Category Blog

How I Got My Ass Kicked Doing Rehab

New construction addition being added to old home

It seemed like a good idea at the time. We bought a historic house very cheaply. We knew it needed extensive renovations. But when it was completed, it would be a jewel.

Then we hired a contractor. And our project went to hell.

The renovations required more money than anticipated. The contractor was not skilled. And now, we are in a dispute involving lawyers and expert witnesses. It’s a big, fat mess.

I would strongly advise to not do things the way we did when rehabbing a house. Here are some ways you can avoid getting your ass kicked.

  1. Get multiple bids on a construction project.
  2. Check references on the contractors.
  3. Ask specifically what type of experience they have on the job you need completed.
  4. Be as specific as possible with the scope of the construction agreement...
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Deferred Maintenance on Rental Properties

Most of my rental properties are in St. Petersburg, Florida, area and the place has been experiencing monsoon conditions. The Tampa Bay area has had road closures, flooding and trees falling down. One of my properties has a leaky roof. The other one needs a roof replacement over the former carport, which has been converted into a bedroom. Sometimes these unexpected expenses just cause me to become frustrated.

The biggest challenge with being a real estate investor, in my opinion, is the unexpected expenses. In hindsight, we should have done a better job of due inspecting the roofs on the two properties. We have also made some errors in purchasing in that we bought properties with deferred maintenance...

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How Can I Fund My Real Estate Rental Property?

house on packs of banknotes on a blue background.

I started real estate investing two-and-a-half years ago, as of this post. After the first investment property, my boyfriend and I began investing together. Today, we own 15 properties in total.

Even though I had purchased a few homes in my lifetime, I didn’t know funding options as an investor. I had purchased several primary residences using a conventional mortgage. But when I started exploring other investment properties in the St. Petersburg, Florida, I soon found out cash was king. If you wanted an offer accepted on a foreclosure or auction property, you had to have money in the bank and a proof of funds submitted with your offer.

Below are some of the strategies I recommend to get started as a new investor.

Talk to a banker–or two. I know...

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My First Investment Property
St. Petersburg, FL (Pt. 2)

Inside my new flat in my four-plex. I was happy I could finally call it home!

Inside my new flat in my four-plex. I was happy I could finally call it home!

As I mentioned in my previous post, my first investment property came with challenges. I thought they were behind me once the terms had been agreed to and the contract signed. Really, my saga was just beginning.

By November 2011, I had a contract in place on a four-plex in St. Petersburg, Florida. We had agreed to a delayed closing, anticipating that everything would work out by February 2012.

Let me take you back in time. America had just experienced one of the worst plummet of real estate. Everyone was pointing fingers at who was to blame. New regulations were put in place and mortgage lenders became the focus of scrutiny. I got caught up in the middle of these dynamics.

My plan was to purchase the home with a ...

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My First Investment Property
St. Petersburg, Florida

house frontMy adventure into investment properties began in 2012. I was working a full-time job in corporate sales, had landed one large sale and had more lined up. I had wanted to live in Florida for a while, and since I would be earning large commission checks coming my way, this seemed like the perfect time to buy my new home. I could change my residency from Montana to Florida (which has no state income tax), get a great tax break on another home and escape winter. It all seemed perfect!

I started out looking at single family homes and condos in locations I thought might interest me in the Tampa Bay area since I had traveled there many times before for work. My budget was around $200k. I would use 20% down and finance the rest with a traditional mortgage...

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