Conquering Your Financial Empire

All posts in "Real Estate"

Avocados Cost Millennials a Chance at Prosperity

Published May 21, 2017 in Debt , Real Estate - 2 Comments

Hey everyone, I’m a Millennial.  Rather shocking I’m sure.  It’s amazing a young fella like me can find time to write a blog in between stuffing myself with avocado toast and mochachinnos and working 24 hours a week.  If you didn’t catch the reference, you’ve probably avoided reading the news in the last week.  Click the link to catch up.  A brief recap: Aussie developer Tim Gurner said that, in no short sum of words, the biggest obstacle Millennials face in wealth creation and home ownership is themselves.

Needless to say, I’m rather perturbed by Gurner’s assessment.  I know personally, I’m not the preferred audience of his Millennial bashing.  I am an educated, money-saving, hustler.  Heck, I get mad when my kid only eats half of his $7 kid’s meal!  I only want to pay $3.50!  It’s not the words that upset me.  It’s the perspective.  Gurner is intentionally ignoring all of the data that says, even though he’s only a decade older than me, he entered a vastly different marketplace than I did – in terms of both home prices and opportunities. Continue reading

Septic Tank vs. Sewer: Fight of the Century

Published May 7, 2017 in Real Estate - 4 Comments
septic tank vs sewer

Here it is ladies and gents, the battle of the century.  A colossal and magnificent foray between two heavyweight contenders.  A battle that has raged on for decades and will continue for many more to come!  What will the Fates decide at the end of this story?  Only time will tell who is the victor in the Battle of the Bacterium. . .

In the Red Corner, we have Septic Tanks!  These lean, mean, underground fightin’ machines are localized on a property and filled with bacteria.  Whether you go number one or number two, the tanks turn it all into goo!  The technology hasn’t changed much since the days of cesspits, but if it ain’t broke don’t fix it!

Aaaaand in the Blue Corner, we have a modern-day Sewer System!  Sleek, heavy, and all-around movers and shakers, these systems are expansive.  Each home is hooked up to a central line and all of the refuse is taken to a central location.  A one stop shop for your slop! These waste facilities are state of the art.

In the tale of the tape, the septic tank has age and experience on their side while the sewer system has a centralized knowledge and funding to support it.  We’re ready to move now to the Octagon.  Septic vs. Sewer.  It’s Garbage Time!  LET’S GET IT ON! Continue reading

How to Decide on an Offer Price for a House

Published April 30, 2017 in Real Estate - 1 Comment

I’m always looking for new and exciting things to write about.  Especially when those ideas come from readers of the blog.  Consequently, I was fishing for ideas from some of my co-workers at my sheriff’s agency when one of them posed an excellent topic.  How the heck do you decide on an offer price for a house?

You see, this co-worker has a friend who was shopping for homes and making offers without me!  A travesty in and of itself!  I’ve since rectified the initial problem by convincing her I’m the bestest Realtor out there.  However, she was frustrated because she didn’t really understand how to make an offer price and felt like the Realtor wasn’t being straight with her.  Common problems, sadly.  Do you go above asking?  Below?  When is it appropriate to make a full-price with contingency offer?  All valid questions and all things I will discuss. Continue reading

First Week in Real Estate

Published October 21, 2016 in Career , Real Estate - 4 Comments
first week in real estate

Week one is in the books ladies and gentleman!  I’ve concluded my first week in real estate as an agent with a brokerage.  I need a vacation.  If you haven’t read how I came to choose my brokerage, be sure to read it here.  It’s now clearly apparent that Phil Dunphy, the REALTOR character in Modern Family, has lied to me.  For all of his self-deprecating humor and carefree self, he led me to believe this thing was easy!

It’s been hectic.  I still thought it would be a great idea to let you all in on what your first week as a real estate agent would look like.  A lot of it follows exactly what you may think, but you may also be surprised.  There is a lot of back-end work that goes into making your first week successful.  There is also a lot of time that needs to be spent on one and done activities – which is frustrating. Continue reading

Picking a Brokerage for Real Estate

Published October 17, 2016 in Career , Real Estate - 0 Comments
Picking a Brokerage - House Picture

I’ve been incredibly busy as of late.  It’s actually been very difficult to try and post consistently.  So what have I been doing that’s taking up so much time?  Trying to pass real estate school!  Well, as of October 3rd, I had passed the state exam and officially became an inactive holder of a Florida real estate license!  So then, the trek to find a broker officially began.

Presently, I have officially selected a broker (and am now licensed and active) and I’d like to share my thoughts on what my thought process was.  Part of writing this is so everyone, should they decide to get licensed, will have some guidelines.  The other part is so I can have a record for my thoughts a few years from now to see if my expectations were met.

If you’re in the Central Florida area looking for property as a buyer, seller, or investor, look me up.  A great place to start is my agent page at  I would be happy to sit down for a free consultation.   Continue reading

The Value of DIY Renovations

Published September 27, 2016 in Budget , Real Estate - 5 Comments

This past weekend, I ventured into the wilderness that was my backyard.  We’re talking months of neglect.  We have a lawn guy for the front, and it’s a fairly large yard for our area.  It’s also more than adequate for our Mini-Celt, so we had no use for the backyard.  But I got sick of feeling like Teddy Roosevelt wandering through Panamanian jungles every time I walked by the back door.  For my out of state readers, the humid and hot Florida climate makes shrubs and grass grow like no other.  We’re talking zero to four feet tall in just six months, if left unchecked.

Renovations Gone Wrong

Bathroom Renovations Gone Wrong

The good thing about yard work like that is that it’s easy on the mind, which allows me to idly think about other things.  So I got to thinking.  First about how much a lawn guy would charge me to clear out the backyard (for its dire state of repair, I estimated about $200).  Then I got to thinking about our upcoming renovations on the home.  Renovations that I am determined to do myself!  My DIY mentality was born out of a willingness to learn and the thought that knowing these skills might be good for my eventual venture into land lording.  It also doesn’t help that I’m a public servant and thus not flush with cash. Continue reading

A Closer Look at Financing Your Dream Home!

Published May 23, 2016 in Debt , Real Estate - 6 Comments
types of mortgage terms wordcloud

The American Dream: a two story manor house with white picket fence, two and a half kids, and a Golden Retriever.  It’s picturesque.  For many Millenials, it remains just a picture because student loan debt, tightening credit standards, and home prices vs wage increases have priced them out of the real estate market.  A mortgage is simply out of the question.

types of mortgage terms wordcloud

Types of Mortgage Terms

However, the market is changing.  The National Association of Realtors has multiple guides on how to deal with Millenial buyers.  This is because, for the first time, Millenials are about to be the dominant buyer in the market.  Sadly, this has less to do with improving wages and debt levels than it does a demographic inevitability.  The median age to buy a home is currently sitting at 31 years old; Millenials sit comfortably in there with ages going from 16-35.  We’re just “getting to that age” where one buys a home.  Still though, through multiple surveys coming from Gallup and the Realtors Association, many Millenials still feel underprepared and overwhelmed with the prospect of home ownership.  How do we afford them without a down payment?  How will we get approved with student loans?  Where the heck is Chip and Joanna Gaines to find my dream home!?  All valid questions. Continue reading

Real Estate: Buying Into Wealth

Published April 19, 2016 in Real Estate , Retirement Planning - 1 Comment
Building Wealth Through Real Estate


Building Wealth Through Real Estate

Building Wealth Through Real Estate

In my last post, I briefly mentioned why I love real estate for investing.  As an asset in your portfolio it provides distinct advantages that you simply can’t get from buying an equity or bond.  Because my readership is mostly young professionals, I felt a follow-up is necessary since we have the most time to benefit from the wealth building potential of buying property.

First though, it’s important to note what real estate is not.  Real estate is not liquid.  At all.  When you buy a piece of property, you need to realize that you will likely hold this asset for at least five years.  There is also a time commitment involved with property – whether it’s your primary residence or you have tenants in a rental situation, you must maintain the property.  That comes in the form of keeping your appliances up to date, ensuring the plumbing is in working order, and that the home is safe and hospitable; those responsibilities are increased tenfold when you have a renter.  You might be able to live with an ice maker that sounds like a T-Rex when it makes ice, but your renter will not.  On another note, can we seriously get an ice maker that roars like a T-Rex when it drops ice into the bucket?  Now let’s talk about other million dollar ideas. Continue reading

Adventures in Home Buying

Published April 16, 2016 in Real Estate - 7 Comments

For those who know me, they know real estate is one of my favorite asset classes.  Over the long term it can be used as a hedge on inflation because market prices tend to follow yearly CPI increases, plus if you buy in a developing area you can accrue a windfall due to capital appreciation.  On top of that, if you have more than one property you can increase your monthly cash flows through rental income AND deduct business expenses for upkeep.  Those reasons, among an ocean of others, stand to make real estate a very powerful wealth builder for a young professional.  This will be the start of my journey into building wealth through home buying.

Home Buying Decisions

To Buy or Not to Buy

I have been looking at home buying for what feels like an eternity, although realistically it’s only been about six months, and I have finally put an offer in on a home.  Because it’s my first time buying property, I felt like the experiences I have could be useful for my readers who may be embarking on their own journey to buy in the near future.  In a series of posts I’ll outline what worked (and what didn’t) during the home buying process as well as my own observations about the overall market trends and what working with the banks and realtors involved.  I should be in for a topsy-turvy adventure! Continue reading

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