How Much Stuff Do You Really Need?

How Much Stuff Do You Really Need?

USA Today and The New York Times (among many others) have published articles about the Baby Boomer generation starting to pass down treasured heirlooms to their GenX and Millennial children.  Unfortunately, those trinkets and other items are being looked upon with some disdain.

We don’t want them.

We don’t value these items the same way our parents did or their parent’s generation did.

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A Year After Reading The 4-Hour Workweek

A Year After Reading The 4-Hour Workweek

In the Beginning…

I was full of excitement after reading T4HWW and I made some immediate changes to my life.  These changes included:

1.     The Low Information Diet – I reduced the amount of print and television media I was bringing into my life.  Previously, I read three newspapers daily and watched the evening news.  That’s a lot of time spent on subject matter that I can’t control and that was putting me into a bad mood.

2.     Batching – I looked to “batch” any chores or responsibilities.  This is completing like tasks at the same time, therefore your brain doesn’t have to transition into new patterns for every job.  If you stay focused on similar tasks and not try to multi-task, you’ll actually get the work done quicker.

3.     Controlling Email – I also limited the times I would accept knew emails into my inbox.  I set a rule of turning on my email filter from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. – 4 p.m. everyday.  I never felt so productive in my work days.

My business partner liked the batching and email ideas and eventually bought into them.  We talked frequently about how to tweak these new hacks that we learned to make our lives more efficient.  My work life took on a new level of fun.

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Don’t Just "Tell" Your Kid the Way to Financial Freedom

Don’t Just "Tell" Your Kid the Way to Financial Freedom

Among the discussions of Legos, parkour and throwing the football, I do my best to slip in discussions with our 10-year-old about ‘needs and wants’. 

He’ll say something like, “I need that Nerf gun auto-repeater with the doomsday grenade launcher,” after seeing an advertisement on YouTube.  Commercials are still effective in the age of content-on-demand.

“Do you need it or do you want it?” I’ll ask.

He’ll think for a minute before saying, “I want it.  Then he'll grin and add, "But I really want it,” making his sales pitch dependent on a big smile and some funny antics.

“Enough to spend your own money on it?”

The smile fades quickly as he shakes his head.  “I don’t want it that much.”

He’s a good kid who, because of the age difference with his sister, sometimes gets spoiled like an only child.  However, when he’s forced to consider spending his own money, earned and saved through various chores and birthday gifts, he rarely gives into his own boyish greed.

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Cleaning Up after Forty Years – Rosewood Retail - Part 4

Cleaning Up after Forty Years – Rosewood Retail - Part 4

In May of 2017, a tenant at our Rosewood Retail property moved out.  Spokane Vitamin Supply had been in the building for more than forty years.

We had only owned the building for seven years, so we didn’t enjoy their entire run of tenancy.  The business had changed ownership at least twice.  In our records, there was a transfer of ownership in 1993 to Mr. Smith (not his real name).  Then in 2015 the business was sold again to the Williams family (not their real name).

Initially, Mr. Smith was going to close his business instead of renew his lease.  He was an older gentleman and didn’t actively run the business anymore.  He operated the business as a way to keep a couple employees working since they had been loyal to him for so many years.  The employees were now ready to retire which would allow him to shutter the business.

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When Revaluing a Property Doesn’t Go Your Way – Rosewood Retail Part 3

When Revaluing a Property Doesn’t Go Your Way – Rosewood Retail Part 3

Roughly six years into the ownership of our Rosewood Retail property, one of the partners decided she wanted to sell out.  A couple years prior, Bobbi (not her real name) had gone through a divorce and a year later relocated to another state.  She was involved in another partnership with us and had chosen to sell her portion of ownership earlier.  It had gone very well for her as detailed in The Little Property That Could – A Partner Wants Out.

Now, Bobbi decided she wanted to sell her portion of the Rosewood partnership.  After running the numbers, the news wasn’t good.

If she still wanted to sell her 25% stake in the partnership, Bobbi would actually get less money than she originally put in.

It was a tough reminder that an investment property’s value is tied to its net income which is a function of both income and expenses.

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Is it Time to Up Your Game?

Is it Time to Up Your Game?

I stumbled across Grant Cardone on YouTube.  Cardone is a motivational trainer and a real estate advisor.  I don’t remember what topic I was researching when I first discovered him but there was a video for Cardone, so I clicked it.  The guy was full of energy and charisma.  I liked his message and filed away the name.

Then another visit to YouTube for another topic and yet another Grant Cardone sighting.  I watched another video and another.  Who was this guy?

At the time, I didn’t jump to find more out about him until I realized a company in my industry had referred to something as TenX.  When I made the connection back to Grant Cardone’s The 10X Rule:  The Only Difference Between Success and Failure I thought I should take a deeper look and purchased the book

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The Buy-Out or How a Lease Termination Can Benefit You - Rosewood Retail, Part 2

The Buy-Out or How a Lease Termination Can Benefit You - Rosewood Retail, Part 2

As time moves forward, things will change at any investment property.  You are incredibly lucky if your tenants stay in place for a multitude of years and steadily pay rent.  This reduces the associated costs and headaches of vacancies.

At our Rosewood Retail property, everything proceeded nicely for about two years.  Then we were approached by one of the tenants who stated they wanted to terminate their lease early.

The medical billing service was ceasing operations.  The doctor associated with the service was joining a larger organization and, therefore, needed to shut down his practice.  However, they still had three years on their contract.

When you’re faced with this scenario, it’s an interesting proposition, but an exciting opportunity.

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It Always Starts with One – Rosewood Retail, Part 1

It Always Starts with One – Rosewood Retail, Part 1

It’s embarrassing to admit, but when I was a property manager, I didn’t know how to invest in commercial real estate.  In my area, most property managers don’t own investment real estate.  I’d imagine that trend continues beyond my part of the country.  Perhaps it’s because property managers spend so much of their work time around real estate that they don’t want to do it on their personal time.  Maybe it’s an employee versus entrepreneur mindset that holds them back.  Whatever the reason, it’s a strange reality to encounter.

No one shows you how to invest while you’re working on their properties.  They don’t have to do that, now do they?  If you ask them, though, most investors would be happy to share their investing stories and insight with you.  However, when I was a property manager I didn’t have the courage to ask my own clients how they developed their portfolios.  Instead, I remained a guy collecting a check to manage other people’s properties, helping them achieve their dreams while mine seemed like a distant mirage.

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