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Investing: When to Say Goodbuy

Understand what goes into “goodbuys” vs. “goodbyes”

Now may be an ideal time to invest in real estate. But, when considering an investment property there are many things to keep in mind.  Here are just a few:

Know the market.  The housing market varies from state-to-state, town-to-town and neighborhood-to-neighborhood.  So, to make sure you’re really getting a good deal you should work with a local real estate agent who knows the market.

Identify the good buys.  A lot of potential investment properties pop up in today’s market. But more often than not, these properties are distressed and as an investor, you need to be able to identify when you need to say goodbye to a supposed “goodbuy.”

Be ready.  Depending on the town, good buys can be snatched up very quickly (sometimes they’re gone before they even hit the market).  If you’re serious about investing, be ready to check the house out and make an offer.

PITI and maintenance.  As the owner of a property you’re responsible for maintaining the property, and paying the mortgage principle, interest, taxes and insurance. A good investment should cover these basic costs, and turn over a profit.

Consider all costs.  When viewing properties, develop comprehensive budgets to track all potential costs (e.g., renovations, closing costs, carrying costs, etc.).

The “me” factor.  While some investment properties may be for personal use, others are not, so make objective decisions about what’s necessary for the property/budget, rather than what you may prefer (e.g., Formica vs. granite counter tops). 


What I Learned About Tiling

It’s not that tiling is all that complicated, but if Glenno wasn’t there to show me what to do, I think this blog post would be written very differently…for you newbies to tiling, here are some tips I learned along the way:

  1. Whether or not you want them to be, natural stone tiles tend to be uneven (tip — swearing at the tiles won’t straighten them out).  So, even if you yell at everyone around you to use spacers — not that I did this (yes I did), it’s super important to use your eye, and a level, to make sure you’re laying the tile right.
  2. You will likely embarrass yourself if you tell experienced people how to do stuff, when you yourself don’t know what you’re talking about (see note 1).
  3. If you love a bargain as much as I do then check out your local tile stores for remnants – these are extra tiles left over from other jobs.  We were able get our tiles at a 50% discount.
  4. When ordering your tile, keep in mind that you may or may not cut a few pieces wrong, drop a brand new box and shatter some tiles, measure a few wrong (but be happy that you cut them the right size)…  So, make sure to order enough so that you have some leftover.
  5. The prep work can be exhausting, which you may or may not realize until 2 days later when you are so sore you feel like a truck hit you.
  6. Don’t be scared to incorporate a simple design into your tile work!  As long as you plan it in advance, it’s not super complicated and will make a big difference with the finished product.

first time using a tile cutter = success!

design only cost an extra $20

prep work included gutting the bathroom and putting up new “green board” and hardiboard down

easy even tiles 🙂

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