How To Set Yourself Up To Deal With A Potential Recessionary Event

A potential recession can be really scary. There are so many unknowns, any person can easily become overwhelmed. Add to that the threat to your physical health and the implications to your mental health, this is a lot to deal with. But deal with it we must. Otherwise, we could be overseeing a great opportunity. Or missing out on something huge. Or even making shortsighted, or uninformed decisions.

For me, sticking to a to-do list during times like this helps me to feel productive and keeps me moving forward.

Follow these seven steps and at least know that you are being proactive and productive no matter what the future holds.

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Step 1: Gather all the relevant data.

The first thing you need to do is learn as much as you possibly can about what we’re dealing with. The best way to do this is to learn from those who have experience dealing with something similar. Find the experts, read their books and articles, and listen to their podcasts.

Remember, though, that this is speculation, and you should always consider multiple points on view. Nobody can predict the future. But, we sure can figure out the likely scenarios. The most important thing here is to stick to the facts and take advice from those who actually have an idea of what they are talking about.

Step 2: Come up with a plan.

Now that you have a better idea of what we are dealing with and the possible scenarios that could play out, determine what you are going to do about it. Will your strategy change? Will you put things on hold? Will you pursue something new or different? All of these are likely scenarios and are at least worth considering. It is also reasonable, and probably wise, to have a plan B and even plan C.

Step 3: Strengthen your foundation and get your reserves in order.

Whatever reserves you had for the sunny days may need to be doubled or tripled when you are preparing for a recession. You may need to consider additional vacancies or rental rate reductions. You may also be faced with the possibility that tenants cannot pay rent at all.

Building up your reserves will require discipline but it will be worth it. Furthermore, ensure that you are taking full advantage of the stimulus package. Do your research and know what assistance is available to you and how to take advantage of the different strategies.

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Step 4: Cut all unnecessary expenses.

Go through your expenses with a fine tooth comb and cut out all the excess. If you’re paying for a subscription you’re no longer using, get rid of it. If you subscribe to a TV channel that isn’t bringing you joy, cancel it. There are many ways to go about this, but the first step is figuring out where your money is going. So schedule some time, print out your credit card statements, and get to cutting! A few steak dinners replaced with a home cooked spaghetti meal is an easy sacrifice, and your bank account will thank you for it.

Step 5: Revise your strategic plan.

All of the above will likely require that you reassess and possibly realign your strategic plan. If you haven’t already developed a strategic plan, check out this post for a quick and easy way to get on your way.

Please note that I am not advising you to let go of your goals! I am simply recommending that you reprioritize and potentially move things around. You may have to push some things off, but you can replace them with other things.

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Step 6: Stay Positive

We’ve all heard the saying “prepare for the worst, hope for the best” and this is truly the best thing you can do during uncertain times. Realizing that there are things within your control and things outside of your control can be really helpful. Do what you can, and don’t stress about what you have no control over. Our economy cycles; it is normal and to be expected. You can’t change that, but you can decide how you will handle this downturn and what you learn from it.

Step 7: Take care of yourself.

Uncertain times can be very stressful, and can make you doubt the path you’re on. None of this is healthy or productive! Come up with a plan and stick to it. Create some routine and normalcy in your life, and cut yourself some slack!

Successfully Working From Home

Working from home can be a huge blessing and opportunity, but it requires much more focus and discipline. There tend to be more distractions in your house, and adding kids and a spouse who is also working from home can make a challenging situation even more so.

Eliminating the daily commute can be a great time saver, and can really simplify things. On the other hand, it can also be hard to transition from work to home mode at the end of the day, and can compromise a healthy work-life balance. But, this is the current reality for millions of Americans, and there are plenty of things you can do to get through this time without getting completely derailed.

Just like anything else in life that you want to do well, you should start with goal setting.

Set Your Goals.

Figure out what the ideal situation looks like right now. Whether you are working from home temporarily or permanently, it is important to define that and reassess your goals to accommodate.

It is okay to reprioritize, and actually probably pretty wise. Working from home may provide some amazing opportunities, but can also pose some significant challenges. Figure out how it will affect you and adjust your goals to overcome.

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Figure out with your daily baseline is. You likely won’t be as productive during this time given everything else that you’re trying to balance but that’s okay, and to be expected. Determine what you have to do every day to keep in line with your goals. These are called Key Performance Indicators, and if they are are in line with your goals, and you accomplish them every day, you will achieve your objectives.

Accept and embrace your new normal.

No matter how much you hate the current virus situation, you cannot change it. Even though it’s hard, we just have to get through it. The sooner you realize this fact and accept it, the better off you’ll be.

If you can take it even father and embrace the current situation, and find the silver lining, and see the bright side, you will be unwavering.

Come up with a routine.

Schedule your day. This starts first thing in the morning, the minute that you wake up. To perform at your peak, you need to wake up with purpose, ready to get things done and ready to take on the day. If you wake up overwhelmed and without a plan, you likely won’t achieve a lot. You’ll spend much of your day figuring out what you should be doing and floundering without purpose. It’s important to start your day off with right and the momentum you build can carry you through the rest of the day.

Not a morning person? It’s not as hard to become an early riser as you might think, and with the right motivation, you could quickly become a morning person. Also, study after study has shown that people who wake up early and have a successful morning routine are not only more productive, but also less likely to suffer depression and obesity.

If you need some help with this, check out what some of the most successful people are doing for their morning routines.
Once you’ve come up with your plan, you need to stick to it and be very disciplined.

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Commit and be disciplined.

Stick to the plan! Focus on your morning routine and the things you can control. If you start the day off right, the momentum will carry you throughout the rest of the day. Don’t let your day, your to do list, and your KPIs get derailed by Netflix, or the temptations in the kitchen.

Give yourself some grace.

Lastly, give yourself some grace, especially during this time. It is absolutely imperative that you take care of yourself. These are unprecedented times and there’s a lot of pressure on us whether we realize it or not.

Other tips for success:

Dress the part. I don’t mean that you need to get up and put on your uniform that you would normally wear to the office or that you need to put on a three-piece suit, but you should brush your teeth, comb your hair, and dress functionally and appropriately so you can take on the day. Feeling the part can be just as important as anything else and can help you get into the right mindset.

Photo by Court Cook on Unsplash

Drink tons of water.

Eat well as often as you can.

Rest as much as you can.

Exercise every day.

5 Things I Didn’t Expect About Being a Female Real Estate Investor

I went to an all-girls high school and was the first in the history of my school to be accepted to the United States Military Academy at West Point. This acceptance would lead to four years of military school and five years of service in the Army following graduation.

Many of my classmates, teachers, and especially my guidance counselor, were shocked at my decision. People told me that I was throwing my life away. Other people told me that I was wasting my time.

It didn’t bother me, because it was a path I truly wanted to take. I knew that it was different, but I was okay with that.

This is me when I was serving in the Army.

I knew that I would be the minority. I knew that there were less than 20 percent women at the United States Military Academy. And I knew that in the Army, I would probably find myself the minority in most, if not all, situations.

I expected all of these things, and my experience was right in line with my expectations.

When I got into real estate, though, my experience did not quite line up with my expectations.

1. I did not expect to be the minority as a real estate investor.

I was certainly uninformed and didn’t really know what I was getting into when I first became an investor. I had no idea that there were so few women investors. But what I really don’t understand is: why?

Women tend to live longer than men. Women typically make less money than men. And women usually spend less time in the workforce. For all of these reasons, women need to turn less into more.

So, why are there not more women investors?

2. I did not expect to be rooted against.

I have found that the sensationalized idea and headline that you see on blogs, articles, and news campaigns is that women are not good investors. Everywhere you look, it seems that the odds are stacked against us: Women seemingly lack confidence and knowledge, and they’re afraid to take risks.

It can feel like we are expected to fail—or even encouraged to.

When you dig further, though, the stats show that women are actually better investors. While many say that we’re softer and that our investing strategies are weaker because we tend to be more cautious, the fact is that our decisions and willingness to ride out investment cycles have made us better investors.

Our willingness to take less risk has had greater results when compared to the more aggressive approach typically taken by men.

Dusty road closed sign on a city road, background

3. I did not expect to have to work so hard to build my network.

This just goes back to the sheer number of women in the field. I have always flocked to strong women. Building a network of powerful women who can support each other in a field with a limited number of women can take time. But it is absolutely available in the real estate world; you just have to look a little bit harder.

4. I did not expect to be treated differently than the men.

I’ve found that when I deal with contractors or negotiate deals, many of the men expect me to be softer. They expect me to be easier to deal with.

Well, I can tell you right now, that is not me. I am direct. I am demanding. I have very high standards. And I hold people accountable.

Some men have a really hard time dealing with this, but that is who I am. And that is why I’ve been a successful real estate investor so far.

5. I did not expect to find my place in the world.

I thought the Army was my calling, and I did not think I’d be lucky enough to find a fulfilling second career. But I was wrong! This is where I was meant to be.

My experience as a woman real estate investor has been different than I expected, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Real estate investing has changed my life.

It has given me so much time freedom. It has given me control of my finances and my future. It has allowed me to build something that I can be proud of and that I can hand down to my daughters.

I’m proud to be a woman investor and am eager to encourage other women to invest, as well!

Women investors: Don’t be afraid to buck the status quo! We need to invest our money wisely to prepare for our future! And we need to stake our claim on this industry!

Are you a woman interested in investing but have yet to start? How can I help?

3 Things Newbie (& Wannabe) Real Estate Investors Should Be Doing Every Single Day

When I talk to a new real estate investor or someone who wants to be a real estate investor, they tend to be completely overwhelmed by all the resources that are out there. There are dozens and dozens of podcasts, thousands of books, and a lot of people who want to give you advice. It’s not easy to navigate at first.

Then, you start to learn. But sometimes it feels like the more you learn, the more you realize you don’t know!

No wonder so many people never make it past this phase! They get stuck (some call this analysis paralysis) and have no one to help them move forward.

It’s critical that you have a purposeful path to pursue when you are first starting out. I think that learning the true power of real estate and understanding that there are various strategies that you can pursue is a great place to start.

At that point, newbie and wannabe investors need to get really honest about what an ideal future looks like and what goals to make to get there. Take some time to figure out where it is that you are trying to go. Be purposeful and strategic—otherwise, you will just be busy but not productive.

Don’t fall victim to analysis paralysis like most would-be new investors. They’re afraid to take action, they don’t know where to start, and then they quit for one reason or another.

I do not want that to happen to you. So, here are three things that I think you should do as a newbie or wannabe to ensure you’re on the path toward success.

Related: Hesitant to Invest? Hack Your Way Out of Analysis Paralysis

Step 1: Build your contact list.

Every single day you need to be networking and building your contact list. There are so many people who you want on your team.

It’s important that you have a CPA who understands real estate investments. It’s also important that you have access to an attorney who can help you with landlord laws, contract drafting, and protecting yourself and your investments.

You want to make sure that you connect with a banker or conventional lender, hard money lender, private money lender, and maybe even someone who can help you with creative financing. (Yes, this is a thing!) The more money sources you can have, the better.

You’re going to need an insurance agent. You might need—or at least want—a real estate agent (or more than one) on your team, too.

You could use a wholesaler. You’re going to need contractors, specialists, handymen. You might need a pest control company. You’re going to need a cleaner or cleaning company. You might want a property manager or someone who can teach you how to self-manage.

I also encourage you to have somebody on your team who will hold you accountable. It can be a mentor, or a coach, or a group of friends, or another successful investor. Share your goals with this person (or these people), and ask them to hold you to them. Knowing that someone is checking up on you can provide a great source of motivation!

Network! Network! Network!

The key to having deals constantly and consistently flowing to you is having the right group of people who can provide you with leads and deals.  This happens over time as you network and get your name out there as a serious investor. So, be patient, but don’t put it off!

Step 2: Analyze properties.

You need to be analyzing properties every single day. In order to analyze properties, though, you need to nail down a market. Pick one and know exactly why you’re choosing that market.

Just because somebody says it’s hot does not mean that you should pursue it. You need to do your research. Once you’re confident that you’re in the right market, you can start analyzing properties within that market.

Related: 8 Ways to Identify the Best Places to Buy Rental Property

You need to know what your return on investment threshold is, so you can find out whether or not you’re looking at a good property. This can be hard in the beginning, because you don’t have the experience. You will likely make a mistake (or a few!).

So, this is where a good mentor, coach, or accountability partner comes in. These people can also serve as another set of eyes and reiterate whether or not you should make an offer.

Step 3: Talk to anyone who will listen.

Tell anyone and everyone what your goals are. Tell them what you’re pursuing; make sure that they know what you’re doing. And if they’re at all interested, make sure that you have their contact information, because you might be able to ask them for money down the road.

Encourage your friends and family to follow your journey. Once they can trust that you know what you are doing and are building a foundation to be successful, they might be a private money source for you. Or they might want to partner on something with you. Or they might know someone who is crushing it in real estate and connect you with that person.

There are a lot of things that real estate investors can be doing to start out, but an intentionally directed path is absolutely critical.

If you read this post and feel that you have yet to complete some or all of these steps, pull out a piece of paper (seriously, right now). Make a list of the team members you’re missing, and get out there and start interviewing and building relationships.

Nail down your market, start analyzing properties, and make offers. And just to add a little more pressure, make sure someone is holding your feet to the fire!

Create a Strategic Plan in 4 Steps (& an Hour or Less!)

We’ve all heard the term “strategic plan,” but many of us don’t think it applies. Let me be the first to tell you that it does! Whether you have a goal to create a $35 million real estate portfolio or want to buy one single family home every year until you retire, you need to have a strategic plan.

I am not recommending anything crazy to put one together—just one hour! Because if your life is anything like mine—your kids are running around, screaming their heads off, and spilling milk on your income statement—that is perfectly OK!

Fine, this one-hour plan might actually take you six hours (or even three days). But it is important that you do it! I promise you this time will be well spent, and you will get a return on your investment.

To me, all plans should be strategic. What’s that mean exactly?

The Oxford Dictionary defines strategy as “a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim.”

The keywords are plan, achieve, and aim. You need a plan that helps you achieve what you are aiming for.  If you don’t have a plan, or your plan does not lead to your aim, what exactly are you doing?

If you’re feeling behind or overwhelmed, stop it right now! Pencil in some time, and let’s get your strategic plan down on paper.

How to Put Together a Strategic Plan in 60 Minutes

Step 1: Take 20 minutes to figure out exactly where you are right now.

Let’s start with a basic income statement and balance sheet. Robert Kiyosaki calls this a personal financial statement and believes that this is the key to building wealth.

Since Robert’s net worth is somewhere in the $80 million range, most of us could probably benefit from doing what he says and emulating what he does. Just saying.

Related: Using the Power of Goal-Setting to Fundamentally Alter Your Financial Path with J Scott

For your income statement, take the time to delineate every bit of income you earn, and write it at the top of a piece of paper. Under that, write all your expenses. Subtract your expenses from your income to get your cash flow.

You can do this using monthly or annual income and expenses, just ensure you are consistent. This will show you how much you are able to save each month.

If you are spending more than you’re making, it’s time to get real honest with yourself and start living within your means!

Robert Kiyosaki’s income statement

Next, let’s work on our balance sheet. Draw a T on a piece of paper and list your assets on the left side and your liabilities on the right.

Jot down every single thing you own and everything you have in your bank account, along with the numbers associated with each. The more detailed you can get, the better.

Subtract your liabilities from your assets, and you will have your net worth.

Robert Kiyosaki’s basic balance sheet

Be really honest here. You need to figure out exactly where you are in order to plan where you want to go.

Step 2: Take the next 20 minutes to visualize and imagine what you want your life to look like.

Write down words that come to mind: luxury cars, international vacations, complete time freedom. Whatever it is, write it down, clip some pictures, print out some images, get it all out there. And make sure that it is very clear in your mind. Creative visualization can have a powerful impact!

It might not be as clear as you like, but the more you work toward it, the more clear and tangible it will become!

Step 3: Take the next 10 minutes to plan your goals.

You want to start with your 10-year plan or perhaps even further out than that. Ask yourself what you’re aiming to achieve.

What do you want your real estate portfolio to be valued at? How much income do you want to be bringing in? Once you have an idea of the specific goals that will allow you to get to the life you want, you can put a plan in place.

Related: Forget S.M.A.R.T. Goals—Achieve True Success Like This

Take these 10-year goals and plan backward. Complete a five-year plan and a one-year plan. Make sure that they’re all embedded and feed into the next plan.

For example, if you are aiming for a $50 million real estate portfolio in 10 years, you might plan to have a portfolio valued at $25 million in five years and $1 million by the end of this year.

Goal setting is critical to the success of your strategic plan, so take it seriously!

Step 4: Take the last 10 minutes to come up with strategic steps that will help you accomplish your goals this year.

Plan incremental stages to reach your goals. For example, if your No. 1 goal is to get out of consumer debt and you have a $12,000 credit card balance, you need to pay off $1,000 of that debt every month.

At this point, you have a solid strategic plan. I recommend that you print this out and put it on your fridge, bathroom mirror, center console of your car, and wall of your office. Put it everywhere and anywhere, so you are always reminded of what you are working toward.

You’re Not Done Yet!

This process needs to be repeated regularly. You should go back and look at these goals over and over and over again. Reassess, reevaluate, and re-plan—especially as you achieve your goals.

And if you end up crushing all your annual goals by September, don’t just quit and relax until the end of the year. You need to set new goals, feed off of that momentum, and accomplish even more.

What are your goals this year?

First Flip: By the Numbers

This was my first flip! It was a lot of fun, but A LOT of work. My dad and I did most of the work, and we put a lot of sweat equity into it. We hired a few things out like the plumbing and electrical, and some of the painting, but that was really all that we could afford. 

We also learned quickly how important it was to have a team before you get a property under contract because we wanted to hire a couple other things out, but had a hard time getting contractors to keep their appointments, and to show up to do the things they said they were going to do. As a result, we had to do more than we expected, but it turned out okay in the end. We learned a ton, and it was really encouraging.

So, I bought this property for $25,000 and was able to get it seller-financed at a very low 6% rate, amortized over 10 years, and I only had to put $12,500 down. I ended up putting another $12,450 into the rehab and then sold it for a gross profit of $41,234, that was after I paid the agents their portion of the sale, and after I paid all the taxes and insurance. 

So, I profited $13,625. After taxes, that looked like $10,218, which was a great payday for a first flip, and especially considering that I really only put $12,500 into it. The rest of the money was put on my credit card, so I got over a 100% return on investment.

Park Manor Flip: By the Numbers

This was a relatively straight forward flip. It was quick and easy. Inexpensive, and there were almost no surprises. 

We purchased the property from a wholesaler for $175,000. I used hard money at an interest rate of 12% per year. The loan had a term for six months, and I paid 2.5 points on the front end- the purchase. My lender required me to put down $8,750, and we planned for the initial rehab to be $10,000 with a $1,500 buffer. We ended up using that buffer to upgrade some of the light fixtures and mirrors in the kitchen, and the bathroom just to add some upgrades. So the total rehab budget was $11,500. 

We purchased our Builders Risk Policy at around $600. And our total interest for the time that we owned the property was $4,988. That was 1% of the loan every month, since the term was 12% annually. Since the total loan was $166,200, the monthly payment was $1,662. 

At closing, I paid the down payment of $8,750 plus $11,913 in closing costs and fees.

We flipped the house quickly. It took about 10 days, and we got it right back up on the market. It appraised for $244,000, which is a little higher than we thought it would appraise, but we chose to take the price a little bit lower in order to get it to move quicker. Houses in that price range and area were sitting on the market for an average of 44 days, and that would have been $2,493 in interest, so we chose to lower the price.

We got it under contract for $236,000. $11,800 was paid to the real estate agents for commissions, and the buyer asked us to pay $8,500 in closing costs. They also asked us for a home warranty, which cost about $600.

So our gross profit on this was $215,100. And I had to pay back the loan, which as I said before was $166,200, the rehab was $11,500, and I put a total of $20,633 into it at closing, plus paid $4,986 in holding costs. That left us with a net profit of $11,731. And after taking out 25% for our favorite Uncle Sam (taxes), we were left with $8,798. Not a bad payday, especially for a quick and easy flip that wasn’t on my books for long.

How to Find a Real Estate Coach You Love (Hint: It’s a Lot Like Dating)

You might not come across “the one” the first time (or second, or ninth…), but when you do, everything you went through becomes worth it.

The general purpose of dating is to find the person you want to marry or spend your life with. You want this person to make you better, understand you, and want what’s best for you.

Most of the time, you just know when it’s right. You’re on the same page, moving in the same direction, and generally compatible.

When it comes to starting out as a real estate investor, the same may apply with a successful coaching relationship.

Notice that word “relationship.” I emphasize this because relationships are HARD! And they are a two-way street. Both members of the relationship need to be committed, willing to work, and communicative.

Check out this article on effective coaching relationships. I particularly like the part about partnership building, because that hits the nail on the head. You and your coach are partners, and you both have to be equally committed, persistent, and respectful.

I previously wrote posts about the various reasons to hire a coach and the importance of the getting into the right mindset before hiring a coach. The overwhelming response to these posts was, “Great! Now how can we find one?”

Hiring a coach is not something that you should take lightly. The decision needs to be well thought out, and you need to be sure to choose the right coach for you.

Here’s how to get started.

7 Steps to Finding the Right Real Estate Investing Coach

Step 1: Do some soul searching.

Figure out if a coach is what you really want. Be sure that you are ready to commit and take it seriously.

Ask yourself: Will you do everything that’s asked of you? Will you take the advice of your coach?

If you’re hesitant here, you might not be ready for a coach! If you’re willing to pay someone for guidance, direction, and advice, it’s critical that you’re able to take it and act on it.

Hiring a coach doesn’t mean you’re going to automatically achieve your goals. You still have to do the work!

Step 2: Find a coach that’s good at what you’re looking for.

If you’re pursuing multimillion dollar commercial properties and syndications, a coach with experience only in residential real estate with a focus on single family homes might not be the best fit for you.

If you’re a newbie, find someone who enjoys new investors and has a successful track record working with them.

You can find coaches anywhere and everywhere! Check social media, ask around on the BiggerPockets Forums, do a simple Google search, tap into your networks, and go to investor meetups.

Related: How I Hired Warren Buffett as My Real Estate Mentor

Step 3: Do a background check.

What is their experience and training? Why are they qualified to coach you? What success have they had?

There is no right answer to these, but you want to know up front what you’re getting into and have realistic expectations.

Step 4: Figure out their style.

Do they use tools and techniques that will work for you? Do they care about the way you learn? Will they tailor their approach to you, or is it a generic coaching program?

I would strongly advise that you stay away from the one-size-fits-all program. No two investors are the same, so their coaching program should not be the same, either. Coaching needs to be tailored and specific to the individual.

Step 5: Figure out what it’s going to cost.

It’s OK for this number to be a little scary. This will force you to take it seriously and make the most of it. It has to be reasonable though, and this investment must come with a return.

While there’s no way to know what the exact return will be, you can balance the results and outcomes you are looking for with the cost. For example, let’s say your goal is to buy one house per year for the next 20 years until you retire.

Related: Forget S.M.A.R.T. Goals—Achieve True Success Like This

If each house in your market will average $3,000 annually, it might not make sense to spend $30,000 on a coaching program. It would take you four years to recoup that investment with the earned rental income.

On the other hand, if you have $100,000 sitting in a savings account, and a $30,000 coaching program will teach you how to double or triple that remaining $70,000, it might be worth the investment.

Step 6: Do a consultation and be really honest about the outcome.

Did you learn something? Was communicating with this person easy or natural? Do you feel inspired and ready to get out there and do something?

Are you confident in this person’s knowledge? Do you trust them? Are they genuinely interested in you, your goals, and your plans?

If the answer to any of these is no, I would advise you to keep looking. This isn’t your coach.

If you’re not “wowed” from the first conversation, you’re going to be disappointed and frustrated that you wasted money.

Step 7: Ensure the coach has time for you, and is willing and able to coach you.

If the only time they have available for you is 6 p.m. every third Thursday when you’re having dinner with your family, I would say keep looking! You need to be able to get in touch with this coach when you really need something, and waiting three weeks for a response simply will not suffice.

I’m not saying your coach needs to be at your beck and call 24/7, but you need to ensure that your needs will be addressed in a timely manner and both you and your coach have realistic expectations before moving forward in a relationship.

Final Thoughts

These steps will get you started on your journey. Above all, trust your gut! Whether it’s a good feeling or a bad one, explore it before making a decision.

Lastly, look for a money back guarantee and a willingness to give away quality content and advice for free. The best coaches do it because they love it.  They aren’t afraid to help you before you even commit to working with them.

Furthermore, if they believe in what they teach and are willing to put a guarantee on their coaching, you will be able to rest easy knowing that they are as committed to your success as you are.

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Biggest Flip

This was a tough project. Not only were there numerous unexpected issues with the house itself, but even more issues with the contractors we hired. They lied, they overinflated their abilities, and they really just weren’t very skilled. 

It took a lot of time, effort and money to undo what they did and get back on track. When we finally saw the before pictures next to the final listing photos, we could not believe how far this house had come. We did it! Even though we wanted to throw in the towel and sell the house numerous times, we pushed through and saw the project to completion. 

We learned a ton. And we won’t ever make the same mistakes twice. We’re better for it and are excited for the next one! 

But before we get there, we wanted to share the specific details, renovations and numbers. 

This is a look at the biggest flip I’ve ever done. Biggest in terms of overall scope of the project but more importantly, in terms of capital and time invested. 

This property is located at 2512 Sharondale Drive in Nashville, TN. It’s in a very affluent neighborhood in a highly sought after area called Green Hills. It was a fairly distressed property that we purchased for $430,000.00 using hard money. We planned to put $85,000.00 into the rehab when we made the original offer. We got an appraisal during the buying process and the property appraised at $692,000.00. So when we ran the numbers and determined all the expenses, it definitely made sense and looked like a solid investment. 

Let’s take a look at those numbers. 

The loan that we got on the purchase had a six-month term and was interest only at 12% annually.  The total loan was $480,000 ($430,000 purchase price plus $85,000 rehab budget, minus a $35,000 down payment).  It cost us two and a half points to get the loan, so we paid $12,000.00 at closing. 

We paid $1,400.00 in liability insurance and a $2,200.00 prepaid interest payment at closing. We also paid $450.00 for the appraisal and $900.00 for a survey since the property hadn’t been surveyed since it was built in 1930. Additionally, we paid $6,012.00 for a flood certificate, another $4,573.00 in closing costs to the wholesaler, and $2,662.00 in fees from the title company and we had to put $35,000.00 down. 

Interest expenses are $24,000 over six months. All in at closing was $71,797.61.

Like I said before, we planned to put $85,000.00 into the rehab, but it ended up being a little over $100,000.00. After the sale of the property, with the closing costs and the commissions to the real estate agents plus $1442 in staging costs, we were looking at a total gross profit of $153,000.00. I borrowed $15,000.00 in private money to purchase the property and so I owed $16,500.00 with interest back to that source.

My project manager agreed to be paid a portion of the proceeds which will be somewhere around $6,000.00. Once you take away that initial investment of $75,000.00, that $16,500.00 and the $6,000.00, we’re left with a net profit of $55,384.84. Planning to give 25% of that to Uncle Sam in the form of taxes leaving me with $41,538.63 which is not a bad payday for about three-and-a-half months of work.

The project took over a month longer than expected and those holding costs add up fast.

The property needed new ductwork and two new HVAC units. 

The downstairs flooring was re-finished, some of it had to be replaced. We chose a dark stain to hide any imperfections in the wood, while also giving a modern look to the space.

The upstairs flooring was replaced with hardwoods to match the existing hardwoods downstairs. We transitioned the bathroom wood flooring to tile for a more bright, clean look.

We had to frame out an additional bedroom upstairs. Although the space is small it can be used as a 3rd bedroom, nursery, office or large master closet!

We also painted all the walls and replaced all the trim in the majority of house. It was challenging, but we were able to maintain the “old” look and feel of the 1930s home by emulating existing trim that was still in good condition.

    We redid the entire kitchen: all new cabinets, granite, backsplash and lighting. We got rid of a kitchen island to help open up the space a bit more.

    We were able to salvage a lot of the bathroom vanities and toilets and we refinished one of the bathtubs. We built out a beautiful tiled shower in the master bathroom and tiled the master bathroom. 

    We were able to keep the flooring in the downstairs bathroom which is absolutely fabulous. We also added a small vanity to give more storage space in the bathroom.

    3 Reasons You Should NOT Hire a Coach as a Newbie Investor

    I believe that everyone can benefit from a coach. Whether you are a health care provider, business owner, professional athlete, or real estate investor, a coach can help you in a variety of ways.

    They can help you achieve things faster than you ever thought possible. A coach can get you through the rough times. And they can help you dive deeper and gain more ground than you ever thought possible.

    Think about the highest paid athletes in the world—the ones who are expected to be at the top of their game all the time. These individuals have top-notch coaches. It’s rare to find someone at this level who does not have a coach.

    So, why should you be any different? If you want to perform at your highest level possible and truly reach your potential, why wouldn’t you hire a coach? If you desire to do well in real estate, you can and will benefit from it.


    3 Reasons to Hold Off on Hiring a Coach

    Coaches help you find direction, reach your potential, keep you focused, hold you accountable, and so much more. They can help immensely—especially new real estate investors, who can easily become overwhelmed with the broad range of education, information, and resources available.


    While I think everyone can benefit from a coach, I think having the right attitude and perspective is critical before you go out and hire one. Here are three reasons why new investors should not hire a coach—or at least should hold off for now.

    1. You are not willing to commit.

    Hiring a coach requires 100 percent commitment. This is a complete time commitment, mental commitment, and most importantly a 100 percent financial commitment.

    I say this financial piece, because I think that the amount that you are paying your coach has to hurt—at least a little bit. It needs to be tough, and it needs to be a sacrifice. Otherwise, you are not going to take it seriously.

    You need to be willing to put in the time required and to do whatever it takes. You need to take your coach’s advice and perform the actions he or she recommends that you do. When you are paying for this advice, you’ll be much more willing to take it and get out there and put it into practice!

    Related: A Beginner’s Guide to Finding a Real Estate Mentor

    2. You don’t see yourself as your most valuable asset.

    In real estate particularly, the word asset gets thrown around a lot. People tend to think that their properties and portfolios are their biggest assets. I agree that these are important, but they are not your most important asset.

    Your most important asset is you! Your most important assets are your brain, your work ethic, and your vision. Your goals and desires to achieve are what sets you apart.

    A good coach can help you ensure that everything you are doing is contributing to your goals, and that everything that you’re working toward is getting you closer to your vision and your end state. They will teach you the tools that you need to keep yourself on track mentally, physically, and emotionally. And they will help you overcome hurdles and hard times.

    Additionally, coaches will help you develop as a person and as a professional. They will help you analyze your weaknesses to develop them and capitalize on your strengths. This leads to the last reason you should not hire a coach just yet.

    3. You don’t value your professional development.

    Coaches are only worth the investment if you’re willing to invest in yourself. You have to have the mentality that developing yourself is what is going to contribute to the accomplishment of your goals. If you don’t value your professional development, you’re not going to get anything out of hiring a coach.

    While this post focuses on the reasons you should NOT hire a coach, here are several reasons you should: “3 Reasons Newbie Investors Should Hire a Coach.”

    Coaches offer so much more than just advice and guidance, they can help you creatively overcome obstacles and process hurdles. Coaches can be a voice of reason and another set of eyes. They can help you set goals and create your vision.

    When you are ready to pursue a coach, it’s important that you find the right one. You both need to communicate well and be on the same page. You also need to ensure you appreciate their coaching style and methodologies. Furthermore, it’s important that they are available when and how you need them.

    For more advice on this, check out this blog post.

    When you are ready to commit, see yourself as your most valuable asset, and are ready to develop yourself as needed, get out there and find your coach!