Author Archives: Samantha Chambers

7 Things To Know About Open House Sign In Sheet

In the real estate business, nothing is more vital than information and a good relationship between the real estate agent and his customers. That is why, a converting Open House Sign In Sheet plays an important role in gathering information and helps in the establishment of professional relationships. The main purpose of this document is to protect the interests of the owner while getting them to relax and get comfortable so that they can share without fear their contact information.

1) Ample Opportunities

By applying this technique real estate agents significantly boost their chances of success when striking a deal with potential customers. And even if they do not manage to accomplish their initial goal of buying or selling, they still world be able to establish a certain bond with their customers, which may prove useful in the future. There is much to gain from this endeavor, and little to lose in actuality.

2) The Right Time and Place

Most real estate agents will use cheap tactics and tricks in order to sell a given property in the quickest manner possible. But those who are wise enough to realize, that comfort and charm are half the deal, get a larger success rate. That is why usually an Open House Sign in Sheet is used strategically on weekends, when people are not going to work and have free time on their hands. Due to the certain quantity of comfort that the real estate agent provides, it is more likely that the customers will buy.

3) The advantage of open house viewings

Not only is it easier for the estate agent to gather more people at once, then to wait for them one by one, but there is also the key factor of competition. The problem with buyers in a situation of pressure and tension, due to the competitive nature of humans, is that they will more easily succumb to the influence of their primal selves. That means, that they will be more willing to pay, way more than they initially intended.

4) Recommendations for Templates

Every document has a given basic basis, which is the very core of that document. An Open House Sign Sheet is no exception to that rule. So here are a few of the pieces of information you need on the sign in sheet.

  • Name of the customer
  • Current address of the customer
  • Contact number of the customer
  • Customer’s email address

5) Additional survey

By additional survey, it is meant that you combine your simple templates with a given survey. The point of that is to remove all suspicion and simple questions out of the way, so that more detailed ones come into play, when necessary. For instance, some of the questions are ‘Have you been granted consent for a loan?”or “What preferences does one have in terms of the property one seeks?” Another piece of advice is to use statements with tick boxes next to them, because questions with open answers are off pulling. Keep it simple but smart!

6) Add depth

A detailed template is another viable option, but with higher chance of risk. As stated before, usually people prefer to keep things simple, but when one adds a layer of depth into ones work, the game is on. High risk, high reward. Here the real estate agent needs to be a bit more persuasive. In order to gain additional helpful information. For example, one may ask about if the customer has any form of a timeline for purchase or if they are either interested in buying or selling. This way you are prompting the customer to reveal himself and his intentions. “Do or do not, there is no try!”

7) Tips on Convincing your Customers

The main idea is that the real estate agent needs to be frank and honest with his customers, because it is only natural that they will respond with the same, if given the chance. This is how the estate agent will convince them to fill out the Open House Sign In Sheet. Another tip is to keep them interested, make tempting offers, but do not exaggerate to the point of no compensation. Explain to them every detail, and for what will their information be used for. And last but not least, convince them that they will need this deal. Of course, that does not mean to push them or be generally impudent, that is not the proper way. In order to succeed, exploit their desires intelligently.

Conclusion

In conclusion, all of the aforementioned factors are essential for the success of the Open House Sign In Sheet, and by success I mean the ability to convince one’s customers to fill out the form. Most certainly it will not be easy, but as with everything in life, one step at a time. The real estate business is no exception. These seven steps, are the very core of this strategy. A potential formula for success broken down to seven simple steps.

Drop us a line and tell me if you have other factors that should be considered. Happy property hunting!

How to Get a Real Estate License – The Easy Way

If you are thinking about venturing into the unknown world of getting your real estate license, you have thankfully come to the right place! I will teach you the easiest, fastest and cheapest way to get your license and being on your way to a fantastic career in no time.

You are going to want to venture over to realestateexpress.com. This is going to be the foundation of getting your license. The site is very organized and easy to use. The first thing you are going to want to do is enter your state and which courses you are wanting to take during this process. There will be four different packages you can choose from, making sure you get the best one that fits your needs. These courses are designed to allow you to retain information and learn at a fast paced level. Do not worry, there is a pass or do not pay guarantee. This site is so sure of their way of getting you on track that if you do not pass your exams, you do not have to worry about paying them. For anyone that knows anything about real estate, that is a promise that you cannot pass up!

Each course is separated by each specific target that you will need to learn in order to be a prime realtor, that way you do not have everything thrown at you during one time period. You are also able to retain the information at your own pace. All of the books are done online and can be downloaded directly to your computer or mobile device for easy access all the time. Whether you are at home or on the go, getting your real estate license has never been so simple.The course work is also completely online, giving you the freedom to master this trade with the freedom of your own time.

After you get your license there are other classes offered, to make sure that you know everything there is possible to know about your new job. When it comes to this profession, you can never know too much. The more you know, the better chance you will have with closing more deals than ever.

Now, not everything you know can be learned in a classroom environment, hands on learning is something that will be beneficial to your growth once you get out into the field, but this path will get you the peace of mind you need to advance into that next step of this career. Of course, getting your real estate license is going to be most dependent on your hard work and dedication, but lucky for you, you have the best support to help you walk through this process with Real Estate Express! It is important to remember that each state is going to have their own separate rules and regulations that you will have to follow depending on where you live. Make sure that you look into those and make sure that each is met upon finishing this course- the first step in becoming an amazing realtor, is knowing all the details! Good luck on your venture and may you have a lifetime of success down this path!

Why You Should Use a Realtor to Sell Your Land

According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, a realtor is a real estate agent or a person who sells or rent houses, land, offices or buildings and who is a member of the national Association of Realtors. In reference to this descriptions, we can highlight a number of reasons why you should sell your land using a real estate agent. These Include:

1. You will not skip a step

A realtor understand the whole sales process. It is highly likely that you could be owning a real estate property and in this context land, but you don’t know how to go about it when you want to dispose it off. A realtor understands the rules of the game and so will help run through the process without skipping a step.

2. A realtor has good grasp of the market dynamics

Based on his/her experience, a realtor can help you understand how to go about it. He/she can help you on pricing. Real estate value, land included advances over time. A realtor will help you establish the current market value. He/she also knows the specific marketing strategies that sells. You can attest that establishing price and marketing plan will be quite some task, if you chose to do it by yourself.

3. Avoid being manipulated/cornered

From the above definition, you note realtors are always registered, implying that they comply with certain state statutes and guiding procedure. It is also prudent to note that the return on land sale are always high and any other person selling for you might want to pursue their interest more than yours. They may endorse compromise and trickery so as to benefit more. By selecting a realtor, you will be free from being cornered because they are regulated, they know their role, their limit, their share and the consequences of misrepresentation.

4.Follow up, negotiation and closing

lt is always one thing to identify a buyer and so many other very crucial stages that determine whether, you will have a successful sale or you will get back to the market. Realtors are very good at, identifying buyers, profiling them, follow up, negotiation and closing. They will help you save on time, by knowing which leads are hot to close and cold to move on. They know when to invite for meetings, when to call for documents and when to ask for payment.

5. Accountability

When you contract an a realtor to sell your land, you enter into an agreement that is fully executed for future reference. His/her mandate are clearly indicate. The contract can be use as terms of reference as you monitor their performance, This eliminates imbalances and any unfair action or complacence. Remember you are also entering into a contract with someone who is regulated and who will honestly carry out his/her duties to secure his/her reputation and renew their license to continue acting on behalf of land owners.

Land is an fixed asset whose value appreciates over time. When you want to sell it, you should get value. The understanding of the process, market dynamics, honesty, closing and accountability can be delivered by a realtor who is licensed and regulated. This is quite involving, you can sign up with one, let them do the work as you wait for value in good time.

What You Need to Know About Property Management

property management

Do you need a designated person to manage your property? This can be a tough decision to make if you’re unsure of the pros and cons of a property management company. Property managers are invaluable assets for property investors. However, they can also be extremely detrimental if they are not doing their job correctly.

What Does a Property Manager Do?

Someone that is in charge of the property management needs to have the skills of a business and a real estate manager. Managing a property means that you will be contributing to the life cycle of the property, involving yourself in every aspect of it whether it is residential, industrial, or commercial.

Here are some of the responsibilities of a property manager:

  • Handling ownership transfer paperwork
  • Maintenance booking
  • Management of the money circulation
  • Daily activities on the property

While property managers don’t necessarily maintain the grounds, they do at least handle the contracts for hiring cleaning and landscaping services that do.  Here is nice property management resource to learn more.

Do You Need a Property Manager?

While hiring a property manager isn’t necessary for every single property owner, it can be incredibly helpful, especially if you do not live near your property(ies) or if you have another main business or job you need to attend to outside of your investment properties.

However, you should keep in mind that hiring a poor manager could be the demise of your investment. The field of property management is expected to grow around 10% from 2016 to 2026, which is well above the typical average for other fields. This potentially reflects that there will be a rush to join a promising field by those who are less than qualified. Therefore, extra caution should be used as you interview and consider a property manager.

Here are a couple instances where a property manager could be helpful to your business:

  • If you live far away from the property that needs to be managed

This is due to the fact that the closer you live to your property, the easier it is to manage. If you live near your property, it is much easier to handle tenant complaints and respond to maintenance issues and collect rent in a timely manner yourself.

However, if you have to commute to your property then the costs of the commute itself can really add up.

  • If you are inexperienced in property management

You can invest in real estate without any actual knowledge or experience in property management – just hire a property management company. Property management companies help you save money and run your business more smoothly. For example, they will ensure that the proper repairman is hired instead of someone who takes forever and eats into your time and money.

Inexperience in property management can also lead to misunderstandings regarding the Fair Housing laws, which could lead to you being blamed for discrimination or accused of being a slum lord. Any of these things could ruin your investment, but that’s where an experienced property management company comes in.

How to Hire the Best Property Manager

While not all property managers are the best at their job, it is possible to find someone who is good at it all around.

The first step to hiring a good property manager is to check to see if they have the proper education and training to fill that position. Onsite property managers should have at least some real estate experience as well as a basic understanding of the construction of buildings.

While specific education isn’t necessarily required for the job, having some type of degree in the field is extremely helpful (such as a bachelor’s or master’s degree in business administration or a real estate).

If you’re interviewing a property manager, you should make sure that you are asking the right questions to learn as much as you can about their experience and education. You should ask about their knowledge of federal, state, and local law, as well as how their methods for keeping tenants and filling vacancies.

A quality property manager or property management company will have a solid property management business plan. This can consist of their short term and long-term goals, their plans for maintaining properties, and they should be up to date on all of the local laws that may be in the process of getting certified. Knowing how to find clients is important as well. For more information, check out this article on how to develop a property management business plan.

Important Aspects of a Property Management Business Plan

There are base services that a property manager offers as well as more in depth additional services. The base level services consist of:

  • Collecting rent
  • Inspecting the property regularly
  • Ongoing maintenance
  • Regular repairs
  • Marketing the property
  • Evaluating the property
  • Screening potential and current tenants

While these are all very important services, a little more can go a long way.

Creativity is important in any industry, including property management. Going above and beyond in this field can include things as simple as an incredibly specific set schedule for maintenance, such as specified reminders set in place to prevent the possibility of missed deadlines. Things like annual maintenance only come around once a year and can be difficult to remember.

A property manager could also dedicate themselves to learning as much as they can about different asset classes of real estate in order to learn more about the sub-classes. This applies to both commercial and residential properties.

The Benefit of Property Management

Between local laws, federal laws, specific tenant concerns, and irregular maintenance issues, there is a lot of factors going on in property management. Hiring a property management company can significantly reduce the rental headaches. While property management isn’t for everyone, if you are interested in starting a property management company or hiring one, it can be well worth it.

Many benefits of utilizing a property management company are directly related to saving you money on your investment, but it also takes a lot of personal stress off of you. Hiring a trusted property management company gives you the freedom to focus your valuable time on other aspects of your investment.

Feel free to contact Dona to get a perspective on property management companies when you’re seeking to buy property!

South Carolina Real Estate License Exam Prep Book Review

The South Carolina Real Estate Exam Prep book truly is a lifesaver. The classes I took to learn the information really do not give you enough information to be able to pass the test. I had to learn more and expand my thinking. Luckily this book helped me fill in the blanks and pass both the state and national tests.

A Cheat Sheet Without Cheating
This book taught me every single detail I needed to learn to take the test. It was like having the test in front of me to study from because the book was so similar. I was able to re-read everything I learned in class at my own pace, and take notes to be able to further my understanding. This was so nice because I was able to quickly browse through ideas I already perfected and spend more time on ideas that I hadn’t been able to learn well in class.

Learning Terms
There are so many terms to learn and I had forgotten the definitions for some of them. This book was a major refresher on that. I was able to go through a section of words each night and by the day of the test, I knew all of them. The flash cards were super convenient because I could take them anywhere with me and work on them when I had a chance to. It was super easy to just hand over the cards and have family and friends quiz me on them until I got them all right. Without the cards, in the book, I would not have been able to do that and it really was an amazing learning experience for me.

Math Review
You would think that a real estate career is all about getting people to look at houses and buy them. The truth is that is only a part of it. There are so many math problems to learn with different variables. Things like commissions, down payments, subdividing, and insurance premiums are all heavy math problems with lots of variables. These are very hard to learn. Luckily, I picked up a lot of it in class, but the book helped me pick up the slack and get the rest of it figured out. This is amazing because my career is going to have math in it all day long every day.

Lose the Fear and Get on With Your Career
As a real estate student, I was so nervous about taking the test and passing. So many classmates were failing and it was so hard to see. I often wondered what happened if I failed and how long the waiting period would be between the failure and the retest. I just wanted to start my career I worked so hard for. This book really saved me and helped me make sure I was well prepared for this test. I think this book needs to be part of every student’s South Carolina Real Estate license exam prep, so they can drop the fear of failure and just get on with their career.

Can My House Really Sell in November?

It is glorious this time of year, it is the weather that we’ve all been waiting for. I’m really enjoying sitting on my patio. Not everything is so fabulous at this time of year. Yes, it’s great sitting on the patio, but if you’re trying to sell your house it can be well challenging. Things slow down this time of year for real estate so you might be thinking well what should I do? Should I wait should I sell now? What should I do? First of all just understand that houses do you sell this time of year. We’re probably going to put maybe 5000 homes under contract this month and compared to maybe 8000 or so that we put under contract in May or June when we have a lot more activity. That’s 5000 houses that are going to sell, one of them could be yours and here’s a couple things you can do to put the odds in your favor.

First of all, price the house correctly, always, always, always, price it correctly. Spend some time really thinking about your strategy or pricing strategy and it just depends on timing and what’s going on the market. Price it correctly and know what your strategy is going in because let’s face it the listing price you start with may very well not be the listing price you end with.

Secondly, be responsive. If someone calls and says they want to look at your house don’t say no it’s not a good day for me I have a doctor’s appointment. Don’t do that! The game here is that we’ve got to get as many people through the house as possible. It’s like Newton’s law of real estate, if no one’s looking, no one’s going to buy. I just made that up, but I it makes a lot of sense and I’m sure Newton would agree with me so don’t waste any opportunity to get someone to the house to take a look. You’re going to have to watch the market. Not every agent is as geeky as I am. I love the stats. I really watched very very carefully to see what’s going on in Phoenix as a whole and in any area that I have a listing. I want to see the activity I want to see the trends I want to see what’s going on. Sometimes things dip down for a week, but then they come back up sometimes. Sometimes it’s just going down and it’s going to keep going down sometimes it’s leveling off. These things are important you know so you can make smart decisions in your pricing and marketing strategy.

Be realistic. This time of year is not the time to be having this attitude of well I want top dollar. No way am I contributing to closing costs and if they ask for repairs they can just go. No don’t be that guy. This is not that time. Buyers have the advantage. If you’re not responsive, if you’re not working with them they’re going to go and look for another house, they just will and you don’t want them doing that. You don’t want them going out to find something else they like better. Know that you’re not going to make top dollar. You’re not going to set some sort of record for what homes are selling for in your neighborhood. It’s not going to happen so don’t waste any opportunity. If any offer comes in even if it seems really ridiculously low, work it. I have seen it many times where there’s a low offer and a high ask and we have a nice dialogue and can come together to some agreement. That works for everybody. Answer quickly don’t let them get away because there’s a lot of other houses that they could be out there looking at and you don’t want them wandering off and finding something they like better.

If you’re trying to sell your house this time of year it’s going to take a little longer. It’s going to take a little more work than other times of the year. Like I said around 5000 houses are going to go to contract this month and one of them can be yours if that is what you want. If you have any questions or comments please let me know. So get out there and sell!

Why Now Is The Best Time to Buy Real Estate

Five reasons why now is one of the best times we’ve ever seen to invest in real estate. Let’s dive in. Today we’re going to talk about five reasons why now is the best time to invest in real estate investing. There’s a lot of fear mongering going on out there right now about what’s going to happen in the stock market crash. I wouldn’t say fear mongering because it’s actually true so fear is something that’s not true, but we’re seeing the concerns coming in the stock market, but real estate still has a lot of very positive signs. Especially in the investing sector and that’s what we’re talking about. We’re not talking about the retail sector where you know families are buying properties to live in. We’re talking about for investing and I want to be very clear about that.

So why is this one of the best times ever to invest in real estate? Let’s start with this because prices continue to rise and by any measure you’re seeing markets across the country seeing a nice little uptick in prices. There isn’t a big decline anywhere even in some of the areas that were hardest hit during the last recession so we’re seeing a nice little appreciation, but we’re not going crazy and it’s not over inflated.

Number two on the list. Yes there are bubbles, but the bubbles are not a major concern for investors. We are not investing in San Francisco where there probably is a bubble we are not investing in Miami where there probably is a bubble whom we are not investing in New York City where there probably is a bubble. We are staying away from bubble areas and in other areas we’re seeing strong stable markets in the housing sector where we like to invest in Midwest markets and other markets like that. So don’t believe all the hype about the bubble.

Another clear sign that we’re still sitting in a good housing market right now is that builders are building. If we were in troubled times we would see a lot of supplies a lot of lumber a lot of other steel and materials sitting in big piles and not being used, but that’s not the case. Builders are building houses, but why this is great for investors is that they’re not building houses for renters to live in. They’re building houses for you and your family to go live in, four and five bedroom houses. That’s where builders are putting their attention. What does that mean for us as real estate investors who are buying rental properties? That means we can go in and buy the three bedroom one bath houses that builders are no longer building. Why? Because millennials aren’t buying homes anymore. They’re waiting. They’re not buying that starter home so they’re waiting until the four bedroom five bedroom house is ready for their family. They have a kid already and they move into a larger home and are sort of skipping those early homes. That’s great. That means those three bedroom one bath houses out there that still exist. Those two bedroom one bath houses I’ll buy them all day long. That means they’re still building they’re not building in the rental sector and that’s good news for us.

Another really important factor is that foreclosures are way way down. That means simply that people aren’t getting in over their head when they’re buying. So yes more and more people are picking up these properties, but foreclosures have plummeted. That means that the loans they are able to get are not going to get them into trouble and I can’t buy foreclosures anymore I used to buy them and rehab them but they’re very difficult to come across these days. So that is another good sign that we’ve corrected in a way that we hadn’t before.

The fifth and final reason why we still sit in a really nice real estate market right now is that areas like Miami and Orlando and other areas that were hit really bad during the crash because they were way up inflated you know that really high and overly inflated prices. You could buy a house in Orlando for $200,000 and then weeks later sell it for $260,000. It was ridiculous. The reason that indicator is still strong is that we’re seeing that those markets have not returned to that pre-crash craziness. That they’ve really stayed below that artificial bubble that they were in. So a $200000 house is worth $200,000. It didn’t go up to $240k again. This really shows that we have a stronger footing in the housing market that we have in a long time. As an investor it’s the best time to get out there and start buying rental properties and if the economy declines that means there will be more availability out there for you to pick up rental properties. More availability out there to pick up your first properties so now is the best time to invest in real estate. All the indicators are pointing in that direction.

I’d love to hear your thoughts or comments. Leave me a comment about what you think and if you learned something.

Home Improvements that Are Guaranteed to Increase Your Home Value

Today I’m going to talk about home improvements you can do to help increase your property value. Now when we have your home it’s really easy to get caught up in the moment and splurge on things that you may not actually need such as expensive ligh fixtures, marble countertops, authentic wood cabinets, fancy faucets. Now these are all really great, but you really have to consider does it really fit your property, where your property is located, and of course your budget.

Now the first step before any rehab project is to first assess the neighborhood your property is in and determine what upgrades houses sold in that area have made. What I’ve done is actually pinpoint some focus areas that you get the best bang for your buck.

Let’s start off in the kitchen. The kitchen is the heart of the house and what you need to focus on is counter and cabinet space. Now if you have room for an island I would recommend installing one  because not only does it add counter space it also includes cabinet space. Now if your cabinets are a little bit worn down instead of rushing to replace them I would recommend sanding them down and refinishing or restaining them because that will definitely make them look newer. Of course you can always replace the handles and knobs. Home Depot has options from the really cheap to the the really expensive so you can play around with the look and which ones best fit your kitchen. Now, if by chance, you have to replace your cabinets rather the rushing straight to retail I would first find a wholesaler. These are people who have older designs that are completely new, but because the newer designs are out they can offer theirs at a discount. You can paint or stain the cabinets yourself to save on labor costs and going with a wholesaler is a really cheap alternative.

As for your kitchen I would encourage you to repaint or re-wallpaper, whatever you prefer, or even re-hardwood or re-tile. If you can’t afford that you could do vinyl or laminate. They have vinyl that looks like tile and laminate that looks like real wood.

As for your appliances you want to look at stainless steel. It’s the new standard and it’s what people expect so you don’t want to let them down there. Also look at deep sinks in your kitchen. This creates more openness and reduces the look of clutter when dishes are stacked in the sink.

Next is your countertops. There’s a lot out there, but what I like the most is granite.They mimic marble, they’re cheaper, and they give the kitchen a new fresh clean look.

The next thing you want to focus on guys is the bathroom. You should re-grout or re-caulk your bathroom and of course remove any mold or mildew. if you don’t know how to grout or caulk Home Depot offers free classes and then have simple to use grouting kits. Of course if you can re-tile your bathroom if you can afford to do so you can create new patterns and a new look.

You do want to invest in nice vanities, mirrors. Also you should tile your floor, if you can’t afford to tile then think about vinyl that looks like tile. If your house can permit this you want to think about adding an extra bathroom. Especially if you have a house that has one bathroom adding an extra bathroom will definitely improve the value of your home by quite a bit.

Now the next thing I want to talk about that is growing in popularity are green home improvements. So things you can do like weather stripping or caulking your windows, programmable thermostat, tinted windows, lower flush per gallon toilets, Ask your local handyman shops and see what alternatives you can take because understand that the home is an investment and you want to reap those long term savings. If you can save $100 a month that’s a huge, very powerful, selling point.

If you have to replace any doors, rather than go to retail go to habitat and Goodwill. They have really great options for you they’re pretty cheap as well like I said it’s better than going retail.

Next thing I want to talk about are room conversions. It’s a great way to increase your square footage, you know if you have a garage, attic, or basement you can look at trying to convert those into actual room. If you have one room to spare you should look at converting this into an office. Install some shelving. Young professional looking to buy homes like to have their own personal space in their home where they can do work. That’s another strong selling point as well. The next thing is creating new space. What that means is if there are walls that could be knocked down and not hurt the integrity of the home and will make the living room look bigger or maybe make the kitchen look bigger I definitely encourage you to do so because it will help improve the value.

Next thing is landscaping. It’s mostly for curb appeal. It’s probably the last on your list of things to do. You want to save a little bit in your budget for this, but it doesn’t take too much to add a lot of value here. You know little simple pattern with some bricks, some mulch, shrubbery, a rose bush here and there and a simple garden in the back is eye candy. Doesn’t take very much to go a long way with your landscaping. You want to make sure it looks clean and fresh.

As for painting, if you’re able to repaint your home to get that fresh paint smell that’s always a plus. It’s very important to cover up your holes on the wall from previous paintings. You can dust the walls down with a broom or power wash the exterior before painting. That way your paint will stay up much longer, at least a year to 2 years otherwise it will start chipping and falling off in 30 to 90 days. That’s a pretty expensive lesson.

The last thing I want to cover guys are updates and replacements. Drywall texture, if you’re still working with popcorn texture it’s incredibly outdated. It’s a pain in the butt to take down but it’s definitely worth it in the long run. if you have left over budget think about updating your fixtures, your ceiling fans, your mini blinds. There are a lot of fun options out there. I know sometimes Home Depot will have a sales and reduce the prices on some really nice ceiling fans.

So home improvements can be costly, but there are many alternatives you can take to reduce those costs while improving the value of your home. By focusing on the kitchen and the master bath and remaining bathrooms first you can actually recoup a lot of the cost here because that’s a lot of where the selling points come from. You want to focus on the painting a landscaping if you have extra budget and of course the fixtures and ceiling fans.

Moving and Packing Tips

I have moved quite a few times in the last few years and as I was packing my stuff this time around I was thinking to myself I did it right this time around and I just started thinking about all the things I did in order to make this process so much easier and I decided to write it all down and share it with you. Here are the top moving and packing tips.

If you are really not that great at estimating like most of the population buy two to three times the amount of boxes you think you’re going to need. Seriously, or you are just going to have to keep going back and buy more boxes. The same rule of thumb applies for tape, buy two or three more roles than you think you’re going to need. The great thing about companies like U-Haul is that if you have any unused flat boxes you can return them. So it’s not like once you buy the boxes they’re yours. This time around I went to the U-Haul store two times and the second time I bought many more boxes that I thought I would need and I ended up using every single one. Buy small boxes. I know you may think it’s a waste of money, waste of space. You think that you’re just going to get the big boxes and just stuff a bunch of stuff in there and will be able to lift those boxes up. Even a small box can get so heavy, especially when it comes to your kitchen stuff, fragile stuff. I have a bunch of ceramics pots, without the plants. It’s very difficult to dump all these pots in a huge box and then move it away. With a small box  you can write FRAGILE in huge letters. It just makes it so much easier for you and if you have movers, so much easier for them as well.

Whether you’re moving yourself or with movers just put everything in boxes. You may have a bunch of containers, like small baskets, open ended baskets that you think act like a container or a box in itself. The problem is it’s not stackable. When you try to place those containers with a bunch of weird shaped objects they don’t stack well in a car and you’re just making it really difficult for yourself or the movers, so just put everything in boxes and make your life a lot easier.

When it comes down to actually packing I know it can just be so overwhelming. The first thing I will pack is a suitcase with stuff that I actually need for the next few days, for instance, clothes and toiletries. I just act like I’m about to go traveling and therefore you don’t have to worry if you’re going to need certain things when you’re putting them away, you’re just making it a lot easier for yourself. Within that same suitcase or another bag I would set aside some essentials that you will need right away in your new house. I’m talking about toilet paper, paper towels, hand soap, Clorox wipes, sanitizing wipes. The worst thing for you to do would be to show up to your new place with all your stuff and realize like you don’t know where your toilet paper is and you have to go to the bathroom. I think about those things. It’s important so make sure to set aside some of those essentials. Once that’s all done I start packing in sections. So you just start off with stuff that you’re not going to need at all, like knickknacks, books, your clothes and toiletries because you already set aside some. I would recommend the very last thing you pack is your fridge. If you create sections for yourself it’s going to be so much easier for you. I feel like I get really overwhelmed when there’s too much going on. I’m not a good multitasker. If I just concentrate in one section at a time then it’s just so much better.

Labeling boxes is so important, but when it comes to labeling, I would also say be specific on the boxes. Don’t just write kitchen but write specific things that are inside there because there’s a lot of things that go into your kitchen. For some reason this time around I packed all my kitchen sponges in a really random box that had nothing to do with kitchen stuff. I must have filled up all the kitchen boxes and the sponges were just one more thing and I must have tossed them in another box thinking I would remember. I did not remember. So ultimately I didn’t have a sponge for a couple days because I couldn’t figure out which box it was in. If I just thought OK I’m going to write down that I have sponges in this box, it would have made my life a lot easier.

Something I want to touch on is what to wear while packing and moving. I am completely convinced using full overalls, not just short ones, but ones that are a long leg jean. It’s great being able to put a couple sharpies and tape in the front pocket. A lot of times I would wear the tape on my arm, but then I would start getting marks. While you’re packing you’re just constantly losing stuff. Things are just being hidden under other things. I’ll constantly put things in my overalls. I’ll put my phone in there even, it just gives you a little bit more protection. I feel like during moving I get a lot of cuts and bruises and I think these overalls, having like a jean material, really prevented some cuts and bruises from happening too. I’d also recommend wearing boots. I just wear my Doc Martens the whole time, you do not want those little toes of yours getting crushed.

This last is for those of you who have decided to go with movers. I think when it comes to movers just go with the best of the best. I’m already weary of letting strangers into my home, but strangers into my home handling all my personal things, it makes me a little bit nervous. There have been stories on the news in the past about people finding movers off of Craigslist who loaded their stuff in a stolen truck and then just drove away. The cops found the truck a few days later, but obviously their stuff was gone.

When it comes to movers, just get the best of the best that have good reputations and really good Yelp reviews. I found my movers this time on Yelp and I’m so happy with them. They made sure that both my buildings were okay with their insurance. We talked multiple times about the exact logistics and about what was going to happen on moving day. It was such a seamless experience. I’ve never had that before and not only that. They were extremely organized. I was just watching them so impressed, they made sure that every single piece of furniture was wrapped and padded and protected. Everything was delivered in pristine condition. If you’re hiring movers, bite the bullet, and get the best. If will save you heartache later.

That was my top ten moving tips. I hope this was helpful for you if you’re in the process of moving or thinking about moving. If this was helpful drop me a line and tell me if you have any tips I missed. I’d love to hear from you all. Until next time.

Invest in Real Estate with Your Own Money

So how can you start saving enough to invest in real estate? Overall the biggest key is to decrease your expenses. If you’ve never looked at your expenses on either a weekly or monthly basis, you’re definitely missing out on where you can start saving more money.

On a monthly basis you should know what income you have coming in or ideally how much money you have coming in if you’re commission based. You need to know how much you need to work in order to earn what you want. So on a monthly basis you should be able to map out, I would start with a month, you want to have a monthly savings goal. Then you’re going to look at a two month savings goal, eventually it’s going to be a quarterly savings goal, and then you want to look at a 6 month savings goal. That number should be pretty motivating on what you’re capable of. So it’s very in the future, it’s a week from now, it’s a month from now, its 2 months from now and it’s also quarterly and 6 months from now. You need to ask yourself is what I’m engaging in going to help me with that goal or am I going to temporarily put it on hold.

I’m not saying to not spend anything, but you need to know your own budget to see what is realistic for you to save in that time frame. You need to become aggressive with saving because you know on a temporary basis you will get where you want to be by taking that temporary discomfort on the savings aspect to hit your goal quicker if you’re looking to invest. So you might need to turn down certain opportunities, but that doesn’t mean you need to turn down everything it just means you’re very committed to that goal and you’ll hit that goal quicker. But you need that end goal in mind because without that plan of “I’m going to save this much” your attention won’t really be on that goal. So you definitely want to map out your income and map out your savings goal for 1, 2, 3 and 6 months. Stick to that number.

Once you’re able to really master your savings and your expenses. You want to figure out how you can make more money or increase your income. If this can’t be at your current position start figuring out other ways to make money. It’s very possible you can start selling old items either on Craigslist, through Facebook, or even Ebay, although I think they take 13%, and you can start making money very quickly. So I’d recommend you take all your old stuff and start selling it, you’re essentially just flipping it. If you do want to flip at a higher level there are tons of good guys online that do that. They go to stores like the Salvation Army or Savers where they find very discounted items at a low value and they can sell it much higher because they know what the item is really worth. That’s where you can start making some real profit. And that’s another way to increase your income.

But then you got to look at if I’m looking for these items and I’m driving to all of these places, lets say it’s 10 minutes to drive to one place and I only get 10 bucks you only value yourself at $10 for that hour because even the work to list it, to ship it, everything like that, so you have to factor that in as well.

So increasing your income and decreasing your expenses are the two quickest ways you can start saving money in order to invest. Focus on decreasing your expenses first and then with the free time focus on increasing your income whether it’s at your current job or other ways you can start making money. You can start hustling items that you have at home, you can start moving items at Salvation Army, flipping other items, you can get into things such as Uber, if you have a car that is decent and you want to dedicate time there, that’s other places you can make money. There’s 168 hours in a week, figure out how important this is to you and what level of commitment you’re going to put on saving to invest.