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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Making Money With Real Estate Wholesaling

One of the things I love the most about real estate investing is that there are numerous ways to make a profit. Ever wonder if there is a low risk and low capital way to make money in real estate? Yes there is and it's called real estate wholesaling.

When you wholesale a property you are basically finding very low priced properties and reselling them to an investor with a markup. There are numerous ways to do this and the good news is that it requires very little money on your part to do.

We just posted a new article on the Basics of Real Estate Wholesaling. Check it out and learn more about this real estate investing strategy.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The 6 Steps to Basic Financial Planning

Just in time for the Holidays and the end of the year we have posted a new article on the main site on the basics of putting together your very own financial plan. 

Although there can be a lot of decisions involved in planning your finances a comprehensive financial plan for you can help you figure out where you are at, where you want to go and how you are going to get there. 

Whether it is to get out of debt once and for all, pay off your house or be able to retire...it all starts with putting together a plan. Your plan does not have to be super complicated and the best part is that you can do it all by yourself. 

So grab yourself a cup of coffee (it's a long one) and head on over to The 6 Steps to Basic Financial Planning page and get started there. Make sure you leave a comment at the end...

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Fix and Flip House #8: Negotiating on Bank Owned Properties

In the last post on House #8 I covered how I came to find House #8. Now that I had done a “good enough” inspection of the house I came up my initial price that I wanted to pay for it considering the repairs that it needed, how much I could resell it for and how much profit I wanted to get out of the deal.

I say “good enough” inspection because I would be doing a more thorough inspection later during the “due diligence” period. This is something that I put into all of my offers where basically I get a couple of days (I typically ask for 3-5) where I can back out of the contract for practically any reason I can come up with, if I want to.

Friday, December 16, 2011

11 Ways to Improve Your Life Now

The year is coming to an end and December is one of my favorite months for two reasons. First, because of the Holidays, the time off and the fun of the season. Second, because I get to look back on 2011 and see what I did with the year.

Looking back on your year can be good and bad…

Good because in the rush-rush of everyday we are always looking to what’s next but if you take some time and look back you might realize that it was a great year, better than you remembered.

I know I realized one lifetime goal this year, riding my bike through the French Alps. Yet somehow it feels like it flew by unless I stop and think about how great of an experience it was.

It can also be bad because you might realize that your year did not go the way you wanted...you did not achieve the goals you set for yourself...you might not be where you wanted to be.

As painful as this can be it’s important that you realize it or else you can’t learn from the experience and become better from it.

So considering that December is a good opportunity to look back, evaluate, clean and prepare for the next year, here are some good things you might want to consider doing this month:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Lessons Learned of a First Time Entrepreneur

Because of my real estate business and this website I have had the experience of being an entrepreneur and business owner for a couple of years now. In that time I have been able to pick up a few good business lessons that I would like to share with you.

Some people might think that to be successful in business you have to resort to some undesirable conduct or looking out for yourself at the expense of the other in order to make a profit. The reality that I have encountered is not like this at all…

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Guide to Simple Net Worth Calculation

Knowing your personal net worth can be beneficial in many ways. There is a saying that says "what you focus on grows...what you ignore, does not" or something like that...

Your net worth is one of the ways that you can quantify and track your wealth. If you are commited to building your wealth then knowing your net worth and tracking it over time is a must do.

We just posted a new article on the main website that will leave you without excuses on calculating your net worth. Go check it out and leave a comment or ask a question there: Simple Net Worth Calculation

Friday, December 9, 2011

Our Next House Flipping Project: House #8

We have found our next house flip, House #8 is our new rehabbing project. Unlike our previous flipping projects there are several things with this house that is going to make it a different deal for us.

Our previous home flipping projects have been mostly houses for first time home buyers. Here in Atlanta, specifically the North and Northwest part of the city,  that typically means a house with at least 3 bedrooms and 2 baths and in the low $100,000 price range. Our typical rehab cost is in the $20k range and it takes us about 2-3 weeks of work to turn a house around. 

With our last property, House #7, we started taking a different direction in terms of the customer we are going for. What was attractive to me about that property was two things: the area and the features of the house. The area was good because of the schools, the higher property values in general and the lower number of foreclosure which is a BIG deal if you are trying to flip.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Becoming a Part Time Entrepreneur

Building wealth requires many things. If your main or only source of income is your job, you may also have some savings in the bank, possibly a retirement account and maybe some investments. You may have realized that those will not be enough for you to create wealth or achieve financial independence.

If you haven’t realized that yet, then let me be clear: IT’S NOT ENOUGH-YOU WILL NOT ACHIEVE WEALTH RELYING SOLELY ON A J-O-B!

I discovered that the hard way. Your job is here today and gone tomorrow…

Which is why, as important as having a job is, living on less than you make, saving and investing will probably not be enough to become wealthy.  Therefore increasing your income by creating multiple sources of income is absolutely critical.
Being debt free is also very important but I am assuming that you have already realized this. If you want to go from  debt to wealth make sure you have a plan to get rid of debt.

Enter the part-time entrepreneur…

Monday, November 28, 2011

Being Grateful

My fellow Wealth Steps readers. I just wanted to send you a very sincere and joyous thank you for your support to our little website. I wish you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving Day and holiday season. 

I have so much to be thankful for and the opportunity to put together this website is one of them. I hope I am delivering on your expectations and that you find here something that is of use and value to you. 

As I spend a couple of days in the nations capital visiting friends I am reminded of how fortunate I am to be living in this wonderful country where we all have so many opportunities. That aside from everything that needs to be fixed in this country there is so much that is good with it. 

I am also very thankful for my buddies in the Air Force and all those other fine men and women in the Armed Forces that are serving right now that allow me and you to be celebrating Thanksgiving with our families and loved ones in peace and happiness. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ten Things More Important Than Money

I can assure there are more than then things more important than money but here is my top ten. 

Experiences -  Hug someone. Kiss someone. Rekindle a relationship you wish you hadn't lost. Train for and complete a triathlon. Make love. Face the thing you most fear right in the face. Travel…whether it’s a new neighborhood or a new country…The rush you get from experiencing something amazing is one of the best parts of being human.

Wisdom -  This goes hand in hand with learning. Learning never stops and that’s one concept that I try to teach my children. However, wisdom is a combination of both learning and experience, gaining skills and then using them. 

Marriage -  Accepting another person wholly and intimately into your life is utterly life-changing. Through marriage you make it a commitment for life. More than just a ceremony marriage can be an opportunity to deeply bond with someone you love and create something that is unique to your union. 

Relationships -  The regular companionship and camaraderie of people you care about and share interests with is continually life-affirming. Friendships don’t revolve around the things you have or the activities you can afford – they revolve around people and shared experiences. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Using Timeboxing To Get Things Done

I recently learned that a technique I often use to get things done has an actual technical name, it’s called Timeboxing. With timeboxing you basically dedicate some time to work on something, do the best job you can within the time available. The key is that you have a finite amount of time therefore you will get as much as you can done within that amount of time.

Personal timeboxing also works to curb perfectionist tendencies by setting a firm time and not over committing to a task. What you do or do not do within a project are totally determined by the time frame. Slipping the schedule is simply not an option, so if you get behind, you must cut tasks. 

A way I use timeboxing is when I have a task or project that I wish to complete, but I don’t really know where to begin, or it seems like it’s going to be a long time before I can finish a meaningful chunk. Or maybe it’s something I find really tedious and would have a tendency to procrastinate on. Then I use timeboxing to simply commit to working on the task for a given period of time to make a dent in it. 

I normally use a period in the range of 30-120 minutes. I release any concern about reaching a particular milestone within that time — I simply commit to putting in the time, regardless of how far I get. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

5 Credit Card Facts You Need to Know in 2011

If you are using a credit card this year, and who isn't, then you need to be aware of some of the changes as a result of the CARD Act. To my surprise the credit card companies did not get away with persuading government enough and some of the new regulations might actually be good. Here are some of the key ones:

1. No More Surprises - if they are going to increase your rate, change some of the fees they charge you or make other significant changes to your agreement they have to give you 45 day notice. Therefore you would have the option to cancel the card. However...if you choose to cancel the card they can stick it to you by requiring you to pay off the balance sooner or increase the minimum payment.

2. If you use a credit card, be ready to pay more - now, some merchants can charge you more if you decide to pay them with a credit card. The way they can do this is by requiring a minimum purchase amount if paying with credit card. So if you are one of the many that barely carries cash around, you might have to buy more crap at a store in order to meet the minimum purchase price.

3. If you don't use the card you can loose it - If you have a credit card that you don't use the issuer can try to close the account. Which is not a big deal to begin with if you were not using it. The only down side could be that if you have had the card for a long time, and you close it, it might affect your credit score. I know it's asinine but that is one of the criteria that papa FICO uses to calculates your credit score.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Is it Possible That Short Sales Just Got Easier?

 I just got a hold of these news from the closing attorney I use for my properties. If you are interested in doing a short sale or investing in real estate through short sales, you will want to verify the following information and see if it can help you:

Changes to HAFA make more homeowners eligible for streamlined short sales.

Late last month, the U.S. Treasury Department tweaked the rules of the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives program to make short sales easier for everyone.

HAFA, which was launched in April 2010, standardized short sale guidelines for everyone - and a lot of lenders signed up to participate.

But the program hasnt been too successful. Even though it streamlined and standardized the short sale process for everyone, thereve been only 661 short sales nationwide under HAFA.

With over 11 million homeowners underwater, theres a great demand for short sales. So the Treasury Department eliminated some of the HAFA guidelines that were holding up short sale approvals.

So, heres what changed: