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I just wanted to share with you some surprising facts about this websites' traffic over the last year. I know some of my readers also run websites and blogs of their own so I think this might be useful.
Like I have mentioned already, 2013 was a major year of career transition for me. As such, time to maintain Wealth-Steps.com was close to non-existent. For most blogs this is usually the kiss of death.
Since search engine and Alexa rankings for blogs depend on traffic and traffic depends on frequency of adding content, when you have a blog and stop posting traffic goes down, period.
In my case, since Wealth Steps is not a blog, my traffic not only kept steady but much to my surprise it increased.
I live in a fairly affluent area of Atlanta. I am not necessarily surrounded by millionaires, at least not immediately, but it is definitely a middle to upper middle income area. Since I have traveled extensively throughout this city and have gotten to see some of the not so nice areas, I can tell the difference.
Where I live the real estate is more expensive, the houses are bigger, people drive nicer cars, children go to more, nicer and more expensive activities and overall people have “nicer” things. In other words the normalcy of having “nicer” things is contagious and rampant.
I associate with many people that as far as I can tell like to spend more and have more than I do. They use their money in ways I don’t. And I’ll be honest, sometimes I wish I had more “nicer” things like they do. - See more at: http://blog.wealth-steps.com/2014/02/why-i-wish-i-had-nicer-things-but-i-dont.html#more
The time has come for me to move away from Corporate America, move away from making a living with a J-O-B and dedicate myself to a new challenge...
I quit my job and I have started a new business!
I will now be spending the majority of my daylight hours working on my own business. Real estate investing is still going to be part of my mix but that will not be the main income provider.
As I have commented on other posts the real estate market in my city has changed dramatically for the type of investing that I was doing. I knew it was coming, I just was not expecting it so soon.
I now got to figure out what to do next and how. On the other hand I have chosen to not make real estate investing my primary occupation after leaving the corporate world.
I have started a business in marketing and advertising and as such is going to require that I spend a lot of time in the sales funnel. Although due to my real estate experience I have a small amount of sales experience this is going to be completely different. And for me different is good...
Finding Motivated Sellers...
Fast forward to the present and Danny has been steadily doing real estate investing deals for the last 10 years and he's been making a full time living at it. But the thing that most caught my attention of Danny is that he is not chasing foreclosures and bank owned properties like I was.
Since Danny started flipping properties before the recession, before there were distressed properties everywhere, he had to develop the systems to find properties that would make good investment sense. This basically means looking for motivated sellers. Finding homeowners that for some circumstance in their lives, need to sell the house even if it is at a steep discount from market values.
Here is where I believe Danny has excelled because as I have come to learn this is a very specific and hard skill to develop. No matter what the TV gurus tell you about "easily finding discounted properties" this is hard!
One of the reasons I have enjoyed athletics and competition for such a long time is because of all the great life lessons that it offers.
As someone who is going through some very challenging times right now I rely on those lessons to keep going. This video is yet another reminder of what I already know but easily forget in the day to day hustle of life...
(Yes, it's been a while since my last post and there's a good reason for that. More coming soon...)
I recently had the privilege of speaking with Danny Johnson from FlippingJunkie.com, an experienced and very active real estate investor in the San Antonio area. Danny has been investing in real estate for about 10 years now of which 7 of them have been as a full time real estate investor.
Like so many out there Danny and his wife were neck deep in the grind of the full time corporate job and soon enough realized that type of life is someone else idea of making a living and not theirs.
Danny then started to have the kind of thoughts that I am very familiar with. He realized that the corporate job was not going to cut it if he intended to build wealth and reach financial independence one day.
So in comes real estate investing...
(Once in a while I repost an older article for the benefit of newer readers, enjoy!)
In the pursuit of building wealth and achieving your financial goals it is easy to focus on money. However we need to remind ourselves that money is a means to an end. I can assure there are more than then things more important than money but here are my top ten...
Creating a plan for building wealth is an essential step when learning how to build wealth. When you plan you create the road map to get where you want to be but you need to make sure that the reasons you want to achieve wealth in the first place are the right ones for you.
A plan for wealth building starts from a point of self-awareness. You reach this point by being completely honest with yourself and asking the hard questions and giving honest answers. Have you asked yourself the following questions?...
You might have noticed that it has been awhile since I have announced a new house flipping project on this site. That is indicative of how the real estate investing market has changed in Atlanta (again). My strategy of buying foreclosed homes to fix and flip has stopped working. I am now racing to figure out how to find new properties.
It's very well known amongst local investor circles and there is plenty of information on the web that explains what is going on. This article from the Washington Times is a good summary. Basically Wall Street finally figured out that there is money to be made in residential real estate and they have been buying houses by the thousands!!...
Unless you have been hanging out with the Taliban you have probably heard that real estate all over the US is on the way up...
This is yet another example of the cyclical nature of real estate. And as long as you understand that nature you should SERIOUSLY consider investing in real estate in some way, shape or form.
Here are my top 6 reasons why I invest in real estate and why you should too if you are serious about building wealth...
There are some personal finance basics that will not change regardless of whether you are single, married or have children. However once you grow your family with the first child there are some basics of personal finance that are unique to families.
Whether you have children or thinking of having one (or several), you should consider the following personal finance lessons for your particular situation...
This week I was reminded that when opportunity knocks the advantage goes to the proactive person and not the reactive one. You see, I got an email with a potential deal in my preferred area of real estate investing. Although good deals in my area are rare, they are possible because that is how I got House #8.
This was a wholesaler deal, meaning that an investor finds the property and puts it under contract and then tries to assign the sales contract to another buyer (me). They make their money by setting the sales price to his end buyer higher than the sales price he contracted with the owner of the property. The difference in prices is their profit.
In the previous post about this house I wrote about how we had taken a chance and decided to sell the house instead of rent it. It turned out that the interest for purchasing was much higher than the interest for renting.
Not only was it very easy to get an offer on this house, we got several offers on the house within 48 hours. To top it all it was fairly smooth transaction to get to the closing table.
First off we had to sort through all the offers that we got. Initially we got two cash offers slightly under the listing price of $125,000 and one financed offer at asking price. But then the offers kept pouring in but all of them at listing price. That is when I decided to roll the dice...
Ran into this short clip about Steve Jobs' thoughts on passion for your work. It made me think quite a bit and wonder what areas in my life do I feel passionate about. It's not just passion for the work I do to put food on the table but of all the things that you and I do in our lives how many of them do we feel passionate about?
Purchasing rental property can help you build wealth…but before you consider buying rental property I want you to be well aware of what you are getting into and what to watch out for.
In the first part of this article, Selling Rental Property, I showed you the financial results of one of my rental properties and why I decided to sell it even though it was making money. In this part I want to go over the lessons learned and the mistakes you should avoid before purchasing rental property...
I have been a bit silent on the site as of the last week. A work trip combined with way too much work are to blame...
I have somehow managed to find the time very early in the mornings to write some future posts but they are far from finished. However now that we are a quarter into the year its time for my quarterly review.
I take some time every quarter to review my goals and plan for this year and see what progress I am making, what needs to change and what I need to focus on for the next three months.
Unfortunately my progress on my goals for the first three months of the year was not to my satisfaction. This means that the next quarter will require some serious work on my part.
On top of that I have some huge changes coming this next quarter that will certainly affect my income and business goals.
All in due time.
In the meantime just bear with me and I'll be back next week.
Here is a link to the post on goals:
The common advice given when considering selling rental property is to consider whether the property is producing positive monthly cash flow or not. You obviously want to get rid of a looser but what about if it’s making money, should you sell? The answer for me was YES!
I had written in the blog about having to evict the tenant. Now that the property was vacant, this served as an opportunity for me to reconsider my goals for this property based on the results I had gotten with it...
I received a question from a reader asking if every time you rehab a house you have to spend $30,000, $40,000 or more doing a rehab. The answer is no.
House #5 is a good example of that. This was a nice little house that was in overall good shape and just needed a few repairs, new appliances and some flooring.
As such the rehab costs on it were under $20,000 and it took about two weeks to repair.
Look at the following pictures and video to see what you can do to a house with less than $20k...
HUD foreclosures can offer a great opportunity for real estate investing. But how do you know you are getting a good deal when buying a foreclosure?
If you are buying a home after foreclosure, as an investor you have to protect yourself by doing your due diligence and making sure that the property comes with a deep enough discount. This will protect you from the risks associated with the unknowns of a government foreclosure. Plus, you want a discount that will give you a good profit because after all this is an investment.
Calculating your personal net worth is the most important figure you can have in order to get a view of your financial position. Watching over time how your net worth increases is a powerful motivator and true gauge of your progress in building wealth. Therefore this needs to be a regular part of your money management program.
By definition your personal net worth boils down to this:
I was recently researching the tax records of a property I want to to buy and noticed that the house had been refinanced numerous times only to end in foreclosure. I think it's a good example of how some people use debt to fund their lifestyle and the risks of taking on debt.
Because real estate in general was moving up in value a lot of people were looking at the equity in their houses and looking for ways to use it. A lot of this was fueled by the multiple offers that mortgage lenders would make homeowners to try and convince them to refinance.
To many people the phrase debt to wealth sounds like nothing more than wishful thinking. You may think that turning debt into wealth might just not be possible because you cannot even fathom how to get out of debt.
However, transforming debt into wealth, like any other challenge, is a step by step process that can be overwhelming when looked as a whole but in reality is very doable if you have the will and make a plan...
Debt is the opposite of wealth. As long as you are in debt you will not be able to build wealth. If you are dealing with too much debt there are resources to help you deal with it.
Credit counseling debt relief can be a good resource for dealing with overwhelming debt or learning how to better handle your finances. Counseling credit & debt relief services are available through numerous resources, private or public.
How do you know if you should seek credit counseling and debt relief?...
It seems that because of the low housing inventory here in Atlanta demand for houses has gone through the roof. I bet many other major cities are seeing the same too. To illustrate let me tell you what has been happening with my rental house.
A bit ago I told you about how we evicted the tenant and were getting the house ready for rent again. Well, we did exactly that, got rid of all the trash the tenant left, cleaned the carpets, painted and did a major clean of the house which apparently the tenant was allergic to doing.
Anyway, we put the house on the rental market and the phone has not stopped ringing...
Credit card debt solutions services have been made into a profitable and sometimes fraudulent business. As such many people have been duped to believe that solutions to credit card debt can only be done through one of these services. The reality is that some of them charge for something you can do yourself and sometimes they don’t even deliver.
What you want is to take control and responsibility for your debt. You need to realize that as long as you are in debt you will not be able to build wealth...
I had the opportunity recently to attend a conference where the majority of the attendants were field supervisors in a construction related industry. As a project manager I send these guys out to my different projects and they are basically in charge of getting the work done.
The reason I bring this up is because their job would not be the first one to come to your head if I asked you to mention a high-paying profession.
The interesting part is that these individuals mostly have a High School diploma only, they live in rural parts of the country like Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, they mostly drive trucks (American of course), many of them consider themselves "rednecks" and...they are millionaires!
I am convinced that one of the reasons my wife and I have been able to build wealth on our single income has been our choice to avoid credit card debt. Unfortunately, because of credit we “enjoy” the ability to buy what we want now regardless of whether or not we have the money for it.
The availability of easy and abundant credit makes this all possible. Unfortunately it is easy to let caution wane and take advantage of many of these offers for easy credit. If you are not cautious, a mountain of credit card debt is the result. This can leave you seeking credit debt relief as the only answer when the “mountain” is too steep to climb...
Debt management, real estate investing basics and personal finance education are three more strategies that you need to consider on the road to wealth. See how these recommendations can fit your particular situation and how you can implement them.
The hardest part of building personal wealth for me was getting started. There are so many unknowns and things to do, but if you follow these tried and true strategies you will be on the way to wealth and better yet you will be attracting wealth into your life.
Let me explain...
In real estate like so many other business opportunities, every once in a while a "deal" comes up and you have to jump on it faster than you can say "deal or no deal". Well, it turns out that I just learned exactly how fast that needs to be…
Saturday morning I am looking in the multiple listing service to see what potential house flipping deals I might find. I have specific target areas, at specific price points and I look for specific conditions. Saturday morning I am looking in the multiple listing service to see what potential house flipping deals I might find. I have specific target areas, at specific price points and I look for specific conditions.