Building long term wealth through rental properties.

Blog

The One Thing No One Tells You About House Hacking

The One Thing No One Tells You About House Hacking

House hacking is a great way to get started in real estate investing. You get all of the benefits of owning a home (tax write-offs, low mortgage interest rates) as well as the advantages of having a rental property (rental income, more tax write-offs). Unlike […]

Six Easy Steps Towards Buying Your First Investment Property

Six Easy Steps Towards Buying Your First Investment Property

Finding and purchasing your first investment property is intimidating. I know. It took me years to get over the fear and actually take the first step. But it doesn’t have to be! The reason it seems so inconceivable is because it’s such a large concept […]

Property #1 – Rehab Update 4

Property #1 – Rehab Update 4

It’s been 5 or 6 weeks since we’ve posted a renovation update on our first investment property. Every week I start to write one, but I don’t think we’ve made enough progress to release a full update. And that’s because a lot of the work lately hasn’t been “photo worthy” I guess you could say. Lot’s of plumbing, electric, dealing with permits, and small projects that don’t make the best “before and after” Instagram posts.

But with every update, as soon I start writing, I realize a lot more work has been done than I thought.

Which has been really calming considering we are so far behind schedule.

Check out previous updates if you haven’t already. Update # 1, Update #2, Update #3.

Weeks 12 through 17. Let’s dive in.

Unit 1

Living Room /  Sun Room

Interior painting has begun!

Since our floors are a more natural yellowish color, we felt we couldn’t go with the popular gray shades you see all over Pinterest such as Agreeable Gray by Sherwin Williams. So we went with a “greigh” (mix between a gray and a beige) called Realist Beige by Sherwin Williams.

I gotta say. I don’t love it.

At some times of the day, the color looks great, but others, it seems to almost have a pink putty shade. By the time I noticed this, half the house was painted so I convinced myself it’s fine. Needless to say, I won’t be using this color again.

 

Dining Room

Painting continued into the dining room. The only other big change is that we boxed in a gas line that had to run from the basement up to the second floor. More on that later.

 

Kitchen

Warning. Total newbie move here.

We had sheet rocked a wall in the kitchen, only to have our plumber open it back up again. He found old galvanized water lines running to the second floor and needed to replace them with pex.

This is another item added to the long list of lessons learned. Finish all plumbing and electric BEFORE closing walls back up. Duly noted.

Our electrician got fancy and added recessed lighting to the drop ceiling. At first, I thought this was going to be an overkill but the LED lights look awesome and really change the feel of the room.

 

Bedroom 1

This room originally had huge sliding mirror closet doors that we wanted to replace. But we ran into a few problems. The original doors weren’t a standard size and we couldn’t find matching replacements. Custom doors were super expensive so that was a no-go. We bounced around some ideas such as building “barn door” style doors by hand. I’ve made a few head boards in my day and thought it to be a cheaper and attractive option.

But before The Troop and I agreed on a decision, I came by the house after work one day to find that he and his dad built in the closet opening to fit standard sized doors.

Problem solved!

Before- Sliding Mirror Closet Doors
After- New 6 Panel Closet Doors

Bedroom 2

Not much to report.

The Troops dad ripped down the existing walls inside the closets because they were disgusting, and prepped them to be sheet rocked. We will also be updating the wood doors with 6-panel replacements.

 

Bathroom

No updates

Overall Unit

Remember how this house used to have radiant heat? We sure do because all of the radiators left holes in the hardwoods. The Troop did a great job of filling in all the holes with hand carved hardwood floors and stained them to match.

 

Unit 2

Unit 2 has taken a short back seat to the first floor unit. Mainly because we’re waiting on inspections so we can close everything back up and put it all back together. That’s when the real fun begins!

But progress has still been made.

Kitchen

All new water, waste and gas lines were run from the basement. Hence the demoing of the wall in the kitchen downstairs in unit 1 as well as the gas line that we boxed-in in the dining room.

Again, such an amateur move, but now we know better for next time.

Our electrician updated some knob and tube wiring, relocated outlets, and ran power for the appliances.

And now we’re waiting for inspections this week.

Living Room & Bedroom

The bedroom is still acting as a storage unit holding our assembled kitchen cabinets, appliances, and other random items until needed.

While not a lot has happened, we did update the windows in the entire unit (8 total) with Anderson 50 series windows replacements. They are SO much easier to open, look sharp, and are definitely much more energy-efficient.

But my favorite part about these replacements is that we found some awesome pulleys and counter weights in the openings from the old windows.

These will come in handy for some DIY projects down the line.

Bathroom

Everything we’re not keeping is gone and again. We’ll begin tiling soon!

 

Exterior

The front doors have been an endless discussion between The Troop and I. With some sanding, fresh paint, and other small fixes, I thought we could save the original wood doors. And eventually, I had The Troop on board with this plan.

Until he went to purchase new storm doors. The original wood dorms are a funky size. About 6 inches shorter than an average door and not square at all. Like everything else in this house, getting custom sized storm doors wasn’t an option so The Troop and his dad built out the door frames, installed new Feather River fiberglass doors as well as new storm doors.

I think they came out pretty great!

 

So that’s where we’re at!

We have a lot of work cut out for ourselves and with the new appraisal date closing in, we’re feeling the pressure.

But we’re excited and can’t wait until tenants are in place and we can sit back and enjoy our first house hacking investment property.

Cheers!

 

 

The Final “R” in “BRRR”: A Step by Step Guide to Refinancing

The Final “R” in “BRRR”: A Step by Step Guide to Refinancing

In you’re familiar with Brandon Turner’s BRRR strategy, then you know the final, and possibly most exciting, part of the process is the cash-out refinance at the end. BRRR is an acronym for a popular investment strategy that stands for: Buy Rehab Rent Refinance This […]

Property #1 – Rehab Update 3

Property #1 – Rehab Update 3

First things first:  Start here to learn about property #1, here for rehab update #1, and here for rehab update #2. Okay, jokes over. Where did the summer go? It’s August and we’ve spent the best of every available day working on the house. Well, […]

Understanding Cash Flow: Net vs. Free & Why It’s Important to Know the Difference

Understanding Cash Flow: Net vs. Free & Why It’s Important to Know the Difference

Growing up, my uncle always told me “cash is king”. And I agree with that which is why our real estate investing niche is buy and hold properties that s cash flow.

The term “cash flow” is tossed around a lot when it comes to real estate investing and it seems every investor uses it differently making it hard to really compare apples to apples when looking at deals. (more…)

Property #1 – Rehab Update 2

Property #1 – Rehab Update 2

It’s been a little while since we posted an update but life has been BUSY. Over the last month or so, besides juggling this rehab and working our full-time jobs, we also went on a week-long vacation with The Troops family, I traveled to North […]

Property #1 – Rehab Update 1

Property #1 – Rehab Update 1

It’s been a few weeks since we closed on our first investment property. Rehab started a little slow. We closed the Friday before Memorial Day weekend, and being big fans of the Jersey shore, we both shot down to the beach within hours of leaving […]

Property #1: Pictures, Plans, Projections

Property #1: Pictures, Plans, Projections

Last week, May 26th, we finally closed on our first home and investment property! It’s been a wild past 30 days from trying to figure out how much to bid on a HUD home, dealing with the township and utility company, and then when we thought we were in the home stretch, finding out the place had gotten broken into. But it was all worth it and we’re excited about the next steps.

The Troop and I have a goal. We want to build a long-term buy and hold real estate portfolio that will eventually fund our early retirement. And this first property is finally kicking us off. I’ve been researching and reading and trying to learn as much as possible about real estate before closing on a deal. I’ve let analysis paralysis take over. And then one day, I had enough. I was all talk and no walk. So I committed to closing on a property in 2017.

And we finally did it!

(more…)

A Break-in Before Closing. Who’s Responsible?

A Break-in Before Closing. Who’s Responsible?

Our soon-to-be house is a crime scene! Just kidding. But someone did break in. The story. With inspection over and all mortgage documents handed in, you’d think we’d be able to take a few days to relax before closing on our first property. But of […]