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Before you start entering data, make sure QuickBooks is set up appropriately for your company.
QuickBooks was designed to serve the needs of millions of small businesses. To do that, it had to include the tools and processes suitable for a wide variety of companies. But Intuit recognized that every organization is unique, so your copy of QuickBooks can be customized in ways that make it work best for you.
You could just dive in and start adding records and transactions. But we recommend you do some setup first. If you don’t, you may run into some issues later, such as finding that some features you need haven’t been turned on, for example, or that QuickBooks is simply not doing some things the way you do. The good news is that you can change many of these. Read More >>
“I did surveillance a lot, which sounds exciting, but it never was.” ~ Miranda Lambert
The Arlo Camera System is a favorite alternative to the Ring alarm system. It’s very easy to install since it takes literally 60 seconds to set up. It is a wireless system that can be synced up with your smartphone. If you have Alexa by Amazon, this can easily integrate into your existing Samsung family of appliances.
The pros of this system start with the ease of installation. The base plug looks similar to a router, so it is a familiar input, then turn it on. Place the batteries in the case and press the ‘sync’ button. That’s it.
The interface is very user-friendly too, I set up multiple cameras on a property and it was simple to rename cameras based on their location, like ‘garage’ or ‘back door’ and so on. From the app or the desktop website, you can relabel cameras, give preference like which camera is a priority first, adjust the motion sensor and record length once the sensor is tripped. The best thing, in my opinion, is that the camera will record once you open your notification, and it will record as long as you are watching the camera in real time. You can preset time lengths to record or do it manually from your mobile device. There are options for membership features, but the free subscription allows for 1GB of online storage and continuous weekly storage. Therefore, if in that seven-day span you have videos saved, the eighth day will delete the first video on the first day of that time span. This should be fine for most because it gives you the opportunity to select and save videos to a device or PC before the week resets. Read More >>
From as early as I can remember, the same obstacles have reappeared in my life, taunting me…never feeling satisfied, never feeling good enough, never getting ahead. Even the greatest opportunities one could ask for were sabotaged, and once again the chance to be happy slipped through my fingers. As words and teaching were given, I couldn’t see through the fog of my own delusions and as I yearned for change, I was trapped, imprisoned by shackles of my own creation.
This adversity brought me to the most important question I’ve come to ask.
This won’t be the standard real estate investing topic, in fact it may not have much to do with real estate. The topic emphasis is focused on you and I, and the choices we make in life that create pain and pleasure for ourselves. Read More >>
Going to the foreclosure auction was the best way to find real estate investing deals from 2009 through 2012…talk about lots of low-hanging fruit! We were often able to buy a nice three-bedroom, two-bath home in a solid neighborhood for $35 a square foot. Then in 2013, the cheese moved. Buying on the steps was no longer the best place to get deals.
Let me explain: In April 2012, there were close to two hundred properties advertised for foreclosure in Bartow County, but at the auction, there were only five investors bidding on them. It was like shooting fish in a barrel. One year later – April 2013 – there were less than eighty properties advertised with more than fifty – that’s 50 – investors and hedge funds bidding on that handful of properties. Suddenly, because of the law of supply and demand, winning bidders found themselves paying $80 to $110 a square foot for a house. This was a huge year-over-year price increase!
Did this mean that all the great deals had disappeared? No, it simply meant that to find great deals, investors had to look somewhere else – like buying properties pre-foreclosure. Read More >>
Looking for a great place to invest your Real Estate IRA dollars? Start right here in the Southeast. The 2017 Homeunion 2017 National Single Family Rental Research Report is out and Atlanta was named the #1 top city in its “Opportunity Ranking” metric for real estate investments in the single family home market. The number two city was Orlando, Florida.
The Opportunity Ranking indicates markets that provide a “strong balance of supply/demand fundamentals while offering favorable entry prices and limited threats,” said the study authors. The markets in this index were measured by a combination of cap rates and entry prices, as well as projected job growth in 2017.
Lots of construction activity counted against markets in this category because of the risk of overbuilding.
The remaining cities in the top ten for this metric were, in order, Seattle, Las Vegas, Chicago, San Diego, Oakland, Detroit, Dallas-Fort Worth and Memphis. Read More >>
I have been mentoring for many years and have found that my best deals come from actually “speaking” directly to a Seller and working out a win-win situation. Since I first started investing back in 1998, I have not purchased a property directly from the Multiple Listing Service. However, some Investors would prefer not to talk to Sellers and would like to be fed deals from other Investors or from the Multiple Listing Service. We each have different personalities and based on your personality and your personal preferences, I may be talking to you. If this is your mind set, then I would recommend the following:
1) Find at least 2 Realtors that will be willing to set you up to receive listings that are emailed directly to you for your review, along with Expired Listings. You will want them to do a search for some of the following key words: TLC, Handyman Special, Must Sell, Seller Motivated, Short Sale, and REO. Read More >>
I think the better question is why wouldn’t someone give you $100,000 in cash? Is it because you would run off with the money? Is it because you have little to no experience in handling that kind of money? Does that thought run through your mind on a regular basis? Well it needs to stop! Focus on the goal and dump the negativity! If you are a crook stop reading this article. The best question to ask is, who will fund my whole project, (the purchase price, the repair costs, the monthly payments, the utilities, the taxes, and insurance) and allow me to make a good profit?
Let me put the quantity of money into prospective. Let me also put into prospective the major two differences between a hard money lender and a private lender.
In the past I thought that $100,000 was a lot of money. Today this amount will buy a nice single family house in a blue collar neighborhood. The house will need to be fixed up and it might be in an area with a less than desirable school system. So, if your business plan is to fix up houses in the price range of $50,000 then sell at the $100,000 this will work. You will be very happy to have a person invest in your project. The project must make sense. The project must make money for the investor/ lender. The investor/ lender is sharing the risk with you. The investor/ lender will want to know that they will be paid back on time and in full with no excuses or late night phone calls. Read More >>
The majority of us have been taught that financing means putting your name on that dreaded bottom line. Be thankful that the time has come for you to learn a new way to play the game of financing. Understand, however that the rules of financing have not changed; you were just not aware of all the rules. I am about to share with you ways to buy real estate without having to jump through credit hoops and debt to income foolishness. Since going to the bank is my least desirable method to finance real estate, I will discuss with you my four favorite ways: owner financing, subject 2 financing, private lending and hard money.
Owner financing is my all-time favorite way to finance real estate due to the fact that you get to set the terms of the financing, if the property is owned free and clear. You may be asking yourself, why would someone owner finance a property instead of just selling it and moving on for cash? Well, I could give you all the reasons in the world; however, for the sake of time I will give you the top three reasons: Read More >>
In this article, we’re going to discuss something vitally important that may very well help you understand a LOT about yourself and everyone around you on this planet. Yes, that includes dealing with sellers, buyers, private lenders, and even those alien creatures we love to call tenants. Also-your mother, brother, father, sister, sons and daughters, uncles, best friends and distant relatives.
So You might NOT want to read this article... Unless you want to discover the secrets behind the reasons WHY people DO or DON’T Do the things they do...or don’t do.
It all comes down to TWO things. The Carrot and the Stick.
The CARROT represents something GOOD that we WANT, while the STICK represents something BAD that we DON’T want. Read More >>
Networking is perhaps the most underestimated resource every single investor has. I am constantly amazed at how in a world as interconnected as it is, I am constantly seeing how little we leverage each other to get more deals done. I sat recently and wondered why and came to some conclusions:
There are probably several reasons we can come up with that aren’t written down here. The point is all of these above and more keep us from simply reaching out to others, much less doing business with them. Take for example social media. Read More >>
This month I am sharing some Mental Gems that I know would be of great use to you. It has to do with the misconception that…BIGGER is BETTER and/or Quantity over Quality.
Just this past month I was speaking with one of my platinum students in Dallas, TX. We were discussing his marketing when I shared this view with him to make a clear point. You see, he was having a problem that most of us have at one point or another in our investing career. We begin to doubt that we are doing enough and start to believe that we need to do a LOT more because the deals are not knocking the door down. You see, one thing that we have to be clear on is the understanding that the deals will come as long as we are consistent in our marketing! Read More >>
How important is it, when meeting with a seller, buyer, renter, realtor or contractor, to be totally focused on that person? If you’re not paying complete attention to what that person says and how he or she says it (tone of voice, hand gestures, body position, eye movement), isn’t there a good chance you’ll miss critical information that’s being shared with you?
The number of people who are not 100% there during a meeting has become epidemic – and is a major pet peeve of mine! If you’re over fifty years old, you already know what I’m talking about. Baby Boomers grew up without cell phones, emails, and text messages. Heck, we didn’t even have phone answering machines!
Here’s an example of this epidemic at work. A real estate investor needed help structuring a deal and asked for an hour of my time. He drove up from Atlanta and met me at the Adairsville Waffle House. Read More >>
When making offers on properties as an Investor, you will need to have your exit strategies in place prior to purchasing the property. What I mean by that is, who is your buyer and what type of financing are you going to allow the buyer to use when you sell the property. Knowing this will allow you to maximum your profits.
When I look at properties to purchase I always analyze the value of the property and how long I will have to hold the property before I am able to sell the property for a profit. The comparables that I use are through Realtytrac.com and also the Multiple Listing Service. Realtytrac will give me the values in the area, however, the Multiple Listing Service “MLS” in addition to values will provide me with how the property was sold ie; Cash, Conventional mortgage, USDA mortgage, VA mortgage or FHA mortgage. You can normally assume houses under $200,000 that many of the buyers purchasing at this price point are FHA mortgage buyers. FHA mortgages are mainly used for first-time homebuyers. The Mortgage Lender requires 3.5% as a down payment which attracts many first-time homebuyers. Read More >>
A few months ago, I began learning about and got more involved in apartment investing. I wrote about the steps I took to make industry contacts while building credibility. Fast forward to now and my work is definitely paying off. In many ways, the results I was looking for are coming to fruition but there are also other results, that I did not expect, that are appearing as well.
Some results I expected from my efforts were credibility, partnerships, maybe a mentor, an actual deal, financing and much more that will definitely come with patience and more work. At the beginning I thought credibility was going to the hardest part but it was not. Because I had done my homework and took the time to learn this niche, the people who I spoke with respected the dedication. Another surprise was that all my single family investing actually carried some credibility of its’ own into the apartment investment crowd. From many articles, podcasts, videos, etc. I was led to believe that the multifamily crowd looked down on the single family residential (SFR) investors but it simply was/is not true. In fact, while SFR investing is not a prerequisite, there are many ex- SFR investors who invest in multifamily. These are the people that relate to my current situation and have been eager to provide information and guidance. These relationships have grown into discussions around partnerships and potential financing. While I have still not identified an official mentor I am treating all the assistance I am receiving from multiple investors as a mentorship. This also gives me the opportunity to discuss one aspect of apartment investing with multiple investors so I can then try and decipher which information is best for me and/or which information I personally want to apply. While I have not actually found a multifamily deal that I personally like, I have underwritten many properties. Just like SFR investing, it’s a numbers game. Read More >>
I have learned how to get enough money to buy any house, at any time, any place, and any condition. Wouldn’t it be great to have the relationships to be able to do just that? This is not out of reach and it is not very far from where you are sitting right now.
I recently got into a conversation with a fellow Investor at the gym and it went like this:
Russ: How is business?
Gabriel: I am so busy. I have 17 houses (being rehabbed) right now and the one you sold me (two months ago,) I haven’t been able to get to yet.
Russ: This is great. How are you getting them?
Gabriel: From people like you, wholesalers.
Gabriel: What are you doing? Read More >>
Why do you need a Credibility Kit for your Real Estate Investing business? In fact, what exactly is a Credibility Kit? This is the question I hear most often from students when I am at real estate investing events.
Think about this for a second. Have you ever had a contractor come out to do a bid for you on some work you wanted done, say new cabinets, or siding on your house or new windows? Do you remember seeing the book they brought with them that showed the photos of jobs they had completed, testimonial letters from satisfied customers and copies of their licensing and insurance? That was their Credibility Kit. Why then as a Real Estate Investor are you not creating this amazing tool for your real estate investing business? This is definitely a tool you will need for your real estate investing business and it’s so easy to create one if you follow a few simple steps.
Your personal Credibility Kit will not only build credibility and integrity for you with your sellers and lenders, it will give you a serious edge over your competition. Almost none of your competitors know about this incredible tool that makes you look like a true professional in your Real Estate Investing business, whether you are working with sellers or buyers of properties. Read More >>
We all know that REO is an acronym for Real Estate Owned properties. Basically, it is a property that has been foreclosed upon and now belongs to the bank or lender. Foreclosure properties have been front page news across America for some time. I want to discuss REO properties and the best way to profit from these deals. REIAComps is a great way to expose yourself to the true market value of many REO homes in various stages of foreclosure around Atlanta, the state of Georgia and other market areas.
When banks supply foreclosure lists, they also provide the selling prices that they will accept for those properties. Generally, the banks or HUD have the property priced to move, therefore there aren’t a lot of negotiations necessary. Each property investment is done on a bank-by-bank, house-by-house basis. Read More >>
As I write these words, I’m overlooking the crystal-clear blue-tinged waters of the Caribbean. The boats in the marina are docked and their crews are scurrying about in preparation of the day’s activities. The weather here in Curacao (a Dutch Caribbean island just north of Venezuela) has been exquisite, as my slight sunburn indicates. It should be about 82 degrees here today, while back home it’s a balmy 30 degrees.
So, have YOU taken a vacation recently? Did you have the chance to get away and do something fun, relaxing, or otherwise fulfilling lately? If not, why not? There have been countless studies done and research conducted that prove that people who take the time to take vacations live longer, happier, and healthier lives. Google that if you don’t believe me. Or ask the guy who sold us our timeshare (I’ll get back to you about that). Read More >>
This month’s tip is so critical to your success. There will be many times when you put deals out and instead of getting an offer, you get feedback from your Buyer. If it is constructive, and oftentimes it is by people who sincerely want the property, listen! Buyers, especially experienced Buyers can provide a wealth of knowledge for you on your deals. They oftentimes have the scars of rehabbing and know many things you may or may not have thought of. You want to take advantage of this information!
Some things they may share with you:
What is the real cost of the rehab (very common) to attain the ARV advertised
What the actual ARV for that area is. Remember, if they work that market hard, they oftentimes know several fine nuances that wholesalers rarely consider. Read More >>
One of the most important things I believe every investor should always do before ever making an offer to purchase any property is to first think about what the highest and best use for that property will be. Every day I talk to newer investors who never stop to think about the best use of the properties they look at and how this simple exercise can, and will, greatly improve their profit from every deal they do. It took me years to understand the importance of first considering what I should do with each property I was looking at before even thinking about making the offer to purchase it. This may not seem to be of much importance to those who aren’t experienced investors but one thing is for sure, if you don’t understand how to best utilize the property it will greatly affect the amount of money you make at the end of the day. It is my opinion that you should always step back and take a deep breath before making an offer to purchase a property. Determine exactly what your plans are if you are successful buying the property, while also analyzing the numbers of that property before making your offer to purchase. Read More >>