had anxiety, lost sleep, saw my job performance take a hit, prayed a lot, second guessed myself a million times, and thought that I couldn't do it. But I'm so grateful to God to share with you the good news... I passed my real estate exam! It was my 1st try, and I felt very nervous, and some questions through me for a loop. I even heard the reaction of people who failed their real estate exam, while I was still taking it! But after it was over, ten simple words validated this incredible journey we're on... I passed my real estate exam on the 1st try! I want to thank you for taking out time to even read this post and visit my blog. You guys really motivate me to keep pushing to be my best self. I started real estate school in September, finished in November, and got my real estate license in December.



I want to encourage someone who might not believe that they have what it takes to achieve success in anything. If you've ever failed in life, like I have many times, you can come back from it. "You can win!" The biggest opponent is the person in the mirror. I'm learning that having a mindset of failure breeds failure. Check out Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Dr. Carol S. Dweck for more on this. My negative mindset oftentimes limited and paralyzed me and next thing you know I'm a year older in the same condition or worse as the year before. But now I'm also learning that a successful mindset is progressive, forever learning, and applying newfound knowledge and skills. This win is just one step in the right direction to achieving my dream of building wealth through real estate. I can't wait to see what happens next and I hope you'll tag along too!

S/O to God who makes all things possible, my lovely wife Tiffany for being so supportive and pushing me to continue, even when I wanted to quit, she wouldn't let me. And the last one goes to my son Caleb. "Daddy loves you so much and there's nothing that I wouldn't do for you to have a better life."

Alright Pennyanos,

Thank you for being the best followers in the world! I'm forever grateful. There's more to come soon :)


Saturday, November 5, 2016

My 1st REIA Meeting


Hey Pennies! This was my first time going to a REIA (*Real Estate Investors Association) "EVER"! I was honestly extremely anxious. Like I had butterflies as I'm waiting for the first meeting to start. It's a very weird feeling and I couldn't help but wonder how everything will play out. Ryan (*one of the lead mentors) starts the meeting off with an introductory presentation, and my first impression is that Ryan is incredible. He and Anish (*another lead mentor) believe in practicing what they preach. They encouraged those in the meeting to focus on the low hanging fruit. Don't worry about researching probates in preforeclosure, because it can be a headache. 3 years is the average amount of time from preforeclosure until foreclosure. Focus on them, a.k.a the low hanging fruit.

We learned that  of loan modifications go back into preforclosure within 18 months. So most people in this situation can't quite get it together. The HAFA federal relocation program is one way out because it can potentially give homeowners facing foreclosure up to $10,000 while negotiating a short sale. We also learned to aim for the wholesaling sweet spot. Target homes priced at 350k and below, with at least 20% equity, that have been in preforeclosure for 3 years or less, 3BR 3BA SFRs, that are at least 1200 sq ft.

I gleaned several other interesting things also from the REIA meeting that I'll probably post about at a later date. For now I just want to say that I was truly inspired because of the wealth of information I received in the REIA meeting and the networking opportunity also. I met some great people and learned some top tips and tricks of the wholesaling trade. The thing I like most about my the people sponsoring the local REIA meetings is the network of cash buyers that they have in place. So if you become a REIA member, and were to find a deal they would find you a cash buyer from their network, split the profit with you 50/50, put up all of the money for the deal, and coach you through the whole process.

I met many people just like me, average joes with big dreams. And guess what? They're doing it. They are closing deals, funding their retirement, going on exotic vacations for months at a time, and finding financial freedom, because of the network and power of their local REIA. If you haven't already, "WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR???" Find your local REIA here. Let me know how it goes.

"Arrivederci Centesimos!" (*Italian for see you later pennies)

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

My Savings Diary #1 - $2.74 Challenge


Penny lovers, today starts my journey of saving money, which is kinda hard for me. This is like attempt 101, literally! It feels like I fall off of this horse so many times in the course of a year, but I'm hoping that transparency with you guys will hold me more accountable.

I'm trying to save money daily. Everyday, 7 days a week, I make a deposit of at least $2.74 into a savings account. I will keep track of the savings account and post the balance here, just so you guys can follow along with me and the money I save.

In a year, this will help me save at least $1,000.00.  I want to see how much money I can save, not only to prove to myself that I can do it, but also to fund my real estate investments from those savings.

Right now I'm 5 days in and my balance is $13.81. I'm legit starting from nothing guys, so this is 100% real. Not some I'm at $20,000.00 already story here, nope. We're starting from the very bottom. Things can only go up from here.

If you feel like this is an area that you want to grow in, I invite you to take the $2.74 challenge with me if you can. And please let me know how it goes by leaving comments or emailing me. I would love to hear your story.

Until the next time my fellow penny pinchers.


Sunday, October 23, 2016

Real Estate License Journal #1

So, I decided to go to school to get my real estate license. Why? I guess because in my head I'm thinking, "What have I got to lose?" Real estate is something that I'm passionate about, but one thing I'm learning is that passion can fade if left unattended. Passion, like a campfire, must be constantly fed or fueled in order to keep it alive. So I wanted to seek out a way to fuel my passion for real estate in a constructive way, which made getting my real estate license a no brainer. But you have to go to real estate school first and take courses before you can take the state license exam.

First of all, I work a full time job, and I have a stay at home wife and one year old. I'm thinking, do I have time to go to school, while competing for time with family and work? And I said to myself single moms do stuff like this all the time. S/O to the single moms, I salute you! If you really want something bad enough, you'll find a way. So guess what, I had to start believing in myself, that I could do this, and balance my life. I immediately started looking online for schools. I looked locally first, to see what was available near me. There were a couple schools that really peaked my interest, but they were expensive.

So I saw this banner ad for Real Estate Express, and honestly I think I clicked on it by mistake because I thought it was spam. You know how when you try to close out a pop up ad and then you accidentally click on it? Never mind, so anyway, I was on the site and I saw that you could take the required real estate prep course online for $99. Once I saw that I closed the window because I new it was a scam then, because there's no way you can get a legit real estate course for that cheap! I knew because I had been searching and everything else was way more expensive. So anyway while I was still in the process of looking I ran into a friend/coworker at a birthday party. I was talking to him about me going for my real estate license and he told me that he was currently in school for the same thing. Guess what school??? Yep! You guessed it Real Estate Express!

I was floored, and obviously I had many questions, but surprisingly he had an answer for every one of them. While I was still coming to grip with the fact that it's legit, my friend challenged me. He told me to sign up ASAP and get going. That sounded like a good idea at the time, but I'm married though, so I had to talk it over with my counselor A.K.A. my wife. We talked and she was all for it, yay! Love wins lol! So I signed up and I personally love it and highly recommend it.

Let me tell you why. First of all it's extremely affordable. It's literally the best $99 I've ever spent in life! So do this! I mean come on, you can't beat it. Also, the course is so flexible because it's online, which is an awesome benefit. I can log in at anytime on my phone, tablet, or laptop, and complete my coursework. Gotta love it! Why? Well, because I'm always on the go and I don't want to slack off, so this works perfect for me. So yeah, this is what I'm doing now, and I'm about 70% done with the course and loving it. If you are interested in getting your real estate license, check it out here! Please wish me luck guys and I'll have more updates on my quest to get my real estate license real soon. Hasta pronto pennitos!

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