Real Estate

The 1031 Exchange Program (save a boatload on taxes)

About 5 years ago, I was purchasing a property that had a few disclosures I had not heard of or come across before. The disclosures were for the seller of the property notifying me that the sale of the building was part of a "1031 Like-Kind exchange". I was immediately curious, so I started researching and began conversations with more experienced landlords. This is the main point: the program is used to take the proceeds from the sale of one property and apply them to a new property, tax free. It is used often by the wealthily and lawyer-equipped, but not enough by the average landlord.

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Buying a College Rental

About 6 months ago, I cam across exactly what I was looking for (or what I thought I was looking for). I found a house in the town I invest in that was up for sale and it had a particular set of features that made it ideal. The type of property I was looking for was one that I could get a conventional 5% down payment on, but had the potential to be very profitable. This particular house had been converted to a single-family, but had previously been a duplex. The kicker was, it was still registered with the town as a duplex. That is HUGE. Mainly, because to convert

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The New Difference between FHA and Typical PMI

In previous posts, I have written about the advantages of leveraging private mortgage insurance to acquire investment properties. While this is true, and for lower wage earners, often necessary, it can also be expensive. New rules for FHA mortgages now require the PMI to stay on for the life of the loan, you can read more about FHA loans and financing a multi-family here.

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When I first started managing my properties, I did what most landlords do. Every aspect was all manual and quite a lot of effort. I collected rent by checks sent to me in the mail, had applicants fill out a paper form, manually ran background checks, etc.

A few months into it I thought "there has to something that can do this better". The truth is you don't have to look very hard to find a service that will automate most aspects of the land lording experience.

Cozy is one of those companies.

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The Lesson of Burst Pipes


Amateur Mistakes.

In the first year I purchased an investment property, I learned some valuable lessons. One of them happened as I was on my way to the property with some friends late at night. At the time, I was living in one of the units and had invited people over after dinner. On the way to the property, I got a frantic phone call from a tenant. I could barely understand a word she was saying but as I listed, I got the picture.

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No Lost Rent!

Image by Ben Crowder @

Image by Ben Crowder @

One of the most important aspects of having a profitable investment property is in keeping the units occupied and collecting the rent. I have been very fortunate over the years to have great tenants and would even say that some have become friends. Because the tenants have been great, they pay there bills, including their rent. If I continue to expand and hold the buildings for long enough, I will rent to someone who does not pay, but there are a number of ways to avoid it.

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Buying a Multifamily


This is the actual basement door of my first property. - Not a very interesting door, but I like it. 

A number of years ago I remember looking around at my cubical walls and thinking, "this is certainly not going to be the best long term solution". I knew, from the moment I had my first job as a kid, that there was a lot of money out there and I needed to get a hold of it. As most young people do, I started working harder and trying to get higher paying positions. But, I soon realized that as one makes money and gets older, expenses will also increase. I needed another way to generate income. The best financial decision I ever made was buying a Multifamily property.

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