Archive for the ‘Goals’ Category

Sorry it’s been a while since I’ve posted.  I’ve been super busy with the Holidays, work, a blizzard and tons of family obligations.  Also, I have been terribly sick the past few days…so I haven’t even been on the computer at all lately!   😉    Due to all the holiday craziness, I took a break from REI the past couple weeks (with the exception of checking MLS listings and looking at one rental property).  However, I am planning to get on the horse starting on Monday.

Oh, and right before Christmas, a friend called me saying her daughter had lice (one of my daughter’s good friends.).  Apparently, a ton of kids in another class had it. Yuck!   Ugh..I had to spend tons of time washing everything as a precaution and checking my daughter’s head constantly (thankfully, she’s all clear!!).  So, because of this, I did a ton of research on lice prevention and some good tips for doing so safely.  For example, I sprayed a mixture of tea tree oil and water on her head as one means of prevention (here’s a tip: tea tree oil should be used with caution on pre-pubescent boys!) .  Maybe I should write an ebook about it to create some passive income!

I did get some cool Christmas gifts, such as some workout stuff and some REI books.  My husband also bought me the book The Go-Giver, so I’m excited to read that one.  (Thanks for the tip on that book, Shae and Steph.)

In between resting and watching TV today to feel better, I did take a moment to write down some 2011 goals on an index card.  I wrote down things such as – monetizing my blog and further monetizing my other websites (such as http://www.buying-your-first-home.com), eating better and getting back to working out, creating more passive income streams, obtaining rental properties with positive cash flow, etc.   Did you write down any goals?  If so, what were they?

On an unrelated note, just read this article about how it’s great having a December birthday (the comments are very interesting, too).  For someone who is born right after Christmas, trust me, it ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. I’ve always wanted a June or August birthday.  When you’re born near Christmas, people often forget your birthday and the insulting scribble of  “Happy Birthday” as an afterthought sent on a Christmas card gets me riled every time.  I’d much rather take a (free) phone call to wish me Happy Birthday.  Although since there are 2 other family members with birthdays right around mine (my dad’s was on Christmas Day), my husband, friends and family are really great about making my birthday special.  And my husband knows to NEVER wrap my birthday presents in Christmas paper.  That’s the biggest insult of all! LOL!

2011 is going to be an awesome year!  I still plan to be out of my job this year, baby!

Happy New Year and Happy Investing! 

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As many of you are doing, I’m thinking about my 2011 goals.  I am trying to think of additional ways to make passive income, in addition to real estate, so I can leave my job next year.   So, I’m still working on the Financial Freedom GPS program, as well as watching the videos for the new divamoneyclub.com website.  This passive income site (for Divas and Divos!) is yet another timely thing that has come into my life as I’m searching for my way out of Corporate America. Check it out, if you have the chance.

And interestingly, or coincidentally, over the past couple of months I’ve thinking of moving this free blog to a one where I can advertise, something mentioned on the divamoneyclub.com site.   I already have a “webuyhouses” site and also one for which has tons of grants and free info regarding buying your first home. The former I don’t advertise on (the Adsense ads that populated were other “we buy houses” sites), the latter generates some decent Adsense money, enough to pay for the site and some extra, but I really need to monetize more.

Any advice for monetizing this blog?  Should I move it to WordPress.org or Blogger?  I know pretty much everyone prefers WordPress, but I’d love any and all opinions here!  And whatever is the “simplest” way to transition it, that’d be great!

On the REI front, we didn’t get the 3 family we bid on… the seller wanted too much.  Although it still was a deal, but we always want a bargain!  And we’ve had a couple of appointments to view rentals over the past couple weeks but they’ve been cancelled/rescheduled a few times due to tenant notice and my ridiculous work schedule.  I swear, this job gets in the way of all my side ventures! LOL!

Happy Holidays and Investing!

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Amercian self-help writer Napoleon Hill (1883-...
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I just signed up for a motivational quote of the day by the Napoleon Hill website, naphill.org.  You can register for a quote of the day sent to your email box.  I even had the email quote sent to my phone so I have to see it daily.  It’s a great motivational tool.

And, since everyone is talking about Holiday shopping this week, here’s a great site for some Black Friday Deals!  I, personally, won’t be out with the people searching for deals at 4am Friday.  I’ll be shopping on-line for deals at home in my PJs, while still bloated from overeating at Thanksgiving, thank you very much!   🙂  The website has plenty of good store deals and also cyber shopping deals!

On a REI related noted, we have made an offer on a rental property with good cash flow and received a counter. Not sure if it is going to work, but I’ll post more when I have more news to share.   I don’t want to jinx this one!  In the meantime, if someone can recommend a lender that can finance a fully rented cash cow in MA, let me know.  A lot of local lenders are looking for really high downpayments.  Thanks!

 Happy Investing and Happy Thanksgiving!

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Things have been busy yet again this week.  With all the Halloween festivities and a super busy couple weeks at work, it was tough to get a lot of REI stuff done.  Even so, we were able to look at a few houses this week. One of which was on Monday night, but it was after dark, which is not a good idea, when the house has no electricity.  LOL!  Luckily, my camera got some good shots with the flash.  Although even though it was dark, we could still see the house needed WAY too much work. The listing said that 90% of the rehab had been done.  Yeah, sure…so I guess the other 10% includes  drywall, windows, floors, paint, etc! 😉

I also have been reviewing Shae’s Financial Freedom GPS.   It has some really great content.  Some of the things she talks about I have already thought about or are doing, but there are a lot of good exercises and time management strategies.  That’s the stuff I really appreciate – Shae had the same struggles many of us 9-to-5ers have – how do you balance a demanding job, family, kids, tons of other stuff and your REI biz?  I can handle all the “work” involved with REI.  I mean, I am really organized and determined, but just finding the time in a given week is so hard sometimes.  I swear, I could be kicking some serious butt if I didn’t have the 9-to-5.  And like Shae says in the book, I also hope and want and wish to get laid off all the time.   With my years of service, I’d get about a years severance pay, which would be pretty darn awesome.  But I digress.  Anyway, I also did the exercise of coming up with our “number” for financial freedom – this is the amount we need to cover each month for all our family/household bills.  If we can come up with enough passive income to cover this monthly amount  (with a bit of a savings buffer), we’ll be set and I can quit.    The only variable in our “number” is the cost of health insurance.  I added in an approximate number, but that could be higher or lower, since the costs can vary widely, especially for a family plan. 

By the way, I noticed this article over at Tim Ferriss‘ Blog.  It talks about being clear with your requests to your virtual assistant (VA).  While I agree with most of the info, there are things that need to be more detailed, especially if you’re dealing with offshore VAs.  For example, most of the world formats their dates in the DD/MM format, not MM/DD, as we do in the US.  Also, you need to be very clear regarding acronyms, abbreviations, nick names, etc.  In my “day job” we deal with this a lot and you need to be crystal clear with your requests/documentation, or they can easily be misunderstood.  For those of you that use VAs, what are your thoughts?

Happy Investing!

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The past couple weeks have been very busy.  Even so, we still looked at a few properties over the past week.  A couple were good bites for rentals and one or two were good rehabs.  We want to look at a couple more tomorrow to see if we will be making any offers.

I’ve still been fielding calls from our inherited property mailing.  Still working on those leads.  I’ve also been posting to and responding to ads on Craigslist.  No real promising leads yet, but I’m working on it.  I search and scour ads looking for ones where sellers may want to sell via owner financing (I also set up Google Alerts so they’re emailed to me).  I responded to one such ad I found and we played email and phone tag.  I haven’t heard from him in a couple days, and saw that he deleted his ad, so I’m assuming he’s found a buyer.   I’ll keep trying him to see if that’s a case.  I also am checking for rent ads to see if anyone is willing to sell on owner financing.  I also placed a Craigslist ad under the rental category to see if I could get any bites from any frustrated landlords.

At work, we’ve been working on our year end reviews and goals for next year.  I’m so not into it.  Can I write for my goals for next year that I wanna be outta there?   😉  I guess I cannot do that, but it’s really how I feel.   Every year they expect us to do more with less people and it’s just getting ridiculous.  I know in this economy things are hard and I truly am grateful to have a job, especially since my husband got laid off, but still.  It doesn’t mean I have to be miserable.  And I just cannot stand how much time my job sucks up.  I work well more than 40 hours and I often skip lunch and have late meetings, which really makes it hard to talk to sellers or see properties during the week, but I do my best.   Although I have to say, even with all those negatives, the main reason I want to be done with my job really is to have the freedom…financial freedom and freedom of my time.  Too many people I know have wasted years at jobs because they were “stuck” and were not happy for fulfilled.  I’ve done my time in Corporate America.  It’s time for my sentence to end.  

So, as I was feeling tired and stressed after work yesterday, I came home from work to find an email from Shae Bynes with the info regarding my prize of winning a copy of her new product Financial Freedom GPS!  I’m so excited.  I cannot tell you how timely this email was.  I put the audios on my iPod and I cannot wait to dig in and learn.  I really need more assistance regarding getting my financial house in order before I leave my job by next summer.  So far, her course looks AWESOME and I barely have scratched the surface. 

And on a related note, one of the themes of Vena Jones-Cox’s radio show/podcast this week (available on iTunes) was how to use real estate investing so you’re no longer living paycheck to paycheck.  It’s like every sign in the universe is guiding me to working on my own and being financial free.

If you’ve seen my “Countdown to Freedom” clock on my blog, it’s counting down to me being out of my job by next July 17th.  I really need to make this happen.  Sooner rather than later!

Happy Investing!   Happy Halloween.

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Well, it was a slow week REI wise.  I had a really busy week at work and also was not feeling great.  Also, a lot of REOs we were interested in were no longer available this week.   I assume this is because offers were made, not due to the recent suspension of foreclosures.  We’re going to get going and look at more properties.  I am thinking we may need to start looking at less REOs, if the suspension of foreclosures becomes more widespread.

We also sent out the rest of the inheritance letters a few days ago.  We also sent follow-up letters to people who had contacted us as a result of the first mailing, but were not interested in selling.  I’m hoping to get some bites on those letters.

I also have been doing some private money research.  I was looking at the county deed records and noticed this one person’s name show up over and over.  Well, from what I can tell, this dude is a big time private money lender, lending to real estate investors and development companies.   I figure I can send him a letter asking him to see if he’s interested in investing with us.    However, I do want to be sure I’m SEC compliant and do things the right way.  I also don’t want to look like I was stalking him or something.  I need to check my PMBP course to see if there a letter template for such a scenario. I haven’t found it yet, but I only looked quickly so maybe I missed it.  I need to do  more research.  In the meantime, I thought I’d draft a letter saying something like I noticed he lended to other real estate investors and wanted to see if he wants to invest with our company.  Any suggestions would be helpful!

We’ve also been talking about changing our investing strategy a bit.  Not that we don’t want to rehab or wholesale, but we are also thinking about focusing more on rental properties.  We have seen a lot of good deals lately, so we have been looking at more multi-families instead of focusing on single family homes.

Have a great week!

Happy Investing!

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Remember the house that we were waiting forever for the Title V (septic) inspection (the same house that the bank’s listing Agent was “insulted” by our low-ball offer)?  Well, we told our Agent that even though they lowered the price to $159k, we were not going to increase our offer by an amount that the bank would accept, so this won’t be a deal.  Interestingly, I noticed today that the listing is now inactive, so I’m curious what the offer turned out to be.

We also looked at a couple more REOs this week.  One was pretty lousy and we’re not intersted.  Another house was a 3 family where 2 of the units were in good shape but the top floor needed a full rehab.  The first 2 floors were basically move-in and the rents there would more than cover the property.  Rehabbing and renting the top floor would be pure gravy, as cash flow goes.  The listing of this house had special stipulations that they were taking offers from owner occupants or municipalities (for Section 8, I suppose?), then after a couple weeks, they would consider investor offers.  The house is listed for $90k, which is a great deal for a 3 family. We’re hoping that we can make an offer on this one.

With the news of Bank of America suspending foreclosures, I think we may need to alter our plans for getting leads bit, since we look at a ton of REOs.  We are going to mail out the rest of our inherited list mailers and will be buying a new list soon.  I decided to buy a new list with more focus of certain zip codes instead of the entire county.  The “whole county” approach didn’t work well since some parts of the county are 45 minutes or more away and the areas are really out of our target farm areas.  I also have realized, though, that I don’t like talking to sellers all that much.  I think I’m good at it, and I should be since I have tons of years of customer service experience, but I just don’t like it. I much prefer vacant/REOs, but there’s a lot of competition for those.  Plus, fielding motivated seller calls during calls during business hours is not possible and my calls go to voicemail.  Maybe I can outsource the call backs or something.  We also don’t do bandit signs.  I know they’re effective but we really don’t have the time or energy to so it…and we also don’t have the time or energy to get slapped with fees, either.  The signs get pulled down pretty fast around here. 

I’ve noticed that the hours/days/weeks slip away and I don’t have enough time to do all that I need to do for REI.  Even with my husband helping out, there are some things I cannot outsource to him, and some things that are more more my specialty (like number crunching the deals).  Thank goodness he’s been a contractor and is still a licensed plumber, so those are the skills I really need from him! 🙂   So, anyway, I think I gotta start using a virtual assitant or two to help us out.  For those of you that are outsourcing things or using virtual assistants, which companies do you recommend (elance.com, odesk.com or others)?  Because I deal with outsourcing at my 9-to-5, I have some very hands-on experience here (and I have some very strong opinions on the topic!), but I’d like some guidance here for REI businesses. 

Oh, and since none of our offers got accepted, I didn’t meet Steph’s 30 day challenge to get a house under contract in September.  Can I get a do-over on the do-over? 🙂

Unfortunately, I have to work Columbus Day (boo!), but to those of you that are not, happy rest of the long weekend! 🙂

Happy Investing!  Happy 10/10/10!

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